Monday, June 7, 2010

Duggar Baby Names: The J's Have It!

All the Duggar children have names that start with "J." Josh, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jerimiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johanna, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace, and Josie. They have a completely logical explanation as to why they all have "J" names--they named Josh, Jana, and John-David with "J" names, and then after that they never knew if the next baby would be the last baby and if they named the new baby with a name other than "J" that baby would feel "left out." That does make sense, if all of your siblings had "J" names just like your dad and your name started with a P, you might feel a bit left out or slighted.

While I have no problem with their logic or naming with the letter "J," I do question some of their name choices. I did read an article soon after Josie was born that discussed how if you are going to use the same letter for all your baby names, you'd be wise to choose names that had enough of a difference to them to give each child some individuality within the chosen letter. I don't think the Duggars have done this.

I was really surprised when Johanna was born and we learned her name. Am I the only one that thinks Joy-Anna and Johanna are practically the same name? I understand that their practice is to let the entire family voice their name choices and then they vote, but I'd think they'd also have some veto power as the parents, and maybe point out that the chosen name sounds too much like a sibling's name. One of the suggested names was "Jesse" and that just floored me--you have a sister named Jessa! Joseph and Josiah and Josie are all very close, wherein they all shorten to Joe/Jo. You could also add Jana in to the Joy-Anna/Johanna debacle.

It would be one thing if they had truly exhausted all their name choices in the "J" realm, but we all know they haven't come close yet. Jim Bob keeps voting for and campaigning for Julie--a name that sounds nothing like any of the names. I was very surprised that Josie wasn't a Julie, but I have a theory that she's named after the Josie in the Bates family. The Bates' have a Jackson as well. Josh's middle name is James and young brother James got it as a hand me down. That's too bad when you consider that John-David has been campaigning for "Jefferson." Maybe he didn't think of that until it was too late. Even Judah or Jonah would have been something new and different.

It will be interesting to see how many of the Duggar kids follow in the naming footsteps of their parents. Josh and Anna have used "M" for their first child, we assume in homage to Michelle, the only non-J name in the family. But they haven't confirmed they will continue in the pattern of using "M" for any future children. There are 18 more kids behind him and I will be very curious to see if they choose to go as the Bates did and just use names they seem to like that don't use a pattern.

You have to wonder if they enjoy their names--if you ask people randomly a lot of people will tell you they don't like their name. You have to wonder if you can win as a parent? I never cared much for mine; I never felt that it fit my personality. I always said I'd name my children names that no other kids would have--so they would be the only one in school with that name. I did that with our first child and plan to with any future blessings. I do wonder if I will one day be confronted by a snarling 15 year old who all of a sudden wants to go by her middle name.

What do you think of the Duggar naming practice? How did you name your children?


  1. I too was surprised in Johannah, it sounds exactly like Joy-Anna and Jana for that matter.. I do think some of the names are unusual like Jessa and Jinger, I was hoping to Jorgia :)
    and I was very surpirsed that their hasn't been a Jacob. I think if someone was going to choose a letter "J" would be the easiest since their are alot of options! I don't have any children Yet but I doubt they will have the same letter theme, who knows though?

  2. We name our children by names we like the sound of and the meaning of the name. I personally want unusual names too. Not so off the wall that people say "Huh?", but no Johns or Marys here either. If you look at my children's names you'll see that the boys' names come from the Bible. That's my husband. He picks the boys, I pick the girls. He goes by meaning, I go by meaning and how common/uncommon the name is.
    I know the Bates name their children according to the meaning. They find the meaning they like first, then decide if the name is a good one.
    I, too, was surprised when they named Johanna. I have noticed that they call her "Hanny" a lot, though. And they've sort of shortened Joy-Anna to Joy. Also, Josiah is Siah.

  3. I have noticed more recently that several of the little kids have nicknames like "Jenny" and "Hanny".

  4. I get the Joy-anna / Johannah / Jana confused sometimes too.

    I think trying to pick an original name is not always that easy. My middle name is Shara and my dad 'made it up' and although I've only actually met one other girl with that name (in highschool) an Internet search tells me it isn't that unique.

    I picked my daughter's name (Christina Ashley) because her dad liked it and since we were kind of separated at the time I tried to be nice and include him. She doesn't like how it is spelled and uses a K instead, but I remember how much I hated my name (Angelique) as a kid and don't feel upset. :)

  5. I always look forward to finding out which "J" name the Duggars will come up with. I too am surprised that so many of their names sound similar. We had a whole list of ODD J names. I was SO thrilled when the name "Jordyn" finally made the cut! We chose that name for them 3 years ago and finally the Duggars have a little Jordyn!

    One of my cousins decided to name her kids after places each was conceived. Her son is named Orlando. The girls are named Ireland and Italy. Strange but true. :)

  6. yes but if all 19 kids pick a letter there will only be 7 letters left. Im too surprised they didn't picked Jacob or Jonah. It took them 17 to use Jennifer. Julie, Jocelyn or Julia would be nice. Jared is another different sounding name. I liked the Jordyn too It didn't sound like any of the rest.I don't recall the bates having a Josie

  7. I can so relate to the Duggars and the same letter thing. I blame it on TWINSI think they too got stuck in the J thing when they had the twins and wanted Josh to feel like he was part of the twin connection too. I thought it would be cute to name my twins with the same letter, they are faternal and don't look the same so the same letter seemed to me to be "twinny" to me. I then went to have one more child and panicked....would he feel left out? would he think he wasn't part of their sibling conection? I gave him an "E" name too thinking well he is probably my last and he needed to feel close to his siblings. Then one more child and we though this poor kid will feel left out if he isn't an "E" too. more child and well we had little choice then "E" was the theme and we were stuck! I picked different names for my kids I have a Emma-Jane, Elizabeth, Edan, Esik, and Ellanor....sadly their nicknames are like the Duggars real name, we call Emma ~ Emmy, Elizabeth is Lizzy and Ellanor is Elly , or we call them Emma and Ella...poor kids. Like I said though blame it on the twins LOL.

  8. JACOB! i knew there was one i couldn't remember when i was writing this :) thank you...yes isn't it odd they don't have a Jacob?? I think they did a better job with the boys than they did with the girls...i will probably never be able to reconcile Joy-Anna and Johanna :)

    i think the twin theory is probably one thinks they're going to have 19 kids--the Duggars certainly didn't...and after you have 3 J''re pretty much committed :)

    we thought about the location naming as well--when we were on our honeymoon i was sure i was going to be pregnant when i got home--we were in Dublin and i wanted to name the boy Aston after the hotel we stayed in :) ...sadly i wasn't pregnant...but when i arrived in London to be with my husband a few months later i got pregnant and we did think about both London and Forest--since we were in the Forest Hill section of London, but one of my best friends has a son named London and Forest wasn't on the top of my we abandoned that idea....i think we'll probably go with Hebrew names with any future kids...something Biblical that no one else uses...

  9. and Yes the bates have a Josie and a Jackson! Do you think Josh and Anna will stick to a theme? maybe not the same letter but maybe Middle names?

  10. If I were either Jim Bob & Michelle or Josh & Anna, (and I've posted this before) I would start w/the letter A & go all the way down the alphabet. iow, pick a boy & girl name beginning with A, next B, & so on. And I'd make damned sure that the names didn't rhyme!
    Having said that, my husband likes K for boy's names. We've only 2 sons (wanted more kids, but had 5 misses)but he wanted a K in each. #1 son is Erik, #2 is Karl. Had there been sons #3 & 4, they would've been Allan Konrad & Kurt Dayton. Girls names were, in his preference, more fanciful. Had Karl been a girl, she would've either been Rebecca Casilda or Casilda Morgaine. Latter 2 names were from one of his numerous fantasy & sci-fi books that he loves to read.

    1. "And I'd make damned sure that the names didn't rhyme!"

      I guess Barry, Carrie, Garry, Harry, Jerry, Kerry, Larry, Mary, Perry, Sherry, Terry would be out then. ;)

    2. I, too, think that Joy-Anna and Johanna are too similar!

      That said, I know families where the older children have names that start with the same letter and the younger children don't (or have a different initial).