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!
I wrote to you about a year ago when we were expecting our second daughter, Allegra Soleil, a sister for Skylar Celina.
We are expecting again and know it’s a boy, and my husband and I are having trouble deciding on names. I’m more comfortable picking something more common for a boy than I was with my girls. I like both Oliver and Logan and I usually shy away from the Top Ten. I still like Asa; it was on my list with my last pregnancy. Edward has been on my radar as a homage to my maiden name. Most recently Hugo has been too.
My husband isn’t thrilled about Edward as there is a famous person with the same first and last name. (We have a very common last name, starts with B, one syllable, ends in s – though I don’t think many people would even make the connection.) He thinks Hugo is “not bad.” So far, his favorite name is Gregory – which happens to be his name, too. I’m not opposed to Gregory, it’s solid and not overused but not unheard of, either. I would probably use Rory as a nickname to avoid confusion.
But I’m not sold on the name either. Please help!
Please read on for my response, and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Dear Kelsey –
Congratulations on your new baby!
I hear you on the not-Gregory. Except that I think Rory makes a genius nickname that fits with sisters Skylar and Allegra, avoids confusion with dad, and gives him a name all his own, too. And so that makes me think that maybe, just maybe, Gregory-called-Rory would be the best pick … especially if you get more say as regards the middle name.
That’s the other thing that leaps out at me: conventional wisdom says that we should focus on first names first, and fill in the middles afterwards. But for some families, names only click when they’re heard in combination. Given how gorgeous your girls’ middles are, I’m guessing you’re more of the combo type, maybe?
There’s one last thing I think we might want to consider. Skylar Celina and Allegra Soleil are both meaning-rich names, and they point look upwards – Skylar’s sky, of course, but Celina can mean heavenly. Soleil refers to the sun, and Allegra has musical associations, but ultimately comes from the Italian word cheerful. So, I wonder if a nature name matters, especially one borrowed from the sun, moon, or stars?
Let’s see if we can work with both your current shortlist and maybe a few new names to find something that’s perfect for Skylar and Allegra’s brother.
Corentin – An old name from Brittany, big in France in the 90s, but rarely used in the US, Corentin is rarer even than Allegra. It means storm, though, so I wonder if it fits with the skyward names shared by your daughters? Though it’s a far cry from Oliver and Logan, so maybe this is more of a middle.
Felix – Felix, like Allegra, means happy. It might seem a little bit different, but the name currently ranks in the US Top 250, and continues to climb.
Jasper – Another nature name, though Jasper refers to the stone. Again, it’s more mainstream than you might guess, currently in the Top 200 and gaining.
Orion – I think this might be my personal favorite. It’s different, but right around #300 in recent years, which puts it midway between Skylar and Celina. It’s a constellation name, so that’s a good fit.
Neil – This is kind of out-there. Well, it’s not out-there at all. Neil and Neal were 1930s and 40s names, the kind of choices that belong to grandfathers, not grandsons, today. And yet, one of the possible meanings for Neil is cloud. (The other is champion, which is every bit as good!)
Okay, on to the combinations:
- Gregory “Rory” Orion – Probably my favorite option! Yes, you’re handing down dad’s name … but the nickname is so fresh and original that it makes it completely new. And a big, bold, middle name makes it even more your son’s own.
- Asa Gregory – Does making Gregory the middle name help at all? I think it’s a great middle, and can help anchor a slightly less-expected first name.
- Hugo Gregory – Another option.
- Felix Gregory – And yet another!
- Logan Gregory – I’m surprised by how much I like this combination – it’s popular, but still great together.
- Rory Edward – Would your husband consider Rory close enough to his name to use it independently? Rory Edward names your son for both sides of his family. And while it could be Gregory “Rory” Edward, I think Rory is a little bit sparkier.
- Jasper Edward – Edward works beautifully with nearly any first – it’s such a classic. But Jasper Edward is a particularly appealing combination.
I could go on, but I find myself gravitating towards Gregory “Rory” Orion, or maybe Rory Edward? And if that’s not an option for you, then I love the sound of Gregory in the middle, with Asa, Hugo, Felix, or Logan as a first name.
Okay – over to you, readers! What would you name a brother for Skylar Celina and Allegra Soleil?
Image by reaklop2 from Pixabay
Baby Hugo Alexander arrived yesterday! We took almost 12 hours after meeting him to decide on a name but once we heard the right combo it was a done deal. Thank you all for your suggestions and help!
I think boys names are harder than girls … what might work for a sweet little baby boy might not work for a teenager or a grown man … i named my son Nicholas … and refused to let anyone call him Nicky … I myself called him Nico as a baby and a young boy … his friends shortened it to Nic when he started high school which worked well (I still call him Nico and he is a grown man with a son of his own)
My favourite boys name has always been Alexander.
So Alexander Gregory or Orion would be a great name to grow into
Congratulations on the new addition to your family!
Megan Kuchta says
Edward Orion called Rory would be nice if your husband didn’t mind the compromise of Edward as a given name but using a nickname. Rory works beautifully with Orion and still honors Gregory while allowing you to carry on your family name.
I like Gregory Edward, nn Rory for you. Or just Rory Edward. Second choice would be Hugo Edward or Hugo Gregory.
I like Gregory “Rory” Atlas. Good luck with your baby boy!
This might be too out there, but I recently saw/heard the Irish name Cian (kee-an) and it reminded me of the color cyan. Would Cyan (Si-an) work as a boy’s name? The color reminds me of the sky…tying in nicely to your daughters’ names.
I think you can totally get to “Rory” using Orion as a first and Gregory as a middle, if you prefer Gregory in the middle spot. Orion Gregory. And I LOVE Hugo and Neil! I wonder if Luca might be a nice name for this baby boy… It is outside of the top 100, I believe, carries the “l” sound both girls already have, and since many luc-/luk- names are often said to mean “light,” it would be a nice match for the little ladies.
I love Gregory “Rory” Orion for you, but I wonder if you’d consider Orion in the first name spot – it sounds great with Skylar and Allegra! Because it shares a elements of the common name Ryan, it doesn’t feel especially “out there” as a first. Possible combos:
Best of luck!
I love the suggestions of Felix and Jasper! In the comments from the last time around you mentioned considering Tristan and Beckett for a girl. Do either have any appeal for a boy? I think both would go great with the girls. Tristan Gregory sounds fantastic! What about Edwin as an Edward-like option? It’s classic and charming and seems in line with Oliver and Hugo.
Libby Benjamin says
I’m a staunch believer in “no sharing names in the same immediate family,” but I love the name Rory, so that gets my vote IF your husband is willing to have Rory as the full name instead of Gregory.
You have picked some beautiful names!
I was wondering if Kiran would work for you? In Sanskrit it supposedly mean beam of light and, in Hindi, a streak of lightning. Celestial but not over the top. Kiran Gregory or Kiran Edward — both work.
Skylar, Allegra, and Kiran…. You have strong Rs in all three (much like Rory).
Also, another sweet nickname for Edward is Ward. Don’t know if that sways hubby at all.
Let us know! I know you will find something spectacular!
I love the options of Gregory “Rory” Orion and Asa Gregory. Asa and Rory are favourites of mine too, and I think they go so well with your daughters’ names.
If you love a few names why not go for two middle names to honour both yourself and your husband. Even if the names seem popular you can always break it up with the unusual ☺
Iv gone for worldly names to match in with Moon and Sun
Atlas Edward Gregory (Atlas – he carried the celestial sphere (the sky)
Zeus Edward Gregory (Zeus (Roman Jupiter): Father and ruler of the gods on Mount Olympus, he is the god of the sky and lightning)
Jupiter Asa Edward
Adam Asa Gregory (First Man on Earth)
Zephyr Hugo Edward (Zephr- West Wind)
Please update when youve decided id love to know what you end up choosing ☺
Oh I like the idea of Gregory Atlas “Rory”!