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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby Boy Loochka, Brother to Sadie Lenore

Cindy writes:
I have just come across your blog and I am hoping you will be able to help us name our son, who is due on Feb. 22, 2013.
We will pay tribute to a family member by using the middle name Frank. Our last name is pronounced Loochka and we have a daughter named Sadie Lenore. (Lenore is a family name also).
We have found my name, Cindy, to be very close to Sadie, which we did not think of before, but now many people confuse us!
So, for that reason, we are shying away from names with the soft c or s sound. We are also hesitant to use "y" or "ie" ending.
We had a stillborn son named Isaac James, and this baby has managed through several pregnancy complications, so I do like to consider very strong sounding names.
We tend to avoid first names with the letter L, as it usually doesn't sound right with our last name, as does an "a" ending, or a "oo" sound like Drew.

I prefer short names, and even better, names that can not be shortened, or to use an already shortened name, like Theo. We love the name Theo, but sadly can not use it.
I also like the name Eli, but my husband will not go for it due to past experience with an Eli.
I like  the names Ben, Sam, Alex, but they are too popular. I don't want a totally unique name, but something that is not on the top 20 lists would be nice.
I like names with traditional spellings, so that my son will not always have to correct the spelling of his name.
I also love it when letters are not repeated, but I feel that now I am asking for a miracle, so I will be flexible on this point.
For example, before we named our stillborn son, we were in love with the name Bennett, but now I don't like the name as much because of the duplicates of e, n, and t. Also, Ben is very popular.

Thank you for any consideration you can give to this specific task.
Well, here we are with less than a month to go and still feeling a little lost in naming this little guy.
My goal was to end up with a list of three names to choose from. We aren't fairing very well.
The only two possibilities are Theo and Wesley. We brought Theo back on the list even though we thought we couldn't use it.
We are feeling as though it may not be right, and I don't know that I like the sound of Theo Frank.
I also wonder if Theo is an awkward name, with some people not hearing the "th" sound, or some unable to pronounce it properly or clearly.
Wesley is my husband's top pick at the moment, but we don't love the nickname Wes and wonder if in some ways Jeff and Wes are too similar in the way that Cindy and Sadie are.
I like Davis, with the nickname Davey, but my husband does not like Davis. Neither of us like Dave or David.

My husband is pretty definite on the middle name Frank to honor his grandfather, however, sometimes I think it is funny that this boy will have his great-grandfather's full name with Frank and the last name. I hear the middle name Frank and last name together and only think of this man.

Hoping for some fresh ideas from you and your readers!

I think this is one of the troubles with choosing both the surname and the honor middle name from one side of the family: it DOES seem a little odd to have someone else's name with another name tacked on the front! In my experience, though, the oddness wears off.

But since the honor name is also giving you troubles in other ways, perhaps it would be better to choose the first name first, and then find an honor name from your side of the family that goes well with it. If your husband is adamant about choosing the middle name, I suggest that you have slightly more say on the first name, to make things feel more balanced.

Was his grandfather's full name Frank, or was Frank short for Franklin? Franklin might be easier to work with, with some first names.

I would have said there'd be no trouble with people mispronouncing Theo, but that was before we talked about the pronunciation of Blythe! Perhaps some parents of Theos and Theodores can let us know how it's going.

Would you want to consider using Frank/Franklin as the first name? I realize that makes the "it sounds just like his great-grandfather" problem even worse---but I think Franklin is a great name, and also that the association would wear off even more quickly.

If you like Eli, I suggest Ian. Ian Frank Loochka.

Or Eliot. Eliot Frank Loochka.

If you don't like the nickname Wes, that does make Wesley seem a bit iffy. I think you could successfully get most people to use his full name---but I generally advise against a name if the parents dislike the nickname(s): it's so hard to know whether the child himself will want to use the nickname, and then you'd be stuck.

When I was talking in a group of parents at kindergarten pick-up about baby names, two of the women mentioned that they'd had TERRIBLE times choosing names with their husbands---agreed on NOTHING, with seemingly NO names they both liked. The two names finally settled on were Jared and Derek, and so now I have those filed in my mind as names that resolve impossible situations. Jared Loochka, Derek Loochka.

Or Dean. Dean Loochka; Sadie and Dean.

It has a double letter, but Everett seems a little like Theodore and Bennett to me, and it's my favorite so far with Sadie. Everett Loochka; Sadie and Everett.

Or Evan. Evan Loochka; Sadie and Evan. Maybe this one sounds too much like Jeff.

Or Nathan. Nathan Frank Loochka; Sadie and Nathan.

Name update! Cindy writes:
I would like to thank you and your readers for all of the great name suggestions, and particularly for the encouragement for the name Theo.
We did in fact name our little guy, Theo Frank, and we are very pleased with the name. He was born on Friday, February 15th, 2013, weighing 4 lbs 12 oz.
He truly is our "divine gift" or "gift from god" as the meaning for Theo also made it a wonderful choice.
Here is a picture of our beautiful Sadie and handsome Theo.
Many Thanks,
Cindy and Family



StephLove said...

I like Dane or Zane for you as short names with no established nicknames or repeated letters (ditto Swistle's suggestion of Ian), but I'm not sure how they sound with Frank. Better with Franklin I think. Pretty great with Franklin actually. I think Dane Franklin is my favorite.

Megan said...

How about Reid? Reid Frank Loochka?
Sadie and Reid

Other short, non-repeating, non-difficult to spell names to consider with Sadie and with mn Frank:

Auntie G said...

I have a Theodore Robert, nn Theo. Dad's name is Robert, so I also fall into that "middle name plus last name is someone else's actual name" category that Swistle mentioned earlier.

FWIW I think the flow of Theodore Frank is better than Theo Frank...but I absolutely adore the name Theo so if you just want to use it, that's the name. :)

RE: pronunciation. I didn't realize that the "th" sound is often one of the last that kids learn how to pronounce...there were several months of Theo introducing himself as "Feo." Sometimes I have to say his name twice before people get it -- I think "Leo" is a bit more common around here? BUT BUT BUT -- I am a person prone to peeves, and this does not bother me at all. Neither did the Feo/Theo transitional period. It's an awesome name. Doooooooo it! :)

Auntie G said...

Oh - and the overlap with Dad's name is also no big deal. Theo loves that his middle name is Daddy's name.

karintha said...

My husband is a Theodore who goes by Theo and the only issue he's ever had was when he fielded support calls and sometimes was mistaken for Leo, which isn't so awful...

Ian is a great name (with Frank or Franklin, really - might be nice to give your son something unique that's also honorary, if your husband will agree?)

I love Reid, too - there's a Reid in my daughter's preschool class and he's such a sweet, smart little guy! I'm sure that's part of why I'm partial to the name.

Everett could be wonderful, too. Would you be open to the nickname Rhett, if he chooses it later? I think it's a handsome nickname (kinda like Drew for Andrew)... Same with Nathan - would you be ok with the nickname Nate?

Anonymous said...

We have a Theodore nn Theo as well. We haven't really had issues with it being mispronounced; it is sometimes said "Teo" by non-native English speakers, but I don't mind that. We *do* have issues with people hearing "Leo" instead of Theo, but that's easily corrected. I agree that Theodore Frank rolls off the tongue much more easily than Theo on its own, though, and I don't think you'll have an issue with nicknames if you always introduce him as Theo (as we do--many people aren't sure if he's really a Theodore or not).

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Frank was a Francis? Here in Australia especially with the older generation Frank was usually a Francis although the full name would never be used as Frank is more masculine, however Theodore Francis sounds like a great name. I love Theo but it does sound a little like a

Anonymous said...

Continued .... Sound a little like a tongue twister when put together with Frank, Theodore would break this up a bit better and you can always call him Theo. In the end the middle name doesn't matter so much unless you intend to use both names when calling your son. What does matter is your surname and Theo Loochka sounds great.

The Mrs. said...

What about Russ? Russell Frank Loochka sounds pretty great. Sadie and Russ.

How does Brett catch your fancy? Brett Frank Loochka. Sadie and Brett.

There's Clark! Clark Frank Loochka. Sadie and Clark.

How about Scott (familiar, underused, and has a standard spelling)? Scott Frank Loochka. Sadie and Scott.

Ah! If you like Alex, how do you like Rex? Rex Frank Loochka. Sadie and Rex. (Doesn't hurt that it means 'king').

Mark is hardly ever used these days. Mark Frank Loochka. Sadie and Mark.

Best wishes to you and your growing family. Please let us know what you all decide!

Anonymous said...

If you like Theo, but aren't sure, what about Milo? Leo is also nice but I believe it is more popular than Milo. Milo Frank.

If you like Wesley but don't like Wes, what about Westley (like in Princess Bride)? You could use the nickname West, which sounds a little stronger than Wes to me.

I also thought of Gabriel nicknamed Gabe for you. Gabriel means "strong man" which might appeal to you. Gabriel Frank

Oh-and FWIW, I've seen Everett spelled with one T. Everet Frank

Kim said...

How about:

Nathan nn Nate/Tate or Nash
Bowen nn Bo
Angus nn Gus
Christian nn Kit
Dashiell nn Dash
Abram nn Abe

I like all the short versions of these names as stand alone names but added the longer ones just in case.

Love the suggestion of Rex too!

Good luck!

Manday said...

If you like short, to the point first names, I do not think you will find anything that "flows" with Frank, if that is your goal. Which leaves two options - prioritize the honor over flow, or change the middle name.

I personally have a broad definition of honoring someone with a name, so I would consider other honor names - does grandpa frank have a middle name? Or Franklin, or Francis, etc.

When you describe your taste for first name, I think of :


Also, since you like Milo,what about other "o" endings?


My personal favorite/if it were my name to choose, it would be

Zeke Francis Loochka

Sadie and Zeke

CindyLu said...

Thank you, Swistle! I really appreciate your feedback and all of the comments from fellow readers. Auntie G, you have identified my concerns with the "th" sound being delayed, but thank you for confirming it is a phase and that all in all the problems associated with the name did not bother you.
I tried to go for Franklin as the middle name, but the grandfather's name was Frank, no long form, no middle name, and my husband feels that changing it to anything else wouldn't be honoring him. The idea of Francis was a a fresh outlook, though. I think I will just have to move past the middle name concerns that I have, as in the end, it really won't come up very often.
I like the name suggestion of Rex. When searching for names, I really tried to avoid names that I have heard as pet names, particularly dog names, as we have met a fair number of dogs named Sadie and didn't want to have a boys name that could also be found commonly at the dog park. (Yes, we do have a dog!).
Thanks again. I have made a list from all of these great suggestions and we will go through them.

Eva.G said...

I agree that part of what may be troubling you is the 1-1 syllable pattern, such as Ben Frank Loochka. I think 2-1 would flow better, such as Wesley Frank, but it's a small price to pay for such a special honor name!

I think the suggestion of Clark is genius! Sadie and Clark.

Or Abel; Sadie and Abel.
Calvin, with Cal for short; Sadie and Calvin.
Would you like Daxton? Dax for short. Sadie and Daxton.
Eben; Sadie and Eben.
Or Jack? Sadie and Jack. Love!
Finn! Sadie and Finn. Also a favorite.
Or Hayes; Sadie and Hayes.
Jude or Judah; Sadie and Jude.
Rhys or Reese; Sadie and Reese.
Walter, with Walt for short; Sadie and Walter.

Reyzl said...

Except for the double letter issue, Wyatt seems like it would be a good fit for you.

Wyatt Frank Loochka; Sadie and Wyatt. Wyatt is derived from a name meaning "battle" and "brave, hardy."

Or Heath? Heath Frank Loochka; Sadie and Heath.

Or Kemp? Kemp Frank Loochka; Sadie and Kemp. Kemp has a great meaning, too--"champion, athlete, warrior"

Butterflyfish said...

Nathan F rank = hot dog. Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go ahead and suggest my son's name - Victor, with the nickname Vic! Very strong without being macho, sounds lovely with Sadie - unusual but also widely known, and people have no issue spelling or pronouncing it.

Anonymous said...

My vote for a first name is Paul. Short, not unheard of. I like it especially with Franklin (which you said wasn't an option).
Just my two cents.


Anonymous said...

FYI Paul Frank makes me think of Paul
Frank the monkey that's all over children's clothes and bedding and such.

Anonymous said...

Would your husband feel differently about Franklin as the first name? As a first name, the slight change feels less like it's trying to make the name "cooler" and more like the practicality of a family with a Bill and a Billy or a Richard and a more in the tradition of honor names.

Meggan said...

For what it's worth, my son's name is Wesley and my husband and I dislike "Wes" as a nickname. It just doesn't seem like him.

We handle it by never calling him "Wes," gently correcting people if it seems appropriate to do so (hint: it usually doesn't), and, now that' he's almost three, he can say "I'm not Wes, I'm Wesley!" all by himself, so there is hope.

I know he might choose it for himself in the future (at which point it may fit him, who knows?) but right now we just brush it off if people call him Wes and hope they get the point. In short, we liked the name more than we disliked the nickname, so we went for it.

Also... I don't think Jeff and Wes are too similar. They have the same "e" sound but they're different enough with the initial sound that I don't think it'd be confusing.

Alex said...

I like the suggestions of Wesley and Scott- in fact I was just about to come here and suggest them myself! I know a Wesley who comes from a family of boys who all have traditional but less common names- Christopher, Scott, Graeme, Timothy, Brett and Wesley. Maybe one of those names will catch your fancy?

I also like the suggestions of Ian, Peter, Mark and Gabriel ( NN Gabe).

CindyLu said...

Thank you for all the suggestions. We are playing around with a new list of names and trying them out. We still like Theo, and it is still the frontrunner, but a new concern popped up with it. Do any of you have experience with the "S" and "Th" combination of sibling names. My daughter was playing around and pretending she couldn't say "S", so was calling herself "Thadie", and then I had a thought of "Thadie" and "Theo" and wondered if that would happen by accident sometimes. You know when you are talking really fast and first sounds get jumbled or mixed up. Are "S" and "Th" to similar in some ways. I keep trying it, Sadie and Theo, Sadie and Theo. Can we say it 5 times fast??? hahaha

Anonymous said...

Just flip the order. If you start calling them "Theo and Sadie," others will follow suit and you'll be all set. :) (But I don't have a particular problem saying it in either order, FWIW!)