Unusual Boy Baby Names: A brother for Sage and Rocco

Unusual Boy Baby Names: A brother for Sage and Rocco

Her husband is wild about Harry in the middle spot, but they’re struggling to agree on a first name if baby number three is a boy.

Emma writes:

We are expecting baby number three and are stuck for a name if the baby is a boy.

Our first child is a girl named Sage India, and our second is a boy, Rocco Finn.

I am trying to find something that matches with these and I like slightly unique names.

My husband would like the baby if a boy to have the middle name Harry so something that goes with that too would be great!

Top of my list for boys are Brewer or Fox. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

The Name Sage replies:

Let’s begin in the middle.

When it comes to honor names, it might make sense to favor meaning over style. And yet, it seems like the overall flow of a name matters very much to you. I’m having a tough time working with Harry in the middle spot. Would your husband be satisfied with Harris or Harrison instead?

You’ve come up with some truly gorgeous names for your two older children. I wonder if trading Harry for Harris or Harrison would make it much easier to find the right combination. Because Brewer Harry sounds like a job title, and Fox Harry doesn’t seem quite right, either. But Brewer Harris? Fox Harrison? Those work beautifully.

Now, back to the firsts. While none of your favorite names are common, Fox falls just inside the US Top 1000. And Brewer? Brewer sits way outside, a name given to a mere 31 boys last year.

Still, both Fox and Brewer pair well with big brother Rocco and sister Sage. Let’s look for some more cool and modern boy names with history, that fall either right inside the current Top 1000, or somewhere slightly beyond while still feeling familiar.

BlaiseBlaise Harrison combines tradition and the unexpected – just like Rocco Finn. While Blaise sounds fiery, it boasts history galore. The name comes from ancient Rome. There’s mathematician Blaise Pascal, too. Blaise ranks Number 903 in the US right now; straight-up word name Blaze comes in even higher, at Number 858.

Calder – I can’t stop recommending Calder. Given to just 120 boys last year, this surname name has ties to the arts (thanks to sculptor Alexander Calder) and sports (via ice hockey’s rookie of the year award, the Calder Memorial Trophy). It feels rare, but very accessible.

DashDash Harrison sounds quite handsome, and if you’d like something longer, Dashiell Harris works, too. Verb name Dash ranks Number 780, while literary surname Dashiell sits a few hundred spots outside the current Top 1000. Sage, Rocco, and Dash make for an eclectic set, and yet they sound exactly right together.

HeathSage and Rocco both keep it short and simple, but still have bold, distinctive sounds. Heath shares that quality, too. It’s a nature name that caught on in the 1960s thanks to a television cowboy. (Though parents will think of Heath Ledger instead.) Today it remains at the edge of the US Top 1000, and feels underused.

Huxley – Is Huxley Harris too much H sound? I’m not sure, but I think a name with the letter X might be just what you’re seeking. Surname Huxley comes in at Number 867. The accomplished Huxley family included scientist Thomas and author Aldous, but this generation might think of Star Wars villain General Hux instead. Other x options include Felix, Loxley, Axel, and Knox.

RomeRoman ranks in the US Top 100, but place name Rome is far less familiar. It has a strong, distinctive sound and brings to mind both the eternal city and the ancient empire. Rocco and Rome would share an initial, which some parents prefer to avoid. But they don’t sound especially close; in fact, Rome works really well with Sage and Rocco.

Thatcher – The combination Thatcher Harris sounds so right to my ear. Like Brewer, Thatcher is a humble working man’s name. (A Thatcher repaired roofs made of straw.) It shares sounds with the rising Theodore, as well as established favorites like Hunter and Carter. But it stands at Number 832 right now, which means it remains fairly unusual.

Zen – One of Sage’s several meanings is wisdom. Zen echoes that idea. It literally translates to meditation or thought, but carries a deeper spiritual sense, too. Zoe Saldana used the name for her youngest son. Zen might be a mini-name, but that Z sound makes it memorable.

It strikes me that your challenge with boy names might be more about the middle than the first. If you can be flexible with Harry names, Fox Harrison would be my first choice. It makes a great brother name for Rocco Finn and Sage India.

But if the middle must be Harry, I’ll go back to one of the names mentioned above: Dashiell Harry. Dashiell qualifies as an unusual name, but nickname Dash makes it very wearable. The slightly longer first name works better with a casual middle like Harry.

Now let’s turn it over to the readers, because I know they’ll have some great suggestions: what goes well with Sage India and Rocco Finn? What do you think of the Harry versus Harris/Harrison question?