Name Sage: Baby Names for Boy #3
Their grandfather is Scottish, so we would like to have a name that is also familiar in the UK. I don’t want to repeat a first initial, so C and D names are out.
Names we have considered:
- Ethan – too popular
- Sebastian – unsure it’s right, and also rising in popularity
- Harrison – my husband likes; I don’t
- Thomas – but we call Dominic “Dom” and it would be confusing to have Dom and Tom
- Rhys – we both like this one, but our neighbors/friends have a Rhys
- Zeke – my choice
- Desmond – my choice
- Gabriel – my husband’s choice
Help us find the perfect fit for our third boy!
The Name Sage replies:
Cameron and Dominic are such handsome names! They’re longer, and shorten easily – but they’re not so long that they require a nickname. And while they’re both Top 100 choices in the US, they don’t seem like they’re everywhere.
I do think Cameron feels slightly British; Dominic, less so. But when I look at the numbers, they’re both in steady use in the UK. Interestingly, Desmond – the name that stands out as the most English to my American ear – seems to be out of favor with British parents today.
Before we look at the rest of your list, let’s talk about popularity for a minute. It sounds like you’d prefer to avoid Top Ten names, and maybe even anything in the Top 50 or so. Rhys ranks a relatively rare Number 483 in the US, but that’s the name that repeats in your circle of friends – not Top Ten Ethan or fast-rising Sebastian.
If we cross off the most popular names on your list, Ethan, Gabriel, and Sebastian are all gone. Dom and Tom is not ideal, so let’s eliminate Thomas, too. That leaves Harrison, Rhys, Zeke, and Desmond, all of which could work – but it sounds like you don’t quite agree on any of those four.
Time to add some options!
Elliott – Elliott is another surname name that’s equally well known as a given name, thanks to characters from Pete’s Dragon to E.T. to Law & Order. It could shorten to Eli if you’re so inclined. Elliot and Elliott are Top 100 choices in the UK; they’re slightly less common in the US, but not by much. Cameron, Dominic, and Elliott sound like brothers. Two other ideas with a similar sound: Everett and Emmett.
Jasper – Jasper is a gemstone name that’s been worn by several prominent figures in Great Britain, from the fifteenth century Jasper Tudor to contemporary novelist Jasper Fforde. It’s a strong choice on either side of the Atlantic.
Nathaniel – Nathaniel has been in the US Top 100 since the 1970s, but it’s never been wildly popular. I wonder if, like Sebastian, it feels a little bit too long and maybe not quite English enough? I’m leaving it on this list, though, because it meets your criteria so well: familiar in the UK, not too common, with a different initial and a distinctive short form.
Hugo – Hugo is much more popular in the UK than the US, but that might be a good thing. It’s shorter, and I’d probably call Hugo nickname-proof, which makes it not quite a perfect match. But from a popularity perspective, Hugo is perfection.
Julian – Julian might be too popular for your tastes, and yet I think it’s a good fit style-wise. Cameron, Dominic, and Julian sound like brothers without repeating sounds. Julian shortens to Jules or Jude. As for whether it’s English? Julian Fellowes is the creator of Downton Abbey.
Jonathan – Parents hoping to avoid common names often overlook names that have been in steady use for many years. But sometimes these are the best bets – they’re familiar and likeable, but aren’t likely to climb into the Top Ten anytime soon. I think Jonathan goes wonderfully well with Cameron and Dominic.
And yet, I wonder if you’re overlooking the exactly right name: Ethan. It sounds like it would be your top choice if only it wasn’t so popular. It is a long-time Top Ten name in the US, and a current Top 20 pick in the UK.
But a Top Ten name isn’t what it used to be. Thirty years ago, the Number One name (Michael) was given to more than 3% of all boys born that year. The current Number One name (Noah) was given to less than 1% of all boys. In other words, a Number One name by today’s standards wouldn’t have made the Top 20 when you were born. The result is that even Noah is less likely to be Noah J. in kindergarten.
But if popularity is still a concern, I’d suggest Jasper. It feels slightly English, familiar but distinctive, and is definitely less popular than many of the possibilities you’ve considered.
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on February 17th, 2016 at 12:13 am
Have you considered Lachlan- it is all the way down at 900 but is very popular in other parts of the world. It is Scottish so a nice tribute to the grandfather.
on February 17th, 2016 at 12:17 am
Ethan is a wonderful name. I’ve taught for 28 years and have only met one, a current 11th grader. Not sure how rampant it will become, but as it is a classic, I wouldn’t worry. I’ve actually taught more Camerons and Dominics than Ethans.
McTavish or Tavish for Scot’s Thomas are lovely, but considerably more unique than your first two choices.
I love Hamish as well and while Hugo is not my favorite, I do love Hugh.
Cameron, Dominic, and Hugh.
I also love Robert with Cameron and Dominic. Cam, Dom, and Rob.
on February 17th, 2016 at 3:00 am
I like Elliott the most because of the nickname Eli to go along with Cam and Dom. I think Cameron Dominic and Jasper don’t really sound like brothers but Ethan does!
But I agree that you shouldn’t not go with a name because it’s ‘too popular’. With the variety of names given these days, a name in the top ten social security list doesn’t mean you’ll hear it everywhere.
on February 17th, 2016 at 8:15 am
Alistair, three syllables like your other sons and with a Scottish connection too.
on February 17th, 2016 at 8:24 am
The most obvious choice initially for me was Samuel. I love that Cameron and Dominic share the ‘m’ sound with different endings (sorry, most of my suggestions keep this ‘m’ sound as I think it works so well). Since Gabriel is DH’s choice, I wonder if Samuel is a logical progression? It is as classic and familiar as Cameron and Dominic, landing in the top 100 in the UK but not the top 20. I know more Camerons than Samuels; however, in the U.S. it might be different. Sam and Cam could also be problematic.
Thomas also works so well with your boys because of the ‘m’ sound. Would you consider Tommy as a nickname? Dom and Tommy aren’t too rhyme-y, plus Tommy ages well for a baby, kid, adult and old man. Or, since you are of Scottish descent, how about the familiar Scottish nickname, Tam? (See Tam O’Shanter – Robert Burns). Dom and Tam are definitely not too matchy (though again the problem could arise if Cameron goes by Cam).
If Thomas is a no, what about Timothy? Again, very traditional in the UK but not overly popular. Plus Cam, Dom and Tim fit better than Cam, Dom and Tom/Tam.
Another one that struck me is Simon? Again it is traditional and familiar, but not popular. Something about Desmond reminds me of Simon (perhaps the similar ending). It means “the listener” and could fit well on a baby brother of Cameron and Dominic. if Simon is too simple, how about Simeon? Cam, Dom and Sim are completely different and yet fit as a sibset.
Other names that jump into my mind: Cormac (though repetition of ‘C’ but with cute name ‘Mac’), Damian/Damien (though repetition of ‘D’), Emmanuel (Cam, Dom and Manny are adorable, biblical feel of Gabriel), Hamish (Scottish, familiar/popular in UK, not in US), Raymond (similar sound to Desmond, cute nickname Ray), Roman, Solomon (cute nicknames: Saul, Solo – I am definitely not a Star Wars fan…)
Out of the above, my top pick would be Timothy. It has a different sound/structure to your other boy’s names but shares the three syllables and ‘m’ sound, fitting them as siblings. My next choice would be Simon or Solomon. Both fit in with the sounds of your top pick of Desmond but seem to be more accessible and don’t repeat the D of Dominic. Plus they have the Biblical appeal of DHs Gabriel.
If none of the above elements matter or you don’t like those options, from your choice I really like the idea of Ezekiel (nickname, Zeke). Cameron, Dominic and Ezekiel – Cam, Dom and Zeke are an adorable match. Plus it keeps the three syllables and DH’s Gabriel appeal. A lot of push seems to be for Ethan but I think Ezekiel is much more handsome and much less popular. I also really like Sebastian.
From the sage’s suggestions, I personally prefer Elijah to Elliot; however, I think Elijah is more popular in the U.S. than here in the U.K. I also think Emmett would be a nice choice. It is used in the UK but not common. (Plus I still really like the shared ‘m’ sound).
Jasper is rising in popularity here but I am unsure if that would affect your decision in the U.S.
Nathaniel and Hugo are okay but I’m not sure they fit with your style.
I think Jonathan could work well.
As for distinctly British names: William (Liam) is always a solid; especially in Scotland.
Harris (if Harrison is out, what about the name of the Scottish Island and tweed?)
Callum/Kallum (plus nickname Cal/Kal)
I’m pretty sure all of these are more popular in Scotland than in the U.S.
However at the end of the day, the name you pick has to fit in well with the middle name, surname and your child. Ideally with the siblings but only you know the right choice for your family. I hope I could help. Good Luck and congrats on your third son!
on February 17th, 2016 at 10:06 am
the first name that came to mind when I read this post was Damian and I really like the sound of Cameron, Dominic and Damian
I know you didn’t want another D name but you also came up with Desmond on your own so I think this might work…
it has an m in the third spot which would tie everything together
it has three syllables just like the others
but it has a different vowel sound in the first syllable with the long a so it doesn’t rhyme with anything
and although it starts with dominic’s first letter it ends with camerons last letter but it still doesn’t sound like those other two names…
I think it’s a great sibling name that works but isn’t too matchy
on February 17th, 2016 at 10:20 am
I like the suggestions of Jasper, Elliott and Nathaniel for you. A few others:
Sullivan (love the nn Sully)
on February 17th, 2016 at 11:01 am
I love Nathaniel. It’s a classy full name with a spunky nn–Nate. I also love Travis.. Cam, Dom, and Trav go well together.
on February 17th, 2016 at 11:16 am
I like Julian with Cameron & Dominic.
on February 17th, 2016 at 11:46 am
I love the suggestions of Elliott and Julian. Both are perfect with Cameron and Dominic.
on February 17th, 2016 at 12:25 pm
Cameron, Dominic and Lewis
Cameron, Dominic and Jenson
Cameron, Dominic and James
Cameron, Dominic and Morgan
Cameron, Dominic and Robin
Cameron, Dominic and Leo
Cameron, Dominic and Jack
Cameron, Dominic and Fergus
Cameron, Dominic and Angus
Personally, I think James is the best fit 🙂
on February 17th, 2016 at 1:35 pm
Jules or Desmin, perhaps?
on February 17th, 2016 at 5:09 pm
I was going to suggest Elliot, but Namesage beat me to it! I also like suggestions Nathaniel, Lachlan, Graham, and Alistair. I have a student named Harrison and he is a darling, so the name has grown on me.
on February 17th, 2016 at 5:38 pm
If Ethan is your first choice, I really don’t think you should let popularity sway you. It’d definitely a classic, and unlikely to sound dated in 15 years. On the other end of the spectrum, Sebastian is absolutely swoon-worthy, and if no one in your neighborhood has snatched it up yet, I think you should go for it! I also like NS’s suggestion of Elliot: it’s adorable on a toddler, while also being a name a young man can grow up into.
Other names I like for you:
on February 17th, 2016 at 8:24 pm
I was sold on Elliott by the first post, but after reading the suggestion that an M in the middle was a wonderful way to bind the brothers together, I changed my mind. I know Timothy fits perfectly and Cam, Dom and Tim make a perfect sibset! They not only have their own initials, but also each have their own vowel… a, o and i.
Cameron, Dominic and Timothy nn Tim
Cameron, Dominic and Jameson nn Jim
Cameron, Dominic and Sumner nn Sum
Cameron, Dominic and Samson nn Sam but rhymes with Cam
on February 17th, 2016 at 11:06 pm
I love the suggestions of Julian, Jasper, or Tavish, but I also think your pick of Desmond is so handsome and perfect with Cameron and Dominic.
My first thought when I read your post was Bastien/Bastian. Less popular than Sebastian, this name works even better than Sebastian in your sibling set, in my opinion. Plus it sounds more wearable and less like the crab from “The Little Mermaid” than Sebastian does!
on February 18th, 2016 at 1:42 am
I love the suggestions of Alasdair/Alastair & Jameson!
on February 18th, 2016 at 6:35 am
My boys are Xavier (zay-vee-er) and Elijah, we shorten their names to Xave and Eli. I love both Cameron and Dominic, but we couldn’t use them due to friends and family having those names or using those names.
I think that both my boys names would work well with these, and they are not super popular, so fit your criteria well.
Cameron, Dominic and Xavier
Cameron, Dominic and Elijah
on February 18th, 2016 at 11:51 am
My husband’s name is Nathaniel and he is English. Which is probably why I have always felt like the name is from the UK. It fits him so well- sophisticated and fun (wise but youthful!)
on February 18th, 2016 at 6:21 pm
I noticed 2 things about your sons’ names. 1: The nicknames are the first 3 letters and end in M. 2. They are 3 syllables. With this is mind I came up with a few “classic” names that closely fit the sound pattern you’ve already got it going on.
Jameson (Jem or Jim)
Others that may fit your style though they don’t completely follow the pattern:
on February 18th, 2016 at 7:53 pm
I like the suggestions Simon, Robert and Alistair, nickname Alec for your sibset. Julian is really nice too. Perhaps Peter as well.
on February 19th, 2016 at 9:22 am
If you’re looking for something Scottish I really wouldn’t go with Jasper. It’s barely even used in England never mind Scotland.
Cameron’s a good Scottish name. Other ones which aren’t too common here are Lewis, Harris, Arran (all Islands), Lachlan and Duncan.
More common are Calum, Alistair/Alasdair, Alexander, Graham, Ewan and James.
on February 19th, 2016 at 12:44 pm
i live in scotland and i can confirm that cameron and dominic are a realistic sibset, well done. none of the name suggested by the namesage are very realistic, unfortunately. this is not england 🙂
if you like rhys, how about ross? that’s a name you actually hear around here.
andrew (patron saint of scotland)
on February 19th, 2016 at 6:47 pm
I’ve come up with some names you might like!
Charlie (It has a different phonetic sound ;D)
Hope I helped x
on February 20th, 2016 at 7:14 am
Harrison is cute and balances with Dominic and Cameron
on February 21st, 2016 at 1:40 pm
I do like the name Nathaniel. You could always call him Nate, and I have a friend named Elliot, and that’s a good nme. I think it would be a good name to user as well as Nathaniel.
on February 22nd, 2016 at 12:18 am
Cameron, Dominic & Samson (although if you call Cameron “Cam”, I guess “Sam” wouldn’t work, but you could also cal him Sonny)
Cameron, Dominic & Lochlan (I think it’s pronounced Lock-Lyn, I newly really like this name with the nickname “Lock”)
Cameron, Dominic & Aaron
Cameron, Dominic & Bennett
Cameron, Dominic & Maxwell
Cameron, Dominic & Spencer
Cameron, Dominic & Maceo
Cameron, Dominic & Miles
Cameron, Dominic & Milo
Cameron, Dominic & Moses
Cameron, Dominic & Matteo “Teo”
Cameron, Dominic & Wylie
Cameron, Dominic & Evan
Cameron, Dominic & Evander
Cameron, Dominic & Emmett
Cameron, Dominic & Barrett
Cameron, Dominic & Basil “Baz” (Baz-ill, you could also spell it Bazil)
Cameron, Dominic & Fred “Freddie”
Cameron, Dominic & Edgar “Eddie”
Cameron, Dominic & Skander
on March 5th, 2016 at 5:17 pm
Zeke is awesome, hope you go with that.
on March 31st, 2016 at 7:05 am
I agree with lots of the above comments, go for something with an ‘m’ in it to match the older brothers! I especially like Timothy, and also Emmett.
on April 9th, 2016 at 4:54 am
These are my favourites. I think Eamon would work if you want Ethan but feel it’s too popular. Eamon has a similar sound and is very British. I believe it’s Scottish, if I remember rightly (Scots, please feel free to correct me!) I love your boys’ names. 🙂
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