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Sibling Names: Unusual Baby Names with Great Meanings

They love Larkin, but what to name her brother?

They found the perfect name for their daughter – different, but not weird, and with a great meaning. But now they’re expecting a boy. Can lightning strike twice? Let’s see if we can help!

Heidi writes:

I’m due with baby number two (a boy!) in about a month, and still haven’t found even a short list of names that my husband and I can agree on.

Part of the issue is that our daughter’s name, Larkin, feels hard to pair with a sibling name.

We love the name Larkin for many reasons. First, it’s uncommon. Three years later we haven’t met another Larkin. Meanwhile, it’s easy to pronounce and spell. We also like the meaning (fierce), and also the meanings of the word Lark found within (a happy songbird or a whimsical adventure).

We would love to find a boy name that has some of those same qualities. Any ideas or advice?

The Name Sage replies:

I have a theory that it’s often harder to name your second – or third or fourth – child than it is your first. Larkin could have been Ava or Beatrice or Marlowe or Gertrude or Lyric or Fern. Your choices were wide open.

Now? It’s about more than finding the name you love. It’s about finding a name you love that happens to go with Larkin.

Or … not. Contrast works, too. I love Savannah Guthrie’s children’s names: the poetic and unexpected Vale for her daughter, and the far more traditional Charley for her son.

Larkin’s brother could be Henry or William or James. It’s not unusual for parents to favor a different style of name for a son.

But there’s something to be said for limiting your options. Since you love Larkin for your daughter, let’s see if we can find some fresh options that you’ll like every bit as much for your son.

Bridger – This one sounds rugged and outdoorsy, possibly thanks to legendary frontiersman Jim Bridger. Plenty of places in the Mountain West bear his name. But bridges can also symbolize connection and change, appealing ideas that lend Bridger a little bit of a virtue vibe. It currently ranks Number 944 in the US, making it a little more common than Larkin, but still unexpected.

Callahan – The name of an ancient Irish king, Callahan carries an auspicious meaning: bright-headed. It has a strong sound, too, and the easy nickname option Cal. It seems easy to spell and pronounce, while still being rare as a given name – that elusive combination of familiar, but seldom heard.

EverestNaming your son after the highest mountain signals achievement, but also respect for the natural world. It’s very close to the popular boys’ name Everett, but Everest remains well outside of the current US Top 1000.

Fraser – Also spelled Frasier and Frazier, this Scottish surname has debated origins. Some tie it to the French word for strawberry, but I think the strongest association is the Fraser Fir, named for a famous botanist and often used as a Christmas tree. Evergreen trees have long been considered symbols of life. It’s a common surname, but rare as a first.

Lennon How do you feel about another L name? Lennon is more common than Larkin – it ranks Number 445 for girls and Number 667 for boys. – but it’s still far from Liam or Noah. While it probably comes from a word meaning cape, others connect it to sweetheart or blackbird. And, of course, the legacy of John Lennon adds another layer of meaning to the name.

Torin – An Irish name, Torin means chief. It’s a name that rules, but feels more subtle than Royal or Reign. While it’s never appeared in the US Top 1000, I can imagine it wearing every bit as well as Larkin.

Walker – Like Lennon, Walker is more common than you might like. It ranked Number 314 last year. But Walker feels strong and energetic, at home on the range or on a college campus. As a surname, it referred to someone who “walked” on wool cloth to clean and thicken it. Today, it brings to mind someone who’s going places.

Wilder Wilder is a fast-rising new favorite, currently ranked Number 573. And yet, it’s a perfect name for Larkin’s brother. It carries a subtle nod to the wild outdoors, while still feeling like a polished choice. Famous Wilders range from author Thornton to actor Gene, but it remains relatively rare as a given name.

Overall, my favorites are Bridger, Everest, and Wilder. They’re easy to pronounce and spell, but you’re not likely to meet one at the local playground. Choosing Wilder might mean turning the dial up on popularity, but it’s still far from common. Everest, on the other hand, might seem more clearly borrowed from the natural world than the other two.

I think any of them would pair wonderfully well with Larkin, but I know I have a clear favorite. Let’s see if others agree.

What should they name Larkin's brother?

  1. ABridger
  2. BEverest
  3. CWilder
  4. DSomething else - see my comment!
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32 Responses to “Sibling Names: Unusual Baby Names with Great Meanings”

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katinka Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 2:50 am

Larkin is great! I voted for Wilder but Everest feels like a lovely fit too.

How do you feel about Hart? It’s a powerful, mystical nature name, but also a homophone of “heart”, so might strike the same fierce/friendly balance.

Sha Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 6:10 am

Larkin & Callahan
Larken & Lennox
Larkin & Lennon
Larkin & Hendrix

Sha Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 6:15 am

*Larkin & Lennox
Larkin & Callum

jpruitt76 Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 7:51 am

I think Callahan (or Callum) would be great for you!

Others:

Griffin
West
Burke
Tate
Jasper
Tobin

annieinred Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 8:08 am

Torin sounds really good, actually!

benjamelissa Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 8:22 am

I 2nd Torin. Also, I suggest Soren, Callan and Jamin.

elizabethkt Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 9:23 am

Boone-“a blessing”
Easy to spell, easy to pronounce.
Another similar option is Beau.

ksteph14 Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 9:39 am

I love Bridger, but I second Boone! It’s perfect with Larkin.

niteowl13 Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 10:38 am

Ooh – I love elizabethkt’s suggestions
I would think another Irish, surname, nature type name would suit…
Suggestions: Reed, Vaughn, Emrys, Wells, River, Noble, Beckett or Breccan

Yuma Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 11:17 am

@niteowl13 Larkin & Emrys would be great! I also love Boone

Abby Sandel Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 12:19 pm

@elizabethkt – LOVE Boone! That’s a great suggestion.

And as of right now, my favorite is ahead in the poll – Wilder!

sarah1800 Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 1:37 pm

I like Wilder and Callum (dove). I’ll add Barrett (bear), Fisher, Heath, and Skylar (scholar).

sarah1800 Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 1:51 pm

One more— Wade. Good luck!

vivi_simone Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 2:11 pm

Callahan
Callum
Reed
Boone

Myn Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 3:50 pm

I am not a huge fan of ER names, other than a select few. My vote of those brought up would be Torin.

Suggestions:

Ambrose (immortal one): maybe but to twist to mean one who matters in others lives. I think it is unique but recognizable and has the more gender neutral feel that Larkin has

Felix: (fortunate): I know this is more common in latin based communities, but I’ve personally never met anyone named Felix. And Larkin and Felix just sound like siblings.

Franz: (Free), I think fierceness and freedom go hand in hand. It is recognizable without ever being popular but is Eastern European royalty. I like how Franz and Larkin sound together.

CocoaPuff Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 3:55 pm

I am not a fan of Wilder. I voted for Everest.

Animesailor8 Says:

November 7th, 2018 at 5:38 pm

Larkin and Lennox

Love the suggestions of Lennox, sounds like a true sibling pair!

Kara Says:

November 8th, 2018 at 5:54 am

Atlas
Calder
Lysander
River
Shiloh
Truman

owllover96 Says:

November 8th, 2018 at 11:31 am

Larkin and…

Flynn
Dawson
Shepherd
Leland
Maverick
Wells
Ferris
Calloway
Huxley
Hawkins
Atlas
Hayes
Jasper
Rupert

Eizariya Says:

November 8th, 2018 at 2:28 pm

I like Bridger, but Boone seems like a great option. I like that they have different sounds but match well.

ElleEm12 Says:

November 8th, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Kit

GoogleChrome Says:

November 8th, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Callahan

88Jess88 Says:

November 8th, 2018 at 4:48 pm

I love Callahan for a brother of Larkin. They both have Irish roots and have a shared “l” and hard “k” sound to them, which really tie the names together, without them feeling matchy.

kirsi_jona Says:

November 9th, 2018 at 12:38 am

Flynn or Reed!

nursesaide Says:

November 9th, 2018 at 7:45 am

I lile what others mention. Boone and Griffin fit the sibset and sound perfect.

SouthernPeach Says:

November 9th, 2018 at 9:10 am

I love Boone!!! Also, Shepherd is amazing! + it has nn options…

Larkin & Boone

or

Larkin & Shepherd

WrenEloise Says:

November 9th, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Abby’s top three off of her list were also mine. An awesome group of suggestions — Wilder makes me think of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who I love. I also like Wiley or Wylie with Larkin, for a spin.

The first name that came to my mind with Larkin was Thatcher. I’ve always loved it. It reminds me of thatched roofs and taverns a la Shakespearean England.

The suggestions of Boone and Shepherd above are also stellar. The subtle softness of Shepherd has always appealed to me.

Much like Larkin, I am drawn to names with a less overt nature feel. Bayard, and short version Bay, is a nice fit. Though not nature name-y, Sayor might appeal. Sage, for a boy, could work. Another option that is nature focused is Dune!

Abby’s mention of Savannah Guthrie’s children had me thinking that Vale doesn’t need to be just a girl name, and it’s rather wonderful with Larkin. Valor, too, is great if you’re more into virtues.

To summarize:

Wiley/Wylie
Boone
Shepherd
Thatcher
Sayer
Bayard
Sage
Vale
Valor
Dune

Erin Beth Says:

November 10th, 2018 at 1:49 am

I love the suggestion of Callahan for you! I think it sounds great with the sister name without being matchy.

Kjh446 Says:

November 11th, 2018 at 8:01 am

How about Inigo? a bit different to the other names suggested here but I love it with Larkin, the meaning “Fiery” is also lovely.
Also really like Kasper (meaning treasurer), Kieran, Kipper, Kenzo (meaning strong & healthy)

Good luck!

Kjh446 Says:

November 11th, 2018 at 8:30 am

Also wanted to add Branigan or Branagan, as the sound and meaning “little Raven” seems to go very well with Larkin 🙂

Anotherkate Says:

November 12th, 2018 at 8:54 pm

I really like Fraser, Torin, Callum (or similar) and Reid…. Larkin and Reid are pretty cool together, same with Larkin and Thatcher. Good luck!

ericanichole Says:

December 5th, 2018 at 10:05 am

I like Larkin and Archer.
Or Larkin and Finch, if you still like the bird theme.
Larkin and Pax. (Pax is Latin for peace. Peace and happiness c: )
Larkin and Ash.
Larkin and Rys.
Larkin and Nolan.
Larkin and Wren.

Somebody up there said Valor. Larkin and Valor sounds amazing. When they’re little, its really really cute. And when they’re older, very dignified.

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