Baby Name Advice: What’s a Short and Sweet Boys’ Name

Reader Connie has a big baby-name dilemma: “I have read through many, many of your articles, along with searching a gazillion other baby name sites and I think I now dislike every single baby name there is.  We are due with our first child, a boy, in 6 weeks. My fiance is very laid back and thinks we will be able to come up with a name once he is born.  Which I would not be opposed to except for the fact that the names I did like, he shot down, and hasn’t come up with any suggestions himself.  So I’m seeking help.  He wants a one-syllable name, so there can’t be a nickname.  I think I could convince him of a two-syllable name that doesn’t have a nickname though, like Austin for example.  I want something a little more uncommon, but not wacky, or too trendy.  I loved the name Lucas (his grandfather’s name was Lou), but he said it rhymes with mucus….. Other names I liked were Camden and Carter.  I would love to hear some of your thoughts and suggestions!!”

Boys’ names seem to be especially hard to find—and I know that from personal experience. (We were incredibly lucky that both of our kids are girls!)

I know that Lucas was off the list, but what about Luke? It avoids the “mucus” connotation, still has the “Lou” to honor his grandfather, and is relatively popular (#39 on the U.S. popularity list), but not so popular that you’re guaranteed another one in his class.

You might also consider skipping the formal name and going right for the nickname, to avoid having your kid get a new nickname. Names like Max, Charlie and Jake, for instance, are representative of this trend.

You seem to like the hard “k” sound, so what about names like Cale, Kai, or Cole—all one-syllable, and not-so-common (but still not so weird that your kid’s going to get in playground fights). I think Tristan would be hard to nickname, and another choice that’s along the lines of Austin or Camden. Names I like that fit your parameters include Noel, Dane, Ari, Rhys, Seth, Liam and Ian.

What do you think, In Name Only readers? What other names would you suggest for Connie? And do you like any of the names we’ve come up with for Connie? Don’t forget to send me your baby-naming dilemmas at!

Photo: Question mark by PZ Designs /

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  1. by Kim

    On February 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    My baby boy’s name is Robert, but we call him Bo. We looked Robert (which is a family name) up in a baby book and it stated Bo was a variation. So…it’s stuck. I couldn’t imagine him being called anything else.

  2. by Anna {}

    On February 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Our son is Samuel but goes by Sam! Simple, classic and one syllable.

  3. by Steph

    On February 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Hello, boys names are so hard aren’t they? Some ‘just in case’ ones I’ve run past my partner are: Finn, Ty, Tyce, Mac, Gus (although I’m guessing your husband would rhyme with ‘pus’ and veto this), Kees (pronouced ‘Case’), or Drew.

    Longer boys names that are also sweet are: Xander, Johan, Isaac, Elijah, Oscar and Oliver.

    Good luck!

  4. by Diana

    On February 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Cole-my 7 yr old sons name. There is no “nickname” and it’s not traditional but not trendy either. I can see a 40 yr old Cole, that is what I thought about when naming my boys, how will the name sound when they are grown adults?
    Cole is a great name!

  5. by Whit

    On February 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    My first son is named Jaise and my second is William, Will for short.

  6. by Emma

    On February 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I named my son Dean. Not common, a little old school. We love it.

  7. by krystal

    On February 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Tait, Josh, Rogan :)

  8. by Jenine

    On February 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm


  9. by Charlotte

    On February 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Faced the same dilemma with our son- it seemed that the same 10 names were being recycled by everyone we know.

    So after a bit of initial resistance, my husband agreed to call our son Tor. Its short, strong and Nordic. He’s tall, strong and very British but one out of three isn’t bad!

  10. by Jennifer

    On February 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    My son is Darren, but you can also spell it Darin. We liked it because there isn’t a nickname. Our 2nd son is Joseph, but goes by Joe. Just two more choices for you. I’m thinking maybe Grant or Gabe if we have another boy. Eric is a good choice, too. Best of luck.

  11. by Abby

    On February 5, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    We named our son Sean. It’s just a classic, strong name and used my husband’s middle name Ryan. We weren’t set on a name either. We waited until we met him, got to know him a little and after about 3 hours of being Baby Boy we knew he was a Sean. It worked for us and our son loves his name.

  12. by Christina

    On February 5, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Jace or Dash :)

  13. by Amy

    On February 5, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    George. One syllable, and not too short, no nickname needed! Plus Saint George slayed dragons, that’s cool for any little boy!

  14. by Suzanne

    On February 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    How about the name Cade? It’s my son’s name, but we spell it Caed b/c we wanted something really different. But spelled Cade it fits the bill of original, not too popular, but not to out there (it’s in most baby name books.) And we get compliments from everyone who meets him about how cool his name is. Good Luck! Congrats!

  15. by Mel

    On February 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    How about Miles (which we selected for my son) or Milo (runner up)? Good luck!

  16. by Danielle

    On February 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Our son is named Ross … Simple, 1 syllable and people know it without it being too common.

  17. by Shelby

    On February 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    We named our son, West. I suppose you could use the name Weston and use West as a nickname, regardless, we love it! Good luck!

  18. by Jennifer

    On February 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Our 8 month old is Will. Just Will, not William.

  19. by Lindsay

    On February 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    My sons names is Tatum Ace. Everyone calls him Tate orLittleAce cause thats my feaunces nick name.

  20. by molly

    On February 7, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    what about luc or luca?