I have the special privilege today of posting a consultation for my brother and sister-in-law! They’re expecting their second boy, a little brother for Leo Patrick.
Between various conversations over the years, especially at our family vacation this past summer, and in more recent text convos, these names emerged as very indicative of my SIL’s taste:
Beau (most likely as a middle name for Francis, and he’d go by Beau)
(I will also note that my brother has his own name thoughts, but my “client” here was my SIL, so I’m focusing on her ideas in this post.) (Sorry bro.)
I thought this was a pretty fab list — sort of distinguished and down-home all at once. Her idea of Francis Beau was really great, and probably my favorite of the ones on the boy list. I love the sophisticated Francis, which is also a family name; I love the unexpected middle Beau; and I love that he’d go by Beau — perhaps difficult to pull off as a given first name, but totally doable as a middle and a call name. SIL and I talked about the unfortunate Twilight Reimagined issue with Beau, but I wouldn’t cross it off the list yet … I would wait and see what happens — that book might never be mentioned again, and I have evidence that she liked the name before that book was even known about! An alternate suggestion is Francis Xavier, which I kind of love for them — both Francis and Xavier are, separately (!), family names for us, and Francis Xavier is the origin of the name Xavier anyway, since St. Francis Xavier is where it comes from. My own hubs quite likes Frankie for a little boy, and I can see both my brother and SIL liking that — it is pretty cute. And Frank is solid for a man.
George — Unfortunately, we all agree that George doesn’t work with their last name.
Walter — It cracks me up that SIL likes Walter, but it’s totally true that names like this are coming back! It made me think of another name I see mentioned sometimes on name boards, and it always surprises me, and I won’t be surprised if they don’t like it … but I kinda won’t be surprised if they do: Wallace. The Wal- of Walter is what really made me think of Wallace, but my brother’s love of sports also made me think of it, because whenever I see anyone considering the name Wallace, they almost always say they might use Ace as the nickname. I love that! It feels very like my brother to me.
Sebastian — Love love love. My SIL said that they love that St. Sebastian’s the patron saint of athletes and that if my IronMan brother “could name a child Nike he would.” Ha! They’re not crazy about Seb/Sebbie or Bash, but I wondered what they’d think of:
- Bax (especially if the full name was Sebastian Xavier — that’s a NAME! And also exactly Grace Batton’s Bash’s name)
- Banks (feels cool and kind of preppy; Sebastian Francis would make sense of it — B+Frank)
- Maybe even Bo, if it was paired with an O middle name?
So let’s talk about Bo. SIL loves Beau, but that spelling is difficult right now because of the aforementioned book, and also because my brother doesn’t care for it. He doesn’t mind Bo, though, so SIL asked me for ideas to get to Bo (she said they’re fine with B.O. initials as a way of getting to Bo). This is a listing of names that *I* would consider, if I had a boy named Leo and wanted to use the nickname Bo, so I knew some of them would make my brother and SIL (especially my brother! Haha!) say what? But you never know!
- Bonaventure, Boniface, Bartholomew, Balthazar, Barnabas — these are super-duper heavy-hitting saints’ names that are totally my style, and I think all of them could take the nickname Bo, with or without an O middle name.
- Boaz — Not only do I think Boaz is a really cool name, but I love the biblical Boaz, who was Ruth’s husband. It’s short and zippy like Leo, it’s got the snappy z at the end, and it very naturally takes the nickname Bo.
- [John] Bosco — this is one that I could actually see them going for. Grace Patton named her newest baby Bosco, but I’m thinking that they might like the full John Bosco (first name-middle name) even better, with the nickname Bo. St. John Bosco is a great saint, a great patron for a little boy, just like St. Leo the Great.
- Ambrose — we’ve actually had Ambrose on our list for a while, mostly because he’s one of the Church Fathers and a great saint, and because my father-in-law had a connection to St. Ambrose, but also because we both really like it. I’ve always thought Sam and Bram would be perfect nicknames for it, but it occurred to me recently that Bo works as well. (Along with all of the suggestions in my first two bullet points, I can picture my brother saying, “Ambrose?” with a baffled/not-loving-it look on his face, so I thought I’d link to this cutie here named Ambrose, and this one‘s now a teenager! Ambrose has a little of that old-man feel to it that my SIL seem to like. Also, fun fact: the term “sideburns” comes from Civil War general Ambrose Burnside, who had some epic sideburns! Also the Baby Name Wizard says about Ambrose, “Ambrose is like a handlebar mustache, so cheerfully outdated and overblown that it’s actually a lot of fun.” Love it!
- Benedict or Bennett — I suspect my brother and SIL would like Bennett more than Benedict, but Bennett’s a medieval form of Benedict, so it gets the saintly reference in there anyway. Bennett would be a prime candidate to pair with an O middle name for the nickname Bo.
- Brendan — this is another of my top choices for them — it’s Irish (they like Irish), it’s traditional, it’s a solid boy’s name. Brendan O– would be a great way of getting to Bo.
- William — this too is a top choice for them — I was thinking of names that don’t start with B but have a traditional B nickname (like Robert, which is not usable for them) and I thought of William/Billy. William is a family name on both my parents’ sides, which is great, and I def think Bo could work, initials for Billy O. I really like it for them.
So my top choices for this baby if he were to have the nickname Bo are John Bosco, Brendan O., and William O., but I do like all the ideas on this list.
And of course I have a bunch of new ideas as well! I always shoot for at least three, but I came up with seven for my new little nephew:
Henry was one of the first ideas I had for them — I love it with Leo, but honestly it was the nickname Hank that clinched it for me. I could totally see my brother and SIL liking Hank! Hank reminds me of George and Walter, they’d all be smoking their pipes on the porch together. I also liked that it has a connection to my SIL — in a very roundabout way — via the fact that she studied abroad Scotland, because Wills was at St. Andrew when she was (so cool, right?!), and of course his brother is Prince Harry, whose given name is Henry (Harry’s a traditional nickname for Henry). (Very roundabout.)
(2) James Blaine
I was on a little bit of a first name-middle name kick when I was doing this for my SIL, with Francis Beau, Francis Xavier, and John Bosco on the brain. James Blaine was my great-grandfather and he went by Blaine. I suspect that if they used James Blaine they’d prefer to call the baby James, but there’s Jamie and Jem too (I LOVE Jem — it’s one of Anne Shirley’s sons, a nickname for James, and I’d totally forgotten until I looked up that link that another of Anne’s sons was Walter!), or I think Bo could work for Blaine, no? I also have a friend who married a man from Scotland, and one of their boys is James, just James, so it feels “Scottish” to me, which, again, I associate with my SIL.
I started out thinking about Rory for this baby, which reminded me that I’d suggested Rory as a nickname for Gregory to Grace Patton, and then I thought Gregory actually seems like a great fit. Again, this might be one of those names that I would be more likely to use as a brother to Leo than my brother and SIL, but there aren’t that many St. the Greats and St. Leo the Great and St. Gregory the Great are two of them, both popes, so I’ve always thought they make good brother names. I actually love the nickname Rory for them too — it gets away from Greg (no offense intended for anyone who loves Greg!) and has the Irishness going on.
My hubs and I talked about Oliver through my first two pregnancies and had decided on it for our No. 3 but then cooled on it when I was six months pregnant. I’m not sure why either, we both love it, it just hasn’t felt like one of our boys. But my brother and SIL seem to love O (Leo and Bo), and Oliver’s serious, bookish, sort of Irish-y or Brit feel I find really attractive.
I consider Simon to have a similar feel to Oliver — serious and bookish — but with a good dose of biblical, which I personally love. I think Leo and Simon are a great brother set!
When Leo was on the way, I asked everyone what their name ideas were — what did we all think they would choose, based on what we knew of their taste (my brother and SIL didn’t share their name ideas until the birth) — and my husband’s only idea was Russell. I was so surprised by it, but he said he could see my brother liking Russell, and the nickname Russ, and this time around I feel like it’s a good suggestion. It reminds me of the old-man names SIL likes, and was listed as a style match for Rosemary, which is a name I know she likes, so I thought it was a good suggestion. My hubs did want to go on record, though, as saying that this time around he actually doesn’t think my brother will like it because of the Seahawks quarterback. (I would never have thought of that.)
This suggestion is a little out there — I personally love the name Tristan, and I thought it made sense to throw out an offbeat suggestion, just in case. It’s a style match for Sebastian and Xavier, and it’s got the Irish-y connection. I’m not sure I would use the nickname Tris, as that’s the name of the main character (female) in the Divergent series, but I could see Trip (if with a P middle) or Trio (haha!) if with an O middle. I don’t know, maybe it’s a crazy idea … For some reason I can see my brother liking it more than my SIL. When I asked my hubs what he thinks of it, he said he doesn’t hate it and that Tristan Thompson is pretty well known right now as a basketball player, so it’s not unheard of anymore.
And those are my ideas! What do you all think? If you had a Leo, and your taste was Francis-Beau-Walter-George-Sebastian, what would you name his little brother? Thank you from an excited Auntie! 🙂