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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baby Girl or Boy, Sibling to Jonah

Laisha writes:
Our second child is due June 14th & we don’t yet know the gender. We have a girl’s name chosen but aren’t sure about a boy’s name. Our first son’s name is Jonah Alexander, which was the only name combination that we both loved when he was born - & we still love it. We often call him Jones or Joe.

Our two main contenders for boy’s names are Ezra & Hudson. We know that the second name will be Thomas – it’s the name of a favourite uncle who died this year & it was in contention for a first name at one point as well. I love the name Ezra but I wonder if it’s too resonant with Jonah – both Old Testament inspired, with two syllables, ending in “a”. I also love the name Hudson, which is my husband’s favourite, but I’m concerned that it might be too trendy (in keeping with all the Carters, Coopers, Jacksons, etc. that will fill future classrooms!) & I’m not sure I like “Hud” for a nickname. I can’t decide on either. Some other names that we love but are out of contention for various reasons are, in the “Ezra camp”: Joshua, Emmett, Nathaniel, Lucas. In the “Hudson camp”: Auden, Huxley (mostly because I like the nickname “Hux” but I can’t imagine this name for an adult, unless he was to become a professional snowboarder!)

My question is two-fold. One, I’d like to know what people think about either Ezra Thomas or Hudson Thomas (just to have me going back & forth even more!). Two, in looking at our name list above, are there any other name suggestions that go with a brother named Jonah & the middle name Thomas?

Thanks for your help!

This is so interesting and brings up an interesting point: the name chosen for a second child puts a SPIN on the name given to a first child. Imagine a family where the first child is named Kalliopi. If the family names their second daughter Ekaterini, we think, "Ah! They like Greek names!" If the family instead names their second daughter Kadynce, we see the name Kalliopi in an entirely different light.

Such is the case here. If your first child is named Jonah and you name your second child Ezra, that will spin how people hear the name Jonah; if you instead name your second child Hudson, that's a different spin. I love this kind of thing: it's a little like naming the first child all over again!

If you like the Old Testament spin, I suggest the name Ezekiel Thomas. It has a different ending than Jonah, and an equally cool nickname: Joe and Zeke.

I also like Abram Thomas. Jonah and Abram, Joe and Abe. Darling!

Or Malachi Thomas. Jonah and Malachi, Joe and Mal. The TV show Firefly got me to like the name Mal.

Or Samuel Thomas. Jonah and Samuel, Joe and Sam. Teh cuteness!

For the other spin, maybe Thatcher Thomas. Jonah and Thatcher, Joe and Thatch.

Or Wilson Thomas. Jonah and Wilson, Joe and Will.

Or Keats Thomas. Jonah and Keats, Joe and...Keats.

Or Weston Thomas. Jonah and Weston, Joe and Wes. Love Wes.

Name update 06-13-2009! Laisha writes:
Thanks to everyone who wrote & gave us ideas for a boy's name to go with Jonah. In the end, we didn't need one! We had a baby girl on June 10th & named her Amalia Josephine. Amalia was the name of one of my great-grandmothers & is pronounced Ah-molly-ya. Joseph was the name of one of my grandfathers & Josephine was the other name in contention for a girl when we were pregnant with Jonah. We didn't want to go with two first names that started with "Jo" but I still wanted the name in there. Now the siblings have the same first & middle initials, reversed.

If we'd had a boy, we'd decided on Hudson Thomas. Who knows, maybe there will be a Hudson Thomas some day... Thanks for all your help, Swistle readers!


Amy said...

I like Hudson Thomas.

bellaf said...

I've always loved the name Ezra. I didn't even know it was a biblibal name, quite frankly. It makes me immediately think of the poet Ezra Pound. Ezra Thomas is my pick.

Christina Fonseca said...

I second Swistle's suggestion of Ezekiel. Joe and Zeke are awesome nicknames for brothers.

-R- said...

I love Hudson and Weston. I don't think of Hudson as trendy at all.

Anonymous said...

My vote is Hudson Thomas. I think its perfect!
Good luck!

heather said...

I personally do think Hudson is too trendy. For my taste anyway.
I love the name Ezra but I kind of agree that Jonah and Ezra together might not be my top pick for the rhymyness.
What about Levi?
Or for the non-biblical direction what about Sawyer? Sawyer Thomas is nice. Or Ian. Or Blake. Pretty much anything goes with Thomas, so you've got it easy there... you just have to decide what you like the absolute best!

Clare said...

I was going to suggest Ezekiel, as it is my 2nd son's name (1st is Lucas). I also love Levi, Ezra, and Josiah. But Josiah and Jonah sounds too matchy to me

Virginia Ruth said...

I like Ezra better than Hudson, but I agree that the double-prophet thing is a worry. Another thing to consider is, if you have a third son, will you feel you need to stay in the same vein? Jonah and Hudson, no problem: Jonah, Ezra, and Hudson, and suddenly I wonder, "Where did 'Hudson' come from?" Not a huge issue, but something else to be thinking about (because you didn't have enough to be thinking about!)

Even considering that, though, I'd still probably go with Ezra Thomas. I like it a lot, and I'm not bothered by the rhymey-ness... the spelling and other sounds of the names are so different.

I also like the suggestions of Sawyer, Thatcher, Abram, and Weston.

Karen said...

I like both Ezra and Hudson. Huxley is great, too. HT would be a fine nn if Hud doesn't do it for you. I don't think Hudson is ever going to have the same "trendy" feel that Cooper or Carter or Jackson has. If you both love Hudson, go for it!

We're facing this second-kid's-name-putting-a-spin-on-the-first's situation, too. I think it would have helped me to know what your girl name is to see which way is the better way to go, in case you ever have a girl.

FWIW, our second is due in a few weeks and our boy name is (probably) Jonah. Our first's name is Adam. Adam is pretty "neutral" but Jonah moves it into an Old Testament bucket. Maybe you'd consider some other neutral, biblical-but-not-only-biblical names. I like the suggestion of Levi. These have been contenders for us at some point.
Eli (on its own or from Elijah, perhaps)
Isaac nn Zach or Ike,
although these seem a little bland for your tastes. Eli Thomas is my favourite of those.

In the not-biblical category, my favourite name these days is Malcolm.

Sara said...

I loved seeing this question, as I have a Jonah and am expecting our second in November. We are totally lost on boys' names, put Ezra on the list, and then thought the same thing - it makes both names seem way more religious when they're together (which would be fine if we were religious). We love the name Jonah, but it seems like whatever we put with it changes the way it feels somehow. I never thought about that and wonder if there's some degree of that no matter what name you pick first. Boys names are hard! I'll be watching here for more Jonah-sibling suggestions!! :)

Frazzled Mom said...

I really like Ezra, Ezekiel and Samuel with Jonah. I understand your concern with Jonah and Ezra, but I just like Ezra much more than Hudson.

By the way I have a facebook friend with a son named Thatcher. He's sometimes called Tman. I've only seen this nickname in writing as I don't hang out with this friend outside of facebook. I assume they say TEE-Man and not Tah-mon or Tah-man--at least I hope.

I'm unsure of how I feel about Thatcher because I'm not keen on most surname names, but I might eventually grow to like Thatcher because of the similarity to another surname name that I sort of like, Fletcher.

Pocket said...

I'm a big fan of Hudson. The nn HT is cute, as suggested above, or you could just call him H. That's cool! I'm a 4th grade teacher and have met lots of Carters and Jacksons and Coopers, but never a Hudson.

In the biblical vein, I like Abram, but I LOVE Abraham, too. Abe is totally cute for a kid and distinguished for a man.

Good luck!

Bird said...

I love Ezra--love it!

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I would choose Hudson Thomas over Ezra Thomas.

But I like the other ideas like Blake, Isaac, or Simon.

Anonymous said...

What's the girl name? That might help get a better sense of your overall style, and which direction might be better for you to go in. Talia, Jonah, and Ezra work better than Talia, Jonah, and Hudson, I think. On the flipside, Piper, Jonah, and Hudson are better than Piper, Jonah, and Ezra. (Also in case you have a third and end up wanting to use this girls' name.)

Hillary said...

My cousin named his son Hudson and they use "Huds" as a nickname. It works :)

StephLove said...

I prefer Ezra to Hudson. I understand your concern because we eliminated Jonah from our list during my second pregnancy because we already had a Noah. I think Jonah & Ezra aren't quite as close though.

How about Zachary? Jonah and Zachary, Joe and Zach.

Anonymous said...

I think you can't lose with either Ezra or Hudson.

Like one of the PPs, I am also in a similar situation. DD has an Old Testament name that doesn't strike most people as OT when they first hear it. However, for DC2, we have OT names on both our boy and girl name lists (Ezra is a top choice for a boy, and Naomi for a girl). We are not religious at all - we just happen to love these names.

I'm of two minds about the "spin" issue for my own situation. Part of me would rather not go with the two OT names because I think it makes us look like something we aren't. The other part of me says, meh, who cares, the names are great on their own. If we had named a boy and a girl Benjamin and Deborah, they wouldn't seem so obviously Biblical because they've been widely used for so long.

Bottom line: If you love Ezra best, I think you should go for it. We have friends who named their child the same name as a celebrity baby, and we know another couple who named their child the same name as a pop star. Both names are great and classic on their own, and I think it's great that the parents didn't let other associations beyond their control change their naming decisions.

tracynicole22 said...

I agree you can't go wrong with either Ezra or Hudson. I like them both with Jonah. If you don't mind the old testament connection go with Ezra (and I see no problem with the "sound" of Jonah & Ezra together) or if you don't like the biblical connection go with Hudson which is also a great name (I like th nn "Huds") and I don't think it is or will become trendy like some of the other names you mentioned. That being said you are looking for "other" suggestions, I LOVE the suggestion above of Sawyer Thomas. Great name and I like it a lot with Jonah. I also like Keats as Swistle suggested. I like the name Silas, but it does go well with Thomas. How about Dashiell? I like that with Jonah and I think Jones & Dash sound like 2 cool brothers!

On a side note, I agree, if you go with Ezra, I feel there will be an obligation, should a third child come along that you would HAVE to use a biblical name. Good Luck! Let us know what you decide!

tracynicole22 said...

I meant to say above that Silas does NOT go well with Thomas. Sorry had to correct that, it didn't make sense!

Anonymous said...

my friend has a hudson and he is never called hud. i prefer hudson to ezra and also like the suggestion of keats.

Karen said...

@StephLove: Funny. I came to the (probable) name Jonah for our second because I've always loved Noah but it is top-10 in our province. Jonah has the same feel and all the same sounds I love in Noah. I'd have ruled out brothers Jonah and Noah for sounding too similar rather than for being too biblical together.

Anonymous said...

Jonah is such a great name. Of your top 2, I prefer Hudson. My favorite suggestion is Sawyer.

Anonymous said...

I think this means you're having a girl. :)

To choose between the two names, though, I think I have a fondness for Ezra. It's a much gentler-sounding name to me. Hudson seems like the kind of name you will end up being grateful down the road that you didn't pick. Trendy (because, like you do, I think it is), a nickname you don't like (and you can't choose what other kids will call your child, so you can almost guarantee it will be 'Hud'!), and just not 100% doing it for you. It's also a less-gentle-sounding name to me, somehow.

Both are lovely choices, though, Laisha. I think you may have reached the point where you just have to meet this little girl... er, I mean baby and decide which name it suits.

One other thing... I'm just not in the has-to-go-with-the-sibling's-name camp. There are limited years that they will be known as a duo (sad as it may seem to us now). In my adult life, most people I meet don't ask to hear my siblings' names so they can decide if they 'go' with mine! ;)


Frazzled Mom said...

Anonymous / Stephanie just eloquently explained my feelings about siblings' names going together. I've always said, as adults your kids aren't going to be putting each others names on their business cards!

But I agree complementary siblings are a bonus, and might be considered in a tie breaking situation where you love two names equally.

Chris said...

Wow. We have a son, Jonah, as well and are expecting in early November....and my wife's name is Sara, so the Sara above in the same situation made me read the post to make sure it wasn't her!

Our top two boy names before my son was born were Jonah and Ezra. Put my vote in for Ezra.

We love the name Linus for a boy but are lost for a girl. Perhaps you'll hear more about us in the future.

Anonymous said...

Ezra is such a difficult name to pronounce, i find, what with the 'r' stuck btwn a "z" and an "a". It actually sounds like a girl's name to me.
Hudson is so Canadian, so free, so "roll off the tongue" soft. I LOVE it!. What happened to the name MILO?.
happy bday laish and jonah!

Marilyn said...

This made me laugh because my boys are named Abraham Thomas, Sebastian Dane, and Malachi Norris. We call Malachi "Ky" although I like "Mal" also. The other two are Abe and Seb (or Sebby) and I think the nicknames all work together. But . . . for our fourth (due in August, don't know the gender), if it's a boy, I want to pick something compatible but NOT from the Bible (or not obviously so)---so that Sebastian doesn't feel like the "odd one out," like you mentioned in your last post.

I do really like Zeke too, though. Good luck!

Vanessa said...

I'm a fan of Zach and Huxley myself. Or Thomas as a first name ;-) and Lucas as the second? Good luck!

all of them sound great.