Update: They went with Sullivan Rockett, nickname Van!
Hi! We need help coming up with a name for our third boy! We’re really struggling with this one.
We have Barrett Lee and August Lee, although he goes by Augie 100% of the time.
This baby’s middle name will also be Lee. I personally also love nicknames, like Bear and Augie.
Please read on for my response, and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Hi Meredith –
How exciting to be expecting your third son – congratulations!
I thought this would be the easiest list to write, but it’s harder than it looks, isn’t it?
Here are the constraints as I understand them:
- You’re looking for a straightforward, handsome boys’ name. It shouldn’t be too common or too obscure. Two syllables seems like your sweet spot, but isn’t a must.
- Both of your sons’ names end with -t. I’m not sure if you want to continue that, or deliberately choose a non-t ending name? My suggestion is the latter, unless, of course, we find the exactly perfect third name that just happens to share that ending.
- Since your surname ends with an -r, names like Parker and Whitaker are probably out.
- Because you’re sticking with the middle name Lee, boys’ names ending with that sound are out, too. So no Riley or Charlie.
That’s not so bad! But then we also need a name with a great nickname. I’m a nicknamer, too, so I can attest that this ups the complexity of name choices. You need to love both the formal name and the short version – and you need the two to be plausibly connected.
Plus, both nicknames have a cuddly quality. They make cute choices for little boys, but might not be used in a professional context. So it’s not just a nickname – it’s an affectionate one, and that narrows our search even more. Lastly, it seems best if the nickname isn’t too common. Augie and Bear aren’t anything like, say, Billy or Joe.
The first few sets of names I considered failed at least one of these tests!
But with a little more looking, I found some possibilities:
Bowen – I keep thinking about Beau – or Bowie, or Bo. It has the same informal vibe as Augie and Bear, but I think Bowen matches Barrett and August. My only hesitation: does Bowen seem too close to Barrett? I don’t think so, but some parents prefer to give every child his own initial.
Dashiell – Dash ranks in the current US Top 1000, but the most familiar formal name – Dashiell – does not. And yet, I think it has a similar vibe to Barrett and August. And Dash is downright darling.
Fintan, Griffin – Finley made my first draft, until I realized Finley Lee is a non-starter. But lots of great names shorten to friendly Finn. I really like the Irish saint’s name, Fintan, but maybe it’s a little too obscure? Griffin, on the other hand, seems to hit the mark exactly right.
Jonah, Jonathan – I can’t recall where I heard Jono listed as a nickname for Jonathan. (Australian readers: is this a thing for you? I’ve never heard it in the US.) I think it works for Jonah, too, and maybe some other names, too. Jonathan seems a little tame compared to Barrett and August, though, and I’m not sure if Jonah will appeal. Still, I like Jono enough to keep it on the list.
Julian – Maybe because “Hey Jude” was written for Julian Lennon, it feels like it can serve as a nickname, even if the names are unrelated. There’s also Jules, which I think has potential.
Harrison, Henry – The nickname that I kept coming back to: Huck. Bear, Augie, and Huck sound like they’re off to climb trees and catch snakes in the woods. (Or something outdoorsy and picturesque.) But what formal name leads to Huck? I like Henry best, but maybe that’s too classic and common for you? Harrison seems like an obvious alternative. Or maybe Hawthorne, Hugo, or Hutton? Ooh … Hutton might be my favorite! I would normally suggest Huxley, but there’s that -ley/Lee conflict again.
Malcolm – Mal seems like the go-to short form of Malcolm, but Mac works, too. And I think Mac has that same informal vibe as Auguie and Bear.
Miles, Mills – I wonder if you’d like an ‘o’ ending name, like Milo or Arlo? Milo and Miles are two forms fo the same name, but I think you could use Milo as a nickname for Miles. Or maybe Mills?
Sullivan – Sullivan might be Sully for short, which is every bit as sweet as Augie. Or maybe Sullivan shortens to Van? Both seem promising.
Overall, I’m most drawn to Hutton “Huck” and Dashiell “Dash.” They can satisfy the requirements for both the formal name and the given name – a tall order!
But I’m sure I’m forgetting dozens of options, so let’s turn it over to the readers.
What would you name a brother for Barrett “Bear” Lee and August “Augie” Lee?
Murphy Lee ( Murph)
Hampton Lee (Hamp)
Silas Lee (Si)
Ezekiel Lee (Zeke)
I heard of an Everest nicknamed Rusty and I just think that’s the cutest thing ever.
Oh, I *love* that!
Favorite from Abby’s is Dashiell. A few other suggestions-
Charles nicknamed Chase!
Laura Powell says
Good names suggested already, I like Paxton myself with the names you already have.
My suggestions :
Mandie L. says
I went to school with an American Jonathan who went exclusively by Jono. His dad was called John. It was unusual, but worked well enough. Bonus is that, with half a dozen Jonathans around the highschool, he was the only Jono/Jonno.
I’m loving Dashiell/Dash with your set.
Desmond nn Des/Desi
Frederick nn Freddie
Walter or Wallace nn Wally
Dashiell nn Dash is my favorite suggestion for you. Redmond nn Red also occurred to me, but that may be on its way up since the Olympics.
The Mrs. says
I know a grandpa Malcolm that exclusively goes by Mac! Very cool.
The nickname Kit feels like he could fit among your other little men. Hmmm…but what for a full name? How about Kitridge?
Barrett, August, and Kitridge
Bear, Augie, and Kit
Similar would be Kip.
Long form could be Kipling.
Or how about Roo?
Barrett, August, and Rupert
Bear, Augie, and Roo
Caplan? Nickname of Cap.
Barrett, August, and Caplan
Bear, Augie, and Cap
Best wishes to you and your growing family!
I like Abby’s suggestion of Sully and Huck.
Hugo nn Hugh
Callum nn Cal
Lennox nn Nox
In Australia Johnno or Jonno would be a given amongst a traditionally blokey, footy culture. My son gets it already and he’s only three. It’s a friendly nickname used among men and would be spoken but not written. You wouldn’t introduce yourself with the name and it would only be used by friends (Thommo for Thomas would be similar). Nicknames in Australia have quite complex cultural rules.
Jonty would be a softer more hipster nickname for Jonathan. Johnny for John I see coming back and is top 100 in my state.
I agree – I feel like Jonno (or Bazza etc) would be a slightly tongue-in-cheek, affectionately humorous nickname for a young person here. A generation or two ago, it might have been serious but not these days.
I suspect the nuances of our nicknames are almost as tricky to grasp as the precise meaning and correct use of the word ‘mate’.
Julie G says
I vote Griffin nn Griff.
Griffin “Griff” Lee _____er.
Harrison could also be Sonny …
Barrett, August and Harrison
Bear, Augie and Sonny.
I think Sullivan (Sully) and Dashiell (Dash) are spot on. I would not repeat the A or B initial.
A few others:
Finnegan, nn Finn
If you really want to have another ending with “t” I suggest Clement, nn Clem. Or Everett, nn Rhett.
I love Abby’s suggestion of Sullivan (with either of those nicknames)!
I was going to suggest Conrad also as these names have been on my own lists and my oldest is Conrad. I also have a Nolan & Beckett. Other unused names from my list that might be appealing: Lachlan, Felix, Hugo, Magnus, Everett, Ryer, Atticus, Callahan.
I really like Thomas with this family! Thom is a solid and unexpected nickname for a little boy these days, at least where I live.
I’m sticking with my original suggestion (fb) of Conrad. Rad is a great nickname with Augie and Bear. I like adding a C here. So Calloway or Cullen or Cannon are my other suggestions!