Name Help: A Brother for Cora JosephineName 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!

Marie writes:

Our second child is due in July, and we cannot agree on a name.

When we were expecting our daughter, we didn’t discuss names until we knew she was a girl. We agreed on Cora Josephine pretty easily. There’s no family/meaning behind the choice, though we later realized there are Josephs on both sides of our families. (Great-grandfather/great-great-uncle, so not relatives that we knew personally, but close enough that lots of our relatives feel that it’s a family name.)

We’ve decided to use Daniel as our son’s middle name. It’s my husband’s name, and he’s a junior, but neither of us really felt strongly about a Daniel III. (Plus I like that both kids will have family middle names, even if we didn’t plan it that way for Cora.)

I have suggested, but my husband has refused Jasper, Felix, Anton, Ellis, and Milo. He likes Jett and Cole, but I dislike Jett and Cole is just okay. Plus Cole is too close to Cora, at least for me. We have both sort of agreed on Finn, but I’m not sure it’s the one.

Names we like but can’t use are Henry, Everett, Logan, Thomas, Wyatt, and Leo.

Our last name is three syllables, similar to Harrison. We want a one or two-syllable first name and don’t really want to have a nickname.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new son!

It often feels like naming our first child, when parenthood is new, comes easily. But as we become experienced parents, something shifts. We’re more aware of what’s popular. Names become associated with specific kids! And, of course, the name we choose has to pair well with our older child’s name.

It’s no wonder that naming our second is often harder!

While you’re far apart in some respects, you do have lots of agreement and overlap. In particular, agreeing that you want a shorter name, without nicknames, is a good place to start. And it sounds like you’ll need to find some balance between the more vintage favorites on your list – Felix, Jasper – and the more modern Jett.

I do think Finn is a great compromise, and makes a handsome name for Cora’s brother. But I’m also guessing that if you really agreed on Finn, you wouldn’t be writing.

So let’s see if we can find more of those compromise possibilities that will please you both and sound great with Cora and work with the middle name Daniel!



While Alex is most often short for Alexander, it stands on its own quite nicely. The x-ending brings to mind Felix. But it’s a very current name, too – closer to Cole than, say, Bernard or Ambrose.


Bright and high energy, Beau is a relatively new name, like Jett. But it’s existed as a nickname for ages and that makes it sound right with Cora.


There’s something about Beckett. It’s a Top 200 name, immediately familiar. It shares a little bit of Jett’s sound. But Beckett can also be literary, making this name nicely versatile.


If he loves Jett and you like Jasper, is there any chance that Jude might meet in the middle?


Lucas is a Top Ten favorite; Luke isn’t too far behind. But that’s part of what makes it such a great compromise. It has the short, strong sound of Cole and Jett, but also a little more of the traditional vibe of Felix.


It’s another name with history to spare – the Tudor kings in England descended from an ambitious Owen. But everything about Owen sounds very twenty-first century.


If Milo is too out-there for your husband, would the more traditional Theo appeal? Leo was my first thought, and maybe your Leo rules out Theo, too. But if not, it might make a great compromise choice.


Zane has hovered in the Top 250 since the late 1990s, never really catching on, but never falling out of style, either. The Z makes it just a little cooler than similar, short names. But it’s also not brand new – Zane has ranked in the US Top 1000 for boys since 1921.

Overall, my favorites are Owen and Jude. But they’re not the best fits with middle name Daniel. I don’t think either is unworkable, but it does push me back towards Theo. And, if you’re worried you’ll constantly need to explain that it’s not short for Theodore, then I also love the idea of Cora Josephine and Beckett Daniel. And I’m wondering if readers will agree with me that Finn Daniel is pretty great, too …

Readers, over to you! What would you name a brother for Cora Josephine?

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. Brilliant idea!
    Even if they decide to go with a different first name, they could still use Trey Daniel (or Trey-Daniel) in the middle spot.

  2. I’m going to suggest something with a personal twist to it.

    Trey Daniel Harrison

    He’s sort of a Daniel III right…
    Trey means 3rd so it’s almost like Daniel III but in reverse “3rd Daniel”.
    I think it’s unexpected but not completely unheard of, has the “gentleman” type appeal of the name you like Henry. Cora and Trey sound really interesting as a set.
    I love the idea of a single syllable name with your 3 syllable surname.

  3. Congrats on your 2nd! Just adding a few more to the mix…

    QUENTIN Daniel, TRISTAN Daniel, or ETHAN Daniel.

    Best of luck on your naming journey!


  4. Cora Josephine is such a lovely name! Beautifully balanced – and how neat that you learned about a family connection after her birth.

    For you son, I especially love the suggestions in the comments of Emmett and Nolan. They both seem like good compromises between your and your husband’s tastes, and they go really well with Cora.

    Here are some other possibilities:

    Reed Daniel “Harrison”
    Cora & Reed

    Nico Daniel “Harrison”
    Cora & Nico

    Quinn Daniel “Harrison”
    Cora & Quinn

    Liam Daniel “Harrison
    Cora & Liam

    Hope you’ll share an update once your son is here!

  5. How about Louis/Louie? It seems like it has the sounds you both like and it’s such an underrated classic right now. It goes great with Cora (full disclosure, I have a Cora and a Louie!).

    I really like the suggestions of Hugo and Remy too!

  6. Since your husband likes Cole and you’re not totally sold, have you considered Colin? It might still be a bit close to Cora but I think it works, and fits your style a bit better than Cole does.

    Nicol or Nicholls could also be a nice compromise. I was all set to suggest Nicholas but then I read no 3 syllables or nicknames!

    I like a lot of the suggestions you’ve had already, so I second these: Emmett, Seth, Joel, Griffin …

    And if you’re on the fence about Finn, I say go for it! There’s a young Finn in my extended family and I think it’s a name that suits him well now and will grow up well. It also sounds great as a brother to Cora.

  7. Flint and Finch popped into my mind immediately. I think Hugo goes with Cora handsomely too.