Thursday, October 2, 2008

being optimistic

walking the plank
So, practically every name I like has been rejected. Flatly. Emphatically. Peremptorily. Including, as it happens, all but one of the names listed in the poll below. Still, please vote for the one you think we should pick. Remember, this is for a real, actual, go-on-the-birth-certificate type name, not a pseudonym.

Also, I'd love to hear any other suggestions in the comments. Just remember that because of our last name, most one-syllable names are out and that many of the most common traditional names have already been taken by other family members.



edited to add: Check out the comments for fascinating thoughts on these names and, if you're in the market for a boy's name, some other great suggestions.

76 comments:

Lori said...

I take it you didn't like my suggestion of Odysseus?

Maybe I only suggested it in my head.

niobe said...

Sorry, Lori. And I've also ruled out Oedipus, Archilles, Agammenon and Aeneas. Just in case you were wondering.

the dragonfly said...

I like Alexander and Gideon. My favorite boys names are Asher and Jonas, both of which drew strong "no!"s from my husband. *sigh*

Cara said...

Hmm...I've had three girls so boy names are tricky for me...so I'll think on it and vote.

smiles!

PS - The name we had in mind for ALL THREE PREGNANCIES was Samuel...probably taken right?

thordora said...

LOVE Ephraim! I don't like common names-you need to know that when you yell in public only your kid answers. :P (I do like Silas and Gideon as well, but hey, I was shot down on Atom and Marcus when we were pregnant...)

niobe said...

Cara: Actually, surprisingly enough, Samuel is available and I like it a lot. The only problem is that it would inevitably be shortened to Sam, which I also like, but which sounds kind of abrupt given our last name.

Ya Chun said...

Gideon, Malcolm, Calvin, Alexander, and Zachary are all nice.

I am not sure how to pronounce Ephraim (Ef-raim or Ef-ra-em?) It might get stumbled over quite a bit. And what nickname can he then use? That would also sounds a little mega-preacher cult leader to me. (ya know, if you care)

good luck picking! With Serenity, we had a short list and were going to decide once we saw her.

It's nice to have hope...

Leslee said...

I voted for Malcolm because I love the nickname Mac... not thinking about how you want to stay away from single-syllable first names. In that case, maybe Alex is the way to go.

Just curious about that restriction -- Is it because your last name is long or short?

Grad3 said...

I like the name Ephraim- it's different but classic at the same time. Even before reading the post about Samuel- I was going to suggest that name. I love that name as well and my husband gave me a big fat no about it...

I always introduce my son with his full first name (two syllables)- so people always call him that and then ask if he goes by the shortened version. His name will eventually get shortened- but perhaps Samuel will not with diligence on your part. Good Luck!

niobe said...

Ya Chun: Lol at mega-preacher cult leader. Probably not quite the career path I had in mind.

Leslee: Our last name has only one syllable, so most very short first names sound a little odd with it. Though Mac actually sounds fine.

Antigone said...

Look at you! Next you'll be posting about rainbows and puppies.

I've finally settled on a name. Not sure if it's going on an urn or a school permission slip but it's perfect either way.

Karen said...

well, I went with Zachary - though I am aware that threatens to be shortened to the only one syllable Zach. Still, I went for it on account of meaning. I just liked it.

c. said...

It's a (very) long story as to why, so I'll spare you the details, I'm all about Malcolm though. For so many reasons. Can't wait to see what the winning name is...

niobe said...

Karen: At least to me, Zach or Zack actually sounds fine with our last name. I think it's a question of having a kind of hard sound with lots of consonants.

The Nanny said...

Niobe--I love Samuel. How about Sammy when he's young, and Samuel once he's older?

I also love Judah. But for some reason, whenever I think about your baby (sounds creepy stalkerish, I know, but I'm not--promise) I think Silas for some reason.

Magpie said...

I voted for Zachary.

What about Benjamin or Theodore?

cinnamon gurl said...

It was a toss-up between Silas and Ephraim for me, and Malcolm was in there too, but ultimately I had to go with Ephraim. I can't believe it's only in fourth place!

janis said...

I'm all for Silas and Zachary. And I do like Samuel a lot too. All the Sam's I've met so far in my life are awesome men. :-)
I shd start thinking of names too...

Tash said...

What is this optimism of which you speak?

well prob here is that many of these get shortened to one syllable: Zac(h) (my favorite, but I know some cool Zach's); Mac, etc. But I also know a number of parents who are very emphatic about calling their children by their given names, as we would've been with, say Andrew. I hate Andy. It always would've been Andrew, and I know an Andrew who was able to avoid the nickname throughout his life. So I think whatever you choose you just need to stick to your guns (ESPECIALLY WITH FAMILY. AHEM.) that the name is the name. We had a real run-in with our MIL who wanted to call Bella (already a nickname, btw) "Bell" -- as in doorbell. We put a stop to that and she was livid. But she stopped.

thailandchani said...

Of the choices, I like "Malcolm". It's unusual, not trendy.. and "Mac" is always a good nickname.

:)


~*

Aurelia said...

So are these your choices, or your husband's choices?

I voted for Alexander, just because. Zachary is okay but very trendy IMO, and I'm not into trendy. Malcolm is a good one as well. I know a couple of Samuels who did not get a shortened name. Mostly because the parents insisted.

Bea said...

I voted for Gideon, but I really like Silas too.

Dayna said...

Alexander, Samuel, Zachary, Benjamin (I assume that one's taken), Jonah, Noah, Jacob, Timothy, Micah, Malachi, Isaac.

I liked these names in high school and am sad most of them are "trendy" now. Boo.

slouching mom said...

Lucas, Henry, Nicholas

Rachel said...

Love "Malcolm". I'd want it myself if I weren't such a big fan of the TV show "Firefly" (I'm not allowed any names that occur in my fandom). Should it ever become relevant.

Heather said...

I voted for Alexander, but I think you should call him Zander for short instead of Alex. If, you know, you end up shortening the name.

Yolanda (the callipygian chronicle) said...

I've told you this before in private, but Silas is the name that hit me as soon as you posted the blue rectangle. It gets my vote. Gideon would be my second choice.

Alexander is in the Top 15 baby names, and has been for two decades. For me, that makes it completely unappealing. But for others, that might make it very much so appealing.

Casey said...

I really like all of those. We never really decided on a boy name in either of my pregnancies. I really liked Levi and Aaron, though. My sisters named their boys Oscar and Simon and Alexander (we call him Xander).

Artblog said...

Alexander! Just love that name, its beautiful, all elegant and intellectual and artistic like.

Ephraim is too, well, you know! Who thought that one up?

Aunt Becky said...

If you don't like Caesar Augustos or perhaps Octavious, I'm voting for Alexander. Because, well, obviously.

I also like Issac--which would have been this New Baby's name, had it been a boy.

kateypie35 said...

I'm partial to Nathan... : )

Elspeth said...

Hmm, voted for Gideon.

How about:

Elijah

Eli

Josiah

Jonah

Jonas

Asa

Levi

Levon

Betty M said...

My son has one of those names but always in its short form so that got my vote. Other than Alexander and Malcolm they are all pretty much on the unusual end of the spectrum for Brits and some like Ephraim are unheard of. But no one here would call a boy Malcolm anymore - definitely the name of someone of about 40/50. Not that what happens here is a factor!

I also like Saul, Ariel, Isaac and Reuben.

Kirsten said...

How about Parker?

Furrow said...

I really like Gideon. I would put it on my list if we have a boy next time (optimism is the theme of the day) but we already have one in B's family. I really like Malcolm, too. It's on my imaginary list. Alexander is overused. Nice, but way overused.

Hennifer said...

I'll just say that I like many of those names.

My son is named Elijah. I figured I could deal, if i had to, with Eli (due to very positive connotations)

My best friend named her son Alexander to satisfy a family request but calls him Xander. Everyone does.

My Reality said...

Now, will you reveal what you actually choose, or will it remain a mystery?

Lisa b said...

I like Calvin and Malcolm and cannot pick to vote.
I also need to know the last name to really decide.
I just think you should get what you want.

Awake said...

I voted for Calvin. We were intent on choosing a boy's name that begins with C and that was one that came and floated around a bit.

Monica H said...

I voted for Gideon, but you know I love the name Samuel :-)

Elizabeth said...

Sam is a good name, but it was banned from our list since it was my first boyfriend's name. I voted for Silas, can't say why, it's just a cool name.

Anonymous said...

What cool names! So many I'd suggest (Elijah, Isaac, Samuel) are already mentioned.

I few others that pop to mind (and bare in mind I am home sick with a fever so my mind is not so stellar are:

Gavin, Ezra, Asher, Ezekiel, Mattias

Jill said...

I picked Alexander, and I would use Xander or Sasha as a nickname. Other possibilities: Noah, Gabriel, and Henry. I don't care for Malcolm. It would be shortened to Mac and that makes me think of Big Macs from McDonalds. Although I understand your use of pseudonyms, I hope you update us on your actual choice at some point in the future.

Anonymous said...

I like Gideon.
But I may be a bit biased since that's my son's name too.
:)

missing_one said...

I voted for Zachary, but still Like Levi (was shot down, huh?)

ms. G said...

Ummmm...I can't believe Malcolm only has 8% of the vote! It is a great name! Right now, Alexander is winning, which I do think is a great name, but just way too common. Not that I should talk, because A's name actually made the top ten of the social securities list of names. And no, my M is not Malcolm, though if A was a boy, it was one of the contenders.

girlh said...

I picked Calvin because it's the name of one of my favorite uncles and for me, brings very happy thoughts.
I also like Cal which will likely be what he'll be called in 6th grade when it seems EVERY child's name is shortened. My sister went from Allison to Big Al (funny because she was tiny, still is at 4'11") I went from Heather to Head, easier to say than Heth, but drove my mother nuts.

Lori said...

Daniel? Sebastian? Charlie?

Mummalicious said...

Girlh: I have a cousin called Heather which is shortened to Hex or Hexy, again because Heth is too awkward.

Drives my aunt crazy too, she chose the name specifically to avoid shortened nick names!

Wabi said...

I like Alexander. Nice, solid name with many nickname possibilities, should the kid desire one.

I have always had a soft spot for the names Daschel and Ansel. Also for Garrison and Evan.

Mad said...

Calvin. It's the one. No question about it. Some of those other names are great but your kid is Calvin. I know this.

Anonymous said...

A lovely selection of potential names, but I adore Silas above all. Miles, Augustin (Gus) and Isaiah (Ike?), Charles and Micah are more boy favorites of mine.

Bon said...

Gideon, Malcolm and Silas are all on my own lists...i voted Gideon for you, Niobe. :) i like its strength.

LawMommy said...

Okay, you know my thoughts on Gideon. I have been rallying for Gideon. (Since, of course, you don't want Gabriel, which is the kick-assiest boy's name around.) :-P

So, I think Gideon would be a great name with a single syllable last name, but, I've said this before of course.

I also like Silas.

G

LAS said...

I voted for Silas. I love that name!

Emily said...

I voted for Silas, too. I don't know a single Silas.

There are about 47 little Alek/Aleksander/Alexander/Alex's running around our neighborhood.

Emily said...

PS-this photo made me ache a little.

Beautiful.

Roxanne said...

Well, my son's name is Gideon, so I'm kind of biased. I think it's a great name. Only downside is that it has no nickname potential.

My dad hates it and only calls him "Red."

The other name on your list that I like is Silas.

Karin said...

I voted for Malcolm because we have a fun friend named Mal.:-)

Adding in:

Callum
Finneas
Lucian

Hannah said...

Calvin jumped out at me, and at hubby too, and since he only knows you as "one of those blog women" it must mean something since both of us independently decided we liked it best, right? Right???

Or you could use Jacob, which is my favourite boy name, but I've had two boys now and neither is named Jacob so guess who hates it. :(

Anonymous said...

Alexander is a nice strong name, and is fitting for many nationalties.

My middle child is named Alexander, he is adopted from Russia. His name was Yuri, we changed it to Alexander (Alex) because it is a good name, and is fitting both here and is still keeping his Russian heritage.

Rita said...

I like Calvin. He would probably get called Cal eventually, but it is one of those names that people would verbally call him "cal" but it would be very easy to stick with Calvin on paper and in professional settings. A name like Micheal, they get shortened to Mike and never use the full name. Calvin, to me, would be easy to stick with. Like Mary - people might call someone Mare, but a Mary wouldn't likely start using Mare with her full name. So friends might call her Mare, but refer to her are Mary Jones, or whatever. Just my two cents. :)

~Denise~ said...

Love, love, love the name Gideon.

kirsty said...

Ok here goes.

<~~ me from Scotland, UK.

Therefore I'm giving you an opinion from the other side of the pond.

First of all, I can't see your poll due to some error so I'm going on the names mentioned above.

I would be very very interested in everyone here's general perception of a person called Malcolm. The reason I say this is because it seems to me from the previous posts that Malcolm is well liked in the big US of A. Over here is a completely different matter. Here it is perceived as someone who is a train-spotting, anorak and milk-bottle glasses wearing nasal weirdo who still lives with his mother at the age of 47. Here it would get shortened to Malkie. Ever heard of Glaswegians?? Shudder.

However shortened to Mac changes his image almost instantaneously to a strapping, confident and self-assured young man. (Just don't let him come over here and tell anyone his real name). Mac is Scottish in itself deriving from clan names like MacDonald, MacGregor etc which link to images of strong men from years gone by when certain clans owned various land.

I do like Silas but it does remind me of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and an albino Paul Bettany in the film. Albeit a very cute albino :o)

Finally (phew-I hear you all exclaim), I LOVE Ephraim. Have considered that for my own if I'm blessed with a son. Have liked it for a few years now although I'm not sure what it means. Can anyone enlighten me?

h2o girl said...

I love Silas. Love it. I also like Lucas, Nathaniel, Ian, Sebastian, and Tobias. Although Tobias would invariably be shorted to Toby, which I loathe.

painted maypole said...

i like all of them, and seriously can't vote

(luckily, I won't have the same dilemma come presidential election time. or perhaps, unluckily. it would be nice to actually like both candidates)

niobe said...

Kirstie and Betty M: So funny that the perception of Malcolm is so negative on the other side of the pond. My guess would be that, since Malcolm was never a particularly popular name in the US (or Canada?), it doesn't sound as dated. Plus, I think there are a few fairly recent tv shows with characters named Malcolm, giving the name a positive spin.

From what I've read, Ephraim is the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel and means something like "doubly fruitful."

Sarah said...

you're brave to put your choices out there. i had a hard enough time sorting through my own feelings about names; hearing other peoples' only confused me more. you've gotten some great suggestions though, i voted for Calvin but really like Ezra too!

kate said...

I voted for Zachary but really i like all of these (except for Ephraim)

Me said...

Love Silas. Lots more than any of the other ones. (But then I DO love unusual names so take it for what its worth!)

three minute palaver said...

Like Kirsty, I too think of The Da Vinci Codes character when I hear Silas (you know, the creepy self flagellating, albino monk)...

I love Gideon and Malcom. (I voted for Malcolm just because I had to pick one). and I agree that Alexander is way over used these days (unfortunately).

And now, from my old names list that I've dug up for you...

If I had a boy, (if my DH agreed with me) he would have been called either Sage, Roscoe, Matthias, Magnus, Beckett, Tristan, Seamus, Vaughan, Nolan, Dashiell, Sullivan, Sweeney, Quentin, Rafferty, Archie, Moss, Claude, Wythe, Lucien, Rupert, Kingsley or Llewellyn.

Anonymous said...

Asa or Isaiah, my two faves

ewe are here said...

I had to vote for M@lcolm, as that is the name of my "big boy".


Our "little boy" is named Gr@ydon, also a well received name. ;-)

If I had a third boy, I'm kind of partial to J@sper at the moment. Or Findl@y.

beagle said...

I voted for Gideon but I also like Alexander and of course Nicholas (which seems to be missing from the poll! ;-)

Jana said...

I voted for Malcolm but also like Silas.

I'm so excited to read how many people like the name Samuel, since that's what we'll be naming our son (due Jan. 11).

three minute palaver said...

Ok, had another think and decided to throw Emile into the hat (of confusion) for you to consider. It's a nice, french, literary name. any takers?