Ask Liann: Compromising on a Boy's Name

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Dear Liann,

My fiancé does not like anything for our boy!

Here's what I like and he hates: Maddox, Kayven, Bentley, Gage, Elijah, Xavier

And here are his favorite names (that, of course, I hate): Ian, and Jayden

Any ideas between my crazy names and his boring names? I think a boy should have a strong, tough name, and I don't want him to be the 38th Michael in his grade, ya know?

Thanks so much and God bless!



Hi Chelsea,

Let's see if we can find a name for your kiddo. Even though you and your fiancé haven't agreed on any names, it looks like there's some common ground between your tastes. Jayden falls right in with Maddox, Kayven, Bentley, and Gage. And Ian is in the same group as Elijah and Xavier. We just need to find the right now!

First let's start with a list of more modern names:

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And here are more well-known names with a "tough" edge: 

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A number of these names could fit on both lists, but I went with the feel of the name rather than the actual history of its use. 

I should say that there's much more diversity in naming these days — tough, soft, classic, gender-neutral, etc. Modern kids will encounter new and different names all the time, which I think (I hope) will lead to less teasing about names that don't seem "normal." Because, really, what is a normal name? I understand that you want a strong-sounding name, but don't limit yourself if your reasoning is that you don't want him to be teased. Find a name that you love and the rest doesn't matter.

Good luck!