Name Sage: Finding Romantic Boy Names

June 17, 2020 Abby Sandel
romantic boy names

They love their daughter’s long, romantic name, and have a great story behind it, too. Now it’s time to find long, romantic boy names for Ophelia Thi’s new brother!

Kristian writes:

We just found out that our second child is a boy, a sibling for Ophelia Thi.

Both this pregnancy and our last we never have come up with a single boy name that we love.

Our daughter Ophelia‘s name holds a lot of meaning for my husband and I. We named her for The Lumineers’ song “Ophelia.” My husband and I met planning an outdoor music festival.  The year we met the Lumineers were the opening act. Her middle name is a family name and a tie to my husband’s Vietnamese heritage.

Our son’s middle name will be Tien after my husband’s late father.

I would love to stay away from anything in the Top 100. We both like, but don’t love Oscar and Felix. Plus, I worry my mother-in-law will have difficulty pronouncing the x in Felix.

My husband is on the fence about Atticus and Crosby and has vetoed Arlo, Fraser, Ezra and Otis.

I would love help on a name for Ophelia Thi’s brother!

The Name Sage replies:

When your first child’s name feels like it was pre-ordained by fate, it can be even more challenging to name a sibling.

Here’s what jumps out at me: Ophelia is long and distinctive. Few names sound anything like it, and it offers drama and romance aplenty. Ophelia suggests adventure.

The boy names you’ve considered – Oscar, Otis, Arlo, Felix, Fraser, Crosby, Ezra – read like solid citizens. But maybe what they lack is that extra bit of oomph. After all, Ophelia is at least three syllables. (And, the way the Lumineers sing it, more like five!)

Let’s look for long, romantic boy names and see if they click.

While we’ll avoid the current Top 100, it’s worth noting that plenty of popular names fit this style, too. Think of Sebastian, Julian, or Gabriel – all of which might sound just right with Ophelia.


Benedict – This name seems a little more buttoned-up than some others on this list. But it has a long, strong, and distinctive sound. Benedict Cumberbatch’s star turns as a Marvel superhero and Sherlock Holmes lend it polish and dash, making Benedict an equal to Ophelia.  

Caspian Even if your Ophelia isn’t directly named for Shakespeare’s character, the name still feels literary. Caspian comes from the map, but it’s also the name of a prince from CS LewisNarnia series. He’s handsome and brave, and fights to reclaim his kingdom and rule it well.

Finnian Finn stepped out of Irish legend, and it’s an awfully short name compared to Ophelia. Finnian shares Finn’s roots, but adds some syllables. It’s sometimes spelled with a single ‘n’, as in Finian’s Rainbow, a Broadway musical turned 1968 movie starring Fred Astaire.

Leonidas – You might shorten Leonidas to the wildly popular Leo, but then again, nothing says you must. Like Atticus, Leonidas is straight out of the ancient world. The story of King Leonidas of Sparta is widely known, but others have answered to the name across centuries.

Montgomery – Like Crosby, Montgomery started out as a surname. But it’s climbing in use as a given name, too. There’s a Revolutionary War hero and a Hollywood leading man to make it familiar. Montgomery sounds distinguished, while nickname Monty feels downright friendly.

Orion – Borrowed from one of the most familiar constellations, Orion is the hunter from Greek mythology. Both nature names and those borrowed from myth are having a moment; that puts Orion midway between River and Atlas. Like Oscar and Otis, Orion matches sister Ophelia’s O.  

Raphael – An archangel, a Renaissance master, and, of course, a ninja turtle, Raphael hits the familiar-but-uncommon mark nicely. Rafael with an ‘f’ ranks higher than Raphael in the US these days, but the shared ‘ph’ between sibling names could make for a subtle connection.

Tennyson – Let’s end on another literary note. British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson remains among the best-known of nineteenth century writers. Tennyson means “son of Dennis,” but this name feels sweeping and romantic. It fits right in with Jameson and Harrison, but feels bolder at the same time.  

Overall, I love the idea of Orion for Ophelia’s brother, particularly if you’re drawn to the idea of using another O name. From your original list, I think Atticus has potential, too. It’s a little longer, slightly literary, and distinctive, too.

But Caspian remains my top choice. Like Ophelia, it’s the kind of name that’s rising in popularity today, but still feels nicely distinctive. Even if your son’s name doesn’t have quite the backstory yet, it’s a name that promises a lifetime of adventure.

Readers, what would you suggest as a brother name for Ophelia? Do you think I’ve been too quick to dismiss some of the shorter boy names on their list?

About the author


Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at

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