Name Help: A Brother for Millie VivianName 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!

Kate writes:

My partner and I have a three year old daughter named Millie Vivian. We did not find out gender in advance, but we had a long list of girl names we could agree on, and Millie was both our favorite.

We are now expecting again, and this time we decided to find out in advance. It’s a boy, and we’re excited.

But names feel really hard this time.

If Millie had been a boy, she probably would have been Ezra. But we have good friends with an Ezra born since then.

Other names we probably wouldn’t use for the same reason: Archie, Jonah, Jasper, Everett, Kai, Silas.

Names we are considering, but don’t really love: Axel, Parker, Brooks, Declan.

One name we like, but aren’t sure about: Archer, because it’s so much like Archie/could be shortened to Archie.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new son!

You’re describing such a common challenge. Before we have children, we don’t necessarily know that many kids. But enter the parent club, and suddenly, every one of our favorite names can feel taken.

So first, a word of caution. And maybe this doesn’t apply to you! But sometimes we love a name, but take it off our lists because hearing it in use makes the name feel less special to us. That’s completely fair – in fact, that feeling is often beyond our control.

Other times, we take a name off our list because we think our neighbor from the next block over or the parent of that kid from our daughter’s playgroup will be upset if we use the same name.

No one wants to be accused of name stealing, and yet, that’s letting a pretty casual relationship dictate the name we choose for our child.

In some cases, you might not know those families at all in a few more years. Or maybe they might not mind at all if you used the same name.

In any case, none of the names you’re considering are so unusual that it should come as a surprise when they repeat. So … maybe Archie, Jonah, Jasper, Everett, Kai, and Silas are off the table. We’re going to proceed as if they are!

But maybe it’s worth considering if those relationships are so strong and enduring that sharing a name would be a problem.

In the meantime, let’s look for fresh names in the same general style that would work well for Millie’s new brother.



An A-ending name that’s less common than Jonah, with a bold, bright sound.


A logical alternative to Ezra, Enzo is short for Lorenzo, the Italian form of Lawrence.


The most popular spelling of this surname-turned-first-name. It feels like a substitute for Everett. It’s a little bit outdoorsy and still nicely vintage.


Another A-ending name with the same Biblical style as Jonah.


There are traditional favorites like William and James. Then there are names with plenty of history that never quite got to that same level of classic. Oscar fits in this second category, worn by accomplished men (and one grouchy Muppet) over the decades.


An upbeat Irish choice.


Possibly a little too classic, but Sam has the same down-to-earth vibe as so many of your favorites.


A surname-style choice with the same S ending as Silas.

Overall, I’m stuck on Sam – or possibly Samuel, called Sam – and Forrest. I realize those aren’t quite the same style, but I think that reflects the many choices available to you. Sam and Millie sound nicely matched, siblings right out of a 1940s novel. But Millie and Forrest work, too, every bit as vintage, but a little more unexpected.

Would Sam Archer or Forrest Ezra be possibilities?

Micah is another favorite – but I’m always torn about repeating initials. Millie and Micah sound distinct,  but is it too much M?

Readers, over to you! What would you name a brother for Millie Vivian?

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. Fletcher is a great alternative to Archer, so that’s my suggestion!


    Casper, Cairo, Malachi, Joel, Simon, Lachlan, Deacon, Ajax, Dexter, Huxley, Charles or Charlie, Rhett, Elliott, Ezekiel or Zeke

  2. I like the suggestions of Micah and Sam. Here are some others to consider……Jude, Noah, Isaac, Myles, Zack, Jonah, Jacob, Eben, Simon, Jagger, Tucker

  3. What about Victor? Millie and Victor. It repeats the R from many of your names, has 6 letters and seems to fit the same era as Millie. Victor Kai maybe to subtlety pay honor to Kate?

  4. For some reason, my first thought for M!ll!e’s brother was Leo. I love those names together. Other ideas:


  5. If you like Silas, but feel you can’t use it, what about Cyrus? I also like Asher as an alternative to Archer as someone else mentioned

  6. I like Archer with the possible nickname of Arch — it has a bit more gravitas than Archie. Millie and Archer; Millie and Arch.

    As suggested by Iris, Asher is another great name. I like Ash as a nickname. Millie and Asher; Millie and Ash.

    Or you might consider Arthur (or just Art) and use either Art or Artie as a nickname. Millie and Arthur; Millie and Art; Millie and Artie.

    You say you’re not quite sold on Parker, but I like it with Millie. Millie and Parker; Millie and Park.

    Best wishes to you!

  7. Oscar is perfection! It shares a lot in common with so many names on your list. Consonant heavy like Parker, Declan, Axel, Brooks, ends in R like Parker, Jasper, and Archer, and has that fun zippy Z sound like Ezra. It feels gentle yet strong like Everett. And the nickname Ozzy is just as sweet as Archie! Oscar and Millie, yes!

  8. Asher is very close, but avoids the Archie issue.
    Other options for Millie’s brother: