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This is the first time we have had “repeat customers” on the blog, because Kate and Steve were featured on Waltzing More Than Matilda almost exactly two years ago.

Kate wrote in because she and Steve couldn’t agree on a name for their second child, and were getting more and more frustrated with the situation. They were having particular problems reaching agreement on a girl’s name, with Kate preferring something traditional like Clara, and Steve fancying something more modern, like Zara.

In the end, they had a boy instead. Kate chose the name Lewis, and after some thought, Steve decided he liked it; it makes a nice match with their daughter Madeline.

Now Kate and Steve are expecting their third child in a few months. Having already named two children, they are much more relaxed about the whole thing this time, but are still interested in hearing other people’s opinions.

If the baby is a boy, the name chosen for him is Ted William. They don’t want a long form for his name, because while Kate loves the name Theodore, Steve hates it, and though Steve doesn’t mind Edward, Kate detests all Ed- names. However, both of them love the name Ted.

When Kate told her mother that their son’s name will be Ted, grandma’s opinion was that the baby needed a “proper” first name, in order him to give him “options” in the future. Kate wonders what people think of Ted as a stand-alone name – is it okay, or is her mum right?

Once again however, they are finding girls names a bit trickier. I thought that Kate and Steve would be sorted for girls’ names in the future, because if Lewis had been a girl, Kate wanted the name Annabeth, and at the time, Steve liked it. However, since then, Steve has decided that Annabeth sounds “made up”, so that’s off the table now.

Originally, Kate wanted to name the baby Nell after her grandmother, but Steve couldn’t get on board with the idea. Their daughter Madeline calls the baby “Rosie“, which is rather interesting, because Rose was Steve’s first choice for Madeline’s own name, until he decided he loved Madeline instead. This has reminded Kate that she loves the name Rose too, and Steve seems okay with the idea.

However, Kate can’t find a middle name to go with it. Madeline and Lewis both have family names in the middle, but Kate can’t think of any more female family members she would like to honour. She considered Nell, after grandma, but Rose Nell doesn’t sound right to her. She’s racked her brain to think of a middle name that has some significance to her, and she can’t think of anything. Kate wonders, what middle name would sound nice with Rose?

* * * * * * * * * *

We’ll start off with the Ted-as-the-whole-name issue. Yes, I think Ted is perfectly fine as a name all on its own. It’s becoming quite a fashionable choice as a baby name, and although it’s not a common name, it’s by no means unusual either. It’s even a celebrity baby name, as Livinia Nixon has a little boy named Ted. I think Ted is already a “proper’ name, and a very nice one.

Besides, what other choice is there? Steve hates Theodore, you hate Edward: you can’t give a child a name that one of his parents loathes. It almost sounds as if your mum is saying that even though one of you hates a certain name, the one who draws the short straw should just suck it up for the good of the child and put it on the birth certificate anyway. Or does she mean you should make up a name that could be used as a long form of Ted, like Tedric or Teddington? Because I’m not sure those are “options” most kids want …

Just ask yourself which you would rather tell your son:

  1. We chose Ted as your name because it was a name both Dad and I loved.
  2. We chose Theodore as your name, even though Dad hates it, but Grandma said we needed a proper name for you, but don’t worry, we’ll call you Ted anyway so it’s not a problem and I expect Dad will get over it eventually. And you can always go by Theodore any time you want to make Dad cross and unhappy, so it’s nice that you’ve got that option.

To re-cap. You love Ted, Steve loves Ted, I love Ted, many people love Ted, and I bet anything that your mum ends up loving Ted too, once she meets her adorable grandson. Ergo, Ted is perfectly fine to put on the birth certificate all by itself. And I think Ted William does have options, because he can always use his middle name if he chooses.

I must say I just love the name Rose for you, and it seems like a perfect match with Madeline and Lewis, as names which are English, but with French origins. The story of it being chosen by Madeline is really charming, and has that “meant to be” quality which is so satisfying in a name.

For middle names, I wondered how you felt about using a name which is related to Nell, as a little nod to your grandmother? I know it’s not the same as using her exact name, but it does provide a link of some kind. I was thinking of Rose Eleanor or Rose Helena, or Rose Elena if you wanted something more modern-sounding – I remember Steve was quite keen on Eleni at one point.

I also thought, if Steve originally liked Annabeth but then thought it was too contrived, what about similar names? Maybe Annabel/Annabelle, or Elizabeth/Elisabeth. Or what about a middle name similar to your own name, such as Rose Katherine or Rose Catherine – if there’s no one left to honour in the family, why not honour yourself?

You could also use Nell as a second middle name, if you weren’t keen on Rose Nell. For example, maybe Rose Katherine Nell or Rose Elisabeth Nell, as a way to break it up. Although I seem to recall that Steve hates the name Nell anyway, so perhaps he wouldn’t like it even as a middle name.

And if none of those ideas appeal to you and Steve, there’s nothing wrong with just picking a middle name that sounds nice with Rose, such as Rose Amelia, Rose Evangeline, Rose Lucinda, Rose Matilda, Rose Olivia, or Rose Victoria, for example. With a short name like Rose, a longer name would sound attractive, and make a nice rhythm with your two-syllable surname. Although Rose is so pretty I can’t imagine how you could mess it up – almost anything would sound nice as a middle name to Rose.

Good luck, Kate and Steve – I think once again you are going to come up with a lovely baby name, whether you have a second son or a second daughter.

UPDATE: The baby was a boy, and his name is Ted!

Is Ted acceptable as a full name?
91% of people polled thought that Ted was acceptable as a full name. 42% said of course it was okay, as Ted was a great name, 29% admitted that they would prefer Ted to have a long form, but could see that wasn’t possible in this instance, while 20% thought Ted was just fine. That left 9% of people in grandma’s corner, and adamant that Ted could only be used as a nickname.

Best Middle Name for Rose
A name similar to Nell eg Eleanor or Helena 51%
Any name that sounds nice with Rose 22%
Rose Nell 11%
Rose ___ Nell 11%
A name similar to Kate, such as Catherine 3%
A name similar to Annabeth, such as Annabelle or Elizabeth 2%

(Picture shows the cover of Big Ted and Friends, starring Playschool‘s Big Ted)