Picking a more 'popular' name to go with an 'unusual' name

[name]Hi[/name] - my husband has a son from a previous relationship called Mallalieu (pronounced ‘[name]Mal[/name]-ah-loo’) - Its an old english or french surname from what I can work out, he’s named after his great great grandfather.
My dilemma (or lets say challenge!) is that I’m not keen on such unusual/unique names but I don’t want him to feel like the odd one out - any suggestions for sibling names that will work well but aren’t too out there (boy or girl)?

PS: Our surname is two-syllables and starts with B…

My first instinct is to ask if Mallalieu lives with you and his father or not. My general reaction is that if he’s in your household most of the time, it will be more challenging, and if he lives with his mother, you might be partway if not all the way off the hook for trying to pair in style or something.

This I don’t know for a fact or custom, I just sort of think of it as two different families if he is not living with you most of the time. [name]How[/name] close in age will Mallalieu be to your children? I think a larger gap in age helps you to establish your own preferences somewhat. That’s just my first impression, but I can’t wait to hear what else people say.

Mallalieu strikes me as a very French name. I think if you pick French names, you’re good. They don’t have to be so highly unusual.

For boys:
[name]Pierre[/name] ([name]Peter[/name])
[name]Jacques[/name] ([name]Jack[/name])

For girls:

I think the way to go here is eclectic. I wouldn’t try to start a theme around Mallalieu (which, I happen to think is a really cool name, by the way), but I also wouldn’t start a new theme so that Mallalieu really is the only one out. I think the best thing to do is to just give each child a name with its own distinct personality and style and try and keep those names fairly distinct from one another as much as they are distinct from Mallalieu and it will be fine.

He lives with us half of the time - so will certainly be part of our family!! [name]Will[/name] be about 6,7 years between him and our future children. Definitely want him to feel he is part of a family group with us - he won’t have any siblings on his mother’s side…

I’m thinking if I go with three syllable names that will be some sort of ‘theme’ without being too obvious or difficult to find…

I love the suggestion of using French names for your children, and I also think that using longer names is a great solution, too.

Good luck!

A few ideas, all of these combos have a French/international flavour that I believe would blend really well with your stepson’s name. These names would form a French connection and yet have a mainstream feel to them.

[name]Charles[/name] Beaumont
[name]Andre[/name] [name]Peter[/name]
[name]Marc[/name] [name]Alexander[/name]
[name]Guy[/name] [name]Sebastian[/name]
[name]Sebastian[/name] [name]James[/name]

I like jlm’s suggestion of not really trying to establish a theme, but naming each child their own distinctive and strong name. I wouldn’t feel obligated to choose other overtly French names if I were you, but I would stay away from whatever the largest trend is at the time you’re expecting–like [name]Caden[/name], [name]Kayla[/name], etc are right now. I think you could find a lot of strong, distinct names that are of your liking and that would “go” with Mallalieu.

I agree with some of the others that a French or International sound to the names would be enough to establish a connection and still give you lots of options.



I think French names are the way to go, but longer ones with more ‘omph’ if you know what I mean. [name]Love[/name] your stepson’s name by the way:) Does he have a nn? If you have more unusual names with normal or popular nicknames that could work. Some suggestions:



Wow, that ended up quite a list! Good [name]Luck[/name]:slight_smile:

Thanks for all the suggestions, I must say [name]Xavier[/name] and [name]Rosalie[/name] are already on my list, they have that French flavour without being too out there!

Mallalieu hasn’t had a nickname til recently, but we’ve started to call him [name]Mal[/name] every now and then. He starts school next year - the kids will sort out a nickname for him i’m sure!