A reader named Tamara is expecting a baby boy in May. She writes:
We are a bi-racial couple…he is Mexican and I am American (white), and are looking for a Spanish name for our little boy. Unfortunately, I don’t LOVE a lot of the Hispanic boy names, and we are having some trouble finding the perfect name.
So far, she and her fiance Oscar like the names Tiago and Gabriel…but here are the issues:
We need a good middle name to go with Tiago. And we haven’t gotten a lot of positive feedback on the name. And I feel like Gabriel is overused and doesn’t hold its own when paired with our daughter’s name, Nadia. And the two names don’t exactly flow well together, so pairing them up isn’t an option for us. Any suggestions? Middle names for Tiago? Or just different first names all together?
Here are some thoughts on Tiago and Gabriel:
Nicknames (e.g. Benji, Topher, Xander) sometimes loose their charm when used as stand-alone names, so people might like Tiago more if it were a nickname for Santiago. Santiago is currently ranked 200th, but I don’t think it will rise too much higher.
How about Diego? It’s not as hip as Tiago…but it’s got a similar sound, and, because it’s more familiar, it’ll probably get better feedback. In terms of popularity, Diego seems to be plateauing just outside the top 50.
I think Gabriel sounds fantastic with Nadia, personally. But it’s become popular recently (i.e. over 10,000 babies have been named Gabriel every year since 2001) and my hunch is that it will remain popular for a while to come. So I can understand wanting to avoid it for that reason.
Let’s see, middle names for Tiago…I think iambic names like Ramón, Raúl and Noé sound good after Tiago. I also like longer middles (e.g. Antonio, Mauricio).
Here are a few other ideas for first names:
What other advice/suggestions would you offer Tamara?
One of the letters in yesterday’s Annie’s Mailbox came from a woman whose favorite boy name, Alex, was “stolen” by her sister-in-law.
The response from Annie (who is actually two people) was quite good:
While it would have been nice for [your sister-in-law] to choose another name, the fact remains that you don’t have a monopoly on this one. […] If you still want to call your child “Alex,” by all means, do so. Many cousins share a name. But we hope you will be open to other possibilities.
It’s obnoxious that the sister-in-law would do such a thing, but names are shared by many people. You can’t really “steal” a name.
I think it would be a good idea for the woman to go with Alexander. That way, her son could be known as Alex most of the time, but when he hangs out with his cousin, he could switch over to one of Alexander’s other nicknames. Xander perhaps.