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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Baby Boy Hand, Brother to Kira

Karianne writes:
I first learned of your site when my friend Jen “Baby Boy _er, brother to Sisters Tatum and Campbell” wrote into you. I have read through pretty much every single post and like lots of your suggestions, so figured we’d see what your thought would be for us!

I have a long first name, Karianne, which I DO NOT shorten or allow for nicknames, Hubs however goes by his shortened name, Terry and NEVER goes by his full first name, Terence. Our last name rhymes with Hand, so as it is our two names together are very ring rhyme – Karianne and Terry Hand/Terry and Karianne Hand.

When we were due to have our first child we chose to not learn the gender, and had names selected for both boy and girl. Our daughter was born and named Kira. Our boy name was Elliot, with the potential to be called Eli, Leo, or Elliot. I am now due to have a Baby Boy in early May. And am no longer sold on Elliot, not totally opposed either.

A couple of things I will share….our last name rhymes with Hand, however contains a Hard R sound, therefore first names beginning with R are out. Also out are 1st names beginning with K. Since both myself and our daughter’s names begin with K we do not want to go down that road. I am not a fan of the top names of the past couple years, many are lovely names, but I really don’t want my kids growing up with multiple friends/peers of the same name. Nor do I favor odd, one off names. So now that that is nice and clear…

Some of the names currently on my list, and I say my list because my husband has yet to contribute even a suggestion. Silas, Benjamin, Gage, Evan, Elliot, Hale, Bennett, Tanner, Fisher. Names that have come off are Jacob/Jakob, Neil, Samuel, Lance, Colin. Our daughter calls the baby Jack. She is pretty adamant that this is his name. It very well may end being his name if we can’t figure one out on our own!

I am also interested in your thoughts on middle name. My father in law who I adored beyond belief passed away in 2001 and I have wanted our baby boy to carry his name, Alan, as his middle name from day one, however my brother in law, and husband’s only sibling recently passed away unexpectedly and I feel torn about leaving his name, Stephen, out (we will not be having more children). So while creating the above list I only thought about Alan as the middle name, and just don’t feel Stephen fits well at all. I have considered looking for a combo of both…Stalan, Stefan, Alaster….but my gut keeps going to Alan.

Any suggestions you could provide would be greatly appreciated. I know we still have a little time here, but each passing day shortens our window to agree on his name. Thanks in advance!

I immediately seize on the sister-suggestion of Jack as an opportunity to plug the name John: it feels common, and yet it's hard to even find a child named John. He'd likely be the only one in his class, and he could go by John or Jack. John (H)and sounds handsome and distinguished, professional but in an "equally good for an artist or an executive" way.

The main point against it is that I'm with you on Alan, and if I'm correctly guessing your surname, the initials JAR are not ideal. They're not awful either, however, and since you have a second possible honor name, may I give you a second plug in a row, this one for double middle names? My kids have them, and it has been less hassle and more satisfaction than I'd expected. John Alan Stephen (H)and; Kira and John. (I even like the way each child has a 4-letter name.) It would niggle at me very slightly that your daughter didn't also have two middle names, but I think it's such an understandable situation, and getting to use both important honor names would more than outweigh that issue for me.

Because you and your daughter have K-names, and in fact her name is spelled with the first four letters of your name, the mathematical part of my mind would love to find a T-name for your son (and wouldn't it be fun if it could be spelled with letters from your husband's name? but let's not get carried away). So if you don't mind the initials spelling TAR, or if you wanted to use both middle names and have TASR, Tanner from your list stands out. But I don't like the way the R-ending merges with the R-surname. Other possibilities:


But Elliot is on my own list of favorites, so I also feel the urge to push you to use that. Kira and Elliot! So nice. And I love it with your surname. One problem is that with the middle name Alan, the initials spell EAR. Not a deal-breaker, but I usually avoid spelling things with initials if possible, or at least I want to think about it ahead of time.

You could also go straight to Leo as a stand-alone name. It works well with Alan; I love it with your surname; I love it with Kira.

A name similar to Elliot is Everett. I like the way it ties in with the R of your surname and of Kira's name.

Name update! Karianne writes:
Hi Swistle!  First a huge thank you to you and your readers/commenters for your thoughts and feedback on our baby boy's name.  You gave us a lot to consider, especially the double middle name. 

Our son arrived 10 days late on May 19.  Once he decided to make his entrance he came quickly (less than 2 hrs from arrival at the hospital he was delivered)!

Prior to his arrival we decided on Silas Alan as his name.  After his birth we toy'ed with the idea of adding Stephen (Silas Alan Stephen/ Silas Stephen Alan) but in the end my husband made the decision to stick with our original name plan.

Again thank you for your thoughts and helping us lock in on his forever name.

Here is a picture of Silas at 11 days old.


StephLove said...

I had the same thought about using a double middle as I read your post.

I like Elliott, Benjamin and Evan best from your list, and Everett best from Swistle's suggestions. If repeating the T appeals, I like Tobias.

Nichole said...

I LOVE Swistle's suggestion of Everett! And Gage is my favorite from your list.

Good luck!

Ka-rina said...

Stellan is sort of a Stephen-Alan hybrid that could be used for first or middle name although i don't think us flows well with John in the 1st name position: John Stellan Hand doesn't seem quite as nice as Stellan John Hand (nickname Jack as per Kira). It would somewhat limit other names ending in -an, -en, -on, -in (Evan & Tobin) ....... I like Everett but it may be too much "R" sound with your last name. I love Leo though! Leo Stellan/Leo Alan are great.

Anonymous said...

I like Alan Stephen Hand. Alan is a great first name, not too popular, but not weird or hard to pronounce.

Love it!

Anonymous said...

My husband is an Alan and I love his name.

Our nephew was named after him and is John Alan. That's another nice name combo.

gail said...

Along with the last two commenters, but with just a little twist, I'd suggest Stephen Alan (H)and. It's classic, but lately unusual, yet everyone recognizes it. I know more than one man with this name who uses the full name and not a nn. (Though I recognize that there may be reasons too uncomfortable for you to mention that might make this unworkable).

My 2nd suggestion would be Timothy. I like the way it complements Terrence, and as with Stephen, it's a solid classical name that's not getting enough play.

I also really like Elliot and John. I don't really like the sound of Jack (H)and--too much drawn out "a", but it is doable and wouldn't be the first time the older sibling named the baby!

Natalia said...

I have to second the suggestion of John Alan Stephen, sounds great and has such a great story to tell: sister chose the name Jack, and grandpa Alan and uncle Stephen are honored. I totally love it.

vanessa said...

I love the idea of having a T name for this baby, and in fact *I* would find it bothersome for you and your daughter to have K names but your son and husband to not having matching initials, but I am a bit OCD. Just a bit.

So I like:
Tobin Alan (this is a lot of N with the last name, but I find that I like it)
Theo Alan (SO good with Kira! Kira and Theo! OMG. USE THIS).
Tobias Alan
Teagan Alan

Anonymous said...

What about Edward Alan (H)and? Again with the EAR, but that doesn't bother me. You could use Ted as a nn, using the T.

As an alternative to John, there is always Sean. Sean Alan (H)and.
Kira and Sean.

I also like Thomas. If you use the nn Thom, then you keep the four letter thing going, which I like.

Philip Alan (H)and. This is a remarkably familiar, but not often used name. A nickname of Pip keeps it unique.

beyond said...

Great suggestions here. Stephen Alan Hand, and Alan Stephen Hand are both great.
I also think two middle names would work here.
My baby has two middle names, and I'm noticing that when there is only space for one (like on his social security card!), the second gets left out. This might help you decide in what order to put them.
From you list I really like Benjamin and Silas.
I suggest:
Quentin (Starts with the same sound as Kira, but spelled differently. I love this for you.)
Maxwell (Kira and Max. Cute.)
Simon (Silas and Benjamin made me think of this one.)
Nathan? Milo?
Good luck!

Swistle said...

beyond- Both middle names are on my Social Security card, and on my kids' Social Security cards. I wonder why it wasn't that way for your baby? Have things changed since 2007, or is it state-by-state?

Elizabeth said...

Lots of good suggestions. I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet (but I scanned the comments quickly) so I'll just note that I'd urge you NOT to go with Stalan (sounds too much like Stalin).

Swistle is spot-on as usual. Best of luck and be sure to let us know what you decide.

vanessa said...

Swistle--both my middle names are on my SS card as well, and there have only been a few times when I've had to drop the 2nd middle. What often happens is that my first name and my first middle name run together, so it becomes Vanessasarah.

Claire said...

I think the suggestion of John Alan Hand is wonderful - there's something very distinguished about it.

My sympathies for the loss of two beloved relatives - but you seem to feel much more strongly about the name Alan. I think you should go for a name you're passionate about (which in print, I get from you about Alan, while in the case of Stephen, it reads more that you feel you should rather than loving the name - apologies if this is not the case) rather than one you just feel obligated to use. You say that your husband hasn't contributed much input - would it make you feel better about the choice of whether you must include Stephen if he weighed on this? Since it was his brother, if he's not fussed, I think you should be guilt-free and move on.

From your other "maybes," I'm fond of Benjamin, and I think it makes the nicest combination with Alan as a middle name.

Best of luck! Send us an update when the decision is made.

Sarah said...

Two of my three kids have double middle names- my daughter's name is Adelay-Isabelle-My Maiden Name-Surname, at the request of my grandfather, who was dying at the time and didn't have any males in the family to "carry on the name." I didn't prefer to go down the hyphenated last name road though, so we settled on it as a middle name.
My first son just has one middle name, but our second son ended up with two middle names basically because a) I was absolutely DETERMINED to have Isaac as part of his name and b) if we used ONLY Isaac, his initials were JIS. Which sounds and looks an awful lot like... you know. My husband's favorite for his middle name was Beckett. So his name is Jameson Beckett Isaac, and when just his initials are used, it's generally put as JBS, which is much better than the other option!
However, like Swistle's kids, both of mine with double middle names are listed with both on their SS cards. Maybe it's just a matter of what there's room for on the card? We don't have a very long last name so it's not an issue for us, but maybe for some?

Jackie said...

Beyond and Swistle- For social security cards, I think the issue is the number of letters allowed. When I changed my last name when I got married and had to get a new social security card. I wanted to keep my middle name and add my maiden name as a second middle name, but couldn't because it was too many characters. At least that is what I was told at the social security office. So I think children with shorter last names may be able to get two middle names on their SS card.

Mary said...

What about James? Kira and James would make great siblings and it is such a classic name and goes well with your chosen middle names.

Or Liam, Elias, Derek, Jude, Darren, Gavin, Marcus, Seth

British American said...

I think two middle names Alan Stephen would be a great way to honor and remember both men.

I have one middle name but my younger brother has two middle names: David James in honor of my Dad's late brother and late father. My parents didn't have a 3rd child, so this worked well to honor both men and still chose a first name they liked.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all the suggestions! To say I am still a bit overwhelmed would ban understatement. Terry read your responses and has now contributed his thoughts... This naming business is hard work! I promise to update once we make a decision!


Megz said...

I would like to suggest Vince.

I like Swistle's suggestion of linking your sons name to his fathers. So I'm taking the ending of Terrance (even though he doesnt go by that name) to get Vince. It is also similar to Evan that you like.

Owen is also similar, but with your surname it sounds like someone's financial situation in South Africa.

I also like names ending in N with your surname, such as Logan or Gavin.

I would just go with the one middle name, Alan, as you have always planned on.


Heidi said...

I like the idea of two middle names.

Sorry to bring in a negative association with a name that may not occur to anyone else, and that may forever taint a name in someone's imagination-but the increasing use of "Gage" gives me the willies. All I can think of is the toddler run over by the truck in Stephen King's Pet Sematary, later brought back to life with disastrous consequences. An acquaintance was thinking about giving this name to her son several years ago, and I had to bite my lip for several months until she and her husband decided on something else.