Sunday, July 1, 2012

Great Sibsets - The Halliwells

No, not Gerri Halliwell aka Ginger Spice. The other Halliwells - Prue, Piper, Phoebe and Paige, the magical sisters from the TV series 'Charmed'.

Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combes), Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) and Paige (Rose McGowan)
For those who haven't heard of this, sibset is baby naming speak for sets of siblings. It seems that these days not only do we want the 'perfect' names for our children, but we want our childrens names to sound like they 'go together' when we do the family roll call :-) I think this combo was one of the first that ever made me think about having an element that links brothers and sisters names together.

Originally, Prue (short for Prudence) Piper and Phoebe were the 'charmed' ones - three sisters destined to be the greatest witches of all time, most powerful when they were together. After Prue's death, it was found that the girls had another half sister, conveniently also with a P name - Paige. So Piper didn't have to change the name of her nightclub (it was called P3). There are three main reasons why I think this worked so well in this instance:
  • The show started before the "matching-first-initials" craze was made famous (and let's face it, slightly trashy) by the Duggars and Kardashians.
  • There are only four few of them, so it wasn't an overkill and they didn't have to start having similar sounding names (Joshua, Josiah, Johannah and Josie in the same family?!)
  • They are all beautiful, 'proper' names. No changing letters to fit a theme (Kortney, Khloe, Jinger?). Here's a closer look at each of them.
Prue - This short form is the only thing that made me notice the beauty of the name Prudence. It's a lovely, old fashioned virtue name, with a cute, spunky nickname. It's not on the rise yet, but might be as the huge success of 'The Hunger Games' has put names such as Rue and Prim (short for Primrose) on the radar for many people. Prue has a similar feel and sound, so may be up for people who love these but want to steer clear of any obvious connections to the franchise.

Piper - Piper is an occupational name which leaped up the charts thanks mainly to this show. It was virtually unheard of at the start of the 1990's, but started to chart a year after the show started. It has steadily climbed since then, with Pyper now seeing some use as a variation. Piper is a fun, happy sounding and spunky name, while still sounding classy, which has likely contributed to it's popularity.

Phoebe - In the 90's, this name was seen on both 'Charmed' and the hugely popular 'Friends'. Already on the rise before this, these shows helped to push Phoebe up the charts. Phoebe has Greek origins - she was once known as the goddess of the moon - and has the beautiful meaning of 'radiant, shining one'. It's one of those names that nothing else sounds similar to. Phoebe is unique and makes people think of a fun loving, warm and caring individual.

Paige - an occupational name, the 'i' makes this an appealing looking name and less like the traditional word page, which conjures up entirely different images. Classy but not snotty sounding, I have a lot of love for Paige. Which I've mentioned before, so I won't bang on about it :-)

Matching first initials may still seem like a bad idea to many - I guess there could be problems with having 3 or 4 different B Smiths at the same school for example. But past those school days, it's a nice link that your children will always have with each other, something special that they share beyond the joy of simply being brothers and sisters.