Help! Really confused about naming first baby..

I’m new to the board after recently stumbling upon the Nameberry site. My husband and I are expecting our first, a boy, in [name]November[/name]. We’ve literally gone through baby name books and every website you can think of over and over again. Any names that we like end up not sticking. On top of that, my husband is half Japanese and his middle name is the Japanese name [name]Ken[/name]. We wanted to give our son a Japanese middle name too, to honor my husband and his heritage. After months of searching we decided on [name]Theodore[/name] [name]Kenji[/name]. It was perfect, until we told my mom who hates it and according to her, most of the people she’s told don’t like it either. After hearing how awful a name [name]Theodore[/name] is, I now am questioning it myself and am completely embarassed to tell anyone the name. Basically the name is now ruined. In fact the people we have told the name to completely ignore [name]Theodore[/name] and say how great/cool [name]Kenji[/name] is.

My problem is that I have no name for the baby as [name]Theodore[/name] was horribly ruined. Secretly I always wanted to name our children Japanese first names and western middle names. I don’t know how people would react to a baby who’s only 1/4 Japanese in [name]America[/name] with a Japanese name. I feel like both of our families and everyone we know will freak out, but I can’t help to secretly fantasize : ). I get more excited when looking through Japanese name books and feel more drawn to them than the baby name books we have.

I guess what I’m wondering is if it’s acceptable or whatever to have his first name be Japanese? Or should we stick with it being the middle name? Either way, it would be helpful to get some boy name ideas from different perspectives…

Names we liked were [name]Oliver[/name], [name]Emmett[/name], [name]Odin[/name], [name]Leonidas[/name]/[name]Leon[/name], [name]Kingston[/name], [name]Axel[/name], [name]Leo[/name], [name]Felix[/name], [name]Magnus[/name], [name]Finley[/name], [name]Cillian[/name] [name]Ronin[/name], [name]Raiden[/name],… But none really felt “right” and the last 2 can be of Japanese origin.
Some Japanese names I like are [name]Kenji[/name], Akihiko/[name]Akio[/name], Hibiki, Isamu(His deceased Grandpa’s name), [name]Akira[/name], [name]Yuma[/name], [name]Yukio[/name], Shunya/Shun, Takumi, Hiroki, Kazuki
The meaning behind a name is really important to us. We like names that aren’t popular but aren’t made up or sound to “weird”.
And are last name is [name]Miller[/name], so preferably no “r” ending, which kinda ruled out [name]Oliver[/name] and [name]Theodore[/name] for me.
Any suggestions would be super appreciated as would advice on the Japanese name situation. My husband gets back from training in Sept. and I have yet to get enough guts to tell him my feelings about a Japanese first name…
Sorry for long post : )


Off your list I really like [name]Oliver[/name] and [name]Leo[/name], personally. My last name is also [name]Miller[/name], so I understand you wanting something a little more off the beaten path for your son, and yes, names ending in the “er” sound aren’t ideal. I wouldn’t rule them out if you love them, but it’s not perfect. Sometimes names aren’t!

I think the issue of choosing a Japanese name for your child is an interesting one, and its obviously something you feel very passionate about. I like that, and I definitely think you should bring this idea up with your husband to see what he thinks. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what your friends or family think of your child’s name, but I understand that you don’t want to pick anything that they might feel uncomfortable with, for whatever reason. You want something that won’t be too weird as to stick out like a sore thumb, but you want something with character, so to speak, and a little bit of heritage and pizazz. As for the issue of your son being just 1/4 Japanese, that still counts for something! I think for many people, if your son doesn’t necessarily look Japanese, it could be strange for him to have a Japanese-sounding name. I’m not sure if your son will look Japanese or not, or have slightly [name]Asian[/name] features - I’ve not met someone who is 1/4 Japanese, to my knowledge. I’m sorry - that might have come out wrong! Anyway, I’m only saying that to some it could be strange if he doesn’t look Japanese, so perhaps a more mainstream Japanese name would work best. I wouldn’t say using Japanese names for your children is a bad idea by any standards, though, and I think it is a great way to honor your husband’s heritage in a lasting, fun way. Here are some of my name ideas:

[name]Botan[/name] - “peony” - [name]Bo[/name] as a nickname is cute!
[name]Kenzo[/name] - “strong and healthy” - Great meaning; I love this name!
[name]Ren[/name] - “water lily, lotus” - Short and sweet, and it rhymes with [name]Ken[/name]!
[name]Yoshi[/name] - “good, respectful” - [name]Lovely[/name] meaning, but isn’t as fun in my opinion.

I know this list is short, but I kind of gave up after [name]Kenzo[/name]. I’m in love with that, especially since daddy’s (middle) name is [name]Ken[/name]. [name]How[/name] perfect is that? [name]Kenzo[/name] [name]Miller[/name]? [name]Do[/name] you like that? Something classic in the middle, like [name]Theodore[/name], [name]Nathaniel[/name], [name]Frederick[/name], [name]Christian[/name], [name]William[/name], or [name]Nicholas[/name] would be cute. Oh, or [name]Leopold[/name]. Good luck!

[name]Lemon[/name] :slight_smile:

I see how you would be discouraged after such negative review of [name]Theodore[/name] [name]Kenji[/name] [name]Miller[/name]. Personally, I love the name, but after the feedback you recieved, I understand how the name would be ruined. My parents never told anyone the name until the baby was born, that way they introduced the baby as _________ _____________ ___________. If you introduce them as the name, they can’t say they hate it or that it should be such and such because you’ve already named it. My sister’s name is [name]Lennox[/name] [name]Pilar[/name] and yes, it’s an unusual name, but no one said a word of dislike when she was introduced as such. This is just a tip for future reference.

   Moving on to the names: 

I love [name]Kenji[/name]!! It’s absolutely adorable! Names that I think sound good with it are:
[name]Finnian[/name] [name]Kenji[/name] [name]Miller[/name] (this name is similar to [name]Finley[/name], but I think it flows better)
[name]Ashton[/name] [name]Kenji[/name] [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Greyson[/name] [name]Kenji[/name] [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Leon[/name] [name]Kenji[/name] [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Emory[/name] [name]Kenji[/name] [name]Miller[/name] (close to [name]Emmet[/name] and I love this name)
[name]How[/name] about [name]Theo[/name] [name]Kenji[/name] [name]Miller[/name]? This is a NN for [name]Theodore[/name] and sounds more modern. Plus, it flows nicely.
For another middle name I suggest:
[name]Finley[/name] [name]Akio[/name] [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Finley[/name] Hiroki [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Raiden[/name] [name]Yukio[/name] [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Leon[/name] [name]Akio[/name] [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Leon[/name] Tanjiro [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Leon[/name] Hiroki [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Emory[/name] Hiroki [name]Miller[/name]
[name]Emory[/name] Tanjiro [name]Miller[/name]
If you chose a Japanese first name, think about nicknames that sound American as well. This way, your little [name]Kenji[/name] can be [name]Kenny[/name] or [name]Ken[/name] to your mother, that way you can both be happy. Some nicknames are:
Akeno or [name]Kenji[/name]----[name]Ken[/name] or [name]Kenny[/name]
[name]Renzo[/name] or Renji-----[name]Ren[/name] or [name]Renny[/name]
[name]Nikko[/name]—[name]Nik[/name] (pronounced Knee-Co)
Also, here are a few Japanese names that are shorter:
These names ^ also sound American as well!
I think it’s great that you’re incorporating both American and Japanese names into your son’s name. [name]Hope[/name] this helps!
PS Please tell me the name you pick!

I know a boy who’s name is [name]Kenji[/name] and his nephew is Keano (i dont know if that last one is Japanese?) but they are definately not Japanese.

I like [name]Kenji[/name] and [name]Kenzo[/name] although those might me too similar for some.

I’m sorry that [name]Theodore[/name] has been ruined for you, it really is a lovely name. What about using just [name]Theo[/name]? [name]Theo[/name] is slightly more hip and has the nice -o ending that is in fashion right now. It is also a less popular option than [name]Leo[/name]. [name]Kenji[/name] would make a nice fn as well. However, you need to consider future childrens names in your plan. If one child is going to have a Japanese fn I think every child after would have to have one too.

[name]Kenji[/name] is my favorite Japanese boys name! I know of two boys (ages 2 & 7) whose first names are [name]Kenji[/name]. One is half-Japanese, half-Caucasian and the other is 4th generation Japanese-American. I think it would be more original for your son to have a Japanese first name with last name [name]Miller[/name].