Hi Duana,

Looking for an opinion...
Second baby is on the way - having a surprise - all settled on the girl name but still working out the final list for boy names.

Currently the top name on the list is Griffin. Middle name will be a family name beginning with W and last name is of Eastern European heritage (read: Jewish). We love the name Griffin ... my quandary is that our first son's name is Finley. He goes by Finley with the occasional Fin (as nickname). Is the "fin" in Griffin just too close for comfort? Obviously if we use a nickname for Griffin it would be Griff but I wonder if the "fin" in both names is problematic? Or perhaps I'm just over-analyzing?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts (and wit!!).


Hey T,

My sister's name is Sheena (neuroscience PhD! Hire her!!) and she's strong and smart and all kinds of amazing things, but you have to admit, our names are a little too matchy-match: Duana and Sheena. Like bookends. It makes sense - a parent chooses the name they like best of all for number one, so when number two comes along, a lot of the same qualities apply.

Unfortunately, in this case, it really is too close. Finley and Griffin. Not just bookends, but twinny-sounding matches. I hear you, that you could call them both by their nicknames - but if you call them Griff and Fin...you're just saying Griffin, you know? And there are people who would go with this anyway, but I suspect that now that you've heard this, you can't unhear it, right?

So, let's investigate some alternatives based on your very clear love of the letter F. You could do Geoffrey/Joffrey - pronounced that way, like the ballet - or maybe Clifford would suit you? Cliff is like Griff, but not like “Fin” at all. I used to buck against the very idea that Topher was a name, but maybe this is the kind of place where it would be really useful. Finley and Topher? Or, if you're really into G names (but come on, I know it's the F that really gets you), how about Georgie, or even Griffith if you're staying close by your other “Griff''? Or, if that's too pudding-and-pie,how about Rufus? Not even joking, I think Rufus and Finley are a total pair!

Then, of course, you could go on the “vaguely Celtic but still appealing” tip - Rory? Conor? What about Fergus?

Okay, I could go on. I hope I haven't broken your heart, but you do have options. Tons. Let me know, will you?