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Friday, May 23, 2008

Baby Boy Gibson

Melissa writes:
I have a baby boy due in mid-July. For the entirety of my pregnancy we have referred to him as Baby 2.0.

I have a three-year-old son named Cooper. What my husband and I love about Cooper's name is that it's (a) has a family connection, (b) is a last-name as a first-name, and (c) doesn't have a default nickname (like Matt for Matthew or Tom for Thomas).

There are many last-name as first-names that my husband and I like, such as Jackson or Benson. Our last name is Gibson, though ... so most anything ending in -son sounds a bit cartoonish. We also find names ending in -on, such as Ashton, or even -n, such as Gavin, a bit harsh when combined with our last name. This obviously eliminates so many great names.

We've researched both sides of our family for another acceptable family name and have come up with nothing. We feel Cooper's names have pretty well covered any "family obligation," so we don't have to consider that in naming Baby 2.0.

We're currently considering Sawyer. It goes well with Cooper, is the last-name as a first-name, has literary connections, and shares its first letter with my mother-in-law's name (while Cooper shares its first letter with my mother's name). However, we just don't seem to be feeling it.

We also like Maxwell. It's one of my husband's best friend's middle names. Joaquin Phoenix, one of my favorite actors, also played a character named Maxwell California (from 8 mm, a very dark film, but the character wasn't dark). I don't mind the default nickname, Max. My only real hesitation with Max is that Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera recently named their sons Max. And I think Max Gibson sounds a bit odd ... can't put my finger on it, though.

The middle name will likely be Pate - it's my husband's middle name and his mother's middle name. Again, it's not something we have to use. Other possibilities for middle names: Benson (a friend's last name) or Yaboa (a friend's middle name, it's of African decent and pronounced just as it looks YA-BO-A). The more "common" the first name, the more creative we'll be with the middle name. California is also a contender (my husband is from SoCal), and I love the combination of Maxwell California.

I'm looking for more name suggestions and perhaps some reassurance on the name Maxwell. I'm really hoping he arrives and looks "just like a _____." But I want to be prepared if that doesn't happen!

So, there it is. I really love your opinions and the comments from your readers. As a mom with a nameless baby, reading your blog has been a wonderful, educational distraction during my pregnancy.

Okay! *brisk clap* So it sounds like we want to concentrate on surname names here. I think Sawyer is a great choice: the first time I heard it on a baby, I immediately thought "OMG GREAT NAME." It is terrible with my own surname, but it's great with yours. (Should we use the word "great" again? GREAT!)

I agree with you that there is something I can't put a finger on about the name Max Gibson. Is it maybe just too much like Mel Gibson? It doesn't sound the same, but it's three letters starting with M and maybe that's what does it. Or maybe it blends too well and turns into something like Mack Skibson. Still, it belongs in the poll.

I'm curious as always to know what The Baby Name Wizard suggests as sibling names. For Cooper, the book suggests Carter, Brody, Addison, Walker, Davis. Well. Addison is still in the Top 1000 for boys, but it's #11 for girls so I wouldn't touch it with an 11-foot pole for boys anymore. Carter is a great name, but it repeats not only the C but also the -er, and I think you're completely right about avoiding that. Walker, too, repeats the -er. Brody works, and so does Davis. Brody Gibson. Davis Gibson. Nice!

Let's find some more options.

You can't get much more surnamey than the name Smith, and I think it's adorable. Picture a little toddler with sticky-up hair. Smith! It's like Seth, but with more impact. And I like the repeating short-i sound: Smith Gibson.

Would Everett be to your tastes? It's one of my favorite surname names. It doesn't have any tempting nicknames, and I like it with Cooper. Everett Gibson.

Wesley is another good one: a long-standing surname name without the trendy feeling of some of the more recent surname names. I love the nickname Wes. Wesley Gibson.

So here's our list of possibilities:

Sawyer Gibson; Cooper and Sawyer
Maxwell Gibson; Cooper and Maxwell
Brody Gibson; Cooper and Brody
Davis Gibson; Cooper and Davis
Smith Gibson; Cooper and Smith
Everett Gibson; Cooper and Everett
Wesley Gibson; Cooper and Wesley

Vote in the poll over to the right [poll closed; see below], and/or put other suggestions in the comment section.

[Poll results:
Sawyer: 47 votes, roughly 26%
Maxwell: 4 votes, roughly 2%
Brody: 19 votes, roughly 10%
Davis: 23 votes, roughly 13%
Smith: 35 votes, roughly 19%
Everett: 25 votes, roughly 14%
Wesley: 28 votes, roughly 15%]

[Name Update! Melissa writes:
My little guy was due on July 18 - we were consider Sawyer or Maxwell at the time. Well, he was born on July 4! Happy and healthy at 7 lbs. 14 oz. and head full of light brown hair.

After reading the comments and seeing the poll, we still just weren't feeling it. So, I told my husband: Listen, I picked Cooper's first name and that worked out, so I'm just going to pick something and you're going to agree. At that moment, a Toyota Camry commercial came on and I said, "Camden." We both liked it instantly.

Camden and Cooper are quite a bit matchier than we wanted, but we're not sure we'll have a third. We figured we'd use it and should a third come along, well, we'll deal with that then. We also figured, we both loved Cooper, why wouldn't we love a similar name? Camden is on the softer side, is a last name, isn't popular (in the 200s on the SSA site), and is similar enough to Caden and Cameron that it's not too weird. Also, Camden means "winding river" which I thought was so peaceful.

For his middle name, we went with Jack. I know there's been quite a bit of discussion on the blog about Jack as a middle name, but I couldn't resist. Camden Jack ... reminds me of a nature show host or a pirate. I love Animal Planet and my three year old loves pirates, so we're all happy!

Thank you!



Maggie said...

I sort of like last names as first names on little boys. What about Bennett? I like the combo of Bennett and Cooper, and I think that it matches well enough with Gibson too. From the list, I like Brody. And although it's not exactly a last name, what about Tate?

Erica said...

I really like Sawyer and Brody, so I'm not sure which one to vote for. So, count one for each, pls? kthnx!

Bird said...

I met the cutest little boy names Davis, so I'm going with that one. Strangely, I'm not wild about David, but Davis sounds so much fresher.

laura said...

I was also going to suggest Bennett (if it weren't my married name I would have loved to use it for a boy!)

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I went with Sawyer, because I think it's an awesome name and "Cooper and Sawyer" go really well together. I also like Brody, and Wesley (especially if you call him Wes).

Max Gibson definitely screams "Mel Gibson" to me, I think that's why you're having trouble with it. It also sounds a little bit too "Middle-Age Man". "Max Gibson" could be a lawyer or investment banker in a big city right this moment - it just doesn't sound childlike or something.

I know that's about the dumbest observation, LOL, but it's what I thought of too when I looked at "Max Gibson".

It's totally your decision, but I'm not sure "California" is such a good middle name. I'd worry that it wouldn't be a middle name he'd be too proud to share with many people. Not trying to knock your idea, but with it being the name of a State - especially such a long word too - it just doesn't seem to work as a name. People have done stranger things, but I just wanted to add my two cents on that.

Clarabella said...

I voted for Sawyer because it's just GREAT!
I see other voters don't agree with me (thus far), but when I saw the boys' names next to each other in the list, Cooper and Smith sounded like the name of a law firm to me.

m d said...

I was all set to say I like Davis and Everett, then I read the comments. I LOVE Bennet. (And it also has literary links, which is something you mentioned) I think it sounds great with Cooper and your last name. I agree with you, I like the name Sawyer a lot, but paired with your last name I don't know about it. Ditto with Max. (Wesley is also great but I don't think of that as a last name for some reason. Maybe because I know a first name Wesley already? It doesn't seem as last -namey as the others though)

Angie said...

I'm undecided when it comes to last names as first names. I used to like them, and I still like some last name / first names, but they do have a trendy vibe that I personally like to avoid.

But people have different tastes. I've gotten to the point where, if I like a name, in addition to the Dr. and resume tests (How does it look with Dr. in front? How will it look on a resume?), I ask myself, will I like this name 20 or 30 years out--or is this just some phase I'm going through?

And I would in no way advocate pressuring your kid to be a Dr. I'm just suggesting, if the name looks professional, then it will server your kid well long term.

Well... ok... after that long speil, I voted for Wesley. I think it's adorable, and it's one of the more established last names as first names, which are the last name first names I like. The same with place names. I like the established ones, Virginia, Georgia, but try to avoid the modern ones, like Asia, and Brooklyn.

jennifer said...

Love Smith! Also, what about Beckett? That would be cute with Cooper. Beckett Gibson, huh??!!!

Rachel said...

You can always name him Maxwell, and just never call him Max. My brother is Russell and my mom hates nicknames and we only every called him Russell and when he was older and went to school, he'd correct people who called him Russ or Rusty-he was "Russell" and still is to this day. So you can have a name w/an obvious nickname and just not use it. I kind of love the idea of Maxwell California Gibson. Very memorable and harmonous sounding.

AndreAnna said...

I think the thing about Max Gibson is that Mel Gibson was Mad Max.. that's why its in your head.

My son will be Sawyer so you know I love it! But we also thought about Beckett, Bennet, and Everett...

Nowheymama said...

I love Smith. I like Sawyer too, but it is the name of a main character on a popular TV show right now, if you care about that sort of thing.

Sarah said...

I voted for Smith, but really like Sawyer too! I also like Wes, but am not as into the full name. :)

Queen of Carrots said...

I like Bennett and Beckett. What about Marshall? It doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it sounds like that might be preferred. And although it's a little more old-fashioned than Cooper as a first name, it has a bit of an old-West vibe that makes it work.

Chez Bacon said...

I voted for Sawyer but I also really like Everett.
I think Smith is SUCH a neat idea for a name, but I don't know if I like Smith Gibson. It sounds like a company to me, like Hewlett Packard. Houghton Mifflin. Smith Gibson. And when you throw in Cooper it does sort of sound like a law firm like clarabella said... Cooper, Smith and Gibson. I think Smith might be better with a less surname-y surname, if that makes sense.

Elizabeth said...

I voted for Davis and think it sounds so cute. Sawyer Gibson sounds really cute, too, but it immediately reminded me of Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson.

Paige said...

I voted for Sawyer but I also wanted to suggest Miller. I know someone with a baby boy Miller and think it's very cute but also masculine. I think it's sounds good with your last name too.

Clarabella said...

oh my god, i forgot about Beckett. Love it!

Shelly Overlook said...

Beckett is great, as is Bennett and I also like Carter. If we'd had a boy we would have gone with the last name as a first name thing, too. It was a toss up between Carter, Jackson and Cooper. Love it!!!!

Lindsey said...

Has anyone mentioned that not only is Sawyer a main character in LOST right now, but Sawyer (the character) took his name from a man named Anderson *Cooper* who conned the boy's mom and dad by sleeping with the mom to steal the dad's money? Then the dad killed his mom and committed suicide, and the boy was so traumatized, he ended up growing up becoming a con man like the guy who ruined his own life, the guy who used the psuedonym "Saywer." And so the grown-up boy took the name Sawyer in his life as a con-man as well.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw out the fact that there is a Sawyer/Cooper connection in relevant tv right now (and not necessarily nice character associations).

I voted for Brody!

Lara Jane said...

I voted for Everett.

I like Bennett (or Bennet, as in Pride & Prejudice) a whole lot, but I think it would be easily given to the nickname Ben.

Beckett is definitely cool and I'm only disinclined to like it because I know a Beckett family. Great name, though.

I wouldn't advocate using Sawyer because it has the same ending as Cooper (I'm just not down with that!), plus the Lost connection makes it lean heavily toward the trendy side.

Lori said...

I was going to say Bennett as well, but several people already beat me to the punch. :)

Mayberry said...

I voted for Everett too; the -er and -er in "Sawyer and Cooper" bothers me just a smidge.

Katie said...

Anderson Cooper? In Lost? I'm not sure I remember that ever happening.

pomjob said...

I love Sawyer and Smith (if I ever have children, I want to name my little boy Smith). What about Taylor?

Luna said...

I'll admit I went straight to the Sawyer/Cooper Lost connection too....
I think his name was Anthony Cooper, he was Locke's dad. Sawyer ended up killing Cooper.

But back on topic, I like Bennett or Everett

aibee said...

Oh, I can't vote because my favorites name combinations are Finn Gibson and/or Flynn Gibson.

Which are not on the list but seriously, repeat after me:

Cooper and Finn.
Cooper and Flynn.

Now tell me. They should be, shouldn't they?


and after having crooned both name combos several [thousand] times each, I think I'm now veering toward Finn.

Lindsey said...

Oops, sorry! Yes, it was Anthony Cooper, not Anderson. That was completely a typo--I didn't even realize it until you pointed it out! But yes, there was a Cooper in relation to Sawyer in LOST...I just mistyped the first name (now I'm giggling a bit at the thought of Anderson Cooper somehow playing a character on Lost. Doesn't seem like a plausible fit!)

F8hful Lo said...

I hear you with the last name thing (Gibson) knocking out some really great choices. I LOVE names (especially boy names) that end in -an, -en, -in, or -on, but my last name is Lawson and many don't sound right. It is really difficult for me to find boy names that I actually like. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on Camden - love the name. I too, have children with first names as surnames as our last name is Luke. I found your blog when I googled my son, Gibson's name and had to laugh when I saw that you were considering the name Sawyer since that is my daughter's name! I got the name Sawyer from a book that I had read with a female character of the same name. Gibson's name came about when I started watching Good Morning America and Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson were hosting together. Now you have a Honda commercial story!!!