Algernon – It's adorable in a librarian sort of way, like Rupert Giles. Not a fan of the mustached meaning, though
Ambrose – I'm weird, so I prefer straight up Merlin. Ambrose has always seemed rather fleshy and perfumed to me.
Attila – I giggle. Ottilie and Attila! Definitely more drawn to your other choices, as Attila was quite the terror.
Auberon – Swoon!! Rollicking and wise, a faerie crown of hawthorn berries and flame-colored autumn leaves. My one caveat is that I picture him as more of a Mabon character, and this is an Imbolc baby! Have we considered the Oberon spelling? I do find it more wintery.
Bensiabel – So I had to go look up this fairytale, and am now thoroughly in love with it. I'm a little cautious about the name because it's so new to me and there's the –bel ending to contend with…but that could be offset by the accessible Ben and the quirkier Abel as nicknames. This is one to ponder!
Casimir – Luxurious and ultra-suave. Not my very best favorite, but definitely in the running!
Damon – My frame of reference begins and ends with the sexy bad-boy vampire. So basically, I love it. A little tame next to Aphrodite though.
Darius – Interesting addition! I don't really favor it next to Aphrodite, but the name itself is lovely.
Endymion – I just can't get over the magic of this name. It's perfection.
Evander – He is more mainstream than Aphrodite, and your concerns about his getting lost in the shuffle are valid. Perhaps he'd make a better middle?
Gawain – Strong, romantic, and legendary. I like him but I'm not in love with him.
Herne – Quite surprised that you find him rough and unromantic! I guess I can see that because of the hunter associations, but to me he's lithe and sleek and mysterious, all misty forests and great blue herons. I'm not sure he works as a first though. Aphrodite and Herne? I don't know, does the difference in syllables make him pop or is it just anticlimactic?
Leonidas vs. Leopold – I'm going to have to go with mister on this one. Leonidas is powerful and brash and brazen, where Leopold is endearing and gentlemanly…plus I instantly think of Kate and Leopold, which is not only an adorably romantic movie, but literally comes with mister's Hugh Jackman imagery built in! ;)
Lucius – Luscious Lucius, how I love you. Easily in my top five. He's so perfect with Aphrodite, all shimmer and shadow.
Melchior – fdjfakl;ejwoij!!! YES. A thousand times yes. I can't have him, so I neeeeeed to know he's out there in the world somewhere, and where better than on a darling little otter-baby???
Odin – I love the connection to your heritage, and the name itself is so brave and true. I'm not sure he works as a first though, because he shares so many of his few letters with Aphrodite. Not a particularly melodious sibset.
Orion – Yay, I'm so glad he's back on the first name list!! Orion is my ultimate guilty pleasure. I keep bringing him up, but hubby shoots me down every time. Aphrodite and Orion are magical together!
Percival – I have an irrational dislike for this name. Leopold, yes. Perseus, maybe. Percival, no. There's something so…snooty and prissy about it.
Perseus – I know you love him, I just have other favorites ;) You're right though, he's quite the badass!
Rainier - Beautiful, romantic and meaningful to you. In a word, perfect.
Romulus – Romulus is pretty kickass, and I do have a thing for wolves. He might be more of a contender than I originally thought.
Snowdon – Between the two mountains, I'd go with Rainier. It's just so much more personally significant to you.
Tiberius – Regal and richly historical. Easily holds his own next to Aphrodite.
Xerxes – Interesting choice, with a pretty epic meaning. The X's do throw me a bit, they're quite trendy nowadays.
Favorites (top five bolded and in order of preference): Endymion, Orion, Lucius, Melchior, Rainier, Auberon/Oberon, Tiberius, Leopold, Casimir, Bensiabel (can't resist a good male witch). And since you have both Orion and Melchior in your list…I hereby bequeath you my GP combo: Orion Melchior North.
Like but don't love (or just don't like the sibset): Damon, Darius, Gawain, Herne, Leonidas, Odin, Perseus, Romulus, Xerxes
Veto Points: Algernon (the meaning kills me), Ambrose, Attila, Evander (love, but maybe better in the middle), Percival, Snowdon (perhaps a middle instead?)
Just like in the girls list….. I 've commented on most of these at some point so I'm just going to categorize them and add my two cents to the ones I feel the most strongly about or something...
Auberon/Oberon - still like the O spelling more.
Attila - provided you like the Hun reference. I think it's pretty tantamount to Thor and both are kick-ass.
Ambrose - but somehow this is too close to Aphrodite for me. Something about the A- and the rose thing + it being so close to ambrosia. It's odd to me.
Percival - I always think or the Pig first.
Xerxes - looks too much like Xerox's.
Snowdon - this feels a little weak and not as magical as your others.
Orion Bayard, Perseus Evander, Rainier Endymion are BEAUTIFUL! I'm fond of a number of the ones you've chosen, but these sing to me!
I love your list! My favorites are Ambrose, Auberon, Casimir, Evander, Melchior, Orion and Romulus. I ADORE the sound of Melchior - so, so romantic. My only hesitation would be, as a musical theatre nerd, my first association is Melchior Gabor from Spring Awakening, which isn't a completely bad association (in the musical - it's kind of a bad one in the play version), but one some people might make.
Aphrodite and Ambrose
Aphrodite and Auberon
Aphrodite and Casimir
Aphrodite and Evander
Aphrodite and Melchior
Aphrodite and Orion
Aphrodite and Romulus
P.S: I love your daughter's name too. We're both named for goddesses of love! (I'm a Freya.)
Here are my favorites:
Algernon – LOVE The Importance of Being Earnest. Don't know how I feel about the potential nickname "algae" though. Have you read "Flowers for Algernon"? I read it years ago and remember it being a very sad book so that's another potential reference.
Ambrose – This is one of my top names but sometimes it does feel feminine to me.
Attila – baller name.
Endymion – You're right on the "wintry" feel!
Evander – This one's also on my top list. Reminds me of the Civil War (i.e. Evander M. Law) and I love studying the Civil War.
Melchior – Cool name! I like the nickname "Mel"
Orion – Definitely a cool name. And he'd have his own constellation :)
Good luck narrowing down your list!
Can I just say how utterly astonishing I find it that you can have a preliminary agreement on THIS many names? And that so many were suggested by him? And that he has an image description that specific? 8-O My husband and I always know THE NAME by the fact that it's the ONE name both of us like and will agree to. You're just rolling in options here! What fun!
Anyway, reading your little introduction on each, my observation is that your most glowing reviews went to Rainier, Lucius, Orion, Snowdon and Darius. These are the ones that have something you "love," and/or have multiple sources of connection you like, and/or got incidental comments that are positive.
Of course you know that I like the original Ragnar (speaking of the sole name that gets approval, this is the one we have shortlisted for next time - and by shortlisted, I mean it's the only one on the list) but Rainier is a less confusing spelling and softens the appearance, which I think works for the whole masculine-in-velvet-cape thing. Family cred always scores big for me so I really like this one. I also think he can stand up next to Aphrodite and still be cool, but not too fanciful a fairy tale in combination.
Lucius - I'm not into any of the Lu- names in general, for boys or girls, so I don't love this one, but it obviously has a lot of appeal for you. I think it's masculine-in-a-velvet-cape but maybe a little too tame next to sister Aphrodite.
Orion - I've always admired this name, soft and strong all at the same time so it hits all the sweet spots for both of you I think. It makes for a fanciful set, but not so much that it's overkill. Does establish a Greek theme though so you might want to consider that. On the other hand, it's not a Greek theme that completely knocks you over, because most people think of the constellation first.
Snowdon - I can see you going with this one actually, because with Roo you ended up choosing the least obscure path to the theme you were wanting. Rainier hits a sweet spot of winter/snow/mountains but Snowdon is much more concentrated and direct on that path. Aphrodite and Snowdon present two very different images and it's abundantly clear that one was a green spring thing and the other was a wintery bundle of action.
Darius - I ranked this into your top five because it got so many exclamation points and you seem so surprised and pleased over it. Persian King names got pretty glowing comments from you. Darius stands up well with sister Aphrodite - here the contrasting images are of femininity and masculinity - and has a good "movement" of sound in three syllables.
Alright, here's to give you my Norse boys names for you since I know you want to represent your side.
Fenrisúlfr -- I know it's relating to Fenrir, but I think it has an amazing sound and I just love most "wolf" names. Maybe just Fenris would be better for you though? ^_^
And some others you might like (most are Greek with some Roman and Celtic thrown in there):
Archimedes (My friend Xander in Greece just recently had twins and one of them is an Archimedes. I think it sounds great, has good connections and is equally as bold as Aphrodite and "master of thought" is a wonderful meaning)
Amy; I'm hoping for a blonde baby this one around... Since Roo's got my colouring I'd quite like a little blue eyes blonde wavy haired little urchin next time around. I'm not saying mr M is my favourite (Snape! Lupin! Dumbledore!)... But he's got something... He's not as bad as the other D.E..
Sessha; My iPad is not keen on writing your name. Thanks for being thorough! My sister has called Merlin as hers... I agree with you on Auberon, it's got a Mabon feel to it. Maybe save it for next baby? Oberon is too bear-ish and full grown man to me. Herne is romantic, but rough as well. Maybe it slightly lost its lustre when I visited Herne's Hill in London? Knew you'd like Melchior. You know, I didn't think of the similar letters in Odin and Aphrodite! Orion and Endumion I knew you'd like, I'm glad you like Ben, I know it's u usual but it's really straight forward. I love the top five you picked out... And Melchior Orion North is swoon worthy. One of my top three favourite combos EVER! Thanks my darling!
LexieMexie; thanks for categorising! I'm going to try coming around to Oberon... Xerxes and xerox, hilarious! It's off now...
Fergosky; thank you!
Eleven; haha, I love the musical Spring Awakening... No he's not as admirable in the original version. But Melchior is also one of the three kings, if I remember correctly. Not good at christian stuff. And thanks, I love her name too. And Freya is beautiful!
Jxbird; thanks for your comments!
Saracita; he loves history and art and literature, I think that's why it's easy to get him on board. And he's got a crush on Hugh Jackman (but who doesn't?). I think I thee out love randomly, but you're right about Lucius and Rainier, they are two of my very favourites. And Darius has got something... My family is pretty obsessed with Syria and Iran and the countries out there, and it's always seemed like a source of wisdom and beauty. At least in the past... Thanks for all your comments!
Angel; Fenris is pretty darn cool. I love wolf names too. Fantastic creatures! I also love Archimedes! And Hyperion is a big favourite of mine, but I'm afraid someone will think its too close to "hyper". Thanks for your suggestions, you rock!
I actually thought of adding Olav to my list, probably as a middle. Born by some of Norway's finest kings.
Aw, here's a great big CONGRATULATIONS on your wedding! And congrats on the newbie on the way! May I selfishly request that it make sure to be a boy, so you can balance things out and use some of these awesome names? I tend to get more excited about boys' names; I don't really know why.
I wanted to put in a quick word for a few favorites:
Casimir--he does sound wintry, and he stands up beautifully next to Aphrodite while being very ethnically different. I get a decided fur-lined-cape image with Casimir.
Leonidas--I definitely prefer him to Leopold. I think it's the "pole" sound in Leopold I don't like so much. Leonidas sounds so much more warm and energetic, and I'm a sucker for S-ending boys' names. Greek, but good next to Aphrodite anyway.
Lucius--okay, as you know, I have a thing for Lucius lately. He's so lovely--cold, light, whispery, yet powerful. Would you be saying it with 3 syllables? Lu-see-us? Please? He may be a little lightweight next to Aphrodite, but especially with that pronunciation I think it works.
Melchior--fur-lined cape again. Definitely. Gives me much the same feeling as Casimir, with a little less fur and a bit more silver. Certainly a winter name. (And yes, he's one of the Three Wise Men, but only in tradition--the names are not in the Bible (nor is the idea that there were three...) The others are Caspar and Balthazar--lovely too.)
Rainier--completes my Top Five. He's beautiful, and you've loved him a long time, and he's so meaningful to you. Because of the word "rain," and the mountain, I see a mountain shrouded in mist and forests in the rain. Very different from Aphrodite, but complementary.
Runners-up are Auberon, Darius, Endymion, Gawain, Orion, Perseus, Romulus and Tiberius. I'd love Romulus more if it hadn't been he who killed his brother :( And from the middles, MAY I swipe Finvarra for my list?? What an amazing sound--is it a variant of Finbar?
I see Algernon and can only think of Flowers for Algernon, from high school English class.
From your list, I think Casimir, Damon, Darius, Leopold and Rainier are my favorites.