The ultimate sibling-naming challenge
Most parenting tasks get easier with experience. Those baby bathtubs and 100-snap pj's don't look nearly so intimidating the second time around. But one key parenting challenge actually gets harder with baby #2, and even harder with #3, 4 and beyond: choosing a name.
Perhaps you used the only two girls' names you could agree on for your daughter's first and middle names. Or your son is named Mason, ruling out Cason...and Macy. Or maybe, once you named two girls Gabriella and Isabella, you felt the need to stick to flowing, feminine names for girl #3 so she wouldn't feel too different from her sisters. Each name you choose shrinks your universe of future options.
So imagine the challenge facing the Duggar family of Arkansas, expecting their 18th child. The first 17 all have names starting with J, which defines their universe of options as J names that won't be confused with...
This seemed like a perfect challenge for my NameMatchmaker, the name-savvy program I use to help choose sibling name suggestions for the Baby Name Wizard book. Revving up the program, it quickly became clear that the Duggars' divergent approaches to boys' and girls' names would be a stumbling block. Faced with reconciling Joshua and Jeremiah with Jinger and Jessa, my NameMatchmaker got a little depressed. When I stuck to boys, though, things looked brighter. After tweaking some settings in the Matchmaker, these are the best bets:
As for girls...tough call. Ruling out names starting with Jan-, Jill-, Jess- and Jen- plus feminine versions of the boys' names limits your options, while ruling in creative spellings and neologisms makes everything more unpredictable. Here's what the Matchmaker ultimately came up with:
As I say, a tough call. And naturally, choosing names is the least of the many challenges of raising 18 children. But it's a compelling challenge for name-loving people. Can you come up with your own list of names you'd pick for 18 kids...remembering that you pick names one at a time, assuming each may be your last?