Girl Baby Name Search: A Sister for Lyla

Not too popular, not too obscure

Love vintage-modern nickname-proof names that aren’t wildly popular, or too obscure? Almost everyone does! That makes it even tougher to find the right name for Lyla Brynn’s new sister.

Melissa writes:

Baby girl number two is due in a few months, and we’re stuck on a name!

Our first daughter is Lyla Brynn. Her middle name comes from my husband’s name, Bryan.

I’m looking for a pretty name that sounds both vintage and modern. Our last name is two syllables, starts with a T, and ends in “er,” so I don’t think names that end in “er” sound great.

We don’t want her to be one of three girls with the same name in her class, but we also don’t need an extremely unusual name. This will be our last child, so we don’t need to consider any future names in a sibset.

We are partial toward May/Mae for the middle name, because we were engaged and married in May and it honors my grandmother, Maria. My dad’s name is Luciano, so Luciana or Lou are also options.

We’ve ruled out Georgia, Savannah, Tessa, and Louisa, plus a friend just named her daughter Ruby, so that’s also off the list.

Names that are contenders:

Sienna – Maybe not vintage, but very pretty. I like the association with travel.

Catherine – My other grandmother, and it would be nice to honor both of my grandmas. I’m not sure it’s the name for us. Also, my grandmother went by Katie, so I don’t want to repeat that name. My husband is not fond of nicknames. I do like them in certain cases.

Charlotte – A lovely name but I’m not in love with it, and it’s very popular.

Eden Luciana – I love the idea that it refers to “a beautiful place of light,” but the name hasn’t stuck with me.

I would appreciate any advice or potential names we haven’t yet considered.

The Name Sage replies:

Here’s the challenge: you love pretty, nickname-proof names that feel a little bit vintage, a little bit modern. And you’d prefer something not too common. It’s a reliable and entirely reasonable set of criteria for naming a daughter.

Which is why so many great names that fit the first part of that description appear in the current US Top 50: think Ava, Mia, Sophia, Natalie, Violet, Ella, Grace, Stella, Scarlett, Mila.

The good news is that even a very popular name might not feel too common. Our son’s name was in the Top Twenty when he was born, but he’s never had another kid with the same name in his class.

Still, I’d probably take Charlotte off your list. It’s not your favorite, and it has ranked in the Top Ten for the past three years – and it ranks Number Two on our Top 100. That suggests it’s not slowing down any time soon.

Likewise, Catherine should probably move to the middle name spot. It’s a lovely, classic name, but it doesn’t seem like your style. Factoring in the potential nickname conflict makes this less of a fit – though I know plenty of little Katherine/Kathryn/Catherines, and none of them answer to anything other than their full name.

That leaves Sienna and possibly Eden. I like both of them with big sister Lyla quite a bit, but if you’re not sure if they’re The Name, let’s keep looking:

Alice Alice combines storybook charm with a quiet strength. It’s more tailored than Sienna, but less modern than Eden. Ranked Number 76, Alice feels appropriate for a girl born today, but not too common, either.

Anya Ann names have traveled the globe, changing over time. Sometimes spelled Anja, this Ann name appears across Europe. It feels familiar, but ranks a relatively rare Number 593. Plus, Anya and Lyla both are four-letter names with the shared letter ‘y’ – but sound very distinct and different.

Claire, Clara – I happen to know sisters named Lyla and Claire, which is probably why this came to mind. Claire’s meaning – bright, clear – reminds me of Luciano. Clara is the Latin form; Claire, the French. I like Clara Mae, or maybe Claire Catherine. While both names appear in the US Top 100, neither feels overused.

Gemma – From the Italian word for jewel, Gemma has a long history of use. (Dante’s wife was Gemma, born way back in thirteenth century Florence.) But it feels modern, too. At Number 247, this name hits the sweet spot – neither too unusual, or too familiar. Plus, the soft G sound brings to mind Georgia.

Ivy – A short, seasonal name, Ivy feels just right for a winter daughter. While Lyla and Ivy both share a strong ‘I’ sound, I think they’re different enough to work together well. Ivy ranked Number 112 last year, so again, it’s not too common, nor too obscure.

Juliet – Because you’re open to slightly longer names like Sienna, would you consider Juliet? It’s pretty, feminine, and feels traditional, even though it’s far more popular today than ever before.

Lucy Lucy reminds me of two names you mentioned: Ruby and Luciano. Lucy Mae is short, sweet, and complete, just like Lyla Brynn. And while I might hesitate to name sisters Lyla and Lucy if you hoped to have more children, that’s not the case – so no worries about establishing a pattern that might prove limiting. Another reason I like Lucy? The tie to a family name is subtle, just like Bryan/Brynn. Lucy ranks Number 55 in the US, so it’s popular – but well outside the Top Ten.

Sylvie Sylvie debuted in the US Top 1000 last year at Number 957. That’s fairly obscure, and yet everyone should recognize the name. It’s pretty and nickname-proof. Sylvie and Lyla sound like sisters.

Overall, I do like Sienna and Eden from your regular list. But if neither of those is The Name, I’m partial to Anya, Gemma, and Sylvie. If the pattern appeals to you, I really like the idea of Lyla and Anya together.

Over to you, readers – what would you name a sister for Lyla Brynn?

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


44 Responses to “Girl Baby Name Search: A Sister for Lyla”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

kaiajade Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 12:15 am

I really like Mabel. It’s got a great vintage feel and goes well with Lyla.

ElizabethF Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 2:02 am

I love the name Lyla. Suggestions-

Margo/t May
Norah May
Arietty (Ettie) May
Emilia May
Rosa May

saintdollface Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 2:51 am

With the middle name you could honor both your grandmother and father with Malou.

EloiseT Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 4:02 am

I like Sienna, Eden, Juliet, Margot or Mabel (but neither of last two with May/Mae, Catherine with either would be beautiful).


Lyla and:

Lucia (either “s” or “ch”) to honour your dad

LauraCMcNally Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 5:56 am

I think Margot would go well, it’s vintage and coming back into fashion but not too popular.

Jamie Cullum the musician has 2 daughters Lyra and Margot, which your Lyla reminded me of.

Gia.berry Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 7:46 am

I love Lucy and Anya best with Lyla and they both sound nice with middle name May/Mae. I also really like the suggestion of Margot, although I prefer Margo/Margaux spellings. From your list I like Sienna but I think Luciana is a good one too; it honours your father, is similar to Lucy, isn’t to common or too obscure and fits really well with Lyla.

tfzolghadr Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 8:19 am

Lyla and Mabel or Maeve… then you get Mae. Cora, Corrine, Adele, Daphne, Iris, Ivy, Stella, Esther, Estelle, Elise, Beatrice, Thea, Vera, Verity, Viola, Camille, all fit in that category for me…

JustBrowsing Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 9:13 am

If you like Sienna for its travel implications, I would recommend Vienna. Vienna May is a great fit imo.

morning_glory Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 9:33 am

Ooh, I like Lyla & Margot together!

tiannarose Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 9:55 am

When I read Sienna, it made Vienna come to mind for me too.
And one of your initial choices, Eden, is so beautiful with Lyla.
Also loving the suggested Juliet.

My Top 3

Lyla & Vienna
Lyla & Eden
Lyla & Juliet – although Juliet opens the door for nicknames…Julie is very meh for me, but Jules is cute.

sarah1800 Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 11:27 am

I like Eden, Gemma, Clara, and Lucy. I also think Mae is vintage/modern and great as a first (I know a really cute toddler Mae).

Ada Marie
Cora Mae
Etta Lucille
Eva Mae
Mae Luciana
Zoe Marie

NicoleTraylor Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 11:38 am


I like a lot of the suggestions on here! Love Margot, which seems to be a popular sufdestion. ☺

NicoleTraylor Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 11:39 am

And by sudfestion I meant suggestion. 😂

aliso Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 11:49 am

Hi Everyone,

This is Melissa. Thank you so much for your beautiful suggestions! Gemma was on out list for Lyla and Sylvie is very pretty and intriguing, too. One of the names we’d ruled-out has come back into play, and that name is “Tessa”. The only reason we had crossed it off our list is because our last name starts with a T is is two syllables. I wasn’t sure how the alliteration sounded. I would love to hear any thoughts on Lyla and Tessa.


baffled_jessica Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 12:19 pm

So my favorites from your list are Eden and Mae. Have you considered Mae/May as a first name? I feel like it has the vintage, nickname proof feel you’re looking for. I particularly like the combo Mae Lucianna. I also like Lucy, Anya and Gemma. As for the Tessa question, I don’t think the alliteration would be a problem. I really like Tessa Mae too.

sarah1800 Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 2:32 pm

I like Lyla and Tessa, and I think the alliteration is fine. I also like Tess.

mbr Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 2:50 pm

Hi Melissa,

I’m also Melissa and totally on your baby naming wavelength. I have a Leo and a Rose. Lyla is one of my all-time favorite names too!

I like Tessa with Lyla. I also currently have Tess on my own personal list. Here are a few others I’ve always loved:

Margot – nn Maggie
Collette – nn Coco

As far as alliteration goes, I’m all for it. My last name is an R so my Rose’s name is RR.

peach Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Your daughter’s name is very pretty. I second the suggestions of Gemma, Sylvie:
Gemma Eden
Gemma May
Gemma Lou
Sylvie May
Sylvie Claire

Some more names come to mind:
Rose: Rose Lou
Edie: Edie May
Maisie: Maisie Luciana
Wren: Wren Luciana
Marigold: Marigold Lou
Eve: Eve Luciana
Sibyl: Sibyl May

Anything appeal?

peach Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Personally I don’t care for the sound of first/last alliteration, especially with shorter names. I would prefer Therese “T—er”, to Tess but it would still make me pause.

jpruitt76 Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 3:53 pm

I think Maeve Catherine, Mae Catherine or Maisie Catherine would be lovely. I also like Lucy or Eden (or maybe Edie instead?).

mill1020 Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 4:27 pm

I think Mariel Charlotte would be nice for a sister to Lyla Brynn. Eden is also a good match.

arunciblespoon Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 7:17 pm

I like Margot, Alice and Lucy/Lucia and although Tessa is lovely, I don’t much like the alliteration. How about Anouk, Nora, Nell, Nina, Emily or maybe Hero?

jessiemay Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 8:00 pm

May and Lou are both lovely for middle names! My own middle name is May, however I’d lean towards Lou as May feels a bit overdone IMO. Luella, Luna, Mabel or Maple are also beautiful options. As for first names to go with Lyla……
Marlowe, Violet, Olive, Margot, Poppy, Harlow, Alba, Beatrix, Rumi, Juno, Ivy, Prairie, Eva, Audrey, Colette, Rosie, Maya, Goldie, Zadie, Phoenix, Freya, Etta, Clio, Xanthe, Birdie, Iris, Frankie, Florence, Scarlett, Odette, Arlo, Emmy, Sadie, Hazel. Hope there’s something helpful in there! Good luck XX

es378 Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 8:19 pm

I know a sibset of Lyla and Polly. I think that is very sweet. Polly is vintage but fits in with today’s trend, known but uncommon enough.

blackcatsmeow Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 8:32 pm

Really love the suggestion of Ivy, Ivy and Lyla sound like sisters to me.

My suggestions would be

Opal- Opal Mae or Opal Lucy seem like beautiful well grounded names. I love the imagary of this name as well, and feel it pair well with the imagery of both middle name options.

Briar- Only hesitation is that it’s similar to Brynn. But I think different enough that it won’t cause confusion. Briar has a both a fairy tale quaility, think Briar Rose, but also a well grounded modern sounding quality. It reminds me a great deal of Lyla in that regard.

Willa- A strong, beautiful name with some literary oomph. Willa Cather was a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1923, not a small feat for a woman of that time. One of the titles of one of her more famous books. The Song of the Lark, also makes me want to suggest Lark to you. Unrelated but I also think Wren would fit well inside your naming criteria.

Nessa or Ness. Like Tessa, but avoids the alliteration if that’s not your thing. Nessa is also just an extremely underused beauty of a name.

Would also second the idea of Thea as a name. Beautiful nickname proof, and while it does start with a T it has a different sound that Tessa so alliteration wouldn’t really be a thing!

Good luck and congratulations!

saoirse123 Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 8:33 pm

I really like Claire because it completely fits your first criteria, and it has a similar meaning to Luciano, so it subtly ties that grandfather in. I wouldn’t pick Clara because Lyla and Clara sounds weirdly close to me.

One name no one has suggested yet is Maya, which, with a bit of a stretch, could honor Maria and refer to the month of May. Lyla and Maya make a nice pair without matching.

I’d say Tessa T-er could work, although it really punches the Ts. So what about softer cousin Thea? That gives the double T initial without the punchy Tuh Tuh sound.

Here are a few others that could work

SweetPiper Says:

November 1st, 2017 at 9:30 pm

What about Maisie? Maisie and Lyla sound like sisters and you get that “may” sound in there too.

Maisie Kate
Maisie Catherine
Maisie Lou

HannahMali Says:

November 2nd, 2017 at 12:17 am

Congratulations 🙂 Lovely names! So many beautiful ones to choose from. It is so enjoyable picking a girl’s name.

Have you thought of Lilia? Or Lola? There is even Lula. A friend named her daughter Lula Iris.

Or Evelyn. Olivia Mae sounds nice too.

pretzelprincess7 Says:

November 2nd, 2017 at 8:05 am


I like Alice most, I’m currently in year 10 (grade 9 for you Americans aha) and I don’t hear it much.
I only know a couple of Alice’s, and none of which are newborn.

My suggestions are:


ARead Says:

November 2nd, 2017 at 2:05 pm

I love Sylvie or Eden from the namesage ‘s suggestions! If you love Tessa (which is very cute), I like pp’s suggestion of Nessa. Or perhaps Dessa/Odessa or another-essa name. Good luck!

zsazsa00 Says:

November 2nd, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Congrats on baby two! Here are some suggestions that came to mind:

Adeline May
Anita Mae

Also I like the idea of the May sound in the name with Luciana as a middle name.


I like Mavis Luciana best. Mavis has history but has fallen in the charts though it is sure to rise among the other blasts from the past like Margo / Iris/ Louisa ect. I love the V sound as its unique, and Mavis has the lovely meaning of “Songbird”, along with the hidden May meaning within the first sound.

Then I like Anita Mae and the Sage’s recommendation of Syvlie.

Also Lyla means “night” have you thought of looking into names that mean “day”. Some that I like is Dia (Spanish) and Dagny ( Scandinavian for “new day”) though those might be too out there for you based on your style.

Good luck.

elliroseanne Says:

November 2nd, 2017 at 8:50 pm

Audrey May

elliroseanne Says:

November 2nd, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Eloise (nn: Elle)

Jfoyo26 Says:

November 2nd, 2017 at 9:59 pm

I love May as a first name and feel it has the qualities you are looking for!

Lyla Brynn and May Catherine sound and look awesome as a sib set 🙂

Kjh446 Says:

November 3rd, 2017 at 10:43 am

I really like the suggestion of Sylvie. Lyla & Sylvie looks and sounds great. I like Sylvie May a lot!

What about:

Lyla Brynn and

Flora Mae
Daisy Lou
Eliza Mae
Willa Mae
Everly Mae
Ivy Mae
Violet Mae
Ellie Mae
Esme Lou
Grace Luciana
Penny Lou
Cora Mae
Betsy Mae
Frances Mae
Olive Luciana
Vera Mae
Rosie Mae
Sadie Luciana
Zola Mae

moraea Says:

November 3rd, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Nora, Cora, Thea, Ada, June, Ivy, Sadie, Penny, Audrey, & Etta. All except June work with May. Also, if you want to use Catherine why not go with a shorter version of it, like Kate, or an international variation that might make the classic seem more modern

JamiJae Says:

November 3rd, 2017 at 10:57 pm

As you’ve stated, you like names that are feminine and vintage with a modern twist. You have found this in your first daughter’s name, Lyla Brynn, which also happens to be a tribute name and that is something that you seem to be thinking to continue with your second daughter’s name as well. While the Sage’s suggestions are all nice, I have a few different ones that I feel fits your criteria just as well.

Anna- Anna is a short and sweet name that is virtually nickname proof. Anna means “grace” and ranked #51 last year. It fits in well with most of what you list.

Emma- Emma is an older name that is making a very strong come back. At the moment, it is booming, so it may be a little too common for your liking however I find that it hits the rest of your list quite well. Emma ranked #1 last year and means “universal”.

Nina- Nina is a name that has never really gone away, and currently ranks at #309, so it is not that common either. It means “priceless one” and since this will be your last baby that meaning is exceptionally potent.

Avis- Avis is another name that has been on the outskirts for what seems like forever. It is an older name that hasn’t exactly made a strong come back like Emma or stayed popular like Anna, but it seems to fit some of your criteria.

Delphine- Delphine has the feel of an older name, though it is relatively new when compared to Emma (at least in the US). Madame de Stael wrote the 1802 epistolary Delphine and that really brought the name into fashion in France. I really love how Lyla and Delphine sound together, both are very sophisticated names and together they sound like lovely sisters.

From that I’m sure you can guess that my vote goes toward Delphine, which would work well with both Catherine and May. Delphine Catherine and Delphine May are lovely and both get my vote, however another name on this list that would work well is Nina. Nina and Lyla are quite cute together. Nina May and Nina Catherine are both very strong names that fit in with your criteria.

Congratulations on your new little one, and good luck finding The Name! All the best. x

HannahMali Says:

November 4th, 2017 at 8:06 am

All the name suggestions are beautiful. Cannot wait to see what you pick for your little angel.

I forgot to add Lucienne (french, means light or illumination) or Eleanor. There is also Stella (means star) and Clara (means bright). Being a mother of two boys and a girl myself I wish you all the best! Xxx

vivibrown Says:

November 5th, 2017 at 10:22 am

Instead Sienna Mae/May, maybe Sierra? I like both but it sounds sweeter Sienna Mae/May. If you want more suggestions:
– Ella May
– Briella Mae
– Annie Lou
– June Luciana
– Ivory Mae
– Hanna Lou
– Izzy (from Isabelle/Isabella/Isobelle or just Izzy) May
– Amira Lou
– Aspen May

Vivienne married to Alexander, mother of Reese Mae and twin girls Rain Marie & Elle Roi.

heidijo Says:

November 5th, 2017 at 7:39 pm

I’m obsessed with Lyla & Lucy. It’s perfect! If Lucy is your style, I think that’s an excellent pick. Lyla & Lucy have a similar flow but are easily differentiated. I also like Lyla & Eden; Eden is short and sweet like Lyla, not too common and it has a lovely feel to it.

Lyla Brynn & Lucy June is probably my top pick.

Rebecca-K Says:

November 6th, 2017 at 6:14 am

Similar to Sienna, I think Sadie Mae sounds beautiful and would flow well with your (“T” starting and “er” ending) last name.

olivewinsburg Says:

November 6th, 2017 at 7:15 pm

I personally love the name Amelia or Juliet. I think Maeve Luciana is a beautiful name. With Sienna I think a great name would be Harper. Multiple authors have the name Harper and its a timeless choice. Plus, Harper May or Harper Lou is quite pretty. Good luck!

Christivsmomma2017 Says:

November 8th, 2017 at 5:52 am

I really love the names Aivyn (aven or Aden), Haivyn, Taivyn, I was actually gonna make my baby Taivyn, but I ended up loosing it and getting pregnant with my son 5 days later. I also like the names Lannie, lonnie, Lynnie (lynny), skylynn (skilynn), Shaylynn (Shaelynn, shailynn), Charlie, fayelynn (faelynn) , eedee (eedie, eedey), eevee (eevie, eevey) , ebony (Ebonee, ebonie, eboni), Aspen, iris, lirey (leerey), philis all for a baby girl. Hopefully I’ve given you a little to think about.

aliso Says:

February 9th, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Hi Everyone,

My baby girl was born on January 18th! My husband and I decided to name her Ivy Kathryn. The name Ivy came from the Name Sage’s suggestion in the blog post. My husband and I both thought it was lovely, and the name just stuck as the months went by until her birth. We decided to use the Kathryn spelling (using a “K” and “Y”) because it honors my middle name, Kay, and my Grandma Catherine’s preferred nickname, Katie.

Thanks for all of your help and suggestions!

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.