Blending Names For 3 Brothers, Celtic-Inspired

Emily asks:

Need help with a boy name! We want them to blend well with the names of our other boys which are William (Liam) Jack and Eoghan Henry. We would like to keep it within the Irish, Scottish, English realm. Any ideas? (Can’t do Killian because that is our dog’s name–smile emoticon–)

Fans offered up the following suggestions on our page:

Duncan Edward

I actually have a son named Cian-- here is a picture of him.

I actually have a son named Cian– here is a picture of him.




Emily replied:


I am loving all these names. My husband offered up Meallan and we have considered Conall for a middle name. We just haven’t found anything definite yet.

Okay… well, some of those suggestions were great!!! They gave a lot of classic, mostly Celtic names that makes a good bank you can draw from. However, I’d advise against Meallan Conall– it sounds like “melancholy”. See, sometimes we really like the sound of something and it’s because it’s familiar to us, even if it’s not conscious how or why. I think this is one of those instances. You’re familiar with the word melancholy and the combo created a flow that just makes sense, but it isn’t all that auspicious. Here are a few of my suggestions, and please keep us updated! I like your style and am curious what you select, as I’m sure the fans are as well.

Gadget Van Lewis
Pete Barge
Percival Shelby
Micah Wayland
Boyd Nevin
Matthew Mason (Theo)
Carson John
Jackson Kasey
Harlow Sebastian
Chase Richard
Beacán Eliab
Ichabod Noah (Ike, Bodhi)
Keane Michael
Adam Sean
Austin Brantley
MacEmsley Dominic
Ayden Luke
Kevin Landon
Christian Eli
Murphy Soren
Shea Alfred
Phillips Tinkering
Beckett Ayrington


Avoiding Punny Names With Surname “Ball”

Fan Question– “Hi! My sister just recommended that I like this page for help. We just found out that we will be having our second boy – yay! Our first son is named Grayson Lionel (last name Ball), he’s 4 (I swear that name wasn’t trendy 4 years ago! Lol) as a nod to his father. My husband’s name is Guy Lionel Ball IV. We broke the tradition but didn’t want to ignore it entirely. We do not call him Gray.

I like semi-unique or old fashioned names, not something they’ll have to explain or spell the rest of their lives! I am not a fan of alliteration and I don’t want another name that ends in -son or -on/en/in necessarily. Our last name poses a unique challenge since it seems super easy to create a distasteful nickname (no Harrison, Chase, etc). I’m at the beginning brainstorming stages and I’m at a loss! I like the name Fletcher because of its occupational meaning (arrow maker) but feel like it needs to be ruled out immediately since the nickname Fletch could easily change to Fetch (fetch the ball!) Other names I’ve toyed w are Julian (Jules), Felix, Emile, Milo. I got nothing as far as middle names. Help!! Please. I’m open to most suggestions!”

Glad you found us, and thank your sister for me. Congratulations on your upcoming addition.

I know, isn’t it always the way that it seems, that we liked a name and used it first?! Unfortunately, thousands of babies were being named Grayson around the time your son was born. I think we just become more aware of names when our own child has it. I know it has happened with each of mine, and I’m a name nerd who prides herself in being very aware. I think they just jump out at us more, like neon signs. It’s because the name is even more special for us once our child takes ownership of it.

You’re right about the challenges your surname faces, so good looking out. I can only imagine what your husband puts up with. I’d love to help you brainstorm some ideas, should be fun.

As far as Fletcher goes, I see where you are concerned, but just insist he go by Fletcher and not Fletch. After all, you have a Grayson and you don’t let anyone call him Gray (which could have been equally problematic). “Fletcher Ball” does sound a bit like “fetch yer ball”, though. For the time being I am going to keep it in the running in case you have a change of heart. It also occurs to me that Milo Ball may sound slightly like “my little ball”. It’s still a handsome name, but you might want to know.

So, without further ado, some considerations…

Tommy Oliver Ball
Rockwell Fabian Ball
Julian Max Ball
Misael Felix Ball (“Max”, possibly)
Derek Atlas Ball
Gavin Boris Ball
Milo Rowan Ball
Efraim Johann Ball
Cyrus Emile Ball
Emile Titus Ball
Charleston Trevor Ball (do not call Charlie unless you are okay with “Charlie Brown” similarity)
Jules Pi Ball
Julian Tanner Ball
Julian Xander Ball
Milo Fletcher Ball
Emil Guyson Ball
Marin Donald Ball
Aidyn Felix Ball
Milo Sylvain Ball
Felix Fletcher Ball
Jules Dunn Ball
Orion Verne Ball
Felix Dennis Ball
Fletcher Helix Ball
Douglas Beau Ball

Pro-tip: avoid names like Luke and Lucien, to get away from a Lucille Ball reference. Emile Ball has that same ring to it.

Other classic, old fashioned names to avoid for puns: Oscar Ball. Richard Ball. (Think about it.)

Some names here are more unusual, some are more classic, and some are trendier and more common. It was fun to play around with, though, and I hope you found something you liked. My readers and I are very curious what you’ll choose, so please do keep us posted!

Helping Denee Name Her 6th Child

Denee asked: I need baby name help!
OK,some names I like:


Names I am pulled to,though may not use because of popularity or other reasons,but might use for a middle name if it makes me swoon:

Family names I don’t hate,would be open to using:

Current children’s names:
Caleb Eugene
Jeremiah Scott
Payton Matthew
Jacobi James
Marlena Suzanne

(Hubby is Matthew James,I am Denee Rochelle)
All of their middle names are family names.

I would call my taste in girl names very feminine.
For boy names,I have gravitated towards jock or “cool” names.

Oh,and I prefer to keep the names out of the top 200.


What about Colton* Sawyer* & Lucie Rochelle?

I really don’t like Everleigh. It’s just really trendy, imho. I also don’t think it really goes too well with your last name (Metzger). She also stands out as being too not-timeless next to your other girl, Marlena. Actually, it (Everleigh Metzger) reminds me of Medgar Evers, which in itself isn’t a detraction, but might be an accidental association.

Here are some other ideas based on what you’ve said (I’m putting a star (*) next to anything in the top 200— I did not completely exclude those names since you already like ones in the top 200.):

Sophia* Colleen
Laurene Ciara
Matee Jennifer*
Rylie Ava*
Gracilyn Everleigh (initials would be GEM)
Nichole Abigail*
Hannabeth Lucy*
Aniah Mirabelle
Everleigh Braylynn
Rochelle Savannah*
Amaya Zoe*
Meribel Arianne
Cate Angela*
Miabella Chloe*
Karmena Season
Minerva Martinique
Cleo Ruby*

Kylar Adnan
Derek Marion
Vincent* Brandon*
Xavier* Colton*
Nolan* Isaiah*
Ron Josiah*
Elliott Marcelino
Harlan Michale
Colton* Erich (has same root origins as Derek)
Camryn Isaac*
Valor Bridge
Tsolomon Hand
Timmy Nicholas*

A lot of these are not my recommendations per se, just bouncing ideas off you to see what sticks. Please let us know what you end up going with since we’re all curious!



Z Names For Boys

Since my favorite all-Z pregnant namer doesn’t know what she is having, she was all Hey, what the heck! Do some boys names!  Okay. Please see our last post for the girls for an explanation of what you are seeing, because the same info and tips apply here. These are real names that are used in America, albeit somewhat rarely.

Zihao/ Zi Hao

Penn Provenance Project

Blasts from the Past-  Names Actually Used in our Grandparents’ Generation:


And… after seeing so many names start with Z, it no longer looks like a letter. 😛

Z Names for Girls

One of our most active fans on our page has children whose names all begin with the letter Z. She is now expecting a new addition very soon and has had a hard time this time around falling in love with the perfect Z girls name. It got me thinking.

Z is one of the least common letters to name with, but certainly one of the coolest. People are drawn to it for its sharp sound and appearance. When there is a shortage of tried and true, appealing Z names, people often take to making more up. At First & Middle Baby Names, we are not opposed to creative names… we just urge that you do so intelligently. 🙂

So can we brainstorm some Z names? Here are some actual Z names being used (sparingly) for baby girls, according to the Social Security Administration of the USA. Some are obviously inspired by other names we recognize, some are well established in their own right, and some may be anyone’s guess.


Blasts From the Past– Names Actually Used in Our Grandparents Generation:


Please Note:  Made up names don’t always have legitimate meanings, so sometimes you get the honor of making one up yourself (think of it as being a language pioneer). This is best, however, when you made the name up yourself and the name has no clear origin or reference to already established names.

Diggory & Merida: Subconscious Replacements?

Sometimes we like names because they have a certain special ring to them. Often it is because they seem unique and familiar at the same time (having that je ne sais quoi!), and it is because we are subconsciously influenced by names or words (or concepts) our minds already recognize on some level. If it was a name which influenced us, we may then consciously or not-consciously use our new idea as a replacement for the previously more well-known name.

Diggory is the surname of a Robert Pattinson character in Harry Potter films. Is “Diggory” the new “Cullen”?

Yvonne asked:

Apparently I’m obsessed with the name Diggory lately! What can you tell me about it?

People seem to think it’s connected to the French word for “astray” (égaré). The Bretons probably used it and then maybe the English (Cornish) Anglicized it. It’s possible, and at the moment I can’t find any more concrete or better explanations for it. It reminds me of didgeridoo. Or dickory.

Kammie asked:

I would love some help on researching the origins and meaning of the name Merida. Yes I know it’s a cartoon character but hubby likes it and he’s super picky but I am finding conflicting info on it doing my own research. TIA!!

So the new Disney/Pixar film “Brave” features a character called Merida. It appears they went with a non-Celtic name, which is actually a little disappointing to me.  Speculative:  maybe they were thumbing through Celtic names and couldn’t find anything quite to their liking… nothing easy enough or fluid enough to their tongue. Celtic names, particularly the authentic and the antiquated, are often too unusual for the average person to truly appreciate. Maybe Meredith (which is Welsh) was almost a choice, but instead inspired them to the less common Merida. Or, maybe she was subconsciously influenced by Meredith without the creators realizing. Likewise, people may be using it as the new Meredith without realizing why it has that fresh yet familiar ring to it.

The name is probably going to pick up in popularity, so that’s something to watch out for. As for the origin, there are cities in several Spanish-speaking countries called Mérida (same pronunciation), so this may also be likely as to where it came from when the creators were planning the story. With this explanation, it would come from the Latin Emerita, which likely renders Merida “of a woman” or “womanly“. The name should expect to see renewed use among Spanish speakers, with whom it was already appreciated.