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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baby Boy _____er, Brother to Sisters Tatum and Campbell

Jen writes:
Hi Swistle!
Here we are, baby #3 and you would think we've never done this naming business before. But, we are stumped. I think that we could name a gaggle of girls, but now that we are faced with naming a boy, we are stuck. We have 2 girls, Tatum and Campbell. There was a short list when naming both girls, but the one name that kept creeping up during both of their births was Barrett. Any other names have long since been forgotten.
As we consider names, we definitely want something that isn't too popular. My husband and I are Jennifer and Jason, complete with my brother, another Jason and his sister, another Jennifer. I would love for my children to only be identified by their first names and not by their first names and the first initial of their last name like we all had to deal with throughout our lives. Since our girls names are more masculine, we want a boy's name that is different, but doesn't take on too much of a feminine quality. My husband is also beginning to fight for names that are more "normal" but I still want to stay away from popular. I guess we are trying to find a middle ground that might include a mainstream name, but not too mainstream.
Our last name is a verb that ends in -er, so most names with an -er ending are out. I am also not a fan of many of the -den names like Caden, Braden, Jaden and Brendan. Our family is oversaturated with biblical names including Samson, Samuel, Seth, Silas, Gabriel, Simon and Shadrach, so I'd like to avoid duplication of those. The only other semi-restriction we have on names is that we would like to avoid a name that lends itself easily to a nickname. While we still love Barrett for a boy, we are worried about him being called Barry. A name that could be shortened isn't out, but we'd have to consider it carefully.
We aren't set on a middle name yet, although we are considering both Jason and Brett. These aren't set in stone though because we are more concerned with figuring out the first name. The current list of names only includes names that I like and my husband is mostly indifferent about. Unfortunately, he hasn't brought any names to the table, so I'm stuck. My list includes: Cullen, Graham, Elliot, Griffin and Reed. If I could get past the popularity issue, I also like Landon, but in my mind, it's out because it's so common these days. Names that have been rejected include Jace, Stellan, Gage, Deacon, Atticus, and Slade.
Any suggestions you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Our boy is expected to arrive at the end of January and I'm starting to get a little nervous since we seem to be at a standstill.

Barrett sounds like a very good choice to me. It's unusual but not unheard-of, and I suspect you could avoid Barry (though he might one day choose it for himself). (I became more fond of the name Barry, too, after having a smart/cute/funny one as a co-worker.)

There's also Merritt, but with the sibling names I think it sounds too feminine. (I think it would be a great option if later on you have another girl. Beckett, too, would be a great name for a third girl.) (Now I'm getting really off-topic, but Jenson would be charming for a girl, if you liked the idea of combining your names---or you could say she was named for her aunt and her uncle! ...Okay, now I will get back to work.)

If you want to move slightly more mainstream but without losing the no-surname-initial-required thing you've got going so far, I suggest using surname names that have mainstream nicknames. Bennett, for example: it continues your surname theme, but with the mainstreame nickname Ben. Tatum, Campbell, and Bennett. (I realize this completely ignores your preference for non-nicknameable names, but I still think it might work as a compromise idea.)

On the topic of Ben, in school I had a classmate named Benton. Tatum, Campbell, and Benton.

Similar to Bennett/Ben is Nicholson/Nick. Again, it's a mainstream nickname with an unexpected full version. Tatum, Campbell, and Nicholson.

Another: Davis. He can use Dave if he wants to (though it was only in thinking of it with Bennett and Nicholson that I realized that was an option), but the name Davis is handsome and unusual and masculine. Tatum, Campbell, and Davis.

Another: Anderson. I don't think I'd use the nickname Andy, but it would be nice to have it available. Tatum, Campbell, and Anderson.

Or Edison, handsome AND smart, and with the potential nickname Ed if he wants it. Tatum, Campbell, and Edison.

Or Robinson, which gives you Rob. Tatum, Campbell, and Robinson.

Or Jacoby, the unusual surname version of the fully mainstream name Jacob. Tatum, Campbell, and Jacoby.

I wonder if you'd like Aidric? It has a familiar/traditional sound (Aiden/Eric), but it's uncommon. Tatum, Campbell, and Aidric.

Keaton is familiar but not overly common. Tatum, Campbell, and Keaton.

This would be such a good sibling group for an honor surname. Maybe an old family surname, for something both uncommon and familiar? Or the surname of a favorite author or scientist or actor?

We just recently discussed the name Lennox, so it's on my mind. Tatum, Campbell, and Lennox.

One of my favorite boy surname names is Lawson. Tatum, Campbell, and Lawson.

Another of my favorites is Lincoln. I love the nickname Linc, and its familiarity as a surname makes it feel more traditional/mainstream. Tatum, Campbell, and Lincoln.

Another is Sullivan, with the nickname Sully. Tatum, Campbell, and Sullivan.

I like Malcolm for you. It's unusual, it's all boy, and it ties the sibling names together with a subtle M theme. Tatum, Campbell, and Malcolm. Actually, now that I write it out, I think it might have too many sounds in common with Campbell.

I like Everett even better. It's similar to Elliot (I think in this sibling group, Elliot might be too feminine), it's boyish and surnamey, it's uncommon but familiar. Tatum, Campbell, and Everett.

Name update! Jen writes:
I'm excited to tell you that he arrived on January 24th. At a healthy 9 lbs, 12 oz. and 21 1/2 inches long, he is loving the attention from big sisters Tatum and Campbell. And his name? Lincoln Brett!
Thanks for all your help, we couldn't be happier with our name choice!


Jen said...


I do also like Swistle's option of Lincoln.

crystal said...

I do like Barrett. I was also thinking about Barron, Grant, Graham.

KWILY said...

I think your list is great! Reid and Graham are on my short list too.

Anonymous said...

I'm pregnant and if it's a boy, his name will be Barrett. As a nn we'll use Bear.

Anonymous said...

If you like Landon maybe Lennon if you want to continue the last name as first trend. Also there is Harrison that is more main stream but not overly popular.

vanessa said...

Lawson is great.
Bennett is awesome, I actually like Beckett as a boy name as well.
Jameson might be my top choice for you.

gail said...

This is such an interesting puzzle!

Nearly all of the names on your list, especially Cullen, Elliot, and Reed are not uncommonly used for girls--I know 2 female Cullens and I live in a pretty small town.

Of your discarded names, I thought Atticus was the best fit: it is trendy but it will never become Jacob.

Of Swistle's suggestions, my favorites are Davis, Robinson, Lincoln, and Malcolm. All of these are boys names not being used by girls. Lennox and Keaton, also suggested by Swistle, are sometimes used by girls. If you don't mind this, I love Lennox.

I also really like the suggestion of Grant.

What I would add to the possibilities: Duncan, Dominic, Cormac, Emik, Felix, Milo or Miles, Forrest, Simon, Leo, Eli, Niko, and Everest.

Best wishes to you and your growing family, please let us know what you decide.

jonniker said...

Emmett. I love the name Emmett. Emmett! Beckett is a totally boy name to me, too. I don't see it as a feminine name at all.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I really do like Bennett. And Barrett. Everett is a good one too.

Trish said...

I like Reed the best out of your list, and I really like Davis from the list of suggestions. I think Davis would sound better with Brett as a middle name.

seussgirl said...

I like Davis - it was an old family surname, but we used it as a middle name. It means "beloved." We also used Miles as a middle name - that could work for you! I liked Grant, and Jameson (that might lend itself to Jamie, though)
Good luck!

EmilyD said...

I popped on to suggest Lennon, and see someone else has proposed that as well. Our friends used that, though they do now call him Lenny (they're not American so they don't mind this but for me it conjures up both the guy from "Of Mice & Men" as well as the friend of Squidgy on Laverne & Shirley). however, I don't think this is a immediate go-to nickname.

another suggestion is Nash. No nickname, obviously male and quite snappy. when my husband heard this name, he immediately said, "why didn't we think of that!"

and, if you want clearly masculine (and perhaps I first saw it on here), there's also Stetson. this also appeals a lot to me, although it wouldn't match in the least with our firstborn's name.

nickname-able idea is Coleman (could be Cole). or perhaps Garrett? similar to Barrett and the ones I know have never gone by Garry. and, you could use the spelling of Reid if that changes improves the appeal for you.

(p.s. -- I know a girl named Emmett and a few named Emerson. the one boy I know of named Emmett goes by Em and I'm constantly getting mental whiplash when I'm reminded that her kiddo is a boy, not a girl. I think the similarity there to Emily makes that one too feminine in your particular name set.)

The Mrs. said...

I may or may not be any help to you because most of my suggestions have nicknames... sorry!

What about:

Benson (Ben) Tatum, Campbell, and Benson

Redford (Red or Ford) Tatum, Campbell, and Redford

Ruston (Russ or Rusty) Tatum, Campbell, and Ruston

Gordon (Gordo) Tatum, Campbell, and Gordon

Edgar (Ed or Ted) Tatum, Campbell, and Edgar

Please let us know what you decide. You've got a tricky choice to make! Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

What about using Barrett with the nn Brett or Rhett?

Natalie said...

I love Barrett! Is it very common for barrett's to go by barry? I dont like Barryat all, but do you think its unlikely it will get shortened to that? II also love Bennett. What about Abbott, archer, Darby, walker, austin, or Ryder?

Laura said...

My first thought before reading Swistle's list was Bennett. I LOVE Beckett though too..nn Beck. Or Beckham? A little trendy, but unique. I love Davis as well...all boy. Lincoln is a lovely option as well. Again, all boy, unique and not difficult to spell, pronounce, etc. Tatum, Campbell and Lincoln. I have a friend who has an adorable little Lincoln and his nn within his family is Link. Love it! Best wishes to you. P.S. I LOVE your naming style...your girls' names are wonderful.

Chantelle said...

How about Sutherland? Lawson and Nicholson are also really nice, but maybe too similar to Jason...?

Anonymous said...

I love the suggestion of Lincoln, Davis and Anderson. There was a suggestion of Redford above, but what about just Ford? I also think Penn might work for you.

The Sandersons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I like Benson (with no nn) for your baby boy. I know a Benson, he's 12 now and is a GREAT kid!!!

beyond said...

I love your daughter's names and think you have a great list. I love Graham and Griffin best for you. Tatum, Campbell and Griffin. I like Swistle's Benton and Everett. And Keaton!
Easton? Holden? Stratton? Tilden? Walden? I like Tatum, Campbell and Easton a lot. And Walden: Tatum, Campbell and Walden.
Good luck!

Mere Mere said...

Barrett is a family name for us, but I couldn't get beyond my fear of "Barry." Then later I kicked myself when I figured out that you could use "Bear" for a nickname, which I adore (so sweet on a little boy and Bear Grylls makes it sexy for a man, if you ask me). So I'm definitely voting for Barrett. Go for it! Plus, I think that Barry sounds so dated that people aren't likely to use it for your son, just as people don't really use Gary to nickname a Garrett, do they, especially against the parents' will?

Claire said...

I like Barrett, but I think I like the suggestion of Bennett even better so that he would have the more traditionally-male "Ben" to fall back in in the midst of his androgynously-named sisters. I also like the suggestions of Malcolm and Lennox. Another one I would offer is Declan - not too many nicknames, but also falling more on the masculine side of the line. From your other list of options, I would say that Graham is my favorite, and beg you not to name him Cullen so he doesn't have to endure comparisons to that sparkly vampire.

liz said...

I used to babysit for a boy named Gunnar, which I think is a good fit with your daughters: Tatum, Campbell, and Gunnar.

Or how about Thornton? Tatum, Campbell, and Thornton?

Anonymous said...

How about Merek? I've only ever met one person with this name and never really heard it anywhere else. It was used as a male name, and works well because it has familiar sounds ("Like Eric" is a common refrain") but seems masculine and doesn't have an easy nickname.

Nicole Trager said...

I too am a nickname proof type of girl. So here are some options following your rules, no -er ending, nickname proof and not too popular.


Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Love Everett. Love! What about Sawyer?

Anonymous said...

Swistle and commenters:
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You have given us not only a name to consider, but a LIST of names to consider. We are still working our way through all of the awesome suggestions, but I can assure you, we are almost there.
I can't wait to share our decision!
Thanks again,