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My wife has charged me with giving our son an English name to go alongside his given Thai name — Chaterin (spelling?) which means "royal" or "king-like".  This, as I understand it, would serve as a legal middle name and as something to call him replacing his nickame, Gaow (Thai for the number "nine" so given because a friend of the family was a fan of the San Francisco 49ers and he was born in the Western year of 1999).

I've just started making a list of names I like and finding out what they mean.  I think a name is more meaningful if it means something interesting or there's a definite reason for picking it.  For example, my first name — Mark — means "defender" or "warlike" (I've never heard a story of why this was chosen for me).  My middle name is Joseph ("addition") and was given as it was my father's middle name.

Here's a not-so-short list of possible names for Gaow, and their meanings:

Abraham (Hebrew - "father of many")
Alexander (Greek - "great protector")
Alonzo (Spanish - "joyful"; name of my mother's father)
Gabriel (Hebrew - "power of God")
Horatio (Latin - "timekeeper")
Maximillian (English - "the best")
Montgomery (English - "powerful")
Ronald (Old Norse - "leader"; also, my own father's name)
Solomon (Hebrew - "peaceful")
Vladimir (Slovak - "well-known ruler")
Xavier (French - "bright")
Zachary (Hebrew - "Godly")
I'm also planning to look at song titles and characters in some of my favorite songs for inspiration (no, I won't be naming my son "The Magic Rat" from Springsteen's "Jungleland"...).  Perhaps literature as well...

So friends and family, do you have any favorites you'd like to recommend as a good middle name/nickname-replacement for my new son?  Email me, or add a comment to this post.  I plan to make the final decision a week or so from now (subject to Tim's approval, of course).

The names "Vladimir" and "Xavier" are out because Tim can't even pronounce them (it was hilarious getting her to try, though).  It's a shame because I always wanted to have someone to whom I could yell, "Hey Vlad!"