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!
With our first baby, it took us all 39 weeks and 4 days to choose a name. We finally settled on Matthew Roger, after becoming those crazy people who were letting friends, family, and even the nursing staff vote.
Roger is my dad’s name. Matthew we just liked. We sometimes call him Matty/Matt at home, but we introduce him as Matthew.
Other names we both (mostly) agreed on for him were Joshua, Adam, Andrew, Nicholas, Caleb, and Cameron.
We had a much longer girls’ list: Brooke, Shelby, Paige, Kennedy, Sienna, Natalie, Elizabeth, Hannah, Addison, Zoey, Willow, Violet, Melody, Cara, Ava, Isabelle, Molly. There are a few more than we added/crossed off, but these are the ones that made it to the final cut of the list I’ve had on my phone for the last couple of years.
If it’s a boy, his middle name will be Marshall (for my husband’s dad) and if it’s a girl, her middle name will be Michelle (for my mom).
We’re due in December, and it would be great to choose her name before we’re those people again!! We just want a good name for our baby that he or she will grow into. Our last name is very common, starts with a W and ends with SON.
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your second!
We often assume it’s hardest to choose names when we have lots of criteria. And yes, if you wanted a family-inspired name that starts with a G and isn’t in the current US Top 1000 and only has one obvious spelling and has a really good meaning, well … that’s a riddle to solve.
But when our goal is more straightforward, it can actually get harder, not easier. Because lots of names satisfy your criteria: a good name that will serve your child well. I could list dozens of names that fit that criteria. And then I could triple that list.
Instead, let’s try to focus what you’re looking for a little more. Based on your son’s name, I’m going to suggest your new child’s name should be:
- A traditional favorite – A name everyone will immediately recognize, ranked in/near the US Top 100 over the last twenty years. Timeless but current, too.
- Not easily nicknamed – While many names can be shortened, since you’ve opted for Matthew rather than Matt or Matty, I think we should focus on names that share that quality.
- Compatible with your chosen middles – Matthew Roger W-son is great – a rock solid choice. A great many names will work with Marshall and Michelle, too. But it might help drop a few options to keep this criteria in mind.
- Not duplicate sounds from Matthew’s name – Whether or not to repeat initials is very much personal preference, but since your middle names both begin with M, I wonder if we shouldn’t just drop any M names?
With those criteria in mind, let’s look at your lists again.
BOY NAMES: CURRENT LIST
- I’d drop Andrew, because the ending is so similar to Matthew’s name; Nicholas, because it’s so easily/automatically nicknamed; and Joshua, for the same reason.
- That leaves Adam, Caleb, and Cameron.
- I’d put Adam as my favorite of those three, mostly because it has the same timeless quality. Caleb and Cameron feel traditional, too, but maybe not in the same as Adam.
GIRL NAMES: CURRENT LIST
- I’d drop Melody and Molly because of the initial M issue; Brooke, Paige, Shelby, Sienna, Kennedy, Addison, Zoey, Willow, Melody, Cara, and Ava because I think they’re all a little more trending than traditional; and Elizabeth, because it’s so automatically shortened.
- That leaves Hannah, Isabelle, and Natalie.
- Of those, I like Natalie the best. It has a very long history of use and feels equally timeless. Natalie can be the grandmother, the mom, the baby … it’s a generation-spanning name and an obvious sister for Matthew.
Maybe you want to agree with me and say, oh yes: Adam Marshall or Natalie Michelle, we’re all set!
But it’s always good to come up with just a few more suggestions, just in case …
FRESH SUGGESTIONS: BOYS
Like Matthew, there’s no need to shorten Anthony. And it’s quite dashing in full.
The first name that came to mind. Like Matthew, it’s a generation-spanning choice.
If you love Natalie, would Nathan appeal?
While Ryan peaked in the 1980s, it’s since mellowed to a very traditional choice for a boy, ranked in the US Top 100 since 1971.
FRESH SUGGESTIONS: GIRLS
A possible compromise between Cara and Elizabeth/Isabelle.
As brief and crisp as Brooke or Paige, but with a little more of a timeless vibe.
As sweet as Molly, but without the repeating M challenge.
Inspired by Cara, Ava, Hannah, and Sienna. It’s an enduring name that feels fresh, even surprising, on a child born today.
From my list, the two that jump out are Jonathan and Caroline. They’re timeless, traditional, still very much in use and yet sogmehow they feel like names we don’t hear that often.