Y’all, I’ve received two emergency emails recently (both, interestingly, from people who already have one son), so I thought we’d cut the queue and help out these desperate people. Also, the roundup of updates I’ve gotten is coming Thursday!  Keep the name questions coming!

I am due with our second on Sept.21 so I know I've left this really late but I hope you can help us make the final decision on our baby names. With a two year old son taking up all our time we just haven't had/made the time to obsess about the name the same way we did with him.
Our son's name is Henry and his middle name is Thaddeus.
For boy names we are choosing between Walter and Jasper and we haven't chosen a middle name yet but we are thinking Fredrik or I like names like Lucius or Gideon. I really like Thaddeus so I would like to find something similar to it but nothing's really stood out yet. We like that Walter doesn't seem to be very popular (yet?) and although Jasper is a little more popular in the province we live in, my husband suggested the Swedish nickname Jeppe (yepp-eh), which I think is pretty cute and unique.
For girls we are choosing between Ingrid and Aurora. Ingrid is more my husband's favourite and Aurora is mine but we both like the other's name. My husband does bring up the Rural Juror joke from 30 Rock when we talk about Aurora though, so there's that. Thank you for your help!


The Rural Juror! That’s a cautionary tale right there! I know there are various feelings on what constitutes a name like this, but I’d say that Aurora is a hard one if you have other sounds in your last name that sound like it. Ward.  Storch.  Etc.  Which leaves you with Ingrid – and maybe that’s a good thing, since I buy Henry and Ingrid as a sibling pair. Don’t you? What about Laura instead of Aurora? What about Hanorah? I take it that whomever doesn’t “win” the first name gets the middle, is that right? So she’ll be Ingrid Aurora maybe, which rolls off the tongue more easily than Aurora Ingrid, which threatens a moderate glottal attack?

Still, your bigger concern is clearly your boys’ names. Of the options you’ve given me, I immediately float to Walter Gideon. Walter and Henry, Henry Thaddeus and Walter Gideon. I also can get behind Jasper Fredrik or, for that matter, Fredrik Jasper. Fredrik Walter? Lucius Fredrik? But if those names aren’t hitting the spot yet, what about Dashiell? Ellery? It seems like you’re looking for something that’s part prep-school, part olde-world, so how about Roderick? I don’t disagree that Jeppe makes Jasper stand out more – but then I wouldn’t worry quite so much about his middle name.

Overall, this child is Henry’s sibling in addition to being their own, and Henry goes down fairly easily so I wouldn’t struggle too hard to find something unusual as much as something that feels like it really fits. Let me know!


So, I'm knocked up, due in less than a month. My husband and I really are dragging our feet on this baby naming thing. Part of it is reading the other letters that are sent in, they are so well thought out and intelligent. My husband and I are just plain lazy. To be perfectly honest, going through baby naming books and reading all those ridiculous meanings, just makes me gag. We have a list of about a dozen names and we just can't seem to agree on one that we simply love.

We have a six year old son, his name is Thomas Stephen (Shorthouse). Seemed so simple at the time. Months after he was born I woke up one night in a sweat realizing his initials were TSS (toxic shock syndrome). Don't laugh, well o.k., you can laugh... At the time I couldn't believe that I hadn't seen this earlier. Also, being a teacher is I tend to gravitate towards more traditional names, I taught at an all girls' school (lots of crying and cramps) and I can't tell you how many Jordyns and Kaelas I had to get through. My husband has more of a nontraditional bent.  He was set on the name Iain for a while, for example. One last thing, I'm Italian. Both parents.  So it would be nice if it was a name that had an Italian equivalent. Nicholas becomes Nicola, Jack Giacomo, Michael Michele, and Sam Samuele, you get the drift. (Those were just some of my favs by the way). Or at the very least, something they can say.  No H's in Italian, so Henry for example would be very hard.

O.k., now to the critical reason why I am writing you at this late date. BOTH my husband and son have decided on a name they adore, and it's... CHRISTIAN.  Ugh.  Although I like the name as well, unfortunately I read what I can not unread, and which shall not be named.  Not only am I mortified and ashamed, I'm fairly certain I lost about 50 I.Q. points by the time I was finished.  Oh yes, I finished it.  I am beyond disgusted with myself. Obviously my husband the academic has no idea why we can't name our son Christian (or can we??? Is there any possible way??).  I tried to explain but he still doesn't see what a character in a book has to do with anything. Would love to hear your thoughts if you can. 


Okay. Here’s what I want you to remember. Alice and Jasper and Esme and Bella and Jacob all happened, yes. But they happened because they were already in the world and the consciousness when Stephenie Meyer wrote those books. People who try to protest all “Oh, I can’t name my kid a Twilight name!” need to remember that authors get names from the same places as everyone else, which is to say, the ether – and a name in a book is not necessarily ruined for everyone else. After all, there are no bursts of baby Edwards - or, for that matter, baby Roberts – despite the fact that everyone fell in love with you know who. Right?

Having said that, of course, there are lots of reasons to steer away from Christian. Even though it won’t stick to that book – I promise – it’s still a strong statement, especially considering the faith element. If he someday falls in love with someone Jewish or Hindu, there may be some discussion that needs to be had. Then again, it’s a popular name these days, and can reasonably be considered faith-free, so if that doesn’t worry you, then ignore my associated ramblings. 

To me, the immediate solution is Bastian. Still has a slight literary thrust for anyone who remembers “The Neverending Story”, has some traditional sounds to go with Thomas, but isn’t super common. What about my beloved Leonardo? Shortens easily to Leo without sacrificing any Italian and still has a somewhat traditional bent…although I’m not going to pretend it’s in the same vein as Thomas. (Tomasso?)       

As for the names you rejected above, I notice you didn’t include good old Gio – I’m on a real John kick right now, so maybe that’s the way to go? Think how fresh a boy named John is going to be in the classroom? Jono? Adorable.

Let me know what you choose and stop worrying about initials, I promise nobody else is either!