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Monday, August 20, 2012

Twin Baby Boys Squelch-with-a-W, Brothers to Lila Grace

Kristin writes:
I am pregnant with twin boys and in my 36th week. I had a pre-term labor scare a few weeks ago and have been on bed rest ever since, so these boys could arrive at any moment. The one thing left on our to-do list is to come up with names.

We have an older daughter whose name we absolutely love, Lila. Lila is classic, elegant, easy to say and spell, old fashioned, yet contemporary and it suits her to a tee. Grace is her middle name - it's a family name that was coincidentally present on both my husband’s and my side of the family. So it was a no brainer that our daughter would take that as her middle name. Our last name sounds like Squelch but with a "W". Therefore, we want boys names that aren’t too harsh sounding. My husband’s name is Evan and mine is Kristin.

Requirements are that the first name be two or more syllables, doesn’t start with W and isn’t be in the top 100 names. I also don’t want matchy, rhymey names or names that start with the same letter for our twin boys. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to agree on any names and neither of us loves the options we’ve come up with either. We feel like we’ll never love any boy’s names as much as we love Lila’s.

My first name ideas: Bryson, Everett, Bennett, Emmett, Emerson, Avery and Grayson

My middle name ideas: Owen, Miles and Alexander

My husband’s first and middle name ideas: Miles, Max, Jason and Earl

My husband like Miles and Max as first names. But Max paired with our last name sounds like a single first name. Also, I don’t like the M and M theme or the fact that they are monosyllabic. I’d like a better flow with our last name. I really like Everett Miles but the fact that my husband wants to use Miles as a first name and Everett is so close to my husband’s name Evan, makes me question it. “Hi, I’m Evan and this is my son Everett.” Sounds odd, right? My husband doesn’t like Bennett because he worries about him being nicknamed Benny. But I love the meaning – blessed. Emerson reminds him of the band Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Does anybody have that association these days? He also dislikes Owen but I like that it is a variation of the name Evan. So, in essence, it's a tribute to my husband. He has also mentioned Jason which is his first name and his father’s name. I don’t love the name but I’m willing to consider it probably more as a middle name because I’d like to stick with classic old timey names as a theme for our kids and don't really think it goes with Lila. Another one of his suggestions is Earl, his father’s middle name. Certainly better as a middle name than first but kind of old sounding. Any ideas for us?

I will start by suggesting that your goal not be to find names you love as much as Lila's name. The name Lila has already become synonymous with your much-loved daughter; any new names are unlikely to measure up until they've had time to become your sons. It's also possible that boy names you love as much as Lila's name don't exist---and yet you would nevertheless need to choose names. So instead, I suggest the more attainable goal of finding your favorite two boy names.

And in fact, I might start by finding ONE favorite boy name. An exercise that can be useful when naming twins (especially if you don't want any twin-name gimmick) is to pretend you are expecting just one baby boy, and find a name for him; then pretend it is some time later and you are expecting another single baby boy, and find a name for HIM.

Looking at your lists, the pairing that stands out to me is Miles and Everett. Like the name Lila, both are old-fashioned yet contemporary names. They're coordinated but not matchy in any way. You've got Miles down as a one-syllable name, but I say it with two syllables: my-yuls. Evan and Everett seem too similar for brothers, but not for a father/son; I think the mild connection is nice, and that the frequency of it seeming strange in an introduction is likely to be very low. I do wonder if Lila and Miles are too similar, though; they do share a lot of sounds.

If Everett continues to seem too close to your husband's name, and if Miles doesn't seem too close to Lila, my next choice is Miles and Bennett. I think as long as your son doesn't himself choose to go by Benny later on, you can avoid the nickname.

My concern with Emerson isn't the band but the usage: currently it's used more often for girls. The name Avery, too, is currently used much more often for girls. If you use either name, I suggest using both: Emerson and Avery are very compatible names. I'd use them with boyish middle names, for clarity; perhaps Emerson Miles and Avery Bennett, or Emerson Earl and Avery Jason if you'd like to use the family names. Lila, Emerson, and Avery.

I see a lot of -ett and -son on your list, so I think I'd explore that for more possibilities. I'll avoid very common names, but I'm ignoring the arbitrary Top-100 cut-off: since some of the names on your list are Top 100, I'll assume you mean "not very common" (i.e., not Mason) as opposed to "#101 is fine, but #100 is not."

Elliot is one of my own favorites, though maybe it's too much L with a sister Lila. I might pair it with Oliver, and then perhaps the L sound is unifying rather than duplicating: Lila, Elliot, and Oliver.

Or perhaps I'd pair it with Simon, so that one boy shares the L sound and the other shares the long-I: Lila, Elliot, and Simon.

Garrett is another possibility. Perhaps we could pair one -ett name and one -son name! Garrett and Harrison. Garrett and Anderson. Garrett and Davison. Or replace Garrett with Beckett---there was a character named Lyla Garrity on the television show Friday Night Lights; I'm not sure how many people would think of it with a Lila and a Garrett. Anderson and Beckett for Baby A and Baby B, if you like a leeeeeetle twin-name gimmick. Or Beckett and Harrison, or Beckett and Davison, or Beckett and Thompson.

I love the name Henry with Lila. Henry works well with Simon, Oliver, Everett, Emmett, Elliot, Miles, Grady, Isaac, Frederick---lots of names.

We recently did another question about twin boys, and I got caught up in the fantasy of naming twin boys and made a bit of a list; perhaps that might be of some use. Some of those pairs are a little matchier than you're looking for, but individual names might stand out. Henry and Malcolm. Harris and Calvin. Emmett and Louis. Ian and Leo. Davis and Simon. Gideon and Ruben.


Anonymous said...

I would avoid Emerson, because I know so many little girls named Emerson it's not even funny. I think it would be sort of like the one boy left named Lindsay or Ashley when I was growing up. I haven't heard Avery on quite as many girls in my area. If you can't both come to a consensus I'd suggest each of you pick your favorite first and middle name and then swap them so your husband's favorite name is paired with your favorite middle and vice versa. I did this and it actually worked surprisingly well. From your list though I like Miles and Emmett, they just have a nice brothers sound together :) Good luck!

Anonymous said...

My suggestion would be for you to pick your favorite name for a first and allow your husband to pick the middle. Then do the opposite for the other twin. That gives both parents a little of what they want in a name and lessens the odds of a super matchy set (you'd both have first name veto power of course). I also like the suggestion of nameing them one at a time, as if you just happened to have 2 boys in a row and not twins. Based on your current lists, you could end up with something like Miles Owen and Everett Jason (this gives both boys a name connection to their dad).
I agree with Swistle that Everett & Evan don't seem to close, and also that Miles is more like 1 1/2 syllables as opposed to, say, Nick which is a definite 1 syllable name. If Miles still concerns you, perhaps you'd both like Milo?
Some other name suggestions: Peter, Porter, Jasper, Andrew, Ethan, Ezra, Gavin, Graham, Philip.

Anonymous said...

From your list, I also like Emmett and Miles. Miles Alexander and Emmett Owen sound lovely and work well with Lila Grace. Since you do not want a first name with only one syllable, I guess Miles is out. How about Owen as a first name? Emmett and Owen. Emmett Miles and Owen Alexander.

Here are some other suggestions based on your list and Lila Grace:

Elliot, Elliott

Anonymous said...

Use Gideon and Ruben! I was thinking it the entire post and Swistle suggested it. It is my favorite for boy twin pairs on my fantasy name list. I like the -en sound to unify the names, but they are so different.

Ruben gives you the nickname possibility of Ben like Bennett would be eliminates the possible Benny issue.

Lila, Gideon, and Ruben. It is such a great sib list!!

StephLove said...

Jameson is a -son name I like for you. And I like the ideas of using a -son name and an -et name since those seem to appeal.

Jameson Earl and Garrett Jason?

Anonymous said...

Ij you watch the old version of the movie Jason and the Argonauts then you would love Jason as much as your husband. And you already like the similar sound name Grayson. I think Jason Miles Squelch is great, and hubby would get a name choice. For your list, avoid Avery, Emerson as very popular with girls, and Emmett is a little feminine, I feel.
If you initiated the nickname Benji for Bennett, then Benny is avoided. Jason and Bennett work, and I think Bennett Grayson gives you your name choice, and Jason and Bennett are two non matchy and interesting names, suggesting two boys with different personalities, but go well with Squelch, Lila and each other. Bennett(Benji) Grayson Squelch and Jason Miles Squelch. Benji, Jason and Lila. Jason, Bennett and Lila. The more I say it, the more I love it! Would hubby agree to Benji?
I also like Griffin and think Jason and Griffin are magnificent together. Jason Miles and Griffin Alexander would work.
As I was putting names together for you, I was caught out a couple of times with the initials spelling an undesirable word when A or E or O names were in middle. Can I just suggest that you check the initials before you decide on a final name for your babies? Eg, J.A.W. is ok, but perhaps J.E.W. or G.E.W. is not....?

Lyly said...

I like Miles Everett and Grayson Alexander

Peace said...

I would avoid Miles with your surname, the S blends with your starting letter to make Mile SWELCH. Final S names get a little tricky with surnames that start with W, L, etc.

Lucy said...

Seeing all of the E names made Ephraim spring to mind and I adore it with Alexander as a middle name. Ephraim Alexander Welch is fantastic. Ephraim, Bennet, and Lila. Or what about Theodore? Lila, Theodore, and Everett. Theodore Jason Welch and Everett Miles Welch. You have a lot of good options, good luck!

Nedra said...

I kinda like the idea of Owen and Everett, because they both have a different kind of connection to your husband, one in sound and one in history.

Rita said...

Emerson is great on a boy; the fact that it has been "stolen" by the girls only makes it more unusual and dashing on a boy - I feel the same about Ashley and Alexis, for instance.

Emery or Emory could be a nice compromise between Emmett/Emerson/Avery. As would the Welsh Macsen for Max/Miles /Grayson.

More ideas:
Jackson "Jack/Jax" - also means "Jack's son", Jack being the same name as Evan.
Ewan, Ivan, Shane, John (all forms of Evan)
Gaius "Guy"

and keeping a little sound theme:
Lila, Miles, and Caius.
Lila, Miles, and Dyson.
Lila, Miles, and Michael.
Lila, Miles, and Micah.
Lila, Miles, and Niall.
Lila, Miles, and Riley.
Lila, Miles, and Silas.
Lila, Miles, and Simon.
Lila, Miles, and Titus.
Lila, Miles, and Tyson.

Emmy Jo said...

I love Davis and Bennett as twin names -- they're both surnamey, and Davis means "beloved", while Bennett means "blessed."

Anonymous said...

I like Swistle's suggestion of naming the boys as if you were having two singlet boys in succession. Out of the original name suggestions I think I like Bennett and Grayson the best.

(I did have a little chuckle at Swistle's suggestion of Garrett and Anderson for the names. I doubt anyone but me would make the connection but I wrote my undergrad thesis on a woman named Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. She had a maternity hospital (now closed) and a school for girls (still open) named after her in the UK.)