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!

Marisa writes:

Our sixth (and final) child will be here this summer, and we are really struggling to find a name we can agree on.

This baby joins:

  • Chloe Brianna, Brianna for my husband’s name, Brian
  • Owen Nathaniel, because we couldn’t agree on a boy name, we used both of our favorites (and it’s probably a really good thing we did!)
  • Nora Annabelle, because we both have grandmothers named Anna/Ann
  • Rose Mackenzie, because my mom, Rosa, passed away right before she was born, and Mackenzie for Brian’s mom’s maiden name; she’s the only kid with a nickname, we mostly call her Rosie
  • Molly Emerson, another family name for the middle and Molly because Brian had wanted it for Chloe’s name and because we realized all our kids’ names have an O in them

For this baby, we know that we want something that matches her siblings’ names, so it has to have an O in it. We really like two-syllable names, and we don’t like long names that are going to be shortened. (Something like Rose/Rosie is okay.)

I’ve always liked Pearl, but it breaks all of our rules, so it might be a middle name.

We do not want to repeat a first initial!

Names we are considering, but I don’t think any of them are the one:

  • Fiona – love it, but it’s too long!
  • Josie – but it’s too close to Rosie
  • Noa – We liked Noah a lot, but now Noa looks a lot like Nora
  • Saylor/Taylor – I think I mostly like these for someone else’s child, plus our last name starts and ends with R
  • Sophie – we don’t like Sophia/Sofia
  • Violet – but is this two syllables or three?

Our last name is three syllables, German, and starts/ends with R. It’s not really that hard to say, but it looks like a lot on paper!

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new daughter!

I hear what you’re saying about feeling like you’ve used all of your names. And yes, i can see you’ve set a pattern, too. Because much as I really want to encourage you to choose Pearl for this daughter’s name, my brain sees the names written out and much as I love the sound of:

Chloe, Owen, Nora, Rosie, Molly, and Pearl

My eye spots the Os, and sees that Pearl is missing one. And yet … well, a pearl is sort of a small, round object – an O on its own. And you could always name her something like Pearl Olivia or Pearl Ottilie to ensure she has the initial, right?

Okay, let’s assume that’s not an option for now.


So what does go with Chloe, Owen, Nora, Rosie, and Molly?


I agree – Rose called Rosie pretty much rules out Josie.


Same issue here – a daughter named Nora really shouldn’t have a sister called Noa.


These names don’t feel quite like your style, maybe? Saylor and Taylor fit the basic requirements, but if Chloe, Nora, Rosie, and Molly are sort of sweetly old-fashioned, Taylor and Saylor seem much more modern.


I say it’s two syllables, right? I mean, I can see that you could extend it to vy-oh-let. But I normally hear it pronounced more like vy-let. That might be a downside, though – the O is visible, but not pronounced. I wonder if that’s your hesitation as much as length?


I think Fiona could be exactly perfect, even with an extra syllable. After all, this is probably your last child. Fiona isn’t likely to be automatically shortened, certainly not the way (almost) every Abigail is an Abby.


Overall, though, how can I top Sophie? I think it’s perfect as-is, works beautifully with the middle name Pearl and sounds just right with her older siblings’ names.

Still, you’re not convinced, right? So let’s see if coming up with some new ideas might help.



There’s a certain sweetness to your girls’ names, one that Bonnie shares. It’s traditional, but brief and complete, too.


One possibility for varying siblings’ names? Opt for different ending sounds. Colette is distinctive, but still nicely familiar.


Georgia shares Josie’s opening sound, but is a completely different name that stands out from your list.


Classic and sophisticated, lovely Louise has so much potential.


Margot most definitely has a strong O sound, but unlike lots of O enders, it’s a traditional choice for a daughter.


On paper, Phoebe is an awful lot like Chloe. But in a big family, I think the names both fit nicely.


I don’t believe I’ve ever suggested Robin – which is kind of crazy, right? I hesitate just a little because it repeats Rose’s initial and is another R.R. name, with your R surname. But I think it deserves consideration.


A tailored name with a hint of sophisticated.


Lovely Willow is modern and new, but not quite as sharp a departure from your overall style, I think, as Taylor/Saylor might be.

Overall, I don’t think I’ve done better than Sophie Pearl. But from my list, I really do like Colette and Margot best of all – and I think they both potentially work well with Pearl as a middle name.

Readers, over to you! What would you name a sister for Chloe, Owen, Nora, Rosie, and Molly?

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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. How about Bronte?

    It strikes me as a name with a similar current-with history feel to the other names you’ve used. And it has a different initial, different sounds, is two syllables and contains an O.

    Chloe, Owen, Nora, Rose, Molly & Bronte

  2. Fiona is the best! I don’t feel Fiona is too long compared to other children–for a Japanese ear, Owen and Fiona are heard as same syllables.

    Other suggestions:
    Flora nn Flo (another F possibility)
    Peony (if you don’t mind repeating initials)

  3. London Pearl…..a little more contemporary than the other names but like that it has the Os in it and offers another softer sound like Molly.

  4. Sophie Pearl or Fiona Pearl would be perfect. Fiona has 3 syllables, but it’s such a compact name with only 5 letters (the same as Chloe, Rosie and Molly) that I think it’s worthy of consideration. There’s also Ffion, which retains the same sound and style but with two syllables.

    Other ideas:


    I think Fiona being on your list made me think of other Irish/Gaelic names – some which have a visually obviously but otherwise silent O – so I’m not sure if that’s what you’re after, but thought I’d leave them in anyway.

  5. From this post, I’m favoring…

    “Colette Fiona” or even “Colette Sophie”.
    Maybe even “Colette Sophronia” would fit?

    “Pearl Sophronia” or “Pearl Sophie” doesn’t sound out-of-place either. Tough decisions ahead but I’m certain the parents will need to know how best to go forth.