It’s about time for another post on the boys, don’t you think? Let’s talk about two of my understated favorites today: Niles and Miles.

I think these two names have a very similar feel to them: Quiet, understated, but very debonair. Miles has cool cred due to Davis, while Niles is slightly stuffier and buttoned up. I prefer Niles, though. I think it’s less common but just as smooth, and it reminds me of David Hyde Pierce, who is a major hottie in my book. Why is it that all the men I love are uninterested in the ladies? And don’t tell me that’s not what he looks like now! I don’t care! Let me live in 90s sitcom land, please.



Anyway, to make a completely embarrassing confession, that’s probably a good bit of the reason why I prefer Niles to Miles. I think I just prefer the N to the M anyway; it’s crisper, not as mushy. It also has the lovely imagery of the Nile River behind it. I mean, rivers are pretty!

The only problem I have with Niles is the questionable “legitimacy” of it as a first name. It comes from a surname that was probably derived from Neil. When you look at it that way, though, it was originally derived from a forename, which I think makes it alright. In addition, Miles has recently rocketed in popularity (well, maybe not rocketed, but it moved up quickly enough for me to worry), so Niles may not be far behind, in the vein of Madison/Addison or Mia/Maya. It hasn’t charted in the top 1000 since the 50s, though, so there’s hope. I’ve got a few years before I start having kids anyway, so I have time to see if it becomes more popular. However, in these days of Hunter, Cutter, and Gun, I doubt that the softness of the name will do it any favors.

On the all important boyfriend front, he likes it, and prefers it to Miles…because of Frasier. As you can see, nerds of a feather flock together. Since he’s nixed Daphne (Niles’ love on Frasier, and therefore unusable with the name in a sibling set), it opens the name up to possibility. He says he could see using it, as long as the embarrassing reason was kept quiet. Yay!

I think Niles needs a middle (or two!) in keeping with its classic sophistication. Some softer names can handle a rough and tumble middle, but I don’t think Niles is one of them. Niles Bruno, for example, just strikes me as weird. Niles Theodore or even Niles Christopher is much more my style. (Yes, I do see Christopher as a classic; it’s really a great name.)

What do you think of Niles and/or Miles? Which do you prefer? If you don’t like either, why?