Long time reader of the blog, but first time emailer here. My husband and I received the shock of our lives when we found out at the beginning of my second trimester that instead of the one baby we thought we were having (and, frankly, were told we were having at the 8 week ultrasound), it was two babies - identical twins boys! The shock is still there (I imagine we’ll never truly get over that one!), but the boys’ arrival is swiftly approaching (eviction is scheduled for late October if I don’t go into labour sooner). We settled on names early on, but are starting to have some doubts. Our first concern is ensuring that our boys are treated as separate individuals and, therefore, we have no intention of giving them “matching” names (e.g., no “Matthew and Michael” or “Mark”and Max” - although those are all lovely names). We do want our children’s names to all work together, not just between the twins, but also with our daughter’s name, Lila. The two frontrunners for the boys are Jackson and Rex, with very traditional middle names (in honor of their two grandfathers) and my husband’s surname, which is also very common. My husband and I are set on Rex because, despite what others may believe, it is, in fact, a very old name (meaning “king” in Latin) and we like that it isn’t very common. Plus, doesn’t Rex just sound like a fun dude? There is also a family story on my husband's side behind it (it was the name his father wanted to give him, but his mother and sisters refused), which is another nice nod to his father. I have always loved Jackson, and we like the consonance of the “k” sound in both names. Ultimately, my husband doesn’t have any strong objections, but he is worried about its recent increased popularity and wonders if we are overlooking what could be a perfect name for one of our twins that works with Rex and Lila.
You always seem to have an arsenal of traditional, uncommon names to suggest and we would welcome your thoughts on our choices!
How late is the eviction? How much of a run for your money are these two giving you? Because they’ve already punked you once, so nothing would surprise me at this point.
I’ll be fast, I promise – I think you’re in a great place in terms of the things you’re thinking about: not making the names match, having them go with Lila and not just with each other ...and yeah, wondering if Jackson is quite as special as the other two.
Look, while I always advocate for an unusual name, I also want to point out that classic and/or popular names are classic and popular for a reason. Jackson has come to such prominence because a lot of people value that it feels old but still modern, that it’s got a longer more ‘formal’ place for a lot of would-be Jacks to live, and because it fits into the trend of the ‘on’ sounds that are popular with boys’ names right now without feeling like it was made up for that purpose. I would totally get why you would choose it…
But the reason not to is in your letter. The reasons you love Rex, the stories you have associated with it, and especially ‘doesn’t Rex sound like such a fun guy?’ all point to a name you love, and yeah, I worry that beside that, Jackson seems like it’s a good ‘fitting-in’ name but not as likely to shock and amaze, if only because it’s quite commonly heard.
So I had to fight against immediately breaking one of your rules, because my first thought was Felix. Yeah, they both end in ‘x’ and I get that you didn’t want the sound-alikes to be that close – but I chose it because Felix means ‘happy’, because I was thinking about who else is a ‘fun guy’, so Rex doesn’t get to wear that crown all by himself (heh, see what I did there?) and because it’s got that perfect ‘familiar but unusual’ label. If you say them together - “Rex, Lila, and Felix” - you don’t feel like they’re too matchy, but see how they work as a set.
That said, I feel myself trying to talk us both into it, so let’s move on. I think one of the things Rex has going for it (as does Lila actually) is an unusual sound, so thinking about how to replicate that in another name brought me to Cooper. It’s got the same sort of formality as Jackson but with a more unexpected short form and nickname. Or you could go with something like Spencer or Sawyer – still with that surname feel, but more to play with; “Rex and Sawyer” could get up to some trouble, NOT THAT THEY HAVEN’T ALREADY, am I right?
If you want to go single-syllable, you could go Rex and Jude or Rex and Cole – both combinations have a hint of a duo who might go off and start a jazz combo, but I’m not mad at that in the least, you know?
I could also see something like Micah and Rex (I thought about Milo, but it echoes Lila in a way that might be annoying) or even something with a few more syllables – Diego? Elliot? Hell, I even came across Buchanan if you’re feeling fancy; Buchanan and Rex are about as different as they can be, and yet they kind of work together in a hilarious way…
Other names I found in my travels that you might like are Ambrose, which I really like with Rex, though I’m not sure it feels ‘fun’, Guthrie, Virgil, Fielding (!!! Someone has to be writing a YA protagonist called Fielding, right?), Pascal, and Willis.
I bet it’s in here somewhere. I bet you’ll find it even if it isn’t.,.
And let us know! Can’t wait to hear how these two announce themselves. I have a feeling they’re more or less going to come out saying, ‘Let the games begin!’