My baby name "rules"

My husband and family tease me because of my list of baby name don’ts (they call them rules, though I consider them more like guidelines to help simplify the process), which are:

  • No one-syllable names (our last name is one-syl)
  • Nothing with obvious nick-names (No [name]Michael[/name], [name]David[/name], [name]Christopher[/name], etc)
  • Nothing gender ambiguous
  • No multiple common spellings (e.g. [name]Catherine[/name] vs. [name]Kathryn[/name])
  • Nothing too trendy (in the top 30 in recent years)
  • No last names as first names
  • Nothing ending in a “a”, “ah” or “y” sound
  • no family names
  • no names already used by close friends

The last two make it tricky, especially for a boy since a lot of our friends have had boys in the last few years ([name]Adam[/name], [name]Ethan[/name], [name]Aiden[/name], [name]Evan[/name], [name]Griffin[/name], [name]Garreth[/name] and [name]Nathan[/name] are all out) - and that is what we are expecting in a few weeks. So, working with those guidelines, our current front-runner is [name]Aaron[/name], though I am still pulling for [name]Caleb[/name] (I’m drawn to biblical names but that is not a requirement). But I’m curious if anyone else has some ideas. FYI our daughter is named [name]Leah[/name].


Well, Honestly, [name]Theodore[/name] jumped right into my head while I was reading your rules… (I have 3rules, must mesh with our Scottish, gone to the girls surname, must be gender specific, must be uncommon but familiar. I don’t mind the classic, [name]Edward[/name], [name]James[/name], [name]John[/name] & [name]Michael[/name] but I would rather name a bit more off the beaten path.

I’ve found names in the mid 200’s to the mid 400’s are familiar but not overly common. I’ll scroll through the list at and see what pops out at me as far as your rules are concerned:

[name]Calvin[/name] (can be a surname but is far more common as a first)
[name]Simon[/name] (I have one and he’s never had his name mangled, ever!)

I live in an area where [name]Aaron[/name] & [name]Erin[/name] sound very similar. Move a little north of me and they’re indistinguishable! So [name]Aaron[/name]'s not a favorite (neither is [name]Erin[/name]). But [name]Caleb[/name] is quite handsome and would be my choice from what you have exisiting.

Is there anything on that list that appeals to you? If there is, let me know and I can find other, similar names to it. [name]Hope[/name] that helps!

I’m confused about the “obvious nickname” rule, as you love [name]Caleb[/name] despite “[name]Cal[/name]” being an obvious nickname. Hmm…


Good luck! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the suggestions - [name]Aaron[/name]/[name]Erin[/name] is a concern but to me thouy sound distinct enough. I never thought of [name]Cal[/name] as nickname for [name]Caleb[/name] (hence it was not obvious to me), but these “rules” are all a little subjective!

Thoedore for me has [name]Theo[/name] (again, maybe not obvious to all), though I like [name]Theo[/name] as a stand-alone name (sadly, hubby is not a fan).

Of the two lists, I’m most fond of [name]Simon[/name], [name]Felix[/name], [name]Jasper[/name] (hubby nixed this too!), [name]Milo[/name] (also [name]Miles[/name]), [name]Truman[/name] and [name]Xavier[/name] (I’m also in favor of familiar though not too common). Names like [name]Peter[/name], [name]Arthur[/name], [name]Gregory[/name], [name]Abraham[/name] and [name]Nathaniel[/name] (a good friend used this recently) all have the nick-name thing for me.

Thanks again!

I love [name]Miles[/name] from your list! That breaks the 1 syllable rule… [name]How[/name] firm is that? I was going to suggest [name]West[/name] or [name]Blake[/name]?

A few more…


Any of these strike your fancy?

Another example of how subjective these can be - the way I pronounce [name]Miles[/name] it is two syllable (My-els)!

Among your suggestions, I like [name]Owen[/name], [name]Issac[/name] and [name]Sebastian[/name], and love [name]Cullen[/name] and [name]Ryan[/name] (this was on our short list early on, but we thought it might be too common now).

As for some of the others
[name]Everett[/name], [name]Isaac[/name] - feel a little formal to me
[name]Haiden[/name] - it is a last name in our extended family (spelled [name]Hayden[/name])
[name]Ian[/name] - good but has the same sound as my daughter’s name ([name]Leah[/name])
[name]Nico[/name], Ulirch, [name]Otto[/name] and [name]Declan[/name] - the obvious ethnic associations (to me anyway) are not very appealing
Merrit, [name]Porter[/name] - know them as last names

Part of my issue is getting my husband to agree - he’s fairly set on [name]Aaron[/name] (though he likes [name]Casey[/name] too, but I think it is getting close to being gender-ambiguous), but I keep hoping I’ll come across that name that hadn’t occurred to us before that we both take an instant liking to. I’m going to try [name]Cullen[/name] on him and see what he thinks!

Thanks again!