Name Help: Sister for Eliza BeatriceName 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!

Kari writes:

I wonder if you can help us find a name that my husband and I will both love.

Our daughter is Eliza Beatrice. If it were up to me, she would have been named Beatrice, or Millicent, Dorothy, or maybe Olive. My husband is not into those names at all. He says they’re too old lady. Eliza was the only name we could agree on, and I was sort of sad about it at first. But she was born during that long pandemic summer, when Hamilton came out on Disney, and the Schuyler sisters made me really love her name!

I call her Ellie Bee and Ella Bee, but everybody else calls her Eliza.

Our boy name was William Alfred. Same thing here. I love Alfred. (Alfie!!) My husband is not on board, so we agreed on a more “normal” – his word – first name.

Now we’re expecting our second daughter. The only other girls’ name we almost agreed on with Eliza was Alice, but Alice sounds too much like Eliza.

I still love Millicent, Dorothy, and Olive, but I know they’re out. It also worries me that any name I suggest will get an automatic no from my husband. Now that we’re around more people with kids, names he says are old are the names our Eliza’s friends and classmates – Hazel, Lydia, Theodore, etc. But I don’t think that’s changed his mind at all, so I’m hoping that some outside perspective might help.

Our last name is very common: J0n3s.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new daughter!

Choosing names is tough. Choosing names with a partner? It can feel like that one group project from high school that’s dragging down your grade in chemistry. So frustrating!

Except that compromise often does make for stronger outcomes. And Eliza Beatrice is a great name! (William Alfred, too, even though you’re not using it.)

So let’s see if we can repeat the pattern: vintage, but mainstream first, combined with one of your antique favorites in the middle.

One note before we get started: we’re not rational creatures. When it comes to names, we often reject current Top 100 favorites because they strike us as too different. Sometimes that just means we haven’t heard them on a real person before. Or we feel like a truly rare name is perfectly reasonable, because for whatever reason, it feels familiar to us.

On to the names!

A NAME FOR ELIZA BEATRICE’S SISTER

AMELIA

Yes, it’s a Top Ten name for a daughter. But it has all the high-flying, world-changing energy of Amelia Earhart and it could share the Millie nickname with Millicent. Though I think the combination Amelia Millicent is lovely, too. Maybe you already know three Amelias, but if you don’t, it’s a great name for Eliza’s sister.

CELESTE

I almost suggested Cecilia, but maybe Celeste is a better middle ground between really different antique names and more familiar ones? It ranks in the US Top 300 and it’s been around forever. The -t ending also reminds me of Millicent.

FRANCES

This is where the whole not-rational part kicks in: Olive is far more popular than Frances. But I suspect Frances is the more familiar name, a traditional choice with plenty of strength.

GWENDOLYN

Or even just Gwen? There’s something about Gwendolyn that makes it tough to pin down. I can imagine it appealing to someone who loves Millicent, but it’s tough to argue that sparky, unconventional Gwen is an old lady name.

MARGOT

Maybe the obvious parallel to Eliza. Just as Eliza comes from Elizabeth, Margot is derived from Margaret. But the shorter forms feel sparky and interesting. Another possible Margaret name to consider: Greta.

ROSALIE

Rose is a venerable classic, traditional and refined. Rosie is spirited and time-tested. Rosalie feels like a logical longer form for both, vintage and energetic enough to be a sister for Eliza.

SYLVIE

I suspect Sylvie might strike a cautious namer as too different. But Sylvia has been around forever, and Sylvie feels like a logical extension of popular names like Ivy and Sophie.

VIVIAN

We don’t necessarily think of Vivian in the same breath as Katherine and Mary. But it’s also a perpetual Top 1000 name for a daughter, and frequently a Top 100 choice. Vivian is lively, feminine, and timeless.

Overall, I’m wild about Rosalie as a sister for Eliza. I’d put Vivian and Margot as close seconds.

Maybe Rosalie Cecile? Vivian Millicent and Margot Amelia or Margot Dorothy could be great, too.

Readers, over to you! What would you name a sister for Eliza Beatrice?

Would you like your very own #namehelp post, but don’t want to share your question with the world? Find out more about my private consulting services here.

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?

18 Comments

  1. Saskia or Sophia; Camilla or Tatiana; Imogen or Agnes; Greta or Mireille; Candace or Genevieve; Verity or Simone.

  2. I want to suggest Emily. Disregard if you dislike the alliteration with Eliza, but Emily feels like a perfect fit: it echoes the sound of Millicent and the rhythm of Dorothy, it has history and tradition galore, but is also friendly and familiar and there’s no way your husband could count it out as being too “old lady”.

    I’ll also suggest Amy; again: a name steeped in history, but without any hint of “old”.

  3. Iris is *almost* Alice in sound.

    Ellie and Irie

    Eliza Beatrice and Iris Estelle

    Congratulations and best wishes!

  4. I agree that Alice is different enough from Eliza to be used this time.
    Or maybe:
    Clara
    Tessa
    Dora
    June
    Vera
    Fiona

  5. Do you know you are shooting for at least one more? Otherwise would Willa be an option? William adjacent but more traditional name in your style…. Eliza and Willa

    Or what about Rosemary nn Rosie. Ella and Rosie.

    Or lastly – Charlotte? You can keep the nn of Dot (similar to that for Dorothy) but have something more mainstream. Eliza and Charlotte… Ella and Dot.