Retro Sibset

Hello, I have been lurking for a while and have been generally very impressed with this community. I was wondering if you could put your collective intelligence to solving a minor family name mystery for me. I have some relatives, siblings, born in/around the 1960's, whose names are Di@n3, D3n1s, and ______. I have always felt that the third name doesn't match, and that there must be some name out there that matches the trend a little better. Maybe if I'm impressed with your suggestions, I'll let you in on the third name. :)


September 23, 2018 7:13 PM

To me, those names feel Baby Boomer chic, so I'd expect another trim Boomer name. I don't think that the third name needs to begin with a D, but I gave both options :)

Sister (Not requiring another D name): Susan, Carol, Linda, Karen, Cheryl

Sister (Requiring a D): Donna, Debra, Darlene

Brother: Steven, Barry, Gary, Alan, 

Brother (D): Donald, David, Darrell

September 24, 2018 1:00 AM

Donna, Dale, Deanne, Dwayne, Debra, Darren, Damien, Danielle, Daniel, Darryl, Donald, David, Danny, Derek, Desmond, Duncan, Deirdre, Debbie, Delma, Delwyn, Dorothy, Douglas, Dion

September 24, 2018 4:40 PM

I know a married couple with those names! Born more in the 1940s, though. Their oldest daughter is D3n3s3.

I like several of the suggestions already given, but of course for a sibling born in the sixties, I really want a sister named Deneen, DOB 1964!

September 25, 2018 12:58 PM

I love this comment, but I think in real life Deneen and Di@ne would not pass the holler-test for me. 

Is Den1s pronounced like "rhymes with tennis", or more foreign like my first guess? The spelling makes me think that they're looking for european exotic charm names, like Cheri.

The other hidden theme is fairly commonplace-seeming midcentury names which have roots in the Greco-Roman pantheon: Di@ne is the goddess of the hunt(Roman version of Athena), and D3nis is based on Dionysius (Greek version of Bacchus). So, I'd want to explore other God/Goddess names in different pantheons for siblings, but straying on the more familiar side. Marcus for Mars? Maybe Demi for Demeter? I need to think more about how to reconcile this with the boomer popularity profile of the sibling names. Maybe Rhea is closest? Or, uh, Caster with a middle name of something approximating Darryl, to bring it back to another name mystery, if the sibling was born in 1953.

Or, perhaps other mythology names that are more commonplace: Jason, Hector - all the wrong decade, but the same idea. Helen, though, could work. 

September 26, 2018 9:47 AM

No, D3n1s definitely rhymes with tennis. My family is not at all French, so it's funny to me to imagine them pronouncing their names in the French way :).

I also had trouble thinking of a mythology name that would fit, so that's why I came here! I love how we're trying to get Deneen and Casterdell in there. Those forums were fun.

September 28, 2018 3:01 PM

I've been thinking about this some more. I think that riffing off Mars with Martin and Marcus are the best fits, but I think that Polina or Iona might have a bit of that midcentury feel while alluding to Apollo and Io. Thora, perhaps, too? 

Thanks for giving us the punchline -- Su3-3llen was not what I was expecting at all! Perhaps E11en can be seen as a riff on Helen, which is a name that I'd have thought consistent what with Helen of Troy? Cassandra would have been another good one for a different decade... like Di@na it's become so commonplace that one really has to think to remember the mythological background.

September 30, 2018 1:04 AM

While watching a clip from Grease, I had an inspiration: Sandy. It has that mid-century feel, Alexandros (its ultimate etymological origin) shows up in Greek mythology as an alternate name for Paris, and of course there's Alexander the Great (a Greek of mythological stature). Or it could have been short for lucubratrix's suggestion of Cassandra. Plus it has the same consonants as the sibling names, but I think would still pass the holler test. It doesn't sound particularly French, but believe it or not it had something of a vogue in France in the 1970s-1990s.

September 26, 2018 9:45 AM

I'm really liking the suggestions! I think Darlene and Cheryl would really fit. I also like Deneen, but agree it's too close to Di@ne.

The chosen name for Di@ne's and D3n1s's little sister was... Su3-Ell3n.

This does strike me as a Baby Boomer name, but (to someone who loves names) always seemed a little off. I had trouble thinking of something that would fit better. The first two names are Anglicized by way of French mythology names, and the only other name like that I could think of was Martin(e), but that didn't seem to fit. However, my relatives all carry their names well.

Thank you for guessing!

September 26, 2018 1:02 PM

I think that had her name been Susan or Ellen, you wouldn't have thought about it twice. There's just something about the hyphen and the use of the diminutive (combined, yet) that makes the name feel much lighter-weight than her siblings'.

September 27, 2018 5:14 PM

At least their parents were confident that two is a coincidence, three is a pattern!