Category: brother names
By Kara Blakley
We recently ran Kara‘s suggestions for subtly connecting girl siblings’ names. Now it’s the boys’ turn.
Matthew/Levi. Matthew is an American staple, spending decades in the Top 20, reaching as high as Number 2 in the 90s. But if, at Number 16, Matthew is still too popular for you, or if you want to honor a friend without directly repeating the name, consider Levi. Levi was the biblical Matthew‘s given name before becoming an apostle, hence the connection. Matthew McConaughey named his firstborn Levi for this reason in 2008.
Peter/Simon. Like Matthew and Levi, Peter and Simon share a biblical connection: the first pope was born Simon before Jesus nicknamed him Peter, meaning ‘rock’. Simon, perennially popular in Europe, has never been as common as Peter here, which makes it prime for Americn usage. Simone and Petra are attractive feminizations that also deserve wider use.
Both his first and middle names honor his great-grandparents, Charles and Al. Cal is the name of my favorite character from my favorite book, East of Eden, and Alasdair is a cheeky nod to Alexander the Great and the fact that we were deployed to Afghanistan at the time of his conception. It’s the perfect name for him and our family.
The problem is coming up with a name for his little brother, due in March, with a similar traditional feel, cool-but-not-too-common nickname-ability, and family significance. We like strong, classic boy names, but I have always wanted to avoid the Top 100 — though I obviously made an exception with Charles.
Some of the family first names we’re working with are John, William, James, Thomas, and Raymond — all of which are too familiar for my taste, as they are — and Bertsch, Rhodes, and Stokes as possibly transformable last names. I’d also be open to using honor initials, like J.D. after my father or T.R. after my husband’s grandfather, but we just can’t think of any combination of names that we’re in love with.
As a middle child, I know what it’s like to feel overshadowed by my older sibling, and I really want this baby’s name to be just as special as his brother’s. Can you offer any advice?
The Name Sage replies:
Among the most popular features on Nameberry are our Baby Name Games forums, and occasionally (okay, maybe once) we invent a name game for the home page.
Now we have a new name game inspiration we thought it would be fun to invite everyone to play. Here’s how it goes:
The first poster, me, comes up with a name for the oldest child in a fictional family. My fairly random pick:
The next commenter adds a second child to the family, the next names a third child, the fourth names another child, and then the fifth commenter names the final child in the family of five. Children can be either gender and names can be themed or not.
Once we have five children, the next commenter starts all over, choosing Name Number 1.
Remember, the first name is:
When i was pregnant with Baby Number 3, my older son, aged three, had lots of ideas about what I should name his little brother.
Rainbow Boy was one prime contender, I remember.
He also had an inordinate fondness for the name Jim. Not a bad name, though I feared that for a baby name expert to name her own sons Joe and Jim might be a bit too basic, like a fashion designer dressing only in white tee shirts and jeans.
Older siblings often have strong and amusing ideas about what to name the baby.
We love combing the birth announcements in the London Telegraph for baby name trends and ideas.
Each time we issue a report, we look for a different focus — unusual names, fascinating middle name combinations — and today it’s sibling names.
Some observations: The newest vintage names being unpacked from mothballs in England are Martha and Herbert. Some of the most charming combinations mix ethnicities (Emiko and Freddie) or match first letters (Orlando and Ophelia). Out-of-the-box middle names include word names, place-names, and surnames such as Spark, Houston, and Allgood.
Oh, and, as usual, these British parents manage to find baby names that are distinctive and adventurous and gorgeous without resorting to (almost ever) strange inventions or kree8tiv spellings.
Our picks from the latest announcements: