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  1. #1

    Name Dilemma over William and James

    My all-time favorite boy names have been James(my grandfather's name) and William. Our children are Caitlin, Elizabeth, Ethan, and a baby boy on the way. We're hoping to have more children in the future. I let my husband have the honor of naming our first son, Ethan James, who is currently 23 months. Now I am having difficulty naming our son that is on the way because James was used as the middle name of our oldest son and William was recently used for the first name of my sister-in-law's son who is almost 2 years old. I have looked over lots of boy names but I don't love them like James or William. I have even toyed with the idea of changing my oldest son's middle name(although my husband and I love the combination of Ethan James and saying it together) so that we can name his new brother James. I have considered having one son with the middle name James and giving the other James as a first name(but that could be akward). I have thought about giving our youngest son the name William and dealing with the confusion at family gatherings and the stigma of "stealing" my nephew's name. None of this is ideal. What would you recommend?

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    402
    I wouldn't change Ethan's middle name. Does your nephew go by William? There are so many nn options for William that I'm sure you could come up with a different one to call your son. Or, use Willam as the middle name.
    Other names you might like:
    Owen
    Graham
    Davis
    Theodore (Teddy)
    Grant
    Evan
    Dean
    Miles

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    6,236
    How about Jack instead of James? Jack William would be so handsome.
    From our ancestors come our names, but from our virtues our honors. ~ Proverb

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    230
    That is a tricky situation. I think William could be off the table because of your s-i-l's son. Was her son from a previous relationship, or is it with your brother/brother-in-law? Also depends on how close the two families are. How often the children would really be together. And the personalities of her and her husband, in general. William is also such a well used name that it wouldn't be as bad as choosing Mercer, and a close family member already having a Mercer, for instance. With Very popular names the idea of "stealing" diminishes. Even less if one goes by Will or Bill, and the other by the more formal William.

    Changing Ethan's mn would be a big step, the size of which would depend on how old his is. Since he is younger, it's not as big of a deal as it would be if he were older, but it's still a major decision to make. If you don't always call him "Ethan James", I think you could get away with naming your other sons James. But, it's not ideal.

    You may have to settle on coming up with a different fn and using William as a mn.

    David William sounds lovely.
    Noah William
    Andrew William
    Charles William (I love Charlie as a nn)

    Or any other family names, from your or your husband's side that you like, since Ethan got a grandfather's name.
    Stephanie Nicole
    Mother Of:
    Conor Alexander (2 in Jan)
    Cormac Sebastian (infant)
    Cordelia Janemarie (infant)

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