This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Baby Girl Wreath-with-a-C, Sister to Tr!ll!@n; Are the Sibling Names Too Close?

A. writes:
Hi Swistle! I've been reading your name blog ever since I found out I was pregnant with #2. Our baby girl is due in October and we've narrowed it down to 2 first names we like. So far so good, right? We're ahead of the game.

However, the name we love is very similar to our first daughter's name and I'm wondering if it's *too* similar, or too close to rhyming.

Our last name rhymes with Wreath and starts with a C sound. Our daughter's name is Tr!ll!@n M!r@ (replace ! with i and @ with a, of course).

The name we love for the new baby is Mer!d!@n. We don't have a middle name yet, but it'll be something Indian, to honor my side of the family. I'm not worried about finding a suitable name that "matches" with the first name - that part is easier for us.

The name we like, but not as much is Winter. Hubby and I don't agree on many names, so the fact that we both like this one is already a big deal. But it doesn't have the WOW factor that the other one did for us.

My question is whether Mer!d!@n is just too similar to Tr!ll!@n? They're both 8 letters and have the same ending. But I like that they "go together" without being exactly rhyming, or the same first letter, etc. I'd love to know what the readers think?

We're still open to other choices but want a name where we're both thinking "WOW, that's IT!" which is what we did with our first daughter's name, and also feel about Mer!d!@n.

Our preferences are:
1. No question about pronunciation when you see it written
2. Nothing ending in a C, K, or X sound
3. Not on the SSN Top 1000 list, or very, very low :)
Thanks for your help!

My first reaction was that they were too close, and that the rhythm of the two names together made the problem even more noticeable: it called to mind the "Finnegan (begin again)" part of the song Michael Finnegan.

But there are tons of sibling-name sets out there that I would put in a similar category on first hearing them (too close! too far! rhyming! a sibling noticeably different from the others! oh no, a STYLE CLASH!)---and yet, with the exception of, at most, a fresh explanation each time the sibling names come up to a new audience ("Yes, Faith, Hope, and Kayla---I guess my parents didn't want to use Charity"), it doesn't seem like the kind of issue that will be a terrible ordeal for anyone.

Not only does it not have to be a deal-breaker, many parents do it ON PURPOSE---and many other people love it when they encounter it. While many parents with a daughter named Lily are saying, "Well, pooh: now that rules out Rose and Ivy and Violet," many others are saying "I want to continue the floral/botanical theme---how about Rose or Ivy or Violet?" While some people will be startled at hearing siblings named Chloe and Zoe, others will be saying, "That is SO CUTE, I LOVE it!"

After looking at these examples for awhile (as well as at the twin-name section of the Social Security site: so many Jada/Jaden pairings!), and then looking back at Tr!ll!@n and Mer!d!@n, I feel like they aren't too close at all. Yes, they share ending sounds, and saying them together may draw people's attention to that. But that doesn't seem like such a bad thing. It seems like a tiny thing compared with finding a name that is exactly what you want.

Name update! A. writes:
Our October baby was born on Monday and is healthy, happy, and awesome.  (Newborns are so much less nervewracking the second time!)

Her name is Meridi@n Rayn@.  Thanks so much to you and your commenters for all the great input!



Geeni said...

I love the name Mer!d!@n! It's very pretty and unique without being at all difficult to pronounce. I agree that the repeated ending isn't a dealbreaker, if it's otherwise the right name for you.

Anonymous said...

i agree that this sibling set works. you could also use Mer!di@ without the final n. there's a wonderful character by this name in the novel _of bees and mist_ by erick setiawan.

sarah said...

I don't think they are too close. They could have very different nicknames if you wanted to use nicknames to differentiate. Trilly and Meri sound very different. If you love Mer!d!@n I say go for it.

AirLand said...

They are sing-songy to me, but I think you should go for it if you really think it's the one... so many people never have that experience. Better to pick a name that you love.

To one of the posters above, Mer!d!@ (without the n) is the name of a weight loss drug. Probably not something you'd want to associate with a child.

Anonymous said...

Maybe spell it Mer!d!en, with an e? Still pronounced the same but takes away some of the visual similarity.

Nedra said...

They are too close for me, but I don't think they're crazy-close. Some possible alternatives with a similar feel would be:

Meredith (#596)
Marina (#618)
Maren (Not in the top 1000, although I know two of them!)

I don't know whether the first two would be too popular for you, but less than 500 babies were named those names last year. And there were millions of babies born last year.

Meg @ Mr.C and Me said...

too close for me!

ARC said...

Thanks everyone - I'm the OP here :) Yes, hubby also suggested Meridi@, but I remembered seeing a commercial for the drug.

I kind of like the idea of spelling it with an e instead of an a at the end, but feel like we'd be correcting people forever since they don't match. We already have spelling issues with our first who think it's spelled like the number. (Can't blame them, I guess.)

I'm happy to hear (so far) that it's not overwhelmingly too matchy.

We're not nickname people and so far have been able to avoid first daughter having any sort of nn bestowed on her by others.

Anyway, thanks again and I'm looking forward to reading more comments :D

Anonymous said...

I feel like with an unusual name like Tr!ll!@n, it's more challenging to find a second name that goes with it at all (Tr!ll!@n and Isabella? Probably not. Tr!ll!@n and Madison? Nope). Mer!d!@n seems like such a great match in terms of unusualness and femininity that it more than balances out potential downside of the slight sing songiness of saying one name right after the other. If you really want a different rhythm though, I'd suggest looking for some type of star name...Nova, Vega, Andromeda, or maybe Aster or Astrid all seem to me like they "go" with Tr!ll! least for people who know where Tr!ll!@n comes from.

StephLove said...

I don't think they're too close.

gail said...

Actually, I think it's a rather brilliant solution! I'm charmed.

Anonymous said...

I love it too. Meridienne is another spelling option.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they are too close, yes, they are similar, but they didn't sollicit a double-take from me.

Carmen said...

I would absolutely use it, although I'd spell it with an 'e'. I don't think you'd be correcting people forever, because no one will be expecting the endings of the two names to match (especially because not everyone will know her sister's name).

Heidi J said...

They're close enough in sounds/rhyming that I personally wouldn't use them together. However, I don't think if someone introduced their kids with those names I would notice it much.

gail said...

I don't agree with those suggesting you change the spelling of the ending, because then the word loses its magical geographical and esoteric associations.....

The Mrs. said...

Oh, by all means, USE IT!!

I wouldn't change the spelling or anything; it's perfect.

Great taste in names!

Best wishes to you and your growing family.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I agree with above. Spell it like the word, otherwise your little gal's name risks being categorized as another "Destany". And I think the pairing is cute, not too close (I've heard Dirk and Burke as sibling names before).

Ginny said...

I think they make a great pair! The fact that they have a different number of syllables and very different beginning sounds make them distinct enough from each other. I wouldn't change the spelling... I think it doesn't add enough distinction to be worthwhile.

March said...

Your love of the name definitely outwieghs any minor "matchiness" concerns. I say go for it.

If you do decide it is too close for comfort - have you considered Nerida (Near-i-da)?

Jan said...

I weigh in on the maybe too close side - especially since they're similar lengths, rhythms, almost rhyming. I would go for a completely different ending. How about Aureole or Seraphina? I like the name Winter but it's shorter/a lot more common of a word. If you really love it and can't come up with an alternative, do it.

Anonymous said...

It is too close for my taste. I think the similarity of the length, rhythm, etc. actually takes away from the beauty & uniqueness of your first daughter's name. It dilutes it's strength & beauty for me.

If it were me, I'd keep looking for an equally unique name, that is also distinct from your first daughter's name...I know, piece of cake, right?!

I keep trying to think of specific suggestions for you. The only one I've come up with so far is Cyan (a blue-green colour) which may have come to me bc. Tr!ll!@n reminds me of the Vermillion!

Congrats &Good luck! I'll definitely be interested in finding out what you name her!

Patricia said...

Agree with anon @11:01 PM: too many similarities takes away from the uniquenss of your older daughter's name. A name like Cyan would be perfect. Look at SSA's beyond the top 1000 list for other ideas of a unique name that is also dintinct from Trilli@n. Winter is in the right 'mode' but not unusal enough to pair with it.

Patricia said...

PS I've never heard of Trilli@n before and wonder how many other readers have. I think it might be helpful if we look at the source of the name while considering a sibling name. According to Wikipedia the name Trillian may refer to:

* Trillian (character), a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
* Trillian (software), an instant messaging client
* Trillian (sculpture), a planned Belfast public art sculpture by Ed Carpenter, scrapped due to rising cost
* Project Trillian, an effort to port the Linux kernel to the Intel IA-64 architecture

I'm wondering if the first reference was where you heard this unusual name? (5 American baby girls were named Trillian in 2011.)

With that in mind, Meridian seems even more 'matchy' -- especially since you intend to call your daughters by their full names-- but that may be what appeals to you besides the prettiness of the word/name Meridian. (7 girls were called Meridian in 2011).

Again I'd suggest going through SSA's Beyond the Top 1000 Name ( for other options for Trillian's sister. It will take some time to comb through all of those names, but could be fun too to find other names that might work better for your second daughter.

Anonymous said...

My guess would be that at least two of the three other Tr!ll!@ns are after the Hitchhiker's Guide character...within a certain subset of the population, it's a name that's instantly recognizable.

ARC said...

Yep, we named ours after the HH Guide character, not because we're super-fans but because we just liked the sound of it and the fact that it's not religious or tied to a specific culture.

Thanks again everyone for your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

Myra said...

My first reaction was "way too close!" But after finishing the whole query, and pondering a bit, they seem far less matchy (also, writing them without the ! and @ helps – having to decode two words makes them seem more similar than they are). Now, I think it’s a good sibset and that you should go for it if you really love it!

Since you said you were open to other suggestions, I’m going to throw a few out there. Similar to Mer!d!@n: Meriden (maybe too close to Meredith?) or Merrin (there were seven baby girl Merrins in 2011).

On the celestial theme: Andromeda, Lyra, Celestine, Asta, Astra, Luna, Solara, Bellatrix.

Tr!ll!@n M!r@ and Merrin Winter Wreath
Tr!ll!@n and Solara Wreath.
Tr!ll!@n and Celestine Wreath

Anonymous said...

What about Merida it get rid of similar ending

ARC said...

@Myra - I love your list and especially Solara but hubby vetoed it because it's the name of a car (he also vetoed Cressida for the same reason - stupid Toyota!).

Thank you! (OP)

Megz said...

I don't think they're too close at all. I think the "D" in the middle of Meridi@an helps separate them.

I think they make a great set too. Trilli@n makes me think of Britian and space travel, the prime meridi@n makes me think of Britian and astronomy. Dr Who may be another place to go looking for inspiration if you change your mind.

The first time I read HHG2TG I thought Trilli@n would be a great name in real life. You have great taste.

I also had the same feeling about the name Elora when I saw the movie Willow.

Trilli@n and Elor@ perhaps?

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could use Merryn instead? That's a lovely name.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the same poster who suggested the name Cyan. Elora reminds me of Elara, one of the moons of Jupiter. I believe the first "a" is pronounced like "car". Elara seems fitting, isn't too close at all to your first daughter's name, and is lovely. (Other moons of Jupiter include Leda, Amalthea, Lysithea, Ananke, and several more!)

Myra said...

I was thinking about this post and decided to check back in. The longer I think about Tr!ll!@n and Mer!d!@n, the more I like the combo.

…But I also like this style of name so much that I’ve thought of a few other to add to the list.

I hadn’t even thought of the Toyota Solara, but that does make the name less appealing. I love the suggestion of Elara, which shares some of the same sounds as Solara, and is also a moon of Jupiter? Or Anara, a Hindi name?

More celestial names: Astraea (from Greek mythology, Astraea became the constellation Virgo… also sounds like estrella, star in Spanish), Nyssa (a companion of Dr. Who), Rhea (a moon of Saturn).

Thinking about the Prime Meridian, what about something nautical: Narissa (meaning black haired sea nymph)?

liz said...

I love the pairing. Did you name Trillian after the character in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

I think a deal breaker for me would be if you were to have a son and name him Maximilian.

Anonymous said...

You should push harder on Cressida. They haven't made those since 93! I had to look it up because I'd never heard of it and thought it might be a foreign model. I think that's a great sibling name.

For me the two in the question are too rhyme-y, and feel repetitive rather than unique on their own merits.

ARC said...

You guys are awesome. Thanks again for all your suggestions. One other constraint is that hubby wants a name that starts and ends with a consonant, which makes girls' names really, really hard :(

But I so appreciate the feedback and will definitely report back when she's born :)

Anonymous said...

Unique beautiful names, don't sound to similar .*

Anonymous said...

Regan, Tamarin, Celestial, Karin, Gwen, Tobias, Susan, Maryn, Harlow, Maxwell and Diamond. All names which start and end with consonants and which work with Tr!ll!@n, I think.