Name Sage: Choosing a Family Name for Baby #3

Name Sage: Choosing a Family Name for Baby #3

Tania writes:

We are expecting our third child this June and are super excited – although I am tired of calling him my little Ninja!

It’s a boy.

My name is Titania. I was named for the character from Shakespeare, though I go by Tania. Our last name sounds like tea-sharer.

My husband is Vincent Avondale Lastname II. He goes by Vince. Our son is Vincent Avondale Lastname III. We call him Dale.

Our daughter is Juliet Elise. Juliet is my mom’s middle name.

My preference is that our new son is named after some elder in the family so he does not feel left out.

Some family names are: Christopher, Clarke, Connor, Matthew, Mitchell, and Patrick. Other names we have considered include Andrew, Colin, Daniel, Evan, Gabriel, Johnathan, Julian, Nicholas, Timothy, and William.

We both like Andrew as a middle name and that would make all their middle initials a vowel. I also want their names to flow well together. Dale and Jules sound good when I say it, and so do Vincent and Juliet.

Also, I don’t want my sons to be RAT, or some other initials that will not work together.

Lastly, my son has decided that the baby’s name is DJ and is sticking with it, I just thought I would throw that in there!

The Name Sage replies:

Usually it’s the first name that proves challenging, and once that’s settled, the rest falls into place.

But in some naming situations, it’s the combination that matters. I think you’re struggling with how to best mix and match the options on your list to find a first and middle combination that’s every bit as pleasing as your older children’s names.

You’ve done a beautiful job of reinventing family names for your children. They’re connected to their elders, but both children still have names for everyday use that are uniquely their own. I tend to agree with you that it’s important to find a family tie for your new son’s name, too.

Another thing that leaps out at me? Nicknames! Your older children’s names shorten easily to Dale and Jules. Even if they’re only for family use, it seems like the right name will continue that pattern, too.

So we’re looking for a combination with a built-in nickname, that incorporates a family name, avoids potentially awkward initials, and works well with your older children’s given names. And if we can use the initials DJ, that’s just icing on the cake!

Here are my top suggestions:

Andrew Christopher – It seems like Andrew is one name that speaks to both you and your husband. Rather than tuck it in the middle, would you consider it as a given name? The initials ACT are active and appealing, and Drew is the kind of nickname that pairs well with Dale and Jules.

Gabriel ConnorGabriel doesn’t have a family tie, but I think it works well with family name Connor in the middle spot. Gabriel shortens to Gabe, another great match for Dale and Jules.

William Patrick – This is probably the most traditional combination that can be made from your existing names, but here’s why it appeals: Dale, Jules, and Will all share the letter L. It’s a subtle connection, but one that ties the names together nicely.

Matthew ClarkeMatthew is, hands down, my favorite of the family names. It shortens to Matt, if you like. And I think it has the same solid, not trendy, feel of Vincent and Juliet. I like Matthew with Clarke especially, but it does make for a short name – three syllables, rather than the five for your older kids’ names. Matthew Timothy or Matthew Julian might also be great options.

Daniel Johnathan – If Dale says that his brother is DJ, it would be sort of fabulous if you could find the perfect DJ name, wouldn’t it? The trouble is that there are no D or J names on your family name list. Maybe the story of his brother choosing his name is enough of a connection to overcome that lack. Another option might be to use Daniel Julian, since there is a Juliet in your family – but then you’re using two related names for sister and brother, and honoring your mother twice. Would that cause hard feelings with other family members?

Nicholas Connor – I wonder if you would like the nickname Nico for Nicholas Connor? It works on two levels. First, Nico can be short for Nicholas. But it’s also a combination of NIcholas and COnnor. Dale, Jules, and Nico. Vincent, Juliet, and Nicholas – I think it might be my favorite combination of them all!

Colin Andrew – I’m having a tough time making Andrew work as a middle name with any of your family names – I suspect you’ve had the same reaction! I think the initials CAT work just fine, which means that both Christopher Andrew and Clarke Andrew are options. But for pure nickname-ability, I like Colin Andrew, called Cole. Dale, Jules, and Cole gives you the shared letter L again.

Another option, of course, is to go back to your family tree one more time, and see if there’s something you’ve overlooked. You might even try a name inspired by your given name – Tanner, Tate, Titan, and Ty are all possibilities.

Readers, can you suggest some name combinations to Tania for her son?