Oh wise Duana!

I am hoping you may be able to steer me in the right direction as you did once before…

We have a Hazel Louise (4), decided with your help on a Delilah May (2) and now are expecting our final installment, a boy in approximately 5 weeks.

Hazel is a crowd pleaser name, we never get a bad reaction and it's different and older without being overly used, tick tick tick!

Delilah gets a mixed bag of reactions, you can tell the minute you say it if someone likes it or hates it, but god it suits her and her cheekiness!

Now we’re not naming our kids to please other people, but somewhere in the middle of these two names is a gold standard; you’ve heard it, it's not unusual enough that your child is spelling it and it's not saturated and therefore ‘trendy’, bleh. 

Boys names are HARD! Harder than girls for sure. We want something older but not on the rebound, like Freddie/Alfie/Ned etc and super traditional names (Peter/Tom/Jack etc) feel like we aren’t being daring enough after Hazel and Delilah (aka boring), plus we’re both highly creative people. Hubby also hates last names as first names.

Our last name starts with N. It has to flow with the girls names. Oliver, Rupert, Samuel, Julien, Beau, Ellis, Finn and Orlando all taken by family!

Top three are: Rowan, Jude and Solomon although I highly doubt I will get Solomon over the line with hubby although I adore it. So Jude and Rowan are probably the best candidates we can come up with. We love the strong but gentleness of Rowan, that it seems everyone knows a nice Rowan but it's not common, maybe its a bit hippy. 

Jude has been on the boys list from the beginning, we love its gentleness too and that’s a fun full stop when combined with the girls names, but becoming quite popular in our funky area of Sydney. 

Any other suggestions? 

Oh and middle names could be one of or a combination of family names: Blake, Michael or Paul. Rowan Blake? Jude Michael Paul? Something completely different?! HELP!

Thank you!!  


All right, I hear you and I know where you’re coming from. Not only do you want the name that’s heard and it’s not unusual enough that your child is spelling it, but you want a bit of an unusual sound. It’s true! Hazel and Delilah are neither of them copies of names  -- they’re not how Ella sounds like Emma sounds like Elliot, or etc. Plus I totally feel you on the surname thing. 

This is why… I think I have to caution you against Rowan. I know I’m really taking a risk as I’m probably right up against the due date here, but it is trendy in a way your other names aren’t, by virtue of being a two-syllable ending-in-n. In addition to which, given the names in your family, you may run across people who think Rowan is a girl. That is, given Hazel and Delilah, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Rowan was a third daughter in this situation, since where I am, it is far and away more common as a girls’ name (and approaching ‘popular’ to boot.) I’m not saying that’s such a bad thing, but it is something to note based on your restrictions above. 

I do love love love Solomon and wish I could reach through the computer and tell you that you will not regret using it. Yes, it ends in ‘n’ too, but it’s underused and has a lot of strength. The more accessible version, I guess, is Simon, which you know I love, and which shares qualities with Rowan – but it isn’t quite as special, is it? 

That said, any name ending in N – Rowan, Solomon – may run into your one-syllable N-last name in a way you don’t love. I know you are considering middle names, but if you say just the first and last out loud, you will find they may blend. This is a reason not to go with anything ending in N, though if you do, the rhythms of Solomon give you more movement before the N- last name. 

So. I totally get and buy into Jude as a contender, and think it works – I agree with your descriptor of it as having a ‘fun full stop’. But if it’s feeling a bit too much on the upswing, you might want to consider Judah – though you might feel like Delilah already has the lock on that ending, and I get that. There’s also the incredible Julius, but if I’m getting a bit far from your original recipe, I understand that too. 

Other names in your wheelhouse that I would consider include August or Isaac (I’m tempted to recommend Isaiah which I LOVE and which would pair beautifully with your surname, but I can totally see how Delilah and Isaiah might seem a bit too matchy.) Nameberry says a name similar to Solomon is Enoch, which you know I wholeheartedly endorse, or Sebastian (I know it ends in ‘n’ but there’s a lot before it to mitigate that ‘n’), You might like Ezra or Callum – though I know the latter fluctuates WILDLY from community to community in terms of whether it’s commonly used or unheard of. 

I’m pretty charmed by Blake as a middle name but depending on which first name you choose you may really want a two-syllable middle name to help with flow – Jude Blake N--- is a bit too short, but Jude Michael Blake helps the name flow along quite a lot. 

Let us know what you decide… since I suspect you may be currently in the car on the way to meet him!