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jem finchMia wrote in to the blog a couple of months ago, wondering what kind of name would suit a sibling to her son Bugsy, whose name was chosen by his dad, Lachlan.

Mia wrote in again to say that she was considering the name Marlon for the baby if it was a boy. However, she set her heart on a girl’s name which starts with Mar-, so she abandoned the idea of calling her son Marlon.

Mia and Lachlan’s second son was born on May 22 weighing 5 lb 3oz, and at first the name Thatcher (nicknamed Ted) seemed like the right one for him. But somehow Mia was not 100% convinced that he looked like a Thatcher, and when she talked it over with Lachlan, he confessed he didn’t really love the name.

It took a couple more weeks to make the final decision, but now Mia and Lachlan are absolutely sure of his name, and he is called


little brother to Bugsy.

Mia and Lachlan like that it is short and nicknamey, easy to spell, and a regular name that won’t be a hassle, while still being just unusual enough to not stand out next to Bugsy. James is an important name on both sides of the family, so they feel that it is honouring the Jameses, although they didn’t set out to do that. Everyone loves Jem’s name, so it’s been a complete success.

Interestingly, Bugsy is a name from a movie (Bugsy Malone), while Jem is also from a movie (Jem Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird), so they seem a very well-matched pair of brothers. They’re both vintage names, and both quite boyishly cute and casual as well.

Another interesting snippet is that when readers were polled on what kind of name would go best with Bugsy, most respondents picked “A name from the 1920s/30s” – To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the 1930s.

Not only is Jem gorgeous, the rise of hip Atticus and Scout make Jem seem like an undiscovered Mockingbird name – I think people will really “get” Jem, and a couple are going to be kicking themselves they didn’t think of it first.

I love the middle name Richmond too – very sleek and handsome. It made its way onto a name list two years ago – oddly enough, it was published May 22. Spooky!

Congratulations Mia and Lachlan for choosing the perfect name for your son, and putting so much love and thought into the choice. Thanks also for showing people it’s okay to have a change of heart about your baby name, even after the baby is born.

(Photo shows Philip Alford as Jem Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird)