After passing the 37 week mark and having no final name chosen, I decided I better start e-mailing you for some help!My husband and I are due with our first baby, a boy, in just over 2 weeks. Our last name sounds like Carson, but starts with an L!We are fairly satisfied with our first name choice — Archer. Although, now I'm not sure if it's because we are both in love with it, or if it is simply the only name that we could agree on. But, I'm willing to stick with it, unless you have a suggestion you think we might love.Where we are really struggling is in the middle name department. This is the first grandson on my husband's side of the family, and he would love to have the middle name be a family name, which I am totally fine with. (On my side of the family this is the 11th grandbaby!) The trouble is, I sort of hate all of the name choices on his side of the family, as does he.Here are some options (and reasons why I don't think they work):
Archer Jens — (This is probably our current top pick. It's my husband's middle name, but I just don't like it. I also hate the idea that the baby could be called A.J. as I have a bad connotation with that name.)
Archer Marlan — (My husband's late grandfather's name. Again, just don't care for the name)
Archer Wayne — (My husband's father's name. I feel it really doesn't go with the "style" of the first name.)So, after scouring family records and coming up with nothing, I suggested that we look into Danish names, since that is my husband's heritage. This way we could at least incorporate some history, or family "meaning" into the middle name, which is really important to him.I researched a bit and suggested Archer Dane. I really like this name, however my husband despises (as do I) Dane Cook and is afraid he's ruined that name. I sort of agree, but the more I say Archer Dane and write Archer Dane, the more it grows on me.I would love to hear if you have any middle name suggestions that are Danish that perhaps I haven't come across, or maybe a whole new name combo that we could fall in love with. Thanks in advance!!
It does sometimes happen that we'd really, really like to use an honor name, but it just won't work. Sometimes it's best to finally say, "Well, this was our ideal, but it's not working, and the only things that kind of work are too big a stretch to be worth it. Let's get some Danish artwork for the nursery instead."
Other times, it's a matter of accepting the compromise that comes with using an honor name, which is that we often don't like the name as much as one we'd have chosen from the baby name book. The people we'd like to honor have already been named, and sometimes we don't like those names at all---but that's part of the deal.
For our first son, we used an honor middle name that I actively disliked and is a different style than his first name, because it was more important to me to honor the family member. For our second son, Paul wanted to use his grandfather's name as the middle name, and I agreed even though I didn't really like the name. (We have also come down on the opposite side and decided it was more important to choose a name we liked than to use an honor name.) With time, I find I no longer dislike the names---and I still feel happy and satisfied that we used them. And happily, our second son's middle name came into style, so now I actively like that one! We don't see the middle names very often anyway, and it's a common place for people to have unfashionable names.
I think it can increase the struggle if you're trying to find meaning just for the sake of meaning. If you don't care particularly which family member you're honoring but are just looking for a name that means anything familyish, it's harder to gather up the affection and motivation necessary to help you choose a name that isn't a favorite. It might help if your husband thinks of which family member he would like to honor for that person's own sake, and then see if that name is usable. Even if you actively dislike the name, there will be such a good reason behind using it---and with time, you're likely to like it more.
My fingers are itching to get my hands on your family tree so I can take a look for more options! Husband's mother's maiden name, husband's other grandfather, husband's grandmothers' maiden names, husband's uncles, husband's brothers, husband's great-uncles, first ancestor to come to the United States, name of Danish town they came from?
Archer Jens is the one that stands out to me as the best pick: Jens sounds Danish, it enhances the sound of Archer and of the whole name, and it has direct and obvious family meaning. You don't love it, but I think that falls within the reasonable sacrifice that comes with it being very important to your husband to use a family name, and with you being willing to go along with that preference: the odds of a beloved family member coincidentally having a name we love are slim. Unless your families have already shown a tendency to call a child by his or her initials, I doubt anyone would call him A.J.; if they did, you could shudder a little and say, "Oh, we'd really rather not call him that---I have such a bad association with an A.J.!"
Archer Wayne is my second choice. I don't think the style of the middle name needs to coordinate with the style of the first name, and also again I think this is within the expectations for using an honor name: the people we want to honor are typically of a different generation than the child (and named by parents who likely had a different naming style than our own), so their names will generally not be of a coordinated style. I think Archer Wayne has a good sound (even a bit of a superhero/crime-fighter sound, I think, probably because of Bruce Wayne), and a grandfather's name is such a nice choice for an honor name: the grandfather tends to get a bit choked over it, and that's pleasing for everyone. (As I thought repeatedly of the name while writing it, I found it grew on me more and more, and now it may be tied for me with Archer Jens.)
Archer Marlan Carson is my least favorite: the three repetitions of the "ar" sound feels like too much.
Let's have a poll over to the right to see everyone else's favorite. [Poll closed; see results below.]
Name update! J. writes:
SO, six months after the fact, I am finally getting back to normal and my brain finally remembered that I needed to e-mail you! Our sweet baby boy is here. He was born June 25 and weighed a whopping 9lb. 10 oz. We ended up choosing the name Archer Jens. Honestly, my feelings towards Jens didn't really change, but naming him after his father became more important. And now, I sort of love it. It fits him perfectly, and he is such an amazing little love. Thanks to everyone for all of the advice/input. It was SO appreciated!