Chris and I are delightfully in agreement on almost all aspects of life. we love the same vacations, television shows (except 24 (Ding Dong the Wicked Show is Dead)), houses, furnishings – ALMOST everything.

And then there are some things that are even better than that, where we have beautiful complimentary tastes. For instance, we both adore The Olive Garden, and when our salad comes out, we have a well-practiced routine of immediately splitting up the goodies: I love the tomatoes and olives – he doesn’t; he loves the peppers – I don’t.

It makes for a lovely, peaceful life.

But one of the few areas of life for which there is no peace happens to be the process of naming a child of the male species.

When I was pregnant with Ali, we made the first-timer’s mistake of feeling the naming pressure immediately, and so began the male naming arguments way before finding out that it wasn’t at all necessary.

This time, besides the fact that I’m not ready to restart our never-ending debates again, I’m not really feeling that the names I would pick out for Newbie at this moment would be very complimentary….they’d most likely be a good biblical name meaning “Child of my pain” or “My Misery” or “Seriously, kid – you have to give me EVERY pregnancy side effect known to woman?!”.

(Whether those biblical kids with the descriptive names got made fun of on the playground or not, you’ve got to admire the honesty of their mothers.)

But, despite the fact that we’re not ready to begin negotiations again, we’ve been reviewing the ground we covered last time…

Rachel’s Top Picks:

Rachel’s thoughts: This is my all-time favorite boy name. It’s a perfect mixture of Biblical strong Manliness, “differentness”, and it’s a play off of Chris’ middle name, Michael, without being in the top 10 most common boy names of all time.

Chris’ thoughts: It sounds too much like my middle name and my Father’s name. Everyone would be confused and call him Michael. And eventually, Mike.

Because, my first rule of names is that ALL names will be nicked!! Ali’s name is Alana. Do we ever use it? No. Micah sounds great on paper, but I guarantee you that “Hey Mike, What’s up?” is predestined if you go with Micah.

For instance, you can name him Rumplestiltskin with all the hope for an elegant literary name, but I promise his buddies will just call him Rump. And one day, without thinking, you’ll even say, “C’mere, Rump, and give me a kiss.”


Rachel’s thoughts: Another great name, with a great shortened version (Alex) to take care of the potential nickname issue.

Chris’ thoughts: I can’t help but think of Worf’s son every time I hear this name. Plus, I am not the most manly man that has ever lived. I need all the help I can get. In this P.C. touchy-feely androgenous generation, I’m looking for a hard core masculine name that is not used for girls, even when nicked. Alexander WILL become Alex, and in this generation, that’s a girl’s name too.

Chris’ Top Picks:


Rachel’s thoughts: When Chris first said this was his favorite boy name, I totally thought he was joking. I mean, Chris isn’t necessarily a country music fan, but how can you not hear this name and immediately visualize Stetsons and a Cowboy Hat, paired with stringy long hair and a pair of Wranglers? Ew.

Years ago, I made it unbelievably clear that no child coming out of my body would ever be named Travis, so Chris bitterly named his truck AND his piggy bank Travis.

Whatever works.

Chris’ thoughts: Travis is a good, strong, male, football-sounding name. AND there are NO potential feminine nicknames. And, it would honor my truck to have my son named after him.


Rachel’s thoughts: I am NOT birthing a 90 year old man. I can virtually smell an old man just by thinking of this name…and I have this visual image of brown loafers, polyester dress pants that are two inches too short, and dentures sitting in a glass of murky water.

Chris’ thoughts: It’s a family name, and I’ve never heard of a girl named Owen.

Our Compromises Last Time:

After weeks of nomenclature war, we agreed that Tyler was a good name. For quite a while, the male version of Ali was referred to as Tyler. Then, one day, out of the blue, Chris declared that he no longer liked Tyler.

Um…what?!?!? You’re totally not allowed to do that.

After the destruction of the name Tyler and trying to convince each other (with no successes at all) to like our respective favorite names, we finally printed out two copies of the Top 1000 boy names. We each went through it separately, picked our top 20, ranked them, gave them point values (20 points for #1 choice, 19 for #2 choice, etc), and then added our scores together to find ANY names that got points from both of us.

(Not that we’re geeks or anything.)

This led to an agreement on the name Taylor. But that was then, and in the four years since that point, Taylor Swift has come in like a hurricane and made Taylor way too much of a girl’s name, so that’s totally off the list now.

So, you see, we have issues.

Heaven help us if this is a boy. And, between you and me, I really think that it is.

Disclaimer: No offense, implied or intended, was meant toward any of your names, your children’s names, your pet’s names, or your relative’s names. All naming opinions are the opinions of the authors alone and not necessarily anyone else’s in the galaxy.

47 thoughts on “The Agonizing Issue of (Boy) Names.

  1. I hear ya. My hubby and I went round and round about a boy's name for our first. We didn't know the sex beforehand, and I went to the hospital in labor without any clue for a boy's name. Thank goodness she was a girl!

    And sadly, my middle child's name has recently become a 'girl' name after being a boy name for ages. *Sigh*

    Good luck with figuring it out! Agreeing on names is never easy.

  2. Travis gets shortened to "Trav" and Owen to "Owe" or "Ow" ;)

    Micah is a popular name here. I've never heard it shortened to Mike, although I guess I can see how it happens. We have a name that is very nickname-able (Elizabeth) but aside from my brother teasing me with Lizard no one shortens it yet because we (the parents) don't. At least in the early years you have a lot of control over what name is used even if short forms exist. Later the kid's going to choose regardless. Extreme cases will change their name altogether (my friend's sister went from Andrea / Andie to Lucy – which I still find hard to remember!)

    All that to say that I wouldn't worry about how other people may or may not nickname your child.

  3. Well Since my Nephew is James Alexander but goes by Alex since there are like 4 James in my family including his dad, I think that is a strong male name since my nephew is definitley all boy and manly (at 19 months). I have always loved Jacob and Joshua from the Bible.

  4. I know a girl named Micah, by the way…and a boy named Sasha.

    What about the name Kevin? It doesn't sound like a girl's name, and I don't think I know any girls named Kevin – unless you count the bird in "Up". : )

    Harris thinks you should name him Mark – if it's a boy.

  5. My first pregnancy, we had the name all picked out…then sadly my then-husband's father died and we named the baby after him instead.

    What about Gregory?

  6. Actually our boy names we picked were much easier than our girl names and we had (3) girls! So since you are talking about boy names, does that mean you have a girl's name picked out?

  7. Boy, does this sound famliar! Paul and I had a girl name picked out months in advance. I think we read every name book in Birmingham. But, the boy name got decided on the way to the hospital! Must be something in the water with guys and picking a name for their boy.

    Julie Sutton

  8. I've always loved the name Micah, and I have to disagree with Chris, I've never heard it shortened to Mike.

    Noah is (jokingly) convinced we're naming our son Obadiah. He is oh so incredibly wrong. :)

    Any girl names picked out?

  9. I'm right there with you on Travis. It sounds like 1982 came back to visit! And I went to school with a girl named Michael. Isn't that weird?

    Just my opinion, but I love Owen and Alexander, and Taylor is way to gender-bender for my taste, not to mention the fact that there are about a million of them!

    If you are wanting strong Biblical names, what about Luke, Noah, or even Christian?

  10. I agree with Lianne…I think choosing a boy name is moot. Girl, all the way. :)

    But…I like Chris's boy names better than yours. Sorry! Owen is not an old man name!

  11. When you are a little girl you pick out the names of your future children. I guess we never think that little boys do the same thing.
    With #1 it was war…I gave in and firgured I would call Bailey Jackson "Jack" but something I didnt know about hubby…he DESPISES nicknames. So Bailey is Bailey.
    #2 I won the war…pretty much based on the argument that he got to pick #1 so its my turn. William Michael is due anyday and I sure plan on calling him "Will" the hubby is just going to have to get used to it :)
    Good luck guys…and it could still be a girl! (Personally I love the name Alexander…after Alexander the Great, that name personifies strength and determination…hubby said A the great was gay, so it was a no-no…UGH!)

  12. We had a girl name picked before we ever conceived and we were certain Mister Baby Robinson was going to be a girl. We were wrong! 14 weeks to go and he doesn't have a name!

    *We're very close and are almost set on one*

    I like Owen, but to make it less old manish, what about Cowen? I also like Micah. Our student minister is named Micah. The guy on paranormal activity was also named Micah but they pronounced it "MEE-cah"

  13. Okay, I can just picture you two sitting on the couch working on your lists! Too funny. I like Micah a lot. What about David? Its hard to beat "a man after God's own heart." And there would be no girl nicknames. Or Andrew, could call him Drew?

  14. I am on your side….Travis reminds me of cowboy hats and boots and Owen, well, we won't go there! Love Micah and know a few and it has never been shortened to Mike. I agree with Chris on one thing – please give him a name that is a MAN's name! But be careful…all this focus on boy names and you may have a girl:)…….

  15. My sister picked the name Trenton for her son due in August and her mother-in-law and our mother both really dislike the name! Her MIL keeps trying to push "Daniel" on her and my mom is pushing "Knox". So, I probably won't be telling anyone the name I pick when I have my first child.
    BTW, I like Micha a lot.

  16. I tried to pick unique names for my kids. And although my family is big on nicknames, I thought I picked names that wouldn't warrant silly nicknames. That was my goal, anyway! Austin is my first born. It's a surname on my husband's side. And hubby's middle name. Very unusual I thought. Now every other kid is an Austin. I call him Aus. Lauren is my second child. My first pick was Rebecca, but hubby dated two Beckys. Hmmph! I didn't care, but he did. So Lauren it was. I call her Loo, Low, Lucifer (teen years, people, don't judge!), Looster, Ludricris, Lucinda, Loowanda, Sweet Pea/Potato, but never Lauren. It just doesn't work for her! I told her I would pay for a name change if she wants one. Yep, we messed up! It's all good though! She likes her name.

    Best wishes on finding the perfect name for your new bundle. You could name it Spot and it will still be your perfect little guy or gal! Hope you are feeling better. I crave saltines every time I read your posts!

  17. I love owen.

    Taylor has always been a girl name (don't care, say what you want).

    Just flip open the Bible and point and whaatever name is closest is your name! Ours was Zephaniah. Thankfully we had a girl.

  18. We had a similar problem- after working for years at summer camp and in Day Care there were a LOT of names that were ruined for me. Courtney, Amber, Jordan, just to name a few…

    Our girls name for my son was Emma – coincidentally, I was in labor with him when Rachel on friends went into labor and a week later Emma became the most popular girl's name…needless to say we did not use it when our girls came along.

    Basically, he picked the boys' name (he wanted to name him after his father who has a nice, normal name) so I didn't fight him too much. When we were pregnant with the girl his mom told him to shut up and let me have this one. We liked similar names, he wanted to use the Italian version and I didn't (don't like the letter G for some reason) and we had agreed on the name for number 3 before she was conceived…as long as she was a girl…

    Good luck – it was fun for us, good way to pass the time and learn a little something about each other :-) Oh, and we're the same way at Olive Garden, it's weird when I go without him and no one takes the stuff I don't like off the top!

  19. hilarious. we're the opposite. I could have popped out quadruplet boys and we'd have a name for each one of them (and middle name!). but girls names….heaven help us if we ever have another girl. she'll be lucky to have a name at all!

    Just don't go with Owen Travis. He'll be destined to be a banjo player for a one hit wonder band in Memphis.

  20. I'm personally partial to Alexander, but I can see Chris' view especially since our girls name (when we have one)will be Alexa Renee. Although we've thought of nick names and we never thought of Alex for a girl. Then again my hubby's name is Alex. We thought about calling her Lexi or Renee if we name her that (and we most likely will). And if we have a boy it'll be Marek Alexander. We're going with different versions of both of our names for our future children, assuming we have one boy and one girl. It took me ages to get Alex to like Marek for a boy, but he's all about it now. So when the day comes and I get preggers, we're already in agreement. :) :) :)

  21. PS. I'm hoping for a boy for you, but I know your thoughts on that. Don't stress about the name and ask God for guidance and peace on choosing a boy name. Don't worry about it till after you find out if you are having a boy or a girl. :) Love you and I hope you get to feeling better really soon. Hurricane Newbie needs to let you get to feeling better or I'm going to have some words with it. :) haha.

  22. Jason and I had problems agreeing on a girls name, the boy's name came very easy for the two of us. Then we had a girl! We decided on her name while we were in the hospital. Side note: Jason did not like her name the first time he heard it, but 3 months later and it was perfect. So don't give up hope on Micah or any others you might prefer.

    Lesley <><

  23. You could always do Alexander and call him Xander… I have a friend that was planning on doing that (it's her son's middle name), but he ended up going by his 1st name.

  24. We have the opposite problem. We have many boys names we love and no girls names. So T came up with the girls' names when I was pregnant. My only requirement was that they be unique. Going to a Christian school with our name didn't exactly make me unique. I was one of five Rachels in a 50 person high school. I didn't want that for my kids.

    Oh and I really like the name Micah and I've never heard it nicknamed Mike. I think parents can usually control the nicknaming pretty well. I have a cousin Katherine who was never allowed to be called anything else. She is 25 and still Katherine and nothing else.

  25. The mental image that pops into my head with the name Travis is a mullet. Yuck. Stand your ground!

    In Chris' defense, I really like the name Owen. Have you thought about Coen? (pronounced like Owen with a "c"). Brooke mentioned that name to me recently and I really like it. Plus, maybe it sounds enough like Owen to make Chris happy without you having the old man images. Maybe not, but just thought I'd throw it out there.

    For the record, I really think it's a boy, too, although I'm usually wrong. I guess we'll find out in a few weeks!

  26. Just to let you know, I am a K-1 teacher and last year we had 2 Owen's in class BOTH girls!! Go figure.

  27. Hi Rachel!

    I think this is the first time I've posted on here! The name Micah brought me out! I love it! But it took 10 years to convince hubby to love it! LOL!

    I do like Travis, too! :0)

  28. I like Micah and do not think people would make Mike out of that. If they do you correct and it soon stops. James was NEVER called Jim. Alexander is YUK. I like Tyler. Why are worried about boy names, Ali has ordered a girl! What are your girl names?

  29. I like Wade's World's idea of Christian and goes good with the last name- Christian (do not let it be shortened) Tyler ca….

  30. Nomenclature issues? Not fun! You guys so crack me up. Naming boys was not an easy task. We had the name Cooper from pregnancy #2 and he didn't get named until our 4th pregnancy and was twin b. We had girls for numbers 2 & 3 and then finally twin identical boys were coming. Cooper finally had his place in this family and on this planet! For the record: baby a is named Grant, and our firstborn is Austin. Feel free to pick any of those, but other ideas are:

    Trent, Toby, Ethan, and Max

    Were you even asking for name ideas?

  31. I absolutely love the name Tyler. I used to think it was a unique name until we took our son to the playgound and it seemed like every parent was calling their child Tyler. There is even a girl here named Tyler, go figure! I believe God guides us in naming our children. Pray about it. :)

  32. Maxwell! Shortened to Max…nice and manly….blah…I tease my husband that if we ever have a son I'm gonna name him Ernesto and call him Ernie with an incredibly annoying Jersey accident.

  33. Wow…you all have given some great name suggestions!!! All of which, I'm sure, I'll like half of and Chris will like the exact opposit half of.

    We do kind of have a girl's name – at least we've always had a second girl's name – but it's not completely finalized yet. I'll probably blog about that sometime in the future too.

  34. Let's see, good strong Biblical boys names with no bad nicknames. How about Eli? Full name could be Elijah but Eli is a good name. Others: Levi, Adam, and I'm out. Good luck with it!

  35. I have never understood why people pick out a name with the thought of using an alternate name. Like if you want to call the child Alex than just make the name Alex not Alexander. I don't mean this as an insult, I just don't understand it.

    I was laying on the delivery bed with no name for a boy but a girl name we had agreed on even before conceived. Thank God it was a girl. Her name is Lydia – a good biblical name.

  36. This post is hilarious! My parents told me that they couldn't agree on a name for me. Mom liked Lucinda (I know I caused her a lot of nausea throughout her pregnancy, but I hope it wasn't to the point that she thought I deserved that name.) Dad liked Sarah Beth, and Mom was okay with it, so that's the name I got. I used to hate my middle name, but I finally decided I like it. My husband and I aren't even expecting yet, and we've talked about names. I can tell that we'll have a tough time finding something we agree on. I love the name Rebekah for a girl, but that names is forever ruined for him because he dated a Rebekah. He's mentioned Sean for a boy's name, and I've never really liked that name, so I'll have to steer him towards something else for a boy. I like your idea of ranking names with a point system.

  37. Here's my little tidbit: I always loved the name Alexander, but my hubs didn't. We both like the shortened version Zander, not Alex. But, for some reason, we didn't see ourselves with a Zander.
    And, I hear ya on Travis. I always think of the movie Overboard when I hear that name. No offense, but very redneck.
    Good Luck!

  38. If it helps, the only name on your list that I really love is Micah. My cousin's name is Micah, and he has never been called Mike. Totally different names.

    If you're going for biblical names, check out Josiah. That would've been our choice had we had a boy, and since I don't know you, you're welcome to use the name :)

  39. Totally with you on Travis. As soon as I read it, I wondered if Chris likes country music.

    We did not argue. I made lists and lists….looooong lists of names and their meanings….Dave poo poo'd every single one and finally said how 'bout Jack? I liked it and the boy was named!

  40. I understand the naming dilemma. P.s. I am offended that you dislike my pet's name, jk. I thought the disclaimer was hilarious. I am happy to know that these naming opinions do not necessarily represent anyone else’s in the galaxy. ;)

  41. I've only ever heard Micah shortened to "Ky" like the nickname for Malachi and Kyle.

    We've agreed on (in order) James David, Benjamin Noah, Johnathan Michael and Luke Thomas for boys and then Charlotte Rose, Elizabeth Ann and Kimberly Diane for girls. We're still working on getting pregnant with the first so we aren't fretting about the 'surprise' 4th girl name yet :p

  42. I think it's high time the name Jennifer was made masculine. You would have the benefit of being the first to make the switch AND letting me be your child's namesake. It's a win win situation Rachel.

    You're welcome.

    My son's name was easy. I simply used my maiden name and the rest is history.

    I can't wait to meet Master Jennifer. I know he will be adorable.

  43. Wade makes an excellent name for a boy (or if needed, a girl).

    As a blogger courtesy, you can use the name without the usual fees.

  44. Thankfully my husband and I are in agreement on both boy and girl names. Our difficulty is that we have a long list of boy names, but we used up our favorite girl name with our firstborn. We're unsure of what to do if we have another girl. We decided right away our children would NOT have names that could be gender neutral.

    And I'm all for Micah. I think that is the ONE boys name my husband and I disagree on–surprisingly enough, the only Micah he has ever known was a girl. So that Old Testament name was scratched off of the list. If you do, indeed, have a boy I hope you agree on something you both love!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *