Category: Choosing the Right Baby Name
We’re expecting our first child, and we’re keeping the gender a surprise.
Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated! I’m due in early January.
The Name Sage replies:
** Before we get started with this week’s question, a request. Has your question been featured at the Name Sage? We are dying to know what you chose! Please send a birth announcement email to firstname.lastname@example.org! **
Both his first and middle names honor his great-grandparents, Charles and Al. Cal is the name of my favorite character from my favorite book, East of Eden, and Alasdair is a cheeky nod to Alexander the Great and the fact that we were deployed to Afghanistan at the time of his conception. It’s the perfect name for him and our family.
The problem is coming up with a name for his little brother, due in March, with a similar traditional feel, cool-but-not-too-common nickname-ability, and family significance. We like strong, classic boy names, but I have always wanted to avoid the Top 100 — though I obviously made an exception with Charles.
Some of the family first names we’re working with are John, William, James, Thomas, and Raymond — all of which are too familiar for my taste, as they are — and Bertsch, Rhodes, and Stokes as possibly transformable last names. I’d also be open to using honor initials, like J.D. after my father or T.R. after my husband’s grandfather, but we just can’t think of any combination of names that we’re in love with.
As a middle child, I know what it’s like to feel overshadowed by my older sibling, and I really want this baby’s name to be just as special as his brother’s. Can you offer any advice?
The Name Sage replies:
Here in the US, some of the most popular twin sets include names like Matthew & Michael, Daniel & David, Hailey & Hannah or Ella & Emma. Yet others are even matchier such as Lillian and Jillian, Bryan & Ryan or Jesse & Jessica. While there isn’t technically anything wrong with matching names together like this, there are plenty of ways to be more creative when naming twin while still allowing them to have their own identities.
I’ve come up with three ways to help parents make sure their twins won’t have overly matchy names. We will examine twin names that are linked together by meaning while still being different from one another, names that sound very different but still work together stylistically, and names that share a common sound without rhyming or being too sound-alike.
1. Linked by meaning
These names don’t rhyme or sound alike but they do share a similar meaning. This is great for parents who feel the urge to make twin names matchy but don’t want to rhyme or have the names start with the same letter.
Or the rare instance where the meaning of a name is also a name:
2. Very different sounds
These names may be of a similar style or origin but they do not sound the same. They do not rhyme; they might not even have any of the same letters in common. These names stand together but have their own identities.
These names share a similar sound or two, but they are not overwhelmingly similar and they do not rhyme. Often, these sounds will be emphasized differently and the names will have different syllable counts.
What do you think of this list? Whether you like or dislike the idea of making twin names overly matchy, perhaps you can share in the comments some examples of names that you appreciate on twins. Do you have twins of your own? Do you have twin names picked out just in case? Where do you draw the line between the names being subtly linked and being too close for comfort?
*(Before we get started with this week’s question, a request. Has your question been featured at the Name Sage? We are dying to know what you chose! Please send a birth announcement email to email@example.com!)
My husband and I are expecting a little girl this winter. She will be our first child and we are both overjoyed! However, finding a name for our little one has proved to be quite the challenge.
I’m that girl who had her children’s names picked when I was ten. My husband has other ideas. Who would ever have thought we could have such different taste!
The only name we can come close to an agreement on would be to use Ann in some way in our daughter’s name.
At this point we are both at a loss and drowning in names that we cannot agree on! Any advice you can grant us would be such a great help!
We are expecting our first, and we are not finding out the sex.
We really like the name Dahlia or Dalia for a girl and Judah for a boy. We like the name Sunshine for a girl’s middle name (one of his sisters’ names) and David for a boy’s middle name (my dad’s name).
The problem? His family is full of amazing, original, and Biblical names and I love them all.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
The Name Sage replies: