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!

A Sister for Margot Kate

Sarah writes:

We are looking for a sister name for Margot Kate.

Names I love but can’t use are Hazel and Violet.

Top of our list (probably in order) are:

  • Lila
  • Eliza
  • Della
  • Poppy

We want to use a form of Jo (probably Josephine) in the middle name spot. We can’t use it as a first sadly!)

Zoe is also on our list, but it’s not great with Jo/Josephine.

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

Finding More Upbeat, Vintage Favorites

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your new daughter!

This is a great question, because Margot Kate is the exactly right blend of vintage and casual. It’s a name with traditional roots, but a breezy, 21st century energy.

It’s a tough act to follow!

Jo/Josephine is a great middle name – it’s very much in the spirit of Margot Kate. I’m going to assume that Josie is also out as a first name. Otherwise, it would probably be my top suggestion.

Moving on! Let’s look at your current list.

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Current List for Margot Kate’s Sister

I’m going to rank these from my least favorite for you to my top choice.


A perfect match for Margot, and Della Josephine is great! But I think Della ends up fading into Ella, Bella, and Stella a little bit. Which really isn’t fair at all – it’s a separate, distinct name. So while it’s great, I’ll put it at the bottom of this list.


A great mini name, high in energy and style. Except … if Josephine as a middle is important, then Zoe Josephine is good, but not great. Mostly because my brain immediately shortens it to ZoJo. To be honest, I kind of love this … but I can see that it’s not for everyone.


Probably the name I tend to recommend most to go with Margot. (And vice versa.) It’s a great example of a slightly sparky version of a traditional name. Eliza Jo and Eliza Josephine are great combinations.


Such a gorgeous name! Lyla and Lilah are more popular spellings, but Lila is also a Top 250 favorite and has a spare simplicity that’s very appealing. Still, those multiple spellings give me pause.


A cheerful name with a lot of power, thanks to the red flower’s association with remembrance. Poppy feels similar to names you can’t use, Hazel and Violet. Another bonus: PJ for Poppy Josephine is seriously adorable.

Fresh Alternatives to Consider


Delia doesn’t appear in the current US Top 1000, but it sounds just like very popular picks Amelia, Emilia, and Cecilia. I think it’s maybe a little more distinctive than Della, so something to consider.


Because you like Eliza and Zoe, I wonder if Esme isn’t the perfect compromise?


While Juniper isn’t a traditional name, it shortens to Junie, which makes it feel a little more familiar. And I wonder if a nature name like Poppy, Hazel, or Violet is the right vibe? Only Juniper Josephine is a lot of name, so maybe not …


I can imagine Lucy as Margot’s sister. Both names balance the traditional with the casual nicely. And I love Lucy Josephine. (And Lucy Jo!)


Just like Margot is an independent name derived from Margaret, Nora is traditionally associated with Eleanor – though really stands on its own.


Another Zoe alternative.


Short for Theodora, which makes it a cousin to names like Nora, Eliza, and Margot.


Brief and complete, Vera is similar to Margot in terms of popularity. It’s a vintage name on the upswing.

Overall, my favorite from your list is Poppy. And I’d put Vera at the top of my personal list. And lastly, I’m not positive I’d rule Zoe Josephine out. If the worst case is sometimes calling her ZoJo? I kind of think that’s darling.

Readers, over to you! What would you name a sister for Margot Kate?

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. Alice
    Beatrix “Bea”
    Eden “Edie”
    Gwen (Or Gwendolyn “Gwen”)
    Imogen “Immy”
    Jane/Janie (But probably not Jane Josephine)
    Penelope “Penny” or “Nell(ie)”
    Posie (Maybe not Posie Josephine, but Josephine called Posie is adorable!)
    Vivian/Vivienne “Vivi” (Genevieve would also work)

    I know it’s been mentioned but Daisy feels like the perfect midway between Della and Poppy, and can come from Margaret, like Margot. Daisy Josephine is so cute!