Duana Names: Oprah, Uma, Ari, Eli

Duana Posted by Duana at April 10, 2017 19:51:57 April 10, 2017 19:51:57

Hi Duana,

We just found out that we are having a second boy and we have no idea what to name him! Our first son's name is Ariel Nikolas P----r. We pronounce Ariel the way Sebastian from the Little Mermaid does and we call him Ari for short. I'm Greek and my husband is Jewish. We chose a Hebrew name for the first name and Nikolas is my dad's name, therefore Greek. We want to pick another Hebrew/Greek combination or Greek/Hebrew, but we are stuck on names that flows with Ariel Nikolas. So far, we like the name Elias, but can't think of a middle name. Would love to hear your suggestions! If anyone can help us, it's you!



Well, I love your son’s name very, very much, so there’s that. I think it fits all of your qualifications, Greek, Hebrew, has a short form, and I will always publish any letter that invokes Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. It’s my way of thinking Lin-Manuel Miranda is always close to us, at least in our hearts… no?

Okay. So. I have to confess, the ‘first’ time I wrote this column, I focused too much on the Eli part of Elias, and assumed you were trying to have this name be Hebrew first name, Greek Middle name. This proved tricky, but not impossible, because of how many double-s situations it creates. (i.e. Eli Demetrius is awesome, Elias Demetrius is S-heavy [which of course, after S-town, I can now only read as sh*t-heavy])

But, in case anyone else is hung up, or failed, as I did, to properly apply enough caffeine to the situation, Elias is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Elijah, hence there is much, much scope to be had from a Hebrew middle name.

Ariel Nikolas and….Elias Malachi! Elias Gideon! Elias Isaac, which shouldn’t work because of all the vowels, but totally does? Ariel Nikolas and Elias Judah! Elias Joshua, Elias Zachary, which comes close to having the s and z run together, but doesn’t (Elias Solomon totally does, but is so good it almost works anyway…). Elias Jeremiah… so many options. So many amazing options.

But – I couldn’t stop thinking about Ari and Eli. Elias is Greek, of course -- but Eli presents as being Hebrew, either on its own or short for Elijah. And, I wondered, what if you went that way? Reverse the ethnicities for a different effect?

Well, then you get Elijah Basil, Elijah Flavian, Elijah Darius, Elijah Eugene. If you’re trying to match rhythm and syllables and meter, Ariel Nikolas and Elijah Balthazar. Elijah Cyrus or Elijah Hercules.

Ariel Nikolas and Eli Gregory
Ariel Nikolas and Elijah Draco (OMG please!)
Ariel Nikolas and Elijah George? How about Elijah Phillip? Eli Theodore? Eli Cyprian? Oooh, how about Elijah Isadore? Elijah Leander?

If these start to feel too restrictive or showy, of course, it hasn’t escaped my notice that ‘Isadore’ isn’t quite as familiar as ‘Nikolas’, and you should have seen me hold myself back from suggesting ‘Elias Ptolemy’—and if you’re as flexible in your order as you indicate above, you could experiment with some other Greek name in front.   Ariel Nikolas and Gregor Malachi, for example, makes me very happy.

Or Ariel Nikolas and Matthias Abel. Ariel Nikolas and…George Elijah? Leandros Tobiah? Linus Lemuel?

Whichever way you go, you have so many exciting names to play with. I’m excited and envious and can’t wait to see what you choose.


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Tags: Name Nerd
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