This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Baby Boy Like-Miller-with-a-B, Brother to Callum Daniel

Kimberly writes:
We are expecting our second child, another boy, in early May! Our older son’s name is Callum Daniel. In an earlier post, you suggested Callum and Liam for twin boys’ names, and I’m wondering if you could please poll your readers to get their opinion on whether Callum and Liam sound too similar in a sibling set. Your opinion, of course, is much appreciated as well! Other first names under serious consideration are Andrew and Aiden (very popular in our region); the middle name is undecided but of less concern. Our naming guidelines are:

· No beginning or ending in B

· No names that are things (our surname is a thing)

· No two-syllable names that end in “er” (too sing-songy with our last name)

We had planned to use Amelia for a girl, and we are undecided on whether we will have more children.

If you choose to publish my question and need to use a substituted last name, I recommend “sounds like Miller with a B.”

Though I spend a lot of time lurking, I really appreciate your down-to-earth advice on naming and parenting in general!

Thank you,

I think my vote is that Callum and Liam are a little too close, but not deal-breakingly close: that is, if you love both names and decide to use them, there are plenty of sibling sets where the names are a little more similar than would be ideal (or even quite a bit more similar than would be ideal) but it's completely fine and not enough reason to give up a favorite name.

A name I love with Callum is Declan. They share some sounds, so perhaps they too are too similar, but they sound more different to my ear.

If you love Aidan but find it too popular in your area, I wonder if you'd like Aidric? I'm surprised it isn't more common.

Eamon would also fit very well. I recommend it second to Aidric because Aidric seemed easy to pronounce/spell even the first time I heard of it, but I've had to learn that Eamon is AY-mon (as opposed to EE-mon) and I still have to think about it.

I heard a little boy addressed as Garrett the other day, and it struck me that that's another name I could stand to hear more often.

Oh, Griffin! I like Griffin even more! Callum and Griffin; Cal and Finn! A griffin is sort of a thing, though. I say "sort of" because I"m not sure what percentage of the population is familiar with that (almost everyone? only certain segments?), and I also wonder if the name is established enough that the connection to the thing doesn't spring readily to mind; and because I think of the thing as being spelled gryphon (because of, I think, ONE book I read with a gryphon in it).

Well, if Griffin is out for thingness, I think I like Keegan even better anyway. It means two names starting with the same sound; would that make you feel stuck with a third child, if you had one? Callum and Keegan. I love that.

Enough chit-chat; let's have that poll about Callum/Liam over to the right! [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results for "What do you think of Callum and Liam as brother names?" (358 votes total):

Too similar to use - 94 votes (26%)
A little too similar, but fine to use - 158 votes (44%)
Not too similar - 99 votes (28%)
Can't decide - 7 votes (2%)

Name update! Kimberly writes:
Our family proudly welcomed Keegan Andrew on May 3! We are smitten! Thank you for helping us name our chunky monkey (he was 9 lbs, 15 oz at birth)!


Anonymous said...

Callum Daniel & Liam Andrew. Heaven! I say go for it.

The Mrs. said...

If you don't mind a repeating initial, how about Corbin? Callum and Corbin.

Or there's also Logan... Callum and Logan.

Swistle's suggestion of Declan is pretty perfect. Callum and Declan... Cal and Dec.

Best wishes to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

I know people that have sons named Callum and Liam and I have never thought they were too similar. I have always thought how complimentary their names are.

I also have friends where the father's name is Eamon (AY-min) and the son is Liam. I find these to also be a cute combo (if you are looking/liking Irish names).

I don't think any of those are too similar. I think Callum and Liam go perfect together and you should stick with your gut.

Marjorie said...

Callum & Colbe or Caleb if you don't mind two C names

Callum & William (Liam for short)

Patricia said...

Callum and Duncan? Two fine Scottish names.

Baby Name Wizard's Namipedia gives these names as "real life" brothers of Callum:
Aidan Carson Colton Connor Ewan Ian Jack James Jude Lachlan Liam Matthew Owen Patrick Ronan Rowan Ryan Thomas William

I note that Liam is among these. For me, the names sound a little too similar, but still would be usable: "cal-lum and lee-um" is how they sound to me. They are also somewhat dissimilar as Callum is associated with Scotland and Liam with Ireland.

Duncan is a strong sounding Scots name with a royal history. Duncan is somewhat unusual like Callum and closer to Callum in popularity ranking than almost all of the other names suggested. Callum ranks 851 in the SSA Top 1000 boys' names, while Duncan ranks 705.

Jess said...

My son is named Callum and a name that I think makes a lovely sibling set is Neil. It's also Scottish, but not screamingly so, and it's surprisingly uncommon, hovering around number 700--not too far from Callum's popularity.

Natalie said...

My son is Declan and we strongly considered Callum for baby #2. I think Callum and Declan would be perfect brothers.

I personally would not use Liam with Callum, but I also wouldn't cringe if I heard it on someone else's kids.

Do you like Rowan or Ronan?

KWILY said...

Declan! LOVE.

Anonymous said...

I personally like Callum and Griffin together. I agree that Callum and Liam sound too similar to be used as a sibling set that aren't twins. Declan is my second favorite choice.

Anonymous said...

Funny: my husband's family has both a Callum and a Declan among the youngsters (under age 10). The boys aren't technically related (step second cousins? something like that), but it's a small family, so we're pretty inclusive.

Jess said...

OK, I had to come back (because I may be in the same position someday, of naming a younger brother of a Callum, so I've been thinking about this) to add two other things:

1. I think Callum and Liam are cute together. Similar, but still workable, and certainly not a deal-breaker.

2. I also love the name Rhys. And I think it fits beautifully with Callum. I kind of feel like a Welsh name and a Scottish name are a well-fitted pair without being overly matchy.

Anonymous said...

Oliver! Both have peace related meanings.