Joseph and Mary as siblings?

Is it too much?  We already have a Joseph (or Joey or Joe or Jojo etc) and Mary is my favorite girls name. We are Catholic but not very devout. It's unlikely a Mary would only go by Mary in out family. Also kids aren't a "set" and it won't always be "my kids Joey and Minnie" (or whatever).  What says you?


June 11, 2012 4:06 AM

Okay, here is my opinion on the matter:

"My kids Joey and Minnie" is adorable. However, "My kids Joseph and Mary" will yield "Oh yeah, where's Jesus?" often enough to get very old very quickly. (This same "witty" comment would also come when either of the kids tells other people what their sibling is named.) I think that part of the problem is that "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph" is said by some people in times of exasperation, surprise, frustration, etc., so people hear it said as a set. I mean, I'm nowhere near Catholic and I've heard it often enough.

Are there no variants of Mary that you like? Even a double-barreled first name which included "Mary" would help a lot!

If she would always go by a nickname, then it doesn't really matter nearly as much, because much fewer people would ever know about the "set". However, if the nicknames are just in the house and full names are used in introductions, school, etc., then I maintain what I said above.

And would it be alright with you if your daughter's name rhymed with yours - assuming that in your dialect of English, Kerri and Mary rhyme? Although if you're a nicknamey family, that might not be a problem anyway, but I know that personally, I couldn't do it.

June 11, 2012 11:43 PM

I really don't care for other forms of Mary as much as Mary itself. As for double names the closest I can get is Annemarie--but I'd love some suggestions as Im sure I don't know them all.  I do intend to use primarily a nickname for a Mary. I'm partial to Minnie and Mamie.  Mary does rhyme with my name but I think a nickname would mitigate that issue.  Thanks for your thoughts!

June 12, 2012 4:00 AM

My mother's name is Mamie and it stands alone just fine to my ear.  It doesn't sound nicknamey if you want to go with that as a first name instead of Mary.  Mamie Eisenhower's first name was just Mamie. 

June 11, 2012 8:14 AM

If the set has at least 4 kids and they aren't next to each other in birth order it would be fine IMO.

June 11, 2012 10:01 AM

I agree nicknames would help a lot, but only if the nicknames are used full time.  Some variation of Mary or a double barrel Mary would also help.  

And if their are multiple children and Joseph and Mary aren't next to each other when the names are said, it could help, although it might depend on the other names.  Joseph, Michael, Chrisopher and Mary read very Catholic to me-and in that context I still notice the Joseph and Mary, though the effect is diluted.  If the sibset were Joseph, William, Susan and Mary, it seems more like just a traditionally named family and I don't think the Joseph and Mary issue would particularly jump out at me.

All that said, I know there are other Joseph and Mary brother/sister combinations out there and I don't think it'd be the end of the world.  I'd rather be part of a sibling Joseph/Mary set than a married Joseph/Mary set-and I've met a couple of those.  

June 11, 2012 8:14 PM

I tend to agree with NotAGuestAnymores comment above.

2 siblings, Joseph and Mary is not a great combo but with other kids in the mix the effect is diluted. As above, depending on the other names it will either read very Catholic or just traditional.

I'm not a Catholic and to me Joseph and Mary as a sibling combo is just asking for annoying comments for the rest of their lives.


June 11, 2012 11:48 PM

All my favorite names are very 'Catholic' so that's not a big deal to me. I don't plan on having but one or two more though so the names would be close together (though I do have two older step daughters with modern names if that matters).

June 11, 2012 5:55 PM

joseph and rosemary, joseph and maryann, joseph and maris

By Coll
June 11, 2012 11:52 PM

And Mary-Rose, Mary Catherine, Mary Alice, Mary Elisabeth. You can put Mary in front of any saints name and it works.

By mk
June 12, 2012 1:01 AM

I'm just not a fan of names that can be associated with a specific pair/set, so to me it's too much if they are the only two kids. What about another version or a similar name?:

Moira, Marie, Molly, Marissa, Maureen, Mara, Marin, Marianna, Marianne, Annemarie, Rosemarie


By hyz
June 12, 2012 11:43 AM

I will second this.  I came across several Joseph and Mary sets (siblings and spouses) while looking at my genealogy recently, and I did get a little laugh out of it.  It's not so bad if there are 6 kids, but with 2 or 3 I'd say definitely not.

June 12, 2012 12:29 PM

I agree, I like the name Mary well enough and think she will be the only one in her class (even if you send her to Catholic school these days!), but I think I'd pick an alternate form of Mary or a double name to dilute the effect because of the brother's name.

To add to the list above: Maria, Mari, Miriam, Malia, Mariska, Maura, or Mimi.


June 12, 2012 3:17 AM

I don't have an issue with Joseph and Mary as siblings; they're common Catholic names and that's it. 

BTW, Mary (the virgin) and Joseph (the hubby) are not the only Marys and Josephes in the Bible, so to me they're more than just two halves of a couple. 

Other variations or forms of Mary (like Maria, Marie, Miriam, etc....) doesn't remove the Mary&Joseph™ (non)-issue by my logic. It's Maria&Jose in Spanish, Maria&Josef in German, Marie&Joseph in French, Maria&Guiseppe in Italian... so whatever form you use, you'll still be referring back to the Virgin Mary. Unless, of course, you don't automatically associate the name Mary with, and only with, the Virgin Mary. (Ditto for Joseph). 

By Guest (not verified)
June 12, 2012 5:51 PM

It sounds like you're weighing other options already, but I'd say Yes, it's much, much too much.

It's such an obvious reference that even those who didn't make, "Clever," remarks would make assumptions about your family And think you'd purposefully named them thematically.

I go to church most every Sunday, and rightly or wrongly-I would be quite wary of making friends with the mother of a Mary and Joseph.

I'd just assume she was devout to the point that we couldn't be friendly, or possibly a bit off in the head.

Sorry if any or all of that is too blunt, but I felt previous posters were being a bit over delicate.

June 12, 2012 6:14 PM

Well, I am a bit off.  .  .  ;D. Truly though I'm more concerned about assumptions made about my kids than about me. But I try to cultivate a zen-like attitude let us say. 

Funny how there are such wildy different ends of the spectrum regarding this combo.   I'm not even close to being pregnant again so everythings on the table. Just testing the waters.

June 12, 2012 8:44 PM

Oddly my daughter-in-law's sister is Mary and her son is Joseph (Joey always), and Joey's father is (always) Joe.  My DIL and her sister are very close, not only emotionally but also physically--they are nextdoor neighbors--and so I am also close to Mary and Joey.  None of us is at all religious, and I never once thought of the Virgin Mary and her husband in reference to this family.  Now if the names were Francis Xavier and Stella Maris, I would think devout Catholic all the way.

By Guest (not verified)
June 13, 2012 1:49 AM

Don't do it unless you're excited about the idea of your son and daughter being teased relentlessly by other children regarding having sex with each other.

Children of the Sunday-school age are often fascinated with the idea that even though Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born, Joseph was her husband and she didn't stay a virgin forever. 

June 13, 2012 2:43 AM

Ummm if you're Catholic you believe she did.  .  .