Name Help: A Sister for CharlotteName 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!

Kelsey writes:

We’re expecting our second baby in July, a sister for Charlotte Jeanne.

If this baby were a boy, we’d have gone with Henry Joseph, which was our boy name for Charlotte. But it’s a girl!

We’d previously agreed to name a second daughter Elizabeth, but I’m having second thoughts.

First of all, we know a few Elizabeths. And while I don’t regret Charlotte’s name and it suits her so well, I’m bothered a little that it’s a Top Ten name. I’m not a wild and crazy namer AT ALL, so I’m not saying I want something different. It’s more a feeling that Elizabeth just doesn’t excite me.

Also, because we know some little Elizabeths, I expect that we’ll end up calling her something else. The ones we know are Ellie and Lizzie. Which is fine, but I really like that Charlotte is always just Charlotte.

I keep looking at lists, but nothing is jumping out at me. Can you and your readers help?

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

Abby replies:

How exciting to be expecting a second daughter!

So often we have a rock solid list of names for our children … but then, once we start our families, that list shifts in subtle ways.

It sounds like having a child – and spending more time with other families of young children – has made you realize some things about Elizabeth. Because I agree – while I know plenty of Elizabeths who use the name in full, there’s a real temptation to shorten it for a child.

Happily, there are lots of traditional girl names that fall into the same broad Charlotte/Elizabeth category that might address your concerns – and make a great name for Charlotte’s sister!

I’ll draw from my list of substitutes for Charlotte, plus a few more than seem to fit your style.



Another royal name with a distinctive sound.


Here’s a thought: while we tend to shorten Elizabeth, I typically hear Eliza used in full. Would this name appeal to you instead?


Elegant, spirited, and like Charlotte, gently French.


Every bit as classic as Charlotte, and not likely to be shortened.


A rising favorite, another traditional name that feels twenty-first century ready.


An energetic name that’s just plain fun to say.


Rose might work, but it’s a little short maybe. Rosalie could be the perfect sister name for Charlotte.


Tailored and upbeat, Vivian isn’t quite as classic as Charlotte, but it’s a solid style match.

Josephine was very first thought. But my favorites for you are Margot and Vivian – familiar, but not nearly as popular.

I’m not sure how it would sound with your surname or any middles you have in mind, but I can imagine happily saying “These are my daughters, Charlotte and Margot” time and time again.

Readers, what would you suggest for Charlotte’s sister?

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. Charlotte and Henry and Elizabeth read “British Royalty” to me, so if you want inspiration, perhaps looking at those family trees would beget inspiration? =) Alternatively, if you want to AVOID that look, something like Roselie or Grace will dispel that impression.

  2. Dorothy

    If nicknames are your thing, could you see yourself using Betty as a nn for Elizabeth?

  3. I really like the suggestion of Margot I would like to add : Adrienne * Laura * Violet * Hazel * Mabel *

  4. I love so many suggestions from Abby and in the comment – Louise and Rosalie (or Rose) jump out at me from Abby’s list. I also think Lucy, Alice, and Victoria all feel like perfect fits from the comments. If you want to keep something similar to Elizabeth but a little less common and less likely to shorten to a nickname, I love Elise (or maybe Bethany?) Also maybe Lydia?