Tag Archives: musical names

Name of the Day: Roscoe

Derived from a place name, Roscoe is used as both a first and last name and means “doe wood”. I believe there are 15 Roscoe towns and villages in the US.  It was only given to 63 boys last year, which I find incredible! It’s so handsome, why are people not using it?

With the name Otis I just linked to a bunch of youtube videos of artists with the name… it seemed to resonate with my husband, so let’s try that approach again!

Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbucke, a silent film star who mentored Charlie Chaplin and discovered Bob Hope. Other actors include: Roscoe Karns who comically starred in 150 films, Roscoe Orman (Gordon on Sesame Street), Roscoe Born, Roscoe Lee Browne and Alan Roscoe.

Outside the arts, there have been many influential politicians and accomplished athletes bearing Roscoe as a first or last name.  Several professor and scientist Roscoes have contributed research advancing the scientific world. It’s also the name of several war heroes and the first ever direcor of the CIA. Roscoe Pound is one of history’s most influential legal scholars. Roscoe Nicholson is one of the earliest advocates for conservation of forest life in the US.  Will Roscoe is an author and activist who’s works largely involve rights of the LGBT community.

Name of the Day: Otis

Peter’s rejected Otis several times already, but I just love it!! So, I’m going to look into it’s history anyways. Peter says it’s a cat’s name… which is so stupid because it’s the dog’s name on Milo and Otis, which happens to be a phenomenal movie that I loved as a kid and my kids love now. So if I’m going to name my kid after a dog, it’d be that protective little pug!

Otis has 2 different origins, cognate of Otto (which is another name I love) it means “wealth and fortune”. Or the Greek version of Latin Nemo, it would mean “no one”.

Several musicians bear the name Otis. For the sake of (somewhat) brevity I’m just going to provide links to some of their music and let that inspire you (or, rather my husband.)

Otis Dudley Duncan is one of history’s most influential sociologists. Much of his work focused on social mobility (or the lack of it) in the United States. His works are still being expanded upon today. When he retired in 1987 he took up composing electronic music and computer graphics. I love to learn how people influential in a given field are multidimensional and see how their passion drives them to other hobbies. In 2000 (4 years before his death) he published a few more pieces as a member of the Humanist Society. These included topics such as euthanasia, atheism and creationism.

Name of the Day: Wolfgang

Wolfgang is a big name that’s not used much these days, but I really think it can be pulled off. German for “wolf’s path”, Wolf or Wolfy would be a cute nickname for a little Wolfgang.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a famous composer, perhaps you’ve heard of him? 😉 He started composing at just 5 years old and though he died at just 35, composed over 600 pieces. His works are still performed today and have influenced the works of many other artists, including Beethoven.

Another famous bearer is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He was best known as a writer, but he was also an illustrator, scientist and philosopher. He didn’t shy away from writing about human sexuality, though it certainly wasn’t as accepted in his day. (He lived from 1749-1832.) His views on religion were also very forward thinking, believing you don’t have to follow a certain denomination of Christianity to be Christian. A true free thinker, I have lots of respect for this man and would love to learn more about him!

Saint Wolfgang is one of the most honored German saints. He must be busy up in heaven because he’s the patron saint of several things, including carpenters, stomach disease and strokes.

Apparently Wolfgang Van Halen is also the current bassist in Van Halen and son of founding member Eddie Van Halen. A famous chef, photographer, film directors, Nobel Prize winners, several athletes… it doesn’t look like such a strange choice when you look at all the influential bearers.

Naming Lennon Wallace

It’s only fair that I do a post about how Lennon came to be named, since I did one for his sister. However, boy names proved to be much more difficult for us… Here’s some names we discussed.


Trey: I love this name. I know it can be a standalone name, but something about it seems more nicknamey to me. Maybe because I know a lot of the men that go by Trey are actually “the third”. Though we love Trey, we didn’t love a longer version and as a standalone it just didn’t feel right.


Wilson: If you read my post about Lucille’s name, you know I’m a huge name nerd. So Peter and I have been talking baby names since shortly after we started dating. We used to love the name Wilson. Actually, we still love the name Wilson. However, 4 months before we got married I started working at a new company and befriended someone who has Wilson as a last name. I’m fine with last names as first names, but I don’t like them if I’m close to someone with the last name…


Dylan: We both love Dylan! But we’re both weird people who form assocations with names and can’t overcome them. We’ve both known a Dylan. Neither of us were close to anyone with this name, neither of us had strongly positive or negative feelings regarding the people we knew. But it didn’t seem like our kid because we both pictured the Dylan we knew. About a month ago we named our cat that instead.


Theodore: I love the name Theodore. I love the nickname Theo and both Ted and Teddy have grown on me in recent years too. I suggested this name to Peter and he seemed hesitant. I thought in time he’d grow to love it… instead he grew to dislike it more and more. Theodore will probably forever be my favorite name that I will never use.


Franklin: We love Franklin, we love Frankie, we aren’t crazy about Frank. And I feel like he’d want to go by Frank when he’s older and sees Frankie as childish. While pregnant with Lennon we learned Peter’s grandfather’s middle name was Franklin. I thought this would make Peter want to use it after all, but he still didn’t think it felt right. And I agreed.


Crosby: I fell in love with this name watching Parenthood and Peter loved it instantly too. But it doesn’t sound great with our last name. And we weren’t sure it would age well. Sure, on Parenthood it was the name of a grown man, but a grown man who owned a recording studio, lived in the moment and didn’t stress about many adult responsibilities. My son may not be the same personality type and it might not fit a driven lawyer type as well. (Wouldn’t it be great if we could see the kind of people out babies were going to turn into when naming them?)

So there’s our list. With Lucille’s list, they were all very much top contenders for her name. We went back and forth for weeks with each name on the list. This list though, not so much. They were ideas we threw around but none stuck more than 5 minutes… boy names are hard!


So how’d we fall for the name Lennon?

More than 3 years before Lennon was born I was working at a festival and met a little boy named Lennon. I thought it was a sweet name and told Peter when I came home. He immediately wanted it to be our future son’s name. Peter plays guitar and is a big fan of John Lennon. Additionally Peter’s grandfather’s name was Glenn, so he loved that Lennon sounded similar, while still giving our son his own name. And he loved it’s Gaelic roots, as Peter’s ancestors are from Ireland and Scotland.

I loved it for all the reasons Peter loved the name. I loved seeing how excited he got about the name. I later realized it’s also similar to Leona, the name of my great grandmother and the middle name of my grandmother (Beatrice, the one Lucille is named after). I also discovered it’s meaning in Scotland is little dear/ sweetheart… basically a term of endearment for a small child. I love this as Lennon is the snuggliest little love I’ve ever met. And to me he will always be a little sweetheart and my baby.

At first naming Lennon after a Beatle seemed very “super fan”. However, after many discussions I can say, though Peter and I certainly love him as an artist, our main admiration for John Lennon is his commitment to spreading ideas of peace of love. Yes, I’ve seen some argue that the ideas he spread were completely hypocritical as he was often an angry man. I don’t see him that way at all. Nor do I deny that he made many mistakes. I see him as a man who very much believed in the power of peace and love and worked very hard to make himself a better person. But he had a lot of personal demons he had to overcome in his journey. At the time he was killed I think he was well on his way to being the kind of person he encouraged the rest of the world to be. So, Lennon was named more after the activist in John than the artist. Though I admit I can’t listen to the song “Imagine” without crying.

His middle name, Wallace, is Peter’s mother’s maiden name. We wanted to honor Peter’s grandfather but obviously didn’t want to name our child Lennon Glenn, so we chose his surname. It still honors Glenn but now it also honors Peter’s mother, grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Since having Lennon I’ve had to do a lot of digging to come up with boy name possibilities for if baby #3 is another boy. I think we’ve found some good ones, but I’ll wait to release that list. 😉