There's also Anders, a variation--which you could probably use Ender as a nn for.
Or the more wild Endymion from mythology.
Love Zane, there's also Thane.
edit: also, I should add that the movie version of Ender's Game is coming out this fall, so I imagine (depending on it's success) the name will at least become more familiar to people. I'm expecting a burst of popularity for Petra as well.
Trying to generally stay away from names that end in N so they don't run on with our last name. So maybe not Gryffin/Larkin etc.
I love Archer though, and might warm up to Ulysses nn Uli (Ooli) if I think about it for a bit. I could get on board with Cedar too maybe if I could think of some good nicknames. Flint to me is too curt sounding & I think Valor, Wulfric, Fenris come off to me as ultra Scandinavian which might not work very well with our very Russian/Ukrainian sounding last name.
A few names we like but have nixed include Orson, Ajax, Atticus, Rohan, Zavier (they all either end in n & don't work with our last name or we have close friends or family with similar names).
We have also agreed on the following restrictions when name-choosing: No uber-popular names, nothing that is too crazy to spell or pronounce, and nothing too iconic (ie Zelda or Annekin or something).
Corey, so unfortunately Orion nn Ori won't work for us. And he says Ember sounds too much like a "girl name".
I threw a bunch of your suggestions at him though & he is totally on board with Atlas and Zephyr & he says he really likes Zane & Thane as well! Thanks Berries, I think this is a great bunch of names for us to compromise with. I knew you's come through! :D
LOVE the movie "Willow". It is totally my guilty pleasure movie, (Rool & Franjean, and Fin Raziel are the best part) and would be a totally riduculous insulting thing to name my baby after that Willow! Hahaha. Seriously if you've never seen it just watch the preview. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=TZFtUwAs0wk
Thanks for all the great suggestions!
Abraxas - Might be too out there for us without a real usable nn.
Leonidis - I know he'll like this one for the 300 connection!
Evander - He doesn't care for it but it WOULD be a good way to get nn Ender.
Axel - "Like Axel Rose?" I actually like this but I would chose Atlas over Axel for sure.
Onyx - He likes it but I think of that rock snake thing from Pokemon.
Laiken - He doesn't like Aiken or anything that sounds like Aiken. I've tried! :(
Alta - This is a cool name but apparently not cool enough to sway him from his faves.
West - I don't know after K&K just named their kid North.
Aspen - I love it.
Calix - Maybe not, just not a fan of nn Cal.
Reynard - After Reynard the Fox, a trickster in Medeval French fables, and the character Renardine in Gunnerkrigg Court (a sci-fi web comic)
Orvar - Means "arrow" in Old Norse and Orvar-Oddr was a hero in Norse mythology
Fletcher - Means "maker of arrows", and a place name (Fletcher Islands). Also a character in some fantasy settings (Mundungus Fletcher from Harry Potter, Morris Fletcher in X-Files, Fletcher Tringham from Fullmetal Alchemist, Fletcher Renn from the Skulduggery Pleasant series)
Briar or Thorn - After Blackbriar Thorn, a DC Comics supervillan
Hawk - After Hawkeye (The Avengers)
Brego - A horse in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy
Peregrin - The full first name of Pippin from Lord of the Rings, and a type of falcon
Idris - The TARDIS personified in Doctor Who episode 'The Doctor's Wife', and the name of a mountain in Wales (Cadair Idris)
Wolverine - Well it's an animal too!