Name burnout

Hi to all the members of my favorite name site! 

I'm afraid the years and years of baby-name obsession have finally caught up with me, and my perspective is just too distorted to name my own kid anymore.  So I am hoping you can approach my problem with fresh eyes...

So here's the background: we are expecting a second child, a daughter, at the end of the summer.  Husband's last name (which we are about 90% likely to use) is German, four syllables, sounds a lot like Rodenbacher.  Long before kids were even on the horizon, I fell in love with the name Saskia for a girl: I liked how it complemented the surname (I find a lot of first names either aggravate its clunkiness or sound too delicate and frilly with it), I liked how unusual it was (I have a very uncommon name myself, and totally can't imagine not being the only one in my class), and I just liked the sound.

And then we had our son, whom we named Silas.  I love his name, although it's probably going to get waaaay more popular in the years to come.  But nothing to be done about that now, I guess.  In the hospital, though, I wrestled with whether by using it we were closing the door on Saskia, because of the alliteration and because both names are so very sibilant -- but I figured that we didn't have anything better for him and it was silly to just assume that we'd have a girl later.  Well, you know the rest.

So, Question #1:




April 13, 2012 4:19 PM

Okay, sorry about that: I accidentally hit post and can't figure out how to edit.  So, briefly, the rest:

Are Silas and Saskia too phonetically matchy?

If so, can you suggest other names that would work better?  Priorities in order: flows with surname, unusual, doesn't clash too horribly with brother's name.  My husband and I each have some names that we like that the other one doesn't hate, but nothing that really excites us both.  Some of them include: Tamsin, Amity, Kerensa, Astrid.  Daria is one we like a lot because of family connections.  (We both like it more for a middle than a first, but Saskia Daria sounds awful.)  Clara would be on the list except we both hate how names ending with R or R+schwa blur into the last name.  But like I said, I am feeling so desensitized to names that nothing seems to have quite that spark anymore..

Thanks so much!


By Guest (not verified)
April 13, 2012 4:42 PM

Unfortunately I would say they're too similar phonetically and different thematically to work.... sorry about the naming ennui too.  These are probably off base but maybe will result in some ideas: Tarney, Soren, Sylvia, Willa, Althea, Greta, Neva, Yaela, Peri, Eiry, Tamar, Yelena, Mary (a little different than the rest of this list, obviously previously popular, but SO uncommon now!), Zola.

April 23, 2012 2:05 AM

Intriguing collection, thank you!

You raise an interesting point about the thematic/stylistic matching.  I realize they do seem very different at first blush.  However, Silas is actually way more common in Northern Europe than it is here in the US, so I figure they at least have a sort of geographic link...

April 13, 2012 5:54 PM

Honestly? Yes, I find them too mitchy-matchy. It's not just that they both begin with an S but also about the style/type of name, repeated vowels in reverse... sorry. I like Astrid much better with Silas - they both have a semi-Scandinavian feel to them, and contain some of the same sounds, but they also retain some of individuality.

Suggestions - inspired by Silas, staying semi-German/Scandinavian: Ingrid, Carla, Nina, Annika, Erica, Ellis, Alissa, Marisa, Lucia, Anette.

By Jill
April 13, 2012 6:24 PM

I'll be the dissenting opinion and say they sound fine together.  My big question with names is: are they so close that they are indistinguishable when you yell them across the playground?  I don't think you have that problem here.  Silas and Saskia? Fine.  Jayden and Brayden?  No.  Even Brayden and Jason are too close, IMO.

(I will say that I'm biased because I REALLY like Saskia.)

Guest, why can she have Sylvia but not Saskia?

Siblings are truly a set for such a short time.

April 15, 2012 6:15 AM

You have fantastic taste! Silas is at the top of my boy list and I have an Astrid and Saskia is also a lead contender for another girl.

Personally I think Silas and Saskia are fine together.  They are just different enough for me to use them both.  If you had a third baby though I would probably go something different. I love Silas and Astrid together too.

I also have a German surname, although mine is short. Since we have some obvious cross over in style I'll share some other names I'm quite fond of (were you only after girls names?):

















April 13, 2012 7:38 PM

I have never heard the name Saskia before, so I looked up the pronunciation on BNW says ZAH-skee-ə.  So would you pronounce it with a Z instead of a soft S?  If so I think that makes it very usable.  And even if you pronounce it starting with an S, I think they go fine together. I agree with Jill- siblings aren't named together for their entire lives, so choose names you love and don't worry about it!

April 13, 2012 9:48 PM

oh I think Saskia and Silas are fine. They are going to go their own ways anyway, do their own activities, have their own friends. If Saskia is your favorite and it works with the last name, I say use it. I personally love the name!

April 13, 2012 10:38 PM

I am on the fence about Saskia and Silas. Visually they are very similar but soundwise they are not to me. I do like the suggestions of Ingrid and Astrid (though not together should you have another girl later-THEY WOULD be too close). Funny enough if you have a boy later on, I quite like Sebastian even though that also is very close in sound. Other ideas:

Beatrice; Violet; Hazel; Elke; Leisel; Olivia; Heidi; Olga; could you do Gretchen?

By hyz
April 13, 2012 11:25 PM

I'm on the fence about Saskia and Silas as well.  In the past I would've said no for sure, but I've softened on the repeated initials thing a bit, especially if it is done because those just happen to be the names you love, and not because you are trying to match them, and if they don't sound too similar otherwise.  These two names both share two S sounds, but otherwise they are fairly different--middles, endings, syllables, vowels, feel....  Now if you did ever have a third child, I would try very hard to avoid an S name, but these two seem pretty ok to me.

If you are looking for other choices, I would definitely avoid Sylvia, which shares a derivation and the S_l pattern with Silas.  I'd be thinking along the lines of maybe Annika, Elsa, Eliza, Johanna, Helena, Louisa, Gretchen, Liesl, Geneva, Anya, Beatrix, Freya, Katja, Lena, Matilda...

But I do share your love of Saskia, so if you don't find anything you like as much, I say go ahead, be bold, and do it!  I mean, what's the downside, if you really think about it?  That some people (incorrectly) assume you picked 2 S names on purpose?  I don't think they make too cutesy a pair, and they're both awesome names individually.  Good luck!

By Guest (not verified)
April 14, 2012 8:50 AM

I really like both names, and it sounds like you do too.  I think you're in a rare position inthat Saskia goes well with your last name.  My feeling with a lot of popular first names people are picking up from various cultures is that the cultural displacement is often highlighted in a clash between first and last names. Saskia won't have that.

Also, it sounds like I'm in the minority among NEs, but I really feel the concern for naming a 'sibset' is overblown.  I think of children as individuals, not part of a 'set'.  Moreover, they're only kids for, hopefully, a very small proportion of their lives, for much of which they'll be independent adults who deserve the best name for them, regardless of what their sibling happens to be named.


Moreover, even if I do think of S1las and Sask1a as a set, I think they sound very harmonious together.  I say go for it!

By Guest (not verified)
April 15, 2012 4:02 PM

I can't agree more with those who have pointed out that sibling names will only be thought of as a set for a relatively short time. Though you'll be putting their names together in a sentance often enough forever, know that your children, and others, will practically never have to. Silas and Saskia don't sound bad together, are easy to distinguish aurally (so it'll always be clear who's being addressed), and most importantly, you love both names! I can't remember the last time anyone other than one of my parents put mine and my sister's names together like "Silas and Saskia". As long as they work individually, I wouldn't say its a problem.

April 16, 2012 5:35 PM

Silas and Saskia are both great names.

I am on the fence: I think the combination is doable but in your shoes would probably keep looking or trying to fit it in as a middle name until I decided this just had to be it. But I'll echo the comments that the "matching siblings" concern can easily get overblown. The kids will, one hopes, be sharing a roof for a small portion of their lives. In the meantime, the names are distinct enough not to get jumbled when calling them out, and they don't clash with each other. I do find "Silas and Saskia" a bit of a tongue-twister but I don't know if I'd call this a serious problem. I also agree with you that despite the different origins, the usage of the names in Europe is similar enough that the pairing doesn't sound jarring. That said, Silas is a much more widely used (and therefore more flexible) name, and Saskia will be unfamiliar to most people. That's also true of Kerensa (which I love!).

Some combinations to consider (introducing a few additions to your list, in bold when they first appear):

Birgitte Saskia, Catriona/Katrina Saskia, Dagny Saskia, Ingrid Saskia, Karin Saskia, Matilda Saskia;

Agatha Amity, Agatha Carys, Agatha Tamsin; Amity Carys, Amity Isolde, Amity Kerensa, Amity Lydia;

Annika Birgitte, Annika Dilys, Annika Tamsin; Astrid Kerensa, Astrid Sylvia;

Catriona Amity, Catriona Dilys, Catriona Ottilie, Catriona Tamsin;

Cordelia Anneliese, Cordelia Dagmar, Cordelia Daria;

Dahlia Amity, Dahlia Carys, Dahlia Margaret, Dahlia Sigrid;

Daria Birgitte, Daria Liesl, Daria Isolde, Daria Matilda, Daria Ottilie, Daria Sigrid;

Ingrid Amity, Ingrid Kerensa; Isolde Carys, Isolde Kerensa, Isolde Karin, Isolde Renata;

Isadora Birgitte, Isadora Karin; Katja Ingrid, Katja Margaret; Kerensa Mairead, Kerensa Tamsin;

Ronia Carys, Ronia Sigrid, Ronia Tamsin; Sidonie Carys, Sidonie Daria, Sidonie Kerensa, Sidonie Ruth;

Tamsin Anneliese, Tamsin Catriona, Tamsin Daria, Tamsin Lydia, Tamsin Margaret; ...

Hope that helps inspire some more brainstorming.