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We are deciding on a name for our newborn son and wanted to get some feedback on whether Ava and Evan are too close names for siblings, as it's a possible choice.

Do you think these names are too similar?

What are the pros and cons of giving siblings similar-sounding names?

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Welcome Parent! I've edited your question so that it might get less subjective answers that are more useful to others. Feel free to edit your question further. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 17 '11 at 6:04
    
But now Boone gave feedback on my question –  Parent Aug 17 '11 at 18:49
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If you like the idea of linking them in some way, without causing confusion, you could give them very similar middle names. –  James Bradbury Apr 25 '13 at 12:35
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4 Answers 4

Being a twin, I deeply appreciate that my name is distinctly different from my twin's name. Here are some aspects that come to my mind. Choose similar-sounding names if you want these aspects; avoid similar-sounding names if you don't:

Pros of similar-sounding names

  • can be easier to say quickly, i.e. they flow naturally from the tongue.
  • emphasize that they belong together, they are a set, they are part of the same family.

Cons of similar-sounding names

  • risk of teasing.
  • risk of feeling less distinct, harder to define oneself without referring to the sibling.

I might add more bullets to either list when I think of more.

Writing this answer makes me think that we could also have a question about general factors that could be considered when trying to come up with names for children -- but that's unrelated to this question.

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Also, if you as a parent are, say, shouting across the house for one of your children, rhyming or similar sounding names can backfire; both might come out of confusion, but neither might come because...they thought it was the other. –  Aarthi Aug 17 '11 at 13:33
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The things used for teasing, like names, are always just excuses for teasing, not actual causes. –  Lennart Regebro Aug 17 '11 at 15:53
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Yes @Lennart but if you're calling your kids e.g. Bozo and Bimbo then you're not helping. So I meant don't make it worse; don't chose names that are easy to tease with. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 17 '11 at 16:26
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@Torben: I'm pretty sure that these names would be used for teasing even if they had no siblings at all. :-) –  Lennart Regebro Aug 17 '11 at 16:35
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As others have mentioned, similar sounding names can be confusing. But that doesn't mean you can't have similar/related names.

As an example, a friend of mine called John had a sister called Jenny. There is no risk of confusion, but "John and Jenny" sounds good and you get the benefits mentioned by Torben.

So instead of similar sounding, I'd rather go for similar in alliteration or such.

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One disadvantage of this to consider is that they will have the same initial and therefore may be indistinguishable as eg "J. Smith". Later in life this could be annoying when your sibling or parent opens your post. –  James Bradbury Apr 25 '13 at 12:33
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I'd propose to choose differently sounding names for siblings and especially for twins, as it can avoid confusion when you want to call one of them.

E. g. in our son's playschool there are twins which are called Ozan and Rozan. This is very cute, but IMHO it is confusing for other people (who is who?) and as the names sound extremely similar it is also difficult to clearly call one of both.

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You know, in the moment, you will call them by each-other's names sometimes anyway. I am three years older than my sister yet mom always referred to me with her name and vice-versa if she was upset, in a hurry, etc. My Grandmother even once called me by my Dad's former dog's name. Go with names you really like and don't worry about it being confusing. You'll mix their names up anyway and - you'll be using them a lot so you'd better like the names.

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this rings completely true:-) I have called my kids by their siblings names, pet names, even my youngest brother's name :-) –  Rory Alsop Dec 5 '12 at 9:46
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