Name Help: A Sister for Amelia LouiseName 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:

We have a 3 year old daughter named Amelia Louise, and our second is due next month. Somehow, I always thought we would have a girl and a boy, so we’d picked out Henry Alexander. But it’s a girl, and as much as I love the idea of Amelia having a sister, I’m kicking myself for using Louise as her middle name, because Louisa is my second-most favorite girl’s name.

My husband says we should use Louisa anyway. It’s not exactly the same name (but it is) and who would know? Or care if they did find out?

But I think my daughter might care that her name is a hand-me-down. And I like so many names that using the same one (really) twice seems wrong.

Here’s our list so far:

  • Louisa Avery – Avery was his favorite for Amelia, but it’s not my style. Louisa is my second favorite name, but is it bad to repeat/get so close to repeating Amelia’s middle name?
  • Lucille – My mom suggested it. I don’t love it as much, but I can see that it would work.
  • Rose/Rosanne/Rosanna – My grandmother’s name was Roseanne, but she went by Rose, and my husband’s grandmothers were named Anna and Rose, which is such a sweet coincidence, but I’m not sure the names are my favorite.
  • Penelope – A name that I just started to like. Husband says he likes it better than Lucille/Louisa.

Our last name sounds like Street-plus-er.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your second!

It’s so hard when this happens. Of course giving your first daughter your two favorite names together was the right thing to do! And yet, I know what you mean – with so many amazing choices out there, is it really necessary to repeat? And might your daughter feel like her name is a hand-me-down, too?

Since it’s impossible to guess at your child’s future ideas about her name, let’s begin with this: Amelia Louise is a great name, and so is Louisa Avery. It sounds like that’s the name to beat.

You can see it one of two ways: maybe Louisa feels a little like a hand-me-down or an afterthought. But maybe it’s a name that connects the sisters and they love both having that link.

So let’s try this: imagine you cannot use Louisa at all. Maybe another family member or dear friend has just named her daughter Louisa. Or your husband decides he’s not on board.

Now, what do you choose?

From your current list:

  • My sense is that most Lucilles go by Lucy – particularly in this generation. Amelia and Lucy are great together, but do you like Lucy?
  • Family names can be great choices, and Rose/Anna have plenty of potential. But it sounds like none of the combinations you’re considering have felt quite right. Would you consider something like Anna Rosalie? Annabelle Rose? Annika Rose?
  • Penelope is a great choice. Amelia and Penelope both hit the vintage-but-modern note. Penelope Rose, maybe?

Still, I think it’s worth considering some fresh options – and speaking of vintage-but-modern, let’s aim for that style.



Another classic. It sounds just like a sister for Amelia, but it’s far less common.


As vintage as Amelia, Dorothy is the girl who traveled over the rainbow to Oz – and back. It has a similar rhythm to Penelope.


Maybe a little more aggressively vintage than Amelia or Louisa, but with sweet built-in nickname Edie.


Like Amelia, an antique favorite currently near the top of the popularity charts in the US.


Another obvious match for Amelia, and one that reminds me of Lucille on your current list of maybes.


Margaret is the buttoned-up classic; Margot is still traditional, but with a little extra spark.


Since Rose names are on the table, would Rosalie appeal?


Another name in the same category as Evelyn. It’s tailored but still nicely feminine.

So yes, you can use Louisa Avery if it still feels like your favorite name, even after all of these suggestions. There’s absolutely no way of knowing if your daughter will view it as a hand-me-down or a sweet shared connection … and just because she feels one way at 8 or 11 or 14 doesn’t mean she’ll still feel that way as an adult.

But if you’d rather start fresh?

Overall, I really do like Penelope from your list. From my list, I think Evelyn is my favorite. Would something like Evelyn Roseanne be an option?

Readers, what would you name a sister for Amelia Louise?

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. I think Louisa Avery is a great choice!

    My mom’s middle name (Agnes) is also her younger sister’s first name. I’ve never heard the story behind it because it’s not a big deal in the family. I guess my grandparents just really liked Agnes!

    If you’re open to a range of answers, you could ask your elder daughter what she thinks of sharing her middle name with her baby sister. If she’s on board, it could become a really sweet family story that makes your second daughter feel connected to you all. I also like that the girls’ initials would be inverses of each other.

    Here are some other options with similar sounds to Louisa:


    I also really like Anna Rose as a tribute to your grandmothers.

    I think Abby’s suggestion of Josephine is likewise lovely. Louisa always makes me think of Louisa May Alcott, and of course Josephine March is her most famous heroine.

    Other names that might suit your taste:


  2. I kind of love that Amelia Louise and Louisa Avery have the same initials inverted. Yeah, the double Louise thing is unconventional but really, so long as Amelia doesn’t decide to become Louise later in life, it shouldn’t really be a logistical issue. And kids will always find something to hate about their name if they want to. So, if that is “the” name, go with it.

    That being said, the suggestion of Eloise is perfect ! And the idea of using a name that nods to Henry (assuming this is the last babe) is cool too. I think Heidi sounds like a good sister name for Amelia. Amelia Louise and Heidi Alexandra. Heck even the syllables are inverted!

    Or what about Hannah Rose for the honor names plus H? Or Louella as another Lou option.

    There are lots of options if you want to stick to these honor names and many other names in the same style. I’m sure you’ll find something beautiful!

  3. I’m glad someone suggested Eliza. It seems so similar both in style and sound, without being too matchy.

    I’m also pleased to see Susannah suggested, especially Susannah Rose … you get the Anna and Rose together over the two names. And I love Amelia and Susannah as sister names.

    My only other thought was Rosa. It’s a bit less expected than Rose and has a Louisa feel to it. I wondered if using an Anne middle would work or be too much with the final A followed by an A name? But you have Louisa Avery as a possibility, so I’ll throw out something like Rosa Annabel

  4. I don’t think there’s a problem using Louisa. Louise is a variant and only a middle name for her sister. It’s not as if you wanted to name Louise’s sister Louisa.

  5. Lola Rosalie
    Lola Annabelle
    Clara Rosalie
    Clara Annabelle
    Susanna Rose

    I also like the suggestion of Lucia.

  6. Adding Annarose and Rosario to the Rose options. I like Louisa Avery and don’t think it’s a problem. Would using the spelling Luisa help differentiate it for you?

    Other suggestions:

  7. Amelia Louise and…
    Eloise Anne
    Rosemary Luna (nn Romy!)
    Therese Rose
    Leonora Avery (opposite initials of sister)
    Leona Anne
    Estelle Louisa

    I love the suggestion of Beatrice, too! Avery reminds me of Amity.

    Congratulations and best wishes!

  8. My own experience is that my sister’s middle name is a variant of my first name. My name ends in -ie, my sister’s middle name ends in -y, and they have a slightly different pronunciation. Both are family names (-ie is an aunt on my mum’s side, -y is a grandmother on my dad’s side) and I honestly never realised it until we were adults. I don’t think my sister has even realised as she’s never mentioned it to me.

    So it’s entirely possible to work and not be an issue at all, and could be a sweet connection between the sisters. Or it could cause big problems. You don’t know until you try!

    Otherwise – you haven’t mentioned if #2 will be your final child. If so, would you consider using Henry Alexander as inspiration for her name? Henrietta might be a bit much (but I do like it a lot!); there’s also Harriet, which sounds great as a sister for Amelia. Alexandra does too, if you don’t mind the alliteration.

    However, if you do decide on a different name, I think Penelope is great as a sister to Amelia. I’ll also suggest Eleanor, which strikes me as very much the same style. Oh, and perhaps Philippa? It’s kind of halfway between Penelope and Louisa.

  9. Ameli@ Loui$e and….
    Penelope Roseanne
    Margot Rosanna
    Rosalie Lucille
    Dorothy Roseanne
    Beatrice Roseanne
    Meredith Elise
    Elise Rosanna