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Sibling Names: 3 P’s in a Pod?

Should Paisley and Palmer's sister also have a name starting with P?

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

Their children are named Paisley and Palmer. Now they’re expecting number three, and they’re asking themselves: to P or not to P with this sibling name?

Amanda writes:

My husband and I are expecting our third (and final) baby in September. We currently have two children, Paisley Raine and Palmer Reed, and are having a hard time answering the question everyone wants to know. Will new little sister’s name start with a P?

While both of our children share the initials PRM, it wasn’t intentional on our part. We just happened to fall in love both names. Part of me is afraid that little sister will feel left out if her name has different initials, but my husband feels differently.

We truly have no list at all. We like unique names, but nothing too crazy. I’m a teacher, so I like names that I don’t hear every year. My husband likes names with a Southern feel.

Thanks for your help!

The Name Sage replies:

Two kids with the initials P.R.M. is a coincidence. Three is a pattern, and perhaps an unbreakable one.

That means the first question has to be this: are you sure there’s no possibility of a fourth child in your future? Because if you name this kiddo Persephone or Philomena or Psalm, and then, two years from now, you’re expecting again, well … you’ve named yourself into a corner.

But if a fourth child is snowstorm-in-the-desert unlikely, then I would suggest you begin your search with the letter P. Should you exhaust your options without finding a favorite – or, if you stumble on another name you love every bit as much – then don’t talk yourself out of it just because it changes your pattern.

What goes with Paisley and Palmer?

Regardless of initials, their sister’s name should be modern and bright, and maybe slightly unisex, too.

Starting with the letter P first:

Paget – It’s cousin to 90s favorite Paige. Paget Brewster, star of Criminal Minds, put it on the list of possibilities for girls. While it remains rare, Paget would fit right in with Scarlett and even Violet.

ParisEven if you’ve never been to France, there’s something romantic about Paris. It brings to mind Hilton and Gellar, of Gilmore Girls fame, but I think the allure of the city is greater still.

Paxton – While Paxton is used in much greater numbers for boys, it’s worth noting that Pax was the Roman goddess of peace. That makes this name potentially unisex.

Piper – I think this is the perfect name for Paisley and Palmer’s sister. It might be slightly more familiar than you’d like. And yet, it’s far from the Top Ten. While it feels unisex in style, like Paisley, it’s used almost exclusively for girls. And Paisley, Palmer, and Piper are just fun to say together.

Pippa Piper always makes me think of Pippa. It’s more like Tessa than Paisley, a name that’s grounded in the past. It’s quite rare in the US, and has an upbeat, bouncy rhythm that helps it fit with Paisley.

Poppy –Nature names are popular. So are color ones, especially those representing the color red. I’ll bet you’ve taught a Lily and a Ruby – or two! – in recent years. Poppy combines the best of both, a vibrant red flower. But it’s not nearly as common as many similar choices.

Moving on to the rest of the alphabet:

Gentry – Because your husband loves a Southern name, I wonder if Gentry would appeal? It describes wealthy landowners, but meaning-wise, it’s a cousin to gentle, as in ladies and gentlemen.

Hadley – It’s another surname name that sounds unisex, but is actually much more common for girls, just like Paisley. Hadley Hemingway was the author Ernest’s first wife.

Marlowe – Sleek and modern Marlowe is the kind of name I’m always surprised I don’t hear more often. But that means you can choose it and be confident it won’t repeat in your classroom.

Remy Paige – What if you flipped the initials? I think Remy hits the modern and Southern notes exactly right. And while Paige is awfully close to Paisley as a first name, I think it makes a great middle paired with Remy.

My favorites are Piper and Poppy, assuming you want to continue the P theme. But I also love Remy Paige. It flips the initials – RPM instead of PRM – but it’s still the same letters, which might be a good compromise between sticking with the theme or starting fresh.

Should they choose another P name, or move on?

  1. AGo with three Ps in a pod!
  2. BUse a P name only if it’s your favorite.
  3. CMove on … three is too much.
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About the author

Abby

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.
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15 Responses to “Sibling Names: 3 P’s in a Pod?”

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CarolAnn Says:

June 17th, 2019 at 11:43 pm

I’ll add
Pallas (love this!)
Penny (love this too)
Preston
Pascal
Petra
Abby’s idea of flipping initials is great and Remy is fabulous with Palmer and Paisley!

stepx Says:

June 18th, 2019 at 6:40 am

We have this problem but only for the first name. I have an older son with an “A” first name…then we had twins both with “A” names…and now another one is due. And I think we aren’t going to go with another “A” name. But we did think about it. Will the new boy feel strange as the only non “A” guy in the family? I honestly don’t think so. Id just pick the name you like the best.

tarahble Says:

June 18th, 2019 at 6:50 am

I am one of 3 kids and my mom fell into this same situation, she didn’t want me to feel left out and they just sort of fell into a pattern.
My parents had 2 names picked out for each of my siblings, not finding out the sex of the baby until birth. It just so happened that both names they chose for my siblings started with T and were five letters long. So once I arrived they decided to do the same thing for me.

As the youngest with a bit of an age gap I think it was nice growing up having this connector. On the other hand (and there’s no REAL way of knowing this) I don’t think I would have cared if I had a different first initial. And being the youngest I probably would have felt special being unique.

As for the names. I think PIPER is the clear winner from the above advice (that’s if you want to continue the pattern).

Other names:
Parker (like Parker Posey)
Peyton/Payton
Polly
Posey/Posie/Posy
Collins
Darcy
Devin/Devon/Devyn
Kit

beynotce Says:

June 18th, 2019 at 7:27 am

Even in the desert, it snows once in awhile! I think that it’s best to release yourself from this pattern, both so you feel free to choose names you really love, and in the case that there is a fourth child that comes along. I know several families where the older two children share an initial but the younger doesn’t. I don’t think you’re in any danger of making this child feel left out. If anything, they’re just as likely to feel special to have a monogram all their own!

Liberty_Bell Says:

June 18th, 2019 at 9:28 am

Primrose, one name that encapsulates the P and the R and the Rose has a similar nature feel to Reed and Raine.

jpruitt76 Says:

June 18th, 2019 at 10:10 am

My preference is for each child to have their own first initial, but since that ship has sailed I personally would go for symmetry and choose another P name (three Ps in a pod is a darling way to reference them) UNLESS you think you’ll have more kids. If so, now is your chance to change course.

I really like Piper for you. Phoebe, Poppy, Paige or Penelope/Penny are also good choices. I could get behind Paget as well.

I also *love* Remy Paige for you. If you had a fourth they could also have RP initials.

jpruitt76 Says:

June 18th, 2019 at 10:10 am

Another P name that I like for you: Perrin, nn Peri

Bobcat108 Says:

June 18th, 2019 at 12:10 pm

I like the idea of reversing the initials & think that Remy fits quite well. Rather than using Paige as the middle, though, I’d take one of the Name Sage’s first name suggestions & go w/Remy Paget.

Other R-beginning names that might work:

Romilly
Roxy
Reilly
Ruby
Rowan
Romy

Or, if you’d like to stick w/the first initial being P but have a different sound, there are Ph-beginning names that fit w/Paisley & Palmer:

Phoebe
Phaedra
Philippa (w/the bonus nn of Pippa)
Phanya
Phirah

Good luck!

kennamoon Says:

June 19th, 2019 at 12:31 am

I don’t think Paisley and Paige are close at all!! They would make great names for sisters.

My favorite off of the list is Piper! Paisley, Palmer & Piper sounds just right to me. My second favorite is Paris.

I also wanted to suggest

Paisley, Palmer & Phoebe Ramona M
Paisley, Palmer & Piper Raquel M
Paisley, Palmer & Perry Renee M
Paisley, Palmer & Peri Delaney M
Paisley, Palmer & Pilar Raya M

This may be too out there but I also think Pharo would be a cool and different name that goes with the popularity of royal names.
Pharo Quinn maybe?

niteowl13 Says:

June 19th, 2019 at 10:27 am

Flipping the initials is a fabulous idea!
R suggestions: Rae – or if you want something longer there’s Rayanne or Raelynn, very Southern sounding
River, Rory, Riley and Rowan are unisex, if you like something tomboyish
I’m not a big fan of Remy, but what about the nick name Romy? Rosemary sounds cute with Paisley and Palmer.

SomedayMommy Says:

June 19th, 2019 at 2:46 pm

From NameSage’s list, my favorite ‘P’ name is Piper. I also love the suggestion of flipping the initials and I think Remy Paige is a great fit as a sibling to Paisley & Palmer (great names, BTW!).

To add my 2 cents, my favorite ‘P’ name for a girl is Payson. I fell in love with it years ago and I intend to use it for my 2nd daughters name should I ever conceive her. I’ve only met one child named Payson so I think it would meet your uncommon criteria. And I think Payson Reese sounds great together.

Additionally, if you do decide to flip the initials, a few names I think would fit well are:

Rory Parker
Raleigh Paige
Rowan Pearl

Kbee Says:

June 21st, 2019 at 8:50 pm

Perrianne or Peregrine (nn Peri ?)
Payton (has a southern feel)
Posey
Pixley (we have a friend who named her daughter this – adorable!)
Paige (perhaps too common or close to Paisley?)
Pembry or Pemberley or Pemberlyn
Preston

R names:
Ruby
Rhea
Raelyn (or Raylin or Rylin)
Racine

Non-P names…
Clarabelle
Scarlett
Hattie / Hadley
Liberty (nn Libby?)

In fact hyphenating any name feels very southern to me for some reason (ie Scarlet-Rose, Ella-Mae, etc)

DarceyDaisy Says:

June 22nd, 2019 at 3:47 am

Is carry the theme only if you found a match that you loved. If you fall for another name outside of the theme, I don’t think it should be dismissed.

Saying that, my first thought of a perfect P southern feel name is Peyton!!!

I think Paisley, Palmer and Peyton all have an individual sound, but make the perfect sibset!!!

Also like the middle Roux (Roo/Rue) Peyton Roux M I looove!

Good luck!

bluedanube Says:

June 23rd, 2019 at 7:28 pm

Piper, Primrose, Pearl, and Penny are my favorites from Abby and the comments! Primrose and Pearl feel espcecially Southern to me, but perhaps more old fashioned than Paisley and Palmer. I think Piper fits right in, and Primrose is different enough to feel unique even though it has the same first initial. Prudence could also be an option, and the nickname Pru is super cute IMO.

There’s a bit of a nature theme going with the middles (Reed & Raine), and the ones I like from the comments are Ruby, Rowan/Roan, and Rose, but none of those feel quite right to me.

flamingo Says:

June 25th, 2019 at 8:09 pm

I think regardless of which name you choose, number 3 shouldn’t be a P. It will actually make each of the three names stand out for itself, since they won’t be this ‘inseparable’ unit of ‘P’s.’

Paisley, Palmer and Marlowe sound nice – they each have a different ending sound.
Paisley, Palmer and Rowan have a nice vibe also.
Paisley, Palmer and Sadie cold be cute.
Paisley, Palmer and Frankie sounds really good also.

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