Raising Richmond: Favorite boy names

11 names I’d consider giving to my hypothetical/imaginary/currently non-existent second son.

About a year ago I devoted an entire article to names I would potentially give my hypothetical/imaginary/then-and-also-currently-non-existent daughter. Believe it or not, in the almost four-and-a-half years I’ve been at this gig, putting together that list (and then getting to read about your favorites in the comments) was some of the most fun I’ve had yet. I figured we’re due to give it another go–this time focusing our attention on the boys.

Back when I wrote my list of girl names, I shared that I’d already decided should we ever welcome another little boy into our family (to join our son Jackson Ross or “JR”), we’d named him Benjamin (because of Captain Benjamin Sisko, The Greatest Of All Star Trek Captains, and don’t you try to tell my husband any different). I still love it, but since that article went up, approximately 17,000 of my friends welcomed adorable, wonderfully-named baby boys into their lives, and I couldn’t help but reconsider at least a little. Take a look at some of my favorite boy names–and my reasons for choosing them–below. And for what it’s worth, just because I’m publicly declaring my love for these names does not mean I’m “calling” them. Anyone expecting a real, live boy totally gets dibsies.

— ∮∮∮ —


I’ll go ahead and get what will probably be my most controversial choice out of the way. This is a family name on my side; in most cases it was used as a middle name, but if it were my kid, I’d just go for it. It’s solid, strong, and unique without being too weird. Now, of course, I realize the poor boy could pretty much count on getting called “wart” at some point in his life, but such struggles surely build character.


Another family name (my grandmother’s maiden name) that would initially raise a few eyebrows, but I think people would grow to love it. And if not, I wouldn’t care because I’d still have one son named Jackson and one son named Montgomery, and if those aren’t the cutest, most Southern-y names ever, well I just don’t know what.


It means “laughter”, and we’d call him Ike. What’s not to love about that?


This one has all sorts of great connotations for me: Peter the Apostle, Peter Parker, Peter Pan, Peter from Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day. I also like the idea of being able to say “Oh THERE you are, Peter!” over and over again. I’m sure my hypothetical son would never get tired of that.


This name has made it on the short list for several of my friends over the last couple years, but so far no one’s gone with it–and I don’t understand why! It’s one of those rarer boy names that manages to be equal parts masculine and beautiful. I mean, sure, people might associate your child with jeans, but who doesn’t like jeans?! People you shouldn’t let around your kid, that’s who.


Unless it’s too much pressure to be named after perhaps the most noble character ever.


I’ve never met a Miles (or Myles) I didn’t like. They’ve all been fun, easy going, kind, and typically a little on the kooky side–all qualities I value greatly and wouldn’t mind seeing in a child of my own.


Yes, it’s super common among adults, but the fact that I’m not meeting many kids named John these days tells me it’s time we bring it back. Think about it: it’s short, easy to spell, and easy to pronounce. And as an added bonus, you have the option of calling your son Johnny which will automatically make him cooler and more attractive than everyone who has ever lived.


Because of this. I thought about trying to expand on my thoughts here, maybe offer up additional reasons, but I don’t have any. That clip is all I need.


It’s probably obvious from some of my other selections that I enjoy a Biblical name as much as the next person. This choice falls in line with that preference, but it isn’t as common or expected. Plus, it means “happy and blessed.” I like the idea of setting that kind of tone for a little guy as he’s just starting out.


Would I name a child after a character from The West Wing? Yes. Yes I would.

— ∮∮∮ —

OK, I know people love to talk about names, so let’s get to it. What do you think of my choices? What did you name your son(s) and why? Which names make your short list for your potential little dudes-to-be?

  • error

    Report an error

Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

There are 18 reader comments. Read them.