BostonEditor’s note: I’m so happy that Chantal is sharing her story! It is a great example of how a name that doesn’t feel quite right at first can suddenly click.

When I was pregnant with my now 3 year old son, I knew from the day the stick turned pink that he was a boy. Finding a name for him was just as simple for me, but getting my husband to agree was a little bit of a different story …

Rewind about 10 years (I was barely a teenager) when I read a book in which I completely fell in love with the main character, Prince Nikolai, who went by Nick. I decided that when I had a son someday I would name him Nicholas and call him Nick. I never wavered from this decision, even when I started dating a Nick at the age of 16.

When I ended up marrying the same Nick I had dated throughout high school and we started thinking about having a baby, he was completely against re-using his name for his child. I was devastated, but there was another name I had my eye on: Boston. I loved the way Boston sounded, I loved that it had a preppy feel to it, and I could see it on a little boy, a teenager, and an adult. Nick wasn’t crazy about the name Boston, so I waited until the time was right to bring it up again.

While I was pregnant, we were listening to the radio and the song “Austin” by Blake Shelton came on. … And P.S. if this is Austin, I still love you. I’m sure you’ve heard it… If you haven’t, then we just can’t be friends anymore [insert sarcasm here]. We both sang along to the song and said it was one of our favorites. Nick thought for a minute and said, “What about Austin?” I nodded my head, smiled and said, “You know… Boston is just Austin with a B.” Simple as that, and he agreed. I didn’t think it’d be that easy, but it was!

We decided early on that Boston’s middle name was going to be James, but then we made the mistake of telling people his name. My sister-in-law did not like the name Boston at all. She did everything she could to get us to change it, but we didn’t waver… until she said she’d just call him BJ because she absolutely refused to call him Boston. I fixed that. We changed his middle name. With a few bats of the eyelashes and a “pretty please,” my husband agreed to give his name as his son’s middle name. (Okay… so it took a lot more than that – We considered everything from James Boston to Boston Matthew before he finally agreed to Nicholas).

Everyone thinks that Boston’s middle name is for his father, but I know better. His middle name has a double meaning for my childhood literary-love!

Chantal, thank you so very much! Better still, Chantal has promised to share the story of her daughter’s name, too.

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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  1. I love this story. I have always loved the name Nicholas too, but I’m a Nikki and I go by Nik for short. Well fast forward several years and my college sweetheart (met on day 1) was a Nicholas and he went by Nick (his parents called him Nicky) so we had a Nick and a Nik and we just could NOT bring ourselves to name our son or daughter Nick, Nicholas, Nicole, Nikki, Nicolina, etc etc. We did think that it would be great to keep the Nick going though so if we had a girl (we weren’t finding out) we were going to give her the middle name Nicole and if we had a boy middle name would be Nicholas. They wouldn’t be named for us, but it was more of keeping the Nick in the name for the next generation to do with what they wanted.

  2. Oh that’s my favorite Blake Shelton song! What a sweet story. And i agree, Boston is adorably preppy 🙂

  3. I always love the Reader Baby Name stories – looking forward to Chantal’s story of how she named her daughter. Love the name Chantal too.

  4. Great story! That’s fun how you loved the name Nick and then married a Nick – I did the same thing: one of my favourite names as a teen was Ben / Benjamin and then I married one. 🙂

    There’s a toddler Boston locally – I’ve seen him at the library. (I’m presuming it’s not your son?!) Seeing a little Boston really made the name grow on me. 🙂