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Sibling Names: 3 P’s in a Pod?

June 17, 2019 Abby Sandel

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.

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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