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Friday, February 29, 2008

Baby Boy Devereaux ___ C.

Alicia writes:
I'm having a dilemma... Baby #2 is a boy, and due in 3 weeks. (Ohmigosh!) I'm a single mommy, with a 3 1/2 year old daughter already. Her name is Taryn Emma, and her middle name was chosen at 4:30am after 24 hours of labor because I panicked when I realized she didn't have one yet!

Anyway, Baby Boy will be Devereaux. I was trying it on and despite some initial family protesting, it's grown on me too much to let go now. However, he has no middle name (surprise, surprise). It's getting close now and that panic reflex is kicking in hardcore.

I don't have any family names or specific naming traditions to honor. Last name is a single syllable and starts with C. I like unique names and names that are creative. Also creative spellings. His name will be unique and creative already, so I don't want to go overboard...

A few of my possible ideas are:

Keiran / Kiernan / Teirnan

What do you think...?

Your opinions, and those of your readers, are appreciated!!! :-)

One idea would be to repeat what you did with your daughter, and see what comes to you during labor. That does make a good story!

Another idea would be to give him a middle name that parallels your daughter's middle name, by choosing something common. I like the idea of giving common-first-name kids an unusual middle name, and I like the idea of giving unusual-first-name kids a common middle name. It's a good chance for parents to indulge an urge for a name they wouldn't usually consider a serious candidate. I'm looking over the most common names, though, and I don't see anything that works. Devereaux Jacob? No. Devereaux Ethan? No. But Mairzy mentions Devereaux John, and I do like the sound of that.

Let's take a look at your list:

Devereaux Vin
Devereaux Kaeden
Devereaux Keeley
Devereaux Kyler
Devereaux Draven
Devereaux Teagan
Devereaux Tynan
Devereaux Keiran
Devereaux Keirnan
Devereaux Teirnan

I think of Keeley as a girl's name, and so I'm taking that one out. Vin brings to mind the dreamy Vin Diesel---but, like Von, it clumps itself with the surname. My favorites from your list are Devereaux Kaeden and Devereaux Keirnan. If your surname starts with a hard-C sound, I'll bet the K sound is good with it. And with a 1-syllable surname, I like the descending rhythm of 3-syllables, 2-syllables, 1-syllable.

Since Devereaux is a French name, what about looking for more French? Devereaux Gerard is nice. Devereaux Jerome. Devereaux Julien. Devereaux Luc. Devereaux Lucien (LOO-shun). My favorite from this list is Devereaux Lucien, because of the rhythm: I don't know your surname, but I think a first-syllable accent for the middle name would probably go better than a second-syllable accent like Gerard or Jerome--names I prefer.

Say---you wouldn't want to move Devereaux to the middle name position, would you? A 3-syllable middle name sounds terrific with a 1-syllable surname. Lucien Devereaux. Taryn and Lucien.

Okay, let's ask Mairzy:
Devereaux turned out to be an interesting case. It was familiar enough that I was sure I'd met at least one person with that name. But when I searched, it wasn't in any of my baby name books, nor could I find it on (it offered only Devereux, which is similar but pronounced with a "-roo" instead of "-roe" on the end). It's primarily a surname -- just as Cooper, Courtney, and Tucker were once upon a time.

Aside from the spelling, which will drive everyone crazy all his life, it's a name that should fit in quite well in today's world. As for a middle name, here are Mairzy's Laws of the Middle Name:

1. It should flow rhythmically with the first name. I'm a stickler for rhythm, which is ironic because I'm a white girl with none in my body. (Swistle and I had a long discussion about "Eve" as a first name -- I had trouble thinking of a middle name that didn't sound choppy with it. We finally agreed on Eve Linnea.)

2. Middle names should be supportive, not dominate. Names that have been worn out as first names work well as middle names (Michelle, Maria, Scott). Also, names that are milder in sound work well (Anna, Janelle, John). It's my theory that you can tell when a name is on the downside of its trend peak when it starts showing up as a middle name.

3. There are all kinds of exceptions to these Laws.

In keeping with Law #2, I thought most of your suggested options were too elaborate. Devereaux is such a flashy name that it doesn't need a hefty middle name. My suggestions may not be what you're looking for as far as style, but maybe the rhythm will suggest to you another name you like. Since I don't know your last name, I was working with "Cobb."

Devereaux Kane Cobb
Devereaux Grant Cobb
Devereaux Cash Cobb
Devereaux Quinn Cobb
Devereaux Tucker Cobb
Devereaux Zane Cobb
Devereaux Lee Cobb

Kane, Cash, and Quinn run into alliteration with your last name. That bothers some people (I'm married to the president of the Anti-Alliteration League), and others don't mind. My favorite combination is Devereaux Grant, which makes for a pretty snazzy name.

My favorites from Mairzy's list are Grant and Lee.

This is tricky to vote on, because there are so many options here. I'm going to list a heaping handful of them, but please do say so in the comment section if there's one you'd like to vote for that isn't in the poll to the right [poll closed; see below].

[Poll results:
Think of one during labor: 1 vote, 2%
Something common to parallel Emma: 8 votes, 16%
John: 12 votes, 24%
Kaeden: 2 votes, 4%
Keirnan: 2 votes, 4%
Lucien: 5 votes, 10%
Gerard: 2 votes, 4 %
Jerome: 1 vote, 2%
Grant: 17 votes, 34%]

[Follow-up from Alicia:
Hi Swistle! I just wanted to let you know that Devereaux was born on Easter Sunday, a whopper of a kid (2 days late) at 9 lbs 3 oz. *grin* I want to thank you for all your comments and ideas for his middle name. In the end, my grandfather got all sentimental on me and I ended up going with Alix as the middle name, as it's his as well and this is the only boy in the family. :-) Thanks again. - Alicia
Congratulations, Alicia!]


brenna said...

I'm anti-alliteration and anti-creative spelling (with I realize is in opposition to Alicia, but hey, full disclosure, right?) so I liked and voted for Grant. But I like Lee too. And I'm also a Grant Lee Phillips fan, so go figure.

Hey, how about Phillip?

Mrs. M said...

definately grant and lee are the best. what i really like is grant devereaux!! so strong!

Erica said...

I like Devereaux Quinn the best.

Julia said...

I totally love Devereaux Jerome C-something. I think if you're going all out with the French first name, might as well get a great middle name out of the situation, too! Grant to me just falls flat when paired with a name like Devereaux.

Semblance said...

With such a cool, complicated first name, I think something unique, but one-syllable will match it the best. From the list, I like Kane and Cash.

May I also suggest:

Devereaux Rhys (Reece)
Devereaux Miles
Devereaux Jax
Devereaux Jules
Devereaux Jude
Devereaux Grey
Devereaux Lex
Devereaux Lane
Devereaux Aiden (2 syll.)
Devereaux Liam (2 syll.)

From my list, I like Rhys the best. It's simple, but has that unique spelling that the mom wants. I also like Miles

Leash said...

Thanks so much for helping with my dilemma!!! :-) Our last name is Cross, in case that changes or influences anyone's choices and opinions. (I meant to put that info in my email. Ooops.)

Also, thank you to everyone for not saying "Ugh, you're naming him WHAT?" because I'd been getting a lot of that lately and it's driving me bonkers. Devereaux is stuck and stays as the first name... I tried to put it in the middle in my head but by then it was too late. :-)

Gratefully watching the poll results and comments. Yay. I'll be sure to update you if I decide on anything definite (Kaedan was previously my lean-to, but now I'm feeling more open) and when the baby is born I'll let everyone know exactly what I picked. :-D

Bird said...

I love whoever chose Miles. Devereaux Miles Cross sounds fabulous to me. Gosh. I do like this challenge--I might have to consult my name books and come back with some more thoughts.

Stephanie G said...

I like Devereaux Lee Cross (although something about makes me think of David Lee Roth, even though it's not the same, LOL).

I also like Devereaux Miles Cross, as someone above mentioned.

You can nickname him "Dev", which is awesome (and then people wouldn't even know if he's a "Devon" or "Devereaux" ... so they haters can just relax. LOL.
;-) )

I think it's a cool name. :-) Taryn & Devereaux sound great together too. Best of luck!

Five Froggies said...

You know, Kaedan sounds really good with Cross. I like it.

Devereaux Kaedan Cross

I like Blaine, Grey, Quinton, Ryan, Wren, Zane?

Anonymous said...

i actually liked Devereaux Vin
but if thats ruled out I would pick Devereaux Kaedan and if we're going for a more mainstream name then Devereaux John has a nice sound to it.

dncash said...

While this is a little late. I came across this in a search for my own name Devereaux Nathan Cash. I have to say having a first name like Devereaux I don't get a lot of Devereaux who? and being in business for myself the uniqueness of what my parents gave me has been helpful. Best of luck to young Devereaux.