Baby Names

Baby Boy Lawpin, Brother to Gray and Juneau

Dear Swistle,

We are expecting our third and final baby at the beginning of May. A baby boy! My husband granted me final naming rights for this baby early on in our Secondary Infertility journey, which involved multiple cycles over three years using donor embryos to get where we are now. But I would much prefer to find a name we both love.

We each have a favorite name that we can’t get past. Every other name feels like a second best by comparison. So we are currently attempting to utilize the “pretend those names don’t exist” technique to find a new (and mutual) favorite. It’s not going well because the few we agree on seem too popular for our comfort.

For background, we have a son named Gray and a daughter named Juneau (but spelled like the movie/Roman goddess, not the city). Our last name sounds like Lawpin. I would say the 4-letter version of Juneau is most in line with our ideal naming style. Short rather than a longer name with a nickname, quirky and fun, not commonly heard of. We ideally don’t want to repeat any of our first initials. This baby will have the middle name Joseph in honor of our embryo donors.

My favorites:
1. Cary- In my mind, this is his name. Husband likes but thinks of it as a girl’s name since Carrie was so popular among our female peers born in the 1970s.

2. Zeke or Enzo- Both so fun & spunky, similar to the vibe of our daughter’s name. Husband vetoed as “too hipster.”

3. Tadhg- Husband vetoed as too confusing to say & spell. I agree, but still love it.

4. Atlas- He finds it pretentious.

Husband’s favorites:
1. Raif- Husband is dead set on this name. That’s his entire list! I like it okay, but don’t love at all. Also, I misheard it as “r@pe” once & now cannot unhear it. That is pretty much a deal breaker to me.

Names we both like equally, but just don’t feel quite right: Beau, Felix, Hoyt, Hayes, Hugo, Rhett, Rhys, Soren, Zev.

Names we would consider as new, mutual favorites but think are too commonly used:
1.Theo- Perfect in every way except it’s so popular, especially factoring all the Theodores who are almost all called Theo these days.

2. Reid- A solid choice in the top 300 with no real drawbacks, and we could learn to love.

Please help us find a name worthy of this much awaited baby boy!

Erica & Michael


The name that jumps out to me is Reid. It’s a compromise name but it’s a GREAT compromise name: “no real drawbacks, and we could learn to love.” It’s four letters like the other two kids’ names, but has its own distinct sound. You’ve got it under Too Common, but as you’ve noted it’s in the 300s, and that is quite uncommon. It’s about as common as Jensen, Gunner, Prince, Hendrix, and Maximiliano. If we combine it with the spelling Reed, it’s about as common as Alejandro, Dawson, Abel, Tristan, Karter, and King.

I agree that Raif should be out. It’s very, very, very unusual in the U.S.: only 9 new baby boys were given the name in 2021, with another 17 given the spelling Raife. In addition to your deal-breaking issue, I notice it forms the words “flaw” and “flop” with your surname, and I think it will be misheard as Ray Floppin. And it shares sounds with Gray in a way that is displeasing to my ear: three-quarters of the name is the same.

I also think Cary should be out—to my surprise, because I would like to see that name come back into style for boys. But it is three-quarters the same letters as Gray, and the G and C are very similar-looking letters, and I find it just BUGS ME. If I answered this again tomorrow, I might dismiss all those concerns as ridiculous; but today, this morning, I don’t like Gray and Cary together, and I am bothered by how similar they look, and I feel that pretty soon both boys would be called Gary.

I like Reid! I think Reid is great with the surname and in this sibling group! Reid Lawpin! Reid Joseph Lawpin! Gray, Juneau, and Reid! I vote learn to love it!

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