Boy Name: How to honor Grandma Jacqueline?
My husband and I are expecting our first child and we just found out it’s a boy!
Baby is due September 28th so I’m just starting to seriously consider names. We know for sure that we would like to name him after my husband’s mother who passed away four years ago. Her name was Jacqueline.
We love Jackson but my cousin already used that name for her son. Jonathon (nickname Jack) was vetoed and just Jack doesn’t feel quite finished to us. Jackie and Clair (after her middle name) are too feminine for my husband’s preference.
We’re open to creative ways to honor my mother-in-law to sidestep the name stealing possibility, but it seems like options are limited. The guilt I’m feeling from both sides is making this challenging, too.
I’d appreciate any advice you may have, or creative name suggestions that we may have bypassed! I just read the article on “9 creative ways to honor loved ones with your child’s name” which has me seeking alternative solutions, too.
The Name Sage replies:
When your favorite choice is off the table, it can feel like options are slim. But I think you’ve still got some great options to consider.
It’s the feminine form of Jacob and James. Jacob started out as Ya’aqov, became Iacobus in Latin, and then morphed into Iacomus. The former gives us Jacob in English; the latter, James. Iacobus became Jacques in French, and thus, Jacqueline is the feminine form of James … I know. It doesn’t sound right, but it’s very much true!
Cal – I’ve heard Jacqueline pronounced different ways, but in many cases, there’s a Cal sound in the middle. Formal names for Cal abound, like Calvin, Callum, and Calder. That last one strikes me as a similar in style to Jackson, but maybe it’s too far removed from Jacqueline to feel like an honor name?
James – Since Jacqueline is, strictly speaking, the feminine form of James, this one seems like an obvious choice. It’s traditional and enduring, and directly related to your late mother-in-law’s name.
Jameson, Jamie, Jay – If James feels too traditional, would you consider Jameson? Like Jackson, it’s a surname spin on a long-time favorite. And since James has been around forever, other forms abound, from nicknames Jamie and Jay to international variations, like Diego, Seamus, and Jago.
Jace, Jason – Jacqueline Clair means her initials were JC. How about Jason or Jace? Because Jason was wildly popular in the 1970s and 80s, we tend to think of it as trendy. But Jason’s ancient roots lend it a certain timeless appeal. Short form Jace has been in the US Top 100 since 2012. In our age of Chase, it feels like a full, formal name.
My top suggestion is Jacob. Not only does it come directly from the same roots as Jacqueline, it shares the same first few letters, linking the names visually. But you’ve got options galore. A little more information about your husband’s mother could yield even more options: family surnames, nicknames, maybe even a hometown or a favorite place name.
Let’s have a poll, because it might help narrow down your decision. But when it comes to honor names, there are so many ways to celebrate a loved one, and I know our readers will have some great suggestions, too.
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on June 20th, 2018 at 5:10 am
Those are really good and creative suggestions, which make me rethink my first thought of just using Jackson again if you love it, confusing though it may be. Or Jaxon. I lean toward Jace pronounced Jayce or JC. Interesting dilemma.
on June 20th, 2018 at 7:08 am
I love these kind of posts! My first son is Jamin, named after his dad, Benjamin. Jamin could also be another form of James, maybe? But, too removed from Jacqueline I think. Jackson is one of my all time favorites as well. Consider the age difference between the two cousins. If it’s significant, and you just really can’t see your new son as anything else, then maybe, you could use it. But, if not, I really like Jacob to honor Jacqueline. And if it’s any consolation, my husband has two neices named Ashley, their moms are sisters.
on June 20th, 2018 at 12:06 pm
Of the options by the Name Sage, I prefer Jameson. It’s directly related to Jacqueline, sounds very different from Jackson, seems less dated than Jason (in spite of Jason’s classical roots) & Jacob (ditto), & has lots of nickname options.
on June 20th, 2018 at 12:33 pm
I know a little James who goes by Jack, which seems perfect for you.
Abby Sandel Said
on June 20th, 2018 at 1:44 pm
@sarah1800 – James called Jack is really kind of genius, isn’t it? Surprised we don’t hear that more!
@benjamelissa – Oh, what a fun way to name your son after his dad without having a junior. 🙂
@jimtown – I hadn’t thought about that. Does a different spelling of Jaxon change the name enough? Hmmmm …
@BobCat108 – Jameson is a great name! Jason does feel a little bit like a dad name, doesn’t it? We expect boys to be Mason these days … but I still have a soft spot for Jason. Must be all those Greek myths …
on June 20th, 2018 at 2:21 pm
I really like Jacob, James, Jay, and Kellan!
on June 20th, 2018 at 2:36 pm
Well look i love Jacques! Pronounced zjAHk. Unusual and awesome and more complete than Jack. I also think Clary could work. It’s masculine and has a surname feel like Jackson. And finally, a fun idea might be to take the meaning of Jacob (may god protect) and look for other names that you love that mean “protector.” Then it’s like Jacqueline is “protecting” her grandchild and the meaning is the thread of connection.
on June 20th, 2018 at 3:05 pm
If grandma’s middle name is Claire, then why not use Clarence? It’s got that old man chic vibe that’s so popular right now.
on June 20th, 2018 at 4:18 pm
I immediately thought of Clarence, too! It’s handsome and classic, and honors her middle name.
on June 20th, 2018 at 4:31 pm
My name is Jacqueline! In my life so far I’ve gone by Jacqui, Jac, Jax, and Kiki. I love a lot of Name Sages suggestions. Personally I think matching her initials would be a clever reference so James Charles, or Jackson Cameron, or Jordan Calder etc. It doesn’t matter too much what the names are as long as the initials match. Personally though I think you should stick with the name you loved, Jackson. The children will be 2nd cousins, and Jackson is a very popular name. Also your not stealing the name, your using it, you could let your cousin know before hand if you want “We’re using Jackson too! We want to honor our son’s grandmother who passed away, plus we love your little Jackson so we liked the association.” But if you now associate Jackson too strongly with someone else’s baby that’s understandable. Jameson seems like a good compromise. My own suggestion would be something like Quentin or Quincy as the Q more then the J is the letter that most resonated with her. My style would tend to thee more traditional Jacob or James, though I personally also like the idea of Kellan. Good luck and congratulations!
on June 20th, 2018 at 5:30 pm
I like Jay. Jayden is similar in style and popularity to Jackson. Jaylen shares the last syllable of Jacqueline like if you combined the beginning and ending of the name.
In the same stream as Kellan I also like Cullen as a first name or middle. .. although I’m not sure if these sound different in American accent to mine.
Jay Cullen is very similar to Jacqueline- maybe too close? And also has the initials J.C like Jacqueline Clair
on June 20th, 2018 at 6:43 pm
Clarence was my first thought as well, but as a middle name.
Zachary Clarence to honor Jacqueline Clair.
on June 20th, 2018 at 10:31 pm
I like the idea of using Jacques! It retains the French flair of Jacqueline, and thanks to Mr. Cousteau it’s well known enough that you shouldn’t have too many pronunciation issues. Also, I am SO in love with Clarence!
on June 21st, 2018 at 8:41 am
My immediate thought was James (or some variation on that theme). I find Jacob absolutely tired, while James (to me) retains a dapper freshness. I love the suggestions of Clarence and of matching Grandma’s initials – what about James Clarence or James Charles?
on June 21st, 2018 at 9:12 am
Love the ideas of Kellan or Cullen! Maybe something like James Cullen?
on June 21st, 2018 at 9:29 am
You might use the -line in Jacqueline to arrive at Linus.
on June 21st, 2018 at 9:37 am
How about Jachin?
on June 21st, 2018 at 1:44 pm
My suggestion: Jacoby (“JACK-oh-bee”) NN Jack! You still get your Jack and the more obvious phonetic connection to Jacqueline, with a full name that’s more unusual than Jackson and that honors the root of the name.
on June 22nd, 2018 at 2:17 am
What about Jacques?? It’s masculine enough, pronounced similarly to “jock” and is the most similarly written to Jacqueline. You may have just given me an amazing idea, my Nana’s name is Jacqueline too!
on June 22nd, 2018 at 10:49 am
I’m surprised there aren’t more proponents of Jago. It’s etymologically close to Jacqueline, is phonetically closer than James, makes less of an ethnic statement than the very-French Jacques, is more distinctive than Jacob and more complete than Jake. And it also has a very modern feel – along the lines of Jackson, but more cutting edge.
Or how about James nn Jamie or Jem?
on June 22nd, 2018 at 4:31 pm
I voted for a James name because I love the name James. But I also really like the Jason/Jace idea and Jacob/Jake makes a great option.
on June 22nd, 2018 at 7:10 pm
Names like this get me so excited! I hate when people say names are boring! This is exciting for me! Names have so many twists and turns and their roots are often so different than you would think! I love this! And thank you for the lesson on the origins of Jacqueline! And I love that so many Berries love Clarence, too!
on June 22nd, 2018 at 8:12 pm
What about Kellan Jack?
on June 23rd, 2018 at 3:12 am
How about Jack Kellan? First name middle name….it practically sounds like Jacqueline, and both a great names! Or Kellan Jack as pp suggested
Other spelling options could be Jaq, Jac
There’s also Jock which is the Scottish variant of James though can be a little hard to wear outside of Scotland.
There’s a ton of options if you wanted to honour her initials.
on June 23rd, 2018 at 7:58 am
Jaques is a French name which is very fitting (the the J is pronounced as more of a zzsshh and the s is silent)
on June 23rd, 2018 at 7:02 pm
Eli appears in Jacqueline. Cleary would work as a nod to Clair and is on trend as a last name for a first name (or middle). The “line” ending could become Linus. I love many of the suggestions including Jacoby (Jah-coe-bee), Jace, and Kellan. There are so many options!
on June 24th, 2018 at 2:07 pm
My first thought was to go with Quincy and pick up that middle sound. What about Linus? Or Lennox? Use the end of the name as a jumping point.
on June 24th, 2018 at 11:24 pm
You could do Jacques, but everyone will be lost on how to pronounce it.
on June 25th, 2018 at 2:26 am
Love the suggestions of Jacoby – it’s perfect!
on June 25th, 2018 at 10:20 am
What about Quellin/Quillan??
on June 25th, 2018 at 10:27 am
I love the suggestions of Jacoby and Clarence. It amazes me that more people haven’t discovered the vintage chic Clarence.
on July 1st, 2018 at 7:00 am
I think your best bet to really honour her first name is through James or Jacob. But Jacoby works too. With the middle name Clarence would be awesome. Maybe Clarence James, nn Clary? He’d never share his name with anyone and it’s a great way to honour her with direct connections to her name, without making it obvious.
on July 16th, 2018 at 11:16 am
What about Quin to honor Jacqueline? That’s my favorite
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