Name Sage: A Name to Remember Dad
I would like to honor my recently deceased father, Early Bernard, but I am drawing a blank! I just cannot see myself naming my child a name that would be shortened to Earl. His nickname was Early Bird, so I have flirted the idea of incorporating Bird somehow. But how?
I gave them all three names for personal reasons, and my son will have three names as well. I would prefer that no two of my children have the same first initial, so J, M, T, and W are out.
The Name Sage replies:
Congratulations on your new baby on the way! How lovely that you’d like to honor your father with your son’s name.
You’ve mentioned that Earl isn’t your style. I wonder if using Early as a middle – or second middle – name would be a possibility? It’s a cool, quirky name to have on your family tree. It’s also a tough one to reinvent, though I did think about Prior. It’s not exactly a synonym, but the meanings are close.
Let’s look at some names that mean bear, bird, or brave, or come from Bernard:
Benno – Benno is a nickname for Bernard, and it’s also the name of a medieval saint from Meissen, in Saxony. That ‘o’ ending has a lot of energy, and Ben– names have been trending upwards. It’s more of a stretch, but Bennett might also work.
Bear – Animal names are more mainstream than ever, from Leo to Fox. Bear was given to 129 boys in 2014 – a new high. It might work as a bold first name choice, and definitely feels like a possible middle.
Brave – If you like the idea of Bear, I wonder if you’ll also like the sound of Brave? Again, it might be better as a middle than a first, but there were 18 newborn Braves last year.
Hardy – Now here’s one that I think works as a given name. Hardy comes from an Old French word meaning courageous. It fits with traditional names like Henry, as well as surname choices like Crosby and Wesley.
Bird, Byrd – Bird might make a great middle, but I’m partial to Byrd – an alternate spelling of the surname. It brings to mind jazz great Charlie “Bird” Parker and Antarctic explorer Admiral Richard Byrd.
Phoenix – This might be my favorite. A phoenix is a mythical bird, said to be reborn from the ashes. Naming Early Bird’s grandson Phoenix could feel a little bit dramatic – but I think it hits the right note. While the myth has its origins in ancient Egypt, it has equivalents in many of the world’s mythologies, and has also been retold from a Christian perspective. It’s truly a culture-spanning name!
Do you want all three of your son’s names to honor your father? A few combinations that appeal to me: Everett Phoenix Early, Orson Hardy Adler, Benno Arthur Bear, Benno Arthur Early, Everett Bernard Bear, Phoenix Hardy Adler, Arthur Phoenix Brave.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to honor your dad’s memory. Names might be inspired by his month or place of birth, his favorite pastimes, or his heroes. Even when a name feels challenging to reinvent, there’s always an opportunity!
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on June 16th, 2015 at 11:32 pm
I love the name Early. I like it with New Englandy names like Early Alpheus or Boston Early, etc.
It’s funny, but it never occurred to me to nickname it Earl. But I imagine others would think of it. I also love Ellery.
If you don’t like Bernard, what about Bernal? Bern? Berne? Bernardo? Bert? Bertram?
There are some cool names for boys that are bird names: Heron, Robin, Gannet, Jay, Drake, Peregrine, Falcon.
If it were me, I’d make Early be a middle name, but if you don’t like that, I agree about finding something else about your father to honor.
Best of luck.
on June 16th, 2015 at 11:48 pm
I have a similar Earl dilemma. I’ve seen Errol used as a variation, but the meaning differs by site. Another option is to use a name like Duke, which has the same feel and theme as Earl but with more appeal.
on June 17th, 2015 at 12:19 am
I love the idea of choosing an avian name to honor your dad’s nickname, Early Bird. In poetry, the lark is known as the bird of the morning, the original early bird as it were. Lark or Larkin could be great options! I personally prefer Larkin of the two options.
Lark also makes me think of a skylark. Sky or Skyler could be a fun choices, for where else do we look for birds?
on June 17th, 2015 at 12:31 am
Oh, I also just thought of Conrad. Whenever I hear that name, my mind fills in Birdie- Conrad Birdie from the musical Bye, Bye, Birdie.
on June 17th, 2015 at 12:33 am
I actually really like the combination, Conrad Larkin.
on June 17th, 2015 at 1:41 am
I also really love the idea of not just honoring dad, but keeping the name Early on your family tree… just maybe moving it into the second or third position.
What about honoring dad in a different, maybe more subtle way as well. Ideas: If he was born in August you could use some form of Augustus. Maybe you could use the name of the city/town where he was born. Did he love his garden (Gardener) or love to hunt (Hunter) or felt deeply drawn to his religion (Deacon) or… well, you get the idea there. When you remember him, what do you think about most… is there a way to draw from those memories and find a name that will always instantly have you remembering your father?
I’m interested to find out your final decision. Please update us! 😀
on June 17th, 2015 at 5:14 am
on June 17th, 2015 at 6:58 am
Given that you do two middle names for me, it’s as simple as pick a name you and your partner really love and then have Early Bernard after. I don’t believe anyone would call him Earl with Early in the first middle place. I do love the suggestion of Orson or Conrad though.
Orson Early Bernard
Conrad Early Bernard
or to not have three off the path names in a row:
Henry Early Bernard – (I think this kind of sounds like a knight or earl of old)
Connor Early Bernard
Would love to hear what you chose. Good luck!!
on June 17th, 2015 at 7:24 am
I think Conrad is a great fit! It seems to go with the other names well and it absolutely has that cool Conrad Birdie feel. I’m partial to the combo Conrad Arthur Early.
on June 17th, 2015 at 10:09 am
on June 17th, 2015 at 10:20 am
I really like Early and I just wouldn’t shorten it.
I like the idea of Phoenix – Early Bird’s grandson, Phoenix. Very strong, cool name. One of my favorites as well. Phoenix Early is a good combo I think.
And can I comment on Willow Delilah Blue – WOW! Beautiful!
on June 17th, 2015 at 10:28 am
What about Eben? It has the smoosh sound of Early Bernard but stands on its own, and it could be used as a first, middle or third with your other favorites.
on June 17th, 2015 at 10:39 am
What about other aspects of his life? Can you use a geographic name that is significant to his biography or your relationship (home town, favorite place, a vacation spot you enjoyed together)? If I have a daughter I want to name her for a lake where my dad and I spent many happy hours together when I was a child (it happens to be a lovely girl’s name). What about honoring a characteristic? If he was hardworking you could use a name that means something like that. Did he have a beloved book with a character name you like? I think Early is a really cool and interesting name, but I also love the idea of exploring your relationship with him, and memories of him, as a way of honoring him, too.
on June 17th, 2015 at 1:35 pm
I live the idea of Early, just as it is, in the middle spot. It would fit with many styles of first names (other than another word-name). Alternatively, Bernard or Berne would be nice in the middle.
on June 17th, 2015 at 2:21 pm
I love the bird name Finch! and I think Early would be a good middle, I also like most of these names, especially Prior and the animal names.
on June 18th, 2015 at 3:41 am
Not a big fan of Phoenix, especially as a 1st name. It’s embarrassingly feminine (a symbol of women) in East Asia… which is a huge percentage of the world’s population.
But I love the idea @pow2 had of Finch. Jay would be another, low-key middle. Vesper is another bird, and although mostly feminine, I could see it as a unisex middle. Argus might be another aviary middle possibility. Teal is also a bird, along with a color. Prion, Heron, Falcon, Crane (<3), Dunlin (this could be a first, as could Crane), Monarch, Larkin, Hawk, Swift, Tanager, Oriole, Grey (African Grey) and Cardinal could all work.
Colm and Callum mean 'dove', and Corbin means 'raven'. Shay means 'hawk-like', according to some sources. Chayton means 'falcon'(and I think it would fit in quite well with the siblings). Gavin and Gawain can both mean 'white hawk'. Shaw also means 'hawk-like'. Byrne means 'raven', as does Raban. Lonan means 'little blackbird'. Arden means 'eagle valley'. Ander means 'eagle of Thor'. Arnold means 'eagle power'. Drake can mean 'male duck'.
Early is quite a cool middle, imho. It may be a bit of a stretch, but Sirius is the morning star. It comes out quite early in the morning.
on June 18th, 2015 at 1:44 pm
I love peach25’s idea of Eben as a way to smoosh Early and Bernard together. I think it’s a wonderfully handsome name that doesn’t get much recognition. Eben is pronounced like Evan with a B sound instead of the V sound. I would love to put my vote for Eben Phoenix. I won’t even suggest a third name because I believe Eben and Phoenix do such a wonderful of honoring the aspects of your father’s name that you wanted to preserve, you deserve to just pick any name you love for that third spot! I’m very excited to hear the name you choose to go with your beautiful girls, please keep us updated, Name Sage!
on June 18th, 2015 at 2:41 pm
Please use the name Early! Such a unique name to pass on. I would pick a first name that you and your husband love and choose Early as the Middle or Early Bernard as the double middle. I also like the suggestions of bird inspired names such as Larkin, Peregrine nn Perry, Phoenix, etc. I also think that Bird as a first name is so very cool probably because of the Jazz association.
on June 22nd, 2015 at 1:49 pm
I hope you will stick with Early as a middle name. I put my vote in for Conrad Arthur Early because of how good it sounds. Just make sure that honoring the past doesn’t complicate the name too much. Pick a name you love to say for the first name, and Early will compliment it very nicely. You may consider adding another middle name to honor another family member. I’ve also seen parents honor America and patriotism and freedom by using a name from one of our Founding Fathers. Maybe the two middle names could be Benjamin Early or Thomas Early.
on July 29th, 2015 at 3:40 pm
Some names you can spell using the letters of Early Bernard:
Adalbern, Adelbern, Aerlaend, Aerlendr, Alderney, Ardelean, Arlaendr, Bearnard, Erlaendr, Erlander;
Abelard, Abenner, Aerland, Aerlend, Arabern, Arlaend, Arlandr, Arlendr, Arnaldr, Baander, Bardlee, Bardley, Barnard, Bernald, Bernerd, Blayden, Bradlee, Bradley, Braedan, Braeden, Braelen, Braelyn, Brandar, Braydan, Brayden, Braydn, Braylen, Breydan, Breyden, Brynlee, Delaney, Eberrad, Erlandr, Erlendr, Landree, Leander, Leandre, Randale, Raynald, Rearden, Reynald, Reynard, Reynder;
Aadler, Aalden, Aalder, Aarden, Aarren, Abdeel, Abelen, Adbeel, Adelan, Adelar, Aderyn, Aelred, Alaryn, Albaer, Albany, Alberd, Aleran, Andela, Andere, Andrea, Andrey, Arland, Arlend, Arnald, Balder, Barany, Barden, Barend, Barney, Bayard, Baylee, Beland, Benard, Benaya, Berard, Berend, Bernal, Berner, Bladen, Bledar, Bradan, Braden, Brande, Brandr, Brandy, Brayan, Brydan, Bryden, Brylee, Brynel, Dabney, Daelen, Darany, Darlan, Darnel, Darrel, Darren, Darryl, Dayane, Daylan, Daylen, Deeyan, Delane, Delany, Dernel, Derral, Derrel, Derren, Derryl, Derryn, Dreyer, Dylane, Elander, Erland, Erlend, Eydnar, Lander, Landry, Lebana, Leeban, Lenard, Leraan, Nabeel, Nadare, Nadeer, Nadeer, Radner, Randal, Randel, Rayane, Rayber, Rayden, Raylan, Raynal, Renald, Renard, Reynel, Ryland, Yandel, Yarden, Ybarra;
Aabel, Aaden, Aadne, Aadyn, Aaren, Aarle, Aarne, Aarre, Aaryn, Abaye, Abdel, Abdyl, Abele, Abeln, Abner, Abney, Abran, Abrar, Abyad, Adare, Adeel, Adlay, Adlen, Adler, Adnan, Adnar, Adner, Adran, Adren, Aedan, Aeden, Aedyn, Aelan, Aerra, Aland, Alane, Alarr, Alban, Alber, Aldan, Aldar, Alden, Alder, Alera, Alred, Anael, Anarr, Anbay, Anbey, Andar, Andel, Ander, Andre, Andry, Anele, Arald, Aran, Arany, Arbel, Arben, Arber, Ardal, Ardel, Arden, Arely, Arena, Arend, Arlan, Arlen, Arley, Arnab, Arnar, Arnel, Arner, Arran, Arren, Aryan, Aryel, Aydan, Aydar, Ayden, Aylan, Baard, Badal, Badar, Bader, Badre, Balan, Balar, Baldr, Banel, Baran, Barea, Barna, Barra, Barre, Barry, Bayer, Bayne, Beard, Beery, Belan, Belar, Belen, Bened, Beran, Bered, Berel, Beren, Bernd, Berne, Berny, Berry, Beryl, Beyer, Blaan, Blade, Blaer, Bland, Blane, Blare, Blayn, Brady, Brand, Breda, Brede, Breen, Bryan, Bryar, Bryer, Byard, Byran, Byrne, Daban, Dalan, Dalby, Dalen, Daley, Danay, Danel, Darbe, Darby, Darel, Daren, Darra, Darry, Darya, Daryl, Daryn, Dayan, Dayle, Dayne, Deane, Delby, Delyn, Deneb, Deral, Deray, Derby, Deren, Derry, Derya, Deryl, Deryn, Deyan, Draal, Dylan, Dylen, Eadne, Ebner, Edern, Edlan, Edlen, Ednar, Edren, Eerla, Eerne, Eland, Elard, Eldar, Elden, Elder, Elery, Eleya, Elnar, Elner, Elyab, Elyan, Enael, Enare, Endar, Endel, Ender, Endre, Enerr, Erald, Erane, Erard, Erdal, Erlan, Erlar, Ernad, Ernar, Ernel, Erner, Eyarr, Laban, Landy, Lanre, Laran, Laren, Larry, Layne, Leary, Leban, Lenar, Lenry, Leray, Lerna, Lydar, Lyder, Nabal, Nabar, Nadab, Nadal, Nader, Nayab, Nayar, Nayel, Nayra, Ndale, Neale, Neely, Neral, Nerey, Nyder, Rabal, Raban, Radan, Radya, Radyr, Raeen, Randy, Rayan, Rayen, Rayne, Ready, Rebel, Reden, Renly, Reyan, Reyer, Rybar, Rydel, Ryder, Rylan, Rylee, Rylen, Yaden, Yalda, Yared, Yaren, Yende, Yerda, Yered;
Aale, Aane, Abal, Aban, Abda, Abed, Abel, Aben, Able, Adal, Adan, Adar, Adel, Aden, Adne, Adra, Adyn, Aeyn, Alad, Alae, Alan, Alar, Alay, Alba, Albe, Alby, Aled, Alen, Aler, Aley, Alyn, Anar, Anda, Ande, Andy, Anel, Arad, Aray, Arba, Arda, Arel, Aren, Arey, Arle, Arly, Arna, Arnd, Arne, Arny, Arra, Arya, Arye, Ayal, Ayer, Baal, Baar, Bada, Bade, Badr, Baer, Bala, Bale, Bane, Bard, Bare, Barn, Baye, Bean, Bear, Bede, Beer, Bela, Bene, Bera, Bern, Blar, Brad, Brae, Bran, Bray, Brea, Bree, Bren, Brey, Bryn, Byrd, Daan, Dael, Daen, Dale, Daly, Dan, Dana, Dane, Danr, Dany, Dara, Dare, Darl, Dary, Daya, Dean, Deen, Dela, Dene, Dera, Deya, Deya, Dray, Dray, Dree, Dree, Dren, Dren, Dyer, Dyre, Eada, Earn, Ebal, Ebed, Eben, Eber, Edal, Edan, Edel, Eden, Eder, Edyn, Eela, Eera, Elad, Elan, Elar, Elbe, Elya, Elye, Enar, Enda, Enea, Ener, Eran, Eray, Ereb, Erel, Eren, Erla, Erle, Erne, Erny, Erra, Eryl, Eryr, Eyad, Eyal, Eyan, Laar, Land, Lane, Lare, Larn, Lary, Lean, Lear, Lena, Leny, Lera, Leyn, Lyne, Nadr, Nael, Nala, Naya, Neal, Neel, Neer, Nele, Nere, Nyal, Nyle, Raba, Rade, Rael, Rana, Rand, Rane, Raya, Read, Real, Reba, Reda, Reed, Rene, Ryad, Ryan, Ryen, Ryer, Ryne, Yaba, Yael, Yala, Yale, Yara, Ybar, Yeln, Yera, Ylan, Yrar
on August 9th, 2015 at 7:42 pm
Friday August 7, 2015 @ 12:05 p.m. I delivered a beautiful 9lb baby boy!
After much debate we decided to pick a first name we love (Lincoln) and incorporate Daddy’s initials into the middle slots; introducing Lincoln Elijah Bear <3
Thanks for the help name sage!
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