Dear Duana, 

Help! The clock is ticking and I need your expertise! 

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant with my FOURTH boy (all of my babies have come before 36 weeks so I’m entering the home stretch). 

My husband and I are really struggling with a name this time- we feel like we have used all the “good” names for our other three boys and don’t want this little guy to have a b-list name. We have given each of our boys strong German names (Henryk, Benedikt and Konrad) to stand up to our German last name, ending in “hoff.”

And no we are not Kardashian fans! The “k” in each name was not intentional, we just like the German spelling of each now. Now however, I feel trapped to pick a name with a “k” in it least this new family member feels left out.  

Names we like are Merrick (but worried about a third name ending in “ick” sound), Alhwyn and Jenson (no k), Aleksander (too pedestrian?) and my favourite Wolfe (husband hates).



I hope I am not celeb-splaining to anyone who reads this column, but if you love names beginning with or including K, you don’t have to worry that people will think you’re a Kardashian fan, because… Kris was already going with relatively trendy names when she co-opted Ks for Kourtney and Khloe (I humbly think the other three come by the K-names honestly). In fact, we’ll never know which came first, the homage to her own first initial or the alliteration with ‘Kardashian’. For that matter, we’ll never know if that was part of the attraction to Robert Kardashian in the first place. The woman is a branding genius. 

But that aside, K is a good letter because it is, you know? There’s no confusion about whether it should be hard or soft, and it’s got some architecture to it — nobody needs to apologize for using it. In addition to which, your name choices are, quite frankly, pretty great. 

I will say that I had to reread your earlier names to see where Merrick ended the same way as any of them — and I partially credit my horrific pronunciation of Henryk, (I never took German) but doesn’t it have more of an ‘ee’ sound at the end? Benedikt, too, to me, definitely ends in a T sound, unless you’re going with the Shakespeare/Kenneth Branagh version…. so I don’t see a conflict there. I’m also in favour of it because I forgot that I loved the name Merrick until you brought it up, so there’s that bias acknowledged. 

I do think Alwyn is somewhat less intuitive to say than the other three, so that’s a legitimate concern, and I agree that Aleksander seems a bit elementary relative to your other choices. But I love Wolfe, and though it violates my usual rules about trying to choose a name your partner doesn’t love, I wonder whether you could convince him if you went with Wolfgang? For that matter, could you convince yourself?

I love Jenson, but if you don’t think it’s going to fit, then you could either go with a more “traditional” K name like Klaus or Keating or Keith — or choose a name that has the sound, if not the letter. 

For example - what about Heathcliff? When the names are said aloud it’s going to have the K sound, which I think is what you really love about these names. Or maybe something like Alaric or Theodoric?

If not, there’s always the gorgeous Viktor or Hector - or you could go with something like Nikolas, which is much less used these days than a generation ago and lets you use the delicious nickname Niko - just be aware that people may not automatically assume the K spelling - but given that this is your fourth, I won’t K-splain either. 

Let us know!