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Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby Boy Coakley, Brother to Beck

Elizabeth writes:
We need your help. I am due (not until the end of December, but I'm a planner) with our second child, who will be a sibling to our son Beck. We struggled terribly to find a boy's name we could agree on when pregnant with Beck, and now I'm having trouble finding a name that sounds like an appropriate sibling to Beck. (We still have the girls' names we picked out during the last pregnancy, so our real dilemma is if this is another boy.) Here's the situation: we generally likely fairly traditional names and nothing too weird or "out there."  I know that might not perfectly describe the name Beck, as it is fairly unusual, but we also love names that have meaning (to us), and Beck is my mother's maiden name. Beck's middle name is my last name (Martin) and his last name is my husband's last name, Coakley. We will likely use Martin again as the middle, and Coakley will be the last name.  Contenders include Elliott (also vaguely a family connection, as I had a grandmother Eleanor and my husband had a grandmother Ellen), but I worry that it's three syllables (as opposed to Beck's one syllable name) and it doesn't really have a nickname (I abhore Eli).  I know I said we'd use Martin as the middle name, but with Elliott I kind of like the middle name August (my husband's middle name is Augustin. He is the second son of a second son of a second son, all of whom had Augustin somewhere in their names. If this is a second son, I kind of think we should go with the tradition, although I vastly prefer August to Augustin, and my husband is okay with that). So Elliott August. One strong possibility, but I'm not sure it's "the one".  Is Elliott a sibling to Beck? I've considered Noah, but my husband feels it's not right. I kind of like Nicholas (baby is due near Christmas), but I wonder if Nick and Beck are too similar? I always wanted a Jack, but I feel Jack and Beck are DEFINITELY too similar.  I love the name Luke and it would be an honor name, but when you say "Luke Coakley" quickly is sounds like you're say "Lou Coakley" and I don't like Lou. Maybe Lucas?  I like a number of names that end in the "ie" sound like Charlie and Henry, but I don't think that works with Coakley--too sing songy.  I'm sure I'm missing some great names. Help! What would you name Beck's brother? 
And update for you. We found out that we ARE having another boy, so the pressure is really on to find a name. The names in my original email are still contenders, but I also wonder about Bennett. It would be an honor name (my husband’s best friend who passed away was Benjamin—we prefer Bennett), but I wonder if Beck and Ben are too similar? Also, do they sound like brothers? I’m not sure they fit. Another thought is to move August to the first name space and have August Martin Coakley, nickname Gus. I think Beck and Gus are a cute sibling pair, but I’m not sure about Gus as an adult man’s name. Is it too geeky? Are there other names we should be considering? Why is this so hard?? Thanks for your help.

I think if I knew brothers named Beck and Bennett, I might keep accidentally calling Beck "Beckett." The names seem too similar to me, though an excellent style match.

I think Gus is great with Beck and will work fine as a name for an adult---and if it didn't, he'd just go back to using August.

Because your firstborn has an honor name, I think you have some flexibility: it's common for a firstborn's name not to quite match the style of the sibling names, because of all the people who had to use James IV when their style was more Caden, or all the people who changed naming styles, or who used a name that didn't fit with their usual style and then couldn't find any names to go with it. If anyone were to blink at, say, Beck and Elliot (and I don't think they WOULD blink---sounds like a literary style match to me), they'd stop it as soon as they realized the name Beck was a family name. If Elliott seems too much longer than Beck, using the Eliot spelling would help some with that, as well as increasing the literary appeal.

Emmett is similar to Elliott, but with only two syllables instead of three.

Lucas is nice too. The strong K/hard-C sound helps connect it to Beck.

If you like Noah, and you like Nicholas for the Christmas-name connection, I wonder if Noel would work? Noel Coakley; Beck and Noel.

If you'd like to stick with the one-syllable idea, I like Reid and Grant. Or Dean or Dane? Or Grey? Or Finn or Gage or Nash or Hayes. There are a lot of good ones in the Brisk and Breezy section of The Baby Name Wizard.

Or Levi would be nice. Levi Coakley; Beck and Levi.

Or Miles. Miles Coakley; Beck and Miles.

Or Ezra. Ezra Coakley; Beck and Ezra. I like the coordinating short-E sound tying them together.

Or Leo is nice and short, without making you feel like you're painted into a one-syllable corner for future children. Leo Coakley; Beck and Leo.

Ian, too. Ian Coakley; Beck and Ian.

Or back to one-syllable: Heath. Heath Coakley; Beck and Heath.

Name update! Elizabeth writes:
Just wanted to thank you (and your readers) for all the naming assistance and let you know that August Martin Coakley was born December 23, weighing 8 lbs and measuring 20.75 inches. We are having a wonderful time with baby Gus!

We vacillated between the names Elliot and August for a long time. About a month before Gus was born, however, a good friend had a baby boy and named him Elliot. That in itself wasn't a deal breaker; she lives far away and isn't part of our daily lives, but it made me realize that Elliot was a very specific person, and he wasn't my baby! From then on I started thinking of the baby as Gus, and my husband did too. One of your commentators noted that she felt our "style" was really honor names, and I think she was right. By giving our son the name August Martin, we were able to honor both sides of the family. It was the perfect name for us!


StephLove said...

I like the idea of August Martin because it gets both honor names in, and I think Beck and Gus is a good sibling pair. I don't think of Gus as too juvenile, but as Swistle said he could always go by August later in life if he wanted.

AirLand said...

I like all of your choices!

I don't see anything wrong with sibling names Beck and Elliot. Elliot does have 3 syllables, but it rolls off the tongue so easily- it doesn't *seem* like it has 3 syllables. I don't automatically want to shorten it to a nickname either, because there isn't a natural one.

August, with the nickname Gus, is awesome. I can totally picture an adult man being named Gus and not in a geeky way. I think it helps that this name is in style right now.

I also like Bennett, but agree with Swistle that it might make me think of Beck as Beckett. Beck and Ben are a little too close for me. They start to run together... Beck and Ben. BecknBen...I don't know. Maybe that's just me.

I can't decide which I like better-August Martin or Elliot August... both are great!

Lauren said...

Can Leo be a nickname for Elliot or is that too big a leap? I like Elliot very much with Beck.

Madelyn said...

I think Elliott August is a great name, and I have never met an Elliott that went by Eli, or even had a nickname. It doesn't seem like Beck would have a nickname, so I don't see that as a problem. Elliott and Beck sound like brothers to me!

Nick and Beck are too similar.

Bennett and Beck are also too similar, and I agree with Swistle that I would call Beck "Beckett."

August Martin is another great name, and I think I prefer it over Elliott because it has both honor names. Gus does not sound too juvenile to me either and sounds perfect with Beck.

Here are some more suggestions:

Calvin, Cal
Vincent, Vince

Julia said...

Would having a Beck and a Noel sound a little like "beck and call" when used together? My tongue keeps tripping over them for some reason, but maybe thats just me.

The Mrs. said...

How about Tate? Tate August Coakely? Beck and Tate?

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

Anonymous said...

August Martin is awesome!!! Gus is a fabulous nickname. I really think it is a winning combination.
I have married friends Nick and Beck where Beck is a girl....I think it sounds feminine compared to Nick and I would avoid any names starting with B as too matchy or ending with hard C or K as too running into Coakley.
Gus Coakley is a truly awesome name. I think it's great ti cOntonue a tradition, so I recommend August.

Anonymous said...

I second Swistle's suggestion of Dane. I think it is a perfect match for Beck.

Beck and Dane

Eva.G said...

Oh, how I love Finn! Beck and Finn. If you don't like just Finn, you could use Finley or Finland or my favorite, Finnegan. I also love the suggestion of Hayes!

I'd like to also suggest Cord for you; Beck and Cord.
Or Hale; Beck and Hale.
Or Milo; Beck and Milo.
Or Nolan! (Since you like Noah). Beck and Nolan.
Or Rhys; Beck and Rhys.

I don't see why you need to match syllables though? I don't like matchy matchy, and different numbers of syllables are nice, in my opinion. I think August is a wonderful choice, and a family name is a bonus!

Auntie G said...

As the mom of an August (Gus), I of course have to recommend this choice. I will tell you that so far he is the only Gus we've encountered in his basic age range, AND that we get lots and lots of compliments on his name. :) GO, GUS!

Anonymous said...

When it comes whether the names "match", i would choose for my own children names that don't necessarily match. I personally don't think Beck and Elliot match. If I were in your situation and loved Elliot regardless, I would use it.

Have you considered Elias? It still has three syllables but looks and feels shorter than Elliot. I think it's different from Beck but also different from Elliot, which is quickly becoming mainstream and common these days.

Anonymous said...

I haven't really read through everything, but I just wanted to suggest the name Angus. I think that Beck and Angus sound great together, and it has the nickname Gus too!

Christina Fonseca said...

August Martin is a winner! Gus and Beck are great names for brothers. I really don't think you need to keep looking. I really love the whole 2nd son of the 2nd son - it will be a nice story to go with his name.

Anonymous said...

ooh my twins sons are beck and dash (beckett and dashiell), so i recommend dash!

Nedra said...

I'd definitely go with August Martin. Gus and Beck is adorable. It's perfect, really. They are different enough not to be matchy, but similar enough to work well together.

I also love the name Elliot. If Gus and Beck didn't sound so darn cute, I'd be voting for Elliot based on pure style points. I think beck and Elliot go fine together, but it's not as natural of a flow as Beck and Gus.

Nedra said...

Ah! Just read Eva.G's comment regarding Finn and I think that would be an awesome pair too! You actually have some great options....choosing Beck for your first kid opens up the door for some of the "cooler" names.

Christina said...

Austin is another form of Augustin you could use as a middle name. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with a commenter above...Leo would be a great nickname for Elliott. Beck and Leo is adorable!

Anonymous said...

I really think Eliot or August work well. It sounds like your Name style is really " honor" and these 2 fit that. My favorite is August Martin. Gus & Beck are great together. FWIW, I have known 2 people named Gus, one a sweet and very petite little boy and the other an older gentleman, so I have no problems seeing the name on a kid or an adult

Anonymous said...

I vote for August!

After reading your first mail I thought: Why not use August as the first name and then you still get to use Martin!

Beck & August sounds great, Beck and Gus sounds great and August Martin sounds great.

It's all win-win here!

Jan said...

I like Swistle's one syllable suggestions, especially Dane, Gray (my preferred spelling), Reed (again, different spelling). To go with Beck I also like Swistle's suggestion of Miles or another name with some level of "cool." How about Axel or Zane?

Nichole said...

I really REALLY love the naming story if you have an August! I have a three-month old August and love the name!

Jenae said...

I Love this! We are also contemplating brother names to go with our Beck. This was so helpful. We may go with Beck and Elliott!