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Monday, August 31, 2009

Baby Boy Hiltz

Margaret writes:
We're expecting our second little boy Sept 18th. Both my husband and I like classic, clearly strong/male names. We had chosen our first sons name, Henry Matthew, years ago and are very happy with our choice (despite the names growing popularity). Our last name is Hiltz.

While we'd both like something a little different we seem to easily agree on the basic traditionals - some of our mutal favorites include Thomas, James, Oliver and Peter. I love these names but (unlike my hubby) fear that they may be too popular or expected (especially the first three). I'd prefer to stay out of the top 100 names. My top picks include Theodore Grant (nn Theo), Simon, Edward (nn Ned), Calvin (nn Cal, concerned that this sounds awkward with our last name). Meanwhile hubby adores Montgomery (nn Monty).

We'd like to include a family name for the middle just as we did with our first son. We'd like to use Edward, Hagan, or I'd especially love to honor my father (Garnet Aubrey) by using the middle name Grant. Any other name suggestions stemming from my fathers name?

We seem to have landed on Peter Edward but I fear that eventually he may be called Pete (which I can't bear)! I'd also really like to honor my father but don't love the combo Peter Grant. Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated -thanks!

Do you like the combination Peter Garnet? I'd be in favor of using your dad's actual name to honor him, and I also think Grant is a little choppy with the surname Hiltz.

If you strongly dislike the nickname Pete, I think best to stay away from the name Peter. This is definitely an era where nicknames can be more easily avoided---but they do still happen, and Baby Peter himself might choose later on to be called Pete.

The name Henry, as you already know, is increasing in popularity. Because you'd rather it didn't, you might this time want to choose instead a name that was decreasing in popularity. On the other hand, it's worth considering the opposite option: deliberately choosing a name that coordinates in popularity (commonness and also rising/falling status) with Henry. Picture a set of parents in the 1970s naming their two sons Nicholas and Terry, both names in the Top 100---but the name Nicholas was rising in popularity and the name Terry was falling. The brother names end up sounding not very coordinated a few decades later, and do we perhaps feel a teeny bit sorry for Terry?

And of course Oliver is one of my favorite names, so I hate to see it taken out of the running. I think Henry Matthew and Oliver Garnet is GREAT. (I also love Henry Matthew and Simon Garnet, but I'm assuming since it's not on the mutual list it's not a strong candidate.) Let's have a poll over to the right for your mutual favorites. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results (160 votes total):
Thomas: 22 votes, roughly 14%
James: 36 votes, roughly 23%
Oliver: 76 votes, roughly 48%
Peter: 26 votes, roughly 16%


Hillary said...

If you can't stand Pete, don't use Peter. You might be able to control what people call your son for years, but at some point -- high school, college, somewhere -- that name is going to be shortened. My own husband is a Mike; everyone calls him that despite continued protests from his mother.

I really like Oliver, too. Though again, are you OK with Ollie? That nickname took it out of the running for us.

StephLove said...

I like Henry and James together. (Reminds me of the author, but that's a plus for me.) James is the most popular of your top four, though, more popular than Henry. Oliver and Peter are less poplar and both nice, but since you have a concern about Pete, I guess I'd go with Oliver. Oliver Grant Hiltz. The longer first name kind of balances out the short middle and last name, I think, though I also like the suggestion of using Garnet.

p.s. I think Theo might be on the rise. There are three of them in my daughter's preschool! And I know a baby named Teo as well.

Meg said...

I immediately thought William Garnet Hiltz, nn Liam and Edgar Grant/Garnet Hiltz. I prefer using your fathers given name of Garnet to changing it into Grant (which is a pretty popular name).

Other suggestions are Walter, Benjamin, Edgar, Russell (though it may be too heavy on the "l" for you), Hugh, Everett and Victor.

Have you considered Garnet for a first name? Garnet Hugh Hiltz would be awfully cute :)

Good luck!

Patricia said...

I like James with Henry too, and I think James is the least likely of your four top contenders to end up with a shortened form. I have an adult son James, who asked us to stop using his nn Jamie when he was about 10 years old and has been called James ever since. I also have a 6 year old grandson named -- and always called - James.

I love the combination James Edward, but think James Garnet Hiltz would be a fine name too since it has special meaning for you.

Firegirl said...

Another option for Peter is Per (pronounced "Pear") It's Scandanavian.(?) I had a former in law with that name & a high school friend has a son with that name. I've always liked it.

I liked Oliver Garnet the bestest.

Anonymous said...

I also love Per. I knew a very bookish (and handsome!) Swede with that name when I was in grad school. Great name.

James and Oliver are also wonderful names. I know one little boy with the name Oliver, and I don't think anyone calls him Ollie. I don't think it's as natural to slip into a nickname with Oliver as it is with Peter.

Allison said...

Peter is a name I like very much and wish it weren't one of the many euphemisms for penis. Combining it with a surname that sounds like hilt---*blushes*

Erin said...

I totally agree with above posters that James is my handsdown favorite of your choices and is wonderful with Henry. Very kingly together. I don't think it is as easily shortened as Peter is either (which I am not a huge fan of). I like Oliver, but I and a lot of people I know have puppies named Oliver nn Ollie, and while its a great name for a person too, it will always have that connotation for me.

I totally agree with swistle's analysis that if you picked a name that then rose in popularity later, try to find a similar name that is on the cusp of becoming more popular as well - and its not like Henry or any of your options is TOO common.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I don't love the name Peter. My favorite from your list is Simon:

Simon Grant Hiltz

Henry & Simon

Anonymous said...

I'm in the Simon camp too!

Mar said...

I disagree that "Pete" is inevitable if you name him Peter. I know several grown Peters, who have always been thus. I also dislike "Pete" but am going to use Peter if we have another.
I think Peter Garnet is a GREAT name.
Also, fyi I have a Preschool-age Edward/Ned, I adore the name, have not met another Ned anywhere near his age.

Lara Jane said...

I have a 9-year-old Henry James so I might be biased. :)

A few names we had picked out for his would-be brothers, most of which had nicknames:

Charles (Charlie)
Theodore (Theo)
Frederick (Fred/Freddie)
Edward (Ned)
George (as-is, or maybe Geordie/Jordy)

... so we have quite similar taste is names!

I would lump Simon in with Oliver in terms of recent popularity. So it's a "meh" for me.

I really like Peter and I love the suggestion of Peter Garnet. Grant is just not cool for me.

I must say, though, I really love Montgomery (Monty)!! That's a rad name that you never ever hear. Montgomery sort of reminds me of Garnet Aubrey, almost like an anagram.

Lara Jane said...

*similar taste in names! Gah!

Jan said...

I like Edward Garnet Hiltz. I never hear the nn Ned anymore and think that'd be great. I think the "i" names go well with your last name - Simon Hiltz or Oliver Hiltz.