Name Help: Brother for Noah and AvaName 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!

Zoe writes:

Hi, I came across your fabulous website searching for baby names and thought I’d reach out to you. I am pregnant with twins, a boy, and a girl. And we cannot agree on a name for our boy!

We already have a two year old named Noah John, and we are thinking Ava Grace for our daughter.

My father recently passed away at Christmas, so we want to use the middle name Kenneth in his memory.

When I close my eyes and try to think of a name I picture something outdoorsy and a leader’s name, like if I saw it on a CV it would sound strong.

Names we are considering:

  • Archer – All three siblings would have matching end sounds. (Note: Zoe is in Australia, so Noah and Ava end with more of an ‘ar’ sound.) Plus husband isn’t a fan.
  • Beau – I like it, but my husband has a cousin named Beau.
  • James – My pick, but husband has cousin named James, so doesn’t want to use it.
  • Jed – Husband’s pick, but I don’t like it.
  • Leo – We know so many Leos!
  • Max – Another from my husband’s list. I don’t mind it, but I’m not completely sold.
  • Oliver – Too many friends with the name.
  • Theo – Same thing as Leo/Max, plus my husband isn’t a fan.

With the middle name Kenneth I don’t want the name to be too much of a mouthful. Our last name sounds like Lorry.

Would love some advice!

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your twins!

And I’m so sorry about the lost of your father. Using his name for your son’s middle seems like a fitting tribute.

But it does narrow the options for a first just a little more, doesn’t it?

We’re looking for something relatively mainstream that feels brief and brisk. It sounds like Leo/Max are the template. Jed is a little bit of a curveball – it sounds like other names you’re considering, but it has a whole other vibe, right?

Let’s see what we can find.



Would you consider Charlie? It’s a warm, approachable name and has a sort of casual-cool vibe.


If you’ve talked about Max, has Finn come up? It’s a trim, complete choice that sounds adventurous on a child, handsome on an adult.


I think Ava and Leo would be perfect for twins. And Theo is every bit as good. But if they’re both out, maybe Hugo? It has the same bright O ending, and the same mix of traditional and upbeat appeal.


Suggesting Jack seems like a waste of time, because – well, who hasn’t considered naming their son Jack? But it’s the midpoint between James and Jed, a name with classic roots but an edgier style.


Jed also makes me think of Jude. I like the way it shares no sounds with Noah or Ava, but sounds compatible with both.


Twenty years ago, Kai would’ve been a really different name. Today, though, it’s as familiar as Liam or Sam. We tend to consider Kai a Hawaiian name, and that’s correct. But it’s worth noting that Kai also claims roots in German and Scandi languages as a nickname for Cornelius or Nicholas, among other names.


As formal names go, Nate is very, very rare throughout the English-speaking world. Most Nates are actually Nathan or Nathaniel. But Nate – just Nate – could be the kind of brief, brisk choice you’re seeking. And I love the way Ava and Nate share a vowel sound.


A surname name that fits the trend favoring short boys’ names perfectly, Reid is a smart, capable sound for a son’s name.

Overall, I’m stuck on Nate – just Nate. Nate Kenneth “Lorry” and Ava Grace “Lorry” sound good together; I like the flow of Noah, Ava, and Nate.

Besides sharing the long A sound with Ava, Nate shares a first initial with Noah. But they sound completely different, too.

Readers, over to you what would you name a brother for Noah and a twin for Ava?

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. My first thought was Miles/Myles or Ezra, but I love the suggestion of Elijah/ Eli. Noah, Ava and Elijah. Noah, Ava and Eli. How perfect….

  2. Yes to Thomas! Other suggestions that seem to fit would be Zane, Jude, Otto and Hugo.

  3. The name “Thomas” was my first thought too!

    Sounds very fitting with your husband’s father’s name, “Thomas Kenneth”.

  4. As an Aussie…
    Would you consider a modernised nod to Kenneth for you son as a first name such as Laken which includes Ken… LaKEN, lake of course sounds nature based. I love the alliteration of the Ls, I believe that this is often seen as powerful to repeat sounds that way.
    Laken James Lorrey

    If you want something leaning towards nature but still known and strong consider Reid Kenneth Lorrey
    Noah, Ava and Reid

    The other suggestion is Flynn Kenneth Lorrey
    Noah, Ava and Flynn sound great
    Flynn Lorry is very strong..

    Totally agree with Hugo
    Noah, Ava and Hugo sound awesome
    Hugo Lorry sound really solid and strong .

    If you like James but he’s not keen consider Jay.
    Jay Kenneth Lorrey the very upbeat Jay balances the more traditional Kenneth

    My final suggestion is put a twist on your dad’s name and use it with Ava instead Ava Kennedy Lorrey
    Or even Ava Makenna Lorrey

    1. Oh, the idea of using a feminine twist on Kenneth with Ava is intriguing …

  5. I just thought of Otto!

    It’s a strong O name like Leo, Theo and Noah, but much more distinctive.

    And I love it as a twin to Ava, because both names are palindromes. It’s a nice way to connect their names without being too matchy-matchy.

  6. Asher Kenneth — Maybe Asher works in a way that Archer doesn’t? Noah, Asher, and Ava
    Ian Kenneth — Noah, Ian, and Ava
    Jack Kenneth — Noah, Jack, and Ava (I thought of this before reading Abby’s suggestions.)
    Joel Kenneth — Noah, Joel, and Ava
    Jonas Kenneth — Noah, Jonas, and Ava
    Judah Kenneth — Noah, Judah, and Ava
    Miles Kenneth or Myles Kenneth — Noah, Miles / Myles, and Ava

    Deepest sympathy to you on your father’s passing.