Name Help: Ezra, Ellis, or Archer?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!

Sarah writes:

Help! We’re due in two weeks with our second child. It took us until the very last minute to agree on our daughter’s name, Rosalie June. We love it now, but it was very stressful, knowing we had to make a choice so we could go home.

It feels like this time could be the same thing all over again. We’ve narrowed down our list to three names: Ezra, Archer, or Ellis.

Here are our criteria:

  • Not common (this is harder because it feels like everyone we know is having babies!)
  • Sounds good with our last name (sounds like Murr-old, so we kind of wanted a longer first name, like Rosalie, but we ended up not liking any in the end)
  • Definitely a “boy” name (maybe this is old-fashioned?)

For a middle name, Rosalie was at first going to be Mae … but she was born on June 1st! So that was a last minute change that we really liked. Not sure what we’re thinking for this baby so middle name ideas would be great, too – just want something that sounds good when we say his full name together.

The only name we’ve ruled out is Reed, because I don’t like the way Reed Murr-old sounds.

We could definitely use some fresh perspective! Thank you in advance!

Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your second!

When I read your criteria, I had an immediate favorite, but let’s work through each name individually.


  • While names like Carter, Cooper, and Asher sit near the top of the popularity charts, Archer is a little less common – at least for now. As of 2022, it ranks #126.
  • Archer does not appear in the girls’ Top 1000. While nearly any surname is used for the opposite gender occasionally, fewer than three dozen girls were named Archer in 2022, versus nearly 3,000 boys.
  • The go-to nickname, Archie, ranks #377. Again, it’s virtually unused for girls.
  • On balance, Archer is almost exclusively masculine and familiar without being too common.


  • In terms of popularity, Ellis is the rarest, at least on paper. It ranks #307.
  • For girls, Ellis ranks #698.
  • This name might feel even more unisex because it’s easily misheard as Alice, a classic girls’ name currently ranked in the US Top 100.


  • Ezra is the most common of the three, coming in at #25. In addition, Ezrah ranks #941 for boys.
  • The name also charts on the girls’ list, at #648.
  • Overall, this name is very popular and also increasingly unisex.

I think they all sound equally appealing with your surname, so in terms of rankings, I’d put them in this order:


If you don’t know a little Ezra by now, you soon will – and there’s a decent chance that Ezra will be a she.


Perfect in terms of popularity, but not strongly masculine.


Still outside of the Top 100 in the US, and exclusively used for boys.

As for middle names, Archer Ellis or Archer Ezra sound like possibilities, but I wonder if you’d like something for his late summer birthday? Let’s brainstorm a few ideas.

  • Summery names: Archer Kai, Archer Leo.
  • Classic favorites: Archer James, Archer Henry.
  • Another current name, but with a different sound and possibly an extra syllable: Archer Lennox, Archer Ezekiel, Archer Sebastian, Archer Everett, Archer Brooks.

My favorite is Archer Kai. I love it as a brother name for Rosalie June. Rosie and Archie are darling if you’re inclined to embrace old-fashioned nickname names. And I think it perfectly meets your criteria.

Readers, over to you! Which is the best masculine, not too popular name for Rosalie June’s brother: Archer, Ellis, or Ezra?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Another vote for Archer.
    Like Alison’s suggestion of Archer August.
    Although not if you have have a third born in September….