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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Baby Boy, Brother to Luke and Samuel

Leslie writes:
I am 37 weeks pregnant with my third boy and husband and I can't agree on a name. Our 17 month twin boys are named Luke and Samuel. I don't want another plain name, but husband is set on something solid not trendy. Our last name has an OR so names like Forest, George, Ford do not work well. All names we like. I love the name Tate, but husband thinks we are setting our son up for years of torture. Does the word Taint ring a bell? Husband likes the name Truman, but too formal for me. I also like the name Truett, but husband not so much. Another name I like is Crew, although I don't know if we are "cool" enough to pull that off and husband thinks it's too trendy.

We both prefer 1 syllable names, we don't want another L or S name, and we both like names you can shorten or nickname like Oliver/Oli. Is Oliver becoming too popular? A few names we can't use: Wesley, Cade, Cody, Asher, Elijah. Please help! We'll take any suggestions? This baby might arrive early.

Here was the difficulty I had with this one: the names you've used for your first two children are of a different type than the names on your current consideration list. Luke and Samuel are old, traditional, classic, solid, well-known, all-boy. Forest, Ford, Tate, Truman, Truett, Crew---those are a completely different breed. Luke, Samuel...and Truett. Luke, Samuel....and Forest. They don't click into place. This makes finding a good third name a slippery business: what can fit with the first two, but be more to your current tastes?

Oh, the name Oliver! I love it so much, and it may be the answer to the problem. It is indeed getting more popular, but it hasn't yet gotten out of hand: it was #140 in 2007. To put that ranking in perspective, that makes it less common than names such as Omar, Nolan, Oscar, Preston, and Sebastian. (The name Luke was #46 in 2007, and the name Samuel was #25.) It is, however, rising slowly but surely, and I've noticed lots of people saying they love it. I'd feel safe using it because, like the name Henry, it may get popular but it's not trendy: it's a classic, traditional name with long roots, so it ebbs and flows but it doesn't spike and vanish. I like it with your other boys' names: Luke, Samuel, and Oliver. Nice!

I don't suppose you'd want to consider the #1 most popular boy name in the United States? The name Jacob is solid and not trendy, and it has a good nickname, and it's excellent with his brothers' names. Luke, Samuel, and Jacob. Luke, Sam, and Jake. That is one of the most perfect sibling groups ever. And even in the #1 slot, the name Jacob was only used for 1.0955% of baby boys. That means that if your local school has 30 children per classroom, the average will be only one Jacob per 6-7 classrooms. And if the classes are more like 20 kids, the average will be only one Jacob per 10 classrooms. That's not bad.

How about Calvin, shorted to Cal? Luke, Samuel, and Calvin. Luke, Sam, and Cal.

James. Luke, Samuel, and James. Luke, Sam, and Jim. Luke, Sam, and Jamie.

Frederick. Luke, Samuel, and Frederick. Luke, Sam, and Fred.

Anyone want to give me a hand here? This is a tricky one. Let's do a poll over to the right [poll closed; see below] with the few I came up with, but also leave your suggestions in the comment section. Remember: nothing that starts with L or S.

[Poll results (282 votes total):
Oliver: 115 votes, roughly 41%
Jacob: 93 votes, roughly 33%
Calvin: 33 votes, roughly 12%
James: 34 votes, roughly 12%
Frederick: 7 votes, roughly 2%]

[Name update! Leslie writes: "Just wanted to let you know that we went with the name Ian Wesley. Thanks for your help. All of our friends and family thought we were going to go with Oliver...which was a close 2nd!"]


Maggie said...

I like both Oliver and Jacob.

Other names that I can think of that sort of mesh with Luke and Samuel: Peter (Pete), Marcus (Mark), Timothy (Tim).

Jenn said...

How about Nathan/ Natahaniel? The nickname Nate is so close to Tate (which I also love and my husband won't use it for the same reason!) And Nathaniel is similar in style.
Other ideas:
David or Davis
Elijah or just Eli
Benjamin/ Ben
Andrew/ Drew (I love Luke, Sam & Drew!)

kelsey said...

What about Caleb (possible nickname Cal or Cale?)? Noah? Emmett? Elliot/t? Gabriel (Gabe)? Reese/Rhys? Isaac (Ike?)? Owen? Nolan? Nathaniel (Nate/Nathan)? Maxwell (Max)?

I also really like the name Oliver.
Good luck! :]

Barb @ getupandplay said...

I really like the suggestions of Nate (Nathanael) and Mark.

I also really like name Joseph, with a nick name of Joe or Joey.

Luke, Sam, Nate
Luke, Sam, Mark
Luke, Sam, Joe

Karen said...

Lots of good suggestions. My favourites are Nathan/Nate or Nathaniel/Nate and Benjamin/Ben. How about Daniel/Dan or Matthew/Matt?

Pocket said...

when i saw the title of this post, i thought "luke, samuel and oliver!" i luv luv luv oliver. you have to use it.

Mayberry said...

I voted for Oliver, also love Nate and Joe from suggestions above.

Maybe William (Will)?

Daycare Girl said...

I have a Luke, and twins run in the family. If we ever had boy twins they'd be Benjamin and Samuel, or possibly Isaac.

I'm all about Luke, Sam, and Ben. I don't like Ike as well and I don't think there's a good nickname for Isaac, so I'd still lean toward Ben.

Kate said...

what about taking swistle's mention of henry and calling him hank? i'm not sure if it conflicts with luke, with the hard "k" sound at the end. along the same lines but with similar caveats, I think Jack also fits nicely with your list of names you like. what about Harold/Harry? for some reason I am getting a 1940s feel to your preferred names.

My favorite suggestion so far is definitely Nate, which seems almost perfect. i also love ben and matt.

Elizabeth said...

I think Isaac might be a nice match. Nathan or Nathaniel could be Nate. I also like Aaron and Mark, but is the AR sound a problem with the OR in the last name?

Frazzled Mom said...

When I was reading this post the first name that popped into my head was Peter (Pete), and I see Maggie beat me to the suggestion. So a second for Peter (Pete). It is short but still can be shortened to a nickname. Plus it is a solid traditional name with deep roots, that happens to be going DOWN in popularity. In 2007 it ranked at 178 and has been steadily decreasing for the last few years.

I also really love Calvin (Cal). said...

LOVE Henry nn Hank!

I'm thinking along the lines of unusual Biblical:

Tobias nn Toby (my favorite for you)
Elias nn Eli
Jasper (said to be one of the three wise men)
Zebediah nn Zeb
Ezekiel nn Zeke

Kimberly said...

I love Jacob, Oliver, or Benjamin. I agree with Swistle. They match the style of your other sons names best.

Anonymous said...

Looking at some of the names that they like now, the name Bennett came to mind...and they could call him Ben, to go more with the other two boys.

Rusti said...

My cousin named her baby Oliver last January - and they like to call him Ollie - it's cute :) I like Oliver, Jacob and Nate (as suggested above - and it could even be Nathan if Nathaniel is too much for you)...

I also wanted to make mention that my cousin's husband (who I've known most of my life) is a very successful Tate... he's a financial planner, was a super-star athlete in high-school and even has a couple of Rose Bowl rings and Big Ten Championship rings from playing football at the University of Michigan... the only nick-name I've ever heard him called is Tater-Tot (which might just be a family thing)... anyway - just wanted to share that :)

Fine For Now said...

I voted for Jacob, because I like how Jake would sound with his two brother's names.

I would also like to suggest: Thomas, and Zachary.

Luke, Sam, Tom
Luke, Sam, Zack
Luke, Sam, Jake

the hungarian said...

Calvin or Harrison get my vote!! I have 3 girls, so I feel your pain trying to come up with yet a third name for a same sex child! After the first 2, you've pretty much exhausted all your favorites!!

Hope said...

I voted for Calvin, which I like because it's a bit different and has a cool nickname, although when I saw your twins names I thought "biblical." So I like the suggestions above of Benjamin, Gabriel and Jacob.

Jan said...

How about Trent (kind of like Tate)? Or Trey (kind of like Crew)? Both are one syllable, don't start with an L or S and are a little more different than Luke/Samuel without being totally out there.

Hillary said...

Calvin really seemed right to me. Cal is such a great nickname and it sounds right with the other boys. Plus, it's something a little different than Jake or Ben, the more typical "old, but popular" names.

Clare said...

Use James and shorten it to Jem, more trendy (with literary reference) but he can still go by the more traditional James

Anonymous said...

I like Benjamin/Ben or Daniel/Dan - with those names.

Luke, Sam and Ben
Luke, Sam and Dan