Name Help: Sweet Spot Girl NamesName 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!

Melissa writes:

I am currently 35 weeks pregnant with our third daughter, looking for suggestions for a sister for Eden and Mariama. I have identified my naming style as liking sweet spot names.

When considering a name for this baby, we don’t want another name starting with M because my husband and I are both M names and Eden would seem out of place. Not opposed to another E name.

I also don’t want a really short name or Mariama would seem out of place.

My last criteria is I don’t want a long name without a nickname. Our top contender right now is Eliza. I haven’t been able to think of many others that I like that my husband is on board with. Thanks for your help!

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

Dear Melissa –

Congratulations on baby number three!

I think Eliza makes the perfect sister name for Eden and Mariama. It’s an E name like Eden, but a longer name, like Mariama.

And yet, it can be unsatisfying to only have a single name on your list, right?

So let’s think about some more possibilities that split the difference between Eden and Mariama.

I’m going to start with this list of Sweet Spot Girl Names. Not only is it the style you like, but Eden and Eliza are already on the list!

Cecilia – Another long and lovely name that hits the middle ground between not-too-popular and not-too-rare.

Eloise – There are so many great E names, but the only that seems even comparable to Eliza might be Eloise.

Fiona – Fiona may be three syllables, and end with ‘a’ … but somehow it doesn’t strike me as especially frilly or elaborate.

Juliet – Juliet and Eden share a tailored, consonant ending … but both feel more romantic and adventurous, which makes them a sister for Mariama.

Katerina – A spin on classic Katherine, I wonder if Katerina bridges the gap between the more familiar Eden and the rarer Mariama?

Serena – Eden and Serena share lots of sounds, but Serena also sounds like a sister for Mariama.

Tabitha – Like Katerina, Tabitha is a familiar name that’s actually quite rare for girls born today. I think that puts it right between your older girls’ names.

Vivienne – Vivienne shares Eden’s ‘n’ ending, but seems a little more elaborate and dramatic – and closer to Mariama.

While I don’t think I’ve managed to top Eliza at all, my favorite is Juliet. (Or Juliette.) I think it has a feminine, but frills-free sound that reminds me of Eden, but a certain flair that moves it closer to Mariama.

Here’s one final thing to consider: do you imagine this is your last child? Or can you envision adding to your family? (I know, I know, it’s really not fair to ask!) If you think that this child probably completes your family, then I’d probably lean towards an E name, specially Eliza.

But if you hope to add more children in the future – or even think there’s just a possibility of welcoming baby four in the future – then I’d lean strongly towards a non-E name. Because if you’ve only used E and M names, it might be harder for that future child to receive a name starting with a different letter.

But Eden, Mariama, and Juliet? You could use pretty much anything.

Readers, over to you: what would you name a sister for Eden and Mariama?

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. Eliza and Eloise are both lovely.

    I think an E name with three or four syllables and a nickname wound round things perfectly.

    In the same vain as Eliza and Eloise are Elena nn Ellie or Eleanor nn Ellie or Nora.

    I think Esmerelda nn Esme or Essie and Evangeline nn Evie or Effie fit your sweet spot. Both given names are in 200-500 range and both could follow the vintage nickname trend.

    I think there are a couple of rarities that could work for you as well. Eulalia or Eulalie nn Laia or Euphemia nn Effie. Laia feels like a particularly good match for Eden and Mariama, though you could also properly use Eula.