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namesageWelcome to Nameberry’s newest column, The Name Sage. Every week, I’ll answer one reader’s questions about naming a baby-on-the-way, or general baby name angst. And here’s the best part: we’d love it if you would add your thoughtful suggestions and comments to help expectant parents decide. The world needs more nicely named children, berries! Want to see your question featured? Please email namesage@nameberry.com.

Lindsay and her husband are expecting their second child, a little sister for Charlie Layne. They love Charlie’s name, and they’re trying to find something they like just as much for their daughter-on-the-way.

She writes:

We are currently struggling with whether to continue the borrowed-from-the-boys trend, which I know can nearly incite a riot! If we go for a girly name will one child feel left out?

Their current list includes Elliot, Even, Reese, and Finley, but also Lila, Lola, Stella, and Willa.

Lindsay adds: At this point it feels more like trying to “match” to our first daughter’s name rather than picking something we truly love.

Read on for my answer, and please add your thoughtful comments, too!

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How to Name a Large Family

naming large families

By Kate at Sancta Nomina (Katherine Morna Towne)

Whether you’re planning on it (Duggar) or it takes you by surprise (Gosselin), having a big family means choosing a lot of names. Naming with care can help with everything from reducing the possibility of you having name regret, to staving off your children’s dissatisfaction with their given names, to minimizing the craziness others will inevitably tag you with. (Maybe.)

Be forward thinking

You have a plan for your parenthood, and it doesn’t include having a big family. Maybe you’re going to have two children, and their names are both going to start with K, or they’re going to be named after your two favorite Olympic speed skaters. Then life happens—you marry a guy who really wants ten children and two just doesn’t seem like the right compromise, or you find yourself unexpectedly expecting triplets.

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Twin Names: Seven Ways to Link

twin names

There are lots of ways to link twin names, from the obvious — sharing a first initial — to the so-subtle-it’s-nearly-invisible.  Here, we look at the seven major ways to link names for twins, with examples of specific names that work…..and a few that don’t.  Even if you’re not expecting twins but want to link your children’s names in some way, this is a good general guide to the possibilities.

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sibling names

When i was pregnant with Baby Number 3, my older son, aged three, had lots of ideas about what I should name his little brother.

Rainbow Boy was one prime contender, I remember.

He also had an inordinate fondness for the name Jim.  Not a bad name, though I feared that for a baby name expert to name her own sons Joe and Jim might be a bit too basic, like a fashion designer dressing only in white tee shirts and jeans.

Older siblings often have strong and amusing ideas about what to name the baby.

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posted by: Abby View all posts by this author
names too close

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

When we decided to call our daughter Clio, we forever closed the door on another favorite name – Theodore, nickname Theo.

Or did we?

For every family that decides Maya and Milo are too similar, another embraces the sound-alike names. Or insists that Alicia and Alina have totally different sounds.

Perhaps it never even occurs to the parents that Joanna and Jackson are both related to John. Or maybe the first time you think of the famous actress is when you introduce your daughter Grace, little sister to Kelly and someone asks if you’re a fan.

Siblings’ names will be said together countless times. The names we like often have much in common. So how can you tell if your choices make for a compatible sibset, or if they’re much too close?

Here are ten factors to consider:

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