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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Girl/Boy Twins, Caroline and ___?

Carla writes:
I came across your blog and it sounds like you might have a solution for my husband and I. We are expecting twins (boy/girl) in a couple weeks. We had originally chosen the names Paul David (Paul being my husbands middle name and his father's name and David being my father's name) and Caroline Louise (Caroline comes from the same origin as my name, Carla, and Louise is my mother and sister's middle name).

My husband has expressed concern with the boy's name we have chosen because he doesn't want to think of his father every time he says it and his mother is already assuming that is the name. He has suggested John Philip or Samuel for a first name. Sam was my dog all while growing up so that seems a bit weird to me but I do love the name, and I like John Philip (Philip is my grandfather's name) but having John and Caroline is a little weird as it just makes me think of the Kennedys. Is that off the wall? Would others make that connection or would that be a good alternative? There are also other reasons we like pretty much all the names we have chosen - in regards to the meaning of names, etc. and Paul David is also the name of Bono (the singer from U2) and we are huge fans so that is kind of cool too. Any suggestions or recommendations? I'd love to get your opinion!

Ah! I have some experience with this, in that one of my children has the same name as one of my parents. And what I've found is that I hardly ever think of it. In fact, the only time I think of it is when I'm addressing that child when that parent is in the room, and I suddenly realize that could be confusing. But since I don't call my parents by their first names, it isn't an issue: the name has become almost exclusively the child's name, and I only occasionally remember it's also my parent's name. So if I were you, I think I'd go with Paul David.

But I do also love the name John Philip. For me, the John and Caroline thing is okay: the names John and Caroline are so established and classic, I don't think I'd think of the Kennedys unless someone pointed it out to me.

Let's have a poll over to the right to show what we think: Do we think they should stick with Paul and Caroline? Do we think John and Caroline has a strong Kennedy association? ...Well, that's a little complicated for the poll. How about this instead: I'll make the poll just a list of names for Caroline's brother, and then if you want to you can leave comments in the comment section about the Kennedys, or about your own experience with family namesakes. [Poll closed; see below.]



[Poll results (222 votes total):
Paul: 133 votes, roughly 60%
John: 52 votes, roughly 23%
Samuel: 37 votes, roughly 17%]

24 comments:

Joceline said...

So funny that this is the question. Just last night, we were talking to people who have two children named Jack and Caroline, and they said that people fairly regularly ask them if they are big fans of the Kennedys. I've known them for several years and had honestly never made the connection. So from someone else in basically the same situation, they do get asked, but it doesn't bother them because they love the names.

Verity said...

I love John and Caroline together, and agree with Swistle's comment that they're well established and so the link isn't as dramatic. (Surely there have been sister/brother combos with the name many a time, both pre- and post-Kennedy.)

But if Paul is already the presumed name, and it would hurt others' feelings to make a change, I'd stick with it. Our kids' names are based on their grandparents' names, and we've never regretted it. (And the rest of the family is quite pleased, too.)

Jana said...

We have friends with kids named Caroline and John and we never made the Kennedy connection, either. You may get asked a few times, but overall, I don't think people will pay much attention to it. John and Caroline do go quite well together.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

First of all, I love the classic names you're considering. I think Caroline is a beautiful name, and Paul, John or Samuel are all just wonderful. Totally my taste.

I don't think that I would have made the Kennedy connection if you hadn't of pointed it out... but now that you did point it out, I keep thinking about it. And I'm Canadian. I wouldn't let it deter you... but I see why you're concerned. (Um, so that's helpful, eh? LOL -- very elusive of me).

I love the idea of you using Paul David because of the family connectinos, I think it's wonderful to honour close family member with names. And also, your child will be their own individual person, so although at first this name is reminding you too much of the person you're naming them for... the name will really grow into being your child's name and it will take on its own life.

Let me try to describe this with a personal example of same names taking on their own feeling....

I'm a "Stephanie" born in 1985... TWO of my best friends are both named "Stephanie". BUT... when I call up my friend Steph H, I don't feel that I'm even calling her by MY name... I feel like I'm calling her by HER name. The individual will take on the qualities of their own name, and they won't always be associated with their same-named counterpart.

Does that make sense??? LOL. Go with Paul David if its the choice you enjoy, it's a lovely way to honour family and Paul and Caroline are so nice together.

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

I think if you were close personal friends with the Kennedy family naming your kids John and Caroline might be weird. But I'm assuming that like the rest of us, you're not, so I say go for it!

the Joneses said...

I voted for John Philip based strictly on taste: I like John better than Paul. If you really do like Paul, then use it! Both go well with Caroline.

Peace said...

When I saw the title Caroline and ___, I immediately said "Caroline and John-John. To me it is strange, like actress who recently used Oscar and Felix (The Odd Couple). That being said, I do like Philip and Paul. I understand the dog name problem. I had a beautiful Golden Retriever named Summer as a child. I would love to use the name Summer, but not sure I could do it.

Diane said...

I personally like the name John better than the name Paul and think John sounds better with Caroline. However, I think that you should go with Paul because of the reasons you chose it in the first place. I think your family might feel slighted at this point if you went with something else, and it is a really nice way to honor them.

By the way, the first thing that I thought of when I saw John Philip was John Philip Sousa, the composer ("Stars and Stripes Forever," etc.). I don't know if anyone else would make that connection, but I did immediately. It's not a bad association by any means, but just something to consider.

Anonymous said...

The second I saw Caroline and John I instantly thought of the Kennedy's - and I am not even American!
It could be just because I have watched a few documentary's up here in Canada (I lack a variety of TV channels). The names still go nicely together, however!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I know a set of twins named John and Caroline and never once made the connection with the Kennedys. I say Go For It!

Anonymous said...

I have bad associations with Paul, but LOVE John Philip. It sounds great, and John and Caroline sound too cute. Go for it! Honestly, I think the Kennedy association enhances the names. What better namesake? They were intelligent, family-oriented, caring, beautiful people. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would make the association with the Kennedy's. I also happen to prefer the name Paul.

Patricia said...

Paul David seems to be the perfect name for your little boy -- named for his dad, as well as both of his grandfathers. You're fortunate to have such fine classic names to work with! Too, I think Paul David is a good match with Caroline Louise, as his sister's name reflects the names of a parent and grandparent too.

[I'm wondering, though, if you'll need to try for a second baby girl someday so that your husband's mother won't feel left out. : ) ]

I agree that since your husbands parents are expecting the boy's name will be Paul David, it might be best to stay with that name. It sounds like this name will please your MIL (who is the only grandparent not having a twin named after her).

My husband is David; our son is John David, and his little son is David. That works fine for us, and I don't think of my husband when I'm saying "David" in regard to our grandson.

Anonymous said...

I immediately thought of the Kennedy children, However I prefer the name John over Paul. I do love the family connection of Paul David. I like Samuel David or Samuel Paul. I don't think the fact that you had a dog named Sam is that big a deal.

Bethtastic said...

I say stick with Paul David. Since Caroline is being named after family members, having a twin brother whose name is only partly familial could be strange.

Plus, I really like Paul David. :)

Frazzled Mom said...

For some reason in reading this post, I came to recognize a pattern among many expectant parents: If you think long and hard enough, you can find something wrong with ANY name. Naming a kid (presumably for life) is a big deal and understandably, expectant parents can get insecure and second guess their choices under the pressure.

I say, go with your gut and use Paul David - it is a perfectly respectable name. So many kids are named after family members, that I don't think it's weird at all.

Leslie said...

I didn't notice the Kennedy connection until you mentioned it, and it doesn't bother me. That said, I'd still go with Paul David, personally. Paul is just such a handsome, underused classic, and I love the idea that both twins would have names honoring multiple generations of family members. It sounds like you have lots of reasons to love the name, and it seems pretty perfect to me.

Of course, if you and your husband do decide that it's just not the choice for you, John Philip and Samuel are both excellent alternatives. (I especially like Philip.) So, while my vote is for Paul David, the truth is that your son will be handsomely named no matter which choice you pick.

Best of luck!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the name John Phillip, but the first thing I thought of was John Phillip Sousa, the composer.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Carolyn, and my brother is John. We never thought about the Kennedy connection, until of course he married Carolyn Bessette. Even still, I think only the older generations who grew up during the Kennedy era would make the connection.

Sunny said...

I like Paul David but I'm kinda biased- my hubbys name is Paul....

I also like Carson and Caroline for twins names, I like the same initials deal for twins...we have a LOT of them in my family.

I would HATE to name twins Caroline and John...Everyone is going to be making a lot of comments about them being twins already without having them comment on the Kennedy connection thing.....-yeah- I asked the twins in my family about it and they told me that.....twins comments get old after a while.....

Leah said...

For the record, I thought of the Kennedys immediately, and I also thought "Sousa" when I heard the name "John Philip."

Anonymous said...

I do not care for the name Paul David at all. It is a little too biblical. I realize that John and Samuel are also from the Bible. Paul David just sounds too much like a pastor's child.

Melissa H said...

I do think of the Kennedys with John and Caroline but then I recall that my friend has Jack and Caroline and now that I know them I don't think of it at all..

Still, I voted for Paul, I love family associations

Jan said...

I know a pair of sibs...Caroline and Jack and even that made me think of the Kennedys...fine unless you're strong Republicans!

How about David Paul so the first-last combo isn't just like grandpa?