Name Help: Sister for SkyeName 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!

Jessie writes:

I have a 12 year old daughter from a previous relationship named Skye Marie. While the name fits her sunny personality, it’s not necessarily the kind of name I’d choose today. Now that my new husband and I are expecting our first child together, it’s become an issue.

My favorite girl names, that my husband also likes, include Alice, Charlotte, Claire, Lucy, Madeline, and Rose.

I first thought Claire would be great with Skye because they’re both short, but calling out “Claire, Skye” sounds like “clear sky” so it won’t work. Lucy is out because it sounds like the song.

I’m worried that a traditional girl name like Alice or Charlotte will make her sister feel like an outsider.

Before we knew we were having a girl, we talked about names for boys, too. Maybe I’m just making myself crazy, but it doesn’t feel like as much of a problem with a son. We discussed William, Henry, Grant, and Miles. I ruled out Miles because saying “Skye, Miles” would be a frequent flier program! But I don’t think the other ones sound so mismatched with Skye, but maybe they do? Still, I feel like we would’ve agreed on a boy name by now.

Skye is excited to finally be a big sister, but I know it’s a lot to first get a stepfather and now a half-sister, so I really want to get this right.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new baby, and congrats to Skye on becoming a big sister!

It’s so good to hear that you and your husband already agree on a short list of names, and they’re great choices, too!

Your hesitation about “Claire, Skye” seems reasonable. And maybe I’d put Rose in the same category of not truly problematic, but possibly occasionally awkward.

But Alice, Charlotte, and Madeline all seem very wearable. It’s just that your style has changed since you first became a parent. This happens all the time!

And that leads me to my first question:

Is it more important to find a name that you love for this child? Or to match your children’s names?

It’s easy to dream up perfectly matched sibsets. But real life isn’t always that tidy. And it doesn’t have to be! Maybe we don’t expect siblings to be named Herbert and Olympia, but after knowing them for a bit, we just plain don’t notice. We say, “oh yes, my sister’s kids, Herbert and Olympia” and move on with our day.

Better to focus, I think, on avoiding awkward mismatches – like Miles and Skye! – rather than trying to find The One name that somehow bridges your current style and your style from a dozen years ago. Because Skye and Alice can totally be sisters!

Okay, all that said … let’s see if I can suggest some names that might fall somewhere midway between Charlotte and Skye.

We’re looking for something a little less common, like Skye, but with a more traditional vibe. And probably something on the shorter side, too.



Ada fits with Alice and Charlotte, but it’s brief, too. Does that make it more of a match for Skye?


Chloe has history to spare. After all, the name first appears in the New Testament. (And Greek myth before that.) But it’s fresh and modern, too.


Lucy made me think of Leah. Short, traditional, but with a lot of spirit and energy, like Skye.


Once Chloe made the list, it was hard not to add more Greek names with an ‘e’ ending. I think Phoebe hits the mark.


A subtle way to match sibling names is to share a first initial. Sadie and Skye sound perfect together, even though one is a sparky, casual vintage name and the other a tailored, modern nature choice.


Another S name might work. And if you ruled out Claire, maybe Stella – meaning star – is just too, too much with a sister named Skye. But I kind of love them together.


A brief name with plenty of vintage verve.


The Z makes Zara unforgettable.

Overall, Chloe keeps coming back to the top of my list. It feels like the exact midway point between Charlotte and Skye.

But I’m tempted by Sadie, too. If Stella is just too much, then the way that Sadie shares an initial, but still feels like a completely different name, might be exactly right.

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

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.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. The Mrs. suggested Ivy and I think it works well with Skye.
    Skye Marie and Ivy Claire.

    I also think Isla pairs well with Skye.
    Skye Marie and Isla Claire.

    Best wishes to you!

  2. To compliment Skye, I think another nature name would be so adorable. Some flower ideas: Dahlia, Lilia, Peony, Flora, Daisy, Iris, Viola
    Non flower: Fern, Rosemary, Brooke, River, Ocean

  3. Yes to a noun name!
    So many good ideas here…
    Iris, Rose, Violet, Ivy, Eve, etc. Love this!

    Also yes to the Scottish connection! Brilliant!
    Elsie, Maisie, Ainsley, etc.

    When I call any of our kids, I always say the older child first. Perhaps you would do this, too?
    “Skye! Claire!” No clear sky association then.

    Rose is my favorite from your list. She is lovely with Skye. They sound like sisters for sure. (Especially love how they’re both colors… Skye blue and Rose pink).

    More ideas? Skye and…
    Celeste, Lily, Luna, Cerise, Blanche, and Maren.

    Twyla, Birdie, and Cyan seem too on the nose… but maybe they work for you!

    Congratulations and best wishes!

  4. I definitely agree that Claire and Rose are out, but I think that your list of classic sounding names is awesome. Maybe giving a short, casual nickname would fit better. For instance, Alice could be Allie, Charlotte could be Charlie, and Madeline could be Maddie.

    My personal favorite combo is Skye and “Charlie.”

  5. I think any of the names on your list could work!

    Okay, I agree that “Lucy & Skye” will inevitable conjure references to the Beatles song, and if you’re not into that, it’s probably a combination to avoid.

    But all the rest sound lovely with Skye!

    I especially like Rose. It’s a nature name, a noun name, and a one-syllable name: all well balanced with Skye. They even have the same number of letters! Seems like a perfect choice to me.

    “Claire, Skye” doesn’t sound much like “clear sky” to me, and even if that occurred to me on the playground, I wouldn’t snicker at it or anything. There’s no bad connotation with clear skies! And it would be easy enough to find other ways to call your girls over.

    Clara could be an alternative to Claire.

    Skye & Maddie also sounds sweet together, if you’re open to nicknames for Madeline.

  6. Congrats!

    I like the suggestion of Sadie with Skye. I think that an S initial, a y, 4 letters, one syllable, or an ethereal meaning help connect the names.

    Some classic suggestions that feel very similar to your favorites (Lily vs Lucy, Iris vs Rose, Sara vs Claire etc).

    Skye & Eve

    Skye & Iris

    Skye & Ava

    Skye & Lily

    Skye & Sara

    Skye & Eden

    Skye & Anne

    If you choose something a bit longer, nicknames can always help connect. Skye & May for Madeline or Skye & Charlie for Charlotte.

    Or these could be great middle names…

    Skye Marie & Lily Madeline

    Skye Marie & Sara Rose

    Skye Marie & Ava Claire

    Skye Marie & Eve Charlotte

    Skye Marie & Sadie Anne

    Happy naming!

  7. I agree with you about Lucy, but all the other names feel fine to me. They don’t match per se, but they don’t feel clashy. Your letter does make me wonder though about how you feel about Skye and her name in your new life. If something about her or her name feels culturally out of place in the life you’re living with your new husband, then that would feel like a reason to be more careful.

    I also think she’s old enough to get a veto on anything that feels matchy. Not that you suggested anything like that, but I was surprised to find I really like Stella Claire. I can imagine that matchiness feeling really fun to a twelve year old, but I can also imagine it feeling sort of invasive, like an encroachment on her identity. Only she can know.

    On a less complicated note, I also thought of Vera.