Baby Name Challenge: Naming a 7th boy!

A name nerd's dilemma

By Katherine Morna Towne

I can name twenty children on paper, easy. More, even. It’s not at all difficult for me to come up with exciting first name ideas paired with perfect middle names, with family names and saint names easily woven into each combination. I can construct each first+middle combo so that they go with the others in terms of style and feel, and coming up with fun and friendly nicknames for everyday use is a particularly enjoyable pastime for me.

But naming children in real life isn’t so easy. I have strong opinions about names—those I like and those that I really don’t see fitting our children. My husband has fairly strong opinions as well, in a different way. I make lists and form combinations whether pregnant or not, while my husband prefers not to think or talk about names until a baby’s actually on the way, preferably as close to the due date as possible, and when we do finally talk names, he enjoys vetoing my ideas and might offer one or two of his own. (Might.) I know this must sound familiar to many of you!

But I enjoy the process tremendously. As much as I love discovering new favorite names and forming my own lists, the pinnacle of baby naming, for me, is deciding on a name with my husband. I love feeling like we’ve really worked together to come up with the name—it might not be my absolute favorite or his, but there’s something sweet and strong about coming to an agreement on the name for our baby.

We’ve named seven children together. We have six sons, ages 4 to 13, and we named the baby we miscarried as well. I love each of our children’s names—their first names, their middle names, their nicknames. We’ve done everything I’ve wanted to in terms of honoring faith and family, even if our final name was very different from what I started out thinking would be the best idea. I know my husband feels similarly—many times over the years we’ve marveled at how well each boy’s name fits him.

So I’m not really worried that we haven’t yet come up with a boy’s name for our baby due in fourteen weeks. At least, I’m trying not to worry.

Not that we know we’re having a boy—we don’t, we’ve been surprised every time and decided to be surprised again this time. But our girl name has stayed the same throughout all of our pregnancies, so it’s boy names we’re stuck on.

Names we’ve considered in the past but ultimately decided not to use include Oliver, Leo, Ambrose, Hugo, Conrad, Isaac, and Augustine. Names that I like for this baby that my hubby doesn’t include Benedict and Jacob; names he likes that I’m not sure about include Luke and Nicholas. Of course we turned to the Name Sage, Abby, for a baby name consultation a couple of months ago—she did an amazing job, so many great thoughts and ideas! Based on her advice, I crossed Benedict off my first-name list and my husband dropped Nicholas from his. But we still haven’t had that moment where we both feel comfortable with a name.

One thing that has changed for me a bit is that I’ve always preferred more unusual names—I’ve tried to convince my husband of Joachim for years (it’s always been a hard nope from him), and he usually uses “Nicodemus” as an example of how “crazy” I am with my name taste—but more recently I’ve found myself cooling a bit on the really unusual names. As I told Abby, it really struck me when filling out Little League forms for my boys this year that I’m no longer willing to saddle my son with a name that’s likely to be unfamiliar to the general population. (Name enthusiasts just aren’t the general population!)

At the same time, though it’s always been possible that each baby might have been my last, and due to my age that possibility has more solidity this time. I’m feeling more self-inflicted pressure than ever to be completely, totally, one hundred percent satisfied with our choice of boy name. Oddly, my husband is newly unwilling to consider some of my more unusual choices, and I’m feeling a bit more unwilling to consider the more familiar choices than I have been in the past.

If we have a boy, I know this baby will have a name, and I’m certain my husband and I will find ourselves marveling in a few years at how well the name suits him. I can’t wait to find out what that name is!

Here’s a piece Kate wrote on her own blog about naming her other boys.

Do you find it harder to your babies the more you have? Do you find boy names easier or harder than girl names? (Do you have any ideas for us?!)

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17 Responses to “Baby Name Challenge: Naming a 7th boy!”

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Sky85 Says:

June 25th, 2018 at 11:09 pm

I find girl names so much harder to come along with. I know I don’t want something that is so masculine but nothing really feminine either. Boy names are as easy as the ABC’s for me. When it comes to boy names, I have realised that they all come from things I show interest in such as music & Greek mythology. So my main piece of advice is to start with a common interest you both have and look for names in connection to it.

mill1020 Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 12:23 am

Wow, I don’t have quite as many boys as you, but I can completely relate to almost everything else! Husbands with strong opinions definitely throw a wrench in things.

I agree w/ what Sky85 says; find a common thread of some kind and stick to that.

What I want to know is, what would you name a girl?

jessiemay Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 12:30 am

What about August? It seems like Augustin/Augustine have been recurring loves and I feel like August fits well with your older boys’ names. Some other ideas:

All the best, you’ll have to drop back in and tell us what baby’s name ends up being! X

mionepuff Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 5:40 am

Boy names are really hard for me to love. It is so much easier for me to fall in love with girl names. However, me and my boyfriend already have an idea of what we would like to name our kids. I love modern as well as classic names and biblical names. We’ve chosen Griffin for our first son and Cassandra for our first daughter. I fell in love with Griffin and had to use were my boyfriend fell in love with Cassandra and her nickname Cassie. I fell in love with Griffin because of the nickname Griff. So cute. Just know in time that you will find the right name for your baby. It might just be after the baby is born.

sanctanomina Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 7:57 am

Thank you all for your feedback! @jessiemay, great list! You included a couple that we’ve actually never discussed! @mill1020 our girl name is Susanna 🙂

TDay Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 10:50 am

I have six boys too! All aged 7 and under. I don’t think we’ll have a 7th one, but in any case I can only name boys by now! We actually have a few names left, so who knows? 😉
For your 7th…
Lucas (instead of Luke?)
Austin (instead of Augustin?)
Leonard (nn Lenn?)

brittella Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 1:44 pm

I am still on the praying and waiting side of motherhood, but as an older child with many younger siblings, I distinctly remember being involved in the youngest’s naming. My older sister and I both advocated for a combo that we knew our parents had considered for both of us. Mom said she didn’t choose it because of the nickname, but apparently knowing how much we both liked the nickname, helped her with the choice.

Perhaps your children would like a similar involvement level? Maybe suggesting names they like or saints they admire and think should be honored? It might take the pressure off of you and your husband to have several others suggesting as well? And it would be an adorable and meaningful naming story.

Kew Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 4:25 pm

I was going to suggest Conrad, so it’s a shame that you have ruled that one out!

Have you considered Emilian, Ralph, Edmund, Gabriel, Fabian, Felix, or Paul?

DoctorWoo Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Boy names are hard. So much harder. But here’s a looooong list I managed to make, I think they might fit your taste, yuppie and polish (just kidding!):

Benjamin “Ben”
Nikolai “Niko”
Caspar/Cassius “Cass”
Aegidius “Aegie” (ay-gid-ee-us)
Bernard “Buddy”
Henryk “Hennie”
Alfonso “Alfie”
Hubert “Huwie/Bertie”
Zacharias “Zachie”
Remigius “Remy” (reh-mee-jee-us)
Leopold “Leo”
Aloysius “Al”
Elias “Eli”
Milan/Milo (mee-lan/mee-lo)
Andrew “Drew”
Nathan “Nate”
Arthur “Art”
Ignatius “Iggy”

But I think it might be a girl!

lilybm Says:

June 26th, 2018 at 8:51 pm

love the names of your older boys and why you chose them! My suggestions would be:


Hope this helps!

Nysha Says:

June 27th, 2018 at 4:25 pm

I would name my 7th son Septimus because I love that name and you can’t really name your first son that.

sanctanomina Says:

June 28th, 2018 at 9:24 am

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions! @TDay, hey there sister! Great ideas, thanks! @britella, such a cute idea! I actually did have the boys make lists for me recently of what they’d name a baby brother, they came up with some fun and unexpected ideas! @Kew, Emilian, Ralph, and Fabian have never made it into our conversations! Thanks! @DoctorWoo you have a pretty good lock on our style! Love the nickname ideas, so cute! @lilybm you had me at Dante! Thanks for your ideas! @Nysha I know, right? I’ve thought about it!

MargotBear Says:

June 28th, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Cassius, Zaki and Lucas are my suggestions. Your other names sound great!

SusieBlueC Says:

June 30th, 2018 at 11:26 am

Such an interesting read for me as I sit here waiting for the arrival of our number 5 due in 3 days! We have a boy and 3 girls (and are yet to find out what number 5 is!) at times we have really struggled with both boys and girls names – I feel like it has definitely got harder the more we’ve had. We almost always have to go right back to the drawing board with each kid as in the years since the previous baby we have gone off the names we previously liked (or they no longer work with the sibset!) however with baby number 5 we have returned to both a girl and boys name that we discussed many times before, which I find really interesting!
The times we have really struggled to find a name we’ve managed to nut it out during a long car trip (eg going to visit family at Christmas!) perhaps give this a try if you’re stuck!!! All the best for number 7!

pixiegretch Says:

June 30th, 2018 at 6:14 pm

It sounds like all your names are very strong and kind of traditional. I would suggest Geoffrey/Jeffrey, Brian/Bryan, Francis (Pope Francis), Edward, Matthew, Samuel, Nicholas

RickiHorror151 Says:

July 1st, 2018 at 6:07 pm

Good evening, Katherine! First, let me share that our daughter’s name is also Katherine (great choice!), and she gave herself her own nickname which is Kat. Since her daddy and I always have to have the last word, we shortened it even more when writing her name to K@😉It fits perfectly with her brother’s name, Tate, which he shortened himself to T8😂
We found that coming up with a boy’s name was much more difficult than choosing a girl’s name, which brings me to our story;
Both of our children’s genders (a boy and a girl) were surprises as well bc like y’all, we’re kinda retro that way. The problem was that as our first due date approached, we had in mind a girl’s first and middle name (Katherine Celeste), but we still had not agreed upon a boy’s name😱I was pushing hard for a “Junior” bc my husband was the last male of his line (Shannon Anderson Stanfield), but since he was bullied as a pre-teen for having a “girl’s name”, he didn’t want his son to have to live through the same experience. I ended up getting my way when Shannon Anderson Stanfield, Jr. (Tate/T8) made his debut on his daddy’s birthday! I’m extra happy that we gave him his daddy’s name now bc my husband tragically passed away 8 years ago from a nasty sarcoma called GIST (gastrointestinal stromal tumors).
Good luck to you and yours❤️
There’s a shorter Part 2 to our story that I’ll share soon😁

RickiHorror151 Says:

July 1st, 2018 at 6:13 pm

GAAHHH! As soon as I hit “Post Reply,” I realized that some of my emojis ended up in the wrong place which will teach me to use them as punctuation!😂

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