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A name for Roxanne’s baby brother?

April 14, 2015 Abby Sandel

Welcome back to Nameberry’s newest column, The Name Sage. Every week, I answer one reader’s questions about naming a baby-on-the-way, or general baby name angst. And here’s the best part: we’d love it if you would add your thoughtful suggestions and comments to help expectant parents decide. The world needs more nicely named children, berries! Want to see your question featured? Please email namesage@nameberry.com.

Molli and her husband are expecting their second child, a brother for Roxanne Alice, called Roxi.

They’re looking for a name that is:

  • Definitely not in the US Top 100, and probably not in the US Top 300.
  • But not so uncommon that the name is completely out there!
  • Clearly a boy’s name, so no Emerson, Rowan, etc.

Molli adds that she’s “extremely picky” about names and is finding it much harder to choose a name for a son. One family name they could use is Scott, her husband’s name – but she really doesn’t want to use that as her son’s first name.

Let me first say this: Molli, your daughter’s name is perfection! Literary, with tons of history, and hits the sweet spot between uncommon and outlandish. It sounds like you found exactly the right name for your firstborn.

So I completely understand why you’re struggling the second time around, and yet I’m confident we can come up with a great name for Roxi’s brother.

There are two possible directions to explore.

First, while Roxanne has a certain vintage style, the name was most popular back in the 1950s. In other words, she’s more Mad Men than Great Gatsby.

Could there be other names from the same era that feel equally timeless?

If you can look past Larry and Gary, there are some great possibilities from the 1950s that feel classic, but not too common today.

A few that come to mind: Gregory, Franklin, Marshall, Neil, and Julius. I wanted to add Ross and Rex, but they’re too close to Roxi.

From the list, my favorite is Gregory. The name currently ranks Number 298 and is falling. Greg is a little bit Brady Bunch, but Gregory is quite dashing. And there are other nicknames to consider, including Rory and Grey.

Gregory could be the perfect sweet spot name. Everyone knows it, but few other children share it.

But maybe that’s still too common?

Let’s look at names that are more obscure.

International names might be a good place to start. Leif, Magnus, or Willem, maybe? There are also surnames to consider, like Foster, Vaughn, Garrison, Royce, and Calloway.

Namehunter suggests Crispin, Caradoc, Jericho, and Deveraux.

My favorites are Magnus and Deveraux.

Magnus means “the greatest.” The medieval ruler Charlemagne was Carolus Magnus in Latin, and several kings of Scandinavian countries were Magnus, too. Roxanne and Magnus. It’s a masculine name that feels current, but ranks an obscure Number 955.

Deveraux is a surname, ultimately from the French city of Evreux, in Normandy. Nickname Dev matches so well with RoxiDeveraux and Roxanne, Dev and Roxi. They’re both bold names with great sounds.

If one of these names feels close, but not quite right, it might be worth looking for similar possibilities. There are tons of great Scandinavian names like Magnus, and plenty of surname name possibilities like Deveraux.

Please let us know when your son arrives!

Now let’s hear from you, berries! What would you name a brother for Roxanne Alice?

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

View all of Abby's articles

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