Zara writes: " am really hoping you can help as I am at a loss. I have a 4 year old son called Auden (a name I adore... found through your website!). We are due to have a second son in May and I cannot think of a name that goes with Auden. A name that is unusual like Auden but also strong and doesn’t feel made up – I have toyed with the idea of Jude then realised I know 4 Jude’s already so this is perhaps too common for me.
Popularity does matter ideally I don’t want anything in the top 100 in UK or Australia"
Names already considered/crossed off: Llewyn, Lowen (don’t want him to get called Louie), Theon, Arlo.
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I love Auden! What I especially like about it is its sleek modern feel but with a heritage that goes back to both the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings. I'll be honest, I was a little gutted to see Llewyn crossed off your list, as one of the names that has the same modern-ancient vibe for me is Lewin, the later form (now more common as a surname) of the Old English name Leofwine meaning "dear friend." However, there are plenty of other uncommon modern-sounding names with ancient heritages to choose from:
Levin – If you are worried Lewin will lead to Louie, how about Lewin's brother Levin, derived both from the Anglo-Saxon Leofwine "dear friend" and the Old Germanic cognate Leobwin. It's uncommon in the English-speaking world (except as a surname) but ranks in the top 20 in Switzerland. It can also be spelled Leven.
Levett – In a similar vein, is Levett, a name that survives as a surname derived from the Old French leuet "wolf-cub" which was probably used as a nickname in the early Middle Ages.
Jago – Blending Jude and Arlo, Jago is a traditional Cornish name used as a form of Jacob/James. It's origins, however, date right back to the early Middle Ages and beyond -- Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote about a legendary king of Britain named Jago -- and the Welsh form, Iago, has been in use since at least the 6th century, so it most likely represents an ancient Celtic name.
Jowan / Bowen– In line with Lowen, Jowan is another sleek Cornish name, a form of ancient John. Bowen is a Welsh surname derived from ab Owen "son of Owen."
Evander/Leander/Lysander – These Ancient Greek heroes still have an effortlessly cool and modern sound. All combine the Greek andros "man" with positive elements: eu "good" (Evander), leon "lion" (Leander) and lysis "free, releasing i.e. emancipator" (Lysander).
Theron – A lesser known, but equally stylish ancient Greek name is Theron meaning "hunter" in Greek.
Roscoe – Like Arlo, Roscoe is surname derived from topography. In this case, Roscoe derives from a Scandinavian name meaning "deer forest."
Enver – A highly accessible Albanian name which is itself a form of the Arabic Anwar meaning "luminous, enlightened, radiant."
Blaine/Blane – Blane is an ancient Gaelic name derived from blaan "yellow" which survives as the name of a 6th-century Scottish saint.
Tate – A modern form of the Anglo-Saxon name Tata, likely cognate with the Norse name Teitr meaning "happy, glad, merry."
Soren – An anglicised form of the traditional Danish and Norwegian Søren and Swedish Sören -- both derived from the ancient Roman name Severinus.
Zephyr – In Greek mythology, Zephyros was the god of the west wind. Zephyr is the sleek and cool English form.
Reeve– In the Middle Ages, a reeve was an official, estate manager or a king's officer, and even has a literary twist thanks to Chaucer's The Reeve's Tale from The Canterbury Tales.
Brooks – This suave and sophisticated surname-first name is rare in Britain, but is marginally better known in the US where it is a rising trendsetter (having risen smoothly from #596 to #231 in ten years) Namesakes include silent film actor Brooks Benedict (1896-1968) and baseball player Brooks Robinson (b.1937).
Torben – Torben is a modern form of the Old Norse name Thorbjorn (Þòrbjörn), composed from Thor "thunder," the ultimate Viking god, and bjorn "bear."
Thurstan/Torsten – From the Old Norse name Þórstæinn meaning "Thor's stone". Torsten is the more modern Scandinavian form, while Thurstan is the Old English variant which survived in use in Britain through the Middle Ages into the 19th century. Though uncommon, it was once well used among the aristocracy in North England in the 15th century.
Zane – An English surname descended from the Old English personal name Saewine, made up of the elements sǣ "sea" and wine "friend."
Leif – An ancient Viking name meaning "heir, descendant" which was made famous by 11th century explorer Leif Eriksson. Leif is also found as an English surname deriving from Leofa "beloved."
Saxon – The name of the ancient tribe which derived their name from their weapon of choice: seax "knife, short sword, dagger." In the same way, Franklin derives from the Franks, who got their name from *frankon "javelin, lance." The name survives as a surname.
Foxon – This cool surname looks like uber-cool Fox, but actually derives from medieval name Folk, itself derived from the Old Germanic name Fulco meaning "of the people."
I hope this has been of use. Best wishes for finding the perfect name.