Name 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!
We have two boys, Owen Michael and Elijah Stephen, who we call Eli. Our last name sounds like Rye-Neck.
Our third son will be here in a few more weeks and we cannot agree on a name.
For me, part of it is knowing that this is our last baby and I’ll never get to use my girl name. (Lucy Annabelle, for as long as I can remember.)
We also couldn’t agree on Eli’s name at all. I wanted Elijah, my husband thought it was too long, so we compromised by calling him Eli. We’re happy with it now, but I feel like we looked at every name under the sun then, so everything feels like a leftover, if that makes sense.
Maybe we need some new names, or maybe we just need some other opinions on our list?
- Abel – I like this a lot, my husband isn’t a fan
- Arlo – Doesn’t sound right with our last name – maybe?
- Beau – my husband likes it, I think it’s meh
- Carson – not really our style, but I do like the way it sounds with Rye-neck
- Hayden – I really like it, but feel like maybe there’s a backlash against all of the Jaydens
- Ian – my husband liked for Eli, but I thought it was too similar to Owen, and now too much like Eli, too
- Rhett – my husband likes it, I really don’t
- Sullivan – same thing as Carson
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your third!
Most aspects of parenting get easier with experience. Naming? It gets harder!
The good news: it sounds like you both generally agree on a style of name. And you’ve chosen two great names for your older boys.
Looking at your current list, it seems like lots of these are probably close … but not quite.
The one thing I wonder about is Luke, Lucas, Luca, or Lucian. If you’re confident that this child completes your family, would a masculine form of Lucy appeal? I particularly like the sound of Owen, Eli, and Luca.
If not one of those names, would you consider …
A BROTHER for OWEN and ELI
A vowel-forward name, like Owen and Eli, but a distinctive choice, too. Lots of R-enders would blend in with Rye-neck, but I think Asher works.
If Carson, Hayden, and Sullivan are close but not quite, would Declan appeal? Nickname Dex is all kinds of charming, but I’m guessing Declan is usually used in full.
Rhett and Everett share sounds, but Everett feels like a completely different name somehow.
It’s a different, distinctive kind of name. Though I suppose two Biblical E names might make Owen seem like the odd one out? Still, I love it with Owen and Eli.
The -aiden name question is a tough call. I do really like Hayden – and Aidan, for that matter. But they do feel a little time-stamped. Would Hayes work instead? I think it sounds great with your surname.
The first name that came to mind. It shares some sounds with Lucy, and that U sound is bright and different from Owen and Eli. They sound perfect together.
In thinking about Hayden alternatives, I wonder if you’d like Tatum? It’s a fast-rising favorite for boys and girls alike.
If Hayes is close, but not quite right, I’d suggest Wells as another name – similar style, great meaning, but still a little unexpected.
Overall, my favorites are Jude and Hayes. I think they’re both close to sounds that you like, and very compatible with Owen and Eli.
You’ve got long o, long e and long I covered. Maybe look at long a or long u names like James or David or Cooper or Lucas. Lots of classic two-syllable Bible names available for a middle name.
I like Declan Bryce
Our son is named Arlo, in part thanks to this site, and we love it…but it is rising in popularity (if having a unique name is a concern). I like Lucas and Luca – what about Luke – maybe these fur a middle name? But maybe you also don’t want this little guy to “stand in” for Lucy. Jude is great. What about Reece (vs. Rhett) or even Reeve? Good luck! Naming boys is a challenge, three times over especially!
On, hear me out: Gene! Gene Rye-neck is so handsome. A little Gene is unexpected and cute. Owen, Eli and Gene sound like brothers to me, but not in the “I know a family with three brothers names that, too!” way
Before I even read Abby’s suggestions I thought “Luca or Jude”. I also like Adam. And maybe Andrew as a middle name?
What about Levi?
Or Abram nickname Bram seems like a good mix of Abel and Beau. Owen, Eli and Bram .
Alison Doherty says
I love the idea of another vowel name! Arlo and Abel from your list sound perfect to me. As does Asher. Or maybe Isaac since Ian is a little close to Owen. Another thought might be Adrian? It’s a little longer than your boys names, but very cute!
A few more Biblical names ending in N
Aaron – has own initial
Avron! – variation of Abraham: father of multitudes, has fun V! Elijah has the J, Owen has the W, and Avron has the V.
Koren- Hebrew for “gleaming”
I love the suggestions of Jude, Luca, and Asher!
Owen, Eli, and …
Congrats on your third!
So sorry about your girl name going unused! The feelings are real, and hard.
Thinking of boy names based on your list, before reading Abby’s or the community’s responses, I offer
Boaz – Gets your husband to Beau / Bo, has a snappy Z, is Biblical
I was trying to combine Arlo and Carson for you, but Arson is a no go. So! Instead, Larsen, Clarkson, Marsden
Trying for Bible names ending in the -en sound: The only result in my search was Leviathan . Moving on…
I notice your older boys’ names have a long O and a long E sound. It might be nice for Baby 3 to have his own sound. So maybe the “ar” direction is good.
Looking at Abby’s list:
Jude has its own vowel, is Biblical, and reminds me of Lucy, as Abby said. If not Jude, then Judah.
Getting to the comments:
@Maclary makes a great point that Lucy + Ian = Lucian. (Yes, Abby, you did mention this as well. ) Oh, also Adrian is a good suggestion. Has a separate vowel from the other boys.
@Michelle, Abram does fit really nicely!
I’m sure you’ll find something that will work well for your son!
I also like Eli, Owen and Luca or Hayes. Lots of good suggestions. I also would like to suggest Max(well). I think Owen, Eli + Max is just so cute. Then someday if you ever have a Lucy, she will still fit right in.
I know a family with an Ow3n and an 3li. Their third brother is Is@@c. Good luck!
What about Lucian Beau? It uses Beau in the middle spot and sounds very similar to the favorite combo Lucy Annabelle.
I know it’s popular but I think Noah works well with Owen and Eli. Also want to second Luke, Jude, Asher and Hayes.
Erin Beth says
Lots of good suggestions! I really like Lucas if you feel ready to give up Lucy. Other favorites:
Christina Fonseca says
How about Abel nn Abe?
Since your husband likes Ian, could you go for one of the longer -ian names? Abby suggested Lucian, which could work perfectly (Lucy + Ian, nn Luke).
I like Adrian for you as the sounds are similar to Hayden, but perhaps it’s too long and it doesn’t really have a great nickname.
Otherwise – Julian (shares Lucy’s u sound, nn Jules or Jude) or Sebastian (nn Seb or Bas).
I also wonder if you’d like Cian (or Kian) – it preserves the sound of Ian, but the C/K sound distinguishes it from Owen and Eli.
So many great suggestions, my favorite combination is Isaac Gregory
I like Luca or Lucas. He could be Luc for short (a French version of Luke). Owen, Eli, and Luca or Luc go together well.
I also like:
Dexter, nn Dex
Griffin, nn Finn
Judah or Jude
Nathan, nn Nate
Best wishes to you!
Love both Owen and Eli. Just wanted to through out Abram as a possible option for a brother. Since you like Abel and hubby likes Beau I thought Abram (Abe) might appeal to both and I think it sounds great with his brothers.
Owen, Eli, and Abram. Handsome group!
I would also second Luca and Jude.
Congrats and good luck!
I like the idea of the new brother’s name beginning with another vowel. Perhaps…
Ow3n, ELi and….
August – Auggie
Andrew – Andy, Drew
I like the idea of repurposing Lucy. Louis with either pronunciation (Lewis or Louie) would be great in this sibset. Owen, Eli and Lou!
I also love another vowel for you as your pattern. Ansel or Atlas??
The Mrs. says
Orson is probably too close to Owen. Same with Boden, Brody, and Bowman.
Tycho and Ryland are probably too close to Eli.
But! Baxter, Bruno, or Archer might be great! What about Dixon, Mason, or August? Aaron, Artem, Magnus, Duke, or Brooks?
Owen, Eli, and Joel?
You’ve done well naming your first two sons. You can do this!
Congratulations and best wishes to your family!
I think Luca would be perfect!
Hayes and Jude both match well.
I think look for names that contain either a long U or long A since both of the other boys are very vowel heavy names. Luca, Lucas, Jude and Hayes all have those long vowel sounds which is why they are so appealing as a match. Your ideas of Abel, Hayden, Arlo and Beau do too.
Other suggestions with those long vowels as a possible brother for Owen and Eli….