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!
Hello! We are having a bit of trouble deciding on a name. We are not sure if baby is a girl or a boy, but we love Kamp for a boy but cannot find a great middle name. (Or if you have another K boy suggestion, too!)
We also cannot think of a girl K name that fits our family and is still unique. (I know, the never ending request of unique names, haha.)
Siblings to baby are:
Would love your help!
Please read on for my response, and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Dear Ashley –
Congratulations on your new baby! Let’s work through these questions one by one.
KAMP: THE BOY NAME TO BEAT
I’m thinking about Kamp. On the one hand, it fits your family perfectly. On the other hand, I think it sounds a little less name-like. Not because of camping, which seems outdoorsy and positive, an active sound like Kruze. But there’s also camp, as in a synonym for exaggerated or outrageous.
So I think Kamp needs a solid, traditional middle name to anchor it, just like Kruze’s middle name, Mark. But it’s too easy to choose a middle that brings to mind a famous, real-life destination. (Kamp David is out.) Still, I think that’s the general vibe – a strong, masculine classic.
Kamp Alexander, Kamp William, Kamp Thomas, Kamp Zachary. I like Kamp Zachary a lot, or maybe even Kamp Zachariah? That’s my favorite.
I’m tempted to suggest other K names, but I feel like you’ve probably already considered Kingston, Kase, Kade, and lots of other obvious choices. One possible substitute is surname Kemp – which means champion or warrior. But I suppose Kemp would be misheard as Kamp, too, so I’m not sure it’s a better choice.
K NAMES FOR GIRLS
For a daughter, we’re probably looking for a word name, surname, or another choice with a modern vibe, right? Kennedy seems like the most common of your kids’ names; Klover feels like you’ve probably never met another.
Since we’re looking more for Klover names, would you consider:
Kairi – It might mean ocean, but it comes from the Kingdom Hearts video game series. My first guess was that Kairi sounded like Carrie, but it actually sounds like Ky-ree. After all, Kai rhymes with Ty.
Kamber – It’s sort of like Amber-with-a-K. It works nicely with Kruze, Kennedy, and Klover, but could rule out naming a future son Kamp.
Karis, Karys – Carys is a Welsh name meaning love; Charis is an ancient Greek name meaning kindness. Karis might be an update of either, rhyming with Paris.
Kerrigan – It’s a surname name. Parents might connect it to Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan (and the scandal that followed), but I feel like that will be ancient history for a child born in 2020. (No, really. It was 25 years ago!)
Kerith – Kerith is the name of a brook mentioned in the Bible. There’s also a lake in Iceland by the name, but it doesn’t seem to be related. It’s very rare, but I think it has the same interesting, unexpected sound as Klover.
Kestrel – A type of falcon, and a bird name that feels fierce and feminine.
Kiernan – Kiernan Shipka’s name is Irish. It means, roughly, little lord – as in ruler. I always thought it might catch on, thanks to the actor. So far, it hasn’t … and yet, I think that’s exactly the vibe you’re going for. Kennedy, Klover, Kiernan … love it. Kieran is an option, too, but it’s more common for boys.
Overall, my favorite is Karis/Karys. There’s nothing quite like it. The meaning is great. And spelling it with a K rather than a C might simplify the pronunciation. Plus, it doesn’t sound anything like Kennedy, Klover, Kruze, or Kamp – so it seems like it would add to your family without ruling out using Kamp in the future.
One last thought, though – if you think this child might complete your family, I wonder if you’d consider Kampbell for a girl? I’m working on the assumption that you might like to reserve Kamp for the future, but maybe that’s not the case.
Okay readers, over to you – let’s find some daring K names that work well with Kruze, Kennedy, and Klover!
I get the outdoorsy reference of Kamp, but it did also remind me of the adjective meaning over the top, and often applied to things like drag shows and certain musicals. Nothing wrong with that, I love campy shows and things, but I think it is good to be aware of multiple meanings of words be for you chose one as a name.
Interesting challenge to find a name that begins with a K sound, particularly a rarely used name, though using Kennedy indicates the name does not need to be esoteric. You seem particularly drawn to, or at least ok with, word names that begin with a hard C, and are switched to be spelled with a K to fit your theme. That opens so many possibilities! Here are some that range from highly esoteric to less common, in no particular order.
Girl names / Names I think lean feminine
Karoline / Karolina
Kalm / Kalmly
Kamilla / Kamille
Boy names / Names I think lean masculine
Kelly (fresh and unexpected on a boy?)
Given that you’re not afraid of unusual names, what about Kelso? That could work for a boy or a girl. I knew it first as the name of a racehorse, but of course, it’s also a character name from That 70s Show.
Love the suggestions of Kemp/Kemper and Kampbell as possible adjustments to your original suggestion of Kamp! Let me throw in a few more suggestions, a lot of these skew unisex but I’ll just categorize them as I’ve heard them used.
Kassidy feels like a brilliant suggestion. My first though on Karis was the villain in An Ember in the Ashes. Overall Abbey’s suggestions are awesome. I’ve always been partial to Keely, which like Kennedy is an Irish Surname.
For a boy, I’m suggesting Kemper (nn Kemp?) or Kyler.
For a girl, I like the suggestions of Kairi, Karys and Kestrel. Other suggestions: Kambrie, Kora, Korinne (nn Kori) or Kyla or Kylie.
I was going to suggest Kemper too. Ages ago I went to camp with a boy named Kemper. I thought it was the coolest name.
I like the above suggestion of Kiernan or Kit for a boy. I also like Kassidy for either. To me, it has the same swagger as Kruze and the last name vibe of Kennedy and the old timeyness of Klover.
Sara L. Uckelman says
Two thoughts — “Kamp” + “dad’s given name” would be a solid choice that ties an unusual given name with something that squarely anchors it to the family — and it would avoid the “military fortress” sound as soon as people realise his middle name is dad’s name.
I like the alternative suggestion of “Kemp”, but I also suspect that it will read very strongly as Catholic, due to Thomas a Kempis.
Ashley Rodgers says
My husbands name is Klayton, I think if I replaced Klay with Kamp, Kampton would be a really cool name option!
Kansas, Kenia for girls, Klaus, Keaton for boys
I actually like Kiernan better for boy. Or what about Kiefer? Kingston/King?
For a girl, I love the simple, but strong Kit. But I also love Karis/Karys. My daughter has a ballet classmate with the name Karedis (she is Venezuelan). I don’t know much about that name, but it sounds lovely.