Name Help: A sister for Gage and ChaseName 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!

Jo writes:

We are expecting a daughter in July. Our sons are Christopher “Chase” Edmund and Gareth “Gage” Francis.

Chase and Gage both have fun names that (as typical little boys) they love, but they also have formal names for if they prefer that when they’re older.

I’m struggling to name our little girl in a similar way! I like Charlotte or Scarlet shortened to Lottie, however my husband isn’t keen. He prefers Dorothy shortened to Dolly, but I don’t like this. Do you have any suggestions?

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

Dear Jo –

Congratulations! How exciting to be expecting your third.

There’s plenty of good news here. The style gap between Dolly and Lottie is tiny, and the same is true for Dorothy and Charlotte. (Though Scarlet has a slightly different vibe.) And since you’ve established a pattern that you both appreciate, this feels a little more straightforward than naming with a blank slate.

The challenges remain, though. First, it’s tough to pin down the point of disagreement. Beyond that, you have to like two names equally well – the formal name and the nickname. Plus, parents who find themselves miles apart on style know that they need to compromise. Since you’re basically on the same page, it can be difficult to explain why Dorothy is a better choice than Charlotte, or vice versa.

Let’s look at some traditional, feminine names with fun, modern nicknames and see if any of these feel like a better fit.

Cecilia or Cecily, called Cece – Cecilia charts between Charlotte and Dorothy in terms of popularity. Cecily falls outside of the current Top 1000, but feels like a familiar name. Chase, Gage, and Cece sound just right together.

Everly, called Evie – I’m taking a chance with a modern, not-at-all-traditional girls’ name. Dorothy belongs to a long list of three-syllable girls’ names ending in -y or -ie. So do modern possibilities, like Everly, Bellamy, and Romilly. Other Ev- names include familiar Evelyn, but also some rarities. If you like Evie – or are surprised that you don’t have Everly! – it’s a direction to explore.

Genevieve, called Gigi or Vivi – Genevieve qualifies as traditional and vintage, but it feels fresh and new, too. Vivi feels like a lively and unexpected nickname. Gen works, too. But Gigi might be my favorite, as French as Genevieve herself. Love Gigi but not sold on the formal name? Georgia – and Georgiana and Georgette – are options, too.

Josephine, called Josie or Posey – I’m not sure if your formal name is just Jo, or Joanna or Joelle or Josephine. But if it’s not Josephine – or, really, even if it is! – I wonder if you’d consider naming your daughter Josephine. It’s not quite like having a junior, but it might make for a sweet connection between your names. Because Josephine claims so many great nicknames, there’s plenty of opportunity to avoid confusion.

Louisa, Louise, or Luella, called Lulu or Lou – As with Evie, there’s more than one formal name that works for Lulu or Lou. Louisa and Louise lean traditional, while Luella feels more vintage. All of the options seem like possibilities.

Matilda, called Tilly or Millie – I can imagine Charlotte’s sister answering to Matilda. It works with Dorothy, too. Nicknames include Tilly and Millie. Are those too vintage with Chase and Gage? I’m not sure, but it’s worth consideration.

Scarlett or Susannah, called Scout – If there’s a downside to so many of these choices, it’s that they feel like nicknames – while Chase and Gage do not. Scout strikes me as a better equivalent, but it’s tough to pin down the best formal name. Would Scarlett called Scout overcome your husband’s dislike of Scarlett? Susannah, Samantha, and lots of other S names work, too.

Theodora, called Tori, Tess, or Dolly – Reversing the elements of Dorothy gives us Theodora, the Kansas farmgirl’s elegant aunt. Theodora comes with plenty of nicknames – Thea, Thora, Tori, Tess, Teddie, Dolly, Dot. Some feel more modern, while others carry a vintage vibe. I really like Chase, Gage, and Tess together.

I’m struggling to find a favorite on this list! I do wonder if you might do better to work backwards, choosing the everyday name first. Maybe something like:

  • Bree, short for Briony 
  • Isla, short for Isabelle
  • Lola, short for Eloise 
  • Mila, short for Millicent or Matilda or Margaret

But I’m going to turn this over to the readers now, because I know they’ll have fantastic ideas – and honestly, I could go on forever!

Readers, what would you suggest as a sister for Christopher “Chase” Edmund and Gareth “Gage” Francis?

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. If Dolly is the objection, then what about Doro? Or:
    CAroline, nn Caro
    Francesca, nn Chess
    Fiona, nn Finn
    Personally, I love Chess as a nn, although it is awfully close to Chase.

  2. Chase, Gage, and Pierce for Charles, Gary, and Peter are one of my dream name sets. My taste in girls’ names goes in a different direction: Elena, Cordelia, Flavia, Nadia, Patrice, May, Josepha/Josefa, Theresa, Meredith.

    Chase and Gage are also active words. I wonder if something like Arrow, Tune, or Poem might be closer to the nickname you seek.

    Arrow: Ariana, Arlene, Arabella, Ramona, any of the Rose names
    Tune: Tallulah, Tuesday, Lunette
    Poem: Pamela, Paloma, Phoebe, Pembroke

    1. I would caution against Lunette, which means “glasses” in French. Might cause some undue hardship.

    2. Ooooh, I like this. Three verbs, lol. This makes me lean towards “Scout” for the girl.

      I think something about Chase, Gage, and Chloe just sounds right, tho. Charlotte could be shortened to Chloe if the husband would agree.

      I also humbly submit the name we chose for our daughter — Hero Elizabeth. We call her by her first name, as she prefers, but Elizabeth is such an eminently nickable name that I can’t believe more people haven’t suggested it.

      Elizabeth gives you:

      Chase, Gage, and Lottie
      Chase, Gage, and Liz
      Chase, Gage, and Bess
      Chase, Gage, and Bette
      Chase, Gage, and Liza
      Chase, Gage, and Zizi
      Chase, Gage, and Izzy

      And so many more…

      I’d pair it with Lily or Rose, for the middle name for a feminine, vintage feel. JMHO.

  3. The Dorothy –> Dotty (rhymes with Lottie) thing seems like such an obvious solution that I have to imagine that’s off the table for some reason.

    Parents often have different styles/rules for boys names and girl names and it seems like you do too, but you didn’t address that. There is zero connection (traditional nn rule, I mean) between Christopher –> Chase and Gareth–> Gage except the first two letters match. You don’t seem to be wanting to do that for your daughter. I’m wondering if that is why you haven’t landed on The Name. Here are some combos That came to mind: (Chase, Gage and..)
    – Winifred –> Willow
    – Pauline –> Paige
    – Regina –> (w)Ren
    – Edith –> Eden
    – Lavinia –> Lark

    Could it be that you think that men get less leeway with looking serious as adults than girls when it comes to names? Perhaps it is hard to imagine a Judge Chase X, so you may think the kiddo may need/want a “traditional” name, even when you strongly prefer Chase. It’s possible that you can clearly picture a Judge Luna X and don’t feel the need to add a “traditional” Lucinda to the birth certificate. Are you feeling that this nickname –> birth certificate name is a ridiculous exercise for your daughter? Perhaps this is the reason. Our perceptions about baby names are so tied to our subconscious cultural understanding. I personally wouldn’t waste any time railing against our culture, unless that’s your thing. Is so, get down with your bad self. Otherwise decide if parity in kids’ names is important and name accordingly.

  4. What about

    Dorothy nn. Dodie,
    Charlotte nn.Lola

    Alexandra nn Lana
    Amelia nn. Milly,Molly, Mia
    Babette nn. Bobbie
    Casey nn. Cici
    Eleanor nn. Lora
    Felicity nn. Fay, Tilly, Lilly
    Josephine nn. Joey, Posy,

  5. Margaret nn Margot or Mae
    Clarissa nn Clara
    Helena nn Lena
    Annelise nn Anna or Elise
    Maren nn Mary
    Lorelei nn Lori
    Amabel nn Amy
    Cecelia nn Celia

  6. So many great suggestions! Apologize if this one has been mentioned already:

    Juliet, nn Jet or Jules

  7. Katherine – Kat or Kitty
    Alexandra – Lex or Lux
    Audriana or Adriana – Andi
    Josephine – Fi
    Clarissa – Clarke
    Scarlett – Skye

  8. I love Susannah or Scarlet nicknamed Scout for you!

    Other suggestions:
    Bridget — Jet or Jetta
    Alexandra — Sasha
    Frances — Fern
    Katherine — Kit
    Renee — Wren
    Rebecca — Bex
    Julianna — Juno or Jules or Jill
    Rosemary — Romy or Reese
    Therese — Tess