Name Help: A Sister for Amaya and AnikaName 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!

Maria writes:

We are expecting our third daughter and we’re feeling pretty stuck with names.

Our girls are Amaya Rose and Anika Love.

Two issues:

  • The biggie: I love, love, love that our girls’ names go together so well! At the same time, I never really confuse the names. (We pronounce Anika ah NEEK ah. And yes, we got it from Empire.) And me and my girls all have five-letter names that end with A, so I’d like this daughter to have the same.
  • Smaller, but still causing me stress: Both Rose and Love are last names on my side, which felt like The Best Coincidence at the time our girls were born. But there are no more similar choices, and I’m not sure what to do.

Names we have considered:

  • Eliza – my mom’s suggestion, actually for Anika. I kind of think it’s too traditional. I’m open to not using another A name, but not sure Eliza is it. But I really like the way it sounds with Amaya and Anika.
  • Alina – I like this, but I think it maybe sounds too close to her sisters’ names. Also, I think I’d want to pronounce it like Elayna, which maybe would be a hassle?
  • Adora – My husband’s favorite. I was half on-board until he admitted he got it from She-Ra.
  • Liana – I really like this! But again, the A thing. Or maybe we could use Aliana, and just forget the five letters? Alana doesn’t thrill me, but maybe I’m just being fussy?

My husband has ideas sometimes, but is pretty much going to go with whatever I pick.

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new daughter!

My first question – and I know it’s not fair to ask and might not be possible to answer! – will this child complete your family?

None of us ever knows for sure, but if you’re fairly confident that this is your last pregnancy, I’m inclined to encourage you to stick with the pattern. More or less. Because it does seem to give you a lot of joy. So either another feminine A name, or possibly another five-letter, vowel-centric name that ends with A, maybe?

But if you imagine that you’ll add to your family in the future? Then it’s probably time to shift the pattern. You can choose a different first initial, a different number of letters … or maybe all of the above. Because if it’s tough choose a third name, imagine what it might feel like to try again for a fourth child.

I’m going to assume that you’re leaning towards the “our family is complete” side of the question, and try to finish the pattern, more or less.



Adora makes me think of Adara. It has Hebrew roots, and means “noble.” There’s also a bright star in the constellation Canis Major known as Adhara or Adara, from an Arabic word meaning “maidens.”


Short for Adriana and another feminine form of Adrian, Adria is a place name borrowed from a Roman settlement.


Depending on how you pronounce it, Aliza can be a Hebrew name meaning joy. (I’ve heard this pronounced more like ah-LEE-zah.) Or it can be Eliza-with-an-A.


The feminine form of Evan, Evana feels rare but accessible. Irish actress Evanna Lynch, of Harry Potter fame, spells her name with two Ns.


Another Hebrew name, Liora means “light for me.”


We think of the English name Lucy, but Lucia is the original Latin, from the word “lux” – light. One drawback: it’s pronounced multiple ways: loo SHAH, loo CHEE ah, loo SEE ah. The upside? You could choose the one that works best with Amaya and Anika.


Siena is an Italian city. Spelled Sienna, it’s a Top 200 favorite for girls, climbing rapidly in use across much of the Western world.


Thalia is a Greek goddess; her name means “to blossom.” Talia can be Hebrew or possibly short for Natalia.


I’m surprising  myself my really liking Aliza, pronounced like Eliza but spelled with an A, for Amaya and Anika’s sister. You do like the name, and I think re-spelling it with an A is just enough of a twist to make it feel slightly more modern.

That is, of course, assuming you’re not planning a big family. Because it would be painful to break that pattern after three girls!

Because otherwise, I’d probably pull for Siena or Liora. They’re lovely and lyrical and sound just like sisters for Amaya and Anika. But they also open space for possible names for future siblings without locking you in to such a rigid pattern.

As for middle names, I think I’d err on the side of choosing either another short virtue name, or possibly looking to see if there’s a longer family name that might be adapted? Any name starting or ending with an EL sound could be Elle.

If that doesn’t feel like a possibility, this list might have a great word/nature/virtue name for your daughter.

Readers, over to you. What would you name a sister for Amaya Rose and Anika Love?

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. For you I like Alexa and Aliya as the more tame/mainstream options and Azura and Aloia as the more distinctive options. I also saw another user mention Aisha, which is gorgeous. I definitely think you should pitch Adara to your husband, I think it’s a really great compromise that goes well with Amaya and Anika.

  2. I love Avila, like the place in Spain. The emphasis is on the first syllable (AH-vi-la, not Ah-VI-La) so it would have 5 letters, start and end in A, but break up the pattern of having the emphases on the second syllable!

  3. AmAya and AnIka use an A and an I vowel in the middle of the names. My instinct is to find a name that uses one of the other vowels, an E, U or O.

    Amay@ Ro$e, Anil@ Love and…

    Audra Hope
    Adela Hope
    Aurora Hope
    Adora Hope
    Alena Hope
    Aleta Hope
    Altea Hope
    Azora Hope

    Six letters
    Andrea Hope
    Alegra Hope

  4. Adela
    Aelia (means Sun)

    I lean towards Hope or Joy for middle.

    I think my favorite is Aelia Joy.

  5. So many great suggestions!

    I especially love Liana. It fits nicely with your other daughters’ names, while introducing some beautiful new sounds. I have a student named Liana, and she is just the sweetest!

    Regarding the middle name, could you simply repeat one of your other daughters’ middle names, since they are so significant? I also like the idea of Maria or another family first name.