I've been reading your blog for a while now, anxiously awaiting the time when I would actually need your help! I'm exited to say that I'm expecting my first child, so the time has finally come! my name is Melody and my husband is Brendon. Our last name is Farris with an H. We are expecting a son in 3 1/2 weeks and are almost set on a name. Luckily, my husband and I have very similar naming styles and a couple of names that we love and sound perfect with our surname. So what is the problem you may ask? Well, most 5 of our top choices are extremely common and well established girls names. While most of them had strong roots as boys names years ago, they are now considered as completely "girly". While these are the names that we absolutely love, we don't want our son to grow up being constantly teased. We could really use some advice on what you, as a mother and an expert, think is usable!
The name that we had picked out for a girl was Amelia Bianca called Mila or Bianca Mila called Bebe.
Here are the 5 names in order from least to most favorite:
Our least favorite right now is Shay. It doesn't really fit with our usual style but I love the sound! However, we are constantly tortured by the fact that our neighbor has a little girl Shea… and I hear this as a girls name quit often around where we live.
After Shay, we really like Morgan. This seems so boyish to me I can't even picture it on a girl. However we have gotten many comments that it is "unusable" for a boy, and he'll be tormented and teased… While I do kind of agree it breaks my heart because I love the name so much!
Also love the name Robin. This also seems so masculine because of Robin Hood of course, Robin Williams, and singer Robin Thicke… We were thinking of naming him Robert and calling him Robin, but I just don't love Robert like I love Robin. My husband suggested Robinson, but my best friend just told me that that is what she is going to be naming her son! Now I feel like that rules out Robin for me too so maybe this isn't an issue anymore…
But our most favorite right now is Kay. Me and my husband both love it and already see it as our sons name… yet its probably the most girly name of the bunch! When I hear it, I think of Sir Kay (from the King Arthur stories, he was his brother), and it was originally an english boys name. However, it is now probably most known as a nickname for the girls name Katherine.
I've come to realize that I can't name my son Kay without worrying about him getting teased later, so we decided to just use it (if we do end up using it) as a nickname. We really love the name Zachary, which is obviously a strongly established boys name, and were thinking of naming him Zachary Hugo (middle name will be Hugh or Hugo no matter what), and calling him Kay, even though they are 2 completely different names.
Along with that, some other options we thought of were, Mackay/McKay called Kay, Cassius/Caspian called Cay, Clayton called Cay (we really like this one). (Sidenote: we like the spelling Kay better, but feel that Cay is more masculine.)
What do you and your readers think?
On a different note, I was watching the old Bravo tv show 9 By Design the other day, and learned that one of the boys on the show is named Holleder. I forget who he was named after, but I've really started to love the name! Hollister is an old family name on my side, so we could just say that Holleder was a family name to anyone who asked. But then again, I wouldn't want it to seem like I named my son after those people!
I just feel like whichever way we go we are setting our son up for years of nasty remarks! Should we just name him Zachary Hugo and call him Zach?
Ahhh I'm literally tearing my hair out! Swistle, we need your help! What do you think about Kay? Holleder? Morgan? Are they too girly? Please let me know!
Thanks so much!! We appreciate your help.
My own opinion is that Kay is too feminine for a boy. However, I think the initial K. is not too feminine, and I've noticed initial-nicknames seem to be coming into style: several people recently have mentioned using, for example, E. as a nickname for Elliot, or J. as a nickname for James. I think you could name him any name starting with a K (Keane, Keaton, Keegan, Kent, Kian, Kieran, Kyle, Kyler...), and then use K. as his nickname. There may be a couple of auditory double-takes, but probably not a huge deal.
Or would you like the name Kai? The pronunciation is a little different, but it's solidly a boy name. It can be a stand-alone name, or it can be short for Caius.
Or I wonder if you'd like the nickname Kip. I think it's adorable, and that its appeal is similar to Kay's. It's used as a nickname for Christopher.
McKay seems like it might be a very good solution, but I worry that it's too similar to Makayla. It's common to have very similar boy/girl versions of a name (Kyle and Kylie, for example), but the name McKay is very uncommon and the name Makayla is very common, so I worry more about confusion.
I know one boy named Shea. It does seem like a very soft and gentle name, but it strikes me as unisex rather than girl. According to the Social Security Administration, in 2011 there were 232 new baby boys and 298 new baby girls named Shea/Shay/Shaye. One option would be use Shane; you could even still call him Shay.
Because you like both Shay and Kay, I suggest Jay. According to the Social Security Administration, the name Jay was given to 700 boys and 0-4 girls in 2011. My mom and I both love the name; she's said that if she had another baby boy to name, she'd like to call him Jay.
I'd also like to suggest Hayes, and I think the HHH initials would be fun, but I'm not sure it works with the surname.
Wade would work well.
The "ay" sound is also prominent in a number of currently popular boy names: Aiden, Brayden, Cayden, Hayden, Jaden, Leyton, Mason, Peyton, Rayden, Zayden, etc.
I haven't encountered the name Holleder before, and had to look up how to pronounce it. I didn't find a clear answer, but one site said something that made me think it might be pronounced like Hollander but without the N sound: Hah-leh-der. Or is it like Holder? In fact, Holder might be a good one to add to the list of options. It seems dicey to say Holleder is a family name if it isn't, and the spelling/pronunciation issues seem significant. It's too bad Hollister doesn't really work with the surname; I love family surnames as first names.
Morgan does seem to have crossed to girl, though not entirely: the Social Security Administration reports 469 boys and 3640 girls named Morgan born in 2011. Notice that although there are many more girl Morgans than boy Morgans, there still are quite a few boy Morgans. Other options: Keegan, Logan, Finnegan, Morrison, Rohan, Riordan, Malcolm.
If you decide Robin isn't out for you (is your best friend expecting a baby boy right now, or is she just talking about some possible boy in the future?), it could also be short for Robertson---though I like it best in its traditional role as a nickname for Robert. I think it's okay if you don't like the name Robert as much as the name Robin; it's common to accept a name to get a nickname or to accept a nickname to get a name, and rarer to love both name and nickname equally. The Social Security Administration shows 301 baby girls and 99 baby boys named Robin/Robyn in 2011, and I think any "girl name" protest could be put down pretty quickly with that list of famous male Robins.
Hi Swistle! Thanks to you and your readers for all your help and suggestions! You've helped so much.
I just wanted your opinion on one more thing. We recently heard of the name Cayman/Caymen, and think it is really cute (and masculine:)! We would of course call him Cay. However, my husband feels like we'd be "making up" the name... I've never really met another Cayman, so I'm not sure if he's right or not... However, this has become a frontrunner for us, so I wanted to know what you and your readers thought of it.
Again, thanks for all the help!