Hello there Swistle! I've been reading your blog (semi-obsessively) for some time now and have often thought of writing, but always talked myself out of it (because I know you guys get so much mail). Now, however, I'm reaching a desperate point. I am pregnant with #2, a little boy, due May 22. My husband is deploying and will be leaving in March, and since he'll miss the birth, the 2 baby-related bonding-type things I had hoped we'd be able to do together was the ultrasound and agreeing on a name. The ultrasound is done, but now we are stuck. We are in completely different galaxies when it comes to boy names.
Our daughter is named Charlotte Grace (which wasn't as popular when we chose it as it is now). Our last name is Thompson. My favorite names so far are Oliver, Atticus, and Abraham (Abraham is my favorite by far). My husband can't tolerate any of those. He prefers names like Timothy and Andrew, which are great names, just not for this baby. The one name that we theoretically *could* compromise and agree on is Calvin, but I'm not totally sold on it. If we have more children and didn't start their name with a C name, would they feel left out? (I feel like this may be less of a concern because Charlotte doesn't have a hard "c" sound, but am still not totally sure.) I do not want a first name that begins with T. My initials have always been TT, and I think it is too much of a strong T-sound.
We go to a fairly small, very close-knit church with an abundance of baby boys, so there are QUITE a few names that are out (and these are only the names that would be in the same class as this baby). Names that are out: Judah, Christian, Elijah, Levi, Luke, Seth, Sebastian, Liam, Ethan, Griffin/Finn.
We both liked Tobias at first, until we started test-driving it (and then we both liked it a lot less). And related Elias is out because of a horrible person one of us knew. Jeremiah could be a candidate, but it's a name that I only like and do not love. If this baby was a girl, she would have been named Opal Elizabeth, which is a name that I really DO love, so now I'm just having a hard time settling for a boy name that I can only tolerate. Does that make any sense? I would prefer a less common name - I am not against popular names just for the sake of being different, but so our kid wouldn't always have to be identified by their first name and last initial. I theoretically love Puritan/Colonial names, but looking through list after list of those types of names, I have found nothing inspirational.
Any help or guidance you could give would be greatly appreciated! Because of some training my husband has, he is only going to be home for another 5 weeks or so before he leaves in March. For some reason I am really feeling the time crunch lately, and for some other reason (probably crazy pregnancy hormones, I'm guessing), the thought of having to agree on a name via Skype with him across the world makes me cry. (Though I am thankful for the existence of Skype that will allow us to keep in touch, I really am. I just want the name agreeing to be done in person.)
Thank you again for your time!
To me, it's the third name in a row that causes the real pressure---but I do feel some pressure even with a second name in a row, so I'd understand if you wanted to avoid a C name. But if I heard of a sibling group Charlotte, Calvin, and Opal, I wouldn't think, "What, did they run out of C names?" (with Charlotte, Calvin, Colin, and Opal, I might). And although I'm sure we could find adults still upset that they didn't share initials with their siblings, my guess is that the majority of children don't care about such things unless it's really blatant (and even then, we get people who say it made them feel special, not excluded). If you DID have Charlotte, Calvin, Colin, and Opal, and you said, "Opal, I waited through TWO BOYS to get to use your name!," it seems like there'd be very little room left for feeling neglected.
I think Calvin would be a wonderful choice. It seems like an excellent compromise between your husband's style and your own, and I'm not sure we can do any better than that. Which is not to say we won't try, because trying is fun.
Henry is another name that I think can bridge the gap between Oliver and Andrew. Henry Thompson is great, I think. But what really sells it to me is the sibling name set: Charlotte and Henry. I love that. I love it enough that I had a little heart attack thinking "Wait, is it in their church group??"---followed by a very pleasant headrush when it wasn't.
If Henry is too common, I wonder if you'd like Harvey. That's a name that never would have caught my eye if I hadn't been a fan of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The cool-but-nice boyfriend is named Harvey.
Tobias and Elias make me think of Silas. Silas Thompson; Charlotte and Silas.
Silas makes me think of Simon. Simon Thompson. Too rhymey, or nicely tied together? Charlotte and Simon is a pair I like almost as much as I like Charlotte and Henry.
Henry and Silas make me think of Harris. Harris Thompson; Charlotte and Harris.
I looked up lists of signers of the Constitution and signers of the Declaration of Independence to see if any early U.S. names stood out. In those lists I found what I consider a real option, a name that came up again and again---but it's the kind of name I feel like I need to introduce by saying something like "Now don't reject it right away! Let it sink in!" It's George. George Thompson. Charlotte and George. I like George enough to consider it using it myself, but it took awhile to start seeing it as a real name candidate, and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's a name like John, so familiar it sort of flits right past without sinking in? But think for a moment of George Clooney. See? GEORGE. I think it's the kind of name that has the potential to be a continual pleasant surprise: it's got dignity and it's got charm and it's got HISTORY. (And it's got Clooney.)
Another is Philip. A friend named her son Philip, and it has been such a successful name. I'm not sure I noticed it when I read baby name books, but as soon as she mentioned it I thought "Philip!! Why have we not considered Philip??" Philip Johnson; Charlotte and Philip.
Another name that caught my eye was Nathaniel. That seems closer to your husband's tastes than to yours, but still might work as a compromise. Nathaniel Thompson; Charlotte and Nathaniel.
There's an Edmund listed under "Other Founders," and I think that name would work very nicely. Edmund Thompson; Charlotte and Edmund.
Looking over the list brought the name Joel (not on the lists) to mind. It has that hard-working early American sound. Joel Thompson; Charlotte and Joel.
Or Grant. Grant Thompson; Charlotte and Grant.