Welcome Presley AnnabelleShe’s here! Welcome to the world, Presley Annabelle. Lauren writes: Thank you so much for all the great ideas. We had Marlowe, Larkin, Hadley, Oakley, and Lennon on our list right until I went into labor. But none of them were exactly right. We went back to Marley for a minute, could’ve chosen Remy but didn’t like it with our R last name, and finally settled on Presley Annabelle. We ended up repeating an initial, but that’s okay – it’s the perfect name!

Lauren writes:

We had a really hard time choosing our daughter’s name. I’m Lauren, and my husband is Dylan. We took sounds from both our last names to make a new one for our family. It’s Ree$e, like the peanut butter cups.

With Piper, we knew we wanted her name to be longer than one syllable (because Ree$e) and not something old-fashioned in any way. We aren’t into nicknames. (I hate it when people try to call me Laurie.)

Emma was a name we liked but thought was too popular, so we added Lee and we really like the way it looks/sounds.

Our boy name with Piper was Hudson.

We don’t really have another girl name we agree on. Names we have ruled out so far:

  • Peyton – don’t want to repeat initials
  • Paisley – same problem
  • Raelynn/Raylinne – can’t agree on a spelling, they all sort of look wrong to me
  • Marley – just isn’t right
  • Harlow – kind of want to avoid H names because we still like Hudson if we do have a boy in the future
  • Sutton – friends just used this name
  • Lainey – don’t like it as much as Laine, but Laine Ree$e isn’t great
  • Saylor – love this but Dylan says no

I keep looking at lists, but I feel like nothing really stands out to me. What am I missing?

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your second daughter!

So here’s the brief: we need something modern and tailored. Nothing that starts with an H or a P. Preferably two-syllables and probably nothing that shortens to an obvious nickname.

Yeah, that still leaves a LONG list of possibilities, doesn’t it?

Still, I think there might be some names that are just a little bit different from your current-but-not-quite list that we can consider.



A surname pick with a great meaning: beautiful friend.


Maybe it’s too close to EmmaLee, but maybe that’s why it seems like a natural for your list.


A fast-rising Irish surname that sounds great with Piper and your surname.


One of the first names that came to mind, a substitute for Paisley and Lainey.


As with Kinley, this is a -ley ending surname that feels like it checks all the boxes.


A sweet surname name, one that brings to mind the songbird, just as Piper suggests musical instruments. One note: Larkin actually started out as a medieval nickname for Laurence, so this one is closely tied to Lauren, too.


If you love Harlow, but want something that doesn’t start with H, Marlowe is the logical – and lovely – substitute.


Another -r ending pick that feels like it belongs on the same list as Piper.


Another fast-rising surname choice with a bright, distinctive sound.


Polished Whitaker is rare as a first, but very wearable.

Overall, my favorite is Marlowe. It’s great with Piper, doesn’t repeat initials or sounds from anyone in your family and seems current without being too trendy or popular.

If you’re stuck for a middle name, I wonder if something like AvaMae or another double name would appeal?

Readers, over to you! What would you name a sister for Piper EmmaLee?

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. Piper and Larkin are both bird names, so I think they are a great fit. (Sandpipers and Larks)
    Willow keeps the nature theme. So those are my favorites.