Ask the Name Sage: A Sister for Charlie Layne

Ask the Name Sage: A Sister for Charlie Layne

Welcome to Nameberry’s newest column, The Name Sage. Every week, I’ll answer one reader’s questions about naming a baby-on-the-way, or general baby name angst. And here’s the best part: we’d love it if you would add your thoughtful suggestions and comments to help expectant parents decide. The world needs more nicely named children, berries! Want to see your question featured? Please email

Lindsay and her husband are expecting their second child, a little sister for Charlie Layne. They love Charlie’s name, and they’re trying to find something they like just as much for their daughter-on-the-way.

She writes:

We are currently struggling with whether to continue the borrowed-from-the-boys trend, which I know can nearly incite a riot! If we go for a girly name will one child feel left out?

Their current list includes Elliot, Even, Reese, and Finley, but also Lila, Lola, Stella, and Willa.

Lindsay adds: At this point it feels more like trying to “match” to our first daughter’s name rather than picking something we truly love.

Read on for my answer, and please add your thoughtful comments, too!

Hi Lindsay

Congratulations on your daughter-on-the-way!

Choosing a name for a second child is different. The name you gave to baby #1 rules out some possibilities, and suggests others. But no matter how many children you have, picking a name that you truly love always matters, even if it means your daughters answer to names that don’t immediately seem like an obvious match.

Because here’s the secret: there’s more than one way to match sibling names.

Charlie is a spunky, retro choice like Hattie or Sadie. And Charlie is a casual, breezy, nickname-name. While there are plenty of boys answering to Charlie, it’s a very mainstream choice for a daughter, too – Number 243 and rising as of 2013.

From your shortlist, the name that jumps out at me is Lola. Spunky, retro, nickname-proof. Check, check, check.

Stella, Lila, and Willa have some of those qualities, too. Another plus for Willa? It’s a feminine form of William, just as Charlie can be used as a feminine form of Charles.

Reese and Finley are actually more common for girls than boys, so they feel like sister names for Charlie. But Evan and Elliot head in the other direction – they’re far more popular for boys.

A few others to consider: surname names Rowan and Sloane, frills-free Wren, sassy, Southern Georgia, and vintage Della and Ruby.

There’s plenty of potential here: Ruby Sloane, Lola Wren, Stella Finley. But my favorite from your list is spunky WillaCharlie and Willa, Charlie Layne and Willa Reese.

But no matter what, go with the name that you love, even if it doesn’t immediately seem like a match. And please write us back and let us know what you choose!

Best wishes,

Abby, The Name Sage

Now let’s hear from some others: what would you name a sister for Charlie Layne?