Reader Q&A: Naming Boy #4!

Naming Boy #4

Anytime a new reader signs up to become part of the UBN email community, I ask the reader to share their biggest baby name challenges.

I was intrigued when reader Britney shared the following:

The most difficult aspect is naming multiple of the same gender! I am expecting my 4th son. 🙂

I asked Britney if I could offer some suggestions and share her predicament with all of you. She graciously agreed and added more information:

I actually found your blog because of your post on Nameberry where you mentioned all 3 of my boys’ names as names that could become Modern Classics. My boys are named Jacob, Colin, and Maxwell (nn Max). This was the post:

Many of the other names you mentioned in that post are names we have considered. My husband is also a 4th son, and out of the 12 grandkids on his side so far, 10 are boys! It must be something genetic to have sons in this family.

Do you want to know some of the names we are currently considering? Or would you like a blank slate? Our last name starts with R and rhymes with Tool, so names with a heavy R don’t seem to have as good of flow.

I would like each boy to have their own initial and sound of name. There are a lot of names we’ve thought about that feel too similar to another. I like Oliver, but we call Colin Collie, and an Ollie and Collie would be confusing. Dylan has been another name we like, but I wonder if it’s too close having 2 names that end in the sound -lin. I’ve also liked Caleb, but it’s almost a letter for letter exchange of Jacob and Colin. Owen and Colin also feel too similar.

That’s one of the reasons we are struggling, beyond just the normal trying-to-get-two-parents-to-agree problem. Thankfully, my husband and I have similar taste.

My response:

The first name that popped into my head was Simon. To me it flows well with your other boys’ names and your last name.

  • Jacob
  • Colin
  • Maxwell/Max and
  • Simon

Simon “Tool with an R”

The next name that comes to mind is Felix:

  • Jacob
  • Colin
  • Maxwell/Max and
  • Felix

Felix “Tool with an R”

Simon and Felix do share the same endings as Colin and Max, however, that isn’t a drawback in my opinion. Colin and Simon do sound a little more repetitious than Max and Felix, and may have the same concerns you had with Colin and Owen. But Colin and Simon do not seem as confusing as your Collie and Ollie example.

This just shows that once you get to the point of naming your fourth kid, especially when all four kids are the same gender, there is bound to be some repetition. In this situation, I would only avoid the repetition if it’s excessive.

Thankfully Simon and Felix don’t share the same first initial as your older sons’ names and don’t have the strong R sound that conflicts with your last name.

I think you can’t go wrong with either one of these names, however, I did some digging to come up with other ideas:

Henry (I totally overlooked the R! My oversight.)








This is a good example of how older kids’ names eliminate other options. I considered Adrian, but nope, it has the R. I thought of Martin, but again it repeats the first initial M with Maxwell. (And again, Martin has that pesky R.) After doing some digging, I’m starting to really like Isaac from my second list. It doesn’t repeat initials, has no R, and even has a different ending than your other sons’ names.

I look forward to hearing what readers suggest.

Good Luck!

I got some more feedback from Britney that really drove home how personal preferences can really paint parents like her into a corner when naming the fourth baby:

Thank you so much for spending time to get us some ideas! You have some really good options here. I think my favorite of the list is Henry. Even with the R, this is a name we keep coming back to. It could be a name we would go with!

Issac would be a great fit with our boys, but my husband has a cousin with the same name. We both come from large, well-named families, so that is a further difficulty. 🙂 Logan is also the name of a cousin of my boys. But they are both fantastic names. I also think Nolan is a little close to Colin, but it’s a great name, and one we’ve thrown around.

I think Simon is a name that could fit with our current sib set. I’ve never considered it, but I think it could grow on me. Felix is a name I’ve been hearing a lot more of lately, and it’s growing on me as well. This is why I’ve been trying to find out an answer early–some names take a little time to simmer! 🙂

Again, thank you so much for the suggestions! You did a great job nailing our style.

Thanks again Britney for sharing your story.

And if you find a name you really like that breaks your no-R rule, I encourage you to use the name anyway. I don’t think R always causes any problems with your last name. I would only avoid names that end in R to prevent run-on.

Readers: What is your favorite name for Britney’s fourth boy?


Guest Blogging News: 1930s Names


I’m digging 1930’s names now. The decade may not have been one of the happiest decades, but there were some memorable names back then, names that I suspect will start to appeal in about 10-15 years.

On Nameberry I write about which 1930’s names might come back first.

This is revised from the UBN post, Name Inspiration: The Funky, Eclectic, 1930’s.

And I’m not done exploring the 80-year-rule. I’m working on a presentation that I’m excited to unveil soon.

Readers: Which names remind you of the 1930’s?

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Guest Blogging News: Will They Ever Make The Top 10?


I am often shocked at which names never made the top 10. These are wonderfully appealing names, like Owen, Max, and Lucy.

I share this list of top 10 caliber names with Nameberry readers today.

Some of these names seem like they should have made the top 10 decades ago, such as Ann / Anne, while others, such Owen, Max, and Lucy, feel like they should be in the top 10 now.

Do you agree? Disagree?

To see the list and find out why I feel these names have top 10 appeal check out my guest post: Owen? Max? Lucy? Will They Ever Make The Top 10? 

Are there any names you are surprised never made the top 10?

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Guest Blogging News: Sassy Short Girl Baby Names


Blythe doll at the cafe

Just like my Spotlight on Rafe inspired my Nameberry guest post, The Motorcycle Riding Poets, my post on Blythe inspired the Sassy Short Girl Baby Name post, which is running on Nameberry today.

Blythe inspired Sloane and the list grew from there.

You can see the list on Nameberry today and check out the photo they used, which I just love.

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Guest Blogging News: Combo Names

Peggy-Sues-DinerA couple of years ago I wrote about combo names, and still find the subject inspiring. In the past couple of years, I have discovered new combo names and created some of my own.

Creating your own combo name isn’t as easy as putting two names together; only certain names seem to work.

Traditional names that combine well are: Ann(e), Jane, and Mary.

Modern or revival names that combine well are: Ada, Ava, Ella, and May.

Personally I like Louisa, Louise, and Zara in combo names.

At Nameberry today I talk about combo names past, present and future and share some under-the-radar combo names.

Readers: What kind of combo names do you like? Have you ever tried to make up your own?