What NOT to name your babies

I thought of a game to start things off here so we'll see how it goes. The rules are this: Post the names of your sibling group (of any size) that go together "a little TOO well" so that others will be warned they aren't a good idea. They might be funny but the children won't appreciate them very much down the road. Names that rhyme or have a not-so-subtle theme would be good choices for this game. 

So starting off:

Chloe, Zoe, and Joey

Leo and Theo

Ebony and Ivy

Lucy and Linus

Mary, Laura, and Carrie

Of course this is all in fun and any reference to actual living sibling groups is unintentional!


April 11, 2012 11:36 AM

How about Elinor, Marianne and Margaret?

Or Jane, Lizzie, and Mary?

Or Kylie and Kaylie.

Except I know that last one in real life... :)


April 11, 2012 12:40 PM

Some forms-of-the-same-name:

Sean, Ian, and John

Isabel and Elizabeth

Mary and Molly

Michelle and Michaela

Catherine and Caitlin

Natalie and Natasha


By Guest (not verified)
April 11, 2012 2:28 PM

Real sib-set I ran into two weeks ago:

Jaden, Brayden, and Caden (3 boys)

When I asked her what she thought of the name Aidan/Aiden (I was being tongue in cheek), she replied that she didn't like how it sounded...and was totally serious in her response! LOL!

April 11, 2012 4:16 PM


When I asked her what she thought of the name Aidan/Aiden (I was being tongue in cheek), she replied that she didn't like how it sounded

Haha oh goodness!!  Where is the logic? :)

April 11, 2012 7:03 PM

Good example Guest!

April 11, 2012 2:10 PM

Anne-I am unfamiliar with Elinor, Marianne and Margaret. I'm sure it is a book reference of some sort-could you clarify?

April 11, 2012 2:43 PM

those are the three sisters in Sense and Sensibility, so maybe that's what she meant?  I wouldn't think it's a problem, though.  I wouldn't have thought of Sense and Sensibility except I'm in the middle of reading it.

April 11, 2012 4:12 PM

Yep, Sense and Sensibility.

It's not a huge problem, I wouldn't care if my kids' names gave away the fact that I was an Austen fan...just a noted reference for me, since I have an Eleanor and Margaret was also on the short list!

But, I don't like Marianne at all really, funny how that works.

June 6, 2013 11:21 PM

Ha! Had I been a girl, my name was going to be Elinor Margaret, but I never knew why. My mother is Jane Austen's #1 fan, so I suppose that was her reasoning.

May 12, 2012 10:14 PM

See, I would totally use Elinor, Marianne and Margaret. Or any combination of the Bennet sisters. Though maybe not Kitty for Katherine.

April 11, 2012 2:45 PM

My daughter's two closest "friends" (she's only two) are named Avia and Liviya.  Unrelated, thank goodness.

By hwar
April 11, 2012 8:44 PM

Our daughter is Jane and we've joked that for #2 we're going to pick something as close as possible in sound or spelling, i.e.

Jane and James

Jane and Janet

Jane and Jaden

Jane and Joan


Much to my chagrin she gets called James and Jaden quite a bit by other kids who mishear her name (or have never heard the name Jane on a kid before so default to more common kid names).

April 12, 2012 5:39 AM

Jane and Jean - too close, and anagrams. Double whammy!

By Guest (not verified)
April 12, 2012 2:47 PM

Twins I once knew, T!na and Tr!na.  Another RL sibset, Kyl!e and K@ley.

Anything too similiar is always bad like Jake & Jack, George Foreman's kids...

And I'll second the suggestion of different variants of the same name. 

Sean & John, Elizabeth & Isabelle, Mary & Marie, etc.


By Guest (not verified)
April 12, 2012 8:35 PM

I have a question regarding the avoidance of two names from the same root.  On earlier discussions of this topic I saw mentioned that John and Jack are from the same root (in that Jack is a nn for John). My question is how can we explain and where does that then leave the classic French name Jean-Jacques?  Or am I missing something?

April 13, 2012 5:38 AM

Jacques comes from Jacobus/Jacomus, and is equivalent to English James and Jacob.

Jack seems to come from Jan, a medieval English/Flemish form of John.  A pet form of this was Jankin > Jackin > Jacke, Jack.

So, Jean-Jacques is more like "John-James" than "John-Jack", though I'm not sure it sounds so good in English!

April 13, 2012 4:39 PM

My husband has a grandfather who he was very close to named Theo. I was close to my Grandpa Leo. We've often joked about hoping for twins named Leo and Theo.

Some may disagree, but I don't feel there's anything wrong with naming siblings two distinct forms of the same root name. I've often thought that if I had twin girls, I'd name them Caroline and Charlotte (both feminine forms of Charles). To me, they sound different enough that people aren't going to get them confused (a la Kaylie and Kylie), but they share a similar root- kind of like twins or siblings in general.

April 15, 2012 9:31 PM

Peter, Paul, and Mary

April 16, 2012 8:07 AM

Adam and Eve

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John

Jack and Diane

Jack and Jill


April 16, 2012 10:16 PM

I actually know twins (identical!) named Chloe and Zoe.


Hm, how about Taylor and Tyler

Nilton and Milton (I know a Nilton, but I don't think it's very common)

Cora, Nora, Dora, Laura, Maura, Zora, Flora

Bill, Will, Jill, Phil, Lil (Lillian)

Ann, Jan, Fran, Dan, Stan, Van, Nan

April 16, 2012 11:34 PM

Oh! That reminds me! My cousins are friends with twins named Cedric and Frederic!

April 17, 2012 1:42 AM

Twins: Sandy & Candy with older sister Brandy...

April 17, 2012 8:19 AM

A secret one: triplets named Elizabeth, Jessica, and Theresa (Bess, Jess, and Tess).

By Jill
April 17, 2012 10:21 AM

My husband met someone named Hurl and mentioned it as a possible baby name.  I told him not unless we have twin boys and name the other one Ralph.

Random and Various?


April 17, 2012 4:47 PM

LOL! How about Havoc and Wreak?

I think Robin and Wren might be weird too.

By hwar
June 13, 2012 12:03 PM

I know twins who are Robin and Jay!  They are men in their 60's.

April 26, 2012 2:45 AM

Ha funny you mention this...

My aunt is named Sandy, her sister is Candy, and Sandy's husband is Randy. :)


By Guest (not verified)
April 21, 2012 9:18 PM

My mom grew up knowing sisters Meryl, Darryl, Cheryl, and Beryl!

April 21, 2012 10:41 PM

Opal, Jasper, Citrine, Ruby, Ivory, and Jet.  :)

April 22, 2012 2:44 PM

I have twin great-uncles named Floyd and Lloyd. 

How about Miles, Niles, and Giles.


By Guest (not verified)
April 25, 2012 11:00 AM

When I was little I wanted to name my future twins Abigail and Gabrielle (Abby and Gabby, of course!)


I know of boy-girl twins- Kyl@ and Kell@n with big sister Keir@. 


Twin girls at my school:

Danieli (pronounced Danielle-"ee")

Danielleg (pronounced Danielle-"gee")


April 25, 2012 1:21 PM

I don't think that Ky--, Ke---, and Kei-- are that close together. Except for the repeated K beginning, they all have different vowel sounds so that doesn't bother me. The others you listed though are definitely TOO close in spelling and sound. I guess if they have different nn's and there was a specific reason for naming them that way (family name or something) then it makes more sense to me.

By Guest (not verified)
April 25, 2012 1:34 PM

Can you explain the Mary, Laura and Carrie? I don't get why they don't go together well.

I know brothers R0n@ld, D0n@ld and D0ugl@s. I guess D0ugl@s should have been Arnold or something else.

April 25, 2012 1:46 PM

Mary, Laura, and Carrie are the three girls from the TV show Little House on the Prairie. I was trying to suggest that any duplication of names from TV shows or movies or sometimes popular book series, might seem extremely obvious and a bit on purpose though that might not have been the original intention.

Cindy, Marsha and Jan or Bobby, Greg, and Peter follows the same pattern. The names aren't too matchy because of sound or style but they were the names of the Brady Bunch kids. I don't think I would specifically want someone to think I named my children after them. Though I guess these days the demographic of women having babies might be such that they wouldn't want a sibset named Edward and Bella.

By Guest (not verified)
April 25, 2012 1:51 PM

Thanks! I never read or saw Little House on the Prairie, so I didn't make the connection. I'm just out of touch. But I think you are right in that most people would make that connection. I guess that is why it is always good to run a potential name by someone else. :-)

December 28, 2013 9:52 AM

Laura, Mary and Carrie weren't just TV stars! They were real girls, one of whom (Laura) grew up to write a bestselling children's book series about their experiences as pioneers in the late 1800's, which were later turned into a popular show.

December 28, 2013 12:45 PM

And their little sister was Grace.

By Guest (not verified)
April 26, 2012 12:47 PM

Tyson, Tyler and Taylor

When I was young there were two families on my same block with boys named Tyson and Tyler; One set were fraternal twins. There was also a Taylor on that block.

All 5 boys were within 2 years of each other. I don't think any of them lived near each other when they were born; those names were just popular in that area at that time.I don't hear those names much in young children nowdays.

April 26, 2012 3:03 PM

Wow, everyone has lots of good (bad?) examples!

Hmm, I can think of plenty of rhymes and almost-rhymes to avoid for siblings. The longest set is probably Barry, Carrie, Cherry, Gary, Harry, Jerry, Kerry, Larry, Mary, Merrie, Perry, Sherry, Terry, Thierry - I know they all rhyme in some people's accents and only some of them do for others; in some ways, I find the the almost-rhymes even more distracting and annoying!

And then there are the name combinations that add up to a famous person or character's full name: e.g. James + Dean (or Etta, or Joyce, or Jesse), George + Elliot, Casey + Anthony, Dick + Tracy, Ray + Charles (or Rachael, for several reasons), Robert (Bob) + Dylan, Miles + Davis, June + Carter, Martin + Luther (or Dean), Benjamin + Franklin, Bruce + Lee, Diana + Spencer (from another thread) ...

And of course, there are names of famous historical or fictional siblings or other groupings, that seem to insist "my kids are a set above all else!" and "this one association is so important to us our whole family is named after it": e.g. Matthew + Mark + Luke + John, Bart + Maggie + Lisa, John + Paul + George + (poor) Ringo, Laurel + Hardy, Mason + Dixon, Meg + Jo + Beth + Amy ...

These are my top two categories for terrible combinations though:

1) Names that set up sibling rivalry: e.g. Mary vs. Martha (Jesus had a favorite), Peter vs. Paul (robbing the former to pay the latter), Grant vs. Lee (opposing U.S. civil war generals) ...

2) Names that make two siblings sound like a romantic couple, due to a famous historical or fictional example: e.g. Frankie + Johnny, George + Martha, Ian + Sylvia, Gertrude + Alice, Mary + Joseph ...

(I think you're usually OK here as long as both names are very common - e.g. Will + Kate or Charlie + Sally - but as soon as one of them is unusual, then the connection sticks out!)

Finally, just like the almost-rhymes, there are the combinations that almost but not quite add up to a word or something in one of the other problem categories - which again can be even more glaringly bad: e.g. Landon + Mark, Dora + Belle, Mae + Weston, Carmen + Diego ...

By Tana
April 26, 2012 6:46 PM

Who are Frankie and Johnny, Ian and Sylvia, Gertrude and Alice, and Charlie and Sally?  None of those pairs are ringing any bells as "famous romantic couple" to me, so I'm curious.

By Guest (not verified)
April 26, 2012 9:55 PM

Frankie and Johnny are the names of the title couple in a song and several movies

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Tolkas

Charlie and Sally are Charlie Brown and his sister Sally from The Peanuts

I don't know Ian and Sylvia either.

I think a lot of these combos are ok.

May 16, 2012 6:48 AM

I have an aunt named Mary Martha (she goes by both names), and she always complained that it gave her a split personality.


I rather like the idea of giving children names that connect secretly, like Charles and Rachael (connection: Ray), or Ross and Spencer (connection: Diana).

By Coll
April 27, 2012 4:58 PM

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy (though I would be thrilled to meet this set in real life)

Michael and Michelle (knew a bro and sis pair with these names)

Tara, Tirah, and Terra (pronounced Tah-ra, Tee-ra, and Tair-ah. My mom had a sister group of students with these names).

April 30, 2012 8:24 PM

That reminds me, I went to middle school with triplets named Angela, Angelina, and Angelica.

May 1, 2012 12:29 AM

No! Come on. Seriously?!

What were their nicknames? A, Ina, and Ica?

May 4, 2012 10:20 PM

Haha, I didn't know them personally (they were a couple years older than me), but what about Angie, Lina, and Jelly?

May 2, 2012 11:59 AM

The conjoined twins that were (successfully) separated about 6 months ago are named Angelica and Angelina D:

May 2, 2012 2:39 PM

I know a Michael and Michelle who are twins.

By Guest (not verified)
May 1, 2012 5:58 PM

My daughter's friends are Hannah, Anna, and Lana - all with rhyming pronunciations.

I wanted to do Phoenix and Griffin for girl/boy sibs.  Too close or good match?

I could name a bunch of kids after the color blue: Indigo, Azure, Marina, Skye, Oceana, Sapphire....

December 1, 2012 9:12 PM

With Phoenix and Griffin, which one is the girl? I like the match -- actually, I thought of it myself as well, but personally not for kids.

It's a nice match for boy/boy siblings, but girl/boy seems confusing -- to me, at least. I like it, but I'd feel kind of bad for the younger child -- like your main reason for their name was shaped by their older sibling's, and not because you liked it just as much, (although it might not be the case at all.)

In short, I like it for maybe book character brothers, but in real life the connection seems a bit forced.

For this thread:

I don't think anyone's said John and Jacob (from the song) 

But maybe if it the parents always said "Jacob and John," or used Jake for Jacob or John was short for Jonathan and mostly called Jonathan, it wouldn't be so bad...

No offence if you have kids named John and Jacob -- it is kind of cute. Don't let me ruin the names for you, they're both still great names.