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Name Sage: Spirited Names for Rosie's Sister

Name Sage: Spirited Names for Rosie's Sister

Paige writes:

I am welcoming a second baby girl in February and having so much trouble with her name.

Her big sister is Rose Teresa,and goes by Rosie.

I can’t imagine loving another name as much as I love Rosie!

If I had to pick today, I would pick Lola - a name I love because it has the same girly, lighthearted vibe as Rosie and is equally unique without being too out there.

My big hesitation with Lola is the meaning – sorrow - and some associations with the name from pop culture.

Our last name is Rodriguez. I am leaning toward a middle name of either Grace or Elizabeth (family names). If baby was a boy, he would have been named Roman.

Please help!

The Name Sage replies:

Naming a firstborn is tough. Following up a great name like Rosie can feel even harder!

Here’s my take: Lola matches Rosie perfectly. I can picture them climbing trees or standing on the beach with surfboards. Sparky, feminine names with traditional roots and modern energy.

But Lola doesn’t match Rose as well. Rose is elegant and refined, a timeless name that suits a newborn or a neurosurgeon.

That’s not to say Lola can’t go to med school – of course she can! With your first daughter’s name, you get the best of both worlds. With Lola, you’re choosing one part of the name. It’s a great choice … just less versatile. Lola will always be Lola.

I think you have three good options:

Embrace Lola’s style. Sometimes recognizing an issue is enough to make it seem unimportant!

Lola may be nickname-proof, but it’s also a strong and distinctive. Trading off some flexibility for a great name shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Find a formal name for Lola. While Lola is traditionally associated with Dolores, it doesn’t have to be.

Lola could be short for Laura or Louisa or Louise. Or maybe Chloe, Marlo/Marlowe, or Paloma? I can even imagine Elizabeth or Isobel answering to Lola.

The other advantage to choosing a formal name? It sidesteps the meaning sorrow, since that’s attached to Dolores.

Start fresh. If neither of these options feels right, how about a new list?

These names won’t shorten to Lola, but they share some of the same qualities. Most of them offer a nickname option, like Rose/Rosie, too.

EVELYN

Call her Evie or Eva for short. It’s a tailored, traditional choice with a great meaning: wished for.

FRANCESCA

Another name with a great meaning – free. It’s also nickname-rich. Francesca could answer to boyish Frankie or retro Franny.

LIA

Any name ending in Lia could be a longer form. But Lia stands on its own, too. It’s a little bit like Lola, but maybe without the pop culture baggage?

LUCIA

A lovely and traditional name meaning light, Lucia might be called Lulu – a perfect sister name for Rosie.

MARIA

It doesn’t get much more classic than Maria. Mary and Marie work, too. Call her Mimi – or Mia or Mari or Mim – and this classic name becomes so very flexible.

TWYLA

It sounds like Luna and Stella were both favorites when you were naming Rosie. They’re popular choices now, but would you consider Twyla? Inspired by twilight, as well as legendary dancer Twyla Tharp, it’s a rarity – but a very wearable one.

My vote is for Paloma, shortened to Lola.

Paloma means dove, the symbol of peace - a great meaning.

Pablo Picasso’s daughter, Paloma Picasso, makes the name more broadly familiar. She’s a successful jewelry designer, known for her long-standing collaboration with Tiffany’s.

And the strong LO sound in Paloma makes Lola the logical nickname. Rose and Paloma; Rosie and Lola.

Please visit our forums to help Paige find the right name for Rosie’s sister!

About the Author

Abby Sandel

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.