Can You Match the Name to its Siblings?

Jan 24th 2018

You shall know them by the company they keep.

That's the idea behind the "sibling clouds" in our Namipedia. On each name page, we invite readers to submit the names of siblings they've encountered. ("Know a Sebastian? What are his siblings named?") The top 25 sibling results are displayed, with the size of the type reflecting how many times each name was submitted. For popular name pages, the 25 displayed names may be distilled from many thousands of individual name submissions. 

The resulting set gives you a unique perspective: names, as described by other names. Seeing names favored by the same families not only offers ideas for potential brothers and sisters, but paints a picture of a name’s cultural setting and stylistic impact. 

See for yourself. I've gathered a variety of sibling clouds from Namipedia pages. Can you match the names to the sibling sets? (Answers below.)

Names:

Maisie (F)
Ezra (M)
Braylee (F)
Ophelia (F)
Chad (M)
Olive (F)
Sojourner (F)
Tucker (M)
Edgar (M)
Riot (M)
Linda (F)

Clouds:

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

G.

H.

I.

J.

K.


 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ANSWERS
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A. Chad
B. Ophelia
C. Braylee
D. Edgar
E. Ezra
F. Sojourner
G. Linda
H. Maisie
I. Tucker
J. Olive
K. Riot

 

 

Comments

1
January 24, 2018 11:56 AM

Wow, I actually managed to guess all of those. D) was a bit of a surprise--I hadn't thought about that name's cross-over appeal before.

2
By Amy3
January 24, 2018 12:46 PM

I got them all! It's interesting to see a name from this perspective.

3
January 24, 2018 1:11 PM

I find the sibling pairings one of the more useful features of the site.  Some of those lists are very not my style and others I could take any name from.  It helps see how the name is "read" out in the world.

4
January 24, 2018 1:32 PM

I had them all correct at first, then switched Edgar and Ophelia last minute to the wrong places. I didn't realize Edgar was such a hit in Hispanic culture.

5
January 24, 2018 1:34 PM

I have wondered how reliable the name clouds are as far as representing real-life sibsets, not imaginary. Do you really think there are real sibsets of Romeo and Juliet out there?

6
January 24, 2018 3:31 PM

I agree, Emerald Bee! How about sisters named Olive and Olivia? That's a tad extreme.

7
January 24, 2018 4:35 PM

I don't think that's what the sets are necessarily claiming, Elizabeth and Emerald Bee: it could be more that lots of people called Hazel and Owen have a sister called Olive, and lots of _other_ people called Hazel and Owen have a sister called Olivia.

In which case, there wouldn't actually need to be Olive-Olivia siblings in order for them to appear in the same cloud.

8
January 24, 2018 5:07 PM

@Smylers, I think the "clouds" are actually all attached to the name in the main entry. Under "Sister and Brother Names" there's a box to enter names labelled "Know an Olive? What are her siblings named?", and it's names entered there that go into the cloud on that page. So if the cloud for Olive includes Olivia, that means that some people have gone to the Namipedia entry for Olive and said that they know an Olive with a sibling named Olivia.

FWIW, I assume that some of these are jokes ("Hey, I know of an Ophelia, she had a brother named Laertes! And she dated a dude named Hamlet! (Heh heh heh.)" But it wouldn't surprise me at all if there actually are some families out there who get stuck on a sound and end up with an Olive and an Olivia (and maybe an Oliver and an Olivier), or who think Romeo and Juliet are the perfect names for b/g twins. 

9
January 24, 2018 6:32 PM

The sibling clouds are the most interesting thing to me. Like another poster, they give me such a good instinctive read on the style of the name. 

Sometimes when I read this blog I realize that I have very conservative, stodgy taste. It's always surprising to me, because I don't think of myself as politically or socially conservative, but my reaction to names like Chaos is quite cranky. 

10
January 24, 2018 6:38 PM

There's no question that fictional "siblings" do slip in. In cases where the name is unusual and has a strong pop culture example, they can definitely skew the cloud. For more popular names, the real sibs generally push them to the side.

Another issue is that users occasionally mistake the sibling entry field for a search field! If you see variations of the target name in a sib cloud, that's usually the reason.

So the clouds are far from perfect, but nonetheless I think they're an amazing resource.

11
January 24, 2018 8:01 PM

OOOOOHHHH!!! Thank you for explaining that, Laura! I've used my moderator power to delete a name from its own cloud so many times and couldn't figure out why that happened. 

13
January 27, 2018 3:35 PM

I've definitely started to use it as a search field before. On the other hand, clustering names that get looked up by the same person probably gives a somewhat similar result to clustering sibling names, although of course some people will just look up the names of everyone they know, from Grandpa Albert to nephew Braylon.

14
By ejh
January 28, 2018 8:24 PM

I cheated and skipped straight to the answers, but Edgar kind of makes sense, since all the Edgars I've personally met have been Hispanic, I just hadn't thought about it before.

15
February 3, 2018 7:27 PM

Well, I got Mazie and Olive mixed up and I can’t really see how anything in the name clouds would tip me off correctly. Thanks for the clarification on how they’re collected and presented; I haven’t given them much weight for those reasons in the past! :) 

16
February 6, 2018 12:50 PM

The big tip-off for me to distinguish Olive and Maisie was that Olive's cloud is very solidly botanical (Ivy, Hazel, Violet, etc). Olive's cloud also leans more fusty, sassy-housekeeper/porch-sitter-chic (Hazel and Pearl especially fit this style) whereas Maisie has more of a spunky, slightly British, of-the-moment feel (the boys' names especially--Alfie, Rhys, Liam, and Sawyer all feel a little too hip and/or casual to fit with Olive). Having Olivia in there is a bit of a confounder, though; if you think about real sibling sets, it seems unlikely that there would be sisters named Olive and Olivia, but if you think about what folks might input as "names that this name reminds me of" then Olivia is a big clue.

17
February 6, 2018 6:28 PM

@nedibes Hmmm good points. I am analyzing myself a bit and the young Olive I know is from a hipsterish and playful family so that subjects my perception of it. And Maise seems especially UK (just an impression for this exercise). So since they both have a few of the same names in their cloud I just went with it. Oooh. Also probably why Edgar wasn’t a curveball- I had a classmate by that name.