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!
We thought we were one-and-done with our now eight year old daughter, Amelia Jordan. Amelia is the kind of pretty, feminine name I always loved. Jordan was for my husband’s brother, who passed away when they were young. She mostly likes to be called A.J. and she’s a bike-racing, soccer-playing ball of energy.
We’re excited to be expecting again, but names feel impossible. If this baby was a boy, we were leaning towards James, for my dad.
But for a girl, nothing feels right. I still like feminine names. My favorites are Aurora, Eliza, Cecilia, Eliana, and Stella. Cecilia is too close to Amelia, so it probably shouldn’t be my favorite, but I like the sound of Cece.
My friends are suggesting names like Harper, Zoey, Quinn, and Piper. They’re great names, but for someone else’s daughter. But when I hear “A.J. and Quinn” they sound better together than “A.J. and Eliza.”
Is there such a thing as a pretty, feminine that still works if she’s just like her awesome big sis?
Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Congratulations on your second daughter!
A few things leap out at me:
- It’s always different to name our second child. Unless you were a kindergarten teacher, becoming a first-time parent usually means you go from being mostly unaware of the most popular kid names to hyper-knowledgeable overnight. Time passes, and we’ve mentally noted the names on countless mom-and-me swim clubs, class lists, and sports team rosters.
- You’ve already learned that kids take over naming themselves at a young age! This one surprises parents, but early elementary school is often the age when kids recognize that their names were chosen … and their parents could have made a different choice.
- The closer in age, the more often their names are said together. (But it fades for everyone, even twins.) When our kids were little, their names were a matched set, at least some of the time. But now that they’re older – really, once our older kiddo went to middle school, that was less of a thing. Even if your new daughter is a mini me of Amelia Jordan? That age gap works in your favor – it means that they’ll overlap very infrequently in sports leagues, schools, etc. Their names can be perfectly matched or very different – they just won’t be said together so often that others will notice.
- We often assume our second child will be something like our first. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes … well, my kids are so different that they might as well be different species. It’s staggering, really. The only sure thing? This kid will surprise you, too, and trying to name her based on your firstborn? Probably won’t work except you’ve learned a lot about what you like in a name. And that information is powerful.
My suggestion is this: look for a name with the same degree of flexibility that you discovered with Amelia Jordan.
There’s more than one way to do this!
Before we dive in, I noticed that Amelia’s middle name is borrowed from a masculine family member. Would you consider using James for this daughter’s middle name?
It’s not perfect, because sisters nicknamed AJ and DJ or AJ and JJ are confusingly close. But you have plenty of options!
A SISTER FOR AMELIA “AJ” JORDAN
AURORA “RORY” JAMES
The good news: one of your favorites makes a great sister name for Amelia and has a built-in boyish nickname: Aurora, called Rory for short.
CHARLOTTE “CHARLIE” CLARE
Plenty of conventionally feminine nicknames come with built-in unisex nicknames. Charlie is popular for boys and girls alike now. Amelia and Charlotte sound exactly like sisters, as do AJ and Charlie. Or Cece, which brings me to …
CLARA “CECE” CECILE or CECILY “CECE” CLARE
Another middle initial that works really well for nickname generation? C in the middle! I’ve suggested Clara Cecile because it gives your daughter a name inspired by your own – but more feminine. (And if you used Clarice or Clarissa, it would be even frillier still!) But something like Kathrine Clare – KC – or Madeline Clare – MC – or even Lily Clare – LC – has potential, too.
Of course, another form of Cecilia works. Cecily, maybe? Cecile? I’m still pairing Cecily with Clare, but Cecily James is an appealing choice, too.
ELIZA “EVIE” VERITY
Another middle initial with a great sound? V. Eliza called Evie might be a stretch, but Eliza Verity is gorgeous. Of course, Eliza could be Elle or Eli, too.
GEORGIA “GEORGIE” JAMES
Georgie fits with boyish nickname names like Charlie.
JOSEPHINE “JOSIE” or “JC” CLARE
Of course, Josephine called Josie or Jo is another in the Charlie/Georgie category. And JC could be a sister for AJ.
PENELOPE “PJ” JAMES
PJ is just as appealing as AJ, so I wanted to suggest at least one feminine, current sister name for Amelia.
THEODORA “THEO” or “TEDDY” or “TJ” JAMES
There are so many nicknames for Theodora! Theo and Teddy (or Teddie) are the most boyish choices. I’ve suggested Theodora James to get to TJ, but I think Theodora Clare – TC deserves a look, too.
I’m stuck on Aurora “Rory” James. No, she couldn’t also be AJ. (Well, she could. But it feels unlikely, unless, say, she’s also captain of her high school soccer team and then the shared nickname is a flattering one, deliberately used as a nod to her sister.)
But with Rory as option, she’d never need to consider AJ.
I also love any of the possibilities that lead to the nickname Cece without creating an Amelia/Cecilia name rhyme.