We named our first daughter Amelia, a name we both loved so much we never really considered any other so it was easy.  Had this baby been another girl she would have likely been Alexandra (Alex) and it would have also been easy!  However, I am having a boy and we are having a really hard time choosing a name.  I have hestiations about each name on our short list.

My husband's family tradition is that the first boy in the family goes by his middle name - it can be any two names, but he will be called by the middle.  I would like to give him the first name Robert after my dad so it is really just his middle name (which he will go by) that we are struggling with. Note: my husband vetoed keeping Alex for a boy. Our short list is:

Robert William - I love the name Will but my husband pointed out that his full name would be the same as Willie Pickton (a.k.a the Canadian pig farmer serial killer).  Although few people would ever make this connection, he feels it is not a great omen so it's probably out unless I am willing to drop Robert as the first name (reversing it to William Robert and having him go by Will is not an option per my husband).

Robert Jack - I also really love Jack, I think it's cute for a boy and a strong name for a man, but our last name is Jeffery and I don't know about "Jack Jeffery".  Alliteration with names is hit or miss for me but I find it hard to judge when it's my own baby.  Thoughts on it in this circumstance?

Robert Arlo -  We both like this name and it's growing on us more and more but we tend to be drawn to pretty traditional names so this would be a bit unexpected for us.  Although Arlo isn't a new or made up name, it's not very common and we worry about what the reaction would be like for him.

Robert Hudson - Again, we like it but it's not as traditional as what we generally tend to gravitate to.  Plus, I have heard of a few Hudsons lately so maybe this is a bit trendy?

Any thoughts you have would be much appreciated.  We could really use a neutral third party opinion!

Best regards,



My friend Heather is one of these. My friend Garrett is one of these. Dean – our Dean – is one of these. They have fascinated me for years. People who are named a first and middle but called exclusively by the middle name. 

Blows my mind. I am fascinated by it. Because it is, quite literally, a secret identity. Where did this tradition begin in your husband’s family? What kinds of hilarious first names are never used? I love this more than I can tell you.   And on top of that your last name is…kind of a first name! This is delightful. 

So. Robert is the business in the front, and you’re trying to choose the party in the back. Love it. First and foremost, ARLO ARLO ARLO. I love Arlo. There’s a spectacular balance between the two names. I love this so much and if he someday decides that he’s a buttoned-up banker type like in an old Eddie Murphy movie, then Robert the Second suits him quite well. Arlo! Why would you not?!?

But having said that, if you’re still wondering about your other choices, here are my thoughts, in brief.

I would never, ever have thought of the serial killer but it tickles me that you know that, and tells me a lot about who you and your husband are that you have the names of Canadian serial killers emblazoned in your brain. It’s like how some people won’t use “Damian” (which – get on this name, people who want something different) because they can’t stop thinking about The Omen.

Neither Jack or Hudson are my personal style – both are trendy though in different ways. Still, if one of them speaks to you, why not? You have Robert as your failsafe backup…

Fascinated. Literally, mind blown.