Name Help: A Brother for Everett JosephName 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!

Nicki writes:

I would love your advice on what to name our second baby – a boy.

Our first son is named Everett Joseph. We picked out Everett long before we were pregnant and never second-guessed it. Joseph is my husband’s and his father’s middle name. Our original plan was to nickname Everett “Rhett” which I still love but it just never stuck. We call him “Ev” or “Evvie”.

For this new baby, the middle name will be James, which is my dad’s name.

Here are some considerations:

  1. I come from a big nicknaming family so we will be nicknaming this kid one way or the other. I prefer a longer official name with a nickname.
  2. I go by my middle name (my parent’s decision) and it’s been a headache to explain my whole life. So I would like a name that doesn’t have to be explained (odd spellings, pronunciations, etc.)
  3. Our last name is a common J surname, ending with -son. Many people shorten my husband’s name to BJ which he doesn’t like. I would like to avoid names that lend themselves to that type of nickname – BJ, CJ, JJ, etc. but I’m willing to make an exception for the right name!

On to the names:

ARCHER – Our frontrunner is Archer. Nickname Archie or Arch. I really like this but it doesn’t feel 100%.

RHODES – Rhodes. Nickname Rho. Might be a little too eccentric though I know it’s gaining in popularity a la Hayes.

REID – No good nickname . I don’t like “Reidy”

GRAHAM, BROOKS, GRIFFIN – We like them but they feel overused or done at this point…

WIN – I would love a name we could nickname as Win but I don’t like Edwin and feel like it could quickly turn in to Eddie

Other names we like but can’t use because of close family/friends include Beckett (Beck, Kit), Nash, Mason, Cole, Whit, and Sheppard.

Names I like but my husband doesn’t include Elijah/Eli (this would be my first choice), Easton, Hugo (Hugh), and Henry (Hank).

Names my husband likes but I don’t are Blake and Leo.

Names I like, but prefer for a girl are Chase and Elliott

I feel like I’ve always considered every name under the sun but maybe you have some suggestions! I feel like my style is akin to the “Preppy Hellraisers” category you’ve shared before but none of the other names on that list feel right either.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your second!

Everett Joseph is a great name. And I love the sound of Everett Joseph and Archer James so much, that I’m tempted to say you’ve absolutely nailed it – his name should be Archer, called Archie/Arch, and let’s move on.

But … sometimes if you’re not quite 100% on a decision, the best approach is to exhaust all the possibilities and then come back to that truly perfect name.

Regarding the whole AJ/BJ/CJ/DJ issue … I get it. But, but, but … do you really want to rule out every name beginning with A, B, C, D, J, K, M, O, P, R, and T? That’s roughly half of the alphabet, and most of the more popular letters, too. And while your husband dislikes it, it’s equally possible your son might eventually love the idea of being known by his initials, especially if you’re a family of nicknamers.

For the moment, I think your plan of having a ready-to-go nickname makes the most sense.



A steadily rising surname name, Baker offers a bright, upbeat sound and a built-in nickname: Bay.


While Callum is a first name, it shares the same style as Everett, Archer, and other names on your list. And I think Cal is one of the best short forms out there. It could also be short for Callahan, Calvin, and lots of other names, but Callum seems like the obvious choice.


There’s a famous British family by this last name: scientist Thomas, author Aldous, and many other men and women of merit. But Huxley also sounds cool, with built-in nicknames Hux and Huck.


Break Lennox in two, and the possible nicknames double: Len, Lenny, and maybe even Leo – though I know that’s not on your list. But also Nox/Knox, which feels like a logical brother for Everett-called-Rhett. Of course, that nickname hasn’t developed for your older son, so maybe that’s a strike against Lennox, but I still think it works nicely.


There are so many Max names, and Maxwell is among the best known. For something truly obscure, the similar Maxfield might be an option. But I like the way Maxwell and Everett both have a high value Scrabble letter – V and X – and it’s the end of their (likely) nickname: Ev and Max.


Spencer is one of those surname name that’s been around for a while, but has never really quite caught on. That makes it sort of perfect – it’s familiar, but it’s not everywhere like Jackson or Riley. I think Spence works nicely as a short form, too.


Given your current list, I wonder if you might feel like Tatum is more of a girl’s name? It’s definitely unisex. The thing is … Tate leans boy. And I think it checks every box on your list except for the nickname part. So possibly Tatum, called Tate?


Win could be short for Edwin, but also Winston and Winton … and Winslow. And I think Winslow is my favorite for your family, a surname style name that feels cool and compatible with Everett.

If I had to choose from my suggestions, I really do like Callum James as a brother for Everett Joseph, and I really love Ev and Cal. But I’m really not sure that Callum is better than Archer!

But I know there will be some great suggestions, so let’s open it to the community. Readers, what would you name a brother for Everett Joseph?

Would you like your very own #namehelp post, but don’t want to share your question with the world? Find out more about my private consulting services here.

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. Hi!

    Have you thought about Asher instead of Archer? (nn Ash) Also…Colton, Finley & Roscoe with nns: Cole, Finn, & Ross might work?

    All the best to you as you welcome this new boy into your family!


  2. I really like Archer James, nicknamed Arch. Ev and Arch are great brother names.

    I also like the Win as a nickname for Winslow (as suggested by Abby). Winston and Winton seems as if they might be too repetitive with your last name.

    Windsor is another possible full name for Win.

    You might like the nickname Whit. If so, Whitaker or Whitman can lead to Whit. ABC new anchor Whit Johnson’s full name is Stephen Whitney Johnson (no idea where Whitney came from or why he goes by a nickname of his middle name).

    Best wishes to you!

  3. How about Weston? His nickname could be Win or Wes or even Westie.
    Everett and Weston
    Ev and Win
    Weston James

    AND… WJ isn’t really a temptation for people to use as a nickname.

  4. I really like the suggestion of Maxwell / Maxfield

    I would like to add :

    Sullivan (Sully, Van)
    Finnegan (Finn)
    Malcom. (Mal, Mack)
    Bancroft (Bank, Bax)
    Hayward (Hayes)
    Caswell (Cas, Wells)
    Grantham (Grant)
    Crawford (Craw, Ford)
    Harland (Harly, Lando)