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My First Child's Name is Perfect - Now What?

I recently had a baby and named him Calder. We love the name but have been having a hard time thinking of names that we could use for his future siblings. Other names we considered for him are Magnus (nn. Gus), Camden and if he was a girl Ainsley, Penelope or Amelie. None of these seem to go as well as I expected now that we actually have a son named Calder. Can you suggest sibling names?

- Calder's Mom

So, Calder just seems to have something "extra"? A lot of parents feel that way about their first-born's name. In this case, though, I think you're on to something. Here's one way to think about it: What makes Calder so different from other surname-based names like Carter or Parker? And here's one answer: Art.

Alexander Calder was a tremendously innovative 20th-century artist, best known as the inventor of the mobile. His aura surrounds the name. (It's no coincidence that a hero of the art-focused kids' book "Chasing Vermeer" is named Calder.) But unlike, say, Rembrandt, the name Calder doesn't come across as a fancy-pants homage to the artist. It's simple and stylish, and fits in just fine with a class full of Carters and Parkers.

Our target, then, is an artistic name with a mainstream sound. That's harder than you'd think. When it comes to artist names, Rembrandt is a lot more typical than Calder. If we broaden the field to literature, though, our prospects look brighter. Here are some possibilities. Readers, can you suggest more?

Beckett

Bram

Dashiell

Finn

Sawyer

Auden

Flannery

Harper

Marlowe

Scarlett

Comments

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

September 17, 2009 7:44 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Shepard

Lanford

Isadora

Ezra

Turner

Jasper

September 23, 2009 8:41 AM
By Zoe (not verified)

Can I just advise against Camden? I live across the river from Camden, NJ and it is not an association you want to have with your sweet little baby!

I love the first poster's suggestions!

October 8, 2009 7:59 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

What about Zoe Elyse or Zoe Kate

October 30, 2009 5:37 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Rembrandt might be too obvious an art connections, but what about Remi?

Abbott (there are ton to reference here)

Stanton

Jacoby

Oh, there are so many ties to the art or literary world. I LOVE that idea!

March 30, 2010 12:15 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Atticus

April 10, 2010 5:23 AM
By CocoProvence (not verified)

I like the idea of Marlowe that Name Lady suggested and also Finn, although I'd use Fintan with nickname Finn. I had an Irish friend named Fintan who used to be called Fin, and it was great.

I think Zoe sounds really good with Calder. It may not be as unusual, but the Z makes it more so.

I also really like the idea of Remi. Or you could call him Remington and shorten to Remi. (Do you remember Remington Steele, the TV show? I fell in love with Pierce Brosnan in that.)

April 10, 2010 5:34 AM
By CocoProvence (not verified)

Other suggestions (all girls I'm afraid - much easier!):
- Imogen
- Freya
- Romilly
- Xanthe
- Samara
- Allegra
- Reyna
- Saskia
- Sidonie (pro. sid-OH-knee)

April 15, 2010 8:03 PM
By Kritsin (not verified)

Ok...really off topic, but have you considered Candice for a girl and Fyn if it's a boy? Same with siblings Calder,Makenna,and Floyd

May 10, 2010 9:12 AM
By Elissa (not verified)

If you're going with the art theme, I've always wanted to name a girl Magritte. Almost exactly like Margaret, but prettier sounding and looking, plus you can use all of Margaret's nicknames. Magritte is one of my favorite artists.

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