Ask the Name Lady

Ask Now

What’s the Best Name for This Sweet Child O' Mine?

My fiancé and I are having a little boy! We have chosen the name River Axel Rose for him. We want to give him two middle names, following my parents' choice to give me two. Neither of us are big Guns N' Roses fans. We just thought the name sounded extremely unique and bad-ass! I've gotten strange looks after sharing the name with some, while others have loved it. Do you think it's a little too out there?


It's not necessarily out there; each name is both stylish and fairly established. (Note that River is being given to both boys and girls right now, in a 60/40 split favoring the boys.) And so is the concept of having two middle names.

But the only way Rose on a boy is bad-ass is when it's combined with Axel. And the only reason that's true is because of Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses. If you're not big fans of the band or Rose himself, then I would recommend that you think twice about using (a version of) his name for your son.

To my mind, if a name sounds that much like you're honoring a particular celebrity, you're essentially binding your child to that celebrity for life. That makes sense if you're a huge fan and admirer. If you're not, do some homework ahead of time and learn a lot about the person in question. Because your son is going to be associated with him any time he reveals his two middle names.

If you're cool with that, then go with Axel and Rose as your son's two middles. If not, maybe another tough-guy middle name would give you the bad-ass feeling you're looking for: Ace, Bryce, Ivan, Jake, Magnus, Reece, Roan, Thor. And welcome to the jungle … of parenthood!


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

July 24, 2017 10:03 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Naming your son Axel Rose is going to cause everyone to assume it's a namesake to the singer. This does not make any sense if you aren't fans of his. It quite honestly strikes me as a weird thing to do.

As a fan of Guns N' Roses, I'd also strongly encourage you to do a little homework about Axl Rose. I like his music, and he is very talented, but he's also a very troubled person. I don't think he'd make a very good namesake for any child.

July 24, 2017 11:06 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

also - Axl Rose is a anagram for oral sex...which i wouldn't saddle my child with.

July 24, 2017 11:49 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Axel Rose is such a unique name that most people are going to assume you are fans. Although I suppose you could argue that most people don't use their middle names, so he will mostly be known as River Lastname. Still, I'd switch out either Axel or Rose since there will be times that the middle names are used, and people will ask questions.

July 24, 2017 12:10 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Just remember what sounds "bad-ass" in 2017 may be hopelessly dated by the time your boy is older. Elvis probably sounded bad ass at one time but I'd suggest it has a somewhat different ring today. (Not necessarily a bad ring, but different.)

Decide carefully on the spelling. Axl Rose doesn't use the "e".

Why not stick to River Axel? You get an undeniably cool name, it fits the computer algorithms in a way two names doesn't and you don't have the GNR reference.

July 24, 2017 12:46 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'll start with the positive: I love that you're following a family tradition of 2 middle names! That kind of link is so important.

Now, using "Axel Rose" as a middle name is certainly not unique. "Unique" means one-of-a-kind, and there's already a very famous person with basically that name. If you're not a diehard Guns N Roses fan, it's a weird namesake. (And as another poster mentioned, he's a troubled man, so not ideal for a namesake.)

Secondly, do you really want your kid to be a bad-ass? Or are you just looking for a name that is very strong and masculine? Btw, "River Rose" is Kelly Clarkson's daughter...certainly not bad-ass there. It's the "Axel Rose" element that is making it feel tough to you.

Start with a list of names you like, then find the combo of 3 that fits best.

July 24, 2017 4:25 PM
By Kathleen Jones (not verified)

Ditto to everyone else

July 25, 2017 11:33 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Another problem: Axel is a legit Scandinavian name, but the singer's name is actually Axl Rose (no E in Axl...he made it up, as someone noted above, because it's an anagram of Oral Sex). So you'd be sticking your kid with the *misspelled* name of a less-than-squeaky-clean celeb you don't even like that much. LOL Y???

I'd look for a name that's badass on its own without being tied to a specific person, especially one you're not a huge, huge fan of. And either way, be sure to spell it right!

July 27, 2017 8:04 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

A bad a$$ name is in the eye of the beholder. What ever name you give him could become what you are looking for because he made it so. That would be much more original and authentic. Don't feel embarrassed though because you have brought up a practice I suspect happens more than we give credit to and that is people associating a name of someone to an opinion. I agree it's dangerous...

September 14, 2017 10:22 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

TOO MANY NOUNS, it's a mouthful. River Axle would be a lot too, but it's weird. And what's an axle rose? This name doesn't need any famous associations too make people chuckle and mutter about trying to hard too keep up with the trends. I assure you it's not some kind of tough boy name. I hate to be rude but this sounds kind of like trolling, it's so outrageous--that's why you're getting the looks.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.