Help us name our baby

We expect to have a new male baby on November 20th +/-. But we don’t know what to name it. Do you have any suggestions?

The person’s last name will be “Laden.” So you have to say any name suggestion you have out loud with “Laden.” For example, if you are thinking “Aden” then say:

“Aden Laden … ooops, no it rhymes, forget that.”


“Ben Laden …. ooops, news-splashed terrorist associations, forget that.”

and so on.

So…. any suggestions?

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0 thoughts on “Help us name our baby

  1. I do have a suggestion: don’t ask others what they think. Chose the name yourself.

    Now, to not be a total dick, I do recommend a procedure. There is a website called something like Start with the As and look through. It doesn’t take that long (it’s not 5 million names or anything). Write down anything that jumps out at you.

    Have your SO do the same thing, and see if there is any cross-reference. And be sure to allow unlimited unconditional vetos. Either one of you is allowed to veto any name you want for the sole reason, “I don’t like it.”

    Last piece of advice: don’t tell anyone else because the only thing that ever comes out of it is that they will judge it. It doesn’t matter what they think, yet they will feel the need to opine, “Oh, I knew someone with that name…”

    I will note your Nov 20 due date is a good day. My young offspring was, in fact, born 11/20/08. 3 weeks early, to be fair, so it wasn’t his due date, but tis his birthday nonetheless.

    Have fun!

  2. Don’t forget to include the middle name, so that you’ll know how it sounds when they’re in trouble! My daughter was named after my wife’s favorite Jane Austen novel. I managed to name our son after my favorite anime character. Inspiration is everywhere!

  3. Any interesting family names from other branches of the family tree? Some surnames can make interesting and unconventional given names. If my wife and I have a boy next time, he will be named Schrader (maiden name of a great-great-grandmother from Prussia, and middle name of my grandfather).

  4. Male: Johan or HÃ¥kan
    Female: Sofia or Svetlana

    If you want a really severe curve ball, use one spelled in another character completely, say Greek or Cyrillic.

  5. I have had a boy’s name picked out since I was married in 1978. I had only daughters so I present the name to you:
    Jacob Charles Laden

  6. Charles Darwin Laden, ‘Chas’ to his friends?

    Isaac Newton Laden, ‘Ike’ to his friends?

    BTW, check that his initials — both first-and-last and first-middle-last — are not going to be a problem. I knew a girl named Barbara, whose middle name was Ann, which she didn’t want people knowing. Barbara Ann? Cool, right? Beach Boys classic hit? Well, her last name started with a G, so her initials were BAG. She could live with BG.

  7. I named all my kids with names that have shorter versions (ie. Alexander (Alex, Al), Victoria (Vicki, Tori), and Rebecca (Becky, Reba, Becks). I gives them some flexibility later in life. (And you don’t have to use their middle name when you give them the angry adult voice)

    Richard (Rick, Ricky) Laden
    Alexander (Alex) Laden
    Maximilian (Max) Laden

    Two theories on middle names:

    1) it should be excruciatingly embarrassing, so it shows up as a middle initial only.
    2) (for a boy) should be the father’s first name

    I went with theory 2

  8. Save time and money on education by naming your child “Doctor.” You can still personalize it with a middle name, such as Doctor John Laden.”

    Think of the thousands of dollars and years of pointless study that you’ll save him. And he can still get a PhD if he wants, then he’d be “Doctor Doctor.”

  9. Consider the seldom used Edmund, which goes alright with Laden and has the added benefit of coming with the excellent and infrequently seen nickname of “Ned.”

  10. I know one baby name site was already mentioned but here are a few more (nothing like an abundance of choices to drive you crazy): (The Social Security site – very useful)

    I googled and found out Laden comes from the German (you probably know that *g*). Look through the German names and find something that works in both German and American. Perhaps honor someone in the family tree for a first or middle name. Remember to sound it out and to see if it has any “teaseable” connotations (friends named their son Duncan and when he went to school the kids called him Dunkin Donuts) and as a previous poster wrote check out the initials to make sure they don’t spell something you don’t want. A long name is good for a choice of nicknames (Alexander = Al, Alex, Alec, Xander) and a nice middle name can easily be an alternate name if the kid doesn’t care for his first one.

    Congratulations on the baby-to-come.

  11. BTW, check that his initials — both first-and-last and first-middle-last — are not going to be a problem. I knew a girl named Barbara, whose middle name was Ann, which she didn’t want people knowing. Barbara Ann? Cool, right? Beach Boys classic hit? Well, her last name started with a G, so her initials were BAG. She could live with BG.

    Absolutely! I grew up w/ an Andrea Sue Shecker. Kids can be brutal.

  12. Well, first of all, congratulations! As for the names… Making a statement seems like a good idea, but you have to realize that the boy will have to live with that statement for the rest of is life.

    Charles Darwin Laden
    A statement, but not too obvious; he can still introduce himself as “Charles D. Laden”. Then again, ‘lade’ is Dutch for ‘tray’, so you’ll be naming him CD Tray…
    George Lucas Laden
    If you’re a Starwars fan.
    Mustafa Kemal Laden
    For Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who turned founded Turkey as a modern, secular state.
    Obama Bernhard Laden
    “Obama Ben” to his friends. Will cause a lot of double takes.
    Nedal Laden
    “Nedal” is a regular name, but it’ll be a bit of a gimmick.
    Paul Zachary Myer Laden
    The poor kid!
    Jesus Laden
    Pronounced the English way, not the Spanish way.
  13. How about something like Eli Alexander Laden?

    IMO, one name should be more ‘interesting’, and another should be common. Eli Alexander gives you Eli, which is a less common but good-sounding name. But by having Alexander in the middle, if your kid doesn’t like Eli, he can always call himself Alexander, or Alex, Lex, Xander, etc…

    Or, give him 2 middle names if you really want flexibility. I just like having one name as a kind of personal touch and uniqueness, then 1 or 2 other names that can give the kid flexibility and traditionality.

  14. Always give your kid the name you plan to use for the first name. My brother and I both got the “middle name is what we are called.” The world does not work that way, and it is a royal pain in the ass.

    Now that I have given practical advice, I feel compelled to make a suggestion:
    Wells Laden

  15. By the way, whatever name you choose, don’t tell anyone until the baby is born and the papers are signed. No matter what name you bring up someone will always volunteer a serial killer or disliked celebrity of that same name, and spoil it for you. “Jeffrey? Oh, like Jeffrey Dahmer, right!” “”Glen? Oh, like Glenn Beck, I LOVE his show…”

    So come up with a name you’re definitely NOT going to use, and tell people THAT name until the real name is fixed in place. Something boring or dumb, like “Greg,” or “Bob.”

  16. You can check out the popularity of names given each year on the government social security site. It’s also good for ideas. That way you can come up with one that is not too popular if that is what you are looking for.

    signed Michele, who always had at least two or three other Michelle’s in my class, job, etc.

  17. BTW, check that his initials — both first-and-last and first-middle-last — are not going to be a problem. I knew a girl named Barbara, whose middle name was Ann, which she didn’t want people knowing. Barbara Ann? Cool, right? Beach Boys classic hit? Well, her last name started with a G, so her initials were BAG. She could live with BG.

    indeed. my name used to be abbreviated KZ; for those of you who don’t speak German, KZ = concentration camp.


  18. The number of ways to arrive at a suitable name is only limited by your imagination. As a for instance (beyond what has already been mentioned): there are quite a few language translators online â?? simply choose the attributes you wish to bestow upon your son and check out the word equivalent in Swahili, Farsi, German, Norse, Romanian, or Warlpiri (Australian Aboriginal).

    My suggestion, however, is far more mundane. Go genealogical. This will depend on your ancestral background. Iâ??m a Highlander, so my son could easily be MacRobert. In your case that would be MacGreg which doesnâ??t exactly roll smoothly off the tongue. A quick fix would be to add â??orâ? to the end and you have MacGregor (an actual clan name) which many male youths would find cool and appealing. Again, this will depend on your ethnic background as many cultures have rules for naming â??the son of.â?

    Another genealogy twist, and one that is far more common, would be to name your son from direct ancestors. Each culture has a different formula for choosing this type of moniker, so YMMV. This is a great way to arrive at a name for your son as it would give him a connection with people he has never known with which he has a direct relation. Given a modicum of research and you could introduce him to his namesakes, at an appropriate age, with a story that included history, relationship, dates, places, and whatever else you can find out about that person. My suggestion would be to choose the name of a great-grandfather or 2great-grandfather on the patrilineal side (since this child will have their Y-chromosome) and use that as the first name. Choose the maiden (last) name of a female equivalent on his maternal side, or pick a suitable maternal male relative, for his middle name.

    Please donâ??t feel that you must be restricted to just two names. If you find five strong candidates in this childâ??s family tree, why not give him all five? The first/middle/last style of naming is a fairly recent phenomenon. If you and the missus are comfortable with more then two, then go for it.

    Anyway, that’s my two-cents worth.

  19. Well, you asked for advice on a baby’s name, so I guess I’ll stick my neck out and offer Broz. I made that up, for one of the main characters in a set-in-the near future s-f novel with, Neandertals, naturally. And Broz is one of “them”. He’s also the main male character in this. Or will be eventually. Okay, okay, it’s unusual, but I think Broz Laden has a sort of “ring” to it.
    Anne G

    PS, don’t ask me for any of the names of the male characters from my Great Medieval Science Fiction Masterpiece With Neandertals — because some of them would sound, uh, medieval, others, in their original form, would probably be unpronouncealbe or awkward. So there!

  20. All things considered, my own kids are happiest with their most unusual names, least with the most common. Don’t go overboard, but strike the most common names currently in circulation. The immediate and not-too-distant collection includes an Alaric, a Miriam, a Micah, a Griffin, and a few others — all happy with theirs.

    Then again, my whole name is as signed here (yes, that’s really it) so I’m maybe not totally representative to begin with.

    With a two-syllable surname, IMHO you get pretty reasonable euphony with a two-syllable given name and a three-syllable in the middle. 3/2/2 also works (mine are 3/2/2 and 2/2/2, neither bad.)

    Don’t forget to consider diminuitives: “Benjamin” is probably a Bad Idea, and “Light Lee” would be grounds for justifiable patricide.

  21. May I humbly suggest “Logan“?

    Logan Laden, or perhaps Logan Gregory Laden, has a nice ring to it.

    Of course, you can immediately start sorting your friends and acquaintances by whether they believe it alludes to the X-Men’s “Wolverine” or to “Logan’s Run.” Only people in the latter camp (or those who don’t accuse you of such a naming method in the first place) should be retained in your social circle.

    If you like the Logan’s Run idea, you can go even further and have a baby shower with a dystopian future theme, including “soylent green” wafers served on custom paper plates commemorating the reelection of the Palin/Bachmann ticket, complete with Rush Limbaugh as Secretary of State, Bill O’Reilly as Secretary of Defense, and Glenn Beck as Secretary of Education.

  22. From Steve:

    Latent Laden
    Che Laden
    George Herbert Walker Laden (that one is dubious, although it looks good in print)
    James Tiberius Laden

    From me:
    Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Laden
    Elvis Aaron Laden
    William Jefferson Laden
    Brynnar Karl Laden
    Howlin’ Wolf Laden

    That is all.

  23. With last name Laden careful thought is needed about what he and his school friends, and family, will think of the name.

    I would choose a surname from either W or H’s ancestral line and use it for first name for this child. If the surname can have a shortened version, so much the better.

    Examples, Patterson Laden. Zwingli Laden.
    A name he can be proud of. And what about Greg for name? Too much baggage involved I guess. So consider use as middle name.

  24. Huh. Baby names are tough.

    We wrangled through both of my pregnancies for our kids’ names (we have one daughter, one son), and finally narrowed it down to two names per child; then we looked at the child after he/she was born and fortunately, both of us agreed on which of the Final Two the child should be named. The kids just LOOKED like the name we ended up picking . . . so, from a couple who just couldn’t pick one, don’t feel you have to get it all totally decided ahead of time.

    For middle names, we chose the maiden names of the grandmothers, so those family names wouldn’t die out.

    Also I second the warning of the person who said to be sure to check the initals. Congratulations, and best wishes for the health and happiness of all!

  25. No matter what you do, 20% or more of all other baby boys born the same year will have the same name. You can’t avoid it.

    Not always. One of the boys has only encountered one other person who shares his first name: his roommate a few years ago. Residential Life has a serious joker somewhere. Of course, that was the year that he acquired a new advisor, too: Dr. Sessions.

    Come to think of it, I don’t think $DAUGHTER knows anyone with the same given name as her, either.

  26. I’ve always liked the idea of naming a son after myself, but hate the idea of “junior”. My dad was the same way, so to get around it he just gave me the same initials as him – CDF. I don’t know if I’ll have kids at this point, but I think it’s an entertaining idea to have a whole line of first-born CDFs.

  27. PLEASE DON’T do what my idiot sister did. She looked at the most popular name of the year and gave it to her children. There are always 4 or 5 in each class with their names.

    PLEASE DO check the initials. I went to HS with a young man who was very proud of his name until his schoolmates learned that his initials were FAG.

    DO check the MEANING of the name, for example Claude means ‘lame’, not an association I would like for MY child.

    Don’t give a name one the top 10, but don’t give them names that will hamper their ability to be taken seriously as an adult (I talked my brother and his wife out of Holly Dawn).

    Both of my children have family names. If you want something more unique check the family surnames to see if any of them will work as a first name.

  28. Sometimes, I think, it can look poetic to have a first name that has several of the same letters as the surname, but in a different order. Such as Daniel Laden, for example.

    Alternatively, names that almost but don’t quite rhyme can work well together, as in Graham Laden, which would also have a nice ring if you and your son ever work together in a partnership of some kind. (Think of it: Greg & Graham Laden.)

    The baby naming site that I know best is

  29. Issue? 😛

    Seriously, though, are there any boy names from places in Africa you’ve lived or people in your life that you’ve admired? Other than that, I agree that Logan Laden is nice (but maybe that’s because I loved that movie).

  30. I assume Laden rhymes with “maiden”. Donald could be a good name, perhaps an exotic middle name like Wantubee. The kids can call him Don Wantubee Lade(n). It’ll be cute, and he’ll especially thank you later in life.

  31. Check the Social Security baby name web site for how popular names are and don’t choose the most popular (also check for popularity in the past to see whether it is going up or down). I second the recommendation on looking in the family tree; I got named after a several times great aunt (admittedly I think my parents chose the name first then went looking for the relative).

    Charles was the 63rd most popular boy’s name last year
    Darwin was 788th
    Richard was 107th
    Gregory was 236th (Greg alone was in the 900s)

    Alfred might be an interesting choice. The only English king ever called Great was Alfred. He was a big proponent of learning at a time when the vast majority of people including the nobles were illiterate. Not currently popular though is in the top 1000 list.

  32. Hey SC,

    it is nice and peaceful boring over at the big place without you, when are you coming back??

    Hey babe!

    You’re sweet. I don’t know. I miss y’all (I see Sven passed along my greetings) and have been lurking, but don’t have the energy to deal with registration right now. I see why he needed to do it, though.


  33. i’ve always been fond of julian and lately grayson (en/an/in/).

    but don’t listen to us! have a short list of 2 or 3 and let the baby “tell you” when you meet him.

    my only stern advice is don’t choose something that no one can pronounce (or that includes utterly unnecessary hyphens and random apostrophes), be thinking of when teachers do roll call, or you doom the child to a miserable grade school experience. not to mention that possible future employers may be nervous to “call back” persons with unpronounceable names for fear of embarrassment and skip to the next candidate….

  34. No name that could also be a noun or an adjective. Maybe it’s because I’m from Oregon and far too many of my childhood friends were born on communes, but I know far too many kids with names like “Elm” and “Granite”. I had a camper named “Justice.” Whenever I was in line behind her at the dining hall, it was all I could do to not say “Justice has been served” whenever she got her food.

    I’d also eliminate any creative name spelling. I know a Destyny, and a Bryttnee… unnecessary ‘y’s.

    With all that said, if you must have a noun, I’m rather partial to Robin for boys and girls, but that breaks the rhyme rule. I think Zachary is a great name, and Christopher and Anthony. And Johnathan is overused, but I think that “John Laden” has a nice ring to it.

  35. Congrats! Hope things go well with the delivery. I like James, Charles and Alexander. Unfortunately they get shortened to Jim, Charlie, or worse Chuck (ugh, upchuck). Alex is pretty cool though.

  36. Congrats on the baby. I’m a lurker but I’ll comment on this one. I think the name Eric would fit well with Laden. It means ruler or prince in old Norse.

    Or you could go exotic and use Tiago. 🙂

  37. Spark Ofourloins Laden, Sparky for mates …

    Vermiscious Canid Laden, too much fun with that one …

    Preponderance Freethought Laden, not as bad as Endeavor Morse…

    Dawkins Ingersoll Laden, that THAT is cool.

    May the child live long and prosper!

    Best Regards to all.

  38. I named my son Ursus. Had a dream about a fairly tall, strong and blond grouch after the sex test and ultrasound, and in the morning hours that name somehow seemed to fit.
    Yes, he is blond, 6″ taller than me and grouchy if stroked the wrong way.

  39. @PixelFish
    You favor names from the Vorsigan Saga series of books by Lois McMaster Bujold. She is my favorite author for character development.

  40. I’ve always been fond of the African “Anansi”. Rich mythology, rare enough, and “Anansi Laden” doesn’t sound half bad. I would name my kid that (if I have one in future) except it doesn’t work with my last name 🙁

  41. I’ve always been fond of Caxton. (Joking)

    I think William is a nice name because it is versatile. The kid can choose what he wants to be called. But my favorite fun name for a boy is Mack. It’s pretty cute on a little baby. Perhaps as a nickname?

  42. James Tiberius. No other first and middle name spells awesome like those two.

    Or you can do like I did and nameify your wife’s maiden name. Its cool, the inlaws love it, and its a good story.

  43. I wanted to name at least one of my sons ‘Sacheverell’ after a P.G.Wodehouse character. My wife refused to let me. Can’t understand why. As it is, we have two sons, Kenneth Alexander Tristan (aka Alex), and Mitchell Elliot. Note:- we have a single syllable surname, so they scan reasonable well.

    Kenneth is a kind of traditional name I wanted to continue, against the protests of MrsC. My grandfather, father and oldest brother all had it as a first name, although my father and brother were both known by their second names.

  44. You also need to think of how it will look reversed, as there may be times when their name is read or called that way. For instance, ‘Sally’ may not be a suitable name if you had a daughter

  45. I saw it in the comments already, so I 2nd Sebastian.

    Sebastian Schuyler
    Gregory Sebastian

    Avoid names beginning with a vowel, so that monogramming wedding presents will be easier.

  46. I offer you: Laszlo

    It is so obscure it wasn’t on the top 1000 popularity list for the last 9 years. A beautiful name, but Laszlo Laden? Oh well…

  47. Congratulations!

    I think Pablo’s advice about picking a name yourself via a website is very good. Especially the part about unlimited veto power for you both.

    And I like the advice about avoiding nontraditional spellings. Otherwise you will have set your child up for a lifetime of having to spell his name to everyone. Ditto the whole “second name is what you are called” BS. We have someone in the family who did that and we always thought they were pretentious. (This just confirmed it.)

    Having said all that, I have always liked traditional names, and my current #1 for boys is Daniel. Which pairs nicely with many middle names, including “Charles.”

  48. Good heavens, Greg, surely this is obvious. You should name your son Charles (your wife’s family name) Laden.

    My motivation in naming Boy Twin, my only son, was a little different, because my late father’s name was Charles, and I use my birth name. (Boy Twin, now almost 16, has my husband Mr. Science’s last name, of course, not yours! Girl Twin has my last name, which confuses the hell out of everyone.) But it certainly didn’t hurt that my dad shared Darwin’s first name. Kind of a two-fer in terms of legacy, I thought. Pity that Boy Twin plans to be an astronomer rather than a biologist; I keep giving him Dawkins, Shubin, and Coyne to read, so perhaps I’ll divert him.

    My son really likes his name, and in fact insisted at the age of four that he be addressed as Charles, not Charlie. My father, who died several years before the twins were born, felt the same way.

  49. Guilt Laden? or is that too Catholic?

    There is a time in ever boy’s life when he has wanted to say “Danger is my middle name”. So whatever first name you choose, let Danger be his middle name.

  50. I was always partial to Welsh names, so how can I resist throwing a few out there? The nice thing about them is that they’re usually quite unusual (or very unusual), but you can usually give a common nickname in case a child doesn’t want to be called by an uncommon name.

    Emrys (immortal)
    Liam (protection)
    Conor (strong will)
    Gareth (gentle)
    Padraig (noble)
    Dylan (son of the sea)
    Rhys (enthusiasm, ardour, passion)
    Tristan (tumult)
    Dewydd (beloved) (pronounced “Day-with,” it is the Welsh form of David)

    Seth and Sean are nice, too, though both have Biblical meanings (that is, if you care about meanings).

  51. What little boy wouldn’t want to grow up with the name Tyrannosaurus Rex Laden? (Possibly a boy with tragically stunted arm growth, but that’s not probable in this case, is it?)

  52. Ares.

    It has served me well — although it ended up misspelled on my passport as “Aris”; I prefer the original spelling, but either will do.

    Since Ares was the Greek god of war, it is appropriately masculine, unchristian, irreverent and sacrilegious — I shocked many a priest when he realized I was named after a mythological god. It’s also easy and short and immune to teasing mispronunciations — we had considered “Aeneas” for my son, but immediately realized how similar it was to “anus.”

    Whatever you end up with, congratulations!

  53. When my brother and his wife were expecting, they had severe difficulty choosing a name. The problem is that they are both school teachers. Every name they could imagine reminded them of some insufferable little suburban brat that one of the other of them had been forced to endure long enough to hate their very name. As always, girls names are easy compared to boy’s names, too, and they were having a boy.

    What they settled on illustrates what I think is a useful rule to keep in mind when choosing a name, particularly if you want unique-but-not-unusual, a hard target to hit, to be sure. That rule is that the best new first names are old last names. This goes double for girls, of course, but also holds for boys.

    So in your case I would recommend going a different way, and rather than shy away from the quasi-relevance of ‘Laden’ as a last name, embrace it, and combine it with the last-name rule. Obama Laden. 😀

  54. I don’t understand why everyone seems to assume there will be a middle name. Who needs a middle name, really? I don’t have one, neither do my siblings or probably my father’s entire family. On my mother’s side, everyone has one, but it’s never used, to the extent that my mother keeps forgetting those of her brothers and sisters!

    Middle initials seem like a 20th-century American obsession to me (just like the bizarre custom of using surnames as given names… yes, it occurs in England, too, though not that much). They’re not something universal in Western culture.


    I don’t think anyone can be named Richard anymore, now that the word dick is so widespread. Little children tend to jump on that sort of thing.


    Naming someone after Atatürk is a choice with ideological consequences. We’re talking about a rather dictatorial and generally unpleasant character here. There’s a certain amount of official cult of personality around him in Turkey, and when he introduced surnames (which hadn’t existed before), he made up Atatürk — “father of the Turks” — for himself.


    Well, you asked for advice on a baby’s name, so I guess I’ll stick my neck out and offer Broz. I made that up

    No, you didn’t.

    I mean, you did, but only because you didn’t know it already exists. I offer Josip Broz Tito, the communist dictator of Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1980.

    It comes from Ambrose, you know, the saint, the church father.


    Then again, my whole name is as signed here (yes, that’s really it)

    WTF. You’ve got periods in your name?!?

    <picking up jaw from floor>


    Examples, Patterson Laden. Zwingli Laden.
    A name he can be proud of.

    Patterson? Colin Patterson of Patterson & Rosen 1977? Don’t know any other Pattersons. 😐

    Zwingli, on the other hand, was an unpleasant religious zealot. If you don’t belong to his church, he’s not something to be proud of. And besides, how many of you English-speakers can even pronounce a word that begins with [tsv]?!? That’s right, three consonants in a row, and that particular row doesn’t exist in English. I know people who were hardly capable of imagining that a word could begin even with just [ts]…


    I think the name Eric would fit well with Laden. It means ruler or prince in old Norse.

    Wrong. It means “honor-rich” or “honor-king”. (Compare German Ehre, “honor”.)


    I wanted to name at least one of my sons ‘Sacheverell’ after a P.G.Wodehouse character. My wife refused to let me. Can’t understand why.


    1) It sounds like made up. In fact, it is.
    2) Don’t you find it sounds ugly? Or am I misinterpreting how the “sach” part is pronounced?
    3) After a fictional character that most people don’t know? What for? That’s like an inside joke. I mean, I happily wear my “I support Scientific Triassicism” T-shirt at scientific conferences, but not otherwise in public, because just about nobody would get it.


    I offer you: Laszlo

    That’s László. Á is a long French-style [a], ó is a long French-style o like in beau, sz is simply [s] (because s alone would be “sh”)… in short, outside of Hungary almost nobody can figure out how to pronounce it. Stress on the first syllable (like in all Hungarian words).

    Apparently it’s what happened when Vladislav ( = “rule” + “glory”) got squeezed into the rather restrictive Hungarian sound system.

    Nickname: Láci, where c is [ts].


    I like Carl also but my suggestion would be Rhys. It’s a nice welsh name and sounds nice when you say it with Laden.

    You don’t know what it sounds like in the original Welsh, don’t you? Hint: it’s not “rice”, and it’s not “riss”…


    Padraig (noble)

    Hang on a second. It’s the same thing as Patrick; it comes from Latin Patricius, which is the adjective to pater, which in turn means “father” in the sense of “senator from an ancient noble family”.

    It doesn’t mean “noble” or anything in Welsh.

    Dewydd (beloved) (pronounced “Day-with,” it is the Welsh form of David)

    I thought the Welsh form of David was Dafydd? (Less crazy than it looks: f is pronounced [v] — to get [f] you need ff –; y is [É?]; dd is the English th sound of the, this, that, but not the one of thick, thin, which is spelled th in Welsh.)

    Of course, David means “beloved” or something similar in the original Hebrew.

    It wasn’t a good idea to explain the pronunciation with “with”, because that’s a word some people pronounce with one th sound, others with the other!


    Oh yeah… a suggestion…

    What about Thomas? How popular is that at the moment?

    – The apostle, who didn’t believe without evidence.
    – Thomas Henry Huxley.
    – Everyone who works on tyrannosaurs (I kid you not).

    – Might be too common. Might even be way too common.
    – Taken literally, it means “twin”, which is just silly. But few people know Aramaic-distorted-into-Greek, so that’s probably not something to seriously worry about.
    – St. Thomas Aquinas, who is singlehandedly responsible for most of Catholic dogma by interpreting it in the “light” of the carefully picked worst parts of Aristotelian philosophy. That includes gems like the “explanation” of transubstantiation as the thing being exchanged while its properties are not…


    BTW, my name is rare where I come from (about 2 in a school of 500 children), but neither extremely rare nor old-fashioned (it has always been equally rare). I was teased a lot in school, for no less than 8 years without interruption, but never because of my name.

    BTW, my name was deliberately chosen to be international. It doesn’t work in China, but pretty much everywhere else.

  55. I am better at names you SHOULDN’T use.

    Like the Guilt Laden mentioned above.

    DON’T use the following:

    Burden Laden
    Grief Laden
    Rich Laden
    Brains Laden
    Cool Laden
    Whelp Laden
    Marma Laden

  56. I always suggest “Vincent.” Classic, simple, elegant, can be nicknamed or not, not nearly enough of them outside Italy.

    Separately, while you’re checking initials and last-name-first combinations, remember email addresses as well.

    Two common ways in which companies automatically create emails are First Initial-Last Name (the Brenda Utthead problem) or by running the entire name together with no punctuation (the Thomas Sholes problem). (that said, “vladen@—-” has a certain geek coolness to it. 🙂 )

  57. My own son is named Tyler Wolfgang. I suggest the name Evolution Laden. If a boy they can be called Evo or a girl could be called Eve.

  58. No matter what you pick for the first name, the middle name should be Tiberius. Rationalize it as a tribute to Nero or to James T. Kirk, your choice.

    Oh, speaking of which, Kirk Cameron Laden is streng verboten.

  59. Stick with fairly common, classic names for boys: Michael, Daniel, Thomas, James, Gabriel, Patrick, Anthony, William, David etc. You can add a more unusual middle name if you want. Don’t make up or misspell a name, and don’t name him Trip, Track, or Truck or after a city or your favorite sports team:-)

    Your son will thank you for giving him a name nobody laughs at and everyone can pronounce, and also does not date him to the year of all the Jasons, or Madisons, or Brents!

  60. Oh this is fun! Congratulations!

    I have a long list of boys’ names I think are handsome:
    Troy, Fletcher, Damien, Wesley, Allaric, Jasper, Mason…

  61. I *love* the name Silas, but we won’t be able to use it for our own kid because it rhymes with our last name. You’re more than welcome to it. That and other suggestions:

    Silas Laden
    Saul Laden
    anything beginning with Ed-, i.e. Edmund, Edwin, Edgar, Edward
    Elijah Laden

    Middle names are overrated. Who actually needs them?

  62. My biggest criteria for settling on a name was it had to be uncommon. I grew up with an uncommon name and I think it served me well.

    For boys I like names that are slightly off the wall, but not too far. We picked Zander for ours. If I had another boy I’d want to name him Oz. or Harley. Harley would be good for a girl, too. Those are my suggestions.

    Don’t tire yourself out trying to choose something that other kids won’t make fun of. There is no way to out think all of the children he’ll come in contact with. Doesn’t matter what you come up with, children will still be cruel on occasion. Better to teach him resilience. 🙂

  63. Go to or to explore names you like.

    Names I like: Sebastian, Charles, Jasper, Theodore, Louis, Archie, Eli, Ezra, Arthur, Felix, Winslow, Graham

  64. Havoc (e.g. Havoc Pennington) has always struck me as cool. 🙂
    There are so many cool scientist names (and last names that could be first names).

  65. What? Nobody’s suggested this yet?

    Ned Al Laden

    For long forms (used only on paperwork) this gives you a rather large range of choices:

    Edward Alaric
    Edmund Alastair


    — One tradition has always been to choose names related to any relative who might leave a significant estate to a namesake.

    — If that seems to uncertain or candidates are lacking, you might create a new tradition and, perhaps anonymously and deniably, put the naming decision up for sale on, say, eBay, with a minimum bid set at whatever your family would consider tolerable.

    Short of attracting the attention of some really rich wacko, this should work out OK. And if you did, well …. hmmmmm …

  66. My paternal grandfather was named Herod. He didn’t have to worry about being mistaken for others with the same name: there’s something to be said for that.

  67. 1. like names that are not uncommon, but out of sync with generations, so a Paul or Philip or Edward would be familiar, but not have three others with the same name in each class.

    2. Do you want him to go by a nickname? My family did not have names that were easily shortened (except for brother David, but that almost doesn’t count) and I figured if we chose a name we liked, it ought to be the one we used. So both my kids have names that don’t usually have nicknames.

    3. November 20th is a great day to be born -it’s my son’s birthday, and coincidentally, the birthday of an uncle with whom he shares a (middle) name! Oh, and I like passing on the middle name of a male relative- father, grandfather, etc.

  68. Hmm…I am personally rather fond of family names, which can work out nicely even if you don’t like your families. Nothing provides a good chuckle, like changing [whichever family member you don’t like]’s messy diaper. And it still provides a chuckle if you do.

    Alternatively, there is Nitzsche Laden – guaranteed to make him or worse, her hate you when it comes time to learn how to write his/her name. Or there is Ambrose, always a good one for the boys, or Hesper for girls, as neither is likely to be shared by anyone else in school and both are easy to spell and pronounce.

    Of course, I think DuWayne would be a great boy name – but that’s just me…

  69. Greg, my $0.02:

    I understand the child will be male, so I restrict my comments to that sex (mostly).

    Avoid all previously-considered last-names, especially trade names (Baker, Cooper, Fletcher, etc.) Very pretentious. No city names: Please no more Madisons.

    Avoid pretention: No Schuylers, please, pretty-please. Please everyone exterminate the name Schuyler.

    Avoid the current popular names. Do the research to know what they are (and were for the last few years) and avoid at all costs. (If I meet another middle-schooler named Alexandra, I’m going to vomit.) Don’t give the little guy a permanent tag that says “born in 2009!” Ryan: The thought of it gives me the shivers. Ryan is listed in the dictionary under the word: Overdone.

    Always check the configuration of the initials as well as the spoken form of the full name. (Don’t go for Ned Frederick Laden for instance — not to mention the “Ned Fred” thing.)

    No Initial Initials! L. Franklin Laden violates the rule against pretention.

    The Bible is a good source for names (it’s not much good for anything else!) Some of the OT male names are solid: Caleb, Jared, Isaac, Jesse, Nathan, Seth, (David of course). Though giving a Biblical name may give the wrong impression to strangers. Some are also currently popular or may violate the rule against pretention. (Not Joshua or Jason, please.)

    No more Braden, Brandon, Brendan, Brennan, or the rest of that tribe. Gak!

    I suggest Darwin as a middle name. (I went through school with a Darwin; but I think it was a family name: His parents were “serious” Xians.)

    Another suggestion on the middle name: If his mother has a pleasant or interesting family name, that would make a nice middle name. It also preserves both of your family names into the next generation.

    I think Gregory would be a superb choice for first name. Manly, strong, not too long, shorts to Greg, reflects the family history (which I prefer over non-family names.) Just don’t make him a “junior:” Choose a different middle name from yours.

    I suggest Carl as a first name. Echos of Carl Sagan, one of my heros. Short, simple, less common than Charles. Easy to shout.

    My suggestion: Carl Darwin Laden

    There does not seem to be an instantly-recognizable acronym out there: CDL.

    (And for female names I like: Sophia, Charlotte, Alyssa, Michelle, Isabella, Camille, Claire …)

    (I once worked with a Welshman whose daughters are Guinevere and Rhiannon. Since he was Welsh, it seemed legit. They were beautiful girls too: They suited the names.)

  70. Hmm… Depending on how you pronounce your name different ones might work:

    Theory Laden or Value Laden

    Or Theo Rhe Laden
    or Val Eu Laden

    or Knorm Laden

    If you are mathematically inclined,

    Van Der Laden Or Vander Laden has a nice ring to it

    If you’re into music and/or viniculture, you could try naming your son Montgomery or

    Monty Laden

    Nabokov fans would prefer

    Laden Laden

    I kind of like Darwin Laden (but not Charles Darwin Laden)

    If you wish him success in personal relationships, consider

    Sewall Laden

    Since Ben Laden does not work, you could try

    Finn Laden, or

    Alexander B. Runi Laden

    or Al-Laden, for short

    or Shalom Al Laden

    Since his birthday will be around Thanksgiving, you can name him

    Turk Laden
    or Kran Barry Laden
    or Jamal Laden

    Whatever you do, do not name him Harmon.

  71. I’m a fan of unique or rare names. My suggestion is “Chevis”. I don’t know about a middle name, but I’ll leave that up to someone else. So, there’s my 2 cents.

  72. Whatever you do, don’t name him Bobby Joe any other names with the initials BJ… please? (Though some would say we don’t have enough BJs in this world…)

  73. Oops. Forgot Thomas Paine among the advantages of Thomas (in a comment written 8 hours ago that is currently in moderation).

    I recommend against Cato, who was a grumpy arch-conservative aristocrat. The Roman republic is overrated, it was more of an aristocracy than a democracy.

    I also recommend against Tristan. It sounds so sad to me (Latin, Romance languages; e. g. French triste = “sad”). Always (mistakenly) thought it had to be a melancholic character, fitting the lack of a happy end to that story.

    Alternatively, there is Nitzsche Laden – guaranteed to make him or worse, her hate you when it comes time to learn how to write his/her name.

    Let me start with it right now: it’s Nietzsche with a long [i] (“ee” sound), not a short one.

  74. Names leftover from our baby name deliberations:


    Marek (Polish for Mark)


    Laurent (okay a little alteration here but that’s not necessarily bad)


  75. I spent many years as a preschool teacher and have come across some real atrocities, e.g. Lyric Neveah (pronounced nuh-VEY-uh; it’s Heaven spelled backwards), Korea Blue, and Zaden (seriously? they can just take the -aden and add anything to it these days).

    I’ve always thought if I had a little one myself that I’d name him after my favorite student of all time:


    Of course, I’m also a huge Nimoy fan, so that may have something to do with it.

    Side note: I think most of the worst names are girl names. Boy names are easy if you avoid the -aden travesty.

  76. I have a friend that just named his new daughter “Poly Math”. Pretty normal as a first name, but clever together. Granted, his parents named him “Scot Free”.

  77. Don’t pick Amon Ray.
    Or what the heck, why not?
    Mommy keeps a green gypsum cast of His likeness upon her cabinet. Still, there’s that lemonade connection.
    Maybe Buch? Or Shoo?
    Util? (Probably not too good in Denmark, or Greenland…)

  78. Now that my comment is up (number 115), I can see that I forgot one more Thomas advantage: Jefferson.

    I can also see what utterly stupid things happen when I don’t write the paragraphs in chronological order — the last two both begin with “BTW, my name”. ARGH! <headdesk>

    There is a time in ever boy’s life when he has wanted to say “Danger is my middle name”.

    That’s true for many, but not every single one. I think nerds like me are fairly common exceptions.

    And now I’ll go to bed before I get tempted to read the other half of I don’t want to stay up all night… 😀 😀 😀

    Oh, one more thing: I don’t associate Logan with anything, so the first thing that pops up in my mind is Hulk Hogan. Is it just me, or will teasing schoolchildren get the same idea?

  79. Boba Fett? Fett is German for fat. (Still a mystery to me why the translators left that name alone. They drew the line somewhere in the books, at the planet Kessel — “kettle” –, which was turned into Kossal.)

    Lyric Neveah

    Nivea is a cosmetics company…

  80. Just putting my two cents in, I would go with one or more of the following:

    Shevek (The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin anyone?)
    I helped my ex-girlfriend name her son, a beautiful little boy named Loki, the only problem is he’s living up to the name a little TOO well.

    As I said before, just a few names I’ve always liked, and no matter the name, my best wishes go to your family as is and the new addition to the world yet to be named.

  81. I meant to add this one to the list above, as I assume you will be raising a little skeptic:


    Again, my best wishes for your family.


  82. OOOHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I LOVE #146, Peter’s suggestion!!!!

    Linux Laden!!!! Guaranteed he will absolutely HATE you and probably turn into a Luddite to boot…But…BUT…It’s LINUX!!!!

    And we all know that unlike Windows fanatics and Mac fanatics, Linux people aren’t the least bit irrational about it…

  83. @#115 – David MarjanoviÄ?

    not made up – and yes you probably are mispronouncing the first syllable – note, emphasis is on the second syllable.

    Sacheverell â?? Pronounced â??sash-ev-er-ellâ??: transferred use of the surname, apparently originally a baronial name of Norman origin (from an unidentified place in Normandy believed to have been called Saute-Chevreuil, meaning â??roebuck leapâ??). It was made familiar as a given name by the writer Sacheverell Sitwell (1897â??1985), who was named in honour of his ancestor William Sacheverell (1638â??91), a minor Whig statesman.

    it can be ‘Sacha’ for short (pronounced sasha)

  84. Wow, Greg, this was a popular post. I admit that I didn’t read all the comments, but as someone else whose last name starts with an “L,” I wanted to remind you not to pick a name that ends with an “s” sound. This would rule out Chris and Max.
    You don’t want your kid to go through life with people slurring together his first and last names so listeners can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. In my youth, I worked at the phone company where my first name was “Miss,” so I know whereof I speak.

  85. Always give your kid the name you plan to use for the first name. My brother and I both got the “middle name is what we are called.” The world does not work that way, and it is a royal pain in the ass.

    Then again, I have an old adviser that goes by his middle name. He always considers it an advantage, because whenever someone contacts him and uses his first name, he knows it is someone he doesn’t know.

    Oh, and BlueMonday (#157), Greg has the advantage that he (or his wife) can’t be seduced by the “#aiden” syndrome. Zaden is a little more rare, but yeah, apparently you can pretty much put anything in front of aiden these days (including nothing). So you see

    and now Zaden


  86. Middle name: Godfrey

    “___ GODFREY LADEN, GET OVER HERE!” has a nice ring to it when the kid’s in trouble. And “___ G. Laden” doesn’t sound bad, and after all, the kid will be born atheist, won’t he?!? 😉

    -Rusty *thinks it’s sometimes cruel to name kids for a parents’ PUNny moments, but sometimes they deserve it, too*

  87. Just some ideas to give Godfrey a test drive:

    Daniel Godfrey Laden (DGL, Daniel G. Laden, Dan Laden, Danny Laden)

    Christopher Godfrey Laden (CGL, Christopher G. Laden, Chris Laden)

    Alexander Godfrey Laden (AGL, Alexander G. Laden, Alex Laden, Al Laden)

    Richard Godfrey Laden (RGL, Richard G. Laden, Rich Laden, Dick Laden)

    Eric Godfrey Laden (EGL, Eric G. Laden, Eric Laden)

    William Godfrey Laden (WGL, William G. Laden, Will Laden, Willy Laden(!), Bill Laden(!!) {Oh, goodness. If the ladies like him, they might call him Willy Laden in private girl talk, or Wiggle from his initials! ROFL That’s almost too good to resist!)

    Christian Godfrey Laden (CGL, Christian G. Laden, Chris Laden) (Mock name on this one… sorry 🙂 )


  88. @115 “WTF. You’ve got periods in your name?!?”

    This isn’t that uncommon. In (at least, that I know of) Texas and Oklahoma, this was a pretty typical thing to do a few decades ago. My grandfather’s first “name” was T.P. (I always wondered why my mom had my grandpa on the shopping list…) and his surname was all of 3 letters… so his entire name fit on a license plate, without the periods, but with spaces between. My great uncle was named O.O., which was pronounced “Double Oh”. This still goes on at least a bit, but i think it’s not nearly as common as it once was. My father got names for the T. and P. so he was named for his dad, but had a distinct identity.

    For our kids (one of each type, and another on the way) we’ve so far gotten away with family names: Great-grandmas on each side for the girl’s names (Evelyn Rosemarie), and a grandpa and great grandpa (one from each side of the family) for the boy (Timothy Robert). Everyone’s happy. One thing I’m glad of is that everyone we named them after is dead, so there’s no confusion about which one was drooling in their own lap.

  89. Our son arrived and we didn’t like any of the names we had on our short list. We eventually started going through the names of U.S. presidents for a laugh. While suggesting naming him “Taft” or “Hoover” was funny, we actually wound up naming him Lincoln. Short name Link (or Linc) which is good if you like the Legend of Zelda games.

    Lincoln Darwin Laden. Gives him the same initials as low density lipoprotein.

  90. Thomas is a great name and carries a wonderful legacy. I have a great affection for “Tom”, too. I read Tom Swift as a child, and it’s a family name. Sounds all masculine and whatnot, but not in a horrible MCP patriarchal way. Upscale all-boy, maybe, with an intellectual twist from Jefferson and a science-y twist from Tom Swift.

    If Mr. Science and I had spawned another boy child, we might have named him Atticus. What a hero Scout’s dad was.

    But I guess we would have had to nickname the little booger, and “Atty” sure as hell wouldn’t cut it. “Ace”, maybe. I like Ace; sounds like somebody from the Roaring Twenties. But maybe that wouldn’t be too great for somebody who’s bred to geekdom, as all our offspring are.

    But we might have added John for Mr. Science’s father, and called the male-spawn “Jack”. Now there is The Coolest Guy’s Name Ever. Yes indeed, that would have been our choice.

    Which reminds me, be sure to think about horrible nicknames that other people might be likely to impose on your son. Or maybe not so horrible, just common and not to your liking.

    A good guide for things to think about, which provides much the same info as “Baby’s Named a Bad, Bad Thing” in a very concise, but unfortunately not at all humorous or snarky, way here (somebody may have mentioned this upthread, but I’m in preview mode):

  91. (1) Use diacritics (consult Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Czech, Polish, Vietnamese, Turkish, and Romanian dictionaries), (2) substitute letters by numbers (use 5 instead of s, 1 [one] instead of l [ell]), (3) use mathematical symbols (e.g., integral sign for S, + for t), (4) use punctuation marks, (5) write the name from right to left (as in Hebrew) or from top to bottom (as in Japanese), (6) incorporate letters from the Hebrew, Arabic and Cyrillic alphabets, (7) use capital letters and lower-case letters in “wrong” positions, (8) ingest some LSD before deciding on the final name.

  92. Rusty (AKA My Man Godfrey) said: “Oh, goodness. If the ladies like him, they might call him Willy Laden in private girl talk, or Wiggle from his initials!”

    Works for me. Boy Twin and Girl Twin were “Wiggle” and “Giggle” when they were little.

  93. @33 watching for initials:
    get a double name
    first name starting with an S
    second staring with a T

    S.T. Laden

    instant holy man:

    St. Laden

  94. Sacheverell â?? Pronounced â??sash-ev-er-ellâ??: transferred use of the surname, apparently originally a baronial name of Norman origin (from an unidentified place in Normandy believed to have been called Saute-Chevreuil, meaning â??roebuck leapâ??). It was made familiar as a given name by the writer Sacheverell Sitwell (1897â??1985), who was named in honour of his ancestor William Sacheverell (1638â??91), a minor Whig statesman.

    Ugly distortion in both spelling and pronunciation.

    it can be ‘Sacha’ for short (pronounced sasha)

    That’s a bonus point, but you get the same effect from just Alexander…

    “WTF. You’ve got periods in your name?!?”

    This isn’t that uncommon. In (at least, that I know of) Texas and Oklahoma, this was a pretty typical thing to do a few decades ago.

    Oh. I know an L.J. from, I think, Texas who had that on his conference nametag. I thought his names were just too embarrassing to mention (LaRouche Jayden perhaps…?) and/or liked the sound of “elljay”, but maybe that’s not the case…

  95. Ulysses Norman Laden
    Phillip Edgar Laden

    but seriously: pick your own name – every baby is unique. You’ll know his name when you look at him.

  96. First of all I would like everybody to know the name Laden`s meaning. I am from Cyprus and in Turkish language Laden is a flower name. And for your baby boy I like the names Keiran, Jensen and Rowen.

  97. In case you have not decided yet. What about all the musical greats?

    Bob Dylan Laden
    Jimmy Hendrix Laden
    The Rolling Stones Laden

  98. Too funny. The Baby Boy Laden coming in December in Kentucky is nameless too! We’ve been calling him Cletus the Fetus because we can’t decide. We have some front runners – but nothing permanent. Maybe we should discuss so we don’t end up with two of the same born within a month of each other!

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