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Does a New Home State Mean a New Style of Baby Name?

We are looking for a name for our third son, but are feeling stuck due to our other two boys' names. They were both born in Hawaii and have Hawaiian names: Kai (meaning "ocean") and Koa ("warrior"). This baby will be born in Kansas, which is obviously not a language! We like short names with a nice meaning, but never intended to stick with "K" names, necessarily. Any ideas on a third boy name that is unique and short, and works with Koa and Kai? Thank you!

–My Three Sons

How about Kan or Kas for Kansas? Okay, just kidding. But you do have a unique dilemma: How do you maintain sibling name equity, given the big cultural switch between sibs two and three? In my opinion, you should avoid a massive style switch based just on birthplace.

Your older boys' names have many things in common in addition to their Hawaiian roots: the initial K, the three-letter length, and the vowel ending. So it's key (see what I did there?) to keep at least one of those properties for your third son's name. Some Hawaiian names might still work for a Kansas boy: Keone, meaning "homeland" (if, say, you're returning to Kansas after time away; or you're establishing it as the homeland of your family now); Kimo, the Hawaiian version of James, if that is a family name for you; or Kaleo, meaning "sound" or "voice" (since this boy might need a loud voice to keep up with his brothers!).

Moving away from Hawaiian names: Eli, Ari, and Leo give you the three-letter and vowel-ending properties that could draw a link to Kai and Koa. Knox has a short, crisp sound and a subtle letter K. Cal—either on its own, or short for Calvin or Caleb—offers K’s sound (Kal, too, is an option).

Or check out this list of rising, one-syllable meaning names (like Cove, Crew, and Fox). They capture some of the same qualities as your older boys' names do, while still giving your little Kansan his very own style.


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

May 1, 2017 9:18 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I agree that sticking with a K name, or 3 syllable name would keep the sibling group cohesive. Dax, Pax, Ian, Ira, Ike, Kip, Keenan, Keagan, Kiran, Kyle, Kirby.

If you wanted to keep the location of their births as part of the theme, perhaps you could look at place names within Kansas?
For example, there are cities in Kansas called Hayes and Colby, both of which would work with Kai & Koa. There are also Ellis and Ford Counties. Another option might be to look at historic monuments, state parks, or similar for name inspiration.

May 1, 2017 2:19 PM
By anonymous (not verified)

I'd avoid a third K name, personally, as I would be leery of having the letters KKK associated with my family in any way, shape, or form.

May 3, 2017 2:51 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Perhaps Rio or Milo?

May 3, 2017 9:45 PM
By Debbie S. (not verified)

Ooh, Milo would be awesome, as that is a winter wheat that's grown in Kansas! Rio would also sound lovely :) I would also second Anonymous 2:19 in not choosing another K name, since it would be the 3rd.

May 6, 2017 10:35 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Oooh, I like the Cove choice! Cove breaks away from the Hawaiian names since it appears to you that the names were more of a souveneir, but it is so cohesive. It means a small inlet/bay, which gives a nod to the brothers with a slightly paradisical name but isn't so hawaiian or K. That's my vote.

May 8, 2017 4:49 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think Kit would be a great choice! It's not Kansas per se, but definitely has some West/Mid-West history (think Kit Karson, the frontiersman). That would be a fabulous way to keep the trend and connect him to the new location!

May 8, 2017 12:05 PM
By Christi with an i (not verified)

FWIW- I don't think that having 3 children with K names links you to the KKK in any way at all.

May 8, 2017 4:20 PM
By Sabby (not verified)

I'd go with Kade. It's a K name, but more of an All-American Kansas name. I wouldn't worry at all about having 3 K names. (You could always have a 4th kid).

I also like Kole, Kooper, and Kacey.

May 12, 2017 12:55 PM
By Beth (not verified)

I read this letter and couldn't think of a single solution, but wow, there are some great ideas here!

My favorite so far is Kit, because it has a western flavor, but Cove and Kade are good choices too. I'm not wild about creative spellings so if the name starts with the /k/ sound, I'd still keep the classic spelling (Cade vs Kade, Cole vs Kole). A one-syllable name will fit well with Kai and Koa. I like the Hawaiian names that the name lady suggested, too.

June 8, 2017 1:10 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Hummm... A letter C name breaks it up without breaking it up... keeping it short and authentically edged is going to help him hold his own. I would suggest Cole, Cal, or I do prefer Cay better than Cove and Cay is also tropical/water related.

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