Naming one after you were 'done'

An old friend just announced a pregnancy...they had tried for years, eventually adopted and then ended up with a surprise one naturally not too long after. They had named their daughter Penny and then named their little boy Lincoln, which was pretty twee, but those were just the names they liked and they didn't mind that they matched. They get it commented on a lot. The first thought I had when they announced, before even 'what are the chances!!?' was 'what can they name a third kid!? They went for a matched set and this kid has no chance but to be left out!'


What would you do in this situation?


September 9, 2017 10:15 PM

I never heard of the Lincoln Penny before.  That's cool


Possibly Liberty or Abraham

September 11, 2017 1:15 AM

Liberty would get my vote for the most perfectly "on-theme" option (though I probably really would vote for something off-theme). The Goddess Liberty was a frequent figure on early US coins, including one iteration of the penny, and Lincoln is, of course, closely associated with the concept.

September 9, 2017 10:50 PM

Maybe another coin-related or Abe Lincoln-related name? Mary Ann (his wife) could work for a girl, or Todd (his wife's middle name) for a boy. Maybe a variant of Nicholas (like Nickel) for a boy or possibly a girl? Abraham/Abe could work as well, or Honesty. Middle names or children's names would be an option as well. 

September 10, 2017 10:22 AM

I would go mismatched to decrease the obviousness of the initial pairing, but I'm not partial to themey names. If I were, maybe Copper? 

September 10, 2017 10:33 AM

Lincoln and Penny is cute; Lincoln, Penny, and Copper makes me cringe!

There's more gut reaction there than actual reasoning, but then, that's how most names are judged...


September 10, 2017 10:43 AM

Oh, I died a little inside writing that, but I could see someone thinking that it was "cute". (Because cute is totally what we should strive for when naming babies who will spend most of their lives as independent adults, right?)

September 10, 2017 11:39 AM

I would also go mismatched to lessen the cute factor of Penny + Lincoln.  And Copper is the name of the dog from Fox & the Hound.  This is a very strong association for me, so the name is All Dog to me, and hard to imagine on a person.

Going mismatched is much less twee and if they didn't introduce the kids by age, they'd have the option of splitting Penny & Lincoln up, which would lessn the Lincoln Penny thing.  Something like, "these are my children, Penny, Jane, and Lincoln" or "my sons, Lincoln and John, and my daughter Penny" would work nicely.

Perhaps they could also introduce a new theme? It is still a bit twee for my taste, but 2 themes in the sibling group would perhaps dilute the strength of the Lincoln Penny thing.  For example, Penny, Lincoln and Carter.

Is Penny the actual given name?  If so, I'd suggest looking for other names that peaked in the 60s; Joan, Betty, Judy, Bonnie, Dorothy etc.  If Penny is short for Penelope, I'd look at other Greek names, especially ones that could lead to simple nicknames; Anastasia/Annie, Theodora/Dora/Dorie, Kalliope/Calliope/Callie.  


September 10, 2017 11:25 PM

Penny is the given name, Penny Danielle and Lincoln Clark.

September 10, 2017 5:44 PM

I can dig if their kids are named Lincoln, Penny, and Piper then Penny and Piper would sound as much like a set as Lincoln and Penny.

September 10, 2017 7:38 PM

I think the ideal would be a name that connects by different routes to both Penny and Lincoln, but isn't even remotely coin-associated. I haven't come up with anything fully satisfying, but some ideas:

Penny is usually short for Penelope, a Greek-origin name of unknown etymology. (It may come from a type of duck, or from 'weft' and 'eye'.) Names derived from Greek words that could be seen as a nod to Honest Abe: Agatha (good), Agnes (chaste), Alethea (truth), Alexander (defender of men [yeah, very vague connection]), Aretha (virtue), Cosmo (order, decency), Katharine (pure [by association rather than actual origin]), Phoebe (bright, pure).

Lincoln is an English placename derived from a Welsh word for 'lake' and the Latin for 'settlement'. Greek placename-origin names in L-: Luke, Lydia. Other Greek placename-names: Cynthia, Delia, Dorian.


September 11, 2017 1:57 AM

Along these lines, perhaps:

Sienna—the color is very close to a non-metallic copper, and the word comes from an Italian placename.

Sage—this name can come from either the herb or its homophone meaning a wise person. The original collective plural of penny is pence, which is a homophone for the French word pense which means think (as in pensive and Harry Potter's pense-sieve), and of course Lincoln was known as a wise thinker.

Sophia—sticking with the wisdom/thoughtful theme, Sophia is a Greek name (like Penelope) that means wisdom. They could go for Sophie, instead, for a nickname-y take on the Greek original, à la Penny. There are numerous other wise/thoughtful names available, too.

Lucky—as in lucky penny, but with a lot of the sounds of Lincoln. Actually, even without a third child they could double down on their theme by using Lucky as a nickname for Lincoln.

Nimue/Vivien etc.—OK, bear with me in this one. We throw pennies into wishing wells and fountains for luck or wishes, a practice that apparently dates back to the time when spirits or deities were believed to inhabit bodies of water. Lincoln was a legendary ruler whose Welsh/English name derives in part from "lake". Where do the two intersect? With the Lady of the Lake, of Arthurian legend! She luckily has many names, to suit various tastes and circumstances. Evianne might make the water connection more explicit, and Ninian can be a male name. Lancelot (du Lac) or Arthur (who had a very important chunk of metal tossed into the lake) might work, too, though the connection seems more attenuated with those.

September 11, 2017 3:05 AM

Honestly, I wouldn't push the matchy thing.  It's great that they are pregnant after all these years, and they should just choose whatever name they both like best. 

And if they REALLY do want to push it, remember the Susan B. Anthony one dollar coin?  There's a girl and boy name right there, toss-up (ha ha ha I couldn't resist) on the gender.  Alexander/Alexandra would work brilliantly, as Alexander Hamilton was such an influential early architecht of American finance sector.

Did they pair Lincoln and Penny on purpose?  I assume it's just a coincidence.

September 11, 2017 3:13 AM

Since this is a third party asking basically a hypothetical question, not the actual parents, I was treating the question as a thought experiment. Of course if this were a serious question my advice would be "first pick a name that you love, without considering sibling names." Which it seems is what the parents did the last time around. (I'm not at all a personal fan of given name themes beyond "names we love/that work for us", or even a hard requirement that sibling names "go together".)

September 11, 2017 9:57 AM

I'm with you! In fact, I worry that my favourite name for a hypothetical second girl matches too well with my existing daughter's name, but I don't ever consider whether other names I like don't match well enough. (Though I don't think that my taste is eclectic enough to create a truly mismatched set.)

September 11, 2017 10:42 AM

Yes, third party hypotetical. My friends are all winding down on the baby-naming part of our lives so I get excited to have new baby names to dream of! They just picked names they liked the first two times and I'm sure they'll do the same this time.

September 11, 2017 10:41 AM

I would name a boy Cassius, with the CASH-us pronunciation and Cash as a nickname. It's a civil-rights name via Cassius Marcellus Clay (a political figure in the emancipation movement, and an appointee of Lincoln... who also served as the namesake for the father of Mohammed Ali, who also named his son Cassius Jr.) The thing that gives me pause is that Ali didn't just change his name as a result of his conversion to Islam, but also referred to Cassius as his "slave name" (and as I understand it he sort of ushered in a period of African-American naming with his conversion), perhaps casting a bit of a pall over a name I otherwise very much like. Otherwise, nice circularity of independent themeiness with both Penny and Cash having a monetary theme, and Lincoln and Cassius having historical connections in the emancipation movement. 

Similarly, Araminta, nicknamed Mintie or Minta, comes to mind -- a mint is where coins get made, and Araminta was the birth name of Harriet Tubman. However, in this case Araminta really *was* her   bslave name, and I don't know about the circumstances under which she changed her name to Harriet (at marriage? at emancipation?), and that gives me pause. Tubman would clearly better be honored by using the name Harriet. 

Perhaps I'd use a name like Emmeline (after Pankhurst) where the nickname of Emmie that connects to Penny more by sound and double letters... or I'd use Sophonisba (after Breckinridge) and then use the connection nedibes came up with in her genius list of ideas!