Bold Boy Names: A Brother for Wolfie
Now I feel like I don’t have anything that I love – and barely anything that I like!
Other names I considered for our first son include Romeo, Orson, Laszlo, and Nikolai with the nickname Niko. (But my husband is Lebanese, and Niko doesn’t work because it sounds like a rude word.) This time, I’ve suggested Louis, Luciano, Nicolas, and Valentino, but I’m not sure I can commit to them.
I loved Wolfgang from the moment it popped into my head. The informal, cute Wolfie for a baby, Wolf for a teen, Wolfgang for an adult, the connection to Mozart, the unusual yet familiar nature of it. My son is still called Wolfie to this day (almost 2 years later) because that’s just The Name for him.
Maybe I need to let go of that expectation for this pregnancy and adjust my criteria and it’ll make the job of picking a name easier?
The Name Sage replies:
I think it’s time to work backwards.
You found a great compromise name for your first son by coupling your all-time favorite boy name with a far more conventional first. You get to call him Wolfie, but your son gets to introduce himself as Alex if he ever finds his nickname too different.
This time, it sounds like you’re trying to find a first name that satisfies your husband’s more traditional tastes, and appeals to your love of dramatic, artistic, and bold baby names for boys.
This name might not exist!
A compromise choice like Luciano probably goes a little farther than your husband would like. But it’s not exciting or meaningful enough to thrill you. It’s not a bad way to choose a name, but it doesn’t seem to be working, right?
Let’s start with middle names like Wolfgang instead, and then find a compatible first.
We’re looking for a name with a wow factor, right? Something longer with a great nickname. The kind of name that transforms as your child transitions from nursery school to adult life.
Finnian – There may be plenty of boys called Finn, but Wolfie and Finn are kind of great together. And most of those boys are just Finn, or maybe Finley or Finnegan. Finnian and Wolfgang were both given to similar numbers of boys last year – 125 for Wolfgang; 160 for Finnian.
Ludovic – It sounds like Lou sounds might appeal to both you and your husband. Ludovic is one of the rarest of the Lou– names. It’s actually a cousin to Louis. He could be Lou, Ludo, Luc, or Vic. Or maybe even Lucky?
Thaddeus – Compared to most names on this list, Thaddeus seems pretty mainstream – after all, it makes the US Top 1000 most years. But it’s still offbeat and interesting, with nicknames from Teddy to Thad/Tad available for life-long wear.
Louis and Nicolas seem like the closet parallels to Alexander as given names. They’re both traditional choices with a long history of use. Would you consider something like Louis Ignatius, called Iggy? I like Nicolas Balthazar, called Bash, too.
But I do think they key is to begin in the middle, with a list of bold boy names as exciting as you might wish. Then find a solid first name to anchor it, one that you can like – after you’ve found a middle that you truly love.
Also check out: Bold Feminine Names
About the author
View all of 's articles
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
on July 15th, 2020 at 7:13 am
Totally agree that finding the middle is the way forward!
Some long & rare options:
Aurelian (“Ray”, “Elio”, “Leo”)
Endymion (“Enda”, “Dimi”)
Michelangelo (so many nicknames! my favourite is “Milo”)
Ozymandias (“Oz”, “Ozzy”)
Caradoc (“Caro”, “Ari”, “Doc”)
I’m also wondering whether there are some continental versions of the names DH likes that you could get on board with? E.g. Vincenzo (“Enzo”) or Eduardo (“Ardo”)
on July 15th, 2020 at 9:19 am
I really love the suggestion of Louis Ignatius nn Iggy, Wolfie and Iggy!
Also like the suggestion of Fitzwilliam nn Fitz, or how about Fitzgerald?
First, second and nickname suggestions:
Xavier – Xavier Vincenzo (Enzo)
Isaac – Isaac Luciano (Luca, Lux)
Maximilian- Maximilian Oswald (Ozzy, Maxi)
Gabriel- Gabriel Balthazar (Baz)
Francis- Francis Valerio (Rio)
Lorenzo- Lorenzo Balthazar (Baz, Enzo)
Matteo- Matteo Ezekiel (Theo, Zeke)
Victor- Victor Cesario (Rio)
Reuben- Reuben Balthazar (Baz, Ben, Rue)
Roman- Roman Cosimo (Cosmo)
Tobias- Tobias Rio (Rio)
Theodore- Theodore Rex (Rex)
Julius- Julius Arsenio (Nio, Ari)
Leandro- Leandro Idris (Leo, Roe, Rhys)
on July 15th, 2020 at 9:39 am
I’ve always thought Hawthorne would make the perfect brother name for Wolfgang!
on July 15th, 2020 at 4:21 pm
I would suggest Leopold as a brother to Wolfgang.
It is also of German origin and it means ‘brave people’. A great meaning in my opinion.
It has also a connection to the Mozart family, as it was the name of W. A. Mozart’s father (Johann Georg Leopold Mozart). And it is highly underused.
on July 15th, 2020 at 4:27 pm
No suggestions, but I wish there was a tag in the announcements section for name sage parents: I’m always curious to know what they pick!
JK Garrison Said
on July 15th, 2020 at 6:05 pm
The name Wolfgang is secret a love of mine that I probably won’t use. It seems like every field has Wolfgang in its list of most famous contributors. Your choice of Wolfie/Wolf/Wolfgang is fabulous.
Great advice, Abby! My favorite suggestion is Louis Ignatius.
Some others that might fit the bill:
I know you might not want to revisit a Mozart nod, but Amadeo/Deo has also been a favorite secret name love of mine.
on July 15th, 2020 at 8:08 pm
Cassian and Percival are so perfect for this family!
I also love Nash on its own or as a nickname for any of a number of N- names.
Iggy is great, could also be short for Inigo (although be prepared for Inigo Montoya jokes) or Igor.
If you like Henry but find it boring, why not Henrik? Nicknames could include Ricky or Riko
I love Henrik and Alexander together, nn Ricky and Wolfie!
on July 15th, 2020 at 8:20 pm
I *love* Dashiell for you. Louis Dashiell, nn Dash, is darling.
A few others:
Sullivan “Sully” or “Van”
Aurelian or Aurelius “Ari”
on July 17th, 2020 at 12:08 pm
Just one more thing that hasn’t really been covered: you say part of why you love Wolfgang is that it reminds you of Mozart.
Maybe another way of approaching the new baby’s name is to think of other people or art that you love and find a name that reminds you of that?
I can’t know what other artists make your heart soar but here’s a few suggestions on that theme of rare/recognisable and tied to art/history:
Leonardo (da Vinci) — more common than Wolfgang for sure but Wolfie and Leo (wolf and lion) is pretty sweet
Ludwig (van Beethoven) — nicknamed Ludo or Viggo maybe; it’s a not-so-subtle way of tying the brothers’ names
Johann/Johannes — Bach the composer or Vermeer the painter
Ulysses — like from the Odyssey, a name full of cunning and adventure; nicknamed Uli
The only trouble with this approach is that many names in art and history can be exactly the opposite of bold and it could end up feeling like trying to name a child after a relative.
on July 19th, 2020 at 5:16 am
What about Lynx (a name on my forever list) Fox or something similar.
Amadeo Lynx in my opinion is stunning.
on August 20th, 2020 at 12:05 am
Ooh this is fun! Wolfgang is one of my all-time favourite boys names. There’s just nothing quite like it!
For Wolfie’s little brother, I love the idea of sticking to the theme of a more traditional/regal first name and a bold, stand-out middle name that may or may not yield a rad nickname.
I notice both Louis and Valentino are on your list- my stepson’s name is Louis Valentino and I can definitely vouch for its fantastic-ness!
Here’s some other ideas that might suit your style…
James Huckleberry – Huck, Huxley, Jem
Arthur Seraphim – Raph, Artie, Arto, Arrow
Julian Sylvester – Sylver, Jules, Sylvan
William Adventure – Venn, Wilkie, Will
Theodore Solaris – Sol, Solar, Lars, Theo, Teddy
Oliver Jethro – Jett, Ollie, Ro
Franklin Adventure – Venn, Frankie, Franco
Augustus Balthazar – Bolt, Augie, Gus, Taz
Leonardo Rockwell – Rocco, Rocky, Wells, Leo
Everett D’Artagnan – Artie, Ever, Rhett
Charles Zephyrus – Zephie, Zeph, Chet, Charlie
Frederick Devereaux – Dev, Reaux, Freddie, Red
on August 30th, 2020 at 6:50 pm
How about Amadeus or Archimedes as the middle name?
Nicknames for Amadeus:
Dew / Dewey
D / Dee
Nicknames for Archimedes:
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.