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. I think I’m a bit late on the draw here, but I just finished having so much fun coming up with names to fit this that I’m just going to post them anyway! Great sibset and nicknames OP!

    Amanda nn Amber
    Lorelei, Elizabeth, Delilah nn Lily
    Isobel nn Zoe
    Jordana, Jasmine nn Jade
    Felicia, Felicity nn Fay
    Harper nn Hope
    Katrina, Margaret, Katya, Keturah, Tabitha, Kallista, Katrin nn Kit
    Magdalena, Eliana, Helena, Lillian nn Lane
    Angelina, Valentina, Annika, Antonia, Clementina nn Nina
    Jessamine, Jasmine nn Mina
    Miriam nn Mila/Mira
    Esmeralda, Emerald nn Esme
    Rosemary/Rosemarie nn Remi
    Vivienne/Vivian nn Ivy
    Amara, Damaris, Mariam, Mariana, Marilyn, Marina, Marisol, Rosemary, Meredith, Samara nn Marley
    Caroline nn Colette
    Odilia, Odessa nn Odette
    Ariana, Adriana nn Aria
    Kirsten, Kimberly nn Kira
    Calliope, Coralie nn Clio/Cleo
    Clarabel nn Blair
    Jocelyn nn Jolie
    Kirsten nn Kia
    Willoughby nn Willa
    Lavinia nn Liv
    Caroline nn Calla
    Gwendolen nn Nola
    Gwendolyn nn Gwyn
    Esmeralda nn Mara
    Calliope nn Lila
    Emilia, Estella, Eloise nn Elle, Elsie, Elise, Elsa
    Juliet, Julianne, Juliana, Julienne nn June
    Malia, Marisol nn Molly
    Madelyn, Madeleine, Malia, Matilda, Melina nn Milla

  2. I think it was JFK who had a family member named Katherine and they called her Kick. I think that would follow so well with your boys names. Cathriona is a beautiful formal name I think would flow well, and there are so many nickname options. Off of the suggestions, Theodora with a nickname of Teddy is great.

  3. I think Margaret nn Daisy is perfect!

    Or maybe…

    Amelia nn Mia
    Georgia nn Gigi or Gia
    Celeste nn Coco
    Lucia nn Cece or Lulu or Lucy
    Beverly nn Bex
    Victoria nn Viv or Cora
    Beatrice nn Trixie or Bex
    Alexandra nn Xandie or Xan or Sandy
    Frances nn Faye

  4. I love nn Rory for you–Chase, Gage, and Rory. This could come from Dorothy, Caroline, Lorelei, Aurora, or maybe even Laura or Rosemary. I also like Dorothy, nn. Dottie or Doro or Thea.

  5. Anna — Annie, Nan, Nancy
    Caroline — Callie, Carly, Caro
    Eloise — Ella, Ellie, Lola, Lulu
    Jacqueline — Jax, Jaxie
    Jean — Scout
    Jessamine — Jessie, Mina
    Marjorie — Jorie, Maggie, Meg,
    Mary — Mamie, Marlo/Marlowe, Mimi, Molly
    Penelope — Nell, Nellie, Penny, Pippa, Polly, Poppy
    Susannah — Anna, Annie, Suzy, Zan, Zanna, Zuzu
    Victoria — Tori
    Virginia — Gigi, Ginny

  6. I’ve seen a few suggestions of Philippa nn Piper, but I think the nn Pippi would also be great! Especially if you’re in Lindgren fan.

  7. You like a more formal sounding first name with a one syllable nickname, so I suggest:
    Margaret (Meg)
    Elizabeth (Bess)
    Eleanor (Nell)

  8. There was a brief thought my niece Persephone might be called Pepper, but her parents changed their minds. I loved it – but not my child, not my choice. I don’t think Persephone is your style, but Pepper could work for Penelope or similar?

    Also, we used to call our Susannah “sweet Susannah sunshine”, so Sunny could work.

    Or Daisy for Margaret … long A sound and noun nn?

    Oh, and if there’s been any mistake, a boy Michael nn “Miles” fits right in 😉

  9. Not too much to add to all of the great suggestions, but Story seems like it would fit in well with Chase and Gage! There’s the obvious Astoria as a full name, but if Chase can work for Christopher, maybe Story could work for Scarlet or another S name?