Name my (presumably) awesome baby
November 3, 2012 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Help us name our second born so that she/he can live up to the awesomeness of her/his brother.

We are expecting our second baby in May (gender undetermined). Last time around we had a boy and a girl name picked out pretty much immediately, which seemed to go a long way toward making everything seem real. We used our boy name for baby #1, and what we thought was our super-unique-perfect-for-only-us girl name has been used twice by relatively close friends since our kid was born, so I feel like we are back to the drawing board this time around.

Here are some of the loose criteria we have:

1. Nothing currently too popular or trendy. I usually use this to check a name's popularity over time. Top 20 in the last 20 or so years or top 100 in the last couple years is usually grounds for being blacklisted. I don't want my kid to have a handful of peers with his/her name.

2. I really have a preference for names that mean something in English, like Prudence, Ernest, and Clover but...

3. Our son's name is Basil, and I'm on the fence about whether it would be absurd to use a plant/plant-like name for the next kid.

4. Our last name is English, starts with W and is two syllables long.

5. The Playground Taunt Factor is not a huge concern. Kids will find a reason to make fun or our kids. We'll find a way to handle it.

And here are some names that we have considered, that haven't quite hit the sweet spot:

Boys:
Casper
Reuben 
Richard/Ari (My husband's late father was named Richard. Do you think we can use Ari as a nickname for Richard?)
Alfie
Opie
Orville 
Humphrey
Valentine
Royal
Linus

Girls:
Coraline
Margot
Ernestine
Persephone
Poppy
Posy
Poet
Clementine
Lavender
Juniper

So, what names are we overlooking? Give us something to work with for these next 7 months!
posted by deadcrow to Grab Bag (61 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Virginia and/or Ginger (Basil and Ginger?)
Emma
posted by infini at 1:17 PM on November 3, 2012


Constance/Tansy.

What was your previously perfect girl's name?

As for Richard/Ari: Yes, you can do that. You can give your kid any nickname you want.
posted by purpleclover at 1:19 PM on November 3, 2012


Abbott
Abigail

I vote no on the plant thing, FWIW. That would make me roll my eyes even now, in my mid-30s. But I also don't think you should give a flying whit what I think :)
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:19 PM on November 3, 2012


Previous girl name is among the names listed above. Still keeping it a little close to my chest for IRL friends who read AskMe.
posted by deadcrow at 1:21 PM on November 3, 2012


Alma
posted by sallybrown at 1:22 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Walter and Astrid.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 1:24 PM on November 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Some teacher I had named his kid Thaddeus, and that always struck me as awesome.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 1:26 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like Valentine for a girl or a boy. Tansy is also cool; I would just make that the name, not short for Constance.
posted by limeonaire at 1:26 PM on November 3, 2012


I'd vote no on the plant thing but if you were my parents, it would be fun to torment you guys("First you name me after some plant in your herb garden and you won't let me go see the Velvet Elmoes in the city w/[cool crush]? Why don't you just infect me with leprosy if you want to turn me into a social pariah!?" Cue the stomp stomp stomp slam.)

Girls
Mary Jane
Piper
Raina
Hannah
Margot (totally lovely choice)

Boys-Alfie is such a cutie pie name. I love it.
posted by discopolo at 1:32 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clementine for a girl is great. I also really like the suggestion of Tansy.

Other girl names that I think are great:
Nola
Lola/Lula/Lulu
Ruby
Pearl

boys:
Josef (pronounced the German way)
Rudolf/Rudy
Ulysses
Huck

oh, and seconding the vote for Alfie, too.
posted by scody at 1:34 PM on November 3, 2012


Coltrane
Colesville
Cole
posted by grateful at 1:41 PM on November 3, 2012


I'm digging Orville and Humphrey, but would avoid Linus (seriously, every other bike in my city is named Linus).
posted by Beardman at 1:47 PM on November 3, 2012


Anastasia (Tess/Tessie is nice for short)

Louis (I like Louisa for a girl, too.)
Carson

Also: another vote against plant names
Also: love Humphrey
posted by agentmitten at 1:49 PM on November 3, 2012


Girls
Adelaide - Addie
Allegra - Allie if you want a nickname
Emerson
Havana
Isca
Lucy
Pia
Sierra
Maia
Vera

Boys
Arlo (can be a girl's name too)
Milo
Henry
Luca
Luka
Milo
Griffin
Owen
Soren
Jack
Liam

I'd say no to the obviously plant-related names. There is no reason your two kids should have the same category of noun. It's more important for the names to individually sound nice (first, middle, last) and for it to work with your own sense of values and family history. I've never really understood families who all name their kids starting with a single vowel, or to sound really similar, or from the same quirky idea. If you loooove a name, maybe go for it, but I'd really caution against using that as a goal. But who cares what I think?
posted by barnone at 2:00 PM on November 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Girls:
Celeste
Magnolia
Opal
Sonnet
Verity/Vera

Boys:
Cosmo
Heath
Miles
Winslow
posted by arianell at 2:02 PM on November 3, 2012


I like Orson for a boy. Sounds good for a baby, a teenager, a guy in his 30s, and an old man.

Not many people have the name, and it makes people smile. You/he would probably constantly be asked if it was after Orson Welles. I know this because my long ago dog was Orson, and I answered that question about once a month.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:03 PM on November 3, 2012


Beryl? Means something slightly less obvious than Basil in English, is roughly as dated as Basil, etc.

Do you think we can use Ari as a nickname for Richard?

Well, I'd definitely think you weird if you called it a 'nickname for' Richard because it's not a diminutive. I wouldn't think too hard if you named him Richard and called him Ari, though. Then again, I would think it bizarre if you named your kid Poet, as in the English word, so it appears your mileage varies.
posted by hoyland at 2:04 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think you can get away with a plant name if it's subtle. So, I'd steer clear of Rosemary, but I think Myrtle or Clementine, Rowan, Fern or Laurel, something like that could work. Are Lily or Violet too popular? Pepper would be fun.

An acquaintance named her daughter Lillipilli, which is another name for Myrtle. Probably not a lot of kids with that.
posted by looli at 2:08 PM on November 3, 2012


Cecily
Phyllida
Tamsin
Apollonia
Esme

Alfred
Silas
Crispin
Alistair
Clarence

I tried to choose names that have an English charm to them while not sounding dated.
posted by GilvearSt at 2:10 PM on November 3, 2012


Basil and Violet go really nicely together.
posted by lemniskate at 2:12 PM on November 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, if you like Poet for a girl, what about Pilgrim for a boy? I swore up and down that if I had a son I would name him Pilgrim (or Findley, nickname Tif, after Timothy Findley, who wrote a book called Pilgrim). Everyone was mightily relieved when I had a girl, but I still think Pilgrim is a fantastic name.
posted by looli at 2:12 PM on November 3, 2012


Great suggestions so far!
Just to clarify, I happen to like a few names that are also plant names (especially Poppy), but am definitely not looking to intentionally name all my kids after plants. I was just checking to see if the hive mind thought those types of names should be ruled out or just more carefully considered.
posted by deadcrow at 2:13 PM on November 3, 2012


Selah or Naomi for a girl. Yes, they are found in the Bible (that may or may not matter to you) but Naomi doesn't conjure up the bible as much as Selah does (to me). Tansy is awesome...I've never heard of it before! Allegra is an allergy drug, so keep that in mind.

Humphrey is cool too. I also know a Jameson and I love his name. Gentry is southern but distinguished as well.
posted by MultiFaceted at 2:14 PM on November 3, 2012


I actually like a lot of the boy names that have become girl names in the US as boy names. Particularly Ashley and perhaps Shannon. Hilary, too, but I like it less. This may be inviting way more headache than it's worth, though. Evelyn is in the same category, but I like it as a girl name (because obvious I get to decide your preferences).

Tamar?
posted by hoyland at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2012


Yarrow
posted by sciencegeek at 2:19 PM on November 3, 2012


Iris for a girl, Miles for a boy.
posted by vers at 2:30 PM on November 3, 2012


Lots of good ones suggested already. (Pilgrim is great, IMO.)

Running with the preference for names that mean something:

Constance, Hazel, Garnet, D'Artagnan (D'Art for short), Augur, Jasper, Olive, Cello, Sparrow
posted by perspicio at 2:40 PM on November 3, 2012


Boys:

Dickon
Nigel
Theo
Omar


Girls:

Kara
Ash
Lyra
Terra
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:41 PM on November 3, 2012


(I'm not piping up to answer your question or be useful at all but I wanted you to know that if it's a boy and you name him Royal, I will come to your house, pat you on the back, kiss your sweet baby, and buy you and your husband a couple beers because HOLY SHIT, THAT IS AN AWESOME NAME.)
posted by youandiandaflame at 2:42 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Girls - Bryony, Willow, Lila, Ophelia
Boy - Elliot, Raymond
posted by Mallenroh at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2012


Hazel as the obvious one for the girl.
Walter for the boy.
posted by pla at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2012


Peregrine / Perrin / Perry
Seigfried / Sigurd / Ziggy
Mika

Olive
Mildred / Millie
Penelope

Another vote for Constance too, although condemning a child to Connie may be a Playground Taunt Factor too far.
posted by comealongpole at 2:48 PM on November 3, 2012


Girl:

Calliope
Waverly
Lark
Prairie

Boy:

Atticus
Boone
Winslow (Winnie)
Thorne
Wren
posted by Sassyfras at 3:02 PM on November 3, 2012


I wish we'd named our daughter Agnes.
posted by bluespark25 at 3:05 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


We used Silvia for our girl. It is indirectly plant-related, as it means "from the forest." Silvia was also in Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona. Basil also has a Shakespearian connection, as Basil Rathbone was a famous Shakespearian stage actor (until he because typecast as Sherlock Holmes).

I like Elsa for a girl as well. Lily is a bit overused, but Iris is lovely. Linnea is a Swedish name with a plant connection as well. Penelope (Penny) and Beatrice (Trixie) seem to fit your aesthetic too.

Jasper is nice for a boy too ... it's got the nature/gemstone connection going on. Evan, Grant, Silas, Micah, Baron are my other boy suggestions.
posted by Ostara at 3:06 PM on November 3, 2012


Satsuma
Yukon
Cornelius
Sieve
Collier
Gemella
Davenport
Taffy
Cumulus
Zephyr
Fable
Sestina
Cadence
Crown
Verdant
Cloud
Eberhard
Wulfric
Orlando
Sage
Mandolin
Mandrake
Dandelion
Daffodil
posted by nakedmolerats at 3:07 PM on November 3, 2012


Girls: Piper, Ivy, Clarabelle, Lola
Boys: Owen, Sebastian, Christian, Henry
posted by katypickle at 3:26 PM on November 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maeve
Esme

Victor
Felix
posted by MsMacbeth at 3:29 PM on November 3, 2012


Boys....

Calvin
Orson
Nolan
Jasper
Dustin
Westley
Simon
Conrad

Girls.....

Sally
Marley
Bryn
Lyra
Rosemary
posted by Squee at 3:35 PM on November 3, 2012


Penelope, nn Penny
Annelise (my money is on this as the next popular Ana/Anna variant, be ahead of the curve)

I really like Raina, and also Renee, which you never see anymore.

Selah makes me laugh, because no one knows what exactly it means, just that it shows up in Psalms a lot as a musical cue. If you're OK with your kid being named Refrain or Repeat or Pause, go for it.
posted by Flannery Culp at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2012


I think of Valentine as a girl's name, and Alfie as a dimininutive of Alfred, not a full name. Doesn't mean you can't use them, just notes.

guys: Bennett/Benedict, Jasper, Cyrus, Skye, Roger, Lincoln
girls: Vera/Verity (=truth), Vita (=life), Skye, Hope. I like Faith but it was 72 last year.
posted by jacalata at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2012


Girls:

Bernadette
Iris
Opal

FWIW, I know of two people who have named their daughters Poppy.

Boys:

Henry
Eli
Sebastian

I went to college with a girl named Cedar, I think that could work for a girl or boy.
posted by Sal and Richard at 3:42 PM on November 3, 2012


Girls:
Cadence
Harmony
Daisy
Ivy
Camillia

Boys:
Chance
Hugo
River
Beau
Drew

I know someone who named their son Hercules. When I first heard it, I just rolled my eyes, but now his name makes me smile.
posted by kbar1 at 4:33 PM on November 3, 2012


Another vote for Margot/Margo and Beatrix/Beatrice

My super-secret boy name was Seamus, you can use it if you like. :)
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 4:49 PM on November 3, 2012


Basil is an AWESOME name, as are most of the ones already on your list, so I don't think you're going to have any trouble finding a good fit for the New Kid.
My faves to pair with Basil are:

Girl:
Ruby

Boy:
Oliver

....but then your children will have the same names as my (imaginary/future) children....so that might be awkward. ;)
Congrats! Good luck!
posted by Dorinda at 4:53 PM on November 3, 2012


re: the Richard/Ari thing, I think most people will not make the lion connection, but it's still pretty cute.
posted by elizardbits at 5:01 PM on November 3, 2012


Cecelia
Fern
Lyla
Lucy
Adeline
Simone
Victoria (Torie)
Clarissa

Niles
Nigel
Theo
Lane
posted by carmicha at 5:33 PM on November 3, 2012


Cynthia (nickname Cindy)
Simone
Katherine (nickname Kate or Katie)
Rose
Viola or Violet
Iris
Claire or Clara
Karen
Aileen
Robin (could also be used for a boy)
(Got to recommend against Beatrix/Beatrice, because of the Princess B. thing: there are TONS of coycats.)

Stephen or Steven
Benjamin
Oliver
Ellis
William
David
Richard is good; nicknames include Rick, Ricky, and Dick, but Ari could certainly be used too.

Do you have a family ethnic background you can draw from, something that the name can reflect?
posted by easily confused at 5:46 PM on November 3, 2012


Cypher. Works for a boy or a girl.
posted by Brody's chum at 5:59 PM on November 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Grayson
posted by pinkbungalow at 6:00 PM on November 3, 2012


Gemma for a girl? I love the name, and it's not too popular in the U.S. I think it's quite popular in Britain though (not sure if that matters to you).
posted by barnoley at 6:34 PM on November 3, 2012


Arthur
Peregrine
Merritt
Rowan

I love Juniper!
Ailsa
Eartha
Agatha
posted by meringue at 11:48 PM on November 3, 2012


I don't know why, but I just think that if you have a girl she should be named Coral or Cora.
posted by linettasky at 11:57 PM on November 3, 2012


Don't plan to have kids, and friends/family don't seem to share my taste in slightly old-fashioned, slightly eccentric names mined from British children's literature, so you may as well just plumb it for what it's worth. From your own list, I like Casper, Reuben and Alfie for boys, Posy, Poppy, Margot and Clementine for girls.

Boys:

Tristan
Percival (Percy)
Bertram (Bertie)
Robin
Darius
Cyril
Cecil
Digby
Declan
Callum
Clovis

Girls:

Margery/Marjorie
Hazel
Primrose
Rosalie
Elodie
Dulcie
Robin
Anthea
Felicity
Arabella
Araminta (Minty)
Hermione
Belinda
Geraldine
Imogene
Camille
Jacinta
Briony
Sybil
Sabrina/Sabrine
Adela
Avery
Darrell
posted by peripathetic at 1:38 AM on November 4, 2012


Poppy is super-trending among the birth set. I would avoid it. Do not name your child Hermione because far beyond playground taunts, that is setting your child up for an entire generation of torture.

What about Clara? Basil and Clara are sibling pair in Wilkie Collins' Basil. He also wrote Antonina, or perhaps you would prefer just Nina.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:46 AM on November 4, 2012


Don't know if this affects things for you, but Ari is a popular Jewish/Israeli name and I also definitely see Reuben coming back big in the next couple of years as people name for their grandfathers.

I'm not a big fan of naming for uniqueness. Partly because people suck at it - we get caught in zeitgeists we want to think we're 'above', as you experienced already with your girl's name, and partly because a person's uniqueness is nothing to do with their name.

I think a popular name with a personal meaning or reason behind it is more meaningful than an uncommon name 'because it seemed special.' Something from your family or heritage or values.

That said, I'll put Constance and Asher out there.
posted by Salamandrous at 9:45 AM on November 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a great uncle named Vitus Valentine, and I love that name.
posted by llnerdj at 10:38 AM on November 4, 2012


Girl: Nicola

Boy: Culver ("derived from the metonymic occupational name for a keeper of doves")
Corydon (from the Gaelic for spear)

Either: Teagan (Anglicized form of Tadhgan, Gaelic for little poet)
posted by virago at 3:39 PM on November 4, 2012


We know a family whose two kids are named Basil and Rosemary. Your intuition is spot on: don't be that family.

I think Basil and Margot sounds lovely together!
posted by estlin at 4:20 PM on November 4, 2012


I was going to say Linus, but I see it's already on your list. I have one, so perhaps I'm a bit biased. I also have an Oliver and a Miles, but those might be a tad too popular. They weren't when they were born (in 2007) so at least they don't have classmates with their names. Anyway.

Lots of great suggestions here! Also love Felix for a boy.
posted by pyjammy at 11:35 AM on November 5, 2012


Fern is lovely for a girl!

Elmore for a boy
posted by drunkonthemoon at 7:35 AM on November 8, 2012


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