Name Sage: Third Boy Needs a Cool and Traditional Name
I have two boys: Jack Mansfield and Jude Michael and just found out our third child is another boy! My list - approximately 292,929,292 pages long - includes all the simply beautiful and perfect name combinations I absolutely adore for girls.
Meanwhile, my boy list is … lacking. Typically I gravitate towards classic, royal, timeless names. Nothing super trendy or out of the box. I also tend to like short names.
My first two boys have the same initials but I don’t necessarily need my third to share them. I can’t think of another J name that is even remotely tolerable. I like James Prescott - but I'm not too impressed with name James by itself. We are open to any names or initials. Some boy names I currently like are Henry, Maxwell/Max, Benjamin, Harry, and Eli.
Our last name sounds like Howell with a P. Please help! I’m swimming in a sea of gender name disappointment!
The Name Sage replies:
So often, we have the perfect name in mind for a son ... but then we find out we're expecting a daughter! Or the opposite.
It's frustrating, isn't it?
And yet, I wonder if looking back at your girls' list might reveal some potential names? If you love Alice, maybe Ellis would appeal? Or if you're all about Thea, then Theo and Theodore seem like possibilities to consider.
Not only are Jack and Jude short, they're also energetic and brisk. Let's focus on that quality. Because Sage and Paul are also one-syllable picks, but I don't think they sound quite like Jack and Jude's brothers.
Bright and upbeat, Beau has risen in use over the last several years. It's sometimes spelled Bo, and names like Bodhi and Boden are increasingly popular. But Beau feels like the most traditional of the bunch.
In steady use for five decades, Chase has become a modern staple. It's strong and active, and while Chase started out as a surname, it feels like a match for Jack and Jude.
A hero from Irish legend, Finn has history aplenty. It's also now one of the official Star Wars names, thanks to John Boyega's character. While Finn's not quite as traditional as Jack in the US, it has the same adventurous spirit and solid backstory.
For well over a century, Leo has never left the US Top 1000. It's a little bit vintage grandpa name. But mostly, Leo roars - an old school favorite with plenty of twenty-first century spark.
So often, fictional men of action are named Jack. But Luke is big, too. (Think Cage, Skywalker, Hobbs.) It shares sounds with Jude, as well, making the trio roll off the tongue: Jack, Jude, Luke.
Nathan and Nathaniel seem a little too long for your tastes, but why not just Nate? It stands nicely on its own, a short name equal parts traditional and current.
Speaking of short, Theo drops the last syllable in traditional Theodore. If Leo is close, but not quite, Theo might be exactly what you're after.
While I can easily imagine naming a son just Nate or just Theo, Will gives me pause. I like it best as William-called-Will. Jack, Jude, and Will sound like brothers - three strong names with deep roots.
The first name I thought of, though, was already on your list - Max. And while you mentioned that you don't love James on its own, I wonder if you'd like Jameson in the middle spot? Max Jameson Howell-with-a-P could be perfect with Jack and Jude.
From my list, I'm drawn to Luke. Luke Prescott Howell-with-a-P is handsome! And I love the way Jack, Jude, and Luke fit together like a puzzle. But if you can imagine using a slightly longer name, William offers all the tradition and the nickname Will.
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