A reader named Shannon is expecting a baby boy at the end of the month. She currently has two children — twins named Kathryn (Kate) Rose and Nicholas (Nick) James. She writes:
We like Jonathan and Joshua, but are having trouble with a middle name. My husband’s name is James Nelson, and we are considering Nelson as a middle name, but are not totally sold on it. I like Cole, Luke, and maybe David. My husband will only consider more traditional/classic names.
Shannon would ideally like to find a middle for Jonathan or Joshua. (Other names they’ve thought about but probably won’t use are Arthur and Calvin, both family names.)
She’d also consider alternative first names that go with either the middle name Nelson or the surname Di Pietro.*
Let’s look at middle names for Jonathan and Joshua first:
I think Joshua Nelson sounds great. I’m not as enthusiastic about Jonathan Nelson, though, because the names blend. It’s hard to tell if “Jonathan Nelson” is Jonathan Nelson or Jonathan Elson if you don’t see the name in written form.
Luke and Cole both sound good to me as middles. I don’t care for the way David sounds next to Di Pietro, though, so I’d probably skip that one.
Here are some other middle names that I think might work:
Adam (with Jonathan)
Andrew (with Jonathan)
Nathan (with Joshua)
Neil (with Joshua)
I’m partial to the one-syllable options, to match with the middle names Rose and James. I especially like Neil because it’s actually the basis of the surname Nelson, so it retains that connection to Dad’s name, which is cool.
And now let’s look at first names that could work with Nelson and Di Pietro:
William (Will; Bill)
My favorite from this group is Joseph, because it’s a J-name like the current favorites Joshua and Jonathan, but it sounds more “classic” to me than Jacob does. (Maybe because Jacob is so popular right now.)
Do you like any of the ideas above? What other middle and first names would you suggest to Shannon?
*Not their actual surname, but close.
Update: The baby has arrived! Scroll down to see the first and middle names Shannon chose.