Spot the Missing Sibling: A Baby Name Challenge
Of all the features of the Baby Name Wizard book, I've always believed that the brother and sister name suggestions are the most important. Not only do they give you sibling name ideas and alternate paths to follow, but they define a kind of "style space" for each name. Together, the group of suggested names show you the stylistic and cultural place the name occupies.
Not surprisingly, this most important feature is also the most challenging. I've developed all kinds of tools to help me identify stylistic matches, but the ultimate selection is a hands-on process. The set of names should carry a similar feeling, but not be too close in sound to the original. Variety is critical too. It's no help to parents to suggest brothers named Kayden, Hayden, Grayden and Jayden for a boy named Brayden.
In many cases, the group of names also has to reflect a complex cultural setting. Take Tyrone. Tyrone is the name of a county in Northern Ireland, which became an American boy's name quite suddenly in the late 1930s thanks to actor Tyrone Power. Over the decades the name was embraced by African-American families and influenced other popular names like Tyrell and Tyree. It remained an African-American favorite through the '90s, but is now slipping out of fashion. No other single name can capture that whole story, but as a group the suggestions should come close.
So that's a tough job. And for the upcoming 3rd edition of the book, I've made it far, far tougher for myself. In a moment of wild optimism, I decided to expand from 10 suggestions for each name to 16: eight brothers and eight sisters. And rather than just tacking on extra names, I'm wiping the slate clean and starting each sib set from scratch.
Hmm...let's imagine that I spend just 10 minutes on each set. With a planned 1,750 full name snapshots, that should be 291.7 hours of sibling selection. Ok, breathe slowly Laura....
Sorry, sorry, back on topic now. Here's what I meant to say:
With 16 suggestions for every name, the new sib sets define their name spaces more clearly than ever. That makes for a nifty baby name brain teaser. If these names all gather around one name in their center, can you identify that name? Who's the "missing sibling" tying together each of the following sets?
Brothers: Camden, Kingston, Cooper, Grayson, Trenton, Chase, Bryson, Hudson
Sisters: London, Peyton, Aspen, Berkeley, Gracelyn, Alexa, Sydney, Bristol
Brothers: Leo, Sam, Oscar, Charlie, Max, Jack, Henry, Oliver
Sisters: Ruby, Ella, Sadie, Gracie, Lena, Stella, Alice, Molly
Brothers: Gideon, Beckett, Sawyer, Cassius, Soren, Emerson, Tennyson, Phineas
Sisters: Beatrix, Paloma, Oriana, Hermione, Guinevere, Aurora, Briar, Athena
Brothers: Michael, Anthony, Philip, Thomas, Andrew, Daniel, Mark, Matthew
Sisters: Diana, Theresa, Christine, Rebecca, Cynthia, Andrea, Laura, Deborah
Brothers: Talon, Maverick, Orion, Tristan, Chance, Jett, Maximus, Zion
Sisters: Genesis, Destiny, Serenity, Nevaeh, Journey, Phoenix, Cadence, Harmony
Brothers: Julian, Damian, Xavier, Sebastian, Rafael, Dominic, Elias, Gabriel
Sisters: Natalia, Isabella, Giselle, Emilia, Mia, Ava, Valeria, Sofia
Given it your best shot? On to the answers!