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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Baby Boy Johnson

K. writes:
I know you've tackled this one before, but I'm at complete loss. Early on we decided we liked the name Alexander (our first baby). His middle name will be Thomas after my husband's late father. But we made the mistake of telling people about it. It didn't help that the husband wanted to call him Alex and I wanted to call him Xander. Not only that, but the mother-in-law's boyfriend (whom I hate, deeply) decided it was fun to call the baby Alex. But I digress. We decided the name was dead and after much research came up with Zachary. Which is OK I guess. My husband still feels that Alexander is the best name. That it just "feels right," but still refuses to call him Xander (which is too popular to be unique anymore anyway).
I guess I'm just frustrated that a perfectly good name has been destroyed for me and we can't seem to find any other names that we both like. The only girl's name we ever agreed on was Amelia.
Any advice you could give me on coming up with a similar but more awesome name would be much appreciated!

Was the name destroyed because of your mother-in-law's boyfriend liked the same nickname your husband liked? Or was it something about the reaction people had to the name when you told them? Or was it because you and your husband can't agree on a nickname? I can't tell what it was that destroyed an otherwise perfect name.

For similar names, I'd start by looking for other longish boy names with good nicknames:

Benjamin
Christopher
Nathaniel
Nicholas

But if the problem with Alexander was that you and your husband couldn't agree on a nickname, you may have the same problem here: you may want Nico or Cole while he would prefer Nick, for example.

In which case maybe it would work well to find a name that doesn't have an automatic nickname. And I think I might look for something outside the Top 10: I normally am a fan of common names, but with the surname Johnson I might look for something more unusual.

Adrian
Aidric
Davis
Elliot
Everett
Felix
Gage
Garrett
George
Isaac
Jeremy
Karl
Leo
Milo
Paul
Rhys
Xavier

(I just know there are going to be some of these that are the names of famous Johnsons already. So many Johnsons!)



Name update! K. writes (in the comment section):
K...the original question was from me. I apologize for muddying the issue. Alexander was mostly out because of the nickname battle, the boyfriend was just the cherry on top. We ended up using Thomas for the first name. I know, it's not very unique, but it really just fit him when he got here. And in this day and age there is something to be said for the anonymity that comes from having a common name. :D

Thanks for all your replies and suggestions.
and
K again, sorry, I forgot to mention that the middle name was changed to Grant. The hubby and I call him Thomas and Tommy, and bug and little one. 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Xavier is like the Xander you like so seems a perfect substitute. Felix is like the Alex he likes and is also fabulous with Johnson . But like Swistle I dont understand why Alexander is out. Its a great choice. And i dont think its a problem for mum and dad to call him different nick names. Enrol him at school as Alexander, introduce him as Alexander, call him whatever nickname you like. And spend less time around mums boyfriend.

StephLove said...

I think if you both called him Alexander at least half the time, then it wouldn't seem strange if you each had your own special nickname for him.

I do know a family where the mother calls the child by his first name and the father calls him by a nickname for his middle name and that has always seemed odd to me but if the names were clearly anchored to a frequently used full name, I don't think it would be that confusing for anyone. And then when he was old enough he could decided for himself, which, if any nickname to use.

Anonymous said...

I agree that there is no reason you both can't call him the nickname you prefer. My nephew Andrew is called Andy by his mom & her family, but Drew my our side of the family and it's never been a big deal. He usually introduces himself as Andrew-and that is his preference at school. And maybe there is a family dynamic that we're missing, but I don't think it's any big deal what grandma's boyfriend calls him.

Anonymous said...

If you like Xander, I wonder if you would like Zane, Anders, or Anderson?

If your husband likes Alex, I wonder if he would like Aric, Alec, or Max?

If you both like Amelia for a girl, I wonder if you would like Ames, Amos, Miles, Milo, Emil, or Arlo for a boy?

If you like the overall style of Alexander, I wonder if you would like Frederick, Adrian, or Dean?

I also like Thomas for the first name spot, or perhaps just Thom. Thom Alexander Johnson.

My favorite of all of these is Ames. Ames Thomas Johnson.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to add a voice to say I'm not sure why Alexander is out of consideration -- & to say it should be back in! It doesn't seem like a drawback at all that your son will have more than one nn, especially if Mom has a special nn for him, & Dad has his own. Mommy's little Xander, & Daddy's little Alex. Also, I've heard lots of stories about parents who were sure they would or wouldn't call a child something & when the child was actually in the world, that changed.

I hope the reason isn't your mum's bad boyfriend. Remember, he might not be permanent & it would be shame to give up a name you love when said boyfriend might be out of the picture in a few years...

I also adore the name Thomas Alexander

Deb said...

I agree with everyone else and don't think you should let someone you don't like 'ruin' a name you love. Would it help to try to find a different nickname for Alexander? I think Sasha is an alternate nickname or perhaps you could use AJ. Or maybe just Xan (I went to school with a Xan and didn't find out his name was Alexander until 5 years after we left).

Anonymous said...

To me Lysander and Leander have the same feel as Alexander. Both have nice Greek meanings. Lysander also has Sander as a nn and excludes the possibility of Alex. I think it is a 'more awesome' name!

Anonymous said...

I think I understand why Alexander is out- it would be for me, too. But I think Zachary should also be out, since you don't really love it... I think Xavier was a great suggestion! Maybe you would also like Oliver?

liz said...

Keep Alexander and each use what ever nickname you want.

Sheesh.

I'm Elizabeth, Liz in general daily use and to my mom, Sweetness to my dad, and Littlebit to my sister. My son is Fordon which I never shorten, but my husband calls him Ford.

Veronica M. D. said...

I also agree with the notions that 1) it is okay to have more than one nickname, and 2) if any issue is revolving around mom's boyfriend, he might not be around forever :)

And, my father and brother are both named Thomas Alexander, and I think it might be one of the best boy name combos out there, so I have to put it out there.

Good luck!

allie c. said...

I love love Xan! I am partial though, considering that my son, Alexander Milos, goes by Xan. It is a adorable nickname for a baby, child, and handsome for a teen and adult. it has some of the shortness of alex, and the uncommonness of xander!

Ren said...

I recently heard the name Alexavier and fell a little in love. Alexavier Thomas Johnson. It's one of the few modern 'smoosh' names that I think sounds like a real classic name.

How about Anders? Anders Thomas Johnson.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

K...the original question was from me. I apologize for muddying the issue. Alexander was mostly out because of the nickname battle, the boyfriend was just the cherry on top. We ended up using Thomas for the first name. I know, it's not very unique, but it really just fit him when he got here. And in this day and age there is something to be said for the anonymity that comes from having a common name. :D

Thanks for all your replies and suggestions.

Anonymous said...

K again, sorry, I forgot to mention that the middle name was changed to Grant. The hubby and I call him Thomas and Tommy, and bug and little one.