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Ashleigh and her husband Dylan are expecting a boy next month, but are having trouble picking names.

The first hurdle they hit is that Ash really likes the name Duke, but from reading this blog, she found that titles are not permitted as names in Australia. However, she also read that the name was cleared for use by Births, Deaths, and Marriages in New South Wales a few years ago, so now she’s confused as to whether it’s permitted in other states. Ash and Dylan are from Queensland, so the first thing Ash wants to know is: can be they use the name Duke if they want to?

They would like a baby name that isn’t too common and plain, but on the other hand, not too crazy either. Ash and Dylan both like the name Huxley, which they think is very cute for a little kid, but they are not sure if it’s a good name for an adult.

Top names on Ash and Dylan’s baby list

Ash likes the names Nelson, Walker, Samson, and Rome, but Dylan has vetoed these. Meanwhile, Dylan likes Hunter and Parker, but Ash has said no to them.

The baby’s middle name will be Corey, and Ash and Dylan already have a daughter named Imogen, so they would like something that sounds nice with that. They have a one-syllable surname that ends with an N.

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I have some good news for you. I wrote to Queensland Births, Deaths, Marriages and Divorces in regard to the name Duke, and they were kind enough to reply. They said the name Duke has been registered in Queensland before, and that most of the baby Dukes were named after a particular movie character. I wonder if this is Duke from the GI Joe movies, recently played by Channing Tatum?

I thought this might be a little hint that these babies were named after a person named Duke, not the title, and if you were queried, it might be helpful to say that baby Duke’s name was inspired by a particular person (real or fictional) called Duke that made you like the name.

You’re lucky to live in Queensland, which has a very relaxed attitude towards names, and it is rare for names to get rejected. So that puts Duke back on your name list.

I think Huxley is a great name, and I like the way it sounds with your surname. Huxley has that cool X sound in it, and the Huxley family gives it a bit of intellectual glamour. There’s even an Australian connection to the name because of the physicist Leonard Huxley, and T.H. Huxley did some valuable work here, too. I love Imogen and Huxley together, but Huxley Corey is perhaps not the greatest-sounding. It does remind me of another brainy name – Edison, and Edison Corey sounds quite nice.

Probably the only reason you have trouble picturing the name on an adult is because you don’t know any grown ups named Huxley. If you look through the Australian birth records, there were men named Huxley in the past, and most of them lived long lives, and worked and got married and had children, and did all the usual things. Once the babies named Huxley grow into adults, it will seem completely normal.

I love the name Jarvis, and I think this sounds nice with Imogen, and works with the middle name and surname as well. Australian writer Suzi Catchpole has an article up at Nameberry on names with “swagger and sass”, and Jarvis is on that. I wonder if any other of her hip baby names appeal to you?

Ezra really stands out to me on your list, because it’s the only one that isn’t originally a surname. If I had to pick the one name that sounds best with Imogen, it would be Ezra. Imogen and Ezra sound very cool, to my ears.

There’s only one name on your name list that I really don’t think works, and that’s Lennon. It just doesn’t sound right with your surname at all, and every time I try to say it, I end up saying “lemonade”. It also sounds a little bit like a Beatles song …. Another musical name that could work would be Hendrix.

So that’s basically my thoughts – yes you can use Duke, I love Huxley, I think Jarvis sounds best with your surname and chosen middle name, and I think Ezra is the best match with Imogen. All the other names sound fine to me, except Lennon, which unfortunately doesn’t go with your surname. That’s the only one that I would definitely cross off your list.

But how are you feeling about your name list, now that Duke is up for discussion? Could it be your top choice? Or maybe you can see yourselves using Huxley after all?

UPDATE: The baby’s name was Vincent!

POLL RESULTS: The public’s choice for the baby’s name was Ezra.