Advice on naming Callan's brother Caden

Hi everyone,

This forum has been helpful. I have finally picked a name that my wife and I agree on, but I have one major concern. That it is too close to my first son's name. I don't mind sibling names that start with the same letter, but I want to make sure that I can live with this decision, so helpful feedback is much appreciated.

My first son is named Callan. We are strongly thinking about naming our second son, due any day now, Caden. Callan's nicknames are Cal and Cali, and Cali Cal. Caden's nicknames would be Cade and CJ (his middle name is James). It's obvious that Callan and Caden both begin with a Ca and end with an n. We considered spelling Caden as Caedan to match Callan, but I would rather he have a slightly different name and that his nickname is clearly derived from the letters in his name.

Also, Callan and Caden are both derived from the same gaelic root form of the Scottish/Gaelic name Cailean or the Irish name Callathian and therefore they basically have the same meaning of "battle", Callan being fierce in battle, and Caden being little fighter. 

There is a good blog post about matching names here: 

In my own family my dad is Martin and his brother is Michael (Mike and Marty). I have also known Trevor and Trent brothers. Neither of these name pairs is a problem for me, they both work in my book... BUT if you read that blog post names like Suzanne and Susan, Guinevere and Gwendolyn, and Brian and Byron don't work in my book. However, Clare, Katharine, and Caroline would work in my book for sister names, so would Ella and Emma, and Madeleine and Madison. 

So... what do you think? Is Callan and Caden too similar, or does it work? 


July 12, 2018 6:50 PM

 I think they work as brothers. I actually quite like the similarities and they wouldn't bother me one bit. 

July 12, 2018 7:41 PM

I know of brothers with names that are about as similar as Callan and Caden. The thing that caught my eye more than just the similar sounds with those brothers was that the spellings also had only had 2 letters difference. 

What do you think of the spelling Cayden? This would differentiate the names more visually. I also find it a bit easier to read, but that might be just me.

July 12, 2018 9:16 PM

They are much too similar for me.


Also, I work with kids and I am so so so sick of the name Kayden.  We have loads of Jaidens, many many Aidans, lots of Braydens, occasional Haydens, a smattering of Graydins and Zaidyns and Raedans and Dreidens, and a shit-ton of Caydyns.  Kaidin is never the nice, sweet, hardworking kid from a stable family either.  He's the broken little boy with a complex trauma history and explosive behaviors, the one who is passed back and forth between mom, grandma, great-grandma, and foster families whenever the current caregiver is incarcerated or CPS steps in or someone can't handle him anymore.  The one who makes himself unloveable as a defense mechanism.  Which is to say, it's a total bogan/chav/"white trash" name around here.  Or, you know, NMSAA!

By EVie
July 12, 2018 9:52 PM

Way too close for me. It's not the same first letter alone that is the issue, but the same first letter AND the same number of syllables AND the same ending sound AND a related derivation (though I'm interested in where you found those derivations—they seem plausible from what I can tell, but are not the only possibilities out there, and I always like to see reputable sources if they can be found). They are far more similar to the Suzanne/Susan and Brian/Byron pairs that you mention than Martin/Michael (same first letter and syllable count, but different endings and derivations) and Trevor/Trent (same starting sound, but different syllable count, ending and derivation). 

(However, I also disagree with you on Emma/Ella and Madeleine/Madison... same first letter, syllable count and ending sound make them too close despite independent derivations).

Younger siblings often struggle with being compared to their older siblings. I would err on the side of giving your new son a name that gives him a bit more individuality rather than just riffing on his brother's name, even if it's not your first choice. Because, I mean, you kinda already used your first choice on your first kid.

July 13, 2018 6:02 PM

This completely. I would very much not want to be a Caden who's older brother was called Callan and so I would not do that to my kids. To my mind it seems very much like you couldn't find a name so you just changed your older son's a bit and I can imagine as a child that it would make me feel like a second-rate version of my sibling. 

Have you considered that the reason you like a name so similar to your son's is because you already love that name because it's attached to your son? I think the thing to keep in mind is that once you have a new name attached to your new son you will grow to love it because it's his name even if you only like, instead of love, it in the abstract.

Having said all that it's your family who will be living with it so if it does not feel like it's too similar or a problem to you/your wife that counts for a lot and possibly your boys will never really notice or care, everyone is different.

July 13, 2018 3:15 AM

For me they are too similar. Agree with previous posters that the same starting sound, syllable count and ending sound make them very similar.  The shared derivation is less of a concern to me as most people wouldn't know (or care).  If it's the name you love then it's doable.

July 13, 2018 10:22 AM

I think they are too similar. I knew a pair of brothers named Tony and Turner, and their mom said she regretted the choice. She constantly mixed up their names and was forever tripping over the distinction. Caden and Callan are even more similar! 

Since you're already on the fence about Caden, I would take into consideration the surfeit of -aden names we're seeing these days. I think the name will place him firmly in the middle of this very trendy trend. 


July 13, 2018 1:37 PM

I think that spelling it Kaden or somesuch may help distinguish it a bit.

I have a close friends whose two children have very matchy-matchy names, and honestly it's not that big a deal.  In her case, she is Israeli, her husband is Cambodian, and they speak English together.  So they needed names that work in three totally unrelated languages, and their pool of choices was, well, very very small.  Yeah it's not ideal to have very close names but honestly nobody really notices or cares.



July 18, 2018 3:16 PM

I don't think they are too similar since you aren't coming at it to make them a pair....they will have different enough nicknames and some things that link them together and as we are often told they won't be seen as a set for most of thier lives. As for mixing the names because they are too close never worry about that most parents will run through all the kids, the pets, and possibly the nieghbor kids names before they get the name right lol. 

Disclaimer I have four kids all 5 letter, two syllable, ends in N names. so matchy wasn't a concern for me.

July 18, 2018 9:34 PM

I think they're too similar.

You could use Kade/Cade instead.

Or one of the many -aiden names, like Jayden.

Or maybe Kai?