OK...so here's the deal - we are due in one week and expecting our first child (a boy!). My husband and I are going back and forth between three first name options. I truly am hoping it 'comes to us' once we see his little face and what he actually looks like. But would also love your opinion on the names as well as my husband's incessant requests for a certain 'superhero' middle name. (Background: my husband is a bonafide OBSESSED Batman fan...we're talking hundreds of comic books, tons of paraphernalia, and yes even an adult-sized Batman costume he has been known to wear at times other than just Halloween!). However, I have already given in and once we learned it was a boy he got his wish to have a full-on superheroe/batman-themed nursery (as a fashionista, not my first choice for nursery decor!).

So the first name options:


For middle name, I like:

Maxwell Olivier (my husband is french)
Theodore Vincent (his brother and baby's godfather's name)
Samuel Vincent (again, his brother's name)

But now my husband has thrown a wrench in everything and begs daily to incorporate "Bruce" (as in yes - Bruce Wayne, aka Batman) for a middle name. In your HONEST opinion, how brutal is Maxwell Bruce or Theodore Bruce? I am personally think above choices are much nicer (I just don't care for the name Bruce at all, let alone the Batman implications...). Please help!


Oh man – I may be too late. I am delighted we get so many requests but I think the “due in one week” part may have slipped past here.

Still, I couldn’t neglect this letter because of how close to home it struck, not just for me but for a whole host of women whose “creative, sensitive, hilarious” partners got that way because of a deep and abiding investment in the fictional worlds of comic book characters as talismans for how we should live our lives.

So. As a result, your man loves Bruce. True, a more 60s cowboy name there never was (except, say,  Wayne – so in a way, you got off easy). But this is a middle name, it’s relatively underused so you don’t have to worry about duplication, and where superhero names are concerned, at least the man is not trying to talk you into naming the child Kal-El, or Gotham.

So, even though Vincent and Olivier are lovely names,  let’s look at Bruce in this situation. If you were going to, I would definitely choose it alongside Samuel or Theodore – the longer the name in front, the more the second name sounds like a breath of fresh air rather than an oddity in the middle. “Maxwell Bruce Smith” sounds a little shorter and more abrupt than “Samuel Bruce Smith”. If you have a longer last name, Bruce is even better as a pause in the middle. 

In short, I think you could be doing a lot worse here if this is the name demand your husband makes  - and it’s kind of sweet that he has such attachment to a character, in a way. If he starts talking about wanting the kid to go through something heartbreaking and tragic – like the two of you staging your own deaths or something - so he’ll learn to find his inner strength, that is a different story.

Let me know!