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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baby Boy Macon-with-a-B, Brother to Abbot

Emily writes:
First let me apologize for this, my second request for your help.  But we are three weeks away and really starting to panic. Your expertise could really help!

We have lists and lists of names that we have dutifully voted on together (in a far more civilized process than I ever would have imagined), only to get down to 5-10 choices that we cannot commit to.

This baby boy will our second child and definitely the last.  His older brother is named Abbot James (middle name and initials honoring my several men on my side of the family).  My husband's name is Seth, last name sounds like Macon with a B  (the boys have his last name). My name is Emily (I kept my maiden name for a variety of reasons).

Our rules (okay maybe just mine):

1. Simple, yet unique names that are generally familiar to the general public.  Word and surnames in this category are great!
2. Nothing in the top 100, but preferably nothing in the top 1000
3. Must go with middle name Michael (honor name for husband's dad)
4. Must not conflict with last name that is a breakfast food and could already lead to some measure of playground ridicule
5. Should sound good with Abbot, but this is not a deal breaker
6. We also like nature and virtue names

If we had a girl, we were probably going to name her Delphine (my family is French) or some flower/British sounding name.

Our list so far: 

Townsend (I love this name, husband thinks it is too pretentious)
Lark (Too girly? We may use this as a second middle name)
Auden (don't love having kids with two A names though)
Thaddeus (probably out because we can't think of a cool nickname...hate Thad and Tad)
Barrett (husband lives in fear of child being called Barry)

None of these is a slam dunk for either of us, which only leads us to keep searching for a new name (vicious cycle). Time is growing short (been fighting early labor signs for a month now) and we know we need to commit to something, but can't bring ourselves to hone in on one of these names.

Can you help us break the cycle or even suggest a new name that gets us out of the rut? Thanks so much for considering our plight!

I'm trying each name on the list with your surname, and I'm afraid I'm running into issues left and right: there's something about combining a very unusual first name with a whimsical surname that leads to comic results. Fairfax _acon. Pryor _acon. Bright _acon! Oh dear!

Bishop is probably the worst of the list with a brother named Abbot. Bishop _acon is already an amusing name, but Abbot and Bishop is a little like naming them Sailor and Fisher, or Forest and Ranger, or Harper and Piper: the theme makes the effect even more comical.

Lark definitely seems too feminine to me; in the United States, it is currently used only for girls and never for boys. And with the surname, I can't imagine it.

The only possible name on the list is Gideon. (Thaddeus would also be an option, but not if you hate the nicknames.) In your shoes, I'd be ready to just go with that: you're having so much trouble, and if this is the only name that (1) you both like and that (2) doesn't result in an amusing combination, I think it's a winner. It's good with the brother name and it's good with the surname, and you're running out of time.

I looked around for more suggestions, but I didn't find anything that seemed better than Gideon while also meeting the other preferences. Maybe Desmond. I'd certainly avoid B sounds, church-related names, word names (Sterling, Forest, Abel), and whimsical names. I might also avoid names ending in the same -on/-en/-in sound as the surname.


Fourandcounting said...

I immediately thought of Ramsey for you: Abbot and Ramsey, Ramsey Macon-with-a-B.

A couple others that might work:


StephLove said...

I think ends-in-n names will work if they have more syllables than the surname. So Finnegan Macon sounds better to me than Simon Macon, for instance. For this reason, Gideon works for me. I was gravitating in that direction as I read the list before reading Swistle's commentary.

Anonymous said...

I like Barrett nn Rhett best from your list. Other suggestions are Alden, Warner, and Gerard. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

How about Ansel?

Sarah said...

I'll add Brooks (I like Brooks _acon. Don't know why since I normally don't like alliterative names).

I also like North and Wesley (nn Wes). I think they're dashing and sound great with Abbott.

sarah said...

I know 2 Barretts, one male and one female, and neither is ever called Barry. I think you can avoid that, and Barrett Michael Bacon sounds good. I also agree with Swistle that Gideon is good.
Here are some more that I thought of:

Good luck!

liz said...

I'm wondering if Ford or Carter or James or Charles would work for you?

Anonymous said...

I like Gideon a lot, but I also think Thatcher is good, as are Gage, Sullivan, and Atticus. And I love Townsend, nn Townes! That's on our list, too, though we don't like that it doesn't have a meaning.

Allyson said...

My son is Barrett, and we call him Bear. The nickname Barry never occurred to us until someone else said "are you going to call him Barry?". Um, no.

Anonymous said...

I second the suggestion of Clark

Anonymous said...

Or Byron

Anonymous said...

Or Forrest

Elisabeth said...

I really like Gideon, and I think it works well with Abbot.

Other names you might like:

Anonymous said...

I love Clark and Abbot Macon with a B. That is Perfect! it is uncommon but not weird. i also like that you can't do a bad nickname with it. That's one great thing about 1 syllable names. ANd Clark Michael sounds great as a first and middle name. LOVE!

Portia said...

I agree that with a sort of whimsical-noun last name, I'd go with a name that doesn't have noun associations. I really like previous commenters' suggestions of Jasper and Ramsay, especially Jasper.
What about:

Theodore (similar to Thaddeus?)

I also like Barrett from your list, even though it might be a little sing-songy with the last name.

Beth said...


I've heard it pronounced Eh-bin and Ee-bin.

Helena said...

I think Pryor also has the "church theme" that Abbot and Bishop would have (mentioned in the post). I think it's because I hear Pryor and thing Priory or Prior. That could just be me.

Bree said...

Some more unusual, not weird name suggestions (all from Nameberry blog posts)

Hutchings (nn: Hutch)
Rafferty (nn: Rafe)
Rafael (also nn: Rafe)

I especially like Rafferty “Rafe” Michael Macon-with-a-B or Mercer Micheal Macon-with-a-B.

The Mrs. said...

What about Dane?

Dane Michael 'Macon'

Abbot & Dane

Do you like Royce?

Royce Michael 'Macon'

Abbot & Royce

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

Anonymous said...

I know a boy named Larkin

Anonymous said...

Brooks Michael *acon
Henry Michael *acon
Thomas Michael *acon
Thaddeus Michael *acon nn Ted *acon
Tenby Michael *acon
Bram Michael *acon
Aram Michael *acon (Abbot & Aram are different enough, I think)
Aric Michael *acon
Gregg Michael *acon
I also like
Michael Thaddeus *acon & Michael Gideon *acon, if you'd consider using the honor name first.

beccaloo said...

A bit random but, the town I live in has streets in ABC order from the beach, and it goes Abbot, Macon with a B, and then Cable. I actually like Cable Macon (with a B)! Abbot and Cable...

Anonymous said...

I agree Bishop should be ruled out with a brother named Abbot.

From your list, I like Barrett with Rett as a nickname. I really wouldn't worry too much about Barry. If you don't call him that I doubt other people will.

Gideon is also really nice.

Some other suggestions: Lyndon (or Linden if you wanted the nature connection), Fletcher, Harris, Griffith, Griffin & Sinclair.

so many things to love... said...

oh! This is where I can actually suggest one of my favorite names that my husband won't consider


I love the 'fitz' names.

Fitzwilliam Michael _acon. (initials would be FM - dealbreaker?)
Fitzwilliam and Abbott.

Plus, it gives you multi-syllables, which I agree sounds best with _acon. And a British feel, which you liked for your girl names.

Rayne of Terror said...

I like the Lyndon suggestion very much.

How about Woodrow or Webster?

Gail said...

I really love the rhythm of a 3-syllable name with your last name, so on your list, my favorites are Thaddeus and Gideon. I don't love the double "on" ending that Gideon creates with your last name, though....but I think my love of the rhythm is enough to overcome this. But what about nicknames for Gideon? They are as tricky as the ones for Thaddeus. Deo for either? I really like Bree's suggestion of Rafferty, nn Rafe.

Other less commonly used 3-syllable names:

Whittaker (nn Whit)
Raphael (also can go by Rafe)
Dominic (aside from popularity)

Huxley and Lennox are also not heard that often.

Anonymous said...

Webster, as someone has already suggested, is pretty cool with Abbot. Fletcher is too.

Web and Fletch are cool nicknames.

Abbot and Webster
Abbot and Fletcher

I also suggest Hayward. Hayward with the nn Hays/Hayes is great.

Does Abbot have a nickname? Abe?

Abbot and Hayward nn Abe and Hays. Too Cute!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Warren, Wesley, Anderson, Escher.

Anonymous said...

After reading your list, the first name that came to mind is one that a previous poster listed...Theodore (nn Theo).

* Abbot and Theo / Abbot and Theodore

I think I agree that two "A" names isn't ideal. Other suggestions that may spark something...

* Marcel. Marcel Michael _acon. Abbot and Marcel. (MMM?)

* Burke. Burke Michael _acon. Abbot and Burke.

* Landry. Landry Michael _acon. Abbot and Landry.

* Rhett. Rhett Michael _acon. Abbot and Rhett.

* Zeke. Zeke Michael _acon. Abbot and Zeke.

* Bellamy. Bellamy Michael _acon. Abbot and Bellamy.

* Thatcher. Thatcher Michael _acon. Abbot and Thatcher.


Anonymous said...

I was looking at the Social Security list of names outside the top 1000, and here's a few to consider:


Claire Wessel said...

Larkin is a male name instead of Lark, but with the last name it reminds me of doggie treats for some reason. I guess there is always Clark? That might be too common for you, but it does go well with Abbott and the last name.

Just go with a name you love, as long as it isn't Macon :)

Moomoo said...

I think yes to Clark. Goes well with Abbot and _acon.

It is a great suggestion.

Or Gideon.

Amie said...

I nickname for Thaddeus could be Tadley. It is the name of a town in England. I think that Abbott and Tadley are cute together. I also like how the common T and couple letters (tt) (dd) unify the brother names. Best wishes in your name search!

Sarah said...

I wanted to use " Harrison" for my son but ended up going with a spanish name to honour my husband's side of the family) but i think it would sound great with your last name. It is also not too weird and can have the nickname "Harris." I also agree that a three or four syllable name would work great for you. Good luck finding your perfect name, and congradulations!

rosamonte said...

I like the suggestions of Rafferty and Ephraim. I'd suggest Leander.

Lashley said...

The repeating -on in Gideon and your last name isn't pleasing to my ear, but I'd likely not notice it if I heard in passing.

Clark Michael makes me think of the actor Michael Clarke Duncan, which might be good or bad or irrelevant for you.

If you can get past the 2 A names, I like Anders for you. Or Bennett.

Katie said...

I am loving Barrett (nn either Bear or Rhett). A few other ideas:

*Merritt (maybe not two double t names, though)

I really like all your ideas though, and am loving the comments on this post, because it is very similar to my naming style and I am also expecting and stuck on boy names!

Anonymous said...

What about Abbottk and Thayer?

Anonymous said...


Dee said...

Has anyone suggested Griffin yet? Griffin Bacon. Abbot & Griffin. Griffin nn Finn. Finn Bacon. Yeah, I think that works great!

You may also like
Bowen Michael (B)acon
Benjamin Michael (B)acon
Ezra Michel (B)acon
Grady Michael (B)acon
Callum Michael (B)acon
Hawthorne Michael (B)acon nn Hawk (LOVE ABBOT & HAWTHORNE)

Anonymous said...

Clark, Ford, Jude, Thatcher or Rafferty get my votes from the above suggestions. And, if you can go with two A names, Anders is my absolute favourite for you and your last name.

Anonymous said...

@beccaloo I take it you live in OB, huh?
I agree with everything Swistle said. I think Gideon works really well and I automatically thought of "Rhett" as a nn for Barrett and would never think to automatically call him "Barry" if I was introduced to him as such. I also liked the suggestion of Jasper.

nieke said...

Great suggestions! I really like Finnegan, Sullivan or Rafferty.

If your baby hasn't already arrived, I wanted to add Aurel (or Aurelius/Aurelian), Ramses and Finch. And Day or Dae as a nickname for Thaddeus.