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Friday, April 6, 2012

Baby Boy Gr____ik, Brother to Braeden, Ellery, and Holland

Lindsley writes:
I am due with our 4th child in June. I have spent LOTS of time carefully and lovingly selecting each of my children's names and this last one is no different.

We have a son and two daughters and are expecting our second son. Yay for two and two! Each of the kids have been given first names that we love and thought to be less than common and middle names that honor a family member that we love. :) . My name is Lindsley and my husband is Dole-not too common.

At the time we named our oldest, we had no idea how popular Braeden was or would become. However, we adore our Braeden Michael and his name suits him.

As for the girls, we have Ellery Kate and Holland Ray.

This little boy's middle name is going to be Mason, my mom's maiden name (We are running out of family names. I stipulate that the family name can't just come from far back on the tree. I enjoy having a personal connection to the person we honor). I also seem to be set on a singular syllable name this time around and the front runner is Grey. Grey Mason Gr****ik. So this name is an alliteration with the Gr Gr sounds. I think it sounds strong. I am wanting some confirmation that it is in fact a strong sounding name.

Initially I had hesitation with Grey Mason. I do not know if it flows as well as I think my other first and middle name combinations do (for the other kids). I tend to use the kids first and middle names all the time (not just when they are in trouble).

Other names that have graced my list a some point or another?

Bowen (ruled out for the similarity to Braeden)
Brooks (what is it with me and the B names?)
Latham (doesn't lend to an obvious nickname)
Jensen (learned it was more popular than I thought)

I am in love with the notion of a sweet little baby Grey. It conjures up thoughts of soft, sweetness as a baby, mischievous fun as a boy, and strength and sophistication as a man.

So, Braeden, Ellery Holland & Grey?? :)

Thanks, Swistle!

I think it's great. Here are some of the things I like about it:

1. The way it sounds in the line-up of sibling names: 2-3-2-1. Very nice. If you were inclined to write rhyming stories about them, you would be all set. "Braeden, Ellery, Holland, and Grey / Went outside on a sunny day."

2. The way the two girls have a double-L in common, and the two boys have a strong long-A sound in common.

3. They way you've spelled it. Gray makes me think of Gary and of gravy; Grey makes me think of cozy flannel and distinguished handsome men---a very pleasing combination.

Does Grey Gr____ik sound good without Mason in between? People are usually known by first and last only, and a middle name can act as a false bridge, tying two names together that won't work without it. Color names in particular sometimes make the first/last name combination sound like the name of a rare bird.

If you call the kids by first-middles, Grey Mason is not quite as good as, say, Braeden Michael. But it's not bad, either: it doesn't blend to make an undesirable sound or girl's name or anything. And I think loving the first name and having a personal family connection to the middle name are more important in the long run.

It sounds to me like the baby is named and that you're having normal last-minute uncertainties before committing. But if it's fun to think about it more, I also like Reeve from your list. That's my favorite if the middle name is set: Pace Mason and Latham Mason and Jensen Mason don't sound as good to me.

I think of Jensen as a surname name that tips more feminine (even though it's currently used more often for boys), because of the potential Jen/Jenny nickname---very similar to Holland (Holly) and Ellery (Ellie). A similar name that tips more masculine is Lawson. Not so good with Mason, though.

Or Lennox, which is better with Mason. We've heard that one mentioned on the blog a couple of times recently for girls, but it's still mostly used for boys (22 girls and 214 boys in 2010, according to the Social Security Administration; I'm looking forward to the 2011 data coming out next month).

Or Redford, also nice with Mason.

If you like Bowen, I wonder if you'd like Rohan? Again, not great with Mason.

Pace makes me think of Tyce. Tyce Mason. I can't tell if that works or not.


Trudee said...

I also thought of Grant. Still one syllable, still the strong alliteration, but I haven't heard this going to girls so, to me, it's very masculine. Grant Mason sounds great. Grant Mason Gr****ik. Love the name and think it's highly underused.

Anonymous said...

Grey Mason makes me think of female singer Macy Gray.

gail said...

I love the name Grey, but what's holding me back from embracing it for you is Braeden--you may call him Braeden now, but there's a likelihood that his peers will shorten that to Brae at some point along the way, maybe not until he's a teenager, but still. Would you feel OK about a Brae and a Grey? Combined with the alliteration of a surname that begins with Gr, that might be enough for me to keep searching for another short name that I could love.....


Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I like Grey (like Swistle, love that spelling) and I like Mason. Color and noun word names just sound odd together to me. Mason's family connection really makes me want to like it more than I do. Mason Grey could work, but it does sound too much like Macy Gray. Grant Mason sounds great--another name in the same vein would be Graham Mason which could give you Grey as a nickname if you still wanted to use it on occasion.

Anonymous said...

The Gr-Gr alliteration is a little awkward for me but definitely not a deal breaker. Do you like Porter?

Ms. Hart said...

Are you opposed to Mason as the first name? I like the sound of Mason Grey better than Grey Mason (and I really do love the name Grey, it's on my "possible baby names" list for the future!). And I think Mason sounds nice with the siblings: Braeden, Ellery, Holland, and Mason.

ambient said...

Oh, I love the suggestion of Graham here! It's very similar to Grey but avoids both the "similar vowel sounds to brother's name" and "color names sound like birds" concerns.

Contrary to Swistle, I have only ever met/heard of men named Jensen and women named Lennox (though I see some ambiguity in the latter). I would consider Jensen a male name and Lennox an androgynous-trending-female name.

StephLove said...

I'm not sure about the Gr- Gr repetition, but I'm swayed by the fact that you love the name so much. For me that usually trumps other concerns. I do like Dane for you, though, or Rhys if you decide to make a change. I think I'd recommend going with the one you love, though.

Swistle said...

ambient- I've never met anyone with either name. I'm going only on Social Security data and my own impressions of the names.

Patricia said...

I too heard "(a) grey mason" when I read the two names together and thus, like the suggestions of Grant or Graham. Graham with your surname reminds me of the English writer Graham Green. 'Gr.... Gr....' worked for him: his full name was Henry Graham Green, but he was known by his two 'Gr' names.

Graham Mason Gr..ik - Graham Gr...ik
Grant Mason Gr...ik - Grant Gr...ik

I like the sound of both of these names. Too, it may be that Graham or Grant is heard less than Grey/Gray since many boys named Grayson (SSA # 122) and Greyson (#249) will eventually be called just Gray/Grey. On a list of combined spellings, Grayson/Greyson, etc. ranks #58.

Grant - SSA #155 (combined spellings rank #156) and
Graham - SSA #284 (combined list #264)

Meggie said...

When I saw Reeve, I immediately thought of Reece.

Reece Mason isn't bad...

Anonymous said...

I knew a guy in college whose name was Grey. His last name started with a G and the alliteration was pleasing. My only concern with Grey Mason is that when I hear it, the first word sounds like an adjective modifying the second word. And I'm like, "why is she talking about a gray-colored bricklayer?" But people probably wouldn't hear the first two without the third very often. (How often do we really hear each other's middle names? I have plenty of friends whose middle names I don't even know!) And it's not a big enough issue to be a deal breaker, given how much you like both names.

Nichole said...

I love the name Grey, but have to agree that Grey Mason sounds like an adjective modifying a noun. . .
I also LOVE the suggestion of Grant Mason.
And Brooks from your list is fabulous!

Good luck!

Amber said...

I love the name Grey...but I do worry that it will seem more popular because of the Graysons out there. Another name I didn't see that you may like is Parks.

lacey said...

It sounds lovely. The adjective-modifying-a-noun thing wouldn't be a dealbreaker at all---partly 'cause, like some people said, middle names aren't thrown around in conversation all that often (unless maybe you're Southern---my Texan extended family LOVES to call me "Lacey Anne")---and partly 'cause who-all really uses the word "mason" that much these days anyways? This is the age of the iPod. Nobody knows a mason or knew a mason or wants to be a mason when they grow up. I don't think I've ever heard it spoken as a noun---only read it, and always in books set many many decades ago.

Also, I wouldn't worry about the Macy Gray thing. Nobody remembers her either. (No disrespect intended to Macy Gray, who was lovely during her fifteen minutes and i'm sure is lovely still.)

And you're totally right that a baby Grey sounds flannelly, a grown-up Grey sounds hot and distinguished, and the Gr-Gr alliteration sounds strong. It's a wonderful name!

the hills said...

you & i have similar taste! i love uncommon, use of family names, consistently call my kidlets by first AND middle, & even have an ellery myself!! please please don't cut grey!! it is fabulous! mason is not totally ideal but when it comes to keeping a family name that really means something you have to weigh your pros & cons. either way grey is a must keep! well done!

Lindsley said...

Thank you Swistle for the post and for your thoughtful comments. My kids especially liked your little rhyme. And, knowing their dad, he will no doubt be telling them a story one day that will include some such rhyme. I am exhausted by the thought I put into naming my own children and appreciate that you give time and consideration to helping others. And to all the commenters. I appreciate the other suggestions and will be certain to send in the final decision come June.
Lacey, thanks for your comment-had me smiling for sure!

Anonymous said...

I like the names Grey and Mason very much. Like other readers, though, I like Mason Grey better than Grey Mason, because it sounds as if you are describing the color of a mason (Beyonce's daughter Blue Ivy sounds like a type of plant to me, for the same reason).

Laurie said...

It sounds like you're really set on Grey Mason, which is a lovely name. But I tend to agree with swistle that the middle name is a false bridge. Only his Mommy will be calling him Grey Mason, the rest of the world will know him as Grey Gr___ik and that alliteration just does not work to me.

liz said...

I love the way Grey Mason sounds.

I work with a Graeme (pronounced Graham) and thought that spelling would go well with Braeden.