Gwen and Alex are expecting their baby (they don't know the gender) in June. They both share a common name-style, have lots of names shortlisted that they both like, but just don't think they've found "the one" yet that they both love.
"We both like classical (Latin and Greek) names, but I prefer longer slightly more romantic names and [Alex's] got a thing for shorter "cooler" names. He's very fond of o-endings, and names with x and z in them. Most of the names on our list have Greek or Latin origin, but it's not a requirement. I also love nature names, but my husband is a bit hesitant.
Aeneas - current front-runner but Alex feels something (maybe a cool nickname) is missing.
Beatrix (or maybe Beata)
Hermione -- Alex is worried because of Harry Potter.
Names they can't use because of family/friends, or that have been rejected already:
Ajax, Atticus, Barnabas, Florian, Orlando, Peregrine, Tristan, Xenon, Charis, Dulcinea, India, Iris, Maxima, Ophelia, Penelope and Xenia
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Full disclosure: I love classical names! This request was hard for me -- not because I couldn't think of many suitable names -- but because I had too many!
I think you have a great list I think you have a great list of names already. Maybe with the right nickname, it could be made even more special.
Aeneas -- I think Aeneas is a great choice. Very uncommon but a strong name with lots of history. My first thought is that Ace works really well as a nickname, as does the biblical Asa. With your surname beginning with B, I think you could also stretch to Abe.
Ignatius - How grand and stately Ignatius is. I love the idea of using Nate as a nickname, but Iggy works just as well. (I currently teach a boy named Ignacy "Iggy").
Lazarus - This is a great choice. Very sleek and stylish. It reminds me of the fabulous Hungarian name László (derived from words meaning rule + glory). In fact, I think Laszlo/Lazlo (spelling optional) works really well as a nickname for Lazarus.
Orestes - A bold and striking classical choice. I really like the idea of using Rex as a nickname, though Orry works just as well.
Prosper - LOVE this! It feels so effortless and refined without being too showy. Zethos is also great and is equally easily-accessible.
Asteria - A pretty, starry choice. May I also suggest Astraea and Astris, also starry and both from Greek mythology.
Beatrix - A gorgeous choice. It is rising up the top 300, but it is no where near epidemic. How about Bix as a nickname?
Cassia - Lovely soft syllables, similar to familiar Cassie but with a botanical twist. The same can be said for Philomela -- a bird-associated twist of Philomena.
Calypso - did you know Calypso is the name for a genus of orchids known as "fairy slipper"? So both a classical name and a nature one!
Hermione - I think the Harry Potter franchise is still Hermione's most famous association, but not the only one and not one that would make people like the name any less. Perhaps the nickname of Hero would appeal to Alex; both Shakespearean and Ancient Greek. Or (again it works with a B surname) how about sweet Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth?
Juno - Juno is bold and fabulous. If you are looking for something more flowing, may I suggest sweet and underused nature name Juniper with Juno as a nickname?
Leto - Again, I get the idea this one appeals to Alex, but Gwen would want a longer form. How about Laetitia, Galatea, Amalthea, Celestine, Zölestine or Violet(ta)?
Augustin -- August is sleek and effortless; Augustine is grand and saintly. I prefer Augustin (or-GUS-tən) which bridges the gap in an oh-so-cool way.
Jovian -- An adjectival form of Jupiter, meaning "like Jupiter (the god)," borne by a Roman emperor. Of a similar style is Jowan, the Cornish of John.
Zephyr -- A form of Zephyrus, the Greek god of the West Wind, with a breezily cool style.
Hadrian -- Between familiar Aidan and Hayden is uncommon Hadrian. A go-getting Roman emperor that is well known and accessible but shockingly underused.
Oleander -- Part Oliver, part Alexander, Oleander is the name of a plant whose name derives from the Greek olea "olives" because the plants look similar.
Finlo -- A fellow quirky '-o' name, much like Cosmo. Finlo is the Manx form of Finlay.
Theron -- Sleek, dashing, highly usable and very underused. Theron is an ancient Greek name meaning "hunter."
Acer -- The botanical name for maple trees, derived from the Latin word meaning "hard, strong." The wood itself was used by the Romans for their writing tablets.
Ariston -- A strong, stylish Greek name, borne by a Spartan king and the father of Plato. It derives from the Greek aristos "best." Equally lovely are the feminine forms Arista and Aristeia.
Evander -- A solid and oh-so-stylish name of a Roman hero. Even its meaning -- "good man" -- is winning.
Zaretan -- A biblical place name which has long (but never popular) use as a given name. Similarly biblical Zebulun is also worth considering.
Aeolus -- The Latin form of the Greek Aiolos "swift-moving" who was known by the Greeks as the king of the winds.
Wild Card: Helix -- Okay, bear with me. Yes, a helix is a cylindrical spiral but it is also a nature name -- a species of the ivy plant. Helix is a Latin word, and makes a playful and uncommon twist on rising favourite Felix.
Iolanthe -- Lovely Iolanthe ticks so many boxes. Not only is it the title and principle character in a Gilbert and Sullivan play (tick for Alex), it is also the name of a species of magnolia with a botanical meaning (tick for Gwen). It is derived from the Greek iole "violet" and anthos "flower." I'm tempted to pair it with the nickname Io, a striking choice from Greek mythology.
Calanthe -- And speaking of anthos, that brings me to Calanthe "beautiful flower," the name of a species of orchid. Calla works beautifully as a nickname.
Eumelia -- A mellifluous ancient Greek name meaning "good song, melody." In a similar vein is also Euthemia "well ordered" -- borne by a Naiad nymph -- and Euthalia "fine bloom" -- a 3rd century saint and also a genus of butterfly.
Alethea -- Amelia, Olivia...Alethea. All the red-hot fashionable sounds as syllable patterns but extremely rare. Alethea derives from the Greek aletheia "truth." Similar sounding Greek Eileilthyia (or Ilithyia in Latin), the ancient divine midwife.
Sabina -- A lovely Latin choice honouring the Sabine women who ended a war between the Roman husbands and Sabine male relatives by valiantly putting themselves between the two armies. It was fashionable choice for Victorians, but is now quite rare.
Ismene -- Ismene was used by several figures in Greek mythology, including the sister of Antigone and a Naiad nymph. The name derives from the Greek isme "knowledgeable."
Briseis -- Homer tells tale of the beautiful Briseis who captivated Achilles. Her name derives from the Greek britho "to prevail." Her fellow companion was the equally lovely Chryseis "golden."
Persephone -- One of the most important and principle Greek goddesses, Persephone is a full, flowing, mellifluous name with a whole host of potential nicknames from Poppy, Posy, Penny, Persy... I also like the idea of Ersa "dew," the goddess of plant-nourishing dew.
Calixta -- Kallisto, Calista and Calixta are all striking and elegant choices derives from the Greek kallistê "most beautiful," Calixta is a Late Roman variant.
Amadea -- A feminine form of Amadeus, best known as Mozart's middle name.
Liviana -- Part Olivia, part Liliana, Liviana is a rare and lovely Roman name meaning "belonging to the Livii (family)."
Nephele -- From the Greek word for "cloud," Nephele was borne by several mythological characters, often cloud nymphs. It has the same 'e' as Chloe, Zoe, Phoebe and Hermione, but a mis-pronunciation of ne-FEL is actually rather pleasing.
Wild Card: Tamarix -- Part Tamara, part Beatrix. The name of a species of flowering plants, derived from the Tamaris river in Spain where some of the species flourish. Tamaris is the Latin name and it has been suggested that it shares the same etymological route as the river Thames (Latin = Tamesis) which derives from an old Proto-Celtic name meaning "dark river."
Good luck with the name-questing! Please keep us updated.