Boys' names are giving us a headache

My husband most definitely does not share my affinity for names. He is so patient with me, however, and we discuss them all the time. We find that girls’ names are easy to agree on; we both like [name]Charlotte[/name], [name]Jane[/name], [name]Lydia[/name], [name]Audrey[/name], [name]Jocelyn[/name], [name]Linnea[/name], [name]Evelyn[/name] etc.

However, when it comes to boys’ names there is no end to the debate. I like very classic boys’ names: [name]Charles[/name], [name]Frederick[/name], [name]Nicholas[/name], [name]Simon[/name], [name]Tristan[/name], [name]Alasdair[/name]. Whenever I’ve told him these, he usually "meh"s unless it is [name]Simon[/name], which is a name, for some reason, that he detests. One day I asked him if he could just please please think of a name he actually likes, not just one he doesn’t hate. He thought about it for a while, came back a little while later and said, “Okay, I’ve thought about it and I like… [name]Hyrum[/name].” I just had to hang my head; don’t get me wrong, it might not be so bad elsewhere, but in our culture, that name has a certain stigma that some consider good and others bad. We fall on either side of that particular fence.

Anyway, I compiled a ton of boys’ names, ones I liked and ones I didn’t, and gave him a poll. Here are his favorites: [name]Simeon[/name], [name]Michael[/name], [name]David[/name], [name]Eli[/name], [name]Gideon[/name], [name]Asher[/name], and [name]Victor[/name].

I don’t know how we can reconcile our lists and for some reason, it’s really bugging me. I want to find something we both like, without the “well, you pick one name and I’ll pick the other” compromise. I know we can agree. For some reason, we both love [name]Alexander[/name]. But so far, that’s it.

I don’t want this to become a problem once we’re actually pregnant, which might not be too far away. And I definitely don’t want this to turn into the never-ending debate. If you wonderful baby-namers could please provide some input, that would be so appreciated.


I think [name]Asher[/name] [name]Frederick[/name] would be very cute!

I’m not sure what you are really looking for - more suggestions? Because, it seems like your husband definitely favors Biblical names - [name]Simeon[/name], [name]David[/name], [name]Eli[/name], [name]Asher[/name], [name]Gideon[/name], etc. So, maybe he might like [name]Amos[/name], [name]Ezekiel[/name], [name]Ezra[/name], [name]Isaac[/name], [name]Jude[/name], [name]Micah[/name], [name]Phineas[/name], [name]Reuben[/name], [name]Seth[/name], or [name]Tobias[/name], too…

Good luck!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

Actually, I had a question for you, [name]Lemon[/name]. I saw on another thread that you posted something about a “bracket technique” to eliminate names. What does that mean?

Also, is it bad that I sort of feel like I got responded to by a celebrity? That probably makes me sound really weird, but I read your posts all the time and you know a lot about baby names.

Um… about what I really want. More suggestions would be great, but I guess I’m mostly just wondering how we can agree when our tastes are so different. I’m worried that when it comes down to it, we’ll end up choosing one of my names over his just because I feel more strongly about it. I really don’t want it to end up that way. I want us both to love our sons’ names.

Has anyone else had this dilemma? [name]How[/name] did you deal with it?


Thanks for the compliment!

I think you need to tell your husband exactly what you are feeling - that you want nothing more than to fall in love with your son’s name, and you would ideally like your husband to feel the same way. Maybe he really is indifferent, but more than likely, he isn’t. Honestly, your naming styles don’t seem too far off to me - it’s not like he is suggesting [name]Karsen[/name] for your son!

As for my earlier suggestions, I think you might want to look further into this Hebrew/Biblical genre of names, as they seem to appeal to your husband. At the same time, many of these names are vintage (or Colonial) names, that may strike your fancy, too.

I don’t know if you are at the point of using a bracket technique yet, [name]Jennie[/name]. I suggested it on CO’s thread because she and her husband had a list of six names that they both really agreed on, and she needed to make a decision. Turn’s out she didn’t really need it. So, let’s say that you and your husband get to the point where you agree - agree is a loose term, and in some cases it may mean compromise - on about six to eight names. I will use eight as an example, and my hypothetical name set will be: [name]Wilson[/name], [name]Edgar[/name], [name]Russell[/name], [name]Henry[/name], [name]Tobias[/name], [name]Jacob[/name], [name]Oscar[/name], and [name]Victor[/name]. [name]Set[/name] four names on one side of the bracket and four on the other, each arranged in pairs. It is just like a sports bracket, so:





Each name in each pair is discussed and one from each pairing moves on. So, let’s start on the right side. Let’s say your husband is an avid tennis player, and [name]Wilson[/name] reminds him too much of the brand. Though you like the nickname Wils, you don’t want your child to be “branded,” so you agree to give up [name]Wilson[/name]. [name]Russell[/name] moves on. In the bottom half, you decide that [name]Jacob[/name] is far too popular, and [name]Jake[/name] is the name of an old boyfriend. That’s enough for your husband to agree to get rid of [name]Jacob[/name], and [name]Henry[/name] moves on. Next, move onto the left half. [name]Oscar[/name] reminds your husband of [name]Oscar[/name] the Grouch from [name]Sesame[/name] [name]Street[/name], but you love it. You go back and forth and finally agree to name your next pet [name]Oscar[/name] - [name]Edgar[/name] moves on. In the bottom half, you decide that [name]Victor[/name] isn’t ideal with your last name, Vixen (!), so [name]Tobias[/name] moves on. The new bracket looks like this:



You again discuss each name pairing individually. Let’s say you decide that [name]Henry[/name] is too plain for you, so [name]Russell[/name] moves on for the right side. On the left side, your husband announces that [name]Edgar[/name] sounds like a nerd’s name and he really likes [name]Toby[/name] as a nickname. That settles that problem. So, finally, we are left with one name on either side of the bracket:

[name]Russell[/name] VS. [name]Tobias[/name]

In the final round, you again discuss each name in the pairing, weighing pros and cons. [name]Say[/name] each name aloud, write each name out, play with it - even if it takes a few days. At the end of the day, you both decide that [name]Russell[/name] is the name for you. It is handsome and classic, yet unique and playful. You decide to give him the middle name of [name]James[/name] to honor your late grandfather [name]Jimmy[/name], so his name becomes [name]Russell[/name] [name]James[/name] Vixen.

Again, I don’t think you are there yet, but does that make sense?

Let me know if you need more help, [name]Jennie[/name], but hang in there! Good luck!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

I love your bracket idea! I doubt I’ll ever get to use it since my husband and I never really agree on that many names! :slight_smile:
Anyway, you really do have great advice and I always enjoy reading your posts too!

Okay [name]Jennie[/name]! Onto the subject!

I mostly wanted to reassure you that even though it can be really hard to reconcile different naming styles and it may take a long time, it really is possible to find a name that both you and your husband love. AND it’s very much worth it!

My DH and I take [name]FOREVER[/name] to find a name we both like and the process usually goes like this:

Me: [name]Do[/name] you like X?
Him: Nope.
Me: [name]Do[/name] you like XY?
Him: Nope.
Me: [name]Do[/name] you like XX?
Him: XX?? Yuck!
Me: [name]Do[/name] you like XZ?
Him: Nope.
…and so on and so forth.
It can be incredibly time consuming and frustrating!
But the fact of the matter is we have one child with a name we both adore and have managed to find names we love for our up-and-coming second too.

So there is hope! :slight_smile: Keep digging and you will probably find something! And let us do some of the digging for you too! Most of us love doing research! :slight_smile: Or at least I do!

[name]Do[/name] you have an affinity for any of the names your husband approved of? Or would you like us to scrounge around and find you some more obscure Biblical names? Any other category of name that you can think of that might hold some promise?

For what it’s worth, I love [name]Gideon[/name]! :slight_smile:

Good luck to you!

P.S. [name]Alexander[/name] is certainly a good place to start since you both like it!

Actually, I’m thinking at this point, it might be refreshing to see some new ideas. I feel like I’m looking at the same names over and over. When we first knew that we were going to get married and have kids someday, I looked at the names of his siblings’ children. There is a [name]Ryan[/name] and [name]Micah[/name] on one side and [name]Gideon[/name] and [name]Jack[/name] on the other. So both sets had one Bible name and one not. I thought this was interesting and that was originally part of the plan. However, I didn’t find out until later, when that idea wasn’t at the forefront, that my husband only liked Bible names.

I did exactly what you said, [name]Lemon[/name], about telling him how I feel. In fact, before I even read it, I was telling him about this thread and the things I said in it and told him what I wanted most was for him to love our children’s names. He was very sweet and told me that he was going to love them anyway because they belonged to our child, not because of the name itself, and that if it came down to it, we should choose a name I love, because he will grow to love it anyway.

It was very nice. However, I’m still more comfortable with the “Let’s both love it before we call our child something we hate for eternity” idea.

Anyway, that’s a nice long way of saying: I would love more options. :slight_smile: To help:
We’ve tentatively agreed on [name]Alexander[/name], [name]Frederick[/name], and [name]Nicholas[/name].

I also like: [name]Calvin[/name], [name]Tristan[/name], [name]Bertram[/name], and [name]Owen[/name]. (All nixed by him).

He likes: [name]Victor[/name], [name]David[/name] (his dad’s name… but one of my exes names…) [name]Arthur[/name], [name]Isaac[/name].

P.S. His favorite name in the world is [name]Gideon[/name]… but then his brother used it on their first child. :frowning: So it’s out, but it’s something to go on.

Anyway, I hope all this helps. Maybe if I could just see some fresh ideas, that would help me so much!

[name]Hi[/name], [name]Jennie[/name]!

Sounds like you made a little bit of progress. It seems that your husband wants you to be happy above all else, and he is probably right that he will grow to love the name - you won’t pick something either of you hate! Let’s see what I can do with your list to create some new suggestions, shall we?

GOING OFF OF [name]GIDEON[/name]…

GOING OFF OF [name]ALEXANDER[/name] & [name]NICHOLAS[/name]…


Okay, so there you have some fresh material to work with. Why don’t you go through that, see if there are any you and he both like, and we’ll go from there, okay? Good luck!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

My husband and I experienced this dilemma too. Our second son was given the only name my husband and I could remotely agree on ([name]Timothy[/name]), which he suggested. I was hesitant to have to go with that one name, but ended up totally happy with the choice. (His middle name is another story cause I had to break a promise to my grandfather, but at least I love his first name.) We are so lucky that our third child was girl! I honestly don’t know how in the world we would have named a third son!

At least you both like [name]Alexander[/name]. It’s a wonderful name!

If you want your husband to warm up to a really special name you love, you might try the following: Research whether or not there are any movies (or maybe books) with admirable characters bearing your favorite names. See the movie or share the book/story with him. The next day, share your brilliant idea of using that name – while your husband has positive associations about the name. It might be worth a shot! Good luck!

Thanks so much for your advice and new ideas. [name]Lemon[/name], you really put it in perspective when you said at least he’s not suggesting [name]Karsen[/name]. Oh, thank goodness! We do like rather similar names, which means they will probably grow even closer in similarity as time goes on.

He liked several names from your list. (Yay!) And we agreed on two: [name]Isaac[/name] and [name]William[/name]. [name]Both[/name] of which are family names on one side or another. That’s very important to me; I don’t want to name our children anything that doesn’t have either family or personal importance. Anway, you have been more than helpful with your stories and advice. I really appreciate it.

I love so many of your names, [name]Jennie[/name]!

A poster (orangesunrise) shared her bracket technique with Nameberry a while ago, and how it helped her and her husband choose a name. (I thought you may like to read about her experience, so here’s the link to what she did to find a name: (

Some more names you may like:



Good luck, [name]Jennie[/name]! :slight_smile:


I’m just thrilled that you and your husband found two names to agree on, especially ones that are linked to family, considering that is so important to you! [name]Isaac[/name] and [name]William[/name] are both very handsome and strong, yet quirky and fun, too. They even sound nice together…

There is no need to thank me. Please do let me know if you need any more help or more suggestions as you move forward with your name search!

Best wishes!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

Hello [name]Jennie[/name]! I had a baby boy 2 weeks ago and I had the same dilemma w my partner over names. I wanted him to [name]LOVE[/name] the name and be super excited about the name. However the names he was excited about were NINE and LIGHTNING. We got to the point where he said name the kid whatever u want, which of course is not what I wanted! Like you I wanted both of us to love the name. I started asking him what it was he liked about these names and thats when I learned that he liked strong names with vowel endings. We both [name]LOVE[/name] our sons name. However we had to let in on the middle names! I allowed him to use Lightning as the second middle name and I dont regret it one bit because he is so excited to tell everyone our sons name, its super sweet! Best of luck!

Hooray!! I’m so glad you and your husband were able to agree on some names! [name]Isaac[/name] and [name]William[/name] are both gorgeous – you can’t go wrong!
Keep us updated on which one you choose! :slight_smile:
Have a great day!