Double Barrel First Name

Hey! We’re expecting our fourth in a few weeks and we are still so unsure about their name! She will be our third girl but despite that we are still leaning towards a double barrel first name. The other three are called Stella, Jacob (Jake) and Genevieve (Jennie). Shes just under a year younger than Jennie so we will be looking for a name that sort of goes with that. 


Our current top contender in Catherine-Taylor and we have chosen these two names becaus they belong to women who we both think to be very inspirational. We defiantly want to keep Taylor in the name and we think Catherine is too long for a middle name. Below are our current top three choices. Please either help us chose by telling us your favourite and give us some advice on wether we should/shouldn’t go double-barrel.

1. Catherine-Taylor

2. Jamie-Taylor

3. Taylor-Jean


December 1, 2018 6:43 AM

Why is Catherine too long for the middle  - I dont like double barrel first names.  I prefer the spelling Tayla for a girl so Tayla Catherine would be nice.  Jamie-Taylor sounds more like a boy.  Tayla Jean is pretty.  Catherine goes perfectly with Genevieve though so I vote Catherine Tayla

December 1, 2018 7:07 AM

Thank you so much for your suggestion! I’ve never seen Taylor spelt that way and it is actually so much more feminine. And it does go really well with Genevieve. The reason i said Catherine is too long for a middle is because the other three have fairly short middle names, Stella Marnie, Jacob Seamus, Genevieve Rae. Also thank you for the note on Jamie-Taylor we hadnt thought about that! Also thank you for the advice on double barrels. 

December 1, 2018 7:17 AM

Kids with double barrel at school find it so hard. Most girls here who are name Taylor are spelt Tayla.  I work in a school,  yes much more feminine and Kayla is spelt with a la

oh I love Marnie as Stella's mn.   What about Katelyn Tayla  or Kathyn Tayla

December 1, 2018 9:46 AM

I quite like Katelyn and it’s good to know how kids with Double Barrel are treated in school. I‘m glad you like Marnie as Stella’s mn ! Personaly I don’t like Kathryn, just because it is to far from the spelling of the person we would like to name her after. Thank you for the Tayla spelling though!!!


December 4, 2018 2:36 PM

Um, those of us who prefer actually pronouncing our R's don't consider Tayla and Taylor to be alternative spellings of each other.

December 1, 2018 7:41 AM

I’ve never heard of Tayla and I honestly wouldn’t think of it as a variant of Taylor. I guess it could be in accents that drop r’s at the end of words... IMO I see Tayla more as a ’variant’ of Kayla (like Brayden to Aiden.)

It is a completely valid honour for a Taylor, though!

If you want Catherine but think it’s too long, what do you think of Kate?

December 1, 2018 9:50 AM

We did consider Kate, however we decided that we didn’t want to use a nickname as the sole name. Just in case she grows up and wants to change it up a bit. It’s intresting that you think of Tayla as a variant of Kayla and we will take that on board. And thank you especially for pointing out the similarity of Kayla. It is also very useful that you have never heard of the spelling Tayla. Because even though we want the name to be a bit out there we don’t want it to be mistaken as another name or misspelling.

December 1, 2018 9:32 AM

I'll confess double barrel names really aren't my style, but Catherine-Taylor could work, it's just long - I'd be prepared to accept naturally occuring nicknames.  For example, if you spelled Catherine with a K, you could call her KT (Katie).


I think your bigger challenge is that Catherine and your other girl names are fairly traditional girl names, and Taylor reads as a more modern, unisex name (though in my world, it is mostly female).  Siblings don't have to match, but its a consideration.  Jamie and Jean don't help make the name more feminine.  Jamie is also unisex and Jean in a double barrelled name makes me wonder if the speaker is French or English.  (Jean-Paul for example)

I agree with the above poster that Tayla seems more like Kayla to me, but if you like it, go for it!


Of your choices, I do like Catherine Taylor the best.

December 1, 2018 9:57 AM

I like the idea of KT, I think that it is a fun nickname that does incoperate both names. I also see your point of the other two girls having more traditionally feminine names. Also thank you for your views on the Tayla/Kayla likeness. We are actually English so the Jean double barrel isn’t really an isssue in that sense, however I do see your point in putting two traditionally masculine unisex names togaether could confuse people. Thank you for your view on Catherine Taylor it really help with our choice!

December 1, 2018 10:24 AM

I like Catherine Taylor head and shoulders above the others, especially for a girl with two sisters with highly feminine names. My issue with the double barrel being used regularly is that if people hear "Catherine-Taylor", they're likely to think that it's a firstname surname combination since Taylor is seldom used in a hyphenate capacity. If it were me, I'd put Taylor in the middle spot.

That said, if you really want both names to have equal weight and representation in daily life, use it. People who know her will know that it's not a surname and people she meets will know after being corrected. If you don't want her to need to explain her name regularly, however, using a nickname like Jennie does would go a long way. On the other hand, once you're using a nickname and not the full Catherine- Taylor,  what do you gain by using a double barrel instead of a first/middle combo? 

Tayla may work somewhere like Australia where Rs are dropped, but it would not be seen as a Taylor-variant where Rs are pronounced. 

December 1, 2018 5:46 PM

Thank you for your advice on the current name list. At the moment I think that’s where we are too. We had never really thought of the confusion of Catherine-Taylor sounding too much like a fn sn combo and that will defiantly be taken into consideration. Again your advice on the nickname use is really helpful so thank you. Another annoying point on this name though is what would the nickname be? I really like the suggestion previously made about spelling Catherine Katherine and using KT but if not that do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much for your advice it is really helpful.

December 1, 2018 7:40 PM

other nn Kate, Katie, Cathy, Kat, Kitty, Kit, Kay

December 2, 2018 11:42 PM

I forgot to mention that androgyny aside, I'm not a fan of Jamie-Taylor because my primary thought is James Taylor, the singer. Now, I'm a fan, but I don't like when a name has a singular strong association. 

December 3, 2018 9:14 AM

Oh my goodness! We’d never even thought about the likeness! We do know of him and like his music but want people to assume that that it who she is named after. That means this name is going to have to be completly reconsidered. Thank you SO MUCH for pointing this out it has saved us ALOT of correcting!

December 1, 2018 1:56 PM

I'm a firm believer that puncutation doesn't belong in names, and I can also practically guarantee you that the name is almost always going to get shortened to the first name the majority of the time anyway, especially as she gets older.  However, informally, I absolutely don't see why you couldn't just call her by fn/mn and forget the formality of the hyphen.  I know it's strange but the hyphen kind of makes it seem like a requirement people will ignore, while just calling her by two names feels more like a conscious choice that you'll still have to remind people of but seems way less harsh.

I'm in a pregnancy-induced stupor this morning and I'm starving, so please forgive me if the above doesn't make sense.

I'm curious where you live.  To me Taylor and Tayla are not the same name at all, but there are a lot of Taylors where I'm at and I don't know a single Tayla.  I actually think Tayla may fit with Stella and Genevieve better.  I feel like those names have an air of sophistication while Taylor is maybe a little more traditional?  However, by the looks of your list, Taylor is the name you guys love.  And I'm learning myself that you've got to go with what you love and not worry about what goes together.  I think that's where we went wrong when naming our current youngest.

FWIW, your kids' names are fabulous.  Genevieve is a top runner for our baby (our chosen nickname is Vivi).  When I was pregnant with our third son, the name we'd chosen for a girl was Genevieve Estelle.  We'd kicked around Stella and LOVED it but ultimately decided on Genevieve because we weren't quite as crazy about all the L's in Stella Dillon.  Genevieve Stella didn't flow quite right and Estelle is very similar so that's where that came from.  I loved Stella so much that, because I did not know I'd ever get the chance to name a baby again, when we adopted a dog a few years ago, we named her Stella.  I needed the name in my life.  :)

December 1, 2018 5:41 PM

Thank you so much for your advice!!! And I totally got it all so don’t worry about that! I also like the idea of just introducing her with the fn/mn without the hyphen because it does give a less formal feel. THank you so much for your advice on choosing a name we love, I think we really needed to her that. Because we really do love Taylor/Tayla but have been getting a lot of backlash from my partners family and our community about it being to masculine or to confusing. We are in the UK where using Taylor as a first name is quite uncommon (at least in my experience, I personally only know one Taylor). Also thank you on your note on the Tayla, Stella, Genevieve merge. I am so glad Genevieve is one of your front runners! It is SUCH a beautiful name and Vivi is such a unique nickname(I wish we’d thought of it!) GenEvie Estelle is SUCH a beautiful combo that flows really beautifully. Ironically, when we were naming Stella the top three contenders were Stella, Estelle, Genevieve And Pheobe. And I can’t believe that you love three of those! Genevieve Estelle is a really lovely sophisticated name and as you said, if you love it JUST GO FOR IT! Thank you so much for your advice! We will defiantly be considering dropping the hyphen!

December 1, 2018 7:30 PM

In Queensland Australia

December 1, 2018 10:23 PM

I'm also in Australia and here Tayla and Taylor are pronounced the same by most people but in the UK that probably wouldn't be the case. I still prefer Taylor though.

While I'm not a huge fan of double barrelled first names I like Catherine Taylor the best of all the choices as it goes with the sibling names the best.  I do like the idea of not hyphenating and introducing her by both names.

December 2, 2018 6:11 AM

Thank you for the advice and at the moment we are probably leaning towards not having a hyphen. Also thank you for the Taylor/Tayla pronunciation thing. Your advice is really helpful. So thank you a lot.

December 1, 2018 3:28 PM

I think Catherine is a great choice to fit in with your other kids' names. However, I just don't love Catherine-Taylor - it absolutely sounds like first name-last name to me. I'd suggest that if you really want to use both names, drop the hyphen and use Taylor as the middle. You can still call her Catherine Taylor if you want, or Katie Tay or whatever you want to.


If you want Taylor in the first spot, Taylor-Jean is your best bet.


FWIW, my first name is hyphenated  (it's a traditional French name) and as an adult I only go by the first part because it makes life much easier.

December 1, 2018 5:50 PM

Thank you for the Taylor middle name. And I do think one of the reasons that Catherine has gotten this far is because it blends so well with the rests. On the other hand your advice on Taylor-Jean is really useful and I’m glad you like that combo. And thank you SO MUCH for the advice on having a double-barrel first name. We know very few people who do and they are names created with two shorter names (Lily-Mae, Cora-Rose, Louis-Jay) it is invaluable and really really useful. Thank you so much and we will defiantly take it into consideration!

December 2, 2018 5:30 PM

I think Tayla for Taylor in many parts of England would be just fine (only you can say how similar they sound in your accents). I also think Tayla is great for honouring a Taylor even if they don't sound the same.

My favourite is probably Catherine-Taylor. I feel like a double-barrelled first isn't automatically a problem in the UK, but they do seem to usually be make with shorter names (Evie-Rose, etc.). If you wanted that kind of rhythm, you could always use Taylor-Kate, which doesn't sound like a surname and has no gender ambiguity.

December 2, 2018 7:34 PM

In my accent (generally South London) Taylor and Tayla sound a little different but not massively so. Totally close enough to be an honour name for sure.

I would also agree that having a double-barrelled first name is not really a problem here, I know a few people who have one and it doesn't seem to be an issue. I looked at the top 500 girls names in England and Wales and 17 of them are double-barrel names, although it's true that they're usually two short names. I was going to suggest Tayla-Kate as a short, unambiguously female option too. 

December 3, 2018 9:20 AM

Thank you for pointing out the 17 double barrel names, We didn’t know this and is very reassuring. I like Tayla-Kate, but as I mentioned before we don’t want go for JUST a nickname even it is double barreled. Also thank you for the pronunciation as well. We were wondering what it would sound like across the board (as I’m Scottish and my partner is American its difficult to know how the name would sound outside of those accents) Thank you so much for your advice it really helps.

December 3, 2018 10:33 AM

I think Kate is well established as a name in its own right.  Tayla-Kate would be ok,  very different to Stella and Genevieve though

December 2, 2018 7:59 PM

Of your listed options I like Catherine-Taylor the best. I did also think that it will sound like a first & surname to casual listeners but that doesn't really matter, like someone already said anyone who actually knows her will know that's not the case.

Jamie-Taylor comes across as too masculine for me, especially given how feminine your older girls names are (in the set of Stella, Jacob, Genevieve and Jamie I would never guess Jamie to be a girl). Plus it also repeats Jake's initial which is a drawback for me. 

Taylor-Jean is ok, it's obviously more androgynous than Catherine but it wouldn't automatically make me think boy. I don't think it matches the style of your older kids but that is not the most important thing in picking a name. 

Other thoughts: I don't think that using a double-barrel first name would be a problem if you're in the UK, the people I know with them don't seem to have any trouble. I do think that the older she gets the more likely she is to end up just going by the first name the majority of the time. Also Catherine-Taylor is a lot of name and it seems like you tend towards shorter names (the names you actually call your children are all only one or two syllables, and even the full Genevieve is only three); can you actually imagine yourself using a name that is 4/5 syllables long on a daily basis? If you're going to end up using a nickname based off only Catherine then there is arguably no point in making it double-barrelled rather than simply putting Taylor in the middle spot. I do like the suggestion of spelling Catherine with a K, if you have no objection to that spelling, so that you can use KT as a nickname (although obviously Kate/Katie is a nickname for Catherine anyway, but if you used the K spelling and the initials you'd be building the nickname off both parts of her given name). I also like the idea of Taylor-Kate as a double name, possibly even more with the Tayla variation. 

December 3, 2018 9:29 AM

This is very informative so thank you so much for posting it. I think youre right and right now we are DEFINATLY going to go with the K spelling of Catherine and shorten it to KT if we go for that name. Also thank you so much for pointing out Jamie. Jamie has always been a name we liked and it has been in the top five for both girls (We always knew Jake was going to be Jake because our first date was at Jakes Secret Cinema) we loved the name but it always lost to something else. And i see now, after you putting them in a list togaether, that the other girls names are a bit too feminine for people not to automatically assume that Jamie is a boy , tpespecially  she would have the same initials as Jake. And that has helped us reach the descison that JAMIE IS NO LONGER ON THE LIST. Even though we absolutly LOVE the name it just doesn’t work with a) any of outer other options we would go double barrel with or b) Stella’s or Jennie’s names. Also thank you for pointing out the syllables. We have been thinking about this and the fact that you also brought it up has really helped.

December 3, 2018 5:47 PM

In a way, you've already used Jamie: Jacob and James are at root exactly the same name.

By mk
December 3, 2018 1:09 PM

I personally really don't like double barelled/hyphenated names. Of the few people I know who have double barrelled names, they all go by the first part and ignore the second part anyway. I suggest Catherine Taylor becuase I prefer it, but Taylro Catherine is fine too.. Catherine is not too long for a middle name, since it really doesn't matter if siblings have middle names of different lengths.

December 3, 2018 3:07 PM

Thank you for your advice, it has really helped. I understand that siblings length doesn’t matter massively, however when you need to  introduce four kids and you have three with one to syllables and then one with with four or five is just going to sound mismatched. I do know and understand that you have to go for names you love but when you introducing four, people may begin to lose interest. Thank you for the Katherine Taylor and hyphen advice it will really inform our descion. 

December 3, 2018 3:13 PM



1. Katherine-Taylor (KT)

2. Taylor Jean

3. Florence-Taylor

We hope you like these names and please give us any advice

December 3, 2018 3:21 PM

Katherine Taylor then Taylor Jean

December 3, 2018 5:03 PM

One of my daughter's has Florence as a middle so I'm biased, but that's my favourite! I do think Katherine-Taylor is nice too though.

As a matter of interest, why do you not want to just use Taylor as the middle name? It would still pay tribute to the inspirational namesake in the middle slot, you could still use it in combination with the first name if you so desired, and there would be no issue with hyphens. 

December 3, 2018 6:52 PM

I really like Florence-Taylor and I think Florence goes really nicely with your sib set so it helps it fit in even with the difference of being double-barrelled. There are also many nicknames I like for Florence (Florrie and Floss are my favourites but I might do Florette for Florence-Taylor as it's like Florrie+T if you say the T phonetically, and the French 'little flower' meaning is sweet. I could personally also go for something like Float [Flo+T] but it depends what kind of nickname people you are, and how much you like the nicknames to sound like actual names) so that's another bonus in my mind. Overall it would be my first pick.

Katherine-Taylor I do still like and I think KT is cute as a nickname.

Taylor Jean is probably still third place for me but it's pretty close, I like the overall spunky/bouncy sound (ironically as it's the one you don't have hyphenated any more it's the one I can most imagine using both names in full in normal conversation and not just to make a point/when she was in trouble) and how for me it's genuinely androgynous; reading the name alone I would have no clue if it was a boy or a girl. Honestly my biggest hesitation with it is the difference between it and your older girls, and that is I think in large part because of how I always felt my name compared unfavourably with my sister's names (in my case in terms of familiarity not feminine sound) so I have a slight chip on my shoulder about that kind of thing; it could be something that never even occurs to your daughters so I don't think it should worry you if you love the name. 

December 3, 2018 7:23 PM

I don't know if this would be a problem in the  UK, but in the US I would stay away from anything like Flo-T as a nickname. (Sometimes a floatie is a flotation device for children, but often it's something gross floating in your drink or toilet.)

December 4, 2018 4:40 AM

Thanks for the advice on Flo-T, my wife is American and she brought this up pretty much as soon as I brought up the name so it is a nickname we will be steering clear of!

December 4, 2018 6:50 PM

Just to be clear I didn't mean Flo-Tee but Flo-tuh (the letter T said phonetically as opposed to its letter name). So not said Floatie as in the floatation device or something gross floating but Float as in float along or root beer float. For me that's enough of a distinction to not make the mental leap (and I'm sure it helps that floatie is not slang here in either of the ways you mentioned, although I am aware of how Americans use it) but I can understand how it might not be different enough if you lived in the US/were American. 

December 4, 2018 4:29 AM

Thanks for advice on sibling similarities. We’d never want the baby to feel out of it. Also thank you for your opinions on Florence-Taylor, the reason we love Florence is because of the middle name (We love Florrie too!) and your suggestions that combine both our really lovely. Thank you so much it has really helped on our descion making.

December 3, 2018 7:01 PM

I like Florence and think it's great with your older girls' names.  Florence-Taylor, however, is just... odd.  It's too long and mismatched in style.  Florence with the middle name Taylor would be great.  You could always call her Flora Tay if you wanted.


I think double first names really only work if they're short, and even then it's a crapshoot whether both parts are used long-term.  As I think of examples, they seem to almost all be 2 syllables followed by 1 - Lucy Jane, Nora Claire, Ella Rose, Mary Beth.


I don't "get" the appeal of KT.  Why not use your original (preferred?) Catherine spelling and call her Catie/Katie?  Catie seems so much nicer than KT to me.

December 3, 2018 7:10 PM

KT is a nickname that references both parts of the name while Katie/Catie only uses C/Katherine, ignoring the Taylor, which is obviously important to them.

December 3, 2018 8:49 PM

Well yeah, I get where it comes from.  But the end result is the same, only one is in a weird format.  But I may be alone in my loathing of initial nicknames.

December 3, 2018 11:12 PM

They're certainly not for everyone, but they're common enough not to raise any eyebrows, even among people who wouldn't use them themselves. And k.d lang is familiar enough to make KT feel familiar, too 

December 4, 2018 7:05 PM

For me the beauty of the KT nickname is people who overhear it will assume it to be Katie; it's like a secret double nickname for people who know her well (something you don't get with most initial nicknames like AJ which I don't really care for either). And another bonus is anyone who has heard KT but presumed Katie and subsequently sees it written down is likely to ask about it which gives the opportunity to share the full name and name story.

December 4, 2018 7:26 PM

That’s a really beautiful way of putting it. So thank you. It has really affected our descion. It makes the name seem unique and fun but also familiar and personal, so thank you. 

December 4, 2018 9:37 PM

I agree with this whole-heartedly. You've perfectly articulated why this feels different to me than initial nicknames like DJ, AJ, and (the ubiquitous among 30-something French Canadian guys,) JP (Jean-Philippe) and JF (Jean-François).

Especially since you use a nickname for Jennie, using a nickname for any Taylor-hyphenate will feel natural, but this way you don't give up either name for the sake of simplicity. You actually gain complexity disguised as simplicity.

December 4, 2018 4:31 AM

Thanks for the advice on Florence. And doubke barrel, we will keep it in mind. I also LOVE the Flora Tay nn. We love KT because it incorporates both names into a nn that sounds familiar enough to keep people from getting confused.

December 4, 2018 7:05 PM

Flora Tay is a super cute nn, Florrie Tay would also work if you like Florrie because it has the same 2-1 syllable count.

December 4, 2018 12:50 AM

I'm not sure what I prefer from this, really. I think if you really want to use Taylor hyphenated with another name, then Taylor-Jean is the best choice. Then you can use Katherine or Catherine as the middle name, which gives the combo a clearly feminine name to counter the androgeny of the first name.


However, I do still prefer Katherine on its own as a first name, both on its own merits and as a sister to Stella, Jacob and Genevieve. I'm also not keen on initial nns but each to their own. I would pronounce KT differently to Katie.


Florence-Taylor has the same issues as Katherine-Taylor (sounding like fn-ln). I don't know ... I just don't love 2 2-syllable names together. That's why I prefer Taylor-Jean. Florence isn't one of my favourites - I vastly prefer Katherine - but if it has meaning to you, by all means use it as there's nothing actually wrong with it.

December 4, 2018 4:37 AM

Thank you for your advice on Taylor-Jean. I love the idea of using that and putting Katherine in the middle and that will probably be a serious point of disscusion between me and my partner. Again, Katherine has appeared as the obvious sibling choice and it is a name we really love, However Taylor has a lot of meaning to us. (We were bouncing round the idea of a Taylor fn and a Florence mn hat do you think?) And Thank you also for the fn ln issues that BOTH Katherine and Florence-Taylor have.

December 4, 2018 11:58 AM

Are you familiar with the American chef Tyler Florence? No, it's not exactly the same but it's close enough to evoke him fit anyone who watches the Food Network, I think. 

I actually love Flora with Stella and Genevieve. And even though Flora and Florence are technically the same number of syllables, Flora-Taylor is much easier to say. However, Florence-Taylor nicknamed Flora-Tay is sweet, too. (Saying it aloud, it does sound a bit like a Spanish command. Not sure what it would mean but "Florate" reminds me of calmate, etc. But that's neither here nor there since you don't live in a place with a large Spanish-speaking population.)