Is this first name awkward with the last.

I love the name Carmen for a girl but, her last name is similar to Pay man. 

Is Carmen too distracting with the last name Payman? Thank you!


March 11, 2015 8:23 PM

Distracting? No. It is borderline sing-songy with the repeat of the last syllable, but not enough to make it unusable IMO.

March 11, 2015 9:54 PM

I love the name Carmen, too, but I do think Carmen ___man is a name I would comment on as being repetitive in a way that would make me wonder why her parents chose it. I had this problem because my last name ends in er, and so names like Ginger, Esther, and Juniper were out. Love them, but they just wouldn't have worked. I have no idea what your last name situation is, but could you use a different last name (ie yours instead of partner's?)

March 11, 2015 10:21 PM

I'm not sure I even would have noticed, honestly.

By mk
March 12, 2015 2:00 PM

Me neither. I've known people with names that are clear rhymes and never noticed because to me it was just their name.

March 11, 2015 11:53 PM

Tastes differ: my daughter had a classmate with an __er surname-as-first and an __er surname, which was about as bad to my ear as Carmen __man, but obviously his parents didn't think it was a problem.

Apparently, Carmen is a Spanish variant of the Biblical placename Carmel (influenced by a Latin word for 'song'). Both have seen (and see) some use as feminine names, with Carmen by far the most common (no doubt due to the operatic character). Other variations include Carmina, Carmine, and Carmela. Would any of these work for you?

March 12, 2015 10:31 AM

I agree, I think this is a case where tastes differ.  I wouldn't do Carmen Pay man, but I wouldn't think badly about the parents or child if I saw it on someone else.  

I do like the suggestion of using a variant.  I especially like Carmela.

March 12, 2015 4:24 AM

I'm having this debate with my husband now: whether it's too much to have a --a first name with a --er surname. some days it bothers me, and others it doesn't. I'm sure if we were ever fortunate enough to use the name, I would be so smitten with the baby that I would stop noticing it. 

The name you're considering happens to be my own. My mum chose it because she loved the way it felt when she wrote it (she's a schoolteacher, so she spent a lot of time writing student names on reports). Now my married surname is two letters different to my first name, with the same first syllable. Having spent a lot of time on this forum, I'm sure this would irk a lot of people, but I've only ever received compliments on it.

good luck!

March 12, 2015 10:35 AM

I had this debate with my husband too.  For the most part, I wasn't a fan.  

However, it did sort of depend on the name.  My last name is a tradesman name ending in "er" so other tradesman names were just too much-especially if they shared the "er" ending.  At best, those combinations sounded like a lawfirm. At worst, they sounded like a nursery rhyme.

My last name is also 2 syllables, so names with more syllables were slightly less bothersome to me, though they were still less than ideal.


March 12, 2015 12:32 PM

I like the name Carmen fine, but I do think it's not a good match with a last name that ends in -man. It sort of reminds me of the Chicago newscaster named Robin Robinson. Everytime I hear her name, I hear the "Robin Robin" part and it makes me kind of wonder about her parents... or perhaps why she didn't keep her maiden name. (I have no idea if that's her married or maiden name.) However, the name clearly hasn't prevented her from being quite successful.

I like the other poster's suggestions of Carmina or Carmela. (Carmine is still a little too close to -man for me.)

March 12, 2015 1:45 PM

I agree with the other posters who have said that it's a level of repetitive that they wouldn't use themselves. I also agree that I wouldn't judge it hugely negatively on someone else's child, either. I do like the idea of using one of the variants instead... or perhaps plug Carmen into the name matchmaker on this site and see if you can find other names with a similar feel.

Does your last name have two syllables like Payman? A three syllable name helps break up the rhythm for me. Or, if you were thinking about otherwise adding in second surname, as in Carmen Paymen-Smith, could worth much better, too.

If you do decide that Carmen Payman is too singsongy (where I would come down), another option is using Carmen in the middle position, where reservations about flow really don't matter much. Firstname Carmen Payman would sound just fine to me, since most of the time it would be Firstname C. Payman.

March 12, 2015 1:53 PM

I particularly love Carmina Payman, not just because I generally love -ina names but because Orff's Carmina Burana has been a favorite of mine since I was a tiny girl. Carmela is another great idea that I could get behind.

Some more frilly vintage choices: Carmelina, Carmeline, Carmelita, Carmelia.

March 13, 2015 9:23 AM

I wouldn't use it as is. I went through the same thing. My last name ends in -man (sounds like Byderman), and I came up with the most meaningful name for our family- Morrison. It would have been in honor of Jim Morrison (and used the M initial that I needed). "Mojo Rising" was the song that came on the radio that my husband took as a sign to propose to me. :) However Morrison (nickname Morrie/Maury/Mo) Byderman was just too sing songy. Alas, we chose Max and his name fits him like a glove!

March 18, 2015 12:16 AM

I've only known men named Carmen.  Never a female with that name.  So this confuses me more then the first and last name together.  I don't think it's so bad, the name with the last name.