Sister and Brother Names
by Pamela Redmond
Sister and brother names are female and male names that are so closely related they feel like (but aren’t always) variations of the same name.
In this age of gender fluidity, we see this happening more and more: girl names becoming more popular on the strength of a similar-sounding boys’ name, or boy names whose star rises on the stylishness of a girl name.
It doesn’t really matter, in the end, which gender’s popularity comes first. More and more, related male and female versions of a name rise hand-in-hand through the popular names charts.
Here, the newest brother and sister versions of stylish baby names:
What other brother-sister baby name pairs can you think of?
Pamela Redmond is the cofounder and CEO of Nameberry. With Linda Rosenkrantz, she is the coauthor of ten landmark books about names, including Beyond Jennifer & Jason and The Baby Name Bible. She has been widely quoted as an expert on baby names by such media outlets as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, and CNN. Along with Nameberry pieces analyzing baby name gender switches and predicting future name trends, Redmond is the author of the novel Younger, the basis for the hit TV show.
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on October 30th, 2012 at 1:31 am
We just found out baby #2 is a girl!! Our first is a boy and while we wanted to make sure their names are cohesive we didn’t want them so similar that they could get confusing (Julia and Julian, Oliver and Olivia etc) just a personal preference…
on October 30th, 2012 at 6:58 am
How on Earth is Finley considered a girls’ name?
on October 30th, 2012 at 7:01 am
@mrsmur Have you considered using a name with the same menaing as your son’s?
This list isn’t for actual brother and sister names- it’s just male and female names that relate to each other. You’ll be hard pressed to actually find a brother and sister duo named Oliver and Olivia.
on October 30th, 2012 at 7:36 am
I think this list is interesting for people who really love one gender specific name and find they are having a baby of the other gender. IE. I love Grace but am having a boy so Grayson might be a good alternative with it’s similar feel and sound.
However I agree with @Aurra the list isn’t a “brother-sister” list, and although that is what is say’s in the title I don’t think it really was intended to be either. Let’s face it I’m sure someone, somewhere has named their children Oliver and Olivia but I doubt that’s a frequent occurrence.
on October 30th, 2012 at 7:45 am
You’re absolutely right Lexie. I did say that but I guess not everyone got the message and the headline might have been misleading
on October 30th, 2012 at 8:47 am
Looking at my family tree I have an ancestor Elias who’s daughter is Elizabeth and in turn her son is Elias. I’ve always thought it was nice and wondered if the similarity in sound was intentional.
on October 30th, 2012 at 9:08 am
It’s funny how much I like one half of these pairs so much but dislike the other half so intensely! Ada yes, Aidan ick; Felicity bleh, Felix yay. I’ve always thought Gray was the better male form of Grace (I think it’s more gender neutral and attractive than either).
I think all these male names (except for the very biblical) are in danger of crossing the gender gap and being used more commonly for girls (cute names like Cory and Millie make it just so easy to “steal” Corbin and Miller for the ladies).
on October 30th, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Unfortunately, there are some parents who name their twins, Oliver and Olivia. Just wish they could have read this post before making their decision.
on October 30th, 2012 at 9:14 pm
Is Seren the female version of Soren, or is it cause they sound similar?
on October 15th, 2019 at 9:34 am
This list could be a great jumping-off point for gender-swapping honor names (one of my favorite naming practices). I would love to see a little Brooks named after his mama Brooke, or a little Ivy named after grandpa Ivan.
Pamela Redmond Said
on October 15th, 2019 at 5:19 pm
@beynotce That is a great point. I love that. Thank you.
Emma Waterhouse Said
on October 16th, 2019 at 2:31 pm
Hero and Hiro! I love the first, my husband loves the second. We both like the other but can’t quite picture that sound on the other sex. Sadly, it meant that we used neither!
on December 12th, 2019 at 5:08 pm
On my family tree, we have a set of twins named Vera Lenore and Vernon Leroy. Their brother was Wesley Dennis.
The twins’ names are a bit close for me, and their younger brother doesn’t seem to fit with them in my opinion. Oddly, the only name of the 6 I like is Wesley.
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