brother for Luke and RomyName 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!

Linnea writes:

We are expecting our third child this fall. Although our plan was for the sex to be a surprise, we inadvertently learned that we will be welcoming a boy at a recent appointment.

Our older children are Luke and Romy. They go by Luke and Romy the majority of the time, but their given names are Lukas James and Rosemary Helena. James is a family name, and Romy’s grandmothers are Mary and Helena. Our last name is three syllables, ending in “son.”

We had a few girl names that we were thrilled with, but finding a boy name has been a challenge. We are happy to use a common name if we love it, but the “sweet spot” names seem more our style. My husband also admits that he prefers traditional names for boys more than for girls, as he was excited to call a girl Sunny or Cleo.

So far, our top contenders are Wesley Paul and Rhys Edward, with both middles being family names. I’m more convinced than my husband that one of those will ultimately be the name. Maybe one stands out? Other names we both like are Ben, Leo, Elliott and Sam.

My husband is not sure that he’s heard a boy name that he loves, despite my listing the top 1000 ad nauseam. On top of that, we are both from large families, and with the exception of my father’s side (where most men are Sam or Paul), it’s frowned upon to repeat a name. Looking at the names that are already taken, we are amazed that Luke was available and laugh because this generation looks like one giant boy sibset, including:

Alex, Eric, Bryce, Colin, Evan, Owen, Jackson, Graham, Max, Dylan, Gabe, Gavin, Henry, Theo, Jacob, Joey, Parker, Anders, Garrett, Zach, Noah, John, Eli, Adam, Stephen, Dax, Thomas, Milo, Grant and Brock.

We have discussed how Alex, Dylan, Jack, Owen and Gabe would have been contenders but have very likely been ruled out.

Are there names that click with Luke and Romy that we are missing? I’m sure that you and your readers will have valuable insight.

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new son!

And wow – yes, there are a LOT of great boy names that work with Romy and Luke, but they’re already taken.

Between Wesley and Rhys, I didn’t think I had a preference. But then I tried saying your surname with Wes instead of Wesley. Does the -son ending make it sound too much like Wes Anderson, the director? (Think Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel.) I’m not sure that it’s a dealbreaker. After all, cultural references fade. But if you’re evenly split between Wesley and Rhys, it tips my vote to Rhys.

Besides, Luke, Romy, and Rhys is pretty perfect. I love the visual symmetry of the four-letter (nick)names.

But let’s look for even more possibilities.



I’m not sure if this is quite your style, but would Charles-called-Chase appeal?


James Dean and Dean Martin and Supernatural’s Dean Winchester all make this name effortlessly cool. It was big in the 1960s, but it’s climbing in use again now.


There are lots of longer names for Finn – Finley, maybe? Griffin? But I think it’s perfect with Luke and Romy, regardless of whether you choose a formal name.


It’s a little close to Luke, but I think they’re still great together. I’ve heard Jude used as a nickname for Julian, which could be even better still.


Is Miles an option? It sounds exactly right with your older kids’ names, but I see that Milo is already taken. (Then again, Cleo and Leo rhyme with Theo. At some point, so many names are in use that a little bit of overlap feels inevitable.)


As bright and upbeat as Jake, Nate could be short for Nathaniel or Nathan, but works nicely on its own, too.


An o-ending name that comes naturally from Nicholas.


Traditionally short for Raphael, though, like Nate, Rafe might stand on its own.


Ezekiel is a mouthful of an Old Testament name, but Zeke is sleek and modern.

I’ve mostly stuck with single-syllable names, though maybe that’s part of the problem – would you be happier with something more like Elliot?

Overall, though, my favorite for you is probably Finn, with Dean and Nico close seconds.

Readers, what would you suggest to Linnea?

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. Abby, I think you meant to indicate the Wes Anderson reference is *not* a deal breaker~
    And Wesley to me is one of those dashing names without even trying, so I vote Wesley and maybe even double up the family middle names!

  2. I love Wyatt for your family. Although it doesn’t have the nickname potential you were looking for, I think it marries the name styles of Wesley and Elliott, like Luke, it sounds like a cool cowboy could wear it, and (despite Mila Kunis using it for her daughter) is traditionally masculine.

  3. The names that came to mind for me:



    Mack as a nn for something like Malcolm or Cormac – too close to Max?

    I also like Nathan, which was listed as a possible long form for Nate.

  4. I’m feeling Calvin, nn Cal could fit in your sibset. Luke, Romy and Cal. Lukas, Rosemary and Calvin.

    I also had a “that’s it” moment when Abby mentioned Dean. I mean. He fits in so we’ll with the cousins and siblings! I just don’t know what gets longer than Dean, if a formal name is a thing for you.

    My guilty pleasure name is Thornton, nn Thor. And Luke, Romy and Thor sound like one heck of a sibset. Just saying!

    Best of luck!

  5. Philip, nn Pippin, Pip, or Phil
    Oscar, nn Ozzy
    Tobias, Toby
    Vincent, nn Vince
    Dexter, nn Dex
    Curtis, nn Curt

  6. Isaac, nn Ike
    Hector, nn Hal
    Phineas, nn Finn
    Josiah, nn Joe
    Donovan, nn Don or Van
    Moses, nn Mo
    Reuben, nn Ben

  7. Zeke is an all time favorite. You could also you Hezekiah instead of Ezekiel. I like that both names are four syllables like Rosemary with a one syllable nickname like Luke.

    If you stick with four letters there’s
    Kenneth nn Kent
    Jesse nn Jess
    George nn Jory
    Quincy nn Quin
    Ambrose nn Beau (though Bo is the more obvious spelling from Ambrose)
    Everett or Garrett nn Rett
    Abraham nn Bram
    Killian nn Lian (yes its done)
    Bingley nn Bing
    any biblical name ending -miah nn Miah
    any Latinate name ending -tine nn Tino

    Jess, Quin, Rett, and Lian are probably my favorites with Luke and Romy

    Another way to go could just be a four letter name nn letter
    Zeke nn Z
    Jess nn J
    Quin nn Q
    Beau/Bram/Bing nn B

  8. Since you like Edward enough to use it as a middle, I wonder how you’d feel about Edward called Ned as a first. Edward Paul?
    I love the idea of Wesley called Wes, but I would immediately think of Wes Anderson if your name has the same ending/rhythm. That could actually be a feature, not a bug, and make his name more memorable!
    Is Blake too close to Luke? Peter and Ethan also strike me as especially good with your sib set/name. Congratulations on your new baby! He will end up with a great name.

  9. Lots of great options between Linnea’s contenders and Abby’s ideas. I like so many of them

    I particularly like Nathaniel “Nate” Edward

    My suggestions are
    Nicholas “Nick” or “Cole”
    Declan “Dec”
    Christopher “Kit”