Category: naming siblings
Welcome back to Nameberry’s newest column, The Name Sage. Every week, I 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
They’re looking for a name that is:
- Definitely not in the US Top 100, and probably not in the US Top 300.
- But not so uncommon that the name is completely out there!
- Clearly a boy’s name, so no Emerson, Rowan, etc.
Or did we?
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:
When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, a girl, choosing her name was efficient and simple. We tossed around a few names that neither of us hated and within 5 minutes decided that our wee girl would be called Juliette. We never wavered or second guessed ourselves. We had no idea at the time that we’d have 5 additional children rounding out our family. I didn’t recognize that choosing the first couple of kid’s names sort of sets the tone for additional kid’s name. It certainly doesn’t have to if sibset continuity doesn’t matter to you but for me, that is something I wish I’d considered.
Did you give all of your dolls perfectly coordinating names as a child? Maybe you had dolls named Sandra and Chandra. (OK so you probably didn’t name your dolls Sandra and Chandra; this is just a random example. Please go with it.) Maybe once you became a teen that same combo grated on your nerves.
Opinions vary widely on how much sibling names should match. And the rules can be different for same gender vs. opposite gender siblings and twins.
Let’s face it : the blank slate of naming your first child can be intimidating.
Will you stick with the classics? Or would you be happier with a Cricket instead of a Charlotte, a Wylie rather than a William? You’ve always liked your mother’s maiden name, Davis, and then there’s his fabulous Great Aunt Marguerite – but do you want to hand down family names, or is it better to start fresh? Is Wyatt too trendy? Is Cordelia too obscure?
It’s a riddle, but despite dire warnings of name regret, most parents seem to choose a perfectly suitable name for their firstborn.
Welcoming a second child means that you’ve got a crib and car seat already, but when it comes to names, you’re back at the beginning.
Or are you? Because not only will you revisit many of the questions from the first round, you’ll also have to consider whether baby #2’s name matches, clashes – or matches too much – with the big brother or sister-to-be.