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Naming siblings as a set?

Dear Name Lady,

I love interesting combinations of sibling names. It's so sweet to meet families with multiple children who have intriguing names that go well together. For instance, Sarah Palin caught my interest with her children's names Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig.

However, when it comes to naming my own children, I have long cherished a group of sibling names, but I don't really care for some of the names when they stand alone. It seems foolish, but I can't give up the sounds of the names together, nor can I find equally suitable alternatives. Help!

- Naming in Bunches

I'm a big believer in thinking about siblings when you pick a name. The names don't have to match like a set of china, but they should be equal in the ways that count. For instance, if one child has a middle name, they all should have middle names. It's the same story with wildly creative names, family namesakes and so on. But it's possible to go too far, and you, my dear, are about to cross that line. How do I know? It's simple. You're breaking the Golden Rule of Baby Naming:

It's not your name. It's the baby's name.

Naming babies should be creative fun for parents. Never forget, though, that this isn't really about you. We parents only get to choose the names because babies are, well, babies. A newborn isn't in any position to weigh the benefits of Ella vs. Chloe. So you make choices on her behalf, trying your best to prepare her for a healthy, happy, successful life.

When you start talking about choosing names because of how they sound as a set, you're thinking too much about yourself. I understand the impulse, believe me. When you love names as I do, naming fantasy families can be irresistible. But this is your child's one and only name and she deserves the best you can give her, siblings or no siblings.

Remember that life is unpredictable. You may start out with a dream of three sons and three daughters, but end up with six sons ... or you may have a single, cherished child. So when your baby is born, celebrate that singular miracle with a name you can love for a lifetime.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

March 23, 2013 8:16 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Interesting information!! I have 4 children, 2 girls and twin boys. I am a big reader of Sci-Fi Fantasy books and all my children's names stem from there.
My girls are Raythe (rhymes with faith) and Nemesis. My sons are Axis and Suaine (pronounced Swayne).

I wanted my kids to have unusual names and I have definitely given them that Although they may not have that ring when all names are combined they have yet to meet anyone with the same names as them. One day that may happen but until that day comes they are 1 in 7 billion

January 16, 2015 2:49 PM
By Larlixxe (not verified)

Hiya! My parents named me Stacey - so boring, very bland. Not at all creative. I decided I didn't want my children to have the horrible childhood I'd had - having to go through live with a basic unoriginal name.I was only planning on having 2 or 3 kids but ended up with 7! That's life! LOL! (I'm very grateful for them and love them all, BTW.) I gave them kinda match-y names...

- Thay Charlette (boy)
- Brooke Rayne (boy)
- Desiree Larkin (girl)
- Stormy Saphire (girl)
- Elvaline Emerald (girl)
- Xeona Besua (girl)

... until I got to my last child. I LOVE how the above names stand out but both my grandmothers had just passed so I wanted to name my seventh child (a girl) in a way that would honor them. Her name is Harriet (known as 'Hattie') Grace. It's a little bit inside-the-box but I love it! Her middle name is from my paternal mee-maw and her first is from my maternal nana! She really suits her name. She is now 7, so I'm glad her name is easy to spell. If I had another child I'd go down the classic route and name them Beverly Anne or Alicia Clare for a girl and William Mark or Eric Christopher for a boy!

Do you prefer my 'edgy' choices or my 'classic' choices? Let me know!

- Stacey* x

*I used to go by Larlixxe but have gone back to Stacey as it is just easier for job interviews and stuff.

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