To clear up any misunderstanding, let me say straight off that these are not literally sister and brother names — you would decidedly NOT want to name your children Oliver and Olivia or Seren and Soren.
What we’re talking about are names themselves that are closely related, male and female versions of names with similar sounds and feels, too close to bestow on actual siblings but offering parents boys’ and girls’ choices of what are virtually if not literally the same names.
We’ve written a lot recently about unisex names — the same name used for both genders, like Rory or Emerson — and we’ve also touched on the recent phenomenon of boys’ names that have risen to popularity on the coattails of their trendy sisters: Emmett from Emma, for instance, or Everett from the Eve contingent.
That can work the other way too, with a fashionable boys’ name inspiring the rise of a similar-sounding sister name. In fact, does it really matter which gender’s popularity comes first? We see a lot of trendy names these days with both female and male counterparts, so that if you’re attracted to a certain sound or style, you can use whichever version of the name fits your baby’s gender.
But others don’t share an origin and developed separately, only to be connected at this point in baby name history by their similar feel and the desire on the part of parents for baby name parity, even if they’re not interested in using unisex names.
We focused on popular names here, most of them in the U.S. Top 400, but you’ll find similar male-female pairs all the way down the list.