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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Baby Boy Wylie, Brother to Violet and Scott

K. writes:
I am 4 weeks from having a beautiful baby boy in my arms and I don't feel settled on any name. I still probably spend 5 hours a day thinking about it.

Our last name is Wylie, and we're considering Robert, Cooper, or Zachary as middle names (all significant family names.)

My daughter is Violet Noelle Wylie. And my son is Scott Brian Wylie. I love how Violet and Scott sound together, though I know they're stylistically different. Violet had long been my favorite girls name and Scott is my husband's middle name. I'm so glad I took a bit of a risk on Scott. I'm sure some people think it stale and tired. But for the most part it gets good reaction and actually feels fresh on the under 5 crowd!

So my dilemma:

We're leaning towards Oliver. But I just can't stand how popular it is. It is particularly popular in my state even though I don't know a single Oliver. The other problem is that Oliver sounds like Violet's brother but not really like Scotty's brother!

Other's on the list:

Sam (sooo popular!)
James (nn Jamie)

I feel like its slightly odd to use Simon, Peter, and James since they're so biblical? Am I over thinking that? The other small problem with Rhett, Reid, Heath, and Penn is that they lack nickname potential. I used to love one syllable boy names (hence choosing Scott) but the name pretty much got hijacked and we call him Scotty 99% of the time. So now I fear the one syllables a bit! What should I choose? Of course, I'm open to other suggestions from you and your readers. This is our last baby and I so want to love his name as much as I love Violet's!!

I think names like James, Peter, and Simon have all been fully mainstreamed by now: someone certainly COULD use them because of their biblical status, but they're just standard names at this point---as are Matthew, Andrew, Joshua, David, Michael, Benjamin, Daniel, Ethan, Mark, Caleb, Luke, Jonathan, etc.; practically the whole classic/traditional/timeless list are names that also appear in the Bible. Even Noah, Ezra, Ezekiel, Moses, Abraham, and Isaac are mainstreamed at this point, due to a recent trend of Quirky Biblical names. Perhaps if I encountered a family with ALL biblical names, I might WONDER---but encountering just one name from the list, it wouldn't even come to my mind. In a family with a Violet and a Scott, it certainly wouldn't seem biblical.

Although I do like to avoid style clashes within a sibling group, I think there are many styles that are different yet perfectly fine together. Scott and Oliver is an example of this: they're definitely not the same style, but they're fine: at most they provoke a small, interested, surprised feeling---but no "What happened THERE?" feeling as there might be with, say, Maverick and Jason, or Sunshine and Jessica. Scotty and Ollie is pretty cute!

I think if you've found you nicknamed Scott to Scotty against your original plan, I would avoid Penn.

Simon and Sam have an initial working in their favor: when two names are of somewhat different styles, a matching starting initial can make them seem more similar. Scotty and Sammy, Scotty and Simon.

Rhett has a similar situation but with its ending: the three names become linked through their ending T-sounds. Violet, Scott, and Rhett. I can see how you might want OR not want that; I think if I encountered it in the wild, I'd find it appealing. I even like how both boys have double T's.

Scott and Peter seem like a very good combination to me, and the T sound in Peter ties his name to his siblings.

I think my favorite from your list is James/Jamie: it gives you the same "one-syllable name, two-syllable nickname" pattern as with Scott. James Cooper Wylie; Violet, Scott, and James; Scotty and Jamie.

I suggest not trying to compare your feelings for a new name to your love of a name you loved for years and that has now fully become your daughter to you. The new name is almost always going to feel a little funny at first, while the established name can feel as if it's been perfect from the beginning. Instead, the goal can be the easier one of just finding the name you like best of the possibilities: not "As much as I love Violet" but "The one I like best from this list."

Since you've had the experience of finding that a name off its style peak can sound fresh on a small child, I suggest the name John. Like Scott, it's one-syllable and not currently on-trend. Like Scott, it sounds fresh and surprising in a kindergarten class full of Cadens and Masons. (In fact, that's how the name first caught my riveted attention: I saw it written in a child's hand on a cute drawing up on the kindergarten wall.) John Robert Wylie; Violet, Scott, and John; Scotty and Johnny.

I'd also add Grant. It has the T-ending, and I think it goes well enough with both Violet and Scott. Though Scott is more familiar to me at this point as a first name, Scott and Grant are both surnames.

Name update! K. writes:
Our beautiful boy was born on September 14th via repeat c-section. It took me about 2 days to settle on his name, though my husband was certain from his birth. Now, I am so in love with his name, I really can't believe it. I was so worried I couldn't be satisfied this time around. We chose Simon Cooper Wylie as his name. It's thanks to you and your readers! First, I was hesitant to have the name start with an 's' but once I removed that restriction knew I had a winner. Secondly, when only a few people liked Simon the best off my list, I realized I was routing for it! That made it easy! Thanks so much!


Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE Simon with Violet and Scott! It has the same vowels, and just sounds wonderful.

StephLove said...

I like the idea of tying all the names together with Ts. Either a final T like Rhett or Grant, a middle T like Peter or maybe a name that starts with T. I think Thomas would be a great name for you. Violet, Scott and Thomas. I like Garrett, too, if the final T appeals more.

Patricia said...

I really like the repeating 't' in Violet, Scott (Scotty) and Thomas (Tommy).

A name ending in 't' would help to unify the names in your sib set too. I especially like Robert (Robby/Robbie). Other names ending in 't' that you might consider:
Everett (includes V like Violet and double T ending like Scott)
Grant, as Swistle mentioned

I also like John (Johnny) and James (Jamie) with Scott.

Scott, of course, brings to mind Scotland; Robert (Robbie) and James (Jamie) are associated with Scotland -- both historic royal names.

A few of the suggestions from Name MatchMaker for a brother of Violet and Scott:
Robbie/Robby (Robert)
Matt (Matthew)

Anonymous said...

Of your list, I really like Sam, Peter & James the best with Scott and Violet. Grant & John are also very good suggestions. These names all have a long history of popularity, meaning they could have been a vintage brother to Violet as well as a 60's/70's era brother to a Scott.

Anonymous said...

How about Victor?

Martha said...

I think it would be nice to pick another name that ends in T as well. I love that Swistle suggested Grant, it is my uncle's name and definitely underused! Other cute ones might be August, Forrest, Clint, Albert, Bennet (with the adorable nickname Ben), Robert (you could call him Robby, Robby and Scotty would be so cute!), Rupert, or Stuart.

Anonymous said...

My favorite from your list is Rhett actually. Rhett Wylie is such a cool name! And I'm sure some form of nickname will be born from it and that's half the fun! I'm also loving Heath, but like Violet it has ties to nature which singles out Scott again. Violet, Scott and Rhett sound like cast names from a cool old movie.

By the way, I feel your pain about Oliver sky-rocketing. My favorite boy's name came out of comfortable obscurity about a year ago and I'm gnashing my teeth over it. I hope you love whatever you choose, even if it is Oliver!

Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment: Oliver and Violet have all the same letters except for the r and t at the end of their names. They seem too similar to me to be a sibset.. I think Scott would feel left out.

KWILY said...

I am sooo happy my question was posted! Swistle, you really hit the nail on the head with all the choices on my list. I'm so grateful for your readers thoughtful advice too. I really have nobody around me who will talk about baby names this way.

I suggested another name to my husband that he surprisingly loves now. Wondering how you all feel about it with my sibset??? Milo???

Anonymous said...

I like Griffin.

Anonymous said...

While Milo is ranked lower than Oliver, 361 versus 78 respectively, I still would not use it if you are worried about popularity. It has been making a pretty fast climb up the charts.

As a sibset, I also think Oliver fits better with Scott and Violet than Milo. But if you and your husband really love Milo, then that's the name you should name your son.

My favorites for your sibset are James, Oliver, and Peter. Each has a cute nickname- Jamie, Ollie, Petey-that sounds great with Scotty.

Here are some other suggestions that I think sound lovely with your sibset:

Elliott, Elliot
Luke (too popular?)
Wyatt (again, too popular?)

Anonymous said...

Milo is a nice enough name (although in Australia it is a famous chocolate drink...) but I don't think it works with the siblings. I would leave Oliver in preference of Rhett, Grant, Bennett (Benji and Scotty), Garrett, or Robert. I think the 't' connection is great. Peter, James and John are actually fabulous as well, and work beautifully with your surname and the other children but without the 't'.
If you want to use Milo, keep it in the middle, as it doesn't really fit the other names.

Anonymous said...

I commented earlier and forgot to mention Martin. Violet, Scott, and Martin sound quite nice together. Martin Cooper Wiley.

I also forgot to add that I do not really like the repeating 'y' sound in Zachary and Wiley when Zachary is used a middle name. I have been trying it out with your name list and none of them sound cohesive to me.

Anonymous said...

I like Miles nn Milo with the sibling names. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

While it has certainly gained popularity, Oliver is still one of my favorite names. If you like it, and haven't ever come across another Oliver, use it. I DO like the suggestion for all three siblings' names to end in "t". Everett and Grant are my favorites. Your newest name, Milo, is good...but I'm not sure I like the sound with your last name. It just sounds like a mouth full, to me. Maybe Miles?

Eliza said...

It might be that Milo Wiley runs together because of how the mouth is in the same place when you say o and then start w. I have a W last name and my husband would not allow any names ending in o for our son. On the other hand I thought the combo was cool sounding! Also the Mi and Wi have a rhyme-y feel which combined with the ending/beginning mashup make the name sing-song-y. I think this is cool and I suppose if you like the name you have said it in combination with your last maybe the point is moot, but it is a feeling some (my husband) have. Just throwing it out there. I love your names and you will make the perfect choice I am sure as you are an aware namer!

Anonymous said...

I agree Milo Wiley has a sing-song quality that I'm not crazy about. However, it isn't the worst combination either, so if this doesn't bother you then I say use it. If this is a concern of yours, I think the suggestion of Miles nickname Milo is a great solution. With only one syllable and more of a distinction between the end of the first and start of the last names, it avoids the sing-songiness.

The Mrs. said...

My husband read this over my shoulder and immediately said, "Rhett Wiley is the best name, hands down!" And I whole-heartedly agree. GREAT choice!

As for nicknames, why not just put a masculine ending on the end? If you like Milo, what about Rhett-o (you could say it in a British accent, so it sounded like "Right-oh"). Rhetty, Rhetts, Rhetter, Rhett-roh (Scooby Doo style there), or your little RugRhett are all cute. I love that you used Scott... a lot. I'm kind of blown away by the brilliance of it to be honest with you.

If you want another possibility, do you like Roland? Violet, Scotty, and Rollie? It's outside of the popularity reach, but it has a surname history and comes from the same limbo era as Scott.

But, seriously, Rhett is a winner here! Best wishes to you and your growing family! Please keep us up to date!

Lashley said...

I love James, whether or not you end up calling him Jamie. James Wylie sounds like a kid who could be good at just about anything. I also like Milo and/or Miles, but Milo Wylie together seems a little cartoon character or a band name to my ears. Plus I think you lose some of that "What a pleasant surprise!" reaction that those super-classic names bring about these days.

The "t" ending for all 3 seems a little forced to me, so personally I'd avoid it.

Other combos I like that may or may not include names from your list:
Simon Robert Wylie
Paul Zachary Wylie
Joseph (Joe! Joey?) Cooper Wylie

James Cooper is my favorite though. Best!

Anonymous said...

I love James. Jamie is so darling, sounds so good with Scott and Violet, and really, how can you go wrong with the name James Wylie??? Perfect!

Lyly said...

I like the suggestion of John. John cooper Wylie. I also like James nm Jamie I thin r names followed by w surnames are hard to say but Rhett wylie looks cool. Milo Wylie is good. How about Barrett Wylie. Barrett cooper Wylie. Rhet can be the nm then.

gail said...

If you like the idea of a "t" theme tying the names together, I'd suggest Beckett. I also really like the idea of using Robert in the fn place. Also, Swistle's suggestion of Grant is spot on.

I'd avoid using Heath, Rhett, Penn, or Reid because they are all modern/trendy, leaving the name Scott as the outlier of the bunch. Simon, Peter, and James all bridge Violet and Scott brilliantly. Oliver and Samuel both sound like brothers to Violet, but not as much with Scott.

I agree with the previous posters that Miles would work better than Milo, but I think there are better names on the table already.

Best of luck, let us know!

Anonymous said...

Milo Wiley is too reminiscent of the band Rilo Kiley, for me. I would have a private giggle if I met someone with that name, mostly at my own presumed inability not to call them Rilo Kiley.

SF said...

I like the idea of tying the names together with a T. Some suggestions: Brent, Brett, Dexter, Elliot, Jet, Justin, Trevor. I also like James/Jamie from your list!

AirLand said...

I really dig Rhett! And if it seems too short, using Everett, nn Rhett. The ending really ties all of the sibling names together.

Putting Rhett and Scott together makes me think of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Rhett Butler. Not exactly from the same era, but both literary.

I totally agree with the above poster about Milo Wylie sounding like Rilo Kiley. Although, it's not like the band is going to be popular forever. But there is something about the name that makes me want to switch the letters around to Wilo Miley or makes me think it's a mispronunciation of Milo Riley.

Kayt said...

I have a James that goes by Jamey, and I always have to plug that one. :)

However, I think my favorite pick here is Simon.

Anonymous said...

I really like the name Curtis with your sibset.

Violet, Scott and Curtis (Curt)

From the names previously suggested I like Peter and Grant.

Moving away from the T connection I really like the name Kevin with your sibset.

Violet, Scott and Kevin

Good Luck!

Leslie said...

Simon Cooper is a WONDERFUL name! Congrats, and best wishes to you and your family!