Name 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!
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.
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!
A SISTER FOR STEVIE
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.
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. 🙂
My first thought was Spencer! But it does have the repeating initial if that’s an issue!
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.
Erin Beth says
More love for Stevie and Sloane! I think they’re perfect together. Other ideas:
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.)
Lane or even Lena
Hollis or Holly
Raine or Raina/Reyna/Reina
Adding Monroe as an option. Stevie Nicks and Marilyn Monroe.
Trying to put a finger on your style with favouring Stevie, Sloan, Harlow…. It feels kinda Hollywood Rock maybe? So I do see some connection between Stevie and Sloan – if you both love Sloane, go for it! I don’t think Harlow is any more ‘trendy’ than Stevie or Sloan. I do like the differing initial and endings with Harlow, so I think you have two great options if you want to stop there and meet her.
But if not, suggestions!
I think Noa and Morgan, as suggested, are great too!
(I totally get your not wanting another boyish nickname, I felt the same about not repeating my eldest’s feminized male name, even though it meant dropping a few amazing sister options.)
Hello and Congratulations! So, I love, love Billie and Frankie and Scout! However, I have a bit of a different take on the whole thing that I hope isn’t out of line. . . I actually have a dog named Stevie (named in honor of the wonderful Stephanie who found her and made her ours), so I clearly adore the name Stevie, too, but I wonder if a more decidedly “feminine” sister name (but not in the vein of Arabella of Magdalena as Abby mentioned) might provide a sweet contrast. For example, my other dog is named Mabel (I do have children, but my dog names are a better illustration of what I’m going for!), and I have always really like Stevie & Mabel together, with Mabel being feminine and somewhat soft, and perhaps even playful, without being flowery– just short and sweet. They don’t sound like “a set” as you mentioned. I think Abby’s suggestion of Ember would be lovely, and I also like names like Bryn/Brynn, Brooke, Carys, Daphne, Faye, Georgia, Colette, Juliet/Juliette, Rose, Sasha, Vera and Gwen with Stevie.
I like Stevie and Scout or Stevie and Sloane. I’ll add Nola as an option.
I like a one syllable name… maybe Reese, Blair or Quinn.
I like repeating a strong sound in the middle and same number of syllables. V is such a great sound to work with. I would consider a pairing like Stevie and Evan or Stevie and Jovie.
Alison Doherty says
I think my top choice would be Stevie and Sloane (although Scout is also very cute with Stevie). Marlowe is also really nice or maybe another similar name like Margot. I also thought of Quinn or Ava (might be too popular for you though).
When I think of boys names on girls – especially those that are more contemporary and adventurous, my favorites are…
Adair – Stevie and Adair
Morgan – Stevie and Morgan
Colby – Stevie and Colby
I love Sloane and I think it’s perfect with Stevie! Even though they start with the same letter, they sound different. I like Scout too. In fact, if you think you might have more kids, I’d say sisters named Stevie, Sloane, and Scout make perfect sense. Marlowe would be my third choice. I’m tempted to suggest Makenna—Makenna Corrine could be called “McCoy”, but high seems like a great edgy nickname to match Stevie.
My first thought are Reeve and Curtis.