Surname Names for Boys: Help wanted!

Surname Names for Boys: Help wanted!

by Abby Sandel

They’re adopting baby number six in just a few weeks. Meaning matters, but so does fitting in with their family. Let’s help them find the right surname name choice for their new son!

Kate writes:

We just got the call that we have been chosen to adopt a baby boy. We are thrilled but need to pick a name soon.

We have five children: sons Cohen Reid and Adler Josiah, and daughters Kacey Josephine Pearl, Scout Alivia Jordan, and Harper Evangeline Raea.

One of this baby’s middle names will be Ripley.

While we have always talked about the name Fletcher with either the middle name Davis or Rhodes, I’m not convinced we have the right name for this baby.

I’ve recently heard the name Boone and love it but not sure it fits with our short, two-syllable A last name.

Other names we love: Wilder, Booker, Jude, Flynn, Gable, Lennon, Nash.

The meaning of the name is important to us. We love that Fletcher means an arrow maker, a person who hits the target. I love that Boone means blessed as this baby is a gift.

We would like to avoid using the same first initial of any of our other children.

The Name Sage replies:

Let’s start with what we know: you won’t be naming this baby Liam or James. Your style leans a little towards the unconventional, though still very current. And most of your kids’ names don’t make the US Top 100, so I suspect The Name will be relatively uncommon.

It also strikes me that you already have Adler and Harper. Maybe Fletcher doesn’t quite appeal because it sounds a little too much like his siblings’ names?

While ruling out anything ending with –r or staring with A, C, H, K, or S does write off some great possibilities, I don’t think that’s the hardest part.

Instead, it seems like getting the meaning right matters most. We’ll start there, and work backwards.

What do you think of Cohen, Adler, Kacey, Scout, Harper, and …

BennettSurname name Bennett comes directly from the name Benedict. In turn, Benedict comes from the Latin word blessed. That’s pretty close to Boone, but with an extra syllable that might make it flow better with your last name.

Brooks – How do you feel about names ending with s? In the US, we hear Brooke as feminine, but Brooks as reliably masculine. The image of a river suggests a journey, which seems like a romantic and appealing meaning.

Davis – You’ve considered Davis as a possible middle, but how about as a first? It comes from David, which has a great meaning – beloved.

Ellis – In English, Ellis comes from Elijah. But in Welsh, it traces back to a word meaning kind or benevolent. It shares the same ending as Brooks, so it’s something just a little different.

Everett – This name sounds crisp and modern, but Everett comes from an Old English name composed of words meaning brave and boar. It makes for a name that feels strong and determined.

Paxton – Strictly speaking, Paxton comes from an Old English given name. But it looks like just the Latin pax, for peace. That feels like an auspicious meaning.

Truett – Truett doesn’t actually come from the word true or trustworthy, but the sound conveys those virtues.

Overall, my favorite is Bennett. It splits the difference between the really rare names, like Adler, and the more popular ones, like Kacey. It has the same meaning as Boone, but the extra syllable might balance out your surname better.

Unless, of course, I can convince you to use Davis a a first name, because it checks all the boxes, too.

Maybe finding the right combination will make all the difference? Let’s have a poll on some possible full names, and see if one of those feels like The Name. And I should add that I wouldn’t rule out Fletcher or Boone at all – in fact, both names are included in the combinations below.

Readers, what would you name a brother for Cohen Reid, Adler Josiah, Kacey Josephine Pearl, Scout Alivia Jordan, and Harper Evangeline Raea?

Abby Sandel is the creator of name blog Appellation Mountain and writes Nameberry’s Name Sage column, offering wise advice on baby name questions submitted by Berries every other Wednesday. Abby lives outside of Washington DC with her husband and two children, Alex and Clio. You can reach her on Facebook , Instagram and Pinterest. For a chance to have your questions answered on Nameberry, contact Abby at