Duana Names: We Agree….Now What?

December 10, 2014 19:12:01 Posted at December 10, 2014 19:12:01
Duana Posted by Duana

Hi Duana,

I'm expecting my first after multiple losses - we are so pumped!

The husband and I have always agreed on a name for a boy: Gus. We love it! But is it too hipster ironic? Also, are we obligated to give Gus a more formal first name like Augustus? (Which I love but I'm afraid it's too froofy)

Second - if we have an Augustus what would we name the sibling? Especially if it's a girl! I feel like there needs to be a good fit!

Thanks Duana!



If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it enough times to make this phrase a cliché: A lot of popular names are popular because they’re so good. There’s a reason we go back again and again to Julia or Benjamin or Nicholas or Emily. They’re good. They work. 

And so the rising popularity of Gus is because people have remembered, anew, just how good Gus is. That doesn’t make you a hipster, it makes you smart, and aware of the types of things that go in and out of fashion, which is fine. Gus is great.

It does mean, though, that you have to embrace the name in one form or another and not be embarrassed about it. So whether it’s Augustus or Augusten or Angus, you do have to find a way to get to Gus that makes you happy, not cringey.

Fergus or Ferguson? Or Nameberry says Gus is a nickname for Constantine? That’s probably not going to do a lot for you in terms of feeling like it’s pretentious, though.  Choose one - whichever one makes you happiest – and go from there. If you really can’t, I’ll endorse something I never endorse – choose your second-favourite name as a first name and make Augustus the middle name that you use only to get to Gus.

But I hope you don’t, because Augustus – or even August – is such a great name and not too much at all for the average kid today. As for girls, the sky’s the limit.  Everything from Harriet to Althea to Lucretia to Genevieve to Juniper – just make sure you’re choosing something that allows her to have a nickname as fun and friendly and winsome as Gus.

(Lainey: LUCRETIA? Are you trying to kill me???)

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