Name needed: What do you think about Lachlan?

Here’s a question from Bess about the name Lachlan:

I found the name Lachlan in a list of popular names in Australia. I live in the southeastern US. I like the name, but some people have had negative reactions to it. My husband seems to think it is a name you give a kid if you are trying to make them sound cool. What do you think? We are thinking of the middle name Allen.

I like the name Lachlan, but I can understand what your husband is saying.

Would the baby have any extra connection to the name? For instance, Scottish (or Norwegian) heritage? Relatives or ancestors with the name? Do you or your husband have any favorite book or movie characters named Lachlan, or some link to Australia?

Without some sort of personal significance, the name is simply a name off a list…and likely is being chosen because it sounds cool. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. But a meaningful association is the very thing that would take the name from “cool-sounding” to something deeper.

(Ironically, I’ve been getting quite a few e-mails about the name Lachlan lately. This leads me to believe that people are becoming quite interested in the name…and will perhaps start using it more often. So, while Lachlan is unique right now, in the coming years it may become trendy, and, hence, not as cool-sounding.)

What other reasons are people giving for disliking the name? (Same as your husband? Or, are they having trouble with the pronunciation, maybe?)

Beyond that…I do like Allen as a middle. I think “Lachlan Allen” is a really nice-sounding combination.

What does everyone else think about Lachlan?

25 thoughts on “Name needed: What do you think about Lachlan?

  1. Thanks for your thoughts! I don’t have any connection to the name. We are not Scottish. My daughter has a family name, so I guess it would be strange to grab something out of thin air like that! Although, that’s what my parents did with my name.

  2. I like Scottish names and so Lachlan is a name I find intriguing. I’ve read that Lachlan is a name from Australian history — the name of the 5th governor of NSW — and that may be why it’s become so popular there. I think Lachlan could be used by parents with no Scottish connection as long as their last name is compatible with it . (Eg., Lachlan Brown would sound okay, but not Lachlan Schwarzenegger or Lachlan Moreno.) If you were to use Lachlan, how about a family name for his middle name? I personally don’t think Lachlan and Allen go well together as the second syllables are almost identical: ____lan ___len.

  3. @Bess – You’re welcome! I hope this helps you out. :)

    @Patricia – It crossed my mind that some might think Lachlan and Allen sound a bit echoey together…I can definitely see that side of it. Personally, though, I think it’s a cute combo.

  4. Well, he wouldn’t go by both names, so people wouldn’t be pronouncing the first and middle name together very often. Our last name is a common English name. I think it works, although, our last name ends with “en” also.

  5. I know and work with a Lachlan. He’s in his late 20s, is a great guy and doesn’t have any complaints about his name.

  6. Well, my husband nixed the name. So, back to the drawing board! It’s so hard to find a semi-unique, but not unheard of boy’s name.

  7. Lachlan is a truly awesome name choice. I have been named Lachlan all my life and have found it very agreeable—highly recommended. Lachlan is a bit of a phenomenon down under. There’s all kind of things named after him: rivers, lakes, ports, islands, parks… even Governors as Patricia pointed out. We’re even writing songs about it. But it looks like he may have peaked in the late 90s and may be in decline. Still, he was the 4th most popular choice for baby boys in New South Wales in 2007. Sorry to hear your husband has gone off the idea. What does he think of Hamish?

  8. You have actually picked two Gaelic names which have passed into English via the Scots tongue.As a Scots name Lachlan is essentially the same as the Irish Loughlin and is derived from Lochlannach -the name given by the Gaels to the Scandinavian Northmen who first traded,then raided(the Vikings) and finally settled in Scotland and Ireland.So Lachlan – the Scots version – has the sense of “Scandinavian/Northman/Man from the Sea”….. Allen – is simply Alainn in Gaelic – and means lovely,beautiful or fine…and there are lots of ways of spelling this. So the sense of the names you want to use are Fine Viking or beautiful Man from the Sea…….. no major problem, use whatever name you want but remember it’s not you that has to live with it in school….

  9. We just named our son Lachlan, born in February of this year. My husband has Scottish ancestry, and I am from the UK. But we had come across the name independently of one another. There is a US actor named Lochlyn and a character in a show in OZ was named Lachlan years ago. I saw the Aussie show and my husband was familiar with the US actor.

    People tend to have a hard time pronouncing it when reading it, but always seem to like it when they finally get it! We LOVE the name, and we hope he will, too!

    Congrats to you and Archer! That’s a lovely choice of name, as well.

  10. We named our son Lachlan James, some people do have trouble pronouncing it the first time. “Lock” seems the be nickname that people are starting to use for him. And we find people do ask if it tied to heritage or something significant. Good luck on name searches it is a little daunting if you something a little less common. We are very happy with the choice!

  11. Hello!!

    My sweet little son Lachlan James was born in feb of 09. I am an Australian, who married an American and now lives in the USA. People realize right away that “lock” is an australian name. People at times do have a hard time pronouncing it, people get it right about 75% of the time. I love our little boys name is sounds strong, yet not harsh.

  12. Wow, I’m so surprised to see that I’m the third mom on here who named her son Lachlan James. I guess great minds think alike. Lachlan and his twin brother Graham Christian were born Dec. 2008. There father’s heritage is Scottish and mine is Norwegian, so Lachlan was a pretty natural choice. We also like that it was so unusual in this country, and that it was an actual name with some history behind it. For a nickname we call him Lachie and Lach (pronounced Lock) for short.

  13. We have a Lachlan David and it really suits him. He is Lachie or Lach most of the time. We are having another baby so now trying to find a boys name (we don’t know what we are having) that fits with Lachlan and a one syllable surname. Archer and Archie are very cute names! Oh and we are Australian, very popular here!

  14. Peadar Swan’s explanation of the name ‘Lachlan’ is spot on. The name Lachlan has run in my male family line for hundreds of years of which there are many forms of spelling.

    I am very proud of it. My nephew carries on the name.

  15. My husband and I just welcomed our baby boy, Locklan McClane in November. Absolutely love the name and get nothing but positive feedback about it! We chose the spelling so that it would not be mispronounced by clueless people.

  16. my sons name is lachlan, i am australian and my husband is from alabama usa, we live in the states, everyone loves the name, of course with any uncommon name there is sometimes confusion like “hello *lack-len*” and we have to tell them how to pronounce it, “no, its *lock-len*”. But its very popular with everyone we have met. Gives him a peice of my home and something unique where his daddy is from.

  17. I named my son Lochlan. I liked that spelling better and figured it would be easier for other to pronounce. I chose it because my husband and I both have first names that start with “L”, and also since the baby got his fathers Spanish last name, I wanted him to have a Scottish first name since I am Scottish. It’s a great unique name. For now at least..

  18. My son is called Lachlan Brody, and he is 14, so was a Lachie way before it turned “cool” I loved the name then, and still love it now, the only downside we have is there seem to be very few that get the correct spelling and or pronunciation, good luck naming your babies

  19. Australians in particular are so arrogant in lecturing on the pronunciation of Lachlan.
    It is a Scottish name from a small area of Argyll pronounced “Laek-luhn”. Funny that, sounds similar to how it’s spelt. There is no gaidhlig sorcery that magically transforms it into “Locklin”. My ancestors have used the name for over 700 years. It comes from the gaelic (Argyle) name Lachann.
    Lochlin or Loklin was not a scottish given name, but a place, referring to Norway or Scandanavia. It was also used disparagingly as in “sons of Lochlin” meaning pirates or raiders from there. Unfortunately sometimes grabbing a name from a different culture without delving a little deeper than a poor Wikipedia entry can be misleading.

  20. I love the name Lachlan and recently (Jan 17) had a baby boy which we named Lachlan James (James was my fathers name). I was surprised to read this thread to see other moms choose the same lovely name combination! I live in the US but first heard the name while traveling in Australia. It’s a great fit because I am also of distant Scottish heritage. I have had a few family members with negative reactions because they felt it was too uncommon or hard to pronounce but none-the-less I love the name and I’m glad we choose it for our handsome baby boy! I think it sounds strong and distinguished and will serve him well in life!

  21. My son is Lachlan, and we chose it because it is a Celtic name as well as a Norse name. It was one of a long line of Scottish lords and it carries the Heritage of the Vikings with it as well. My husband and I are both Celtic and Swedish so it has significance to us.
    The only dislike I have for the name, is that I have seen several families change the spelling and make it into a female name “Lochlynn”.

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