Ask Liann: Baby Boy Name Indecision

Dear Liann,

Hi! I love your taste in names and was wondering if you could help. I'm due with a boy any day and still don't feel like we've found "The One" yet. We like Ryan and West a lot, but kinda feel like we are settling. I don't want anything too trendy or out there, nor am I crazy about super classic names. We have a daughter named Lila. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Jess L.


Hi Jess!

I would love to help you find the perfect name for your kiddo. Ryan and West are both handsome, but no one wants to feel like they're settling on their child's name, so let's see what we can come up with. Your daughter's name is beautiful and I'm sure we can find something to compliment it nicely. 

To me, Ryan feels like one of those "new classic" names. It's a solid Celtic choice that's been around for many years. And while I do like the name very much, it's not my favorite paired with Lila. Lila is so fresh; it's refurbished antique. Ryan has been a Top 30 on the Social Security list since 1973. But I do think we can use Ryan as a guide to find some fresher names within the "new classic" style. Or maybe a less-used Celtic name would fit the bill.

In addition to the new classic, less-used Celtic names we're looking for, I'm going to pull some left-of-center names into the mix. Nothing too strange, but since you like West, your taste might be more daring than you think...

boy names

And then you have West, which feels very modern to me. It has never ranked on the Social Security list. It's not "too trendy or out there," but it definitely leans in that direction. Word names — and more specifically, direction names — are something of a trend (think Kim and Kanye's North West). It's also not too "out there" because it's an easily spelled, recognizable name. Add to that the number of boys named Weston and you've got an unusual, somewhat trendy name that fits just outside the box. Not a bad place to be. What do you think of Wesley as an alternative to West? It gives you the nickname Wes, which is pretty darn close to West, minus the trendiness. It also pairs so well with Lila. (Lila and Wesley...Lila and Wes.)

Here are some more West-inspired boy name ideas:

Boy Name west.jpg

After Wesley, I think my favorite from the first list is Desmond. But that may be because it's my own current favorite. It's just so handsome! And come on — Lila and Desmond. Des is a super cool nickname, too. I also really like Miles, Sullivan, and Ronan.

From the second list, my favorites are Beau, Hugo, and Rhett. All super classy and handsome, and they all pair well with Lila. Lila and Beau. Lila and Hugo. Lila and Rhett.

You didn't mention anything about middle names, so of course factor that in when considering any of these names.

So what do you think? Anything jump out at you? I really hope this helps you toward your little man's name. Let us know what you decide when he arrives. You said it's any day now, so good luck!

— Liann