Name Sage: A Brother for Jacoby Eugene

Name Sage: A Brother for Jacoby Eugene

Rachel writes:

I have racked my brain for a second boy’s name and just cannot land upon one.

Our first son’s name is Jacoby Eugene. He was named after my mom’s surname, Jacob, and my husband’s grandfather, Eugene. We love the name!

If we ever have a girl her name will be Annalise Elizabeth after my grandma, Ann Elizabeth. Ann is a family name on my husband’s side, too.

I would like the new little one to have the middle name Stanley after my grandfather.  But we do not have any more male family names to work from for first names.

We like Liam and Eli but don’t want a popular name. We also don’t want it to be too far out there.

In addition, we’re avoiding names that start with A, D, M, or J. I come from a large family and know how great it is to be able to label things with first initials!

Our last name is short, starts with an S, and has a long ‘ee’ sound, like sea.

The Name Sage replies:

You’ve done such an amazing job reinventing your family names for the new generation!

My first suggestion is that maybe it’s worth looking a little farther back on your family tree. Are there any great surnames that you’ve overlooked? Or maybe a town or region your ancestors called home that might be perfect for a boy’s name in 2015?

Assuming you’ve already exhausted every possibility, let’s take a look at your criteria for naming a brother Jacoby Eugene:

  • The name has to be uncommon, but not too out there. You’ve decided against the Number 2 name in the US – Liam – and also another Top 50 name. Jacoby peaked at Number 422 a few years ago.

  • It has to work with the middle name Stanley.

  • It can’t start with an M, J, D, or A – and in this case, A is really a non-starter because of the potentially problematic initials.

  • I think we should also rule out names with strong ‘ee’ sounds, and probably names that end in –s, too, because of your surname.

  • There are so many possibilities that might work. I can see why it’s tough to narrow down your list!

    Stanton – Maybe I’m stuck on the idea of finding a family name, but I wonder if you’d consider Stanton? It’s a spin on Stanley, one that doesn’t currently chart in the US Top 1000. But it feels like a familiar name, doesn’t it? Jacoby and Stanton sound like brothers – though you’d need to find a new middle name, of course!

    KieranCiaran is originally Irish, and comes from ciar – dark. Kiran is Sanskrit, and has a few possible meanings, including sunbeam. There’s some potential for spelling confusion, which might be a dealbreaker. Kieran is Number 576 in the US – the most popular spelling, but not an overly popular name. Another bonus? It works with Stanley.

    Dayton – It’s possible you live in Ohio. In that case, the city and the university of Dayton might make this a non-starter. It’s originally a place name, meaning settlement by the ditch. That’s not especially picturesque, but the name has a bright and upbeat sound. Dayton stood at Number 702 in 2014, and is easy to say and spell without being overly common. Then again, D is on your list of initials to avoid. Number 643 Layton might be an alternative with a different initial.

    Fletcher – The first three suggestions all end in ‘n’, and ‘s’ ending names run into your surname. But how about ‘r’? At Number 706, Fletcher is familiar but not too common. It’s originally an occupational name for someone who made arrows. Jacoby and Fletcher sound great together.

    Huxley – Or maybe something that ends in ‘y’? The Huxley family included noted scientists and writers. The name feels a little bit edgy and very literary. Part-Huck Finn, part-Brave New World. Other literary surnames to consider include Fielding (as in Henry), Hawthorne (as in Nathaniel), and Tennyson (as in the poet).

    Eliezer You mentioned how much you like Eli. Maybe a longer Eli– name would appeal? The Old Testament Eliezer comes in at four-syllables, but still seems wearable. The name ranked Number 872 in 2014. There’s also Elliott/Elliot, but that’s much more common.

    Lyle – Another strategy to find that elusive familiar-but-not-popular name is to look for something vintage that’s not quite made a comeback. Lyle rhymes with modern favorite Kyle, but hasn’t cracked the US Top 1000 in years.

    Latham Here’s one that might work as an alternative to Liam. Latham is an English place name derived from the Old Norse word for barn. It has the same bright ‘a’ sound of Mason, the ‘m’ ending of Liam, and a very current feel. Jacoby and Latham are equally unexpected names, but still feel quite stylish.

    My favorites for you are Kieran and Latham. Jacoby, Kieran, and Annalise would make a great trio someday. So would Jacoby, Kieran, and Latham. The names are different enough from Jacoby that you haven’t locked yourself into a name style and could easily name a few more brothers if you end up welcoming two boys in the future!

    Readers, what would you name a brother for Jacoby Eugene? (That’s Rachel and Jacoby in the illustration.)