Baby name consultation: Short call name would be great for baby no. 4/boy no. 2

Meghan and her husband are expecting their fourth baby, and second boy! This little guy joins big sibs:

Benjamin William
Mae Elizabeth
Rose Elizabeth

I really really love these names — classic and handsome for Benjamin, sweet and vintage-y with Mae and Rose, all so great together!

Meghan writes,

We are going to seem like the pickiest people! It took us 9 months to agree on my sons name. For some reason my husband and I can’t do boy names. We both also have a ton of male relatives we don’t want to duplicate. We want to avoid any name starting with S or ending with y or i. I think it sounds funny with our last name. For the middle name we want to use Paul (my father and brothers name) but we could also do William (shared middle name with brother Ben since the girls have shared middle names). It would be kind of nice if the name could have a shorter nickname like we have Ben, Mae, and Rose. No name that could be a boy or girl name like Cameron, Morgan etc. In general we don’t really want a top 25 name if we can avoid it (even though Benjamin is in the top 25, we were desperate) and nothing too trendy either.”

Names that they like but don’t love or agree on:


And names they can’t use:


Whew! You all know I love a good name challenge, and having all those names off-limits is challenging!

To start, I really love their one-syllable “call name” theme — Ben, Mae, and Rose are fabulous together, and remind me of my own family growing up —
the three oldest (I’m the oldest, then my two brothers) are Katherine, Benjamin, and Jonathan, but we always went by Kate, Ben, and Jeb. So of course, not only did we all go by one-syllable nicknames, but Benjamin’s also in the mix, so one of my very first suggestions for Meghan and her hubs is Jonathan! I’ll explain more below.

I also really like the names they’re considering — in particular, Aaron, Adam, and Connor seemed most similar to the vibe I get from Benjamin/Ben, and Ian, Connor, and Brian add an interesting touch of Irish/Celtic that I found inspiring.

You all know that I usually start a consultation by looking up in the Baby Name Wizard the names the parents have already used and those they like/are considering, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. I did so here, and came up with the following ideas:

(1) Jonathan
Not only did I immediately think of Jonathan because of my brothers, but also because, according to the BNW, Jonathan is a true style match for Benjamin, as well as Adam and Aaron. It’s long like Benjamin, and has a couple of one-syllable nicknames they could consider: I assume Jon is not an option, since John was on their list of names they can’t use (and I should note that John and Jonathan are not actually linguistically related), but they could do Jack, or Nate (“Nathan” is the last part of Jonathan), or take a page from my parents’ creative nicknaming book and call him Jeb! Jonty’s also a traditional nickname for it, which is kicky and fun. And if they went with Paul for the middle name, they could do JP, which are pretty amazing initials! 😉 Jonathan fits their “no top 25” rule as well, being #48 in 2015.

(2) Nathaniel (or Nathan)
I love Nathaniel for this family — it’s another style match for Benjamin, and similar in length, and it’s got the great nickname Nate. Its popularity is perfect for Meghan and her hubs too, being #97 in 2015. Nathan is a trimmer Nate name, and also biblical, and a little bit higher on the popularity charts (#38).

(3) Thaddeus
Thaddeus didn’t show up as a style match for any of their kiddos’ names or those on their list, but it’s long and biblical like Benjamin and has a bit of an old-timey feel like Mae and Rose, and can take the one-syllable nicknames Ted and Tad, so I thought it was worth a mention.

(4) Charles or Caleb
Charles is a style match for William and Rose (and was #50 in 2015), and Caleb (#37) is a match for Aaron, and though they don’t seem related they can both take the nickname Cal, which I’m loving with the other kids!

(5) Patrick
Connor, Ian, and Brian on Meghan’s list inspired me to add Patrick to my ideas. It was listed as a style match for Brian, and I’ve heard some really cute nicknames for it that can fit in with Ben, Mae, and Rose: certainly there’s Pat, but also Patch (like in this family), and I’ve seen Packy also, which can trim down to just Pack (like Jack) or even Pax.

I also had just another couple quick thoughts: If they were open to backing into a given name from a nickname, Gus was one of the names listed as a style match for Mae, and I loved it for this family right away! There are a few ways they can get to it: There’s August (#195), Augustine (#820), and Augustus (#467), as well as Angus and Fergus (neither in the top 1000), which tap into the Irish/Celtic feel of some of the names on their list. Or they could get crazy and just use Gus no matter what the given name! I know that’s probably too crazy for most people, but it’s fun to know that nicknames don’t have to have obvious ties to given names. I knew a little Gus growing up whose given name was actually John, and I know a little Gregory who goes by Duke and a Gerard who goes by Sam. Lots of possibilities!

There were also a few names I really wanted to suggest, but they didn’t make the cut for one reason or another, but just in case they’re helpful I wanted to list them here:

Gabriel (SO great as a brother to Benjamin imo, and the nickname Gabe is great! But at #22 it was just past their “no top 25 rule”)

Samuel (very similar in popularity to Gabriel, at #23, but I love it with Benjamin and I adore the nickname Sam! But it begins with S, boo)

Henry (it’s #29 and the nickname Hank was making me swoony with the other kids, but Henry breaks their “no ending in y or i” rule)

Timothy (I thought this was an amazing “bridge name” between their biblical style and Irishy style — it’s a style match for Patrick and Brian, and it’s biblical as well, and Tim is such a great nickname. Also, it’s #147! Alas, it ends with a y)

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What name(s) would you suggest for the little brother of Ben(jamin), Mae, and Rose?


40 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Short call name would be great for baby no. 4/boy no. 2

  1. These names all go really well together. Originally, I was in favor of the Jonathan/Caleb suggestions to go with Benjamin. I like them a lot. (Even Gideon, if they wanted to be more daring 🙂 )

    However, the name set as a whole has a sort of endearing feel that reminds me of a Beatrix Potter story, so maybe choosing a name in that style (Peter or Thomas or another character) would be better. It wouldn’t be obvious either, because they haven’t actually used character names for the most part. It would just continue that feeling of sweetness without having any overt associations.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My favorites from your list are Thaddeus (the one I know goes by Thad, which I love!) and August/Gus. Gus just has a great feel with the three other names, and is just cool!

    Most of the Bens I know have brothers whose names are on the No list! The only one I could find that wasn’t was Milo. Which doesn’t really have a one-syllable nickname, but is still a fantastic name and I think it also sounds great with those siblings.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love Gabriel for this family! Patrick and Charles too, but they are on the no-go list.

    I suggest Luke, Christian (Chris) or Edmund (Ed). Luke William and Christian Paul sound great.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s less common outside Catholic circles, but what about Ignatius, nn Nate?

    The suggestion of Gideon above made me think of Gilbert, nn Gil or Bert.

    And then Gilbert made me think of Albert, nn Al or Bert. 🙂

    I also didn’t see Peter or Alexander (nn Alex) on the “no” list.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ll suggest Isaac nicknamed Ike or Zac. Isaac and Benjamin seem like great brothers and I particularly like how Ike seems to bridge the styles between Ben and his sisters.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I really like a solid Old Testament (or NT), with possible one syllable nickname to go with Benjamin.

    Samuel would be my favorite for them, so was sad it is a no go for the “S”.

    This one seems quite challenging with the long NO list then the added not in top 25. I was going to suggest David or Daniel but while they aren’t on NO list, they are current top 25.

    Before reading your suggestions, Kate, I also thought of Caleb/Cal. It is a strong possibility.

    Other OT names that do seem to still be possible:
    Isaac (#31) – Ike or Zac
    Zachary/Zachariah (#88) – Zack/Zac
    Micah (#108) – Mike or Mick (but Micah is growing in use as a girl’s name, so may now be in the unisex name group)

    I like Aaron but it doesn’t seem to have the best nickname options.

    I do like backing into Gus, with August/Augustine.

    And Peter really is a great option. (Love the Beatrix Potter-y flow comment!) Except Peter Paul I do not think would work. Though Peter William would.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I keep thinking about the suggestion to use the nickname Gus without actually using a Gus name. What about Austin -> Gus? Benjamin and Austin sound nice together. And Ben and Gus are kind of cute. Austin is both a full name and a form of Augustine, so using the nickname Gus would still kind of make sense, even though it isn’t part of the full name.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Love your suggestion of Charles for them! It has the vintage feel of the girls names. I wanted to add Martin and Colman as I think they might also work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love all of the Old Testament suggestions. Adam doesn’t have a nickname but I like it with Ben.

    I’ve also been crushing on the name Philip lately, Pip would be an adorable nn.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this family’s naming style. Mae and Rose are both on our list for potential girls names and we considered Benjamin but ultimately couldn’t use it for one of our sons due to a personal connection.

    This is a tough challenge because many of my first thoughts were on the No list. Even though it’s a No, wouldn’t Matthew be so very nice? Nicholas or Luke too?

    Since we have similar taste in names, I will throw out my oldest son’s name as a possibility. He’s a Zachariah called Zach. Other ideas – Edmund/Edward, Stephen (oops no S), Philip, Ezekiel, Jeremiah (called Jem) and Julian (called Jude) or just Jude. I love Nathaniel or Jonathan for this family too.

    Probably because I have a nearly four year old, I had a thought that their sibset sounds like it would fit in perfectly with the characters from Thomas the Tank Engine. Maybe you can find one from there that will suit.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I want to second several of the other suggestions including Jeremiah, Zachariah, and Julian, and to lament that they can’t use Paul as a first name and that they don’t love Adam enough…all great! For some reason I really went to town looking at SSA lists for this one…my baby has been needing to be held longer to settle for naps so I’ve been browsing on my phone while snuggling (: So here are a few more ideas.
    Weston / Wes
    Jonah / Joe or Jay
    Abram or Abraham / Abe
    Frederick / Fred, Red, Ed, or Rick, maybe even Fin(n)?
    Ernest (but nicknames??) (I think I’m just projecting my own guilty pleasure name here…but its era is in there with Mae.)

    Liked by 1 person

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