Duana Names: Is It Enough To Love It?

January 12, 2016 21:15:42 Posted at January 12, 2016 21:15:42
Duana Posted by Duana

Hi Duana,

We're expecting our second child, a boy, on February 3rd and I'm hoping my question is fairly simple.

Here's the backstory. Our first child, an almost 2 year old boy, is named Judah. We heard the name on the show Weeds almost 7 years before he was born, and loved it so much that we instantly agreed it was the name of our first born son. Trying to come up with another name for a boy that we loved just as much as the first one we had in mind for several years was extremely difficult, but in the end we agreed on the name Arlo.

I absolutely love the name, and while my husband also really likes it a lot, he does have one reservation. He doesn't think the name Arlo really 'goes' with Judah, which brings me to my question - is it enough to just love the names you choose (pending they can pass the supreme court justice test)? I'm too exhausted from being pregnant and chasing a toddler all day to even properly assess his concern. When I say the names together they don't seem to obviously clash and I buy them as a sibling set. I mean, we're not talking about a Robert and an Indigo here...are we? Please help!


Of course it is…if it is.

You are not the only person—including me—to remember Weeds as a treasure trove of names. In fact, almost every name on that show was singular on TV, not just at the time but even now. Nancy. Celia. Judah. Heylia. Conrad. The only exception, of course, is Silas – which was unheard of, until a generation of parents who loved the show figured out that it would be a great name for their babies, born 2011-today.  Do you suppose it could be due to the name of the show’s creator, Jenji Kohan? Who went on to create characters called Taystee and Pennsatuckey and Dayanara and Poussey? We’ve just discovered a stealth name fan…

All this to say, I’m struggling to find out how these names don’t go together. Judah and Arlo. They are both short, familiar but uncommon, have vowel sounds near both ends. To me they feel perfectly balanced, even well-linked. They sound great. Judah and Arlo.

The only ‘mismatch’ I could see would be that Arlo sounds like Milo and Leo and Arthur and some of the other names that are around these days, and Judah is much more singular—but that’s great. It gives relevance to Judah, as if he didn’t have tons of his own, and it grounds Arlo as being timeless, not merely part of a trend.

So yes, it’s enough to love it—provided you both do love it.

I suppose if you were looking for something else that felt right, you could look at Abel or Micah or other vaguely biblical-era short boy names, or other vowel-filled names, like Nico or Otis or Tate – but you hit it, and you know you did, and you love it. Right?

So. Just like any other kind of love, when you know, you know. Arlo is the one, and loving it – and the combination of Arlo and Judah – is more than enough.

I bet you won’t change your mind, but whether you do or not, let me know!

(Oh and P.S. – I have some news...)

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