Name Help: A Sister for StevieName 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!

Leah writes:

We have a 3 year old daughter named Stevie Elizabeth. We chose her name for lots of reasons, but mostly because we just loved it.

Now we’re expecting another daughter in a few weeks, and we’re feeling pretty stuck.

I do like lots of “boy” names for girls – Billie, Charlie, maybe Frankie. But I don’t like them with Stevie’s name. It’s like it’s less special if they’re too much of a set.

My husband’s favorite name for Stevie was Sloane, and he likes it for this baby, too. I’m maybe warming up to it, but I’m not convinced Stevie and Sloane sound like sisters.

Another name on the maybe list is Harlow, but maybe it’s a little trendy/common? There’s a Harlow in our friends group. (But not so close that it would be weird to use.)

Maybe we just need some new ideas?

Our last name is Richard-plus-son.

Please read on for my response and thank you for sharing your thoughtful insights in the comments.

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new daughter!

You’re experiencing one of those classic second-child dilemmas. Even when your firstborn’s name is exactly right, duplicating it too closely for her sibling would be all wrong.

And yet, your style seems clear. Neither you or your husband seem likely to put Arabella or Magdalena on your short lists anytime soon.

It makes me think that you’re already on the right track with surname-style names like Sloane and Harlow.

Let’s take your two questions first.

Do Stevie and Sloane sound like sisters?

I say they do.

Stevie is a little newer, an up-and-comer following Charlie (and Sadie and such) up the popularity charts. But neither is wildly common. And they’re both names with history and roots that feel especially at-home in the 2020s. They’re tailored, and while they’re both unisex, there’s no question they’re both currently far more popular for girls than boys.

Is Harlow too trendy/popular?

Trendy is in the eye of the beholder.

Harlow has been trending. It debuted in the US in 2009, making it a relatively novel name. And Harlow has ranked in the 300s since 2017. Again, that marks it as a relative newcomer. But it’s a well-established surname, and it’s not rocketing up the charts, either. So while it’s certainly current, I don’t think it’s necessarily too popular or fleeting.

Still, I think you have lots of good options. Let’s consider some fresh ideas!



Another tailored surname option in the key of Sloane. Similarity to classic Claire makes Blair feel clearly feminine.


A modern nature name with a sparky image.


The tiniest tweak on Harlow. And yet, Marlowe feels a little less expected. Also spelled Marlo, in which case it’s more of an obscure Mary/Margaret nickname.


A true unisex name, popular for girls and boys alike.


A cheerful, upbeat nature name that stands up to the unforgettable sounds of Stevie.


Originally a masculine French name, Remi and Remy are trending for girls in the US. Remi-with-an-i ranks higher for our daughters as of 2020. It’s a high-energy choice, but does the repeating R of Remi


Like Poppy and Ember, Sage comes from the natural world. But it works on multiple levels, suggesting wisdom and a pretty shade of green, too.


I suppose Scout is boyish, but the most famous Scout of all time is the fictional Jean Louise Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird.

When I first started this list, I was stuck on Marlowe. But as soon as I added Scout, I found myself thinking that it might be the better direction.

Maybe it comes down to repeating initials? I think Stevie and Scout make perfect sisters, but plenty of parents prefer to avoid repeating initials.

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

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. Hi! Congrats!

    First of all, I love your daughter’s name, how fun! I have a Monroe and we love her name. There are few out there and it’s super strong like Stevie (I saw someone suggested it above).

    My suggestion when I read this is SUTTON! Oh my goodness I think Stevie and Sutton would be so so fun and continuing your theme of strong, gender neutral names. I am partial to Sloane too. 🙂

  2. My first thought was Spencer! But it does have the repeating initial if that’s an issue!


  3. If Sloane or Harlow are names you and your husband agree on, I think either one would be fine. They don’t exactly feel the same as Stevie, but it sounds like that’s not what you want, anyway.

    I can see the point about names are do feel like Stevie being too similar. So I went looking for boyish nicknames that don’t follow the same -ee ending pattern of Stevie, Billie, Frankie etc but could still work for a girl and came up with …

    Chaz, Jem, Alex, Jules, Sasha, Kit, Drew, Max, Jude

    And I like that you used Elizabeth as Stevie’s middle name. I’d use a similarly elaborate, feminine name in the middle for her sister, if her first name edges more towards the boyish side.

  4. More love for Stevie and Sloane! I think they’re perfect together. Other ideas:

  5. I love Stevie and Scout and Stevie and Adair. I also think Harlow, Remy, Parker, Blair and Poppy work pretty well. What about…Stevie and Jean (maybe too plain for you–but it’s a male name in France while being female here and so is not matchy-matchy. Plus it’s sorta like Sloane.)
    Other ideas:
    Lane or even Lena
    Hollis or Holly
    Raine or Raina/Reyna/Reina