Welcome Leopold GregoryUPDATE: Marla writes, “Sorry it took so long to write. Loved so many of the suggestions! Before I went into labor, it felt like Tobias was our top name. But we’re still  saving Tabitha in case we ever have another daughter, and realized we would prefer to avoid repeating initials. That left Gregor on my husband’s list and Reginald and Cedric on mine, but we were both “meh” about the other’s choices. In the end, seeing so many votes for Leopold swayed us both. And so we went with Leopold Gregory. Thank you all so much!”

Marla writes:

We have two children, Montgomery and Cordelia.

I love that they’re names from another time, old world names that feel like they stepped out of a nineteenth century novel.

We’re expecting our third child this spring. Gender will be a surprise.

We’re pretty settled on Tabitha for a girl, but we’re all over the place for a boy.

Names we have considered:

  • Sebastian – Almost used this for Montgomery, but now I feel like I hear it everywhere, and maybe it’s not a good fit anymore.
  • Arthur – Could be great, but my husband has a relative named Arthur and it might be weird to use it for that reason.
  • Gregory – My husband really likes this name, but I think it’s a little rhyme-y with Montgomery, and while I love Monty, I really don’t care for Greg.
  • Lawrence/Laurence – But maybe we have too much of a subtle Anne of Green Gables thing going already?
  • Graham – I kind of like it, but it’s short and I’m really not a short name person. Don’t really like shorter names with our last name, either.

Can you help us think of some more ideas?

Our last name sounds like James without the J.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on baby number three! I love Tabitha with Cordelia and Montgomery.

It does sound like you’re a little stuck on boy names, doesn’t it?

Sometimes the world catches up to us, discovering our favorite names before we get a chance to use them! That sounds like that’s exactly what happened with your list here – Sebastian and Arthur have gone from undiscovered gems to everybody’s favorites.

Gregory is great, and I’ve heard it used for this generation in full. But I know what you mean about Montgomery and Gregory sounding a little repetitive together.

It strikes me that neither Montgomery or Cordelia rank in the current US Top 1000. Maybe it would help to focus on names that are similarly underused?



Archie is rising in use, but it’s still just #466. And Archibald is very rare. Montgomery, Cordelia, and Archibald have that stepped-out-of-a-period-drama sound for me.


Gregory is great, but I know what you mean about Greg. It’s very Brady, even after all these years. (Maybe especially after all these years. And I know some great Gregs!) Could Benedict be another option? It’s slightly British, broadly familiar thanks to leading man Cumberbatch, and easily shortened to Ben.


Conrad is one of the great names that everyone knows, but almost no one uses. Except … maybe it’s a little close to Cordelia? Not sound-wise, exactly, but visually they look quite similar. Still, it’s worth consideration.


A handsome and traditional name, Frederick is more popular in the UK than the US. That’s also true for sweet nickname Freddie.


Horace is serious and tweedy, while cousin Horatio is spirited and high-stepping. I can make the case for either name, but I think Horatio pairs best with dashing Montgomery.


A knight from medieval legend, Percival is quite handsome, and nickname Percy makes it easy to wear.


Not so long ago, Reginald would’ve felt stuffy. But I think it’s almost time for a comeback. Or at least it’s early stages in the UK. And Reggie is darling, plus Rex is another nickname option.


Polished and understated, Wallace feels nicely understated. But Scottish hero William Wallace lends it some bravado. I think Wally could be cuddly on a baby, but I’m not sure I like it as much as Monty or Archie or Percy or lots of the other possibilities.


I think Horatio is my favorite. Doesn’t it just sound like Montgomery’s mischievous little brother? Except the lack of a nickname could be a limiting factor. Do you just like Monty, or do you actively use it?

If you’re in the market for a name with an easy short form, then I’d give the nod to Archibald. It sounds a little dramatic, even outlandish, compared to Sebastian or even Arthur. It’s a BIG name for a baby!

But it’s such an old world, gentlemanly choice. I mean … Hollywood icon Cary Grant was born Archibald Leach.

Readers, what would you name a brother for Montgomery + Cordelia?

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. Clemens, Tolliver, Sylvester, Edmund, Wilbur, Roscoe, Gulliver, Fitzgerald, Woodrow, Ulysses, or Barnabas?

  2. How about Terence as an alternative to Laurence? If you don’t like Terry as a nickname, you could use Tex, but I think the full name would work well.

  3. I have been thinking way too much about this and have a few more suggestions. It’s just a fun challenge with names that don’t pop up too often!

    Instead of Gregory, how about Diggory? Digby could also work.

    Or have you considered just Gregor? I feel it’s much less likely to be shorted to Greg, and it avoids repeating the ending of Montgomery. Oh, how about Macgregor? That opens up Mac as a nickname rather than Greg.

    Similarly – Macarthur (since you also like Arthur).

    Others: Barnaby or Bartleby, Maximilian, Adrian or Hadrian, Kenneth or Kent, Oscar, Dashiell, Edgar

    1. Gregor is a great suggestion! Montgomery, Cordelia, and Gregor sounds lovely, and it goes well with last name James-without-the-J. Makes me think of Gregor Mendel.

  4. I would add Raymond and Clarence nicked Clancy. Also love the suggestions of Archibald, Wallace and Laurence nicked Laurie.

  5. If the parents love Tabitha for a girl, maybe they’d like similar names for a boy? Such as…

    Thaddeus (nn Thad or Teddy)
    Theobald (E.M. Forster gave the nn Tibby to a Theobald in the novel Howards End)

    Several people have mentioned Leopold, which I think is a lovely name. But when I combine it with the nineteenth-century prompt, my mind goes straight to King Leopold II of Belgium, which would be a giant no for me!

    Leonard is an appealing alternative. It makes me think of Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf’s devoted husband. I do think Monty, Cordelia, and Leo makes a pretty cute trio!

  6. A few that came to mind: Whittaker, Ulysses, Heathcliff (or Radcliffe). Such a fun one to think about, Montgomery and Cordelia are such great names.