Name Help: A Brother for MillieName 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!

Courtney writes:

My husband and I are really having a hard time coming up with a name for our baby boy due in August.

Do you have a list of boy names that are related to exploring/adventure/nature/mountain related? My husband is really into traveling, and he keeps suggesting that we name our son after a mountain pass or something. However, I’m not fond of any of the suggestions he’s made.

I was wondering if you would make a name suggestion post? Our daughter’s name is Millicent (Millie) Michaelle. We mostly call her Millie.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your son!

While I don’t have a specific list that covers the theme, let’s see if we can’t make one now! I think the challenge is this: a name borrowed from a mountain pass might be richly meaningful. Or it could be burdensome, the kind of name that has to be explained constantly.

I’d guess it’s often a little of both.

So unless you both agree that Flexen (a mountain pass in Austria) or Grafton (in Maine) is significant to you both, and you’re willing to spell, repeat, and explain your son’s name frequently? Well, then, it’s probably better to strike a balance.

Let’s look for mainstream names with ties to adventure – because that’s a great suggestion! – or that just happen to be shared with mountain ranges and passes.

It makes the name a both-and: both meaningful, because it refers to something your husband loves, and mainstream enough that it’s easy for your son to wear.



Frontiersman Jim Bridger’s name dots all sorts of places in the Mountain West. In fact, it’s made the Top 100 in places like Wyoming. And yet, it’s a Top 1000 choice in the US more broadly, and a name that fits in well with Carter and Hunter.


Brooks sounds outdoorsy, but it’s also the name of a mountain range, stretching from Alaska into Canada’s Yukon Territory.


The Saint Elias Mountains are also found in Alaska and Canada, plus Mount Saint Elias is the second-highest mountain in the US.


Everett just sounds rugged. Maybe that’s because it’s one sound removed from Everest.


Let’s wing our way to the other side of the world, where Australia’s Mount Huxley suggests this possible name. But even without the Tasmanian mountain, Huxley sounds like an adventuring name for a son.


A ridge is an elevated mountain crest; it’s also familiar as a surname. That combination makes it feel nicely rugged, and yet perfectly wearable, for a child.


A strong name, easy to spell and pronounce, and yet quite unexpected.


Wild could suggest chaos. But in this case, the name conjures up the wild, untamed outdoors.


If there is a more obscure, not-quite-a-name suggestion that your husband loves, is there any chance it’s perfect in the middle spot? There are lots of reasons to go big with a middle name, and if you’re chosen something more mainstream as a first, then it works even better.

In fact, that’s my favorite idea. Something like Everett or Brooks, paired with a more distinctive middle, possibly drawn from a significant place in your lives or an explorer/climber your husband admires.

Readers, over to you: what would you name a brother for Millicent “Millie” Michaelle that sounds bold and adventurous?

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. Peregrine! It means traveller and there’s a falcon. Could be called Pippin or Perry for short!

  2. I like Everett “Rhett” and Elias “Eli” with Millicent “Millie”. Great suggestions! I wonder if a name after a famous explorer like Boone, Lewis, or Clark would appeal at all.

  3. I love the suggestion of Everett, which not only sounds like “Everest,” but also means “strong boar,” so it feels very woodland-inspired to me!

    My own first thoughts: Orson (bearlike), Zev (wolf), Heath (moorland), Yves (yew), Sylvester (woodland), Leopold (a nod to one of the founders of modern conservation, Aldo Leopold, and also brings to mind the “lion” meaning of “Leo”), Bernard (brave as a bear), Arthur (bear), and Pierce (rock).

    From these, I think Millicent & Sylvester sounds phenomenal (Millie & Sly / Millie & Sy). My own favorites would be Millicent & Leopold (Millie & Leo) or Millicent & Arthur (Millie & Artie / Millie & Art). Good luck and congrats!

  4. Here was my thought process:

    * Brother for Millie? … Archie!
    * Oh, outdoors and adventurous? … maybe Archer!
    * Oh, big sister is Millicent called Millie … I wonder what Archibald means? … True and brave! Perfect!!
    * Perhaps Archibald is a bit much … but with Millicent Michaelle, Archibald Atlas could be fabulous! And I love all combinations of their names … Millicent and Archibald! Millie and Archer! Millie and Archie!

    Hope you find something you love!!