• January 2008
    S M T W T F S
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On the baby name message boards that I frequent, there are many conversations about sibsets. “What should I name my next child so it fits with my current child(ren)?” This is important to a lot of people. Well, maybe it’s just important to a lot of name freaks. 🙂

I know a lot of you like a certain style when naming your children. Whether it be classic, Biblical, or tryndee, parents usually want to stick with a style and therefore the names of their children are usually consistent. Others just choose names that they like, no matter what style it is. This is fine, but it may lead to a Nevaeh among sisters Elizabeth, Katherine and Anne.

How about matchy names? Taylor and Tyler. Fred and Jed. Mackenzie and Mackayla. Another thing that parents may do that isn’t entirely bad, but in some ways shows a lack of creativity (or maybe too much creativity in order to get the match). 🙂 I think it also leads to a lot of tongue-twisters and/or confusion when calling for the kids.

There’s also the same initial issue. If you use names that begin with the letter A for the first two children, do you continue that for the subsequent children? I wouldn’t use the same letter twice personally, unless I find another R name that I absolutely love (which isn’t likely), but I don’t mind it when people do use the same letter. My mom’s family is Debra, Douglas, Dale, Diane and David. And then there’s me and my brother… Kelli and Keith (Jr). So, I don’t have a problem with it. I also don’t see the problem in straying from a letter that has already been used more than once. Although, I have to admit that a Jason would stand out against siblings named Lisa, Luke, and Lesley.

The main reason this is a topic of conversation, I suppose, is that parents don’t want a child to feel “left out.” Though I imagine that this is more of an issue to the parents than to the children. And also a lot of these are probably only things that I would notice and therefore aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. But because I am a freak, I… well, notice… and therefore talk about it on my name blog. 🙂

I, of course, think differently for other people than for myself. I am of two minds personally. I would like for my children’s names to “fit,” but since we are probably going to have only two children, the theme of my children’s names could just be that there isn’t a theme. 🙂 Rachel is Biblical and classic, so I could go with a completely different type of name for our second child and it will be ok with me. However, if we have a third, then I would be stuck with what kind of name to choose. I’m sure I would find something (I’m not completely obsessed about this for myself, surprisingly enough), but I’m glad that we are only going to have two kids. 🙂

Some resources on sibsets: My favorite baby name book is The Baby Name Wizard. I refer to it so much that my copy is falling apart. It categorizes names and tells how popular each name has been. But one of my favorite features is the suggestion of possible sibling names for each name it lists. On a funny side note, it lists Leah as a possible sister name for Rachel. Why would anyone want to name their daughter Leah after having a Rachel? Wasn’t Leah the ugly and unwanted sister? 🙂 Anyway, it is really interesting to see what the author, Laura Wattenberg, suggests. Wattenberg has a cool blog… there’s a link to it in my sidebar. She also has another website that would help with sibling names called Nymbler (link to the right), where you plug in a name and it gives you other names you may like. Thanks to Kristen for reminding me of this neat site!

I’m sure I will talk about this topic more in the future, but we’ll leave it at that for now. I couldn’t leave without a question though, so how do you feel about sibsets in general?


8 Responses

  1. I like for the names to go together but NOT be matchy matchy or start with the same letter. (Mainly because I always confuse them. My nephews are Anthony and Andrew. I NEVER call them by the right name).

    I’m pretty rigid with keeping with a theme. If one child has a Bible/family name, then I think all the kids should.

  2. well, to start, my kids names are Michaela, Matthew, Nathan, and Adrienne. After the 1st two, everyone kept asking us if we were going to start them all with M’s. That was never our intention – we just liked those names. And my husband and I were just talking the other night about how Adrienne is the only non-biblical name (since Michaela is the female version of Michael in many languages). But they all have biblical middle names (abigail, isaac, samuel, and elisabeth). Anyway, I guess we didn’t think it mattered too much, because we named her Adrienne. 🙂 I guess our only theme is that we liked the names we chose, the meanings the names had (together with middle name meanings), and that they all fit well with our last name! (how a name sounds is important to me)
    oh, and I don’t think there’s any way at all to avoid mixing up your kids’ names. All 4 of mine get called someone else, boys, girls, doesn’t matter. I don’t know how exactly it happens, but it does, all the time!! My tongue gets all tied up. 🙂

  3. I’m all for matching/names that go together 🙂 I like that all my children end in a “y” and I like that Abby & Colby both have the “by” ending especially since they are twins.

    What a fun blog!

  4. oh, I also wanted to add that I have a friend who has 4 girls and a boy. The mom and 4 girls have first names starting with letters J, K, L, M, and N, but the boy has an A. I just found that an interesting way to stick to a pattern!

  5. So get this… my grandparents were weird. They named my mom Lucinda Sue and called her “Cindee”. And to get a name to go with it… they “created” the name Celinda Lue for my aunt and called her “Lindee”.

    I’m just glad they didn’t try to rhyme my uncle’s name to Lucinda and Celinda.


  6. I’m with Jaime on this one — I like them to fit together, but not so much that it’s too cutesy.
    I also think it’s important for the names to sound okay with the parent’s names, too. That’s why we’re skipping on the Russian names (even though I’d love to use one). I just think it would be really strange to have Ben, Katherine, Nelson and then Alexi or Sergei. 🙂
    Oh – and I like everyone to have their own letter — mostly because my Mom always used initials to label everything when I was little, and I always felt like “K” was very special for me!

  7. My kids are named Asher and Ainsley. I’m Amy…people comment on the commonality of our names, but we didn’t do it on purpose. My kids also share my middle name, which is my maiden name. So, I guess I’m all about the subsets. 🙂

  8. I like names that are unique but not crazy, which is why I chose Corban not Corbanzo. Know what I mean? Some people really should not be allowed to name children. 🙂 I like siblings’ names to go together without being matchy. My brother is Brian, it goes well with Erin — both Irish with similar ending. I feel strongly that this should apply to even twins/multiples, as well. It’s always bothered me that just because someone could come up with a good name for the first child of a set, they felt the need to either create or rhyme the subsequent names. If I was born second and got the lesser of names, I’d be upset most of my life. One classic example, my great-grandmother’s best friends while growing up in the early 1900s were named Cate and Duplicate. Yes, that’s true. Good thing when she had her own identical twins (my grandmother and great-aunt) she named them Martha and Mildred. Ok, so those aren’t used much anymore but at least it’s not Cate and Duplicate.

    Also on that note, my mother-in-law has been cursed with one of the made-up-because-they-had-to-rhyme names. Her sister is Loretta Pearl so she is Ozela Merle. Bad, huh? Needless to say, her name won’t be passed on to any of our future girls.

    I find myself liking names that start with C, end in N and are British/Irish of origin. But that being said, I don’t think I’d choose another name that started with the same letter unless it had some great meaning to me. It’s always irritated me when people have several children with all A names, etc. I guess it could save money on monogramming bibs and such but I liked having my own initial in my family. But that’s just me. I did find it funny though that the Duggar family, Arkansans famous for having 17 children, named all of them with J names and the 17th kid was named Jennifer. It’s like they ran out of names and finally got around to old-faithful. 🙂

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