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Gabbi is an ex-pat Aussie originally from Perth, in Western Australia; she lives in the United States with her husband and six children. The family will be welcoming children 7, 8 and 9 in a few months, because they are expecting fraternal triplets – two boys and a girl.

Now if Gabbi had been having boy-girl twins, there would be no naming problem, because they have already chosen gorgeous names for the girl and one boy baby: Clover and Jasper.

The names fit together perfectly, because both reference the number three (Jasper was one of the three wise men, and clovers usually have three leaves), and both are associated with luck or gifts. They both bring to mind particular colours as well, because jasper stones are red, and clover is of course green; furthermore, they are both connected to special days of the year (Epiphany on January 6, and St Patrick’s Day on March 17).

Gabbi is now very concerned that the third triplet receives a name which has a special meaning of its own: even if it doesn’t fit in exactly with Clover and Jasper, it needs to be meaningful and have its own significance, rather than just being an afterthought. She would love it if the third triplet receive a name which is connected to Australian culture and celebrates Gabbi’s heritage, without being anything too obvious, like Sydney or Jack.

Other name preferences

  • Nothing too popular – one of Gabbi’s sons has a name which became very popular, and she doesn’t want that to happen again. (Gabbi actually stipulated that the name had to be outside the 300s, but I thought that was too strict, especially considering Jasper is in the 200s, so I restricted myself to names outside the Top 250).
  • Nothing too unusual that will really stick out in America – no Bluegum or Gallipoli
  • Nothing too obviously political, he’s not a bumper sticker
  • The family has a long, complicated surname, so the name needs to be simple to spell and pronounce

Names that have already been considered and rejected

  • Alister (dislikes nn Al)
  • Archer (too trendy, dislikes nn Archie)
  • Asher (too popular)
  • Finn (too popular)
  • Flynn (too connected to its namesake, Erroll Flynn)
  • Jonah (too popular)
  • Micah (too popular)
  • Miller (loves the name, but not the beer connection in the US)
  • Sawyer (too popular, too often used as a girl’s name)
  • Sayer (worries it looks “made up”)
  • Zephyr (Gabbi’s husband has vetoed as “too weird”)

The other children in the family tend to have names which are fairly popular in Australia, but underused in the United States. They are quite “cute” sounding, and even if unisex, used far more by one gender than the other.

Although Gabbi is interested to see what names I come up with, she would also love blog-readers to contribute any thoughts or ideas they have.

MY SUGGESTIONS

Felix

I think this goes with Jasper and Clover rather nicely, and is by far my top choice for Triplet Number Three. Felix means “lucky”, and Australia Felix is the name given to lush pastureland; there’s also a Great Australian Novel called Australia Felix, by Henry Handel Richardson (like George Eliot, Henry was a woman). It also reminds me of Felix the Cat, which was an Australian-American creation, and in LA, Felix the Cat is used on a three-sided sign. Although Top 100 in Australia, Felix is only #311 in the US.

Phoenix

A similar sound to Felix, but it references the colour red, which fits with Jasper. In China, the phoenix is a symbol of luck, and has great significance in terms of immortality and resurrection. The Phoenix is one of the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere, and is most visible around Christmas time – I thought this fitted in rather nicely with Jasper’s Christmassy meaning. Although quite popular in Australia, it is only #388 in the United States. However, you may be bothered by the fact that it also charts for girls in America, and possibly Phoenix the city in Arizona is also an issue for you.

Orion

This is another constellation name, one which references the number 3, because Orion is famous for having three stars in his belt, and even the absolute beginner (or a small child) can locate them easily in the night sky. Like the Phoenix, Orion is another constellation which is most visible around Christmas time. The RAAF have a plane called the Orion, while in the USA, it is the name of a ship, and a rocket. Orion seemed like a name from Greek mythology which might be less “weird” than Zephyr. It is #471 in the US.

Finlay

This seemed like an obvious alternative to Flynn and Finn, with a similar sound and origin, yet not even on the Top 1000 in the US. Because Finlay is connected to the colour white, it also seems a nice match with Jasper and Clover. There’s a rather nice connection to Gabbi’s home state as well, because Garfield Finlay was a World War I flying ace who lived in Perth, Western Australia, before the war.

Rafael

Names starting with Raf- are very much on trend in Australia, yet not over-used in the United States. This is the Spanish form of Raphael, the name of a healing archangel, and seems just as special as Jasper and Clover to me. An Australian connection is that Raphael Aimbari was an Ori man who helped Australian soldiers on the Kokoda Campaign during World War II; there is a statue of him in Brisbane. I think Rafe makes a very dashing nickname. Rafael is #274 in the US, but has been stable for some time and isn’t climbing up the way Jasper is. Raphael is #668, but seems harder to spell than Rafael.

Lawson

There are said to be three great Australian poets – Banjo Paterson, C.J. Dennis, and Henry Lawson. Banjo seems too out-there for you, and Dennis is a bit old-fashioned, but Lawson seems like a nice Australian replacement for Sawyer (both surnames, similar vowel-sounds). The surname means “son of Laurence”, and the name Laurence is connected by meaning to the bay tree, a symbol of success. It’s a subtle nature-themed name which again makes me think of a colour. It’s #580 in the US.

Shepherd

Another surname; this one reminds me of the conservation organisation, Sea Shepherd, which operates in Australia and the US. Interestingly, Sea Shepherd has three ships in its main fleet. It is a subtle environmental name, reminding us that we are all guardians of life on earth. At the same time, it’s another “Christmas-themed” name to go with Jasper. This name hasn’t been on the US Top 1000 since the 19th century.

Franklin

Another environmental namesake, because the successful fight against the proposal to dam the Franklin River in the Tasmanian wilderness was a landmark in Australian environmental activism. Aptly, the surname Franklin means “free man”, and the call of the activists was to let the Franklin River run free. This has a wonderful American connection too, because of Benjamin Franklin. It also reminds me of the word frankincense, as brought by the Three Wise Men. The name is #504 in the US, but I somehow feel the nickname Frank isn’t going to appeal to you.

Ash

This is another nature name which references a colour, and seems like a replacement for Asher. In Australia, it reminds me of the Ash Wednesday bushfires, which like the Phoenix, became another symbol of resurrection, of rising from the ashes. It also reminds me of the mountain ash, the tallest of all eucalypt trees, and one of the tallest trees in the world. Ash isn’t on the US Top 1000, but may be too unisex for you. You might consider it for a middle name though.

Talon

This is another nature name which is on trend in Australia, but underused in the United States. The main reason it occurred to me is because an eagle’s claw has three talons which are used to hold prey (the fourth is used for balance). The Wedgetail Eagle is very important in Aboriginal mythology, as Bunjil the Wedgetail Eagle is a creator deity. Of course, the Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States, making it an important symbol for both countries. Talon is #516 in the US.

Which of these names do you think is the best match with Jasper and Clover? Or maybe you have your own suggestion for Jasper and Clover’s brother. If so, let’s hear it! All ideas are welcome.

NOTE: The triplets’ names are Clover, Jasper and Ash!

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