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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baby Boy or Girl Pen-ya, Sibling to Dalila

Katherine writes:
We are due January 4th with our second, and probably last, child. Our daughter’s name is Dalila (Dah-lee-la, which is the Spanish pronunciation/spelling for Delilah) Patricia. Both her first and middle name are family names.

Because we are keeping the gender a surprise, we need a boy and a girl name. We have the girl named picked out: Mariella Lucia (Loo-see-ah). Again, we chose these names because they are family names or hold a special significance to us. We will likely call her “Mimi” (Mih-mee) for a nickname, since this was what my great-grandmother went by as well, but one thing we really like about the name is that there are lots of nickname options in case Mariella doesn’t fit her personality, or if she doesn’t like using her full name when she’s older.

If it's a boy, the first name will be Jerico, after my husband. We love the name and it’s a bit of a cultural/family tradition to have a “junior” so we are set on the first name.

Our problem is that we don’t know what to do for a middle name and I am starting to panic!! Our son will need either a nickname to go by or to use his middle name so there isn’t confusion about having two people named Jerico in the house. If we could come up with a nickname we liked, then we would likely choose a sire name for a middle name from my side of the family (Ash or Bramhall are what we’re considering right now).

Finding a nickname is proving to be a problem because we hate all the nicknames, at least that we can think of, for Jerico. Jerry, Jer, Jay, Jo(e), Rick, Rico or Junior are all completely out! My husband is called Eric and Jerico equally so we think using either could get confusing.

That leaves us with trying to find a middle name that we could either make a nickname with using a combination of Jerico and the middle name, or to find a middle name that we’d like our son to go by. I thought we could maybe use Lucian (masculine of Lucia, our girl middle name) but for a variety of reasons that name is out.

I’m freaking out and I would really appreciate any suggestions you have, but I also value your readers’ opinions as well! I’ve been reading your blog for years and I’ve seen many a name problem solved and I’m hoping that we could get a bunch of suggestions and one might turn out to be “the one”.

Two things to consider:

First, my husband is Dominican so we prefer names that work in English or in Spanish, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Second, I don’t like really common names - I tend to like the more unusual. My name is Katherine and I hated having 7 other Katherines, Kates, Katies, etc. in my class in school so while I wouldn’t completely rule out popular names, I’d more easily fall in love with something that isn’t in the top 10.

Thank you for your help!!


If you'd like him to be a junior, the middle name is easy: it's whatever his father's middle name is. Is that a name that would work for everyday use?

Since you either hate or are already using every reasonable nickname for Jerico, I think the next possibility to consider is not using Jerico as his first name. Sharing a name is a little complicated; sharing a name he can't use any form of seems even more challenging, and not very pleasing. Perhaps it would be better to use Jerico as his middle name and give him a first name he can be called by.

A third possibility, as you mention, is to give him the first name Jerico and then never use it---calling him instead by his middle name, which would be whatever name you would have used for his first name if you weren't naming him Jerico. You haven't mentioned any candidates other than Jerico, and I'm not familiar with names that work in English and Spanish, so this would be a matter of going through baby name books and making a list, just as if you were starting from square one. Or both Ash and Bramhall seem like very good choices, using "Ash" or "Bram" as his everyday name. (Ash does give him the initials JAP, which I would probably prefer to avoid.)

A fourth possibility is to call him by his initials: either first and last (J.P. is cute) or first and middle (J.B. is also cute).

A fifth possibility is to give him the first name Jerico, then a family name for the middle name, and then call him whatever you want: Skip, Chip, Trip, Kip, Ike, Jack, Zeke, Jake, Scott, Cole, Josh, Bo, Abe---whatever nickname you like. Nicknames don't have to be attached to a name the child actually carries, and an unconnected nickname is particularly common/understandable when a child is named for someone else in the same household. You'd put on the birth announcement something like "Jerico Bramwell Pen-ya (Jeb)" and everyone would understand why. You could even use it as an opportunity to get both family names in there: "Jerico Bramwell Pen-ya (Ash)."

12 comments:

StephLove said...

I agree that calling him by his middle or by his initials are the best way to go. Or you could break the junior tradition and give him Jerico for a middle instead.

Anonymous said...

I love the suggestion of Jeb - seems like the best of both worlds.

Some names that I think work in both Spanish and English are:
Matteo
Nicloas
David

Maybe Jerico David (could go by JD, Jed, or David?)

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the misspelling above, I meant Nicolas.

Also how about Jerico Tomas nn Jett

Anonymous said...

I know a Dominican family, and they also have shared first names for dad/oldest son with different middle name that the son is called by. I'm guessing this is a very common cultural tradition.

I too would probably avoid using Ash because of the JAP initials, but I do like Jerico Bramwell with the nickname Jeb. Bram is also nice, but would it work well in Spanish?

I also thought of somehow having the middle name or nickname be in honor of you. Kit is a less common nickname for Katherine & is also sometimes used for Christopher-so maybe Jerico Christopher or Jerico Christen, etc. called Kit?

The last thing I thought of would be calling him by his initials. Something like Jerico Tomas called J.T. or Jerico Bramwell called J.B.

Erika said...

I love the nickname Jeb! I think it's perfect, given the situation.

Anonymous said...

Jerico is an awesome name. Maybe he could be Co for short? Or Jayco (Jake-oh). Or if the J is pronounced as an H like in other Spanish names, maybe Harry?

Amie said...

Since you like the name Lucian for a boy, what about the name Luca? That is Spanish and American.

liz said...

Nickname idea: Pete? Short for Repeat?

Anonymous said...

Oooh I like Luca and Jeb.

Is Lucius out too? LOVE Lucius!

Anonymous said...

I know a family with your last name whose son is named Eduardo. It's a random suggestion but it you're not set on your son being a junior I think it's a great name. Also, you don't like Junior but could he go by J.R or is the Dallas reference too much?

Mary said...

Would Rio be out as a nickname?

Ira sass said...

I like the sound of Jerico Luis - called Luis. Rio is a really cute nickname, too, and I love Luca.

I'm not so keen on calling him a random nickname that has nothing to do with the given name.