She’s here! Welcome Eliza Maeve. While Eliza might not be as offbeat as they intended, Danielle writes “we loved it too much to let it stop us.” So glad they used the gorgeous name they loved, and thanks to all for your help!
We’re expecting our fifth baby this month, gender unknown. Sisters are Amara, Selah, Willow, and Karis.
For a girl, we’re considering Eve but are not committed to it.
As for boys, we are quite stumped.
Over the years, we have loved Hudson, Judah, and Elias, but now we have several friends and acquaintances who have given their children those names and we would prefer not to use them.
Lots of people have suggested Eden, which I like, but I am looking for something that is a little more … unexpected. I hope that makes sense!
Thanks so much!
Please read on for my response, and leave your helpful suggestions in the comments.
Hi Danielle –
Congratulations on your fifth baby!
It sounds like your naming style was ahead of the curve when you started your family. But time moves on … and the world catches up. Ten years ago, Amara fell outside of the US Top 500. (It first made the rankings in the year 2000.) But now, it has climbed to #300 and shows no signs of slowing down. Likewise, the boy names you previously considered have gained in use – enough that you actually know kids with those names.
And, of course, many great names share sounds with your older kids’ names. Dozens of possibilities came to mind, only to have them fail my How Close is too Close? tests.
So let’s look for some still undiscovered names for both genders, starting with girls.
I share your hesitations over Eve. The name feels spare and lovely, a truly appealing choice that works well with your daughters’ names. And yet it fails the “unexpected” test. Credit the many Ev- names trending, from vintage Evelyn to trendy Everly to romantic Evangeline.
So let’s see if we can find something that works with Amara, Selah, Willow, and Karis, but takes us – at least a little bit – by surprise.
Davina – I wonder if you’d rather avoid another -a ending name? Davina serves as a feminine form of David, but it’s quite rare in the US. It brings to mind popular names like Ava, but feels distinct and different.
Elodie – I’m going to suggest a few E names, just because Eden is close, but not quite right. Elodie comes from an old name family – it’s cousin to Otto, believe it or not! Three-syllables, ends in y/ie names for girls are perennial favorites, and musical Melody has been popular for some time. But Elodie remains far less familiar.
Ember – Eden ranks #148; Ember comes in at #320. I’m not sure if that counts as unexpected, but I think it has a similar vibe while being a little more unusual.
Esme – Esme currently ranks #681. It gets a lot of buzz in baby name circles, but it remains relatively unusual in the real world. And I think it sounds like a great sister name for Amara, Selah, Willow, and Karis.
Maren – Because Eve and Eden seem more tailored, I wonder if you’d like something like Maren? Like Eden, it fits with all of those two-syllable surname names, but Maren claims roots as a form of Mary or Marina or maybe even Margaret.
Morrigan – I’ve always loved the sound of Morrigan, and the meaning – great queen, from Irish myth. Downsides: Morrigan was a war goddess. And this one could be confused with Morgan – a lot.
Vale – If you’re thinking brief and complete this time, Vale strikes me as Eve’s far more mysterious cousin.
Vivica – With an international pedigree and a vibrant sound, I can hear Vivica fitting in with your family. Bonus: it shares the V sound of Eve.
Hmmm … the list feels a little random! But I do think there are multiple directions you might consider, from tailored choices like Maren to more feminine ones like Davina.
Beau – Since Eve has a strong, short sound, I wonder if something like Beau might appeal for a boy? Ranked #187, Beau can’t be called rare – but it’s definitely not a Liam or a Noah.
Conran – Ever since British designer Terence Conran became well-known, I’ve wondered whether his Irish surname might make a great given name. It brings to mind Cameron, but is less common, as well as Conrad, without being quite to vintage.
Fox – If not Beau, possibly Fox? Short on letters, but big on sound, nothing sounds quite like Fox.
Maceo – Maceo is most likely an unusual form of Matthew, with a handful of notable bearers keeping it in sparing use. It’s jazzy and interesting, but not invented or expected.
Nico – While we’re thinking of ‘o’ ending names, how ’bout Nico? It might be short for Nicholas, or even Nicodemus. It’s unusual without being
Rafferty – There’s something vibrant and upbeat about Rafferty. While longer surnames like Sullivan are catching on, Rafferty remains rare.
Tobias – Since you liked Elias, I wonder if some other -ias ending boy names, like Tobias, might appeal?
Weaver – Names like William are too familiar, but would a surname name like Weaver appeal? It shares the ‘eve’ sound of one of your favorite girl names, and the surname style of Hudson.
Let’s turn it over to the readers: what would you suggest as a sister or brother for Amara, Selah, Willow, and Karis?
Has Juniper been suggested yet? I think it would be so lovely with Amara, Selah, Willow and Karis (beautiful, beautiful names, by the way!).
And a few more for girls-
And the boys-
Whoops, just took note Judah is out of the running already!
How about Verity for a girl? I know one who’s 12 and it works very well as a stands out fits in name.
Your daughters’ names are strongly evocative (for me) in their meanings and associations. With that in mind:
Amara, Selah, Willow, Karis and…
Meriel / Merrill (‘shining sea’)
Verda (‘green’, ‘springing’)
Eavan / Evanna (‘beautiful’ – could get you Eve as a nickname if you wanted)
Inez / Ines (‘pure’)
(Can’t muster any boys’ names today!)
Louisa Assibi says
Here are my suggestions (including some of my kids’ names)!
Zareen – Persian for “golden”
Nandi – Zulu for “the sweet one”
Nnamdi – Igbo (Nigeria) for “my God/Father lives”
Good luck and let us know what you pick!
Cassandra M Montgomery says
Ezra for a boy or a girl I’ve heard both it’s very uncommon bit biblical and beautiful.
I thought of Rafferty before reading the post. So I second that suggestion.
For a girl, I thought of Maris, but it’s too matchy with Karis. So, I vote for Abby’s suggestion of Maren.
And I agree with a previous poster that since you’ve got no repeated initials, you may as well come up with a unique one for this child too. Unless you love a name that repeats one. In that case, use it and love it.
Your daughters’ names are so lovely! I wonder if Tamsin Freya or Linden would work for you?
For a little boy, Dashiell or Jasper sound especially cool with such unique sisters. Can’t wait to find out what you choose!
A couple more ideas:
Girl: Romilly (Romy)
Roland is a really good suggestion!
I feel like there is a religious element to this sibset missing from the suggestions. Am I right? If so do you like Reed or Tabitha?
Couple of these names have already been mentioned, but here’s a few ideas…
Avalon or Aveline
Harris or Harrison
Christina Fonseca says
Callum and Rowen come to mind with the sisters’ names. Other ideas: Declan Dermot Desmond Seamus Tavish
I would avoid using another A, S, W, or K name.
Girl: Esther, Miriam, Phoebe, Daphne, Damaris, Zinnia, Zadie, Zella, Phaedra
Boy: Gideon, Zeke (or Ezekiel, nn Zeke), Joel, Jude, Reuben, Ephraim, Deacon, Leon, Levi, Tobias, Tobin
An enthusiastic second vote for Phaedra! I love that.
From Abby’s list, I love Maren for a girl. I am also a fan of Eden. I really like all of your boys names, in spite of knowing other kids with the names. Elias stands out as a sweet fit with your daughter’s names.
Amara, Selah, Willow, and Karis
I vote Elodie or Maren for a girl, and Beau or Fox for a boy.
And I forgot to mention Jasper-for a girl! That would definitely be unexpected yet it still flows well.
I was go in to suggest Alma, Maris, and Shea but those are too close to Amara, Karis, and Selah…so, I think Eden would be a good fit for a boy or a girl, but if you want something more unexpected then what about Canaan? I’ve always loved the name Calvary too (which is the Latin name of Golgotha)…Taisie comes to mind too, she was an Irish queen.
Ione/Iona; Junia; Bethel. For boys, Wylie, Iain, Souther.
Oh, Shepherd! Has anyone suggested that? I agree with someone else that there seems to be a religious thing happening. If not, my suggestions are all wrong!
For a boy I really think they should consider Zion.
Especially with Karis and Selah I detect a bit of Biblical virtue-ish names and I think Zion would fit right in with those sisters.
For a girl, what about Nadia or Nadine? Both names mean “hope” and seem like a good match.
The Mrs. says
Okay, one more girl option:
With the meaning of ‘sun ray’ she’s hard not to love!
Amara, Selah, Willow, Karis, and Ilona.
The Mrs. says
Amara reminds me of Amina.
Selah of Shilo.
Willow of Rowan or Magnolia.
Karis of Kerenza.
Jacaranda is a nature name (lovely purple-flowered tree). But Jacana is simpler (and an exotic bird!).
Amara, Selah, Willow, Karis, and Jacana.
Doyle is classic, under-the-radar, and full of charm.
Amara, Selah, Willow, Karis, and Doyle.
There is also Weiss. He’s smart and brisk. He means ‘white’ and feels as crisp as snow.
Amara, Selah, Willow, Karis, and Weiss.
Mordecai was a biblical hero. He’s very underused but has the same tenor as Ezekiel and Judah. He comes with the clever nicknames of Doc or Decker.
Amara, Selah, Willow, Karis, and Mordecai.
You’ve got a healthy spread of names, and your style is distinctive. Best wishes!
Erin Beth says
I think Eve coordinates really nicely with the sibling names but that sound has become more popular. Less expected alternatives might be Miriam, Olive, Esther, or Phoebe. I like the suggestion of Tobias and would also add Ezekiel.