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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baby Boy Grefay, Brother to Jack and Lila

Jennifer writes:
Just discovered your wonderful site in my frantic search for the perfect name for baby #3 (due September 6, but realistically, any day now!!). This pregnancy has flown by and we’ve been putting off the naming decision until now!

So, our son’s name is Jack and our daughter’s name is Lila. Now we’re having another boy and have not fallen in love with any name. Well, I have fallen in love with one: James. BUT, it’s my husband’s name (although he goes by Jim) and he refuses to name our second son James for fear that later in life our firstborn son will grow resentful that he wasn’t given his Dad’s name. I think this is ridiculous thinking…but is he right? Can only the firstborn son carry the father’s name?

So in lieu of James, I/we like Max, Charlie, Benjamin, Bradford, I also like Graham but I feel it clashes with our surname starts with ‘Gre’ and ends sounding like ‘fay’ (similar to the sound of ‘buffet’. I hope that makes sense)…it sounds very French when  pronounced correctly (which is rarely!).  

If this were a girl, I love the names Georgie (Georgia) and Harper and Maggie…

I hope you can help! Maybe it’s hormones and fatigue but I can’t seem to make a rational decision or even think straight at this point!

Although it's traditional for the firstborn child to be the namesake, there isn't anything inherently more worthy or important about the first child; I suspect the only reason is so the honor name is used at the first opportunity. If there's no reason for the children to believe that this third child would be particularly favored by his parents, I think it's likely the children won't much care---or if they do care, the caring could go either way: either "Why didn't _I_ get dad's name?" OR "Why didn't YOU have to get dad's name?" An honor name is a mixed gift: there aren't any specific benefits that go along with it (the benefits are more for the one who is honored)---and there are downsides, such as not having a name all of one's own, and dealing with any confusion that results from sharing.

One of my friends had twin boys, and they gave the father's name to the secondborn twin, so that each boy would have something: one boy is the firstborn, and the other is the namesake. It seemed like a good idea to me, and a good source of spin for other situations.

In this case, my bigger concern would be that the names Jack and James seem very similar, especially with a father Jim. Jack and Max also seem very similar to me, though a good fit style-wise.

Charlie is my own favorite from your list. Jack and Charlie are highly compatible names, but without being too alike. Benjamin is a very close second, especially if he'll go by Ben: Jack and Ben is a wonderful pair of brother names.

I also suggest Henry: Jack, Lila, and Henry.

Or Sam: Jack, Lila, and Sam.

I'm finding it a little challenging to find a brother name for a Jack. I think it's because Jack is a nickname name but also considered a stand-alone choice. So it feels compatible with other nickname names (Max, Sam, Ben, Charlie), but those names are not as often used as given names. So then having, say, a Jack and a Charles, or a Jack and a Benjamin, or a Jack and a Samuel, feels as if one boy has a good nickname and the other doesn't, or that only the nickname is the same style as Jack.

A name like Leo would be perfectly compatible with Jack---but I'm afraid it's too close to Lila. Drew might be perfect: it's short for Andrew but often used as given name. But I'm not sure it works well with the surname. Maybe Cole? It can be a nickname for Nicholas or Colton, but it's also given on its own. Or Liam---but again, probably too close to Lila.

Other nickname possibilities:


From this list, I think my favorite combination is Jack and Will. (Another post asked if "Jack and Will" would bring "Jack and Jill" to mind. I thought probably it would be a minor issue, and that it would be easy to say "Will and Jack" instead---but it's the sort of issue I like to mention so that you can think of it beforehand rather than afterward.) I like how all three children would have four-letter names, unless that would make you feel pressured for future children. Jack, Lila, and Will.


Anonymous said...

(Sorry if this double-posts - not sure if the first attempt worked.)

In the same vein of Leo, might I suggest Theo? It's got the same nickname-yet-stand-alone qualities as Jack but doesn't sound at all like either Jack or Lila. I love it with the surname, too. Jack, Lila and Theo!

StephLove said...

From your list I like Benjamin (nn Ben) for you best. Jack, Lila & Ben.

Anonymous said...

I really like both Sam and Charlie. Other options that I think sound good are Owen, Ian, Noah, and Nate. Good luck!

Patricia said...

I looked at London Telegraph birth announcements (I wish there were an American counterpart) for brother names with Jack. These combinations occurred repeatedly:
Jack and Charlie / Charles
Jack and Will / William
Jack and Henry
Jack and Freddie / Frederic
Jack and Max (which seem almost rhyming)
Jack and Oliver

Also a few brother sets called:
Jack and Louis
Jack and Hugo
Jack and George

Jack and Theo
Jack and Jamie (similar to Jack and James)
Jack and Nicholas (Jack and Nick?)
Jack and Sam

And triplets called Lola, Jack and Felix (Lola and Jack, very similar to Jack and Lila)

Also, I wonder if you'd like Owen: Jack, Lila and Owen -- all 4 letter names with no nn.

Anonymous said...

Charlie would be my favorite, with Sam a close second. The suggestions of Liam & Henry is also very good. I also agree that Jack & Max or James are a little too similar for brothers. Since it would be a namesake name, I think the namesake (your husband) should get final say on the matter. If he doesn't want this child to share his name, regardless of his reason, I think James should be off the list.
Some other suggestions: Ross, Rhys, Peter/Pete, Mark, Owen, Ethan & Evan.

Anonymous said...

How about Hugh?

Madelyn said...

From your list I like Bradford and Benjamin, but I do not think Bradford goes well with your last name. I also think James should be off the list, since it is too close to Jim and Jack; and, plus, your husband doesn't like the idea. Benjamin is a fine name and sounds great with Jack and Lila- Jack, Lila, and Benjamin, or Jack, Lila, and Ben

Here are some other suggestions:

Finn: Jack, Lila, and Finn
Gavin: Jack, Lila, and Gavin
Ike: Jack, Lila, and Ike
Miles: Jack, Lila, and Miles
Mitchell: Jack, Lila, and Mitchell (Mitch)
Owen: Jack, Lila, and Owen
Reid: Jack, Lila, and Reid
Russell: Jack, Lila, and Russell (Russ, Rusty)
Thomas: Jack, Lila, and Thomas (Tom)
Toby: Jack, Lila, and Toby

Caroline said...

I know siblings Jack and Max (who are Jack and Maxwell), and also Jack and Charlie (who are John and Charles) so either of those sound nice to my ear!

Anonymous said...


Rita said...

I agree that you should go for a nicknamey name that works fine on its own - much like Jack and Lila.

Jack, Lila and Harry
Jack, Lila and Theo
Jack, Lila and Mack
Jack, Lila and Rory
Jack, Lila and Toby
Jack, Lila and Beau
Jack, Lila and Kit
Jack, Lila and Cory
Jack, Lila and Drew
Jack, Lila and Harley
Jack, Lila and Jude
Jack, Lila and Robin
Jack, Lila and Eben
Jack, Lila and Jem
Jack, Lila and Alec
Jack, Lila and Remy
Jack, Lila and Bastian
Jack, Lila and Grey
Jack, Lila and Rafe
Jack, Lila and Xander
Jack, Lila and Wolf

Anonymous said...

You know what name I love with your last name, as a nick-namey sounding stand alone, and as a good sibling match? Wynne. I love it. Or you could spell it Win. Jack, Lila and Wynne!

nieke said...

How about Bram? Similar sound to Graham (I think, if you are American) without the alliteration.

Jack, Lila and Bram

Anonymous said...

My aunt had 4 boys Brian, Jack, James and will (William). There has never been any confusion and my grandpa goes by Jim but is a James and his brother was a Jack. I adore them as a sibling set!

Crafty Beth said...

I love the previous suggestions of Theo or Finn! It would be sooo tempting to me to use another four-letter name.

Ira sass said...

I can't help noticing that Will and Jack are the two male leads on Will and Grace :]