Dear Duana,

Help! My husband and I are expecting our second child in two weeks and my husband and I still haven't settled on a name for our little man. With our 2 year old daughter, we had an easy time because we both loved her name - Blair. It is strong and soft at the same time and is of Scottish/Gaelic origin. We also liked that it is not overly popular so she will not grow up having the same name as many of her classmates.

We'd like another Scottish/Gaelic name for our son and again would like it to be a name that is not overused. Also our last name is S------man which is a long name for a little person so we would like a shorter, 1-2 syllable name. The names we have liked best are Duncan, Graham, Gavin and Everett but none of them feel quite right. If you’re stumped on suggesting a first name I'd also take a suggestion for a middle name that fits our requirements!

Thanks for your help! My co-worker and I love Lainey Gossip we specifically love discussing your name recommendations and analysis.


Well… well…But... but what’s wrong with Graham?

Look, this happens, but not that often – where I think of a name that is perfect while I’m reading the letter, and then get to a caveat later in the note that says “oh but we can’t use this amazing name that you just thought of, Duana.”

Often it’s because the name belongs to someone else in the letter-writer’s orbit – either a family member or the name of a friend’s child or etc – and this my pride can deal with. But when you just don’t like it? Graham and Blair?

Okay, fine. I’ll get over myself. But I’ll warn you that...well, put it this way.

Do you like garlic? I love garlic. I think that’s pretty common, actually. People who love garlic love it a lot, see no end to the appetite for garlic, and are consistently trying to convince people to go with them to this restaurant. (I’m gonna make it happen in 2018. No question. If you’ve been, please send me your reviews. RAVES ONLY.)

Similarly, there’s names like the ones above that have a hint of Scottish/Gaelic flavour, and then there are some others, but they’re reaaallly Scottish. They get right in there. They need a BURR.

First of all, it’s time for us to take back Angus. This name became a bit of a cliché for awhile but it is great. It fits your requirements and it allows ‘Blair to have it’s own character… Hamish is here too, but gets a bit long for your liking. I’ve always loved the rare-but-not-for-everyone Keir… or you could go with the delightful Dugald, which I adore. I’ve also seen it spelled Dougal, but you want to stay as far away from Doug as you can. That name’s return is… still not yet upon us. Not for awhile.

Knox? Fergus or Flynn? Teague, Tate, or even something like Kelso, which I had no idea was a name we could be going with but am now kind of in love with, Ashton Kutcher association bedamned. Emmett? Idris? Dane? Bryce? Cole, which is British but has the feeling and the… smoothness… that I think you want?

I want a well-reasoned argument for why you’re not going with Graham. Or Duncan. Or why you don’t like garlic.  Okay, not really, but I hope I’ve given you something here to chew on. Maybe?