Name Help: A Brother for Daphne & HeathName 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!

Paige writes:

Long-time reader, first-time writer!

Our third child is due in a few weeks. It’s a boy!

We have a daughter named Daphne Claire and a son named Heath Benjamin. My husband suggested Heath, and I immediately loved it because it (sort of) is for my sister Heather. The other names are ones we liked. But I realized (afterwards, LOL!) that both are kind of nature names, since Daphne means laurel.

This won’t be our last child, so don’t want to start a theme we can’t finish. But I do like the idea that their names are connected in this way that only me and my husband know.

But maybe it gets more obvious if we keep going?

My husband won’t go for anything like River or Cedar. But he won’t suggest names, either.

I’d like to find something that sounds great with Daphne and Heath, has the same kind of meaning, and goes with our last name, which is Anderson-with-an-S. (Our last name makes S names tricky.) And, if possible, it would be good to hear names for girls, too, because I don’t want to choose a name for this baby without knowing that we could find another one in the future.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on baby three!

I know what you mean about subtle themes, and I think few people would notice it. But would be charmed if they did!

Until I realized your surname starts with S, I had the perfect names all picked: Silas for a boy, Sylvie for a girl. They both come from the Latin silvus, forest. But …

They’re just not great with your surname!

So back to the drawing board. Even though we’re looking specifically for a boy’s name, let’s look at a bigger pool of subtle nature names – even if you don’t need them for a few more years!

I’m going to mix boy and girl names in a single list, because a handful of these are considered unisex. That said, because Daphne and Heath are clearly gendered, I’m not sure that fits your style. I’d expect Rowan to be Heath’s brother, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use it for a daughter.



All names that nod to the animal kingdom.


Flower names have been around for so long that we sometimes forget that they’re borrowed from the natural world at all. I mean … Chrysanthemum is a plant, but Rose is Heath and Daphne’s sister.


Gemstone names come from the natural world, but can feel a little glitzier. I’m not sure Daphne’s sister should be Diamond, but Pearl works.

And Jasper has the same vintage cool as Heath, so it’s just perfection – and quite under-the-radar, I think.


Night sky names that have become popular for this generation.


Again, they’re not exactly nature names, but they’re definitely nouns. And the tie to the natural world seems evident. August seems like a great match for Heath and Daphne.


They’re tree names, but perhaps a little more name-like than Cedar.


Surname names with meanings borrowed from the natural world.


For boys, I think the clear favorites are Jasper, August, and Reed. They’re all mainstream, but outside the current Top 100.

In fact, I love them in combination: Jasper Reed or August Reed, maybe?

Leo ranks in the current Top 100, but it’s still great – and again, would work nicely in combination with lots of these names.

For a possible future daughter, I think the options are just as good: Pearl as a first, maybe? I love Juniper Pearl as a combination, too, and I think Juniper is great with Daphne and Heath. Though maybe it’s a little more obviously a nature name than you’d like?

I’d say that there are plenty of choices to name this baby – and maybe another future sibling or three, too!

Readers, can you suggest more subtle nature names? Names that don’t really sound like nouns, but feel like they’re connected to the natural world?


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.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. Love the suggestion of Brooks! Reed, August, and Wesley are also nice. For girls I wanted to add Blair (plain/field) and Flora (flower).
    Daphne, Heath, Brooks, and Ivy
    Daphne, Heath, August, and Blair
    Daphne, Heath, Wesley, and Flora