A reader named Bethany has two boys, Luke and Zeke (full name Ezekiel, but he always goes by Zeke). She’s expecting a baby in August, and she’d like some help coming up with boy and girl names. Here are the names she’s currently considering:
Boy names: Hudson, Zane, Abe, Jed
- “Our favorite right now is Hudson for a boy, mostly because my husband’s name is Richard (“son of Richard”) and also because of the great old Christian man, Hudson Taylor. Our only concern is: Will this soon become a girls name?”
- “We have also toyed around with Zane, but fear “inZane” jokes–and also, is it too similar to Zeke? Luke, Zeke, and Zane?”
- “Is Abe just too much? Luke, Zeke, and Abe? Does it roll off the tongue weird?”
- “And Jed–too hill-billy? Luke, Zeke, and Jed?”
- A boy name doesn’t need to end with a k-sound, “yet we don’t want the third boy (if it’s a boy) to feel like the weirdo if he has too different of a name.”
- They want “a manly third name if it’s a boy.” Nothing that could be mistaken for a girl’s name.
Girl Names: Emmie, Ellie
- “For girls, we love Emmie and Ellie, but how common are those? Emma and Emily are list toppers, but how many Emmies are there?”
Bethany also mentions: “We are Christians, and although we don’t care if the name is straight from the Bible, it would be nice if it did have a good strong meaning.”
Here are some thoughts I had about the current favorites:
Hudson – I think Hudson is a great choice. It’s a good name, it’s masculine (I don’t think it’ll become a girl name anytime soon), the definition is perfect, and the association with Hudson Taylor is both meaningful and inspiring. It works on many levels.
Zane – My feeling is that it’s too close to Zeke.
Abe – Would it be nickname for Abraham? If so, I like this one. I don’t think “Luke, Zeke, and Abe” sounds weird at all.
Jed – It does sound slightly hillbilly to me, but not as full-on hillbilly as names like Jethro and Cletus.
Emmie – It’s not common as a given name–it hasn’t ranked in decades–but it’s used as a nickname for both Emily and Emma. So it hasn’t dropped off the radar entirely.
Ellie – I like Ellie, but I think it could be a lot more meaningful if it were a nickname for Elizabeth (more on this below).
Here are some other ideas, plus potential nicknames and associations:
Eric (Eric Liddell)
Amy (Amy Carmichael)
Elizabeth (Ellie, Liz, Betty, etc.)
Cornelia (Corrie; Corrie ten Boom)
Charlotte (Lottie; Lottie Moon)
Ida (Ida Scudder)
Lillian (Lillie; Lillian Trasher)
I think my favorite is Elizabeth. It’s biblical, it has an element in common with Bethany (reminding me of the Hudson/Richard connection), and it allows for not only the nickname Ellie but a number of other nicknames as well. (Liz might sound cute with Luke and Zeke; Betty could be used in tribute to Betty Greene.)
Of all the names above, which do you like best with Luke and Zeke? What other boy and girl names would you recommend to Bethany?
UPDATE – The baby is here! To learn the gender and the name, scroll down to the last comment.