Name Help: A Brother for Elowen and AtlasName Help is a series at Appellation Mountain. Every week, one reader’s name questions will be discussed.

We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!

Charlotte writes:

I would love some help with the name of our third son. Our daughter is named Elowen Aoife Rose, and our son is Atlas Boone. We are now expecting our third child, another son.

We love European names with a nod to nature. Meaning matters to us. Because we’ve spent lots of time in Germany, a German name would be ideal. But we also have Scandinavian/English heritage, and we are open to any strong name that feels right.

Our current list:

  • Ansel – except I would rather not repeat initials, so no A or E names
  • Hawthorne “Hawk” – more of a runner-up name
  • Oberon “Obie”
  • Oskar – Oscar is a family name
  • Theodore – my daughter’s favorite, but while the meaning is great it feels very traditional

My favorite middle name right now is Holt or possibly Rome.

Some family names include Aaron, Joseph, Robert, and James. We’re open to including a family name, but our top priority is finding a name that flows with his siblings, and a name with a meaning that feels rich and true to us.

We’d love some suggestions on the best combination of names for our new son, maybe with some European flair and maybe even a little quirk, too!

Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your third!

Elowen Aoife Rose and Atlas Boone are both great names with subtle nods to the natural world. The meanings are positive and powerful, but not obvious.

That’s a tough act to follow! But I think you’ve got a good sense of what you want, and a good start on your list.

That said, I’d probably drop Hawthorne, at least with the nickname Hawk. It seems a little too on-the-nose, maybe? And since it’s not your top choice, I suspect you share that hesitation, too.

Oskar, on the other hand, could be perfect! The spelling makes it seem more German/Scandi. “Deer friend” provides an instant tie to nature. But I like the way it sounds like “dear friend,” too. Strength with a dash of sweetness. I’m not sure I can top it!

Except Oberon is great, too. It makes me think of Shakespeare. Spell it Auberon, and the AU gives me gold vibes. But, of course, Oberon has an appealing meaning, and it’s a moon of Uranus in the night sky, so lots to love there.

Could it be that Oberon and Oskar represent two extremes? Oskar is much closer to Atlas in terms of familiarity. Yes, you might say “Oskar with a K” quite a few times, but people will get it. Oberon? It’s going to take more effort.

So I’m wondering if a name that falls somewhere between those two poles could work.

We need a strong name with a great meaning, preferably ties to nature. We’re avoiding A and E names. German/Scandi/English origins are preferred. And we’re balancing the familiar with the uncommon. Let’s go!



Conrad means “brave counsel,” and it hits that spot between familiar and unexpected. Spelling it Konrad is more authentically German/Scandi, but Conrad might be the better choice in American English. I’m wondering, though, if Conrad’s consonant-heavy sound is too much with Elowen and Atlas?


Falk literally means falcon in German, and it sounds a little bit like it, too. Falco is the Italian. Both are probably more familiar as surnames, but they could be really rare given names to consider, too. Hawk made me think of them, but as with Conrad, I wonder if they’re too consonant-forward.


Does it get any luckier than Felix? A name that announces joy and success, Felix flows nicely with Atlas and Elowen.


Falco is a little out there, but Hugo? Solidly traditional and mainstream. Depending on the interpretation, this names means mind, heart, or spirit – powerful associations, all.


Yew trees are rich with symbolism and found across Europe. Names like Yves and Ivon are related. But Ivo might be the most accessible of the bunch, at least in American English.


A famous Scandi name, thanks to the explorer Leif Erikson, Leif means “heir.” While that’s the literal meaning, Leif looks an awful lot like leaf, which seems to make it nature-adjacent. Purists will pronounce it Layf, rhymes with Rafe. But a fair number of Americans will probably default to leaf, like the word. Either way seems rich with potential.


Yes, the name Leo is very common. But it’s also fierce. And Leopold, as a formal name, is delightfully rare. The second syllable of Leopold means brave or bold, which feels nicely auspicious.


This name feels authentically Swedish, though it’s widely accepted that the name first came to Sweden via a German nobleman. Nonetheless, Stellan is an unexpected choice that feels nicely familiar. Maybe it’s the similarity to Stella – and the potential to share that night sky meaning, star. Stellan might also mean calm.

Overall, with Elowen Aoife Rose and Atlas Boone:

  1. Oskar Hawthorne
  2. Leif Oberon
  3. Felix Leopold
  4. Conrad Holt

Those aren’t in any particular order, of course. At the moment, Leif Oberon is growing on me. But give it five minutes, and I’m sure it will change!

Readers, over to you! What would you name a brother for Elowen Aoife Rose and Atlas Boone?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. German here! Two names that are quite popular in Germany but not so much outside of it are

    Carsten and

    both of which would fit your style very well, I feel.

    I also absolutely love Falco. In fact, I am pregnant right now and if it is a boy, that is the name we will choose. We have another son who is named Arthur. Maybe a bit too common compared to your other baby names, but who knows?

  2. Hans — Elowen, Atlas, and Hans. Hansel was suggested, but I like one-syllable Hans at the end of the sibset. Nicknames could be Hansel, Hansie, Hansen, and Johannes or Johan.
    I also like:

  3. I understand what Abby means about Hawthorne “Hawk” not being as subtle a nature reference as they might like, but I think it’s brilliant and Hawthorne alone is so strong. Thorne could also be a nn.

  4. Elowen, Atlas, and…

  5. Fen — Frisian, short form of names starting with frid, meanng peace, also a word meaning marshland
    Finn — Finn MacCool or Finnish
    Fjord — watery
    Kjell — cauldron
    Sylvan — woodsy
    Tadhg — poet
    Torsten — related to Thor, Norse god of thunder
    Trygve — means trustworthy in Old Norse

  6. Love Orson and Oskar and Oberon, all starting with different vowel sounds, all very special sounding! Congratulations!

  7. Since Elowen and Atlas both start with vowels, the name that came to mind is Orson.

    He means ‘bear’, is Germanic in style, and compliments Elowen and Atlas well.

    Orson Holt
    Orson Rome

    Elowen, Atlas, and Orson

    Congratulations and best wishes!

  8. I am loving the suggestion of Peregrine! I think that is hard to top. I also like Stellan for you, and Phoenix, Pascal, and Blaise came as well.