Candice wrote me in a bit of a panic. With a week to go, let’s put our thinking caps on and try to help this family brainstorm the perfect name! She writes:
We had a couple of names on the list, including Jed (short for Jediah), and Shale (which my husband doesn’t really like). Then my father passed away a month ago, and before he died he asked that we name our son after him. I’m Jewish, so traditionally we would be giving our son a name that at least starts with the same letter as my dad’s name, or name the middle name directly after him. My dad’s name is/was Les (short for Leslie). I don’t love most “L” names, but I also don’t want to give my son the name “Les” as a middle name, because my last name is also his middle name, since my husbands last name is his last name. Confused yet?
Anyway, any suggestions for interesting “L” boy names? If they were Jewish, that would be a bonus, but not a requirement. On our list is:
Lexington (Lex for short), however it seems that “Lexi” is very popular as a girl name, so this may be a problem.
Levi was 2nd runner up for our last son, so I don’t want to use a rejected name.
Levy pronounced Levee.
Lotis (like Otis with an L), but I know this will sound too girly for most people, including my husband.
So basically we have 1 name on our list, that we’re not sure about. Help!!
Thanks for writing Candice! I’m so glad you found us.
Your quandary is very specific. I LIKE that. It makes our job easier, in a way. There are just a limited amount of options that would tick all the boxes: 1) L name to honor your father 2) A brother for River 3) A Hebrew moniker is a plus.
Love Jedidiah and the nickname Jed– très cool. Shale? On the one hand, it works with River, but may be a bit obvious. Both have been ditched in part due to their lack of an initial L. L’Shale isn’t really the style you’re going for I imagine.
Lexington doesn’t pass muster with me. There’s an upswing in -ingtons, particularly among girls, and yes, Lexington lends itself to Lexi. Names that end in the suffix -ton stand for “town”, and while place names are all the rage, this is a bit like giving one’s daughter a name that ends in “son.” It’s just a little out of sync. Not that it’s a bad thing to use a place name, it’s just so specific. Are Lexington, Kentucky or another town special to you? Allow me to nominate Lex to the list, all by his lonesome. I find it punchy and bright, much like the über popular Max and Jack, but with a slightly subversive feel à la Gus, that one may owe to Lex Luthor.
Levy intrigues me. The pronunciation that you listed however, will cause confusion. Readers, please correct me if I’m wrong, because I could be. But every person I’ve ever known with the surname Levy has pronounced this “lee-vee”, not “lev-ee.” Your way of saying this though does bring me to Lev, a great Jewish name due for a comeback. Also, is anyone else bothered by River and “Lev-ee”?
Lotis strikes me as a bit misbegotten. ”Otis with an L”? Why not Lotus, after the flower? That is what people will hear anyway, so you might as well go for the gold and spell it with a U. Lotus is lovely, but does strike me as a bit feminine.
I’m harsh, I know.
Here are a few names that come close to what you are looking for. Perhaps in the comments mama, tell us more about your family’s personality? Maybe it’s not L names we should be looking for, but L words.
Lael- Hebrew, “of God”
Larkin- A surname which derived from Lawrence, you get nature (bird) imagery without being completely literal.
Lawson- Son of Lawrence; Lawton would be Lawrence’s town– more easy to digest than Lexington
Lazar- Hebrew, “God has helped”
Lemuel- Hebrew, “belonging to God”
Leo- From Latin for “lion”, a cognate of Leon. Like River, grapples with the same kind of undulating force of nature, and has a long history of use in the Jewish community. Easy, unaffected, but still distinctive.
Lev- “Lion” in Russian, “heart” in Hebrew. Leo Tolstoy was actually Lev.
Lex- A short form of Alexander. See above comments. Do you agree or disagree readers that this is preferable to Lexington?
Liev- Switch around your previous favorite, and you may find the shiny new appeal you seek. More than a letter scramble, Liev is an authentic Hebrew choice in its own right, and a variant of Lev.
Linus- Greek for “flax.” From popes to Peanuts, Linus makes his mark.
Lior- Hebrew, “my light.”
Liron- Hebrew, “my song.”
Lorenz- A form of Lawrence, “laurel.” Also look at other cognates of Lawrence.
Lukas- Variation of Luke, “man from Lucania”, whose Biblical connotations have become somewhat diluted in modern times.
If none of these appeal to you, I do hope you will reconsider Levi, your second “discarded” choice for River. I know you don’t want to use the other brother’s dregs, but maybe River was just the right name for him, and Levi could be the right one for this little boy? Levi is far and away the most solid choice of the names on your current list. I also like Levy, but the pronunciation concerns me.
Dear readers, am I being too conservative here? Which names do you like for Candice’s son, and do you have any other suggestions for boys’ names that begin with an L?
Image by Flora Chang