Name Sage: Naming Cousin #27
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:
Back in the day, when big families were more common, no one worried about repetition. Some families even embraced it! My Italian mother was one of several cousins named after grandma Chiara.
But times have changed, and now families are eager to avoid repeating names within a generation – even if it means getting really creative.
The good news is that the names you love seem to fit in beautifully with this generation. Ezra, Abel, Asher, and Judah David could be brothers instead of cousins! And I think Dahlia (or Dalia) Sunshine hits exactly that right note, too – vintage, but still current. Spelled Dahlia, it’s a nature name, which seems just right with Autumn and Rose.
Since you haven’t listed all 26 cousins’ names, let’s talk about some general rules to think through when choosing a name in a big family:
While sharing some letters and sounds is inevitable, try not to use something so close as to be confusing. If there’s a cousin Delia, Dahlia might be too close. (Unless, of course, cousin Delia is all grown up and happily living in Japan, and the cousins will meet only once a year or so.)
On the other hand, don’t assume that duplication is out! While many parents go to great lengths to ensure that their child’s name is uncommon, some families still share names – especially middles, and most especially when they honor loved ones.
While it’s great to give some thought to fitting in with the family’s overall style, it’s also important to choose names that you love and that have personal significance for you.
It sounds like you’ve done exactly that with the names that you’re currently considering for your first child.
But if you’d like a few more options to add to your list, have you considered:
Carys – Another rarity, but one with a great meaning – love.
And for a boy:
Elias – I was tempted to suggest Silas, but I can’t imagine it isn’t taken! So how about Elias, the New Testament version of Elijah? It’s the most popular name on this list, but I still think it makes a great name for a son.
And yet, I’m having a hard time imagining a name other than Dahlia Sunshine or Judah David for your child. It can be intimidating to announce a name to a family full of helpful siblings – who might still be hoping to save some names for their future children! But I do think your style meshes beautifully with your husband’s family, and the names you love will fit right in.
Readers, what tips do you have for naming younger cousins in a big family?
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on November 3rd, 2015 at 11:53 pm
I suggest Hezekiah for a boy, it could have the nicknames Hez, Hezzy, Ki, Kiah, Zeke.. my favorite is Ki 🙂
Similar but I don’t personally like it quite as much is Ezekiel, which can also have Zeke as a nickname
for a girl I like Yael/Jael…it is pronounced yiy-elle and I just think it’s really pretty, and I do believe it’s biblical… I think Hezekiah and Ezekiel are too but I’m not as sure
obviously I’m not religious lol
on November 4th, 2015 at 3:57 am
I love the suggestion of Hezekiah, my favourite nickname is Ziah. Then again, I do think I prefer Judah still, you’ve chosen great names that will fit it and stand out.
on November 4th, 2015 at 7:15 pm
I would tweak Dahlia Sunshine and make it Delilah Sunshine. Names don’t get much funkier or cooler than that.
For a boy, I like Jerem David instead of Judah David.
on November 4th, 2015 at 9:20 pm
@jesstheebest I’ve noticed you suggesting Yael on several posts. I’m glad you like the name. It’s my cousin’s name. 🙂
It’s an Old Testament name meaning ibex or mountain goat.
However, you keep recommending the wrong pronunciation. It’s wo syllables. The second is emphasized: Yah-ELLE.
Ya – as in yacht
el – as in the letter L.
on November 4th, 2015 at 9:24 pm
And Dalia Sunshine is darling. Asa is a gem, and Judah David has a lot of character.
Also like poster suggestions of Delilah Sunshine and Ezequiel.
on November 5th, 2015 at 2:36 pm
Other possible girls’ names (Biblical):
Dinah (with or without the “h”)
Genesis (why not?)
Sapphira (yes, like the gemstone)
Serafina (optional “ph” spelling)
My favorite is Serafina Sunshine, although Dinah is in the same genre as popular reincarnation of older names like Charlotte, Ruby, and Viola
on November 5th, 2015 at 10:29 pm
@ashbee interesting! I have a friend named Yael and that is how she pronounces it so I assumed it was the general way!
on November 6th, 2015 at 12:25 am
I totally understand where you’re coming from! I come from a family where including all my cousins, their spouses and kids, there are about a hundred of us. Something that I’m really concerned about for when I start having kids is if another cousin takes the names I like, but I’ve had to keep reminding myself that it’s okay to have repeats because in the end it’s what the parents like that will matter the most. Judah David and Dahlia Sunshine are wonderful names! So don’t be too worried about what the family will think, and in reality, if they care about you guys they’ll be more happy about the new addition rather than what the name will be. Good luck! 🙂
on November 6th, 2015 at 12:48 am
Dahlia Daphne! Awesome!
What about the following:
Dahlia Daphne Violetta
Dahlia Daphne Fiora
Dahlia Florence Daphne
Dahlia Florentia Daphne
Dahlia Amaryllis Daphne
Dahlia Daphne Amaryllis
Dahlia Amaryllis Azalea
Dahlia Amaryllis Diana
Dahlia Daisy Amaryllis
on November 8th, 2015 at 10:49 am
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