This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baby Boy Morgan

Gwen writes:
I'm due in 2 weeks with my 2nd child, a baby boy (But he's likely to come early as his sister did.) I have an 18 mo daughter, Kate Harlow. We thought we had a name nailed down for most of the pregnancy and JUST noticed that, Houston, we have a problem! Our top name was Leopold, with him going exclusively by Leo. I can't believe we just noticed the Kate & Leopold connection. Is it too much, or do you think it could work, especially since I doubt he'll ever go by Leopold? We were thinking Leopold Gray, since we love Gray but feel it's a little too close to Kate - especially when you're yelling it across the house. Our second choice is Graham, but hubby isn't as enthusiastic about that, and we still haven't nailed down the spelling - Graham or Graeme?

We were also looking at Jude (Feel it's becoming too common), Fallon (Is it too far out there?), Callum (Both of us used to LOVE but our enthusiasm is waning), Arlo (I love, hubby's not too sure), Devin, Elliot, and Max (All 3 of which - too common?). Our last name is M0rgan.


I am going to focus on your original question, because in my opinion it eliminates the need for the other questions. I don't think the Kate & Leopold thing is a problem. When you mentioned it, I felt a faint twinge of possible familiarity but couldn't place it. I said to Paul, "Do you know of a Kate and Leopold connection?" and he said he didn't. So then I looked it up and found the movie from 2001. Well. Hm. Anyone who had seen the movie could very well make the connection, it's true. Hm hm hm.

Well, as someone who didn't see the movie, of course I think it's not a big deal. I say use the names you love, and if anyone says, "Oh, like the movie?" you can blink at them blankly and say, "...No."

But we definitely need more opinions here. Maybe everyone but me saw the movie, or maybe not everyone saw it but those who DID see it retain a very strong impression of the two names. So let's have a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Then let's have a second poll [poll closed; see results below] to see what people think you should name him if you decide against Leopold. I suggest using Leo. It's a perfectly good stand-alone name and eliminates the Leopold problem, and you were planning to call him exclusively Leo anyway. If you don't want to use Leo on its own, my vote is for Arlo, a name I think is dramatically underused, or for Elliot, a name I'd use in a heartbeat if Paul and I weren't both so stubborn about our preferred spellings (he prefers Eliot; neither of us will budge).

Poll results, Kate & Leopold being a problem (262 votes total):
Yes, dealbreaker: 41 votes, roughly 16%
Yes but not a dealbreaker: 61 votes, roughly 23%
Heard of it but no: 134 votes, roughly 51%
Never heard of it, so no: 26 votes, roughly 10%

Poll results, what to use if not Leopold (208 votes total):
Leo: 75 votes, roughly 36%
Graham: 32 votes, roughly 15%
Graeme: 5 votes, roughly 2%
Jude: 19 votes, roughly 9%
Fallon: 4 votes, roughly 2%
Callum: 11 votes, roughly 5%
Arlo: 14 votes, rougly 7%
Devan: 3 votes, roughly 1%
Elliot: 30 votes, rough 14%
Max: 15 votes, roughly 7%

Name update 10-02-2009! Gwen writes:
Thanks for all of you (and your readers') help! I went into labor - no joke - while I was watching "Kate & Leopold". Our 6 lb, 2 oz Leopold Gray was born Sep. 29 and is doing fantastic!


Unit of Energy said...

I have seen the movie and will admit that that is the first thing that came to mind, but I don't think that it will be remembered as a movie name for long. It wasn't a huge blockbuster, so I think that your son will quickly make the name his own.

Jenny Jacobs said...

When I hear Kate and Leo I think of Winslet and DiCaprio. But not enough to not use the name if you love it.

I *love* Arlo, though.

SheLikesToTravel said...

I also think of the movie, but it wouldn't stop me from using a name I love. The movie wasn't well received and will fall into that category of something that few people will know about/remember.

Christina Fonseca said...

I saw the movie, I knew where I had seen Kate and Leopold together; but it is not a movie people talk about all the time. You've loved the name throughout the pregnancy, use it.

I like Swistle's suggestion of blank look followed by "no" if people ask ;-)

Diane said...

I immediately thought of the movie, but I don't think it's a big deal. The movie wasn't popular enough to be a deal breaker in my opinion.

The Kate Winslet/Leo DiCaprio connection bothers me more, but I don't think I would have though of that if the previous poster hadn't pointed it out.

Frazzled Mom said...

If you can't get over the "Kate & Leopold" movie connection, Leo on its own is a good idea. Since you mentioned Max as a given name and not as a nickname for Maxwell, Maximus, Maximilian, etc., I feel Leo on its own would work fine for you. I had completely forgotten about the Titanic connection.

I agree that Arlo is one of those underused gems. It has the currently fashionable o ending, and I'm surprised it doesn't get more attention. I really like it too. But if you husband isn't completely sold on it, then I would try another name.

Which segues into my next point: It is hard enough for two people to agree on a name, once you do reach that agreement, I wouldn't let something like a second rate, 8 year old movie change my mind.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

As I was one of those overly obsessed Titanic fans (I was 12 when it came out, and my best friend and I saw it a million times in theatres, lol -- yup, one of THOSE fans).... I definitely thought of Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio. I also thought of Kate & Leopold the movie.

I wouldn't say it should be a deterrent though if you really like the names. If those movies or actors aren't particularly important to you, but it's just Names You Like then people won't find it weird.

If *I* named my kids Kate & Leo, then that might be a tad weird... since I WAS overly Kate & Leo obsessed during my Titanic phase, and my family would IMMEDIATELY think of that... LOL.

But maybe for YOU, that wouldn't matter. So go for the name you really like, and don't worry about it!

Deniselle said...

Wasn't it a romantic comedy? Those do not stay long in the public consciousness. I doubt anyone will remember "Kate&Leopold" in ten years' time.

I second Leo on its own though. If you're never going to use Leopold, why not just use Leo? It might even go better since Kate is not Katherine. Kate and Leo vs. Kate and Leopold - I think the former sounds better.

Courtney in FL said...

I say use the name Graham but I am partial considering that is what I named my son. For us it has worked out just how I intended. No one else that we know (family friends or pre-school) has the name but it is not so out there that people stare at me funny when I introduce him.

However, if your heart is set on Leopold then I say go with it regardless of the movie. I saw the movie BUT I don't think it was considered a hit movie that people are going to remember enough to make a comment about the names.

Congrats, to you and your family on the new little one!!

R said...

I LOVED the movie (or maybe just Hugh Jackman?? whatev.) as well as Titanic - but neither would be a deterrent in using the name if you really love it... I also like Leo on its own, and Arlo is great too! Although hubs & I weren't usually on the same page, so I know how difficult it can be when trying to convince him about a name he doesn't love on his own... good luck to you!

Jan said...

I don't think Gray is too close to Kate if you wanted to go with Gray Leopold. Both connections - to the movie and the movie stars did make it on my radar but I don't think it's that big a deal.

Leslie said...

I'd say go with the name you loved. Leopold Gray Morgan is absolutely charming, and a sister named Kate does not detract from that. I've seen the movie, but I don't think the association is very strong, and anyway it's utterly benign. Plus, Kate and Leo are great together as siblings (and the Titanic thing other posters have mentioned would never, ever have occurred to me). All around, I think the name Leopold Morgan is a winner.

Best of luck!