We need your help. I am due (not until the end of December, but I'm a planner) with our second child, who will be a sibling to our son Beck. We struggled terribly to find a boy's name we could agree on when pregnant with Beck, and now I'm having trouble finding a name that sounds like an appropriate sibling to Beck. (We still have the girls' names we picked out during the last pregnancy, so our real dilemma is if this is another boy.) Here's the situation: we generally likely fairly traditional names and nothing too weird or "out there." I know that might not perfectly describe the name Beck, as it is fairly unusual, but we also love names that have meaning (to us), and Beck is my mother's maiden name. Beck's middle name is my last name (Martin) and his last name is my husband's last name, Coakley. We will likely use Martin again as the middle, and Coakley will be the last name. Contenders include Elliott (also vaguely a family connection, as I had a grandmother Eleanor and my husband had a grandmother Ellen), but I worry that it's three syllables (as opposed to Beck's one syllable name) and it doesn't really have a nickname (I abhore Eli). I know I said we'd use Martin as the middle name, but with Elliott I kind of like the middle name August (my husband's middle name is Augustin. He is the second son of a second son of a second son, all of whom had Augustin somewhere in their names. If this is a second son, I kind of think we should go with the tradition, although I vastly prefer August to Augustin, and my husband is okay with that). So Elliott August. One strong possibility, but I'm not sure it's "the one". Is Elliott a sibling to Beck? I've considered Noah, but my husband feels it's not right. I kind of like Nicholas (baby is due near Christmas), but I wonder if Nick and Beck are too similar? I always wanted a Jack, but I feel Jack and Beck are DEFINITELY too similar. I love the name Luke and it would be an honor name, but when you say "Luke Coakley" quickly is sounds like you're say "Lou Coakley" and I don't like Lou. Maybe Lucas? I like a number of names that end in the "ie" sound like Charlie and Henry, but I don't think that works with Coakley--too sing songy. I'm sure I'm missing some great names. Help! What would you name Beck's brother?and
And update for you. We found out that we ARE having another boy, so the pressure is really on to find a name. The names in my original email are still contenders, but I also wonder about Bennett. It would be an honor name (my husband’s best friend who passed away was Benjamin—we prefer Bennett), but I wonder if Beck and Ben are too similar? Also, do they sound like brothers? I’m not sure they fit. Another thought is to move August to the first name space and have August Martin Coakley, nickname Gus. I think Beck and Gus are a cute sibling pair, but I’m not sure about Gus as an adult man’s name. Is it too geeky? Are there other names we should be considering? Why is this so hard?? Thanks for your help.
I think if I knew brothers named Beck and Bennett, I might keep accidentally calling Beck "Beckett." The names seem too similar to me, though an excellent style match.
I think Gus is great with Beck and will work fine as a name for an adult---and if it didn't, he'd just go back to using August.
Because your firstborn has an honor name, I think you have some flexibility: it's common for a firstborn's name not to quite match the style of the sibling names, because of all the people who had to use James IV when their style was more Caden, or all the people who changed naming styles, or who used a name that didn't fit with their usual style and then couldn't find any names to go with it. If anyone were to blink at, say, Beck and Elliot (and I don't think they WOULD blink---sounds like a literary style match to me), they'd stop it as soon as they realized the name Beck was a family name. If Elliott seems too much longer than Beck, using the Eliot spelling would help some with that, as well as increasing the literary appeal.
Emmett is similar to Elliott, but with only two syllables instead of three.
Lucas is nice too. The strong K/hard-C sound helps connect it to Beck.
If you like Noah, and you like Nicholas for the Christmas-name connection, I wonder if Noel would work? Noel Coakley; Beck and Noel.
If you'd like to stick with the one-syllable idea, I like Reid and Grant. Or Dean or Dane? Or Grey? Or Finn or Gage or Nash or Hayes. There are a lot of good ones in the Brisk and Breezy section of The Baby Name Wizard.
Or Levi would be nice. Levi Coakley; Beck and Levi.
Or Miles. Miles Coakley; Beck and Miles.
Or Ezra. Ezra Coakley; Beck and Ezra. I like the coordinating short-E sound tying them together.
Or Leo is nice and short, without making you feel like you're painted into a one-syllable corner for future children. Leo Coakley; Beck and Leo.
Ian, too. Ian Coakley; Beck and Ian.
Or back to one-syllable: Heath. Heath Coakley; Beck and Heath.
Name update! Elizabeth writes:
Just wanted to thank you (and your readers) for all the naming assistance and let you know that August Martin Coakley was born December 23, weighing 8 lbs and measuring 20.75 inches. We are having a wonderful time with baby Gus!
We vacillated between the names Elliot and August for a long time. About a month before Gus was born, however, a good friend had a baby boy and named him Elliot. That in itself wasn't a deal breaker; she lives far away and isn't part of our daily lives, but it made me realize that Elliot was a very specific person, and he wasn't my baby! From then on I started thinking of the baby as Gus, and my husband did too. One of your commentators noted that she felt our "style" was really honor names, and I think she was right. By giving our son the name August Martin, we were able to honor both sides of the family. It was the perfect name for us!