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The-Littlest-bushranger_FRONT-COVER1

A couple of weeks ago we had an English-born mum and an Australian dad looking for a baby name; this time we have the same situation, but with the genders reversed.

Eloise is Australian, and her husband George was born in the UK; they already have a little girl named Arabella. Next month she will be getting a baby brother, but George and Eloise still haven’t decided on a name for him.

Eloise loves strong, masculine boys’ names of English and Scottish ancestry. Both Eloise and George like the idea of bushranger and outlaw names, as both rural Australian and British in flavour.

Eloise’s favourite boys names are William (nicknamed Will or Billy), Archer, Archie, Henry, Wilfred, Jock, and Mack. She also likes Rafferty, Albie, Angus, Dougal, Hugh, Hugo, Rory, and Toby, but George isn’t so keen on them.

George’s favourite names and William and Henry, and he would also consider Archie, Oscar, and Stirling.

George doesn’t like the idea of Jock or Mack, because they already have a close family member named Jack, and he thinks the names are alike enough to be confusing.

Possible middle name choices to honour relatives are Walter, Frederick, Jack, and Guy.

Eloise and George’s surname is something vaguely similar to Hudgett, and Eloise wonders if Henry Hudgett or Hugo Hudgett might sound a bit too much.

At the moment, their front runner is Archer Jack or Archie Jack – Eloise showed George the blog entry for Archer, which proved persuasive!

She wonders what people think of the name Archer Jack Hudgett or Archie Jack Hudgett?

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Archer Jack Hudgett is great! I think I would prefer Archie as the nickname, just so you can keep the Australian connection to Archer. I also love that this has a British connection, thanks to British officer “Mad Jack” Churchill, who was the last archer in Britain to kill in battle. Not only does this link Archer and Jack together, but in the film Gallipoli, the heroes are Archy and Jack.

Arabella and Archie is definitely a very Scottish-sounding sibset! I did try to find a bushranger called Archie, with no success, although it seems quite a popular name for fictional ones.

If you don’t go with Archer or Archie, it sounds as if William and Henry would also be possibilities, since both of you have picked them as favourites.

William is very handsome, and I like William Frederick, William Jack, and William Guy. William sounds nice with Arabella, and there is a famous convict and bushranger called William Westwood – he went by the name Jackey Jackey, oddly enough. He was known as “the gentleman bushranger”.

While I do think Hugo Hudgett is a bit much, Henry Hudgett seems perfectly fine to me. Henry Walter and Henry Frederick are both very handsome (although Henry Jack and Henry Guy could also be used), and Arabella and Henry sound good together.

There is a famous bushranger called Henry “Harry” Power, said to have helped inspire the career of Ned Kelly, and another called Henry Maple, known as “the boy bushranger”. In fact there are quite a number of bushrangers with the name Henry, and coupled with bush writer Henry Lawson, this is a good choice for an Australian-themed name that is also very English in style.

I do think that Jock and Mack have to be knocked off the list because of Jack. I know plenty of families where this would not be a problem at all, and who would happily cope with names even closer than Jock and Jack or Jack and Mack. However, I think it has to be George’s call, and if it’s uncomfortably close for him, then that has to be respected.

I like Wilfred as well – it’s such a lovable name. It reminds me of the Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett, who was the first western journalist to enter Hiroshima after the bombing, and was so forthright when reporting on the wars in Korea and Vietnam. He remains controversial to this day, and is something of a folk hero. It might remind people of the dog in the absurdist TV comedy though.

As Wilfred has similar nicknames to William and Frederick (Will and Freddie), could William Frederick “Wilf” be an acceptable alternative if George vetoed Wilfred?

Oscar and Stirling are both great names too, although I find that I stutter over Oscar in combination with your surname; it’s strangely difficult to say. Stirling is definitely very Scottish (especially with a sister named Arabella), and also reminds me of the British pound sterling. It sounds good with all your possible middle name choices – except Guy, as Stirling Guy seems rather comical.

George and Eloise, you’ve got a good list of names together, and have already agreed on a few names. At the moment it seems as if Archer or Archie could be the right name, but in just a few weeks you will be meeting your little bushranger, and things will seem even clearer then.

UPDATE: The baby’s name was Angus!

POLL RESULTS: Archer Jack received a good response, with 52% thinking it was great. However, Archie Jack wasn’t as popular, with 40% believing it wasn’t that good. The public’s choice for the baby’s name was Archer, gaining 25% of the vote.

(Picture shows the cover of The Littlest Bushranger by Alison Reynolds; the “bushranger” is named Jack and has a big sister Lil)

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