Name Help: A Brother for Brynn ElliotName Help is a series at Appellation Mountain. Every week, one reader’s name questions will be discussed.

We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!

Melanie writes:

My cousin just introduced me to your site!

I need help with boy names. We’d like to use the initials M and S, in any combination. (M.S. or S.M.)

Sebastian is one name I’ve ruled out. The only other name we’re avoiding is Spencer, but it could be a middle name. We don’t want anything too different.

This baby will join sister Brynn Elliot.

Our last name is two syllables, starts with a G and ends with an -r.

Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your second!

Since you’re open to M or S names, let’s start with two separate lists, and then see if we can combine them at the end.

Though I’ll note that as soon as I wrote this, I started sorting my lists into “better as a middle” or “ought to be a first.” At least in my head!



This surname name is rising quickly. It feels sporty, thanks to Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden. (As well as the best-selling video game series that bears his name.) It’s familiar, thanks to Maddox and Mason and similar names, but it’s a little bit fresh, too.


Such a handsome classic! The same could be said for Michael, of course. But Matt names are having a moment, including Mateo/Matteo and Matthias/Matias, so Matthew made the list.


Brynn is a brief and complete name, and that makes me wonder if Max is the logical choice for her brother’s name?


Micah is a Biblical name, but it’s not an extreme Old Testament pick like Nehemiah or Obadiah. It’s a mainstream choice, in the same broad category as Noah or Joshua.


Miles is smooth and jazzy, quick and fleet-footed, traditional and current. It’s a little bit of everything, all wrapped up into one straightforward name.



There’s something so sweet about a kid named Sam, but it ages well, too. Sam is cute on a kid, capable on a grown-up.


Like many surname names, we can all picture a shepherd – but probably don’t know anyone who actually does the job these days. Maybe that’s why it works so well as a gentle, but strong, first name possibility.


A cousin to Sylvester, Silas is a name that feels very at-home in 2023 – even with such long-established roots. It carries a great meaning, too: forest.


A Scandi import with a very current sound.


Upbeat and Irish, Sullivan is a longer name that works well as a middle or a first.


I’ve got so many, let’s have another list!

  • Overall, my favorite is probably Micah Sullivan. But I’m not sure that matches Brynn Elliot as well as it might. I like Micah Shepherd almost as much.
  • Samuel Madden or Samuel Matthew – Because who doesn’t love Sam?
  • Max Shepherd – The simplicity of Brynn and Max together is compelling.

I could go on forever, but let’s open this up to the readers!

What would you name a brother for Brynn Elliot, using names that start with M and S?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. It’s already been suggested, but I think Seth sounds like a brother to Brynn. And I like Morgan as a middle name … I like that it’s Welsh like Brynn (with a similar nature meaning … sea to Brynn’s hill) and that it has unisex feel of Elliott.

    My vote is for Brynn Elliot & Seth Morgan G__ __r.