How Important is following a sibset?

I’m just curious what the general consensus is on strictly adhering to a sibset. I hear this “argument” often on nameberry, either for or against names.

I was talking to my mother about the idea, and she looked at me like I was insane. She named 4 of us with names she loved, and didn’t think about if they matched each other. And oddly enough, all of our names suit our very different personalities.

I have one son, [name]Finley[/name] [name]Ransom[/name], and am expecting a daughter, and have been wondering how important it really is that we find a name for her that “matches” her brother’s.


I really don’t think it’s that important. Most people won’t really pay attention to sibling’s names-- I think it just simply doesn’t occur to most people. Of course, if I came across a sibset of… Caeleighy and [name]Wilhelmina[/name], for example, it would definitely seem odd. I do think there’s a wide range of names that ‘fit’ with [name]Finley[/name], anyway.

I don’t think it matters. It’s just that if you normally like names of a certain style, and happen to pick a name for one of your kids in a very different style, you might regret it later. It might just be one of those things where the name you picked struck you as cute, pretty, etc in the moment, but then later the feeling dwindles (because ultimately the name just isn’t your style…) For me, anyway, that’s the worry.

Thanks for the input! I certainly have my own style, but I just don’t know if the names I like are of the same formal style. I have always wanted my children to have strong, masculine or feminine names, so in that I suppose they will “match”.

Funny, though, my brother’s name is [name]Taylor[/name], named so long before it became popular for girls, and I picked [name]Finley[/name] for my son long before it went the same way. [name]Both[/name] of us thought we picked names that were strictly masculine, yet unique! My mother and I have a knack for picking boy’s names that sway toward unisex! :slight_smile:

[name]Ransom[/name], BTW, is a family name on DH’s side.

I think it’s good to nix really jarring incongruences–you don’t want to have names that just clash. But I don’t think you need to put in a huge amount of effort to ensure that the names are perfectly harmonious, either–as long as the combination isn’t disastrous, it makes more sense just to choose the names you like.

I think it’s just a matter of opinion, without any right or wrong.

For me personally, matching styles and femininity/masculinity is important, but that’s just me. For example, a feminine, classic name such as [name]Juliet[/name] paired with a sister named [name]Sawyer[/name] clashes horribly to me, much like wearing a prom dress paired with tennis shoes, or an orange top with green pants; they just don’t “match” to me.

Like the previous poster said, I personally think it’s important to avoid names that are stylistically different to the point of being jarring.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

It only matters within reason. Like someone else said, nothing “jarring.” Naming two daughters [name]Rosemary[/name] and [name]Genevieve[/name] and then naming the third one [name]Scout[/name] just sounds like their parents went through a sudden personality change.

But I don’t think it’s vital that they “match” perfectly, especially since how well the names flow together is often subjective. Besides, children have distinct personalities. You might have one girl who’s a gentle [name]Rosemary[/name] and next have a spunky [name]Eliza[/name]. There’s nothing wrong with their names carrying a different feeling or image. IMHO.

Thanks to everyone! I was starting to feel like I was approaching finding a name for my daughter the wrong way by not considering [name]Finley[/name]'s name. The names I like for her are pretty unique, but classic and feminine, so I think I’m safe anyway, but I just wanted to make sure!


I agree with most of these posters. If it’s a ridiculous discrepancy (sisters [name]Michelle[/name] and Clytemnestra) or if one kid really stands out in a group of three or more (brothers [name]Edward[/name], [name]John[/name], [name]Jaylin[/name], and [name]Michael[/name]), then it’s a problem. It’s also not great if one name plays off your ln in a particular way and the other doesn’t – feministing sisters [name]Jessica[/name] Valenti and [name]Vanessa[/name] Valenti come to mind. Other than these scenarios, though, I think any combo is pretty much ok.

I really dont think it is important. At least not to me and i cant imagine why some people nix names they like because it doesnt match their other childrens name. I mean they wont always be a pair or group, they are individual people and should be able to have individuall names. Now however there is a big diffrence i will say between people that try to kind of match a little bit with similar the same number of syllables or such but people that match sound and so on i find sort of rediculous. Like having sons [name]Aiden[/name], [name]Caden[/name], [name]Braden[/name], [name]Jaden[/name] and daughters [name]Rachel[/name] and [name]Rashell[/name]. Obviously when names are soooo similar they get mixed up its just rediculous. So no its not important but slight simularties arnt bad, while rhyming and VERY similar sib sets are in my opnion

I agree with most of the above posters that it only really matters to avoid vast differences in style (whoever mentioned [name]Michelle[/name] and Clytemnestra was spot on), but also, should you have another son, I would give him a fairly soft name to match [name]Finley[/name] (which, in my opinion, is much better on boys than on girls), such as [name]Hugo[/name], [name]James[/name] … anything other than [name]Gunner[/name] or [name]Trig[/name], really.

It’s also important to think about nickname possibilities - I’ve come across the sibling sets [name]Rose[/name] and [name]Cosima[/name], and [name]Matilda[/name] and [name]Silvia[/name], before. All very well and good, until you realise they get called [name]Rosie[/name] and Cosie and [name]Tilly[/name] and [name]Silly[/name] respectively. (To [name]Matilda[/name]'s mother’s credit, she did try and call her [name]Mattie[/name] instead, but [name]Matilda[/name] herself preferred [name]Tilly[/name].)

Yeah, I do agree it’s subjective. I also put it from the siblings’ perspective. They won’t always be seen in a group or a list of names, but they will have to deal with each other in the home.

I think names do have some related imagery to them, and it might be extreme to make them match too well (not like rhyming or syllables), like all classics, to avoid any limiting imagery, but if you keep them in a sort of related imagery - they are unlimited, whereas if they have too disparate names, they may feel as though your expectations are tied to their names. This is my brilliant scholar, this is my little tomboy, and this one loves to play with dolls and have tea parties. If they all have a name that makes you think ONE of those things, they can individuate themselves better, I think, than if they have names you picked out like you were prescribing them a personality.

Kids do tend to grow into their names and perhaps if you give them an eclectic assortment of names, they will grow up to fit their names anyway - or maybe they were defined by how people responded to them and their names. I think a lot of people are quite strict in what they consider “going” together, as I think there’s a lot more room there.

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I feel like I do have some different tastes in names - and the older I get, the fewer sibset problems I’m going to need to worry about. I do have some arbitrary sense of what names I prefer, the short, simple kind of name, like [name]Greta[/name], that if I were to at the last minute decide [name]Lucille[/name] was the perfect name, I think names like [name]Greta[/name] would have to go. [name]Helen[/name] might still be ok. [name]Sara[/name], definitely not. I think [name]Lucille[/name] is decidedly more exotic than [name]Sara[/name], just sounds too French or [name]Greta[/name] sounds too [name]German[/name], while [name]Helen[/name] is maybe going to be more like [name]Helene[/name] or [name]Elena[/name]. [name]Lucille[/name] and [name]Helen[/name] sound like they could be roommates in the nursing home. Friendly, down-to-earth, kind of old. [name]Eloise[/name] might be more ideal, and see that I am setting my choices down a little farther from the spare, kind of name for a little more elaborate. [name]Pearl[/name] would go because it sounds as elaborate in one syllable, very dreamy, pearly imagery, while [name]Miranda[/name] sounds like it might be from a different neighborhood in my skull, I think it’s in the same vague family of femininity. [name]Mireille[/name] would probably be “better,” except I don’t like it better. [name]Miranda[/name] and [name]Greta[/name] don’t sound ideal, but I think they could be ok. [name]Miranda[/name], [name]Greta[/name], [name]Eloise[/name], [name]Lucille[/name], [name]Pearl[/name], and [name]Helen[/name]. That’s six names that don’t all go well together, but some seem too “theme-y”, like [name]Greta[/name] and [name]Pearl[/name] both mean “pearl,” [name]Lucille[/name] and [name]Helene[/name] both mean “light.” [name]Eloise[/name] and [name]Helen[/name] sound too similar. Some of those ties might seem cute to some people, twins name [name]Eloise[/name] and [name]Helen[/name], or two daughters named “light.” I think either example is more cute than I need. I guess I have to name the 3rd one [name]Claire[/name]. That hurts my teeth, you know, but I imagine some of you would think it’s perfect.

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It’s like rearranging a room - you will know when you have that chair in the right place so you stop stubbing your toe, and you’ve figured out what curtains are best for the windows to make the room look how you want it - not how your neighbor has hers, or how you copied it out of a magazine.

I should maybe also say - we definitely have, as a group, a lot of ideas for combos, that are middle names - sometimes they “match” the first name, but quite often nobody has a lot to say about a completely different style for a middle name than the first name. They concentrate on “flow”, and especially how a first name sounds with a last name, and really if the middle is a different style of name, it’s almost encouraged - to offset an unusual first name, or to feminize a boyish first name on a girl. Sibsets are by contrast, what is my name, what are my sister’s and brother’s names, and do we sound like a family, or does one of us have a left out kind of name, seem like a “mistake” or ill-considered compared to the others, one that’s too plain among shiny, or too flamboyant in a family of very classic names, the odd name with the mainstream names, or vice versa, etc. So it’s mildly important, and extremely subjective.