Hi Duana,
I'm losing my mind trying to find a name for my 3rd child (gender unknown). I need something that "goes" with the first two children but isn't too matchy-matchy. I love strong meanings but the name also has to be "pretty".

My elder two are Aeron-James (he is almost exclusively called AJ) and Ariya. I was not planning to have an "A" clan but feel like it would be weird now to have another first letter...would it? I'm definitely not having any more children so this child wouldn't have anyone to match with.

I've read so many of your past articles trying to see if something will jump out at me and I have also been through literally 1000+ names and nothing.....

I even tried your idea of using the strongest sound (R) in both their names to find an alternative to the A names but I keep finding names that I kind of like but have terrible or irrelevant meanings such as Rowan and Roman. 
A few more bits of information that might help; our surname is a traditional simple Indian surname that starts with A, middle names for a boy are likely to be traditional English names like Richard or Anthony or a Ghanaian day name (very opposite I know) and for a girl it’s again the Ghanaian day name or after one of our sisters depending on who she least looks like (simple but not very common names).

I hope there’s enough to work with but not too much! Due date is mid August. 



I mean, I get how you got into this situation, and I don’t mean that to sound like a parent on a teen drama (guys I am SO deep in The Fosters right now). When you are the type of namer who likes a great sound, and someone who doesn’t shy away from length, in either gender, a lot of times you’re going to rely heavily on vowels. 

Which I get, and suddenly you have two kids starting with the same letter, or ending with the same sound, and that in and of itself isn’t so unusual. Remember, there are two acting families with children named Jason & Justine, and a million more examples of this in all our childhoods. 

But when you go from two to three, a similarity becomes a trend, and what was a preference becomes matchy-matchy. So I get you, and I know you don’t want to have a whole family thing going on.  

(Oh, and before I forget, I love the Ghanaian day name tradition. Very much. Highly endorse.) 

Okay back to the topic – I feel like you weren’t far off on looking for R names; my instinct, as you correctly pointed out, was to have a name that is similar either in sound or rhythm to the first two you have. Like that first grade thing: ‘when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking (and it says its own name).’ I do not apologize for putting that in your head. 

So your first two kids’ names are three syllables apiece, and they don’t have emphasis in the same place. So, some of the more obvious choices are names that don’t begin with A, but have a similar structure. I thought of Isaiah, which I love but which you might find (though I don’t) too similar to Ariya. Or something like Elias,  or Ezekiel (or even Israel, if that appeals) – they’ll still sound like they’re in line with your kids’ names but not like it’s a clan of As are going to roll out like a baseball team shouting positive terms that start with A.

Other names that come to mind include Gideon (it shouldn’t work but the fact that each syllable has a strong vowel sound makes it go) or Solomon or even Julian. They’re different, but still three syllables, and if I’m patting myself on the back, I’d say I like that they echo the “n” in Aeron, but since you’re not using that all the time, it’s not too matchy. 

I’ve always liked Malachi and it sort of sounds like the inverse of Ariya, in a weird way, and Nikolai would work as well. Further afield from your style, but still working for a syllabic link are Frederick and Samuel and Dominic – or echoing names like Darius. 

Just to be contrary to my own contrariness, if I wasn’t so consciously avoiding A names at your behest, I’d be inclined to suggest Abraham (ask Lainey!) or Apollo or even Augustin. I don’t think anyone would hear any of these name choices and think they were a compromise just so all of your kids would ‘match’. 

I’m excited about this – let us know!