Hi Duana,

I had to google "twee" after you referred to my son's name as twee! It was your guess that Ryan and Blake would name their new lil one Greyson... which we had just done, so I know you may not be a fan of the name, but we love it and are now naming baby boy #2! (Of course that's because I had a billion girl names and no boy names).

My concern though is needing to have these two boy names make sense together. So here are the parameters:

1) My husband has ruled out "old man names", whatever that means but I guess George, Charlie, Harrison, and so on are out.
2) I don't want a top 10 name. Common is ok but nothing crazy popular.
3) I don't want some crazy out there name either so passing the Supreme Court Test is important to me.
4) It can't end in "on" or start with "G" as it sounds too matchy matchy with our first lil guy.
5) Last name is a traditional English name that will go with most names I think.
6) Middle name undecided but likely one of significance to our family

We seem to like names that are a bit humble and not overly macho. We talked about Seth and Wesley as possibilities. I think I'm basically trying to name what I hope will be a very calm, sweet and relaxed lil boy. :-) Wishful thinking perhaps! But neither of us lean toward the say "ULTRA-MALE" as per a recent Dear Duana author.

So any thoughts on names would be appreciated, and your thoughts on the two mentioned above. :-)




Well. Um. Oops. Even though I think maybe you’re thinking of this point, where it was Lainey who speculated that the name would be ‘Grey’? Still, thanks for writing anyway, even if we were, uh, crisp about a name close to one you love.

The good part of that is that Blake and Ryan did annoy me by being coy about their name and by announcing ‘James’ as though it were ‘Gobnait’, which is a REAL name I heard this morning, and that they’re having another so we’ll all get another chance to hypothesize about what it might be.

Thanks, too, for sending a letter where the object is to avoid Charlie, rather than to get to it. I don’t dislike the name, of course, of course, but it’s so nice to see a different choice. It’s so interesting that you think of the names Seth and Wesley as a bit humble, because, while the two aren’t mutually exclusive, I always think of them as kind of high achievers. I cannot tell you how much I love Wesley, how much it seems like the name of a clever and sharp kind of kid – and a friend of mine once told me he chose ‘Seth’ for his son because ‘Seths are always funny. They’re never not funny’. If he’s right, I don’t know if that lends itself to or against your hope that this will be a ‘calm, sweet and relaxed’ child, but it’s one version of a perception.

I do think that Wesley seems to work a little bit more effortlessly with Greyson. You can see them together at the library tables, working on their Latin translations. I may have unintentionally just enrolled your sons at Hogwarts. Then again, Greyson does have a more modern feel, and in that way, Seth is perfectly aligned, feeling like a relatively recent discovery even though it’s been around a hundred years or more.

I felt really drawn to surnames for you, and when I checked out names similar to Welsey, the algorithm suggested both Davis and Tanner, which caught my eye. Tanner and Greyson works, and while Davis is a little more surname-y it’s not totally out there - now I’m just hoping your surname is neither Tanner nor Davis.

In line with Wesley, there’s also Wilder—it’s one of those names that is suddenly everywhere, even though ‘everywhere’ is highly subjective. If you want something that’s a little less popular but still feels familiar, it could totally be your ticket?

But you came to me with two sort of under-the-radar but known English-y names, so in keeping with that theme…how about Clarence? I’ve always thought this name should be on its way back, and though it might be an ‘old man name’ to your husband, Clarence and Charlie seem like old friends, and there will definitely be a lot of Charlies for him to play with. Or what about Russell? If there isn’t a Russell Martin baby boom coming soon, I don’t know what’s wrong with some of you (or you clearly don’t follow baseball) – but aside from my crush, it’s a soft but strong, known but rare-ish name that might fit perfectly on your second son. Or how about Rufus? The saddest thing that ever happened was my sister naming a toy dog ‘Rufus’ as a kid, because these days I don’t think of it as often as I should, and I should. It’s a great name.

But if it’s not for you, how about Fergus? Rupert? Arthur? I know these may be getting a little ‘old man’, but I swear they’re kind of new and now! If you can’t possibly, how about Asher, or Reuben, or Judah…or one of Joseph’s other eight brothers (yes, that was a musical joke)? Vincent? Cyrus, even?

Sebastian seems too long for you and ends in ‘n’ besides, but I feel like people choose it for similar reasons to the ones you listed…so what about Ezra or Silas? Also, another name I felt compelled to suggest, but didn’t because of the ‘on’ thing, was Orson – that’s a gift for everyone who’s nodding along to your wish list but doesn’t already have a Greyson in spot #1.

Curious about this one and also doomed to sing Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes all day. Let me know!