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Monday, June 03, 2013

What should we name our baby?

Seriously. Our second baby is due in less than a month, and we're stuck. Will you weigh in?

Alex and I used to watch movies at night. Now we stay up late discussing baby names. For girls, we're all set: Jane. But for boys, it has been oddly tough...

Luckily, we're not alone. Alex actually wrote an article called The New Baby Name Anxiety this past weekend about how a lot of people find it tricky. One set of parents even created complicated Excel spreadsheets!

My dad says we should wait to meet the baby, at which point the right name will become obvious. But the nurse leading our hospital tour told our group of prospective parents, "Babies look like...babies. Come to the hospital with your name ready."

Julian was our top name for ages. But it's getting popular—look at the spike!—and it was one of top 100 baby names of 2012. Plus, our close friends just named their sweet son Julian, and we wouldn't want to step on any toes. So we're back on the hunt.

Here are three tests we use: NameVoyager will tell you how popular any name has been since the 1880s, and whether it's getting more or less popular. (Warning: The site is totally addictive.) We also do the blind-date test, where you imagine someone being asked in twenty years, "Hey, you want to meet my friend ____?" It's a good way to gauge the first impression of the name. And we also think: How does the name sound with Toby?

At the end of the day, here are six names we're still debating. What do you think?
* We like Sasha, which is a nickname for Alexander. But does that sound like a girl's name? Would he be teased?
* We like Nicolas, but it's my brother's name. Would that be confusing, day-to-day?
* We like Elias (and the cute nickname Eli), but then our kids would be "Tobias and Elias." Too much?
* We like Porter, but then it might sound like he has three last names. (Porter Goddard-Williams)
* Alex likes Rhys, which is Welsh, but I think the tricky spelling combined with a hyphenated last name might be too much for a little guy.
* And, of course, we still love Julian. But is the popularity a deal killer?

(By the way, if you say we're overthinking it, you're probably right:)

I'm so curious: Which baby names are your favorites these days? Do you care if a name is popular? How do you brainstorm names? Have you known your names forever, or did it take you ages to pick, too? We'd LOVE to hear any advice! THANK YOU!!!!

P.S. The top 100 baby names of 2012. And would (or did) you change your last name after getting married?

(Adorable baby from J.Crew)

1,171 comments:

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Tea said...

With a double-barreled last name, wouldn't you want something shorter on the front? Porter (and even Julian) seem so weighty with a hyphenated surname. The PGW combo, especially, is a bit unwieldy.

Are you okay with Porter being called Port? Porty? (Port-o-potty?). Because it will happen.

Could you call your Julian "Jules" to differentiate from your friends' baby?

As others have said, you can name a child Eli without the Elias. Or Ian, perhaps.

If you like Rhys, have you considered Reese? A little easier on the spelling front (and impossible to be made into a nickname, for what it's worth).

Nicolas is a lovely name as well. Could yours go by Nick to avoid confusion? Or Nico?

On the bullying front—Sasha wouldn't be teased out here on the west coast, but Porter might!
Then again, kids will find a way to tease whatever name you choose! Best of luck with it.

Bonnie said...

I like the blind date test.

My tests are picturing the name at the top of a resume (even if resumes are just holograms by the time your child has a resume....)

and visualizing it on a campaign sign.

Those offer great clarity for me when I'm thinking about a name.

Ally Hopping said...

Of the names you've listed here, I love the name Rhys. I don't think it would be too much with the hyphenated last name because Goddard-Williams is easy to pronounce and sounds good together. I love the name Julian even more, but it's popularity and close vicinity to your family would probably cause me to rule it out if I was in your position. Have you ever considered the name Jonah?

Ally Hopping said...

Of the names you've listed here, I love the name Rhys. I don't think it would be too much with the hyphenated last name because Goddard-Williams is easy to pronounce and sounds good together. I love the name Julian even more, but it's popularity and close vicinity to your family would probably cause me to rule it out if I was in your position. Have you ever considered the name Jonah?

Unknown said...

Toby and Eli for definite! Without dount! Would you call them both by their full names all at once? I never hear you speak of Toby as Tobias he always seems Toby.... unless the two little bandits were being really bad then Tobias and Elias will have everyone cracking up when they're meant to being ticked off. I love it, a memorable pair of little dudes and such a stronger combination, a force to be reckoned with!

Unknown said...

Our little one went 5 days without a name, we had Riley or Ethan and were convinced by them but our daughter was adament right from the word go he would be Leo (which we really weren't keen on!) Sure enough when we met him our two names kind of didn't sit and we agonised, one day we tried one, the next another... over the next few days his little character began to unfurl and sure enough he had been Leo all along, it was him. 2 yrs later and there couldn't have been a more apt choice, a loud lion full of bravado and pomp and a real softy really when it comes down to it. I'm so glad we took the time, despite everyone's comments, it is worth waiting til you are absolutely sure. A name is more than a label it's for life and it's who you are!

3ate4 said...

I really like Elias, especially if you're planning on using Eli for short. What about Ellis if you're worried about Tobias and Elias sounding too much? It's still quite similar :)

Kip H said...

Don't worry about how Tobias & Elias sound together because Toby & Eli sound great together and that's what they will be called.

Kip H said...

Don't worry about how Tobias & Elias sound together because Toby & Eli sound great together and that's what they will be called.

Erin said...

We did not decide our second until she was born. We had a list and my 10 year old niece told me which one she liked best, Iris, and the fact that she helped is so special. Our last child, a boy, which was secretly kinda sad for me (3 daughters, how cool would that be? But nope.) I could not decide because I thought nothing measured up to my girl names running list. So I let my husband decide and he told me on the day he was born, totally special and scary at the same time! But I knew I would be all hopped up on endorphins and baby love I would love the name no matter what. SO...Jack it is.

karen wu said...

love Eli and Porter!

bf065cb8-2a6c-11e2-bea7-000bcdca4d7a said...

Michael or GOB : ) Arrested Development style!

Robin and Mould said...

Here's our second child boy's name (we had a girl)... Elliott. I still love it and you can use your preferred nickname to boot!
I should add though that I love all your options too. Good luck!

Robin and Mould said...

Our second child boys name (we had a girl) was... Elliott. I still love it and you'd get to use the nickname you liked to boot!
I should add though that I love all your other options too! Good luck.

kiwigem said...

You have set yourself two themes to keep. Either Shane (means and sounds the same as Jane, but masculine- only not too masculine, just like :"Toby") OR August (great meaning, cute nicknames; Gus or Auggie- just like Toby. or "Auger" if he's a bruiser. :-) I vote for August. I like how Tobias and August Goddard-Williams and Toby and Gus/Auggie Goddard-Williams sound.

Don't worry. Your baby WILL suggest a name. :-)

Lydia said...

I think Porter, Rhys, and Elias are wonderful names for boys!

Personally I've always been a fan of Penelope, Evangeline (too much?), Lily, and Lisette for girls,

then Ivan, Vincent, and Victor for boys :)

Chelsey N. said...

Here's my favs lately: Everett, Huck, Penn, Holden, Kick and Arlo for boys and Ellis, Elsie, Micah, and Tillie for girls. Whatever you pick will truly be perfect!

Sam Morris said...

Rhys and Julian are perfect choices. Classic, charming, and not overused. Don't worry about the spelling of Rhys, as Welsh and Gaelic names are now very common. Also don't worry too much about your friends - go with the name you love. With second babies, it's almost impossible to find a name no-one else has used as your circle of babies is so much bigger - many of your friends have one or two kids and you now know so many kids through daycare, the park, etc. Try not to worry about the popularity thing... log off nameberry immediately. With our second child (we have two girls), we were stumped as we'd used our favourite girls name on #1. I tortured myself trying to find something that wasn't in the top 100 or 200, and as a result didn't choose the name I really wanted (Chloe and Eleanor were my top choices). So as much as you can, don't obsess over the popularity thing. Re your other names, I think Elias and Tobias are too similar. We named our first daughter Beatrix (Bea for short) and didn't take into account how similar it was to our dog's name, Ruby. Don't do it. I would also nix Nicolas. Choose something special for your boy and give him Nicolas as a middle name if you want to honour your brother. Porter does sound like a last name and sounds a little clunky with your last names. Sacha is nice, not my cup of tea, but not a name people would make fun of. Good luck with your decision!!

Lashley said...

What about Eli on its own? It's a name in its own right and gets rid of the Tobias/Elias problem!

Have you ever read Swistle's baby name blog?
Swistle.com/babynames
She addresses readers conundrums like this almost daily. Also very addictive!

Merissa said...

Wow, naming a child is such an intense experience! Thanks for sharing. I would like to think that my parents put this much thought into it. One's name is how one is presented to the world, it's important! I can see myself going crazy with this if I had a child.
Sasha is lovely, but it does sound feminine. Nicolas deserves his own name. Porter does sound like another last name. Rhys - I wouldn't know how to pronounce that! Elias is lovely, and so is Julian. I'd probably choose Elias. In case you're in need of new ideas, look at some unisex names (I like Holden or Rowan).

Joy Soltys said...

Ohhh, Sasha has been my top boys name for pretty much ever. And luckily my husband likes it too. I think if you pronounce it Sah-sha it sounds feminine, but Saw-sha is less so. That's just me though.

Also, kids will find ways to make fun of LITERALLY EVERY NAME EVER. So I wouldn't worry too much about that. I mean, I knew a kid named Justin Case.

That aside, I think Rhys is an excellent choice as well. Best of luck!

katie said...

We're having so much trouble naming our boy, too! We had so many lovely girl's names and we were THRILLED to find out we're having a boy, but now we are so stuck! We love Noah but it's ranking at number two lately... a dealbreaker for sure. Now we like Peter but for some reason are having trouble settling. I love Julian and Elias- Tobias and Elias is fine, because they'll go by Toby and Eli! Too cute!

Celebrate the Rhythm of Life said...

I'm with your dad, you'll know which name is right when you see the baby. Any name can work, it is the love and feeling behind it. If you go with Julian or Nicholas, you will find a special nickname to use when you need to discern who's who. The name Sasha makes me think of Emma Goldman.

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

Eli is great, you could always use the name Elijah instead, which is a name that I've always liked but won't use because it doesn't really go with our last name. As for Nicolas, I love the nickname Nico so you could use that to avoid confusion!

Julie Doherty said...

I love Sasha ! I don't find it girly at all ! For the story, I grew up in France and was obsessed with Pokemon, the cartoon, and over there the hero's name was Sasha, not Ash ! I always loved that name, it reminds me of a dedicated, passionate guy haha !
If you want to go with Eli, I would pick Elliott over Elias ( which I find too feminine ).
Bonne courage !

Julie Doherty said...

I love Sasha ! I don't find it girly at all ! For the story, I grew up in France and was obsessed with Pokemon, the cartoon, and over there the hero's name was Sasha, not Ash ! I always loved that name, it reminds me of a dedicated, passionate guy haha !
If you want to go with Eli, I would pick Elliott over Elias ( which I find too feminine ).
Bonne courage !

Shanti Knight said...

I like!!

whitney diamond said...

I knew a kid very well who's parents named him Alexander with the intention of him going be "Sasha" but by high school everyone called him "Sash" (open a, pronounced like s"ah"sh). It was kind of cool, just a thought!

Eleanor Davis said...

I LOVE the name Eli-and chances are that not many people would be calling them "Tobias" or "Elias" anyways. I love the name Aiden (or Aedan, Aidan..). What about a more traditional name like Henry or Charlie? Those are cute too, I think! congrats on your new baby :)

carolinesista said...

Did you know that there is an all boys private school in Charleston called Porter-Gaud? That is what I automatically think of when I hear Porter Goddard and its hyphenated, too. But, I still do like the name Porter a lot! I like them all actually, even Sasha. I have a guy friend named Mckenzie which is Scottish but is a common American girl name. He stood out for it at school, but in a good way. And its a great story. He will always have an interesting fact to share about himself if all else fails.

michellehon.blogspot.com said...

Oh I agree how naming a boy can be so tricky!

My husband and I have a long list of girl names that we both liked but still can't find ONE boy's name that we both agree on. Luckily our firstborn is a girl.

Anyway, I like Julian from your list. It may be getting popular, but as long as it is not in the top 20, it should be alright.

Michelle Hon said...

Oh I agree how naming a boy can be so tricky!

My husband and I have a long list of girl names that we both liked but still can't find ONE boy's name that we both agree on. Luckily our firstborn is a girl.

Anyway, I like Julian from your list. It may be getting popular, but as long as it is not in the top 20, it should be alright.

Michelle Hon said...

Oh I agree how naming a boy can be so tricky!

My husband and I have a long list of girl names that we both liked but still can't find ONE boy's name that we both agree on. Luckily our firstborn is a girl.

Anyway, I like Julian from your list. It may be getting popular, but as long as it is not in the top 20, it should be alright.

Michelle Hon said...

Oh I agree how naming a boy can be so tricky!

My husband and I have a long list of girl names that we both liked but still can't find ONE boy's name that we both agree on. Luckily our firstborn is a girl.

Anyway, I like Julian from your list. It may be getting popular, but as long as it is not in the top 20, it should be alright.

Emily H. said...

My boyfriend's name is Sacha (spelt the French way, which is almost exclusively masculine), and I love it. Plus, he swears that in grade school, he was never given a hard time about it being too effeminate. So, I don't think you can go that wrong with it! Good choices!

Britt said...

We named our son Rhys (18mo now). Some, well, most people don't know how to pronounce it but I still wouldn't have spelled it any other way. To me, Rhys is the correct spelling for a male, and much more classic and masculine. Other than pronunciation, the name has always been received very well=) Still love it of course! Good luck!

Kathleen Heffner said...

We picked out the name Nicholas for our 3rd child who then turned out to be a girl (named her Kyra after watching the movie, Xanadu). we saved Nicholas for our 4th but used it as his middle name. Cody, which wasn't very popular 25 years ago, is now very popular. I vote for Nicholas!

nadia said...

Eli or Julian!

Good luck!

xo Nadia

krisel keeper said...

IMHO....you do know when you meet your little person for the first time. We went in with our top 5 names with our first daughter and then knew Annika is who she was. The second time we knew right away. She was Gemma. The precious gem we had been searching for.
AND...both names were discovered while watching movies. I love movies for finding names. The credits are awesome with all those names. all those creative types and their cool names, specially foreign films.
One thing that helped us was counting syllables....is that right? Syllables is what you call it? Like Jane is one and Annika is 3, Gemma is 2 and there are rules that you can only mix so many syllables together between first and last name to make it roll off the tongue easy. I love Toby and I have a sneaky suspicion you will find the perfect little brother name. Sending you lots of good juju!

kayg said...

if you love eli but wonder about elias, why not just name him eli?

kayg said...

if you love eli but wonder about elias, why not just name him eli?

jennbordr93 said...

name him Roman! that's my favorite guy's name :) or maybe James?
Roman he's guaranteed to be a ladykiller with a boyish smile and James is sweet and handsome.

Jennifer Duarte said...

While I agree that popularity shouldn't be a huge issue (I have a popular name for my generation and I like my name), I do think teasing should be a consideration when naming a child. We all have to live with the names we're given. The people I know who really *hate* their names - and I'm talking about people well into their 30s - were generally teased a lot for their names as children & teenagers (either because their names fell off the wrong side of unusual into "odd" or because their name seemingly fell on the wrong side of the gender line). Most of them go by nicknames, go to great lengths not to disclose their real names, and have put a lot of thought into their own children's names.

Having said that, I have a soft spot for Nicolas; to me, it's only made better that it's your brother's name.

Oihana Olalde said...

My favorite definitely is Nicholas. Classic and with personality, is a beautiful name.

Molly B said...

i love when names have a connection to family. My father's middle name is Lewis (spelled like the explorer) and I've always thought it would make a great first name for a little boy. Also a variant of Rhys, is Rhett which I don't think is too popular but is definitely a unique boy name (I've only ever met 1 Rhett)!

Nayla Ghassibeh said...

i have just started my 9th month of pregnancy. we're having a girl. will call her Mila. But when and if we have a boy, we'll call him Dylan.

how charming said...

Eli or Porter! XO

Our 3 year old is named Graham, my mother in-law's maiden name. Our 9 month old is Archer, we actually watched the animated show ARCHER during my pregnancy and loved the name. Of course, we were convinced we wouldn't use it because we thought I was having a girl!

SO excited for you guys! You have the best mom blog on the block!

madeline said...

I have a brother named Rhys, and he's awesome and i love the name and the spelling although it can be a little tricky. My mom went in for a parent/teacher conference when he was in 2nd grade and the teacher kept calling him "Rice." My mom corrected her and when she asked Rhys about it later he told her that he didn't want to correct her because at the time he had a lisp and he didn't want her to call him "weese." Isn't that the saddest thing. poor little guy. We laugh about it now and he can now say his R's just fine. (-:

Also, I go to a Russian church and although i'm not Russian i have gotten very used to Sasha as a male name

I don't think you can go wrong with Nicholas, even if it's your brothers name.

I think Toby and Eli do sound great together, but I can imagine worrying that Tobias and Elias is a little much. You could just go for straight Eli, name him the nickname

good luck!

Harriet said...

How about Elijah instead of Elias, then you still get the cute nickname Eli! :-) x

Chloé V said...

Even if it is very popular, I love Julian; but my second choice would be Nicolas.
Good luck Joanna !

Chloe

Ps: Jane is a beautiful name :)

lomer said...

I also like Rhys, and agree it's not too much name for a little guy. He'll grow into it!

And I WOULD be wary of a really popular name. Growing up there were always multiple Jennifers, Jessicas, Tiffanys, Laurens, etc. A name that becomes iconic for a decade also forever tells everyone how old you are. (All of those are super popular 80s names.)

Andrea said...

I love Julian. I wouldn't worry about Sasha sounding too feminine - if you like the name, go for it. There are many guys named Sasha, its a great name, and who cares what people think? They'll get used to it and it'll help to open the door for others who want to use names that are considered too this or too that. Nicolas is my third favorite from your list.

Can't wait to find out what you go for!

Aimee Fishman said...

Rhys Or Porter for sure. Each name just sounds HANDSOME.

Cameron Hanson said...

Have you read today's Washington Post article? It highlights baby names across socio-economic and political lines. Confirms some of the same conclusions as Freakonomics.

"Liberal elites use esoteric cultural references to demonstrate their elevated social position just as conservatives invoke traditional signals of wealth and affluence."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/04/republicans-and-democrats-cant-even-agree-on-baby-names/

praveen kumar said...

You can Check The Latest Names for Your Baby's

Baby Boy Names

Baby Girl Names






Libby said...

So to be honest, when you named Toby, Toby, I thought it was such a goofy name...now I just love it! Think it is adorable and is on our "maybe" list for the bun in my oven (!!!!). Elliott is #1 and Nicholas is #2 (Toby #3), so clearly I love the name Nicholas and I think it is adorable that he would be named after his Uncle! So special when you use a family name and a family connection. Seems like Toby loves his Uncle so I am sure baby will too! Sasha is way too girly, Tobias and Elias..kind weird but Toby and Eli is just adorable, Porter..yep, too many last names (but cute!), Rhys and Julian..ehh. So my top names are Nicholas and Elias ;) I'll throw Elliott out there too though!

Eli Stockwell said...

Why not skip Elias & just go with Eli? I am a female Eli (short for Elizabeth) and I love it!

sarahisaschenck said...

I totally dig Porter. If we have a boy we're liking the name Booker, yeah he might be called booger, but my husband's name is Dash and he was called something women use for cleaning purpose. ;-)

Shannon said...

Porter has always sounds like an overweight old man to me. Definitely doesn't pass my blind date test.
Eli!! Simple but unique.

kerry said...

Elias for a boy. That's what we would have named our daughter had she been a boy. And I adore the name Tessa.

Toby and Elias
Toby and Tessa

Works, I think.

Marie said...

You've always loved Julian? Then call him Julian, whatever your friends did. You should not get influenced/reluctant, because of what other people have chosen for their kids. Same for Nicolas, I wear the same name as my aunt and I'm fine with it, plus he'll be proud to think you named your baby after him. :)

boobieprize said...

We named our son Wolfgang and call him Wolfie/Wolfers. I also like Bowie, Huck, Buchanan, Jude and Felix.
Cheers,
Annie

www.bluebeardcoffee.com

Leslie @ And Then The Doorbell Rang said...

My husband and I were recently at dinner seated next to a family with an adorable toddler named Parks. I think it is such a cool variation of a more popular name Parker. Unfortunately, Parks does not go with our last name, but I thought I'd throw out the suggestion!
I vote for Porter from your list.

Amy Britton said...

Porter is nice. What about Owen?

Independent Woman said...

We struggled with boys names and had our girls name figured about two seconds after we got the positive. In the end we wrote out a list of names (strangely most of them started with H) and about an hour after our son was born we pulled out the journal I had written them in and my husband just looked at the name Holden, which up to that point was a last-minute addition, and it just felt like it worked. In the end it filled all of our criteria - sounds boyish, doesn't have a nickname (like nick, will, ben) and it sounded like a good, strong name. I also have a weird thing about boys names that end in 'n', so again that all fit the criteria. But I do remember it all being very stressful. It was great that in the end it all came together and I now love his name.

I really actually think Elias is fun with Tobias. Toby and Eli are a really lovely sibling set! On the baby name wizard website you can find names that work for siblings as well as find out popularity.

jessamine said...

Sasha is totally a boys name, it's Russian and I love it. I'm due with baby #2 in mid July as well and id be all over sasha if his father permitted it. However, I don't think he's on board for that one. We also don't know the sex of the baby either, and are using Jane as our girls middle name.

laura del grosso said...

hi!
me and my husband was sure for the first baby's name: Riccardo (I love the shortname Ricky) but for the second (arrving for the end of august) we cannot decide between Fabrizio (Fabry) and Giammarco (Giamma, or Gimmy).
Ricky allready call him Giammarco..
Suggestion..let Toby decide his brother's name!
kisses from Italy, Laura

jessamine said...

Your daughter is ruby sue, haha, mine is ruby Lou!

callie said...

I normally don't comment on blog posts, but I couldn't resist because we were in the exact same dilemma 3 months ago. We wanted a sweet, classic name that wasn't very popular for our little girl. We decided we wanted to choose a name that we had heard of but never known anyone with so that it was known, but not popular. Using these criteria we finally chosen Evelyn for our little lady. Then, popularity lists came out and it was in the top 50 and we were so sad and shocked!!! We couldn't believe it because we had never known anyone with this name, and I'm a primary school teacher so I know LOTS of kids and it had still never come up. Needless to say, we decided that we chose a name based on what felt right for our little girl and we did it before we ever even looked at a popularity list. So, my whole point in this is, choose what feels right for this little one and don't focus on lists! Even if your boy were 1 of 4 Julians, he'd be your favourite by far!

Jane said...

Happy you like the name Jane! That is my name, and now I love it, but I didn't until I was maybe 17.
Julian gives me a strange reaction... the first association I have now is Julian Fellows of Downton Abbey. I LOVE the boy's name Luca... or even Lucian or Lucius, both family names. Nicolas is classic. I also adore longer names like Nathaniel, Benedict and Sebastian (Seb!)

withalonge said...

Sasha! I love traditional names, especially with a regional nickname. It's fun to have an "unusual" name, even if there's some snickering when you're a kid.

Stacey said...

All of your names are lovely! I must vote for Alexander (Sasha). My son is Alexander (Alex for short) but I also loooove Sasha. I love that Alexander is such a classic name, that it's got Greek roots (I'm Greek) and that he's Alexander the Great! Sasha. I vote Sasha!

Unknown said...

I think your dad has got it. I was going to name my baby Edie, but she came out looking like a Winifred (May) to me. I waited post-delivery on all of my kiddos by the way, including our daughter lost at 6 months (Minnie June). I think they still have lots of personality to share fresh out of the womb which may sway the vote. Oh, but I will add a vote for Rhys or Porter.

looloobelle said...

someone said Milo and I think that's cute. What about Walter?

looloobelle said...

someone said Milo and I think that's cute. What about Walter?

Jen S said...

-I think here in the states Sasha might be too girly. (I hate saying that)
-My brother in law is named after his Uncle, and it's lovely. They made the spelling different by one letter, but either way, I think that is very sweet.
-Tobias and Eli is cute! What about just Eli?
-Porter seems to popular for my taste :)
-Rhys, not sure
-Love Julian despite the apparent growing popularity :)

Callie said...

I went into labor thinking that she was going to be Nora but the instant she was born, I just knew that she was Josephine. We call her Josie. I think you should go in with your top 3 and TRUST ME you will know when he is here. Babies DO NOT look like babies...

Caro said...

How about asking Toby about it? I got my name from my older sister because she decided that the baby in her mom's belly was going to be named Carolin. Back then my parent's didn't even know if I was going to be a boy or a girl but they couldn't bother my sister with that. So luckily I turned out to be a girl and of course I got the name my sister picked for me. I couldn't be happier because my parents were gonna name me Anna after a great-grandma and even though I like the idea of that, I am glad that I'm not one of the thousands of Anna's out there that are my age. I'm much more of a Carolin :)

Jennifer said...

I love Nicholas or Eli (as a name, not just a nickname). Elliott would be cute too! Julian makes me think of Jonah which I also love. Boys names are tough!

Rachelle Wilson said...

My ranking:

1. Porter
2. Elias or even Levi (which rhymes with Eli)
3. Rhys
4. Nikolai instead of Nicholas or Dmitri (with the possible nick-name of Mitya); they're both Russian names to sub for Alexandre/Sasha

Good Luck! :)

Shelley said...

Julian! At the end of the day, popularity shouldn't sway your decision. If its a name you've always loved, it's THE ONE. I've felt the same way for Julian for the past few years now. When my mother in law just informed me how popular it was now, I gotta say, I became infuriated. Ha! I work at a school and do not know of one kid named Julian so it threw me for a loop! My only obstacle is getting my husband on bored with it. We all have our battles I guess!

Tahnee Lou said...

SAWYER. I don't know why you look like you would have a sawyer.

Tahnee Lou said...

SAWYER. I don't know why you look like you would have a Sawyer...or, Nicholas

sunny m. said...

I love LOVE Rhys! But Jane? Nobody wants to be a Plain Jane!

Carmela C. said...

First of all congratulations! If ever I will have a baby boy, I'll name him Sebastian. Ferdinand or Lorenzo.

Little Treasures said...

The name Sacha has a Slavic origin. In Europe- more specifically on the Balkans, Sasha is a male name. Nowadays it is considered to be a unisex name. It is usually used as a diminutive of the name Alexander (and Alexandra).

kimberly said...

you have to pick what works for you. if you guys love julian, then choose julian. it's certainly not the "michael" or "joseph" of baby names and your friends will (hopefully) understand. you're the ones who have to live with this name!

as for personal preference, i like porter. i think it sounds great with your last names and sounds adorable with "toby" too. oh and it definitely passes the blind date test ;)

Irene Dutilh said...

-I love the name Nicholas! I think is nice to use family names not confusing at all (But I have to say I am European).
-Julian is nice too, but I would never call my son as a frinds son.
-I likes Elias and Rhys. I don't think Tobias and Elias is a probelm. But the spelling can be so annoying! Nobody know how to spell my surname or how to pronounce it.
-To me Sasha sounds good, but I should say again I am European*

(*I am Spanish and I live in Ireland)

le cass said...

I love the name Rhys... it means, "enthusiastic or eager", which I think is a great way to feel about life :)

H.H. said...

Sasha is very feminine. I haven't visited your blog in a couple months & didn't know whether you had found out boy or girl, and when I read the name "Sasha" I thought, "Oh! So they're having a girl!". It took me a couple confused seconds to catch on. The only man I can think of with a similar name is Sacha Baron Cohen (and he's such a pig).

I also think that Julian, although a decidedly male name, is very soft & feminine as well.

Porter is fantastic.

Why not just name him Eli instead of Elias?

Christy said...

That's what I was going to say-- cause that's our son's name/nickname!

Mama Smith said...

I love Julian and wouldn't worry about the popularity. When we named our son Wyatt we didn't know any other kids and didn't think too much about trends and popularity- just both Easy Rider fans :) Now I realize it's actually become very popular, but you know that's okay because it's still a name that we love. Of course it's still low on the charts in New England where we live and I've only met one other... I might feel differently if I had to deal with lots of playmates with our same name. Did you check for your state?

We're expecting a girl in two months and I've been having the same debate, loving one name but forcing another for the untrendy factor. I think it's a mistake, if you really love a name who cares if it's popular. Good luck!

Unknown said...

I'd go for Joshua ;)

Roxanne said...

Nicholas is awesome and I like that it's a family name. And first date test? Who DOESN'T want to meet a Nick? :)

Bezzie said...

Sasha - Sounds like girl to me (is that a regional thing?). Rhys - will always have to spell. Porter - Great name!
Henry is a huge favorite of mine. And I always wanted Benjamin Pierce because I think Pierce is such a strong name. Got pregnant with twin boys who wound up being Albert and Andrew (Drew) instead of Pierce!

Sasha Benear said...

Well being a Sasha (female), I can tell you this...I've only ever met female Sasha's (maybe 5 my entire life), and 8 out of 10 times, when I meet someone new, their first response is "Oh my mom/friend/etc. has a cat/dog named Sasha". Not the greatest nice-to-meet-you moment, let me tell ya. So, although I've grown to love my name, I would suggest against it. I think Eli is cute, but I really, really love Rhys! Different, cool and I think it goes well with your last names. Best of luck!

Sara said...

LUCA! (I do like El, but for some reason Luca popped in my mind as a good name for brother Toby.)

Ginger said...

All of the Porters I know are girls.

I love the name Rhys. Welsh names are so lovely.

Our current favorites are Tamsin for a girl and Idris (Sid for short) for a boy.

Lynne Millar said...

You have a list of beautiful names!

I agree with those who have posted before that when it comes to naming your child, you just have to go with what YOU love the most. With my daughter, we had a name we loved all during my pregnancy, and weeks before she was born my sister-in-law named her baby a name that was quite similar. Not wanting to step on any toes we found a new one (that I do love), but in retrospect, I have regrets. I wish I had just stuck with it and not worried about anything else.

Good luck!!

Jordan said...

Have you thought of Nico has a nickname for Nicolas? Could be a way to distinguish, and I've always thought it's a fun and creative alternative to Nick...

Abbey said...

I like Rhys. I think it goes well with the full name and totally passes the date and good with Toby test :)

My sons are named Brendan and Everett though so we may not be so good at matching!

Nicole Fulbright said...

porter! such a handsome name :)

cheryle said...

I love Sasha. I have a male cousin, Sasha. I call him Sash. I don't think it is girly at all but that might be because my cousin. Who is 30 yo and has the most awesome name!!! For a guy!

cheryle said...

I love Sasha. I have a male cousin, Sasha. I call him Sash. I don't think it is girly at all but that might be because my cousin. Who is 30 yo and has the most awesome name!!! For a guy!

Bojana Premzl said...

Joanna, just for fun, you and Alex can also try to get ideas with this numerology calculator http://www.eetaq.com/baby-name-calculator

ivancica said...

My vote goes to Nicholas (for personal reasons known to the author ;)) I don't think it would be confusing, there'll probably be some cute nickname for the newcomer. And don't forget "My Greek Wedding": Nick, Nick, Nick... :)) (hopefully you saw the movie)

Since i'm new here, just discovered this blog and already loving it, let me send you greetings from Bosnia & Herzegovina. And pardon my English too ;)

Ivana

quinceanero said...

What about simply Eli or Elli (because it looks better with double Ls)? Who needs a 3-syllable name when it's fantastic at 2! I'm rooting for Rhys too because it's just so chic! :)

Allison said...

I really like Porter, but if you are smitten with Julian, I say go with that. It is your child, and in the end you should choose a name that you are happy with, regardless if it is momentarily popular or someone else's child has the same name. There are a lot of people on this planet, it's bound to happen.

Alana Vieira said...

Toby and Eli. So sweet... Sounds like a book title.

Alana Vieira said...

Toby and Eli. So sweet... Sounds like a book title.

Hitha said...

All these names are great, but Rhys has my vote! I think it sounds DARLING.

sbt said...

Joanna,

I think no matter what you do, you will pick a name that other children will find a way to make fun of. My favorite SNL skit of all time is one with Kevin Nealon and Julia Sweeney, where they're trying to come up with a name for their child, and he has a problem with every single name ("John? You want to name our son John? The kids'll say, 'I have to go to the bathroom, I'm going to go to the JOHN!'") Makes me laugh every time.

I agree that Tobias & Elias sounds a bit much, but you never use the full names! I had actually forgotten that Toby's real name is Tobias. So I really don't think it'll matter. If you're truly bothered by it, you can give him another name with Eli as a nickname, as others have suggested: Elijah, Elliott, or even just Eli! But my gut says that if Julian has been your #1 choice for so many years, just go with it. Maybe even feel your friend out to see if she would mind (would you mind if your baby came first, and your friend gave her baby the same name?) Also, will your baby and your friend's baby be going to the same school? Just some thoughts!

Mary Ann said...

Rory

Liz M C said...

Definitely Eli. When I hear Sasha, I think F I E R C E!

Nadia said...

Rhys is a winner! ;) I think the last names (especially Williams) are fine for little ones.

madiebaby said...

Ditto to everyone else on the Sasha being firmly in the girls' camp at this point. And Porter Goddard-Williams sounds like a law firm, unfortunately...
We have gone back and forth on the nickname-as-full name thing for our bun in the oven, and finally decided that you should just name your kid your most favorite name in the whole world- period. If it's "technically" a nickname, oh well. I just couldn't bring myself to name my son Elias if I just didn't like it as much as Eli... so that's my 2 cents on that- Since Elias/Tobias is a little much, just go with Eli! But my favorite name on your list is Nicolas. :) Plus I love family names. :) 2nd place to Rhys.

Regarding waiting until you meet your baby before naming them- I have a funny story. My best friend is Rachel Taylor A_. Her parents decided that if the baby was dark haired, she would be Rachel Taylor, since to them, Rachel is a "dark-haired girl's name". If she came out blond, she would be Taylor Rachel. Well, she had a full head of black hair at birth, hence the Rachel Taylor, which promptly fell out and grew in blond- white blond. For all her life. Oh well! XO

Living Notes from NYC said...

I am WITH you!!! Brainstorming like crazy at the moment! As to Nicolas : my son's name is Nikolay , which is a version of the first) , he LOVES it, at school at 9 1/2 he goes by NikOla or NIko . He loves it and so do I - it's beautiful, different and not too complicated :)

cindy @ a curious gardener said...

I love the name Rhys. We know a teenage Rhys whose last name is Jones. I am Welsh through my father's side. My brother's name is Bryn which is very common in Wales. We went with simple family names for our boys- Ben and Will, and a family name for our daughter-Susannah. By the way, we also have an adult friend Julian who happens to be Welsh also!

kellyweed said...

I like Rhys and Eli best. I LOVE the name Jane, but it's out of the running for any of my children because Jane Weed is just asking for drug jokes.

kellyweed said...

I forgot Nicholas was on the list! I like that one too.
We waited to name our baby until we saw her (but we went in with some names in mind). I totally disagree with the nurse who said "babies look like babies." We had one name we were leaning toward, but when we saw our little girl it just didn't fit her. In the end, we chose a name I'd almost cut from our list a few weeks before.

Kristi said...

JESSE <3

Iris and Eli said...

I think the name Eli is wonderful. Just unique enough while still remaining classic. Toby and Eli sounds great together. And I happen to love the first date test idea because someone once said to me "You should meet my buddy Eli" and here, 7 years later, I'm going to marry him!

e. said...

i love Porter. super cute!

Lisa Levine said...

How about Elliot?

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

I had a few college classes with a cute, charming Sasha, definitely didn't seem girly on him. It's a popular Russian name too (which he was). I also like Porter since it's unique, and he'd be a hit in college with a beer namesake :) I had a student named Elias, but I think I prefer Eli. They do rhyme, but how often do you call Toby, "Tobias?" Creative names though, good luck deciding as you head toward the final stretch.

Ely N. said...

I am a girl and my nickname is Ely (pronounced Eli) and I absolutely love it. Even though I am constantly getting asked "isn't that a boys name?" I still don't care! It helps me stand out from the rest and it keeps things simple! If I could change anything it would be the spelling, but most people I know that I spell it wrong :) - Eli as a boy or a girls name is great!

jo said...

I had a look at that site and found out that before 2000 our son's name of Callum was not listed as popular and now has had a huge spike, a name can become popular if you start the trend!

Carrie said...

I LOVE Rhys. I think that's such a great name!

Irene said...

sasha and nicholas... both have meaning (naming after a brother or father... its nice)

Irene said...

sasha and nicholas... both have meaning being named after a brother or father...its nice

Ruby said...

Jane is super pretty for a girl; it's very sweet and old fashioned, but has spunk as well.

Certainly Porter... of course I'm biased because it's on my top five name list anyway..=P

Others: Finn, Jude, I like Eli, but Tobias and Elias is a bit much, you're right. What about Levi as an alternative?

Congratulatiosn whatever you decide to call him or her!! Best wishes :)

Ruby -- alittlespotofrandom.blogspot.com

Caro Peguero said...

sasha is my absolute favorite name for a boy! i would love that! porter is great too. love it.

Mikkele Suzanne said...

Rhys is such a great name. I'm a female, but my parents named me "Mikkele" (Mikkel is the Danish form of Michael and they added an 'e' on the end to make it feminine). No one ever pronounces my name right and I lie to the Starbucks baristas when they ask for my name because it's too hard to explain and I could always tell when substitute teachers taking roll got to my name because they'd hesitate and stumble over it, but I wouldn't change it for anything. That's how I think Rhys would be for your little guy.

Mikkele Suzanne said...

I love the name Rhys. Even though I'm female, my parents named me Mikkele. (Mikkel is the Danish form of Michael, so they added an 'e' on the end to make it feminine, which just ends up confusing people).

Even though no one pronounces it right the first time, I lie to the Starbucks baristas, and I could always tell when the substitute teachers taking roll got to my name because they'd hesitate and stumble over it, I wouldn't change it for anything because it totally fits me and it's unique. I think that's what Rhys would be for your little guy.

Emma said...

We called our little boy August, we get lots of say ohhh that unusal...was he born in August (which he wasnt) He suits it so well and it has the ability to be shortened to Gus, Auggy, Augs and his middle name is Willem so he can be will if he wants. i think it is important to name your child something you love and i really dont think anyone elses view counts; you will be saying all your life! When i was pregnant i felt huge pressure to get it 'right' but once he was here i knew he was something unique, so we named him so! Whatever you name him/her it will be perfect x

Anna Beatriz de Barros said...

Rhys is lovely!

C said...

Jane is quite plain... Maybe it's plainer in England than the USA? Elias sounds pretentious. Eli and Sasha sounds like girls' names. Elliot sounds great with Tony. Porter sounds like beer - a bit silly to me. Rhys is nice, as is Julian, but it's no good if you have a friend's son with the same name. What about Jude? Nicholas is your best bet I think.
Love the blog Jo!

Currie Lee said...

I'm a big fan of Gender bending names, as mine is Gender bending as well (Currie) it's something that is becoming popular, which you can be a part of without him/her having the same name as everyone else.

alyinponderland said...

I think Toby and Eli sound adorable together, but I vote no for Tobias and Elias - way too matchy-match and cheesy. Elliot could be an option. And Elijah too, but it is very popular, but what about just Eli? The name is strong enough to stand on its own. I also like Nicolas.

eljohnny said...

Eli is on my list of baby names, but it would be short for Elliot or maybe Elijah.
I love the name Rhys! I think Rhys Goddard-Williams already makes him seem like a wonderfully wise soul. I love that your choices are classic names. My cousin recently had a son and named him Henry. It's so perfect.

Janan said...

I like Rhys, maybe its the one syllable R thing. My son is Roan.

Bronwyn said...

Sasha seems silly unless his name is Alexander to me.
What about Tarquin? I know it from the Faerie Queene (the Spenser poem) but I think it sounds cool and medieval...

Madame Vaz said...

From France I vote for Sasha! It's definitely a very delicate and strong name for a young boy and an adult after. And i have to say a beginning a chic parisian name choice those days!

I completely recognize my situation 6 months ago when we had to choose our baby girl's name... trendy is not good because you'll find 3 children with the same name at school
then the message you transmit with the name you pick..

Personally we have named our baby girl Gloria, which, in USA, corresponds to an old lady name!! and does not even eixst in France.. and we have had so funny reactions from people. You can see in a second if the person likes it (which is quite often I have to say) or if they completely hate it!! funny. But she's so a Gloria now!

Go for Sasha!!!!!!!!!!

Madame Vaz said...

From france I vote for sasha!
definitely a delicate and strong name for a baby boy and still beautiful for an adult
And I have to say that Sasha begins to be a chic parisian name those days!!

I completely understand your problem and it reminds me 6 months ago when we had to choose the one for our baby girl.
It's like you tell about what your family is picking just a name..
We personnally named our girl Gloria, after my husband's portuguese grand mother. Which corresponds to an old lady name in the US and doesn't even exist in France!
it's funny how you can see in a blink if people like (which is often the case i have to say) and pepole hating it.

Definitely go for Sasha!!!

c.a.h. said...

just throwing it out there, but how about Gabriel - Gabe for short? It's my newphew's name and I think Gabe and Toby is a really sweet combination!

Also love Rhys, it is a very classic name in Wales, goes back ages and ages (we've got two in our family!). My mum is Welsh and my name is Ceri (pronounced "Keri"), so I can empathize with the trickiness of spelling. However, Welsh names are unique without being try-hard, and they've got a bit of history to them. I may have hated it growing up but now I love it, even if it means giving most Americans a geography lesson every time I introduce myself :)

Allie Miller said...

McCallister! Cal for short? I had a 4 year old british boy in my swim class and I will always love that name. Or Cavender. :)

Rooie said...

Nicholas would be a nice tribute to your brother and you could probably find a nick-name (heh...Nic-name?) different enough to keep family gathering from being too confusing.

I'll suggest a new one. My brother's name is Justus (apparently there's one in the Bible) which is unusual. We all call him Gus, though that nick-name is actually because when he was little my mom thought he looked liked the mouse Gus in Disney's Cinderella. Toby and Gus? Works for me.

S Beddoe said...

Sorry to pipe in SO late... but, I must say, ditch Sasha and Eli. Too cute, too feminine. And even though I like Rhys, it's too much. There will always be a need to spell, etc.
A boy needs a strong name. Simple and easy. Julian is solid. You can still have adorbs nicknames (Jules, Ju) but when he introduces himself as a grown-up man, there'll just be something more solid about Julian. It's no nonsense.

Gracie said...

I like all these names. Rhys Goddard-Williams sounds gorgeous!

Ashley V said...

My 4 month old son is named Aleksandar (Serbian/Russian spelling). Sasha is cute to me and is used by so many different cultures so I wouldn't worry about it being to "girly". We are still trying to decide what nickname is right for our little guy. Naming your children is so hard! Good luck, whatever you choose will be perfect! Don't worry about what others think or you will go crazy!

oceantowns said...

ELIAS IS REALLY GOOD! It's great that it's compatible with Tobias : )

Mariah said...

I love Eli! How about you just forego the Elias, so you can avoid the Tobias and Elias rhyme. I think Tobias and Eli sound so stately and sophisticated. :) My son's name is Eli so there is definitely some bias there. But Eli Goddard-Williams sounds lovely while Elias Goddard-Williams sounds like one syllable too many. :)

Leens said...

They are all great and I am sure that you will be happy with whatever you choose but I just wanted to chime in that if you don't want them to be Tobias and Elias, you could just use the name Eli. Its my husband's name and its not short for anything .. its just Eli :)

Jennifer said...

I like to avoid repeats -- so for me Julian and Nicholas would be out. Elias and Tobias is....too matchy, matchy to me.
I love Rhys and Porter!!
Classic, strong names on a baby or man.

MJ said...

I think you should go with your gut - if you love Julian, it's yours, and you will always feel a connection to it.

I was close friends with a male Sasha growing up and I've never thought his name to be strange or girlish.

I would probably stay away from Elias with the name Tobias - why not just Eli?

I think you are right about Rhys and Porter and the three last names issue. It's maybe too much...

I was just looking through my family tree and realizing that in the past people were always named after relatives. My mother was named for her mother and grandmother. My grandmother was named for her grandmother and great grandmother. My father was named for his grandfather..etc. I love the idea of honoring a family member. You could always use a cute nickname like Nico to distinguish the two.

Cola said...

Thumbs up to Nicolas. And for what it's worth- my two daughters say that they would never ever go on a blind date with Julian.

poppygoeshappy said...

I think Elias goes best with Tobias. Personally I like it when the names of siblings match. But probably I prefer Elias from your list, because in my mother tounge, Hungarian, we have a cute children song, that's about Elias and Tobias :D
In my case, when we expected our first, a girl, we knew her name from the day the scan showed her gender. There was not a moment of doubt about it (btw: Johanna is her name). With our second, a boy, we hesitated until the very last moment. We literally decided in the hospital, in between of two labour-pains. Then my husband said to me: you are the one in pain, you decide. That is when I realised, Gustav it is (and not Felix).

9e3c7a88-e152-11e2-a5dc-000bcdcb471e said...

What about Ezra, Brantley, Rylan, or Forbes?

Charlie and Evelyn said...

All I can say is if you really like Nicholas, go for it. We were really unsure about whether it would be confusing having two Annas (my sister and my daughter) and whether they both might feel some loss of individual identity. We went for it in the end and I'm so delighted we did. We love the name and my sister just about melted she was so overcome. I guess it's the highest compliment and seeing the two Annas together is just wonderful beyond words. The have an extra special connection sharing a name. Perhaps you'll have a girl and you won't have to worry. Good luck.

Charlie and Evelyn said...

All I can say is if you really like Nicholas, go for it. We were really unsure about whether it would be confusing having two Annas (my sister and my daughter) and whether they both might feel some loss of individual identity. We went for it in the end and I'm so delighted we did. We love the name and my sister just about melted she was so overcome. I guess it's the highest compliment and seeing the two Annas together is just wonderful beyond words. The have an extra special connection sharing a name. Perhaps you'll have a girl and you won't have to worry. Good luck.

Tinamarie Guaglianone said...

We are expecting a girl on NOvember 1, 2013. We decided on Sasha Marie. It is however, a unisex name, and I think either way, boy or girl, it's beautiful. I don't think he will be teased if you go for Sasha. It's a GREAT strong name!

Best of luck!
XO Tina

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ammara khan said...

I like modern baby names like Porter, Ella etc.
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LOL.... of course you would get everyone and their mom inputting ideas into your head...

I wrote in my blog how I'm coming up with mine... Playoff bracket style... haha

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Robert Graves said...

LOL.... of course you would get everyone and their mom inputting ideas into your head...

I wrote in my blog how I'm coming up with mine... Playoff bracket style... haha

There's a picture of it on my blog and on pintrest check it out; www.thescareddad.com

Jim Schellinger said...

Read more tips for your baby naming. http://goarticles.com/article/Does-a-Name-Leave-a-Long-Lasting-Effect-on-Your-Baby/8375322/

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