Bold Boy Names: What Goes with Riggins?
Remember Riggins? His family is back for another boy name! Because if it’s difficult to decide whether or not to use an out-there name for a son, imagine what it’s like to name his brother!
Now I am pregnant again and it’s another boy. We struggled so much coming up with a name for Riggins, we are both clueless now.
But I don’t want Riggins to feel like his name sticks out like a sore thumb. I love his name and it suits him. The girls have family-inspired names, and Riggins’ middle is a family name, too.
My husband’s only suggestion for naming this boy has been Hardy and I’m not a fan.
I guess I’m trying to ask if we should stick to the traditional family names, or should I find something unique to go with Riggins?
Our last name is very common so unique isn’t such a bad idea to me.
The Name Sage replies:
I’m so glad you used the name you love for your son!
Here’s what I hear: you’re torn between a traditional family name, or another name so unique it’s almost one-of-one.
But there’s plenty of middle ground to consider. Remember when Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson named their son Boomer? It seemed like they’d never be able to name a second child. But the couple welcomed second son Beckett earlier this year, and the names work together nicely. Boomer might be the more distinctive choice, but Beckett belongs in the same family.
Let’s find some names that hit that fall somewhere between the Boomers and Riggins of the world and the traditional, timeless William.
Hardy fits that description – steadily used in small numbers, familiar to all without being common. Kylee, Adrian, Riggins, and Hardy sounds exactly right to my ear, plus Riggins and Hardy both have a rugged, capable vibe that makes them sound like brothers.
If Hardy isn’t the name for you, would you consider:
Calder – Calder is one of my favorites, for so many reasons. It sounds a little bit outdoorsy (think of a caldera), artistic (as in sculptor Alexander), and athletic (it’s a big name in ice hockey). It fits with surname favorites like Carter and Hunter, but has yet to crack the US Top 1000. Cool nickname Cal is a bonus. If Calder isn’t quite right, other formal names for Cal include Callahan, Caldwell, and Calvin.
Frasier – Pick your spelling – there’s Frazier and Fraser, too. The –sier version probably seems logical because of long-running television character Frasier Crane … though odds are that no child born in 2018 would get that reference, which makes it even more wearable.
Gibson – Gibson means “son of Gilbert,” which feels gentle and vintage. But Gibson Guitars, favored by many a legendary musician, take this name in more rock ‘n’ roll direction. Riggins and Gibson share a strong ‘g’ sound, which makes them sound even more like brothers.
Jameson – Nothing says you have to choose a truly unusual name to match Riggins. Jameson shares the same general style, but at Number 100 is closer to Kylee in terms of popularity. Still, I think Riggins and Jameson sound like they come from the same family.
Maguire – Another distinctive surname possibility that shares Riggins’ ‘g’ sound, Maguire has Irish roots. It’s also spelled Mcguire, which brings to mind popular girls’ names like Mackenzie and Mckenna. But I think this one works better for boys.
Rafferty – Jude Law gave this vibrant Irish surname name to a son way back in 1996. Even though Rafferty is now in the public eye himself, the name remains rare. It could wear well today, and I think the shared R initial helps link the brothers’ names even more.
Reeve – Reeve originally meant sheriff, and it also brings to mind Christopher Reeve, the actor who soared to stardom as Superman in 1978. It’s much less common than Reese or Reid – though those names could work for Riggins’ brother, too.
Should you choose something in the Hardy–Rafferty–Gibson family, I’d suggest you tuck William in the middle spot. It mirrors your older children’s names, with a nod to family. Overall, Reeve William is my favorite as a brother for Riggins Blaine. It’s not nearly as unusual, but the two names feel compatible.
Let me add this: if you keep coming back to William, there’s no reason that William can’t be The Name. Others might guess (correctly) that it honors family. A few might comment on the change in style. But after a few weeks, your children’s names will sound like a group. They may not link together like a puzzle, but they are melded together by love. And that’s what matters!
Readers, would you choose William for Riggins’ brother? Or do you think another name works better? Let’s have a poll.
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on July 18th, 2018 at 1:17 am
What about Harbor instead of Hardy?.. I personally think Holden isn’t too far off from your DH’s suggestion and it pairs wonderfully with the other name you considered. Holden William. It’s classic while unusual at the same time, fitting somewhere right between the girls’ names and Riggins’. Best of luck!!!!!
on July 18th, 2018 at 3:12 am
Hardy made me think of Harley.
on July 18th, 2018 at 3:20 am
What about Willis or Wilson, as more uncommon Wil- names?
on July 18th, 2018 at 4:15 am
Willoughby or Wilbur comes to mind. Calder and Holden are great choices too! William would be a fantastic middle name for each of those.
Erin Beth Said
on July 18th, 2018 at 7:42 am
I love the suggestion of Calder! Maguire and Reeve are great too. I do prefer an under-used surname name as a brother for Riggins.
on July 18th, 2018 at 10:20 am
What about something similar to Hardy? There are lots of other “Har” names:
Harding, Harlan, Harmon, Harley, Hartley
Riggens sounds very English. Some other bold English choices:
Halston, Dunstan, Dryden, Wyndham, Langdon, Langston, Bates, Arley, Radley, Branley, etc
There are lots of English name suggestions on Nameberry
on July 18th, 2018 at 2:35 pm
I think baby should have a family middle. I say go for something you like that is a better fit with Riggins in the first name spot and use William in the middle.
Would your maiden name work as a first name? A few additional suggestions:
on July 18th, 2018 at 4:13 pm
I think William is a fine choice for this family. Kylee, Adrian, and Riggins are such an eclectic trio of names I think matching should be disregarded in this case.
on July 18th, 2018 at 4:25 pm
I love the suggestions of Calder and Reeve. Calder William sounds like a perfect complement to Riggins Blaine.
I would also suggest:
Calloway (I think someone else suggested this as well)
Collier and Dempsey are my favorites from my choices. Good luck and congratulations!
on July 18th, 2018 at 5:00 pm
what about just adding an ‘s’ to william to make it surname williams? imo Kylee, Adrian, Riggins and Williams sound ok. sometimes just a little tweek makes all the difference.
i also like Calder, Gibson and Fraiser from abby’s suggestions and holden, merrit and brooks from the other berries. I also really like Bates but I feel like Bates William doesn’t work.
on July 18th, 2018 at 5:44 pm
I think that another berry’s suggestion of Hayes is a great fit.
on July 18th, 2018 at 8:31 pm
Rafferty William nickname Rafe, gets an A+++ in my book!!
on July 18th, 2018 at 10:39 pm
Of the suggestions, my favorites are Fraser, Jameson, and Wilder. (I have, in the past, debated calling a son Wilder William in order to have a little “Wild Bill” in the house.) I love Gibson too, but I think Riggs and Gibbs might be too close. In that vein, however, what about Edison? It’s both old and edgy at the same time. I like Calvin too, and would add Callum to the list leading to Cal nicknames.
on July 19th, 2018 at 8:25 am
I really like Wilson for you. It has the same surname feel of Riggins, while still tying to family and honoring your father. Also, maybe you could consider a “hero” surname, drawing from an author, artist, poet, etc, that your father admires. HTH!
on July 19th, 2018 at 12:19 pm
Since you like Owen, what about Bowen? It’s less common than Owen or Rowan, and has more of a surnamey feel that matches with Riggins.
on July 19th, 2018 at 10:44 pm
I love Calder, Jameson, and Rafferty as well. I also think William Owen would also work and sound great. I would add Cheney to the list of possibilities
on July 20th, 2018 at 3:03 am
Hardy William or William Hardy doesn’t sound to bad I think they both are Good names & then he can choose later on if he wants 2 go by will,hardy,william etc. Good luck & congrats… The right name will come to ya’ll. Best wishes.
on July 20th, 2018 at 12:21 pm
The problem is that if you use William, I’d think Adrian is a boy. Using another surname as a name would help clarify genders and keep Riggins from sticking out.
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