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!
We have three kiddos: Grace “Gracie” Elizabeth, Jonathan “Jon” Andrew, and Michael Stephen – who we thought we’d call Mickey, but is usually Michael. We thought we were expecting our fourth (and probably last) baby. But surprise! We’re having boy-girl twins.
The problem is that we really only have one name picked out: Lucy has been the girl name I wanted for either Jon or Michael. We agreed that if this baby was a boy, he’d be Lucas or Luke. (And probably called Luke either way.) I didn’t want to use Luke before if we might still have a Lucy.
Now we’re not sure if we should use Lucy or Luke, but we know we can’t use both!
Our last name is Czech. It starts with a Hr, ends with a ka and usually makes people stop before they say it. So we want our children’s names to be simple and classic.
We’ve also talked about Marie, Emma, Julia, James, David, and Paul, but none of them seem right. I think I’d rather not repeat an initial, so that means no more G, J, or M names. (Maybe why I’m lukewarm on Marie/James, etc., because I love those names for other people.)
Middle names are also names we love, usually ones we considered for first names but weren’t quite right.
So … which baby gets the one name? And what do we name his/her sibling?
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your new daughter and son!
I totally get how this could throw you for a loop. You have The Name all set. But there’s no way to share it!
My first impulse – and still my advice – is to name your daughter Lucy. It sounds like you like the name Luke well enough, but Lucy has been the one that’s stayed with you over the years.
So if your daughter is Lucy, that means we’re naming a brother for Gracie, Jon, Michael, and Lucy.
We’re ruling out James, and David and Paul aren’t quite right, either. So we need a straightforward boys’ name that works well with his siblings and avoids repeating the initials G, J, M, and L, right?
I wonder if part of the issue is that David and Paul are classic names, but maybe less current? It sounds counter-intuitive, but classic names do trend in and out of favor. I’m going to suggest a mix of traditional favorites that aren’t particularly stylish right now, along with some that are considered quite stylish.
A NAME FOR LUCY’S TWIN
A rock solid classic, Adam remains in the US Top 100. But it’s classic, not trendy.
Yes, Alexander is long. But most Alexanders are automatically called Alex, and Alex sounds perfect with Gracie, Jon, Michael, and Lucy.
Handsome, reliable Benjamin appears across history, from the Old Testament to the Founding Fathers. But Ben feels friendly and approachable.
A classic that remains in style limbo, Peter could be the perfect choice with Jon and Michael.
Sam is just like Ben – traditional in its full form, with casual, every-guy Sam for daily use.
One of the hottest names and a classic, too. Theo sounds perfect with Gracie, Jon, Michael, and Lucy. But you might also shorten Theodore to Teddy or Ted.
I suspect you’d find yourself using Thomas in full, just like Michael. It reminds me of James, with that -s ending, but gives you a different first initial. And, of course, Tom fits in with Sam and Ben.
Maybe my favorite! William-called-Will is a name with history to spare. But it’s not too grand, either, thanks to cozy short form Will. Or, of course, Billy or Bill.
My favorites are Lucy and William-called-Will, or possibly Lucy and Benjamin-called-Ben. Would Lucy Marie and William James appeal? Or maybe Lucy Claire and William Theodore?
Readers, over to you! Do you agree that they should use Lucy for their daughter instead of Luke for their son? And what would you name the other twin?
I adore Lucy, but it is perhaps a little sing-songy with a sister named Gracie – so that could be a reason to go with Luke for your boy.
If not Lucy for your girl, I like Claire, Rose, Alice, Katherine nn Kate, Teresa nn Tess, Stella, or how about Gemma (if you don’t want to use Emma?)
For a boy: Victor, Robert, Daniel, Eric, Simon or Philip?
I really like Adam, Peter, and Thomas because not only do they match so well, but they are popular in the Czech Republic (so an honor to Czech heritage… of course, Thomas is Tomas, and Peter is Slovak / Petr is Czech, and pronunciation is a bit different, but I think it works!).
I know Czech-American families with Benjamins and Samuels too, and those are so classic and friendly – like your other kids’ names.
I’ll add Tobias (also very common in CZ, different pronunciation). Lucy & Toby would be a wonderful pair!
If you went with Luke, I love Anna for his sister (fun fact: I consider Anna to be THE rebel Czech name because it has the double Ns – Czech is phonetic, so no double letters, but somehow Anna slid in, whereas Ana is not so common. So it’s quite the name rebel! A little name-nerdiness there for you!)
Looking through everything said my initial thoughts are Lucy Emma and Timothy Luke. However the more I thought about it the more Lucy Emma and William Lucas seemed to fit a bit better to me. Something about William as brother to Grace, Jonathan, Michael, and Lucy just seems so right to me. As you said, middle names come from names you love but are just not quite right, and that description totally fits Emma and Lucas.
Or if you could get behind a shared initial, I love the symmetry of Lucy Rose & Joseph Luke.
Helena nn Nellie or Nella
Rose nn Rosie
Susanna nn Sunny
Ooh … Lucy & Luke could be fun, connecting middle names!
Jean C. says
Jude, Patrick, Wilfred, Frederick, Henry
Also love Lucy and Theodore together, as well as Arthur.
Alison Doherty says
I thought Lucy and Benjamin (Ben) would be very cute together! I like Max too!
Definitely keep Lucy! I actually feel like it’s a name that doesn’t get used enough because many people seem to want longer classic names. I don’t know how true that is everywhere, but I live in California! So take that with a grain of salt.
I like the suggestions: Adam, Peter, and Thomas for Lucy!
But if I were to add some new names to the list already stated + previous comments?
– JACOB (if for some reason you decided you and your partner are fine with having another “J” name)
– GILBERT – it means “shining pledge” & Lucy means “light”. “Bertie” or “Gil” could be straightforward nicknames. Gilbert is classic to me, but underused. Look up the character, “Gilbert Blythe” from the 1985 miniseries, “Anne of Green Gables”.
– ANDREW – “Andy” is a friendly nickname that fits with “Lucy” or “Drew” is a nickname name that I think might be getting a comeback for parents looking for something short and/or gender-neutral.
Congrats on the twins, and best wishes on every step of the way. Don’t forget to enjoy yourselves!
C in DC says
I agree that Lucy seems to be the way to go. If not, then:
Lucas + Theresa
Lucas + Joy
Lucas + Honor/Honora/Honey/Nora/Noor
Lucas + Anna
Lucas + Evelyn
(Note: You have Grace, Mike, John, and Lu… You may want an E name to spread out the vowels.)
One thing about your existing sibset that struck me – how whimsical Michael and Jon sound together on children.. I realized it’s because those are the brother names of Wendy in Peter Pan! Which makes me wonder whether you should skip Peter (also because KM points out the Narnia pairing of Peter & Lucy.) But it made me think about childrens book character names for your son (because I agree LUCY all the way for your daughter!!)
Lucy & Christopher (love that it would be a nod to your name too!)
Lucy & Charles
Lucy & Timothy
Lucy & Nicholas
This makes me love Peter and Lucy all the more!
Peter and Lucy seems perfect! But would that be too Chronicles of Narnia? I like Iris’s suggestion of a name that means “twin,” how cool would that be. If you want to go with Luke instead, I think Luke and Marie would be great.
Thomas is great, as it means “twin”!
I agree you should use Lucy, it seems to be your favorite. So Lucy and Thomas!
Or Henry and Lucy. Hank and Lucy!
Or William and Lucy. I kind of like Liam and Lucy!
Or Andrew and Lucy.
From Abby’s list, Ben and Lucy and Peter and Lucy are sweet options, too.
I like linking twin names if it’s done subtly… So from your list I really like Lucy and Henry. Just as your Michael goes by his full name, I wouldn’t plan on a designated nickname for either of these names.
Arthur, Henry, Kenneth, Edward, Ethan, Victor