“Sib sets”

A lot of people on naming message boards ask if certain names make a good “sib(ling) set,” or play games where a fantasy family is named. Really, while I understand it’s nice for your children’s names to be similar in style, it’s not the end of the world if they don’t exactly match.

It might seem a bit odd to have children named Henry, Sophie, and Calliope, or Brenna, Caitlin, and Milton, but most people tend to name their children in the same style anyway. Sometimes there is a name that sticks out like a sore thumb among siblings, but it’s entirely possible this child was named after a relative or friend, or the parents weren’t brave enough to use an eye-catching name they really fancied before and took advantage of their final chance to use this name.

Also, siblings won’t be a “set” their entire lives. They’ll eventually all leave home and establish their own lives and families. It won’t be a big deal in 25 years if Jonathan’s siblings are named Douglas and Regina, or if Isolda’s sisters are Megan and Amber. On a similar note, it’s really, really, really cheesy, corny, and childish to give multiples rhyming or matching names. I’ve seen some downright dreadful twin names, and a few terrible names for triplets and higher-order multiples. They’re separate people, not one person in several bodies!

Some of the siblings I’ve created in my books, not all perfectly matched, but belonging together by mere virtue of being siblings:

Demian Friedrich, Karl Heinrich, Robert Birchard Erich, Anastasia Nina, Isabella Calla Cleopatra, Olga Della, Serop Grisha, Ainsworth Alexander, Vanilla Alexa, Atlanta Zara

Galina, Matryona, Dinara, Serafima, Yelena, Svetlana, Alla, Vera, Natalya, Fyodora, Osip

Tatyana, Fyodor, Darya, Yekaterina, Igor, Ilya, Irina, Sofya, Tamara

Agnieszka Bogda, Mancika Lila, Dora Zipporah, Rózsika Maria, Quintillia Rachel, Judi Kate, Eulalia Qiana, Octavia Etu, Béla Sándor, Balázs Mihály

Tulia Kit, Aleksey Benjamin, Iosifa Darya, Dafna Zehava, Sergey Yakov

Aleksandr Percival, Benjamin Gregory, George Reginald, Viktoria Natalya, Raisa Mikhaila

Karyn Olivia, Daphne Vanessa, Gwendolyn Alice, Phoebe Mariam, Livia Irene, Claudia Bethany, Benvolio, Claudius Algernon

Samuel, Jadwiga, Jozef, Elzbieta (later Elizabeth), Zofia, Maria, Władysław, Helena, Mieczysław (Mieszko), Yente, Maia, Elijah

Isaac Edward, Magdalena Eleanor, Hannah Laura, Lot Rudolf, Gavrilla Minna, Friedrich Otto (Fritz), Adah Sarrah

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