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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baby Girl or Boy Johnson, Sibling to Luke Edward

Amy writes:
I could really use your help. We are expecting our second child on December 12 (scheduled c-section) and I can't come to like the boys name my husband loves. We are not finding out whether this little one is a boy or a girl until birth so we have to have both a boy and a girl name chosen.

My name is Amy and my husband is Troy and our last name is the oh so common Johnson. Our first child is Luke Edward and his first name is one I have always loved and his middle name is after my maternal grandfather who passed away while I was pregnant. We are sticking with the plan of using a family name as the middle name for this child but I feel like we need to include my husband's family this time although the options are not very good (my mother-in-law has even told me not to worry about their side because she knows the options aren't great). We don't know yet if this will be our last child or not. Our styles from The Baby Name Wizard tend toward antique charm, timeless and biblical.

We have decided on a girls name--Hannah Elizabeth. Hannah again because I really like it and Elizabeth is my middle name along with my mom and grandmother. Other top girl names we've considered: Molly, Brooke and Abigail.

Okay, so on to the boys name. We have decided to use my husband's middle name, Anthony, as a middle name because we feel this is the best option from the family list. I feel like it greatly limits what first names we can use. The current top choice and my husband's favorite is Eric Anthony. There is something about two vowel names that is bugging me. I don't feel like they flow very well. Of course you've said numerous times that full names aren't used too often but I can't imagine high school graduation with Eric Anthony Johnson. I like both names but just not together. I also think that Eric goes well with Luke. So, help please!

Other top boy first names we both like:
Grant (my top, hubby is okay with it)
Ethan (we both like)
Kent (his favorite but I don't like at all)
Tyler (okay for both of us)

Other family names for a middle name:
Charles (my side)
James (my side)
Lyle (my side)
Michael (his side but not great association for me)
Hugo (his side)
Alvin (his side)
Walter (his side but not a favorite person in the family)

I welcome any and all suggestions! Thank you so very, very much!

I really like the sound of Eric and Anthony together. But such things are hugely subjective; if you don't like the way the names sound together, let's see if we can find something else.

My main advice is to choose the first name first, get that completely settled, and then choose the middle name. Anthony may seem like the best choice when looking at a list of middle names by themselves, but a completely different favorite may emerge if you start with the first name you love. Right now, you're being greatly limited in your first name choice by a restriction that doesn't have to be there. (And this probably goes without saying, but of course you can also decide not to use a family name in the middle-name slot at all. Or, if you change the concept to "a name of significance," then it can also be a friend's name or a place name.)

If Eric is the agreed-upon first-choice name, try it with the other middle names on your list. I'm scratching out Michael and Walter, because it seems like honor names work best when it's someone you want to honor. Eric Charles Johnson. Eric James Johnson. Eric Lyle Johnson. Eric Hugo Johnson. Eric Alvin Johnson. Do any of those sound better to you? Or would Eric Troy Johnson work?

Changing the middle name also frees up Ethan. Ethan Charles Johnson. Ethan James Johnson. Ethan Lyle Johnson. Ethan Hugo Johnson. Ethan Troy Johnson.

You may have already tried this, but I find there are sometimes a lot of good family names to be found among the surnames. Mother-in-law's maiden name? Grandmother-in-law's maiden name? Your own maiden name? If it would be pleasing to honor your husband's side, you could also look in the family tree for names such as the name of the first person in their family to emigrate, or any other family member with a good story.

Another possibility is to use the family name as the first name. Luke and Charlie is a very cute combination.


Patricia said...

I like Eric, but for me it doesn't go well with Luke. With Luke and possibly Hannah later on, you might want to consider another biblical name. From your list, Ethan is very compatible with Luke, and since Ethan is a very popular name right now, a less usual middle name like Hugo would help make your Ethan's name one of a kind.

Luke Edward
Ethan Hugo

Or if you'd prefer to use your husband's middle name Anthony, then I'd look for a different biblical and/or classic name as the first names, maybe James from your middle name list:

James Anthony -- Luke and James

Best wishes!

Marjorie said...

I like Ethan the most from your choices. It goes with Luke. I also like Joseph Anthony.

StephLove said...

I think Eric Anthony sounds fine, too. In fact I think Anthony sounds good with your whole first name list.

But I agree reconsidering the middle name shakes things up in a good way. I particularly like Ethan James or Grant Charles for you.

liz said...

I like the rhythm of Ethan Anthony. I also like Eric Hugo a lot.

Ditto the last name search and the going back a few generations.

Geeni said...

I'm here to give more love to Hugo as a middle name option! It injects a little spice to balance the common last name. I particularly like Ethan Hugo.

Swistle said...

I like the rhythm of Ethan Anthony too. My issue is with the repeating "an" and "th" sounds (especially at the transition, where it's eth-an-an)---but maybe that's actually a plus. It's another of those subjective things.

AirLand said...

I'm sure it doesn't matter, but Eric Johnson is Jessica Simpson's fiance. Eric also seems like a name that is popular for people my age and older (I'm 30), but I haven't heard it at all lately. That could be a good thing though- familiar, but not used too much.

I like Grant the best out of your choices, but I'm not sure which middle. I also like Ethan. What about Ethan Troy?

Anonymous said...

My all-time, hands down favorite boy name of all time is Ethan Anthony, and it is the name I am still trying to convince DH to use. We both adore Ethan and Anthony is a long-running family name on his side. The problem? He hears the furniture store "Ethan Allen" when he says it... Which I GET, but it doesn't bother me enough to not use (or at all). Sigh. Please use this name that I am doomed to forego!

I also think Eric is nice, but obviously I want you to use Ethan!

Tracy H. said...

Nooo please don't use Eric Lyle! Erik & Lyle Menendez were the brothers that murdered their parents in cold blood for their money! I know most people probably wouldn't make this gruesome association, but my mind immediately went there :(

Mrs S said...

Eric Anthony has the similar repeating vowel sound as Hannah Elizabeth. So id I think it is fine. I like Luke and Ethan the best. For future possible subset. Luke, Ethan and Hannah are lovely!

Leslie said...

I love the name Eric, and I think it works wonderfully with Anthony. I find Eric Anthony Johnson to be quite pleasing to my ear. If it's not feeling right to you, though, I do like Eric Troy as well.

Ethan would be my second choice. Ethan Anthony is a little tongue-twistery for me (while I do normally like repeating sounds, the abundance of them in this combo, especially with the repeating "th," sounds a bit too sibilant for me), but it works with several of your other middle name options.

Best of luck!

The Mrs. said...

Hannah Elizabeth is a lovely name.

It is nice that Eric is underused in this generation. He'll probably be the only one in his class, and everyone will spell his name correctly. Bonus!

Eric Troy Johnson sounds like a solid sort of guy that is hard-working, reliable, and masculine.

And, as much as I REALLY like the name Hugo... it may illict some unpleasant teasing with the last name of Johnson.

There's a nice balance of giving both sons four letter names. They would both have the 'k' sound and three syllables in their first and middle names combined. Luke Edward, Eric Troy. Different but strong.

Anyway, best wishes to you and your growing family!

christine said...

Grant and Ethan are my favorites of your choices (even though I like Eric Anthony too).

I like Grant, but would prefer a multiple syllable middle for it, but don't like it with Alvin or Anthony. But Grant Hugo works to my ear...also I guess if you find some other names for the middle position?

I love, love, love Ethan Hugo. And I feel like it gets the name you and your husband both like, and Hugo from his side.

I also like Tyler Anthony and know a couple who had planned to use this name for their son.

Best wishes!

Aimee said...

I like the name Ethan the best of your options, or Swistles suggestion of Charles/Charlie for a first!

I just wanted to say that I have a cousin named Beau Anthony, maybe you like that? Luke and Beau sound adorable together too :-)

Carolyn said...

I like Hugo for a middle name! It's got that cool final -o sound that everyone loves, but is different from what anyone is using now. And the fact that it's a family name makes such a great connection. I think Eric Hugo would sound nice.

Anonymous said...

Eric Anthony is lovely, as is Ethan Hugo. I also like Eric Hugo and Eric James. With your surname being so common, I would google your chosen first + last name to check for any associations that may play out later.

Debbie downer said...

Isn't Eric Johnson a famous guitar player? Oh, and Jessica simpson's fiancé?

Anonymous said...

I know a little boy that is named Anthony Eric, and he is a gem! So I do think the names go well together.