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!
Our third baby girl is due just four short weeks and we are having a hard time picking a name. It’s easy to find the one girl name you love but coming up with three starts to get tricky.
Currently we have two daughters, Charlotte Ivy and Camilla Violet (no nicknames, just their pretty first names are always used.)
You and your readers previously helped get us to the beautiful Camilla Violet which we loved and went with. Now I’m trying to find another name that goes well with Charlotte and Camilla, and a name that we love just as much. We like vintage or more classic names, nothing unisex.
Some other names we’ve considered but ruled out are Victoria, Annabel, Lydia, Elsa, Audrey, Eleanor.
Currently we have the following names in a bit of short list:
Chloe – We had this on our list last time, it’s nice but not sure if three “C” names are overkill. We may or may not have mother child and I think having three with the same letter and then a possible fourth with a different letter would seem odd.
Meredith – This is our current top contender. One concern is that it isn’t feminine enough compared to Charlotte and Camilla? Is it a bit too dated and heavy for a little girls name?
Olivia – Always a classic, I do like Olivia but it’s popularity makes it a bit boring for me.
Elsie – A twist on Elsa (and trying to break the initial thought of “Frozen”) Elsie is nice but wonder if it is too nicknamey.
Any feedback or suggestions you have would be ever appreciated. I’m starting to feel a little panicked again and that we are just going to have to pick any name regardless if it’s “the” name or not …
Please read on for my response, and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.
Dear Emma –
Congratulations on your third daughter!
You’ve brought up some really good points in your letter. If you imagine that more children are in your future, it’s a good idea to sidestep another C name. It all comes down to personal preference, of course, but if I had two children with a shared initial, and then welcomed a third, well … I would feel committed. It’s not a rule, but it can feel like one. So best to avoid it now.
I really like Elsie, but it does feel a bit nickname-y, especially if your older daughters are always Charlotte and Camilla, rather than, say, Lottie and Millie. If you used nicknames all the time already, your youngest daughter’s lack of a formal name wouldn’t be noticeable. But in this case, I suspect it may feel like something is missing – to you, and maybe eventually to her, too.
As for Olivia, it’s a lovely, gorgeous name, and it sounds like a sister for Charlotte and Camilla. But there are an awful lot of girls named Olivia, so if that feels a bit repetitive now, well … that might be better avoided.
That leaves Meredith, and honestly, I think it’s pretty near perfect. It’s traditional, but not wildly common. And it sounds like a sister for Charlotte and Camilla without repeating an initial – or any other shared sounds.
But since you have your doubts, let’s see what else we can imagine.
One last note: British readers, please chime in! Am I wrong about Meredith feeling more classic and timeless than dated? It did peak in the 1980s in the US, but was never so popular that it feels overdone. But I’m not sure about popularity – or perception! – in the UK.
Now, on to the names:
Alessia – An Italian cousin to Alexis, Alessia sounds dramatic and elaborate – just like Olivia. But it’s far less common. I think it works nicely as a sister to Charlotte and Camilla. There’s also Alessandra, but the extra syllable makes me think it would be harder to wear without nicknames.
Antonia – Another A name with Italian roots, Antonia feels as classic as Charlotte, as romantic as Camilla.
Eliza – From a popularity perspective, Eliza falls somewhere between Charlotte and Camilla. While you might shorten Eliza, it’s typically used in full, which fits your preferences. It strikes me as the middle ground between Elsie and Olivia. Another option might be Elisabeth, with the German/French/Scandi spelling – but Elisabeth feels slightly more likely to be nicknamed.
Evelyn – Like Eliza, Evelyn is pretty popular. But it’s still less common than Olivia, so it might feel just different enough. It strikes me as a tailored choice in the same category as Meredith – and yet, it’s enjoying an uptick in use now, so there’s no way to argue that it’s dated.
Helena – Camilla makes me think of Helena. Americans are forever debating the preferred way to pronounce this name, but perhaps that’s not an issue for you?
Josephine – This is the first name that came to mind! Even though there are plenty of Josephine nicknames, I like it – and often hear it – used in full.
Veronica – Because Olivia and Victoria were both under consideration, I keep coming back to the letter V. Like Meredith, Veronica peaked a while back – in the 1970s. That almost puts it in mom name territory, and yet it was never so common that it feels overused.
Vivienne – If Veronica feels like a maybe, but not quite, how about Vivienne? Once again, it falls somewhere between Charlotte and Camilla in terms of popularity. It’s pretty, but tailored – which fits in nicely with your older girls’ names.
As far as middles go, would you consider Lily? I’m most drawn to Josephine Lily, and I really like Helena Lily, too. Of course, there’s a garden full of girl names to consider.
That is, of course, if I can’t talk you into Meredith. It’s a name with substance, just like Charlotte and Camilla. But it’s also a distinctive sound that isn’t overused, nor is it likely to be shortened – two qualities that you’re also after.
Readers, what would you suggest as a sister for Charlotte and Camilla? Do you think Meredith is the best fit? Or would you suggest something new?
If you do go on and have a fourth, I think Annalise is a beautiful name.
What did you name her in the end?!
Hey! I have a patteren that I am going to use for my kids! My name is Abbi and my fiance is Josh. I used the first initial of both of our names and named our daughter Jocelynn Avery! I plan on doing J-A or may even switch it up and do A-J for our other babes!! I don’t think that even if you end up with 4 that all C names would be too much! It’s just what you feel like though!! If you do choose a different letter to begin the name, maybe if you have a fourth child they can share the same first initial?!?! I like the name Meredith! I also like for first names Calliope, Brooklynn, Amelia, Addilynn, Joelle, and Addison!
For nature like or floral middle names, I have quite a few that I like!! They don’t all go with Meredith though! Lotus, Rose, Rosalie, Lily, Willow, Jade, Meadow, and Rain/Raine!!
I hope this will help!! I really like Meredith Raine! I think it is pretty! For the others I like Calliope Jade, Calliope Rain, Calliope Meadow, Brooklynn Rosalie, Brooklynn Jade, Brooklynn Lily, Brooklynn Lotus, Amelia Raine, Amelia Meadow, Amelia Jade, Addilynn Rose, Addilynn Lotus, Addilynn Raine, Joelle Rosalie, Joelle Meadow, Addison Rose, Addison Lily, Addison Willow, Addison Meadow, and Addison Raine!
Sorry this is so long!! Lol
Not too long at all, some great ideas! Thanks for taking the time to respond
Carmen would fit nice or Candace
Daisy, Lily, rose, even Scarlett for middles
Rose is my favorite with the above.
I think if you love Meredith and don’t want a pattern you should pick it.
@Chelsea do you mean Carmen for a first name or middle name? We had considered Carmen originally but I felt it was too similar to Camilla
Middle name choices Clover or Olive would keep the botanical theme going with a tie to the V in both Ivy and Violet.
Also noted the other girls have double letters and thought continuing this theme might be a way to link them without having another ‘C’ name.
Anyways, just throwing something different in the mix! Best of luck
I wonder if you’d like Laurel as a middle for Meredith?
Charlotte Ivy, Camilla Violet and Meredith Laurel sound like sweet woodland fairies to me. Best of luck!
I am loving Meredith Rose for your little one. It sounds beautiful by itself, and when paired with her sister’s names, it is just lovely. Best wishes to you!
Meredith Primrose is lovely!.. Please update when baby girl is officially named ;)… Many of the names here have been our shortlists for our girls over the years, so I can’t wait to hear what you end up choosing!
One more suggestion just popped into my head and I couldn’t resist!..
As in Calla Lilly (floral and a C name- but a subtle one)… 😉
Love the idea of Celeste/Celestine, Cecily/Cecilia/Celia, Cynthia or Celine. That way, you have three C names but each C makes a distinct sound. Maybe even Clementine, Clara, Chiara, Cosima or Cora
I really love Celeste, nickname Elsie for you!
Charlotte, Camilla, and Celeste seems perfect!
The name nerd in me feels the middle name should also be a nature name with the long I sound – perhaps Hyacinth, Briony, Lilac
Oh wow! There are some great suggestions here, I knew I was coming to the right place for help : ) From your suggestions Abby, I really like Alessia (a name I would have never thought of but upon seeing it, I think it’s a great option). Funny enough Vivienne was on our short list a little while ago but I lost a bit of interest in it so left it off my letter to you, but know that you suggest it I think we’ll reconsider it. I do like Evelyn but close friends have a daughter by that name so I’ll steer clear of it unfortunately. I also like Eliza.
I’m feeling more confident with the choice of Meredith now after reading your reply and also the other comments, but there are some other great suggestion I’ve now come across that I’ll have to consider. As for middle names…. Charlotte and Camilla both have floral middle names (was not intended but just happened to be names we liked and thought worked well) in saying that this time I would like to carry on with a third floral middle name providing I find something that sounds good. Of course “Rose” works well with just about any name, and it fits the bill of a floral middle name, so I had thought of Meredith Rose…. but Rose, Grace etc a dime a dozen when it comes to middle names which turns me off using it a bit. Of course as you mentioned there is Lily, and I also like Primrose (although my have a hard time getting hubby on board but could maybe pull it off for a middle name)
Really like Meredith Lilac! In addition to being floral names, the girls middles both have the long “i” sound. Lilac would continue the theme 🙂
How about Eloise, nickname Elsie?
I had thought of this as an option to make Elsie work but I’m not overly keen on Eloise as a first name
The more I think about it the more I keep hoping you’ll stick with Meredith. I think Meredith Hazel would be lovely.
Charlotte Ivy, Camilla Violet,
Charlotte, Camilla & Meredith.
Don’t doubt your good taste.
@FE thanks! I think we are leaning more towards Meredith but there are some other good suggestions that will make it a hard choice
C in DC says
Since my girls’ names are among those you considered, I’ll throw out some of our other contenders. Juliet, Harriet, Claudette, Georgette, Cordelia, Elena, Patrice, Petra, Nadia, Georgina, Linnea, Linden, Janine, Regina, Marina, Ramona.
For middles: Rose, Linden, Sage, Lavender, Cerise
Elsie Lavender strikes me as balancing with your other names by switching the weight of the first and middle names.
@C in DC we also had Juliet and Elena on a previous list! What are your girls names if you don’t mind me asking?
I LOVE the suggestion of Elsie Lavender!! This is very nice!
Adeline or Adelaide
I love Meredith.
Independently I thought of …(though I think a few are in the comments below)
Elise or Elisa or Elena –similar to Elsie
Whenever I hear Audrey, I think of Aubrie as an alternative.
Celeste Victoria or Celestine Victoria
Charlotte and Camilla and Victoria make me think of British royalty, so I have to suggest Catherine, Margaret, Alexandra, Elizabeth, Alice, Beatrice and Louise/Louisa and (because Downton Abby reminds me of royalty) Cora and Marigold.
My favorite is Louisa Pearl.
@nessie haha! Yes indeed the name Victoria reinforces the British royalty even more so with the sibling name combination… a bit too much. Hubby likes Alice but I definilty dont, and Beatrice we both like but I’d only really use it as a middle name.
So many great options here! I think my favorite combos for this girl would be-
Meredith Snow or Meredith Winter (you said you’re due in 4 weeks so I’m wondering if a winter/nature themed middle would be a fit?)…
Honestly, I love these names. They are all classic and feminine and lovely. Good luck and Congrats!
I like the suggestion of a nature middle name, I was thinking of keeping it in line with the two siblings which have floral names : )
Mable Marilla says
From your list, I like Meredith the best. From Abby’s list, I like Antonia the best.
Personally, I’m a fan of going all in on the C theme at this point. Charlotte, Camilla, and
@JMV some nice c name suggestions there but do you think if we went for a fourth child eventually you’d almost be locked into having to pick another C name or it would seem really out of place?? three c’s and then a different letter… that’s my hesitation of going the third c
Cecily Rose was my immediate first thought just from the headline. You get a different sounding “C” name with a botanical middle. Classic, streamlined, different ending to the first name so it isn’t sing-songy.
My immediate thought was Cecelia, beautiful, vintage, but still known. I am the kind of person that would worry she would feel left out if she didn’t have a C name. I like Cecelia because while it starts with a C it sounds completely different from Charlotte and Camilla. However for the not C route I would recommend Sylvia. Charlotte, Camilla, and Sylvia seems very much like sisters.
I think Meredith is fantastic! I also wanted to suggest:
The Mrs. says
Agatha! Agatha Rose gives a warm feeling, doesn’t it?
Charlotte, Camilla, & Agatha.
Better yet, Jemima!
Charlotte, Camilla, & Jemima.
Then there’s Beatrice.
Beatrice Aveline. (Ivy, Violet, Aveline… all botanical, all with a ‘V’)
Charlotte, Camilla, & Beatrice.
Erin Beth says
I like both Meredith and Eliza for you. Other ideas with a similar vibe: Edith, Abigail, Miriam, Ellen, Louisa, Frances, Gemma, Phoebe.
@ Erin Beth Yes, Eliza has been added to the list : )
The pattern is so winsome that a third, or even fourth sister wouldn’t be too many. Chloe Celeste Calliope Carys Colette Corinne Cora… and you might even like having a pattern to help narrow the field, when naming is overwhelming.
For middle names the botanical link is charming, so you can go the Rose, Lily, Fern direction or you could follow the V sound in Ivy and Violet. Ava, Sylvie, Maeve, Octavia, Vivienne.
I love Meredith, and Evelyn too, so gorgeous. Go for it! But if you voluntarily walked into the C trap, I see no downsides!
Chloe Vienna, Celeste Rose, Constance Nova, Coral Marguerite
I don’t think Meredith sounds dated next to your other girls’ names. Another non-nickname similar sounding name to Elsie could be Elspeth, which is Scottish version of Elizabeth.
I love Meredith. I overheard someone calling out Meredith at the mall a few months ago, and she was adorable and I thought “yes! Why don’t I hear this more often?” I also like how the syllables increase with each name, total nerdy thing, but it’s lovely for the set. I could easily see a five-syllable choice for a future girl, like Sarah-Josephine.
And I know you don’t use nicknames, but if they come from school or friends down the road, I love Charlie, Millie and Edie together.
But. If it’s not feminine enough for your ears (and it’s so subjective!) then how about Mirabel or Marlena or Mabel?
Jean C. says
I would like to suggest Eloise. While I have no problem with the name Meredith, it doesn’t exactly feel like a sister to Charlotte and Camilla (to me). I feel like Eloise (or Elise. Or Anneliese!) hit that Elsie spot without being a nickname-name. I think Penelope would be just darling as well. Maybe Felicity.
I also like the suggestion of Evelyn.
My first thought was Celeste … same first letter but different sound. However that’s near impossible to follow if you do have another.
I like Meredith. Haven’t heard it a lot … I did have a young and pretty French teacher by this name and I think it’d bring a smile to see it on a class list rather than raised eyebrows. Meredith sounds pretty and is nice to say.
Or do you like Frances?
As a Meredith myself, I’m a bit biased, but I think that’s the best choice. You seem to really prefer it to the other names on your list, and that’s always the most important factor. But I also think it’s a good fit with Charlotte and Camilla- all three names have this sort of gravity. It’s very easy for me to imagine a senator or neurosurgeon named Meredith or Camilla or Charlotte. They’re also pretty straightforward with simple spellings and pronunciations. But I like your other choices as well, and Abby gave some fabulous suggestions, so I think you’ll end up with a great name no matter what!
I love your naming style! Charlotte Ivy and Camilla Violet are great names. (I have a granddaughter called Camilla Rose.)
From your list I like Chloe best for your family: Charlotte, Camilla and Chloe. Olivia coordinates well with your older girls’ names too, if you don’t mind the popularity issue that you mentioned. (Chloe is also very popular and combined with Khloe (#125) and other “creative” spellings of the name, it’s heard a lot more than it’s #20 rank indicates.) Meredith has been used for males (eg.,Meredith Wilson of “The Music Man” fame), so it’s not as purely feminine as your other girls’ names. Elsie seems a totally different style.
Charlotte and Camilla are lovely names which could described as exclusively feminine names that are rather lengthy, British sounding together, and begin with the letter C. I don’t think you necessarily need to choose another “C” name, but I would probably look for an all-girl name that meets at least one of those criteria.
Beatrice / Beatrix
Catrina / Catriona
I did some checking on male usage of Meredith. Meredith Wilson actually went by his middle name; his full name was Robert Meredith Willson. For boys, the name Meredith peaked in 1941 at #582. Meredith (male) was last in the SSA Top 100 in 1954. Meredith has been consistently in the Top 1000 girls names since 1913, peaking in 1980 at #140.
Correction: Meredith was last in the SSA Top *1000* in 1954.
@patricia I had read that it was a male name…particularly for the welsh but as you mentioned I think it has moved over to the girls names and consistently ranked in those charts more so than for the boys
Meredith makes me think of Madeline, which could be lovely.
Charlotte, Camilla, and Madeline.
Diana Elise Baseman says
How about Elise rather than Elsie. It is classic and not a nickname.
That’s a really good thought, Diana!
If a c name was on the table … I like Cecily. Has shared c, but different beginning sound. Cecily Jade?
Clever idea! Cecily is lovely and has both a different C sound and a different ending.
Charlotte, Camilla, Cecily
I agree, that is a great idea! The three names sound beautiful together.
Personally, I do think Meredith sounds dated. It doesn’t work well with Charlotte and Camilla, imo, which are just perfect together.
From Abby’s list, I like Antonia best with your older daughters’ names. It has the same feel for me which makes the trio sound well-matched as sister names.
I would suggest Emmeline. It’s classic and elegant like Charlotte and Camilla and doesn’t need a nickname. Although, it does have some similar sounds to Camilla, which may be a turn-off for you. Luciana also came to mind, but perhaps it is like Abby said about Alessandra, hard to wear without a nickname. I wouldn’t think so, but perhaps you’d feel differently. It is longer in sound than your older daughters’ names. If you ruled out Eleanor, would you consider Eloise instead? I think it fits quite well with Charlotte and Camilla.
Anyway. Congratulations on your third daughter!:)
Oh, I love the idea of Emmeline!
Gwendolyn or Sylvana?