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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Baby Boy Harris, Brother to Abig@il Elizabeth

L. writes:
My husband and I had the perfect name picked out for our son who is due in early March, but our plan has fallen apart. We were going to name him after his two grandfathers Leon@rd (mine) James (his) and we were going to call him Leo. Even though we had told no one our name, this week my father made sure to let me know in no uncertain terms that he would never forgive me if I named this baby after him. Needless to say, I am heartbroken.

So, back to the drawing board we go. If this baby had been a girl, she would have been Eleanor (nickname Nora). I prefer older, traditional names (preferrably with a cute nickname). I also want to stay away from the top 10 names. (I would never have named Abby that if I'd realized at the time how popular her name was.) I do realize that Eleanor/Nora is also becoming more popular, but we love it for it's family significance. Of the names in the top 50 from the Social Security list for 2010, the only one that even pops out as a possibility is Isaac.

Things that are important to me for the name is that it have at least 2 syllables and not end in an S. (I like Charles, but Charles James Harris is a little much.)

One name that I like, but am unsure I could pull the trigger on if if my husband would agree, is Oswald. Help!

I feel like we need more information from your father. Why would he say such a thing? When he said it, did you ask what his reason was? I'm kind of looking forward to after the baby is born, when you can tell him that you WERE going to name the baby after him but then he screwed everything up. That was a GREAT NAME you'd chosen.

Leo and Charles were two of our top contenders for Henry, so I wonder if you'd like Oliver, also on our list. Oliver James Harris; Abigail and Oliver.

Another from that list was Elliot. Elliot James Harris; Abigail and Elliot.

Another from that list was Milo. Milo James Harris; Abigail and Milo.

I'd recommend Henry, too, if you like alliteration.

A name that shot to the top of my list after Henry was born is Simon. Simon James Harris; Abigail and Simon.

Another is Everett. I think it's so handsome with your surname. Everett James Harris; Abigail and Everett.

I do love the name Isaac, if you want to consider it more. Nicknames could be Ike or Zack. Isaac James Harris; Abigail and Isaac; Abby and Zack.

I know a sibling set of Abigail and Owen, and I've thought of it as a very good combination. Owen James Harris; Abigail and Owen.

Are there any other men from your side of the family who would make good namesakes? Maybe one of your grandfathers or uncles? It's so disappointing to have a good namesake name all set to go and then have it ruined!


Name update! L. writes:
I just wanted to let you and your readers know that our son was born on March 1, 2012. I took a step back from the naming dilemma for a while and let the situation (and my hormones) settle down a bit, but I did eventually have a conversation about the name with my Dad. He was a little embarrassed that he had reacted so strongly, but it turns out that he never liked his name because of some unwelcome nicknaming that went along with it. He was both surprised and flattered that we planned to name our son after him. Here is a picture of our newest edition, Leonard James. Thanks so much for your help. I appreciate you and your readers being the voice of reason for me.

22 comments:

gail said...

One of the things I need clarification about is whether or not it's important to you that the name you choose has an "a" so you can use the ampersand @ in its place.

(If you're kind enough to respond via the comments, I'd also really appreciate getting your take on this so I can better understand what's going on with this trend).

Thanks!

Swistle said...

Gail- I was assuming it was just to thwart search engines.

Chantelle said...

Elliot! So perfect. Elliot James Harris is excellent,especially when paired with Abigail.

vanessa said...

I want a name with a nickname. I also want to know what's up with your dad.
Zachary/Zack
Nicholas/Nico--this is completely and totally my favorite, although it's a lot of S. But I actually LIKE Nicholas James Harris, and Abby and Nico is adorable.
Or what about James as the first name? Abby and Jamie is really cute.
Or Charles, Abby and Charlie.

gail said...

OK, I rolled up my sleeves and came up with some that I think are not on the top 100 and still fit your criteria:

Arthur nn Thur
Bernard nn Bear
Conrad nn Rad
Gregory nn Greg or Rory
Joseph nn Joe (this may be on top 100)
Maynard nn Mayn (this may be too close to Leonard)
Oswald nn Oz or Ozzie (I actually like!)
Rupert nn Rip
Vernon nn Verno?
Walter nn Wall, Wally, or Walt

To me the challenge of using these names is coming up with useable, modern nicknames. I confess to quite liking Rad and Rip in this respect.

Best of luck!

Ali said...

I'm curious about your father's thoughts, too. Maybe he would be ok with Leo as a given name, if it's using Leonard that he doesn't like?

Original Poster! said...

As best I can tell, my Dad has always hated his name. Since my daughter's middle name is after my mother's, I assume when he thought about it, he thought I might name this baby after him.

Thanks for taking this one on, Swistle. I really appreciate it because we stumped. I'm sharing this posting with my husband now!

Tommie said...

I wonder why you can't just drop the second syllable off Leonard and name him Leo since that's what you were going to call him? Would your dad hate that too? Is it still too close to Leonard?

I think Leo James is very nice.

StephLove said...

I like Isaac for you, also Swistle's suggestion Simon.

How about Alexander, Finnegan, Gabriel, Joshua or Matthew? Some might be more popular than you want, but I think they all go well with James Harris and Abigail.

KWILY said...

I think you should talk with your dad. Tell him how much you love his name and how important it is to you to link your future son with him forever!! If he resists, ask if you could just use Leo. Leo really is wonderful.

The Mrs. said...

What about Vincent James? He could go by Vin... Vin Harris sounds masculine, cool, and out of the top 50.

Oswald immediately brought to mind Lee Harvy Oswald- not a great association. You could still have the nickname of Oz if you used the name Oscar, though. Oscar James Harris.

If your dad doesn't want his name used, why not use Leonardo? It's essentially the same, gives the impression of a namesake, but isn't the name your dad detests.

Best wishes to you and your growing family! Please let us know what you and your husband decide.

Anonymous said...

I would just name him Leo James, rather than Leonard. You still get the family connection and the name you'd originally planned to call him on a daily basis, plus it won't irk your father. I LOVE the name Leo, and I think it works perfectly fine as a stand-alone name! Plus, Leo James is just great!

Pocket said...

Oh please, oh PLEASE talk to your Dad again! It would be such a shame to lose a wonderful name like Leonard, especially if you explain that your heart is set on it.

FYI, my Mom (Joyce) hated her name all her life until I was handing her our baby in the hospital and told her what we named her :) She melted! Granted, she never warned us not to use it, but she was very vocal about how much she disliked her name.

Anyway, I think your Dad might do the same. If he's holding a sweet bundle of joy named Leonard, there's nothing he can do but fall in love with his own name. Good luck, I can't wait to hear the outcome on this one!

Dulcibella said...

My grandfather's name was Leo. It is a fabulous name on its own. You do not have to use Leonard (I do also love that name) to get a nickname of Leo, you could just name him Leo. I love pretty much all the other names that have been suggested as well. But I will jump on the bandwagon of those who suggest asking your Dad if he would mind the baby being name Leo.

Meg said...

Personally I think you should name the baby Leo anyway using any of the Leonard/Leonardo/Leopold/etc full names. If your dad dislikes his name, that's fine, but if you and your husband love it go for it, and your son will always know he's named after his beloved grandfather.

Abigail Wilder Boatwright said...

Aw! My name is Abigail Elizabeth. And my husband's name is Zachary. :-)

Personally I like the name Leo. I don't have anything to add, but good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I like Leo as a stand alone. Leon could be another option for a namesake in honor of your dad. Leon James.

Anonymous said...

My two cents? Ask your dad. Have a conversation about it, see if he has a name he wishes he had, his favorite grandfather or best childhood friend. It would still be honoring him. My dad used the name Maggie for the first cat we ever had, and later for a dog. I finally asked him why he didn't name one of his two daughters Maggie,and he said my mom wouldn't let him. Want to guess what his current girlfriends name is?

vanessa said...

love the idea of Leopold instead! I LOVE that name. Leopold James Harris, Abby and Leo.

Mary said...

what about James Leo instead? or James Leon?

or names that also mean lion, like:Lev, Levon, Llew, Leander, Ari? or a variation of James, like Jacob Levon, Seamus Llewelyn, Jago Leander?

Erin said...

I was going to say Leo James or James Leo/Leonard but I see others have suggested that already.

What about your dad's middle name instead of his first name, if you want to honor him but don't want him to be upset that you named your son Leonard?

Susan said...

I totally 100% agree with KWILY. Is your dad a kind of exuberant type of person? I have always disliked my middle name Ruth, and I can just SEE myself saying something exaggerated like "I'd HATE it if someone named some poor baby after me!" And I can't imagine anyone would. But the truth is, if my daughter came to me and said she ACTUALLY wanted to name her baby Ruth after me, I'd do a 180 in a single second. Oh, you mean REALLY name a child after me? OMGoodness. That's different, totally different. All of a sudden, I'd be rethinking the whole issue: "Well, Ruth IS starting to sound just a tiny bit fresh, and it does have that cute "oo" sound ... " And then if she said, "We're going to call her Roo," I'd be GONE, totally gone about the whole idea. And bragging to all my friends with the same exuberance that I blasted the idea before.

Really, there's a certain temperament that just says crazy things they don't mean and are sheepish afterwards. I think with Leonard, the "Leo" connection is vital. Leonard with nn Lenny does sound old-fashioned-not-yet-quite-coming-back, though I don't think it's a bad name by any stretch. But it's like me with Ruth. Whereas Leo is totally cool. I think your dad might do a complete about-face just knowing you plan to use the nickname Leo. Furthermore, even if you planned to call him Leonard, I think there's a world of difference between a person loudly declaring he "hates" his name and actually thinking a little person might be named after him. A world of difference. I agree with the many who say "Talk to him now!"