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This site lets you enter in a lot of names http://www.magicbabynames.com/?name= although I'll be honest I sometimes feel that no matter what names I enter I get pretty similar results.
Those are gorgeous names!
I was on retreat this weekend and the priest referred to St. Ephrem the Syrian and pronounced it just as you described with the long E and 2-syllables. I immediately thought of this thread!
I had thought the combo Gabriel Peter or even brothers Gabriel and Peter might be too close to the singer Peter Gabriel.
One combo we had been thinking about is Gabriel Thomas. We both love the name Thomas but because of our last name we've never used it as a first name. I still hesitate just a bit about not saving it for a first name especially as it meets the requirements of a unique initial and classic New Testament name, but as my husband points out if we've not used it for 5 boys then it seems silly to keep saving it.
I have talked to them. My oldest doesn't really admit to caring but I got the idea he thought it was sort of sweet to share. James was also enthusiastic. M@rk firmly doesn't want to share so it's a good thing we aren't aiming for Matthew.
Cl@re thinks each kid should get their own initial but she really likes Gabe so there is a definite bias.
That is so hard to predict! We call James Jay about 1/2 the time. K@th@rine was suppose to be Kate but never has been with Kat and Kitty the current nicknames and her full name being used plenty. My youngest son is frequently Boo or Roo to most everyone in the family but he will grow out of those names. I am currently the only one whoever calls him Drew which is the nickname we had discussed before he was born.
My husband adores nicknames but not Gabe. He says he plans on using they full name but I wouldn't be surprised if he landed on something silly to call him as a little boy. I think the other kids and I will call him Gabe and that may grow on my husband. Or I could pick up on using the full name as I did with K@th@rine.
When we began calling K@th@rine by her full name I did mix up my girls and call them Clatharine for about a year but then never again. I will occasionally now refer to one of my younger boys as Anjay - combing Andrew and Jay. I've never had any issues with Mark and Cl@re's names, but like you I am quite likely just to call any child by the wrong name entirely.
I'm familiar with the name Ephrem from St. Ephrem the Syrian (love him!) so that spelling wouldn't surprise me. I always pronounced it the same as Ephraim (maybe I've been wrong). I would have a harder time adjusting to the "long e" pronunciation. However, I do think you are right with a lesser known name it's easier to "teach" people the spelling and pronuncation.
If it doesn't bother you or your husband, then I would go for it. Hayden and Everly are a great pair. You aren't using the exact same name as your niece just names that share the same potential nickname. I named my son Andrew and my only nephew on my side is Alexander exclusively nicknamed Anders. Yes, my mom will mix up Anders and Andrew especially if she's just visited with one side of the family. I'm sure my sister wasn't hoping we'd go with Andrew but in the grand scheme of things cousins with similar names is no big deal. Of course I know my sister's personality and thankfully she's definitley not the type to throw a fit.
I am not in the South but I frequently hear girls called Sissy at the park. I never hear Bubba.
The other day my 12 year old daughter who is frustrated that her toddler brother doesn't event attempt to say Clare but can "say" Paul, Kat, and Jay said "why don't I just have him call me Sissy?"
Peter John is a possibility but so maybe is another boy baby so if I didn't use it for this baby I think I'll hang on to Johhny.
We also aren't in a dire need to honor either grandpa as my toddler's middle name is L@wr3nce which is the same as my father's first name and coincidently my husband and father-in-law's middle name.
You are right about hearing James and John paired together much more often. The "sons of thunder" angle. Actually I just realize that do have a friend with a John (they call him Jack so I forget he's a John) and I believe they are planing on naming their next son James in order to have the "sons of thunder".
Yeah I like that too.
Well to get technical Peter and Andrew are New Testament brothers too. For me it's another sweet connection to the name though. (And to get even more technical we named our James after James the Less brother to Jude not James the Greater brother to John.)
I do agree that the 1-syllable element makes James and John feel more similar than Peter and Paul. And the difference between 14 years instead of 5 is pretty significant.
We used Joseph as a middle name already!
Our other choice for Peter's middle name is Nicholas if we decide to not go with an honor name.
I agree with liking the larger spacing between the repeated initials. My P@ul will likely be heading off to college before Peter even learns how to write his name.
Interestingly I have 2 friends (1 who is a fairly good friend) with boys named Peter and none with boys named John.
I think both are gorgeous! I also like the recommendation of Mariel/Marielle/Mariella which also relate to the name Mary. I think I'd go with Miriam as a sister to Margot.
Yes, I too am easily tongue-tied. I ruled out Gabriel our other contender because while "g" is technically a new initial I found Gabriel/Gabe and J@mes/Jay incredibly confusing. Even in discussing them as possibilities, I ended up with Gay and Jabe. I feel that I'll confuse Peter and P@ul less so than J@mes and John in part because of the extra syllable and because of the extra age. Of course I currently mix-up M@rk and J@mes to a ridiculous extent. So similar sounds aren't the only problem, sometimes it's just a stressed out mommy...
As far as the honor, names go it's not really a huge issue that Peter Gregory only honors one side. P@ul, Cl@re, and J@mes don't have honor names at all. My son Mark's middle name honored only my husband's side. K@th@rine's first name honors my side and her middle name honors my husband's. @ndr3w's name honors both sides.
Even/odd dates would certainly add some excitement to the birthday! Peter even has an odd number of letters while John is even...
I dislike the initials P.E.T. with Peter Elias.
I agree that it's nice that Peter is less common than John both in my own family and in the population as a whole. It's very similar to my older boy's names in that sense while John is more like my younger two boys.
Using different sounds and initials to avoid confusion is food-for-thought. I have 2 daughters whose names both begin with with the /k/ sound and I know at least one of my friends has struggled to remember which one is older.