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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby Boy $amuel, Brother to Louisa Claire

M. writes:
My son is due September 16th and is currently nameless. My husband (Josh) and I (Melissa) already have a little girl named Louisa Claire, and will hopefully have another baby in a couple of years time. Our surname is $amuel, which you would think would be easy to work with. For us, it has not been so easy. Even Louisa's name doesn't sound quite right with it.

Our favorite name is Max, but Max $amuel sounds like Mac $amuel or Max Amuel when said out loud. Do you think that is a definite deal-breaker? His middle name will most likely be Hudson, so it would be Max Hudson $amuel. Of course we could name him something like Maximilian, but as we don't like that at all he would go by Max 100% of the time, therefore he would still be Max $amuel.

I have been looking at names on your blog and a name you suggested recently has really stuck in my head and I have found myself absolutely loving it! The name is Caius. Of course it doesn't work with our surname either. Caius $amuel = Caia $amuel :-(

Other names I really like that my husband does not like include Oliver, Everett and Evander. Clearly I like 'v' sounds!

My husband like's the names Jacob, Aidan and Lucas. I don't particularly like Jacob, I like Aidan but not enough to consider it (plus a friend of mine has a Jayden and another friend has a Kaiden), and obviously we cannot have a LOUisa and a LUcas AND it doesn't work with our surname (although I do like it).

At the moment we are also considering the name Declan, which I do really like. However I don't believe my husband likes it as much as he claims...I think he is sick of talking about baby names so is just agreeing to whatever I say (LOL).

Any suggestions would be very appreciated! Popularity does not concern us too much, but I would prefer to use a name that is not so common.


My general feeling about run-together names is that it depends on how embarrassing/confusing the run-together is, and on how much you love the name. I definitely think it can work if the former is low and the latter is high.

I think Max $amuel is workable if you love it. Neither Mac $amuel nor Max Amuel is an embarrassing mistake, and I think you and he would get accustomed to pausing between the first and last name to make it clear: "Max...$amuel." Or, for example, you'd say, "Hi, this is Max. Max $amuel."

Caia $amuel is a more embarrassing confusion. The name Kai would work better: Kai $amuel. But Kai does not seem as compatible with Louisa as some of the other options.

I like Declan from your list, too.

May I suggest one of my own recent favorites? George $amuel is handsome, and Louisa and George is almost irresistible to me.

Another of my own pet favorites: John $amuel; Louisa and John.

Everett and Oliver makes me think of Elliot and Emmett.

If you don't mind repeating an initial, I wonder if Levi would work. In style it reminds me of a sort of combination of Max and Oliver and Jacob, and it has the V sound you like. Levi $amuel; Louisa and Levi.

I was curious to see what The Baby Name Wizard would recommend as brother names for Louisa; she lists Foster, Hugh, Jules, Emerson, and Anton. My favorites from that list are Foster and Hugh.

A name similar to Max is Jack, but with less of a run-together issue---it could be Jax $amuel, I suppose, but Jack is so much more common.



Name update! M. writes:
One of your lovely readers suggested the name Sullivan which I loved and also turns out to be a family name on my husband's side. We ended up agreeing on it a couple of weeks before he was born, and decided to use Max as his middle name. I was a bit sad to think that I will never have my Max, but there is no guaranteeing we will ever have another boy. Plus I LOVE having my little Sully :-)

So Sullivan Max $amuel he is!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to commend you on your first name choice, Louisa is my top pick for a girl :)
I know you don't like Maximilian but have you considered Maxwell as a workaround? He could still be Max 100% of the time, but at Doctor's offices and enrollments you'd have the name Maxwell to fall back on. I guess a big factor is how you pronounce $amuel, you might not like Max-well Samu-well as much as Max-well Sam-yull.
In which case I suggest something with lots of v's! Similar to Evander is Severen or Severn. Or similar to Everett and Declan in my head is Beckett.

Ginny said...

My best friend is named Joy, and her last name begins with an 'S,' so people sometimes think her name is Joyce. It's really not that big a deal... a mild annoyance that comes up every so often, but I don't think she's ever wished she had a different name because of it. Max, like Joy, is more common than the name it would be confused for (Mac/Joyce), so I think most people will hear his name correctly and it will only be an occasional inconvenience.

Clarabella said...

I know two Louisas, so if you don't mind sibling sets that already exist, these two little Louisas I know have brothers Reed, Cole and Graham. I think all of those seem to fit your style, although I guess Graham Samuel doesn't really work, but Grant would. I think Reed is just adorable. Louisa Claire and Reed Hudson Samuel.

Clarabella said...

Duh, that should be REID, not Reed.

Lindsey said...

I did a double-take when I read this because my daughter has the same name as yours, first and middle!

So from someone with perhaps similar naming taste, I have to say that Declan is one of my all-time favorite boy names.

I also love Henry. Louisa and Henry. I wanted to suggest Harrison, but I think Harrison Hudson $amuel probably has too many repeating sounds.

From Swistle's list, I like George and Hugh.

But I think that if you really really love Max, it's not a dealbreaker.

Lindsey said...

Oh, and while I like a previous commenter's suggestion of Beckett, with your last name I can only think of $amuel Beckett, so I would probably avoid that.

StephLove said...

I like Oliver best from your names under consideration, if your husband happens to change his mind.

How about Caleb, Isaiah, Julian, Noah (possibly more popular than you'd like) or Rueben? I like all those with Louisa and the surname. Isaiah $amuels might be my favorite.

StephLove said...

I mean Reuben, btw.

Lyly said...

I really like Levi. Levi Hudson Samuel. I really like it. I think I my have to Levi on my name list.

Rita said...

I don't thinki Max Samuel is a big problem, and Max works great with Louisa. What about Maximus (since you like Max and Caius)? Maximus Samuel is nice, too.

And I think Lucas and and Louisa is fine.

Atticus
James
Matthias
Duncan
Oscar
Lucan - works better with Samuel and is much more uncommon than Lucas.
Felix
Evan
Calvin
Everard
Gavin
Ivor
Leon

Madelyn said...

I don't think Max $amuel is a complete deal-breaker, but I'm not too fond of the run-together either. If you really like it and think it is your son's name, I say go with it.

$amuel is a tough surname- I had no idea. Here are some other suggestions:

Elliott
Errol
Foster
Gregor
Lachlan
Nigel
Orrin
Quentin
Reid
Theodore
Wyatt

Anonymous said...

I agree Max could work, an extra pause or quick correction might be needed sometimes, but that doesn't seem like a big deal.
Of your other names, I do really like Declan. Swistle's suggestion or Levi seems like a great compromise between your V names & your husband's list.
Other names I think work well with Louisa & Samuel-Jasper, Noah, Owen, Henry, Gavin, Neville, Trevor & Victor.

hillary said...

These names are maybe a little left-field for you, but since I also like the Everett/Oliver/Evander family of names, you might like other boy names on my list:

Alden
Arthur
Otto
Leo
Oscar
Emmett
Hugo


The Mrs. said...

Do you like Evan? Evan $amuel? Louisa and Evan...

Or what about names with an "er"-sounding ending?

Louisa & Oscar $amuel
Louisa & Jasper $amuel
Louisa & Abner $amuel
Louisa & Calder $amuel
Louisa & Chester $amuel
Louisa & Edgar $amuel
Louisa & Mortimer $amuel
Louisa & Porter $amuel
Louisa & Trevor $amuel
Louisa & Walter $amuel
Louisa & Wilder $amuel (literary connection there)

Or you could you "en"-sounding endings:

Louisa & Franklin (Frank) $amuel
Louisa & Aaron $amuel
Louisa & Gordon $amuel
Louisa & Abram $amuel
Louisa & Brogan $amuel
Louisa & Dean $amuel
Louisa & Dugan $amuel
Louisa & Ian $amuel
Louisa & Garvin $amuel
Louisa & Lorcan $amuel
Louisa & Nathaniel (Nate) $amuel
Louisa & Nolan $amuel
Louisa & Sean $amuel
Louisa & Sullivan $amuel
Louisa & Tristan $amuel
Louisa & Whitman $amuel

Or you could end with a hard consanant sound:

Louisa & Marc $amuel
Louisa & Dirk $amuel
Louisa & Kent $amuel
Louisa & Art $amuel
Louisa & Ford $amuel
Louisa & Everard $amuel
Louisa & Ward $amuel

Best wishes to you and your growing family! Please let us know what you decide for your little guy!

Laura said...

What about Benedict or Benjamin?

Patricia said...

I agree that $amuel could be a challenging surname to work with. There's not only a beginning 'S' but also the 'EL' ending, so that neither Max ('macks') or MaxwELL sound quite right with it, though many parents would still use either of those if it were their favorite name. Maxton is another Max- name that might work for you, and "Max" certainly coordinates well with Louisa. While I like Declan, I see it as strongly Irish and somewhat trendy/modern usage and don't think it goes with Louisa the way Max does.

Some other vintage male names that would go well with Louisa and with $amuel too:
Jasper $amuel
Edmund ("Teddy") $amuel
Hugh $amuel
Henry $amuel
Arthur $amuel
Theodore ("Teddy") $amuel

Mary said...

What draws you to the name Max and Caius? I think you can make it work with $amuel, because in the end, you love the name and it'll work out fine in the day to day of things. Max and $amuel are both so well-known, people will get it :)

Should you want some more suggestions, here are some ideas

Instead of Max: Malachi, Marko, Marsden, Matteo (nn Mats) Mayer

Instead of Caius: Cieran, Caelan, Callum, Callan, Cavan

Or you could look into Saint names, with Declan and Louisa being among your favorites.

Cyprian is the saint associated with Sept 16.



Melissa said...

Thank you for posting this Swistle, and thanks to everyone who has commented!

We have decided to keep Max on our list, we feel a lot better about it, but I'm still not 100% sure.

I loved your suggestion of Elliot. I am afraid that I would call him Ell(ie) though. Maybe a nickname such as 'E' would help that?

Oh and I also LOVE Oscar!!

Reid, Theodore, Wyatt, Sullivan, Callum and Callan are all names I like too.

I will have to show my husband and see what he thinks :-)

Jan said...

I would agree that Max and Samuel do run together. If you like Caius maybe also Gaius nn Guy?

It looks like Louisa's popularity was highest in the 1880s. So maybe something from this list? http://www.ssa.gov/oact/babynames/decades/names1880s.html