Let me start by saying I absolutely LOVE this site and reading the Q&A section. Though I’m not a parent yet, I love looking up possibilities for when the time comes.
I recently read a question submitted to you about cohesive sibling names. You replied that you don’t like “matching” twins names or all names beginning with the same letter…and I totally agree with you! However, my question is about siblings with names from different cultures.
I’m Irish, living in Ireland, with a completely Irish background and a future Irish surname, McCormack. I have my heart set on Tuiren for a girl (Tuiren, in Irish legend, is Fionn MacCumhaill’s aunt, famed for her beauty). My problem is Tuiren is the only Irish name I love and my favourite boys names are Daniel, Matthew and Reese. Another favourite girls names would be Lexie. So my question is, would it be weird to name one child such an Irish name and use names from different cultures for her siblings?
No, I don’t think it would be weird. Your children will have their own identities and their own lives. Like I’ve said previously, their names don’t have to match and they don’t have to form a “theme.”
My mom use to say, “If I had known I was going to have four girls I would have named you Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.” (A reference to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.) Well, I’m happy that we’re Sue, Kate, Jennifer and Mallory!
The only problem I see is that Tuiren is not easy to spell or pronounce, unless it’s different in Ireland…?
Apr 17, 2015 by Jennifer M.
A few months ago, I emailed you a question about names. To recap: my husband gets to choose our second daughter’s name and I was concerned because his front runner was Annabelle and our oldest is named Noelle, nicknamed Noelle-bell.
He ultimately decided against Annabelle and has chosen Lily Christine. I really like the name and was flattered that he chose a variant of my name for her middle name as Noelle’s middle name, Elizabeth, is a family name from his side (my side has several Christians and me, a Christy).
Our little girl is due at the end of June but this is pretty much final as it is written on his “to do” list as “buy a light for Lily’s room.” When I searched the name, Lily Christine was a burlesque actress in the early 20th century but I am pretty sure that will not affect her later in life.
Thank you so much for your help!
You are very welcome, and I don’t think the burlesque actress will have any affect on your child at all. Congratulations and thanks for the update! Lily is one of my favorite names! I’m born in May and Lily of the Valley is my flower.
I also think Lily goes well with Noelle. They both have the double-L without being matchy-matchy sibling names. Tell DH good job!
Hubby’s Name Choice
Jan 12, 2015 by Jennifer M.
My husband gets final say on this baby girl due in June as I named our two year old. The two-year-old is named Noelle Elizabeth and I have called her my little Noelle Bell ever since she was very little. The problem is my husband’s top name is Annabelle. I like the name but feel it is too close to Noelle and it is “stealing” her nickname.
What do you think? Should I stop calling Noelle my Noelle Bell now and just go with it? I am really hoping I can just talk him into Lorelei (his second choice.)
Well, this is a tough one. You have given hubby the right to name #2, so if you like the name Annabelle I’d stay stick with it. I don’t think you need to stop calling your first daughter her nickname if she’s used to it.
THAT BEING SAID, my personal opinion is that the “belle” suffix is too diminutive for girls and may give her a disadvantage in life. Annabelle is cute for a three-year-old, but will it work in the board room? Case in point: you are already using it as a diminutive nickname for Noelle. So maybe you can use that as a case against Annabelle for #2.
Also, when searching the name Annabelle, I found that it was the name of a recent horror movie (see poster to right). That should help with your case…
Good luck and let me know how that goes!
First, I have to thank you for this amazing site! I’m always on here looking for inspiring baby names. I have read nearly every Q&A so I am familiar with your “rules for baby naming”. One thing I have always wondered about, and have never really seen you talk about (forgive me if you have and I missed it!) is if you have an opinion on the cohesiveness of sibling names. Does it matter to anyone out there that all their children have names that mesh well? Or would you have a “Fifi”, a “Zion”, a “Shantel” and a “Keoni” all in the same family?
Thank you for being a loyal reader!
My opinion is that every child in a household should have his/her own identity. I therefore advise against naming children after parents, “matching” twins names or even creating sibling patterns, such as all names starting with the same letter. I understand that parents like to show the cohesiveness of the family unit through naming patterns. It’s sort of like doling out uniforms for a team. However I believe sharing a surname is cohesive enough. Don’t box your children (or you) in with unnecessary name rules! I would love it if I met a family with a Fifi, Zion, Shantel and Keoni! Those are fascinating name choices.
Similar Sibling Names
Feb 19, 2014 by Jennifer M.
My boys are 2.5 years apart and we wanted to give them strong Persian names. Our oldest is Darius (Dariush) and our youngest is Darian. I loved their names until recently when people/strangers started commenting on how similar they are, and it’s confusing. Our family voted on our youngest name and chose Darian (who is 16 months old).
Now I’m worried that they are going to be made fun of at school. In your opinion, should I start calling Darian by a nickname like Rian or Ian…..or am I over-analyzing this situation?
My husband thinks Darius and Darian are fine and there is no issue, but I’m losing sleep over this. Your advise is really appreciate.
Shadi (confused Mom)
If you had asked me about your second son’s name before he was born, I would have advised against Darian. Yes, the names are too similar and it is confusing.
However now that Darian is over a year old, he has already identified with his name and I would not go do anything rash like changing it. Your solution is perfect: start thinking of some nicknames that you can at least call him at home that will avoid confusion in the household. If he likes his nickname, he’ll take it to school with him. If not, maybe he’ll choose his own.
Good luck and let me know what you choose!
Sibling names too similar?
Nov 3, 2013 by Jennifer M.
We have a son Brandon. Is Brenna too similar for a little sister name? Looking for an honest opinion.
I do think those are very similar names. You want to make sure siblings have their own identity. I know you don’t have twins, but I would especially recommend individual names for twins.