Boy/Girl Twin Babies Kim-with-an-L

Dear Swistle,
I need your help in naming our first two children. My name is Sarah and my husband’s is Timothy. We are from Singapore ( i havent seen anyone who has written to you from Singapore yet!! ) and we’ve recently found out the babies are boy girl twins but need some help in finding the perfect names for these two babies! Our last name is Kim with an L. The babies’ estimated due date is in mid May. We particularly need help in finding a girl’s name!!

We love traditional, classic, biblical, and timeless names with a positive meaning and connection to it. We really dont favour made-up, modern, unusual names that sound made up. In Singapore, most parents dont take into consideration ‘ popular / over used ‘ names ( in the charts from the US, UK, Western countries, etc ) because the top names from the Western countries are quite different from the top names in Singapore.

We have a few rules :
– no names that carry negative meanings / history / connections
– no names ( for both boys and girls ) that start with B, P, Q, U, V, X and Z.
– no names that sound too kiddish / names that seem strange on a teenager, adult, grandmother / grandfather
– no names that are too long, preferably under 6, 7 letters
– ** no too modern names / names that sound too made up

So far, our top contenders for boys are ( in no particular order ) :
– Noah
– Evan ( love this name )
– Ewan ( like this name too, but worried of possible name calling because of first 2 letters, ew etc )
– Nathan
– Aden / Aaden ( we love these 2 spellings, cant decide on either yet but we dislike other spellings like ‘ aiden ‘ also, a very popular name for boys, in singapore )
– William
– Shane
– Matthew
– Liam ( love this name, a little worried about it though; in singapore, people tend to mispronounce such names when speaking singlish, because of this culture / local language, i forsee him being made fun of / being called ‘ Leeyyaam ‘ ( in one syllable ) which can sound pretty awful )

So far, the top contenders for girl names are :
– Laura ( really love love this name )
– Hannah ( quite a popular name for girls here )
– Anna ( * love it as anna, no annabelle, annalise etc )
– Emma ( same with anna, we really dislike emmaline etc )
– Lauren ( we dont like this name as much as the rest of the names on this list, but we dont dislike it either. We’d much prefer Laura to Lauren, mostly because Lauren is too modern and dosent sound as classic and timeless as Laura )
– Tessa ( we like this name, but it sounds a little too modern to us. We’ve considered Theresa, but it just sounds too old and outdated )
– Olivia ( really starting to love the name and can actually picture our daughter being named this )

Names not totally sold on but still in the running include :
– Leah ( has a bad meaning to it – ‘ weak ‘ but we really like the soft, gentle sound of it )
– Alexis ( does it sound too boy- like or violent? )
– Isaac ( dont love it as much as the rest of the boy names but like the strong and decisive sound to it )
– Oliver ( really like the classic and originality behind it but it dosent really fit for us so far )
– Laurent ( boy ) – does it sound too made up?
– Aven ( love the sound, pronounced ‘ ay-venn ‘ not totally sold on because it sounds made up )

Middle name contenders :
– Gabriel
– Gilen
– Faith
– Joshua
– Theo
– Ashton ( not sure about this one )
– Asher
– Ian / Iann
( as you might tell we are having trouble coming up with a suitable middle name for our daughter )

Names we that were in the list but veoted because of reasons :
– August
– Finn ( too rhym-y with surname )

I apologise for the super long post but Swistle we really need your help!! We are very open and more than happy to hear your suggestions and your reader’s suggestions too!
Just an important note, we dont have the same tradition in the western countries where you use family members’ / grandparents names as a way to honour them, but it is not like that, here in Singapore.
Thank you for your help, Swistle and Readers, we appreciate it and cant wait to hear your suggestions!!

Sarah and Timothy


Here are some of the pairings I like:

Evan and Laura
Nathan and Laura
William and Hannah
William and Olivia
Matthew and Emma
Isaac and Hannah
Oliver and Emma
Laura and William
Hannah and Evan
Hannah and Matthew
Anna and Matthew
Anna and William

I have William in that list a lot, because it’s one of my own favorites and because I like it with a lot of your girl-name choices. I’m concerned, though, about how it sounds with the surname. I’m even more concerned about Liam with the surname; combined with your comments about pronunciation issues, I left Liam out of the running entirely.

For middle names, here are my favorite boy-name combinations:

Noah Gabriel (NGL)
Evan Gabriel (EGL)
Evan Joshua (EJL)
Nathan Gabriel (NGL)
Nathan Joshua (NJL)
Nathan Asher (NAL)
Aden Gabriel (ADL)
Aden Joshua (AJL)
William Joshua (WJL)
Matthew Gabriel (MGL)

The only middle name option so far for girls is Faith, which I think sounds fine with any of the girl names. I also like combinations such as:

Laura Jane (LJL)
Laura Naomi (LNL)
Hannah Jane (HJL)
Anna Grace (AGL)
Anna Ruth (ARL)
Emma Jean (EJL)
Lauren Elizabeth (LEL)
Tessa Mae (TML)
Olivia Joy (OJL)

Based on your comments on the names, I think my top choices are:

Evan Joshua and Laura Jane
Evan Joshua and Olivia Joy

Name Update

Update (and photos) on Middle Name Challenge: Vada ______ Mimree-with-a-K

[If you are not able to see the update, try hard-refreshing the page. (On my Mac, a hard-refresh is done by holding down shift and command, and then pressing R.) If that doesn’t work…I’m not sure what to suggest. We are having some trouble with posts not posting, and we’re not sure if it’s a WordPress problem or a problem elsewhere, but I have my IT guy (i.e. Paul) on it. Posts and updates seem to show up a day late—except I can see them as soon as I post them, and Paul can see them if he hard-refreshes. It’s perplexing.]

Name Update

Update (and photo) on Baby Boy Martinez, Brother to Elijah

[If you are not able to see the update, try hard-refreshing the page. (On my Mac, a hard-refresh is done by holding down shift and command, and then pressing R.) If that doesn’t work…I’m not sure what to suggest. We are having some trouble with posts not posting, and we’re not sure if it’s a WordPress problem or a problem elsewhere, but I have my IT guy (i.e. Paul) on it.]

Baby Naming Issue: Sabine, Pronounced Sabina

Hi Swistle! Hoping you and your readers can help me out. Sabine is tied right up there as one of my favorite girl names. I first heard it in Germany, where it’s pronounced “suh-BEAN-uh” (it is also a French name, but pronounced “suh-BEAN” in France. We prefer the German pronunciation). But, here’s my quandary: would people who hear it just think that the baby’s name was Sabrina?

I love(!) this name, but really don’t want to saddle a child with being misheard all her life when she introduces herself.



I think the bigger issue is that people will think the name is spelled Sabina (if they hear it) or pronounced sah-BEEN (if they see it). If you were spelling it Sabina and asking if it would be confused with Sabrina, I would be shrugging and saying, “Well, sure, sometimes it will be, but many names are mistaken for other names, and all you have to do is make the correction.” A Claire can be mistaken for a Clara, or a Kristen for a Kirsten, or an Alissa for an Alicia, and I wouldn’t let that stop me from using any of those names. Parent and child both get accustomed to pronouncing it very clearly the first time and to correcting it periodically, and it isn’t a big deal.

However, in your case you wish to use a familiar name with an unfamiliar pronunciation. This is not a perfect example (it’s a more extreme case), but it’s similar to naming a daughter Caitlin and wanting it pronounced the Irish way, which is more like Cathleen: in that case I would advise spelling it Cathleen, rather than trying to override the already-familiar U.S. pronunciation of KATE-lin. And that’s the same suggestion I would make for Sabine: I would spell it Sabina, if that is how you would like it pronounced. I would consider that a matter of translating the name into the American English alphabet, as we’d change Annike to Annika, or Eoin to Owen.

I’m definitely not saying I think names should always be spelled as they are pronounced. You would not catch me, for example, advocating that Chloe should be spelled Cloey or Daphne should be spelled Daffnie, just to help out American English speakers. American English speakers have become accustomed to many names that are not spelled as we’d pronounce them phonetically: Chloe, Daphne, Isla, Zoe. But in this case you are trying to use a name that is already familiar with one pronunciation and asking to have it pronounced a different way. It would be like using the name Daphne and asking people to pronounce it Daff-na; or bringing the name Chloe here after we already had a name spelled that way but pronounced Clo. It’s not impossible, but it’s an additional hurdle: you not only have to teach people how to pronounce it, you have to override how they are already pronouncing it. (Note: this may not be relevant if you live in an area of the U.S. with a large German/Dutch population.)

But spelling it Sabina is such an obvious solution to the problem, it leads me to this question: Do you have a particular reason you don’t want to? It can definitely happen that a small change makes a huge difference in the way the parents feel about a name: many of us, for example, are likely to feel very differently about the name Catherine versus the name Kathryn, or Claire versus Clara, so you are in good company if you feel the same way about Sabine versus Sabina.

If the only way you like it is if it is spelled Sabine, I think you can decide it’s worth the hassle—but I do think it will be a hassle, more than the usual hassle of Kristen/Kirsten or Sophia/Sofia.