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BROTHER AND SISTER

Lydia and Oliver have a son named Archer, and a daughter named Cleo – Lydia found the blog quite helpful when they were choosing Cleo’s name. They didn’t plan to have more children, but are expecting another girl next month. Now they feel at something of a loss when it comes to names.

The two front runners at the moment are Edie and Quinn. Lydia has been thinking about Edie and loving it ever since she found she was pregnant, while Quinn is a recent name love which seems cute and sassy, like Cleo. Lydia wonders if Quinn is feminine enough for a girl, although she has been tracking it in birth announcements on the blog, and believes that its use skews more towards the pink end of the spectrum.

Other names that have been considered are Amelie nn Millie (she worries that it would constantly get turned into Emily, just as Cleo is often mistakenly called Chloe), Milla nn Millie, and Lexie. Lydia loves the name Holly, but their one-syllable surname ends with an OW sound (eg Bough), and Oliver says Holly Bough sounds too much like “Holy Cow”. Lydia wonders whether it does really?

Oliver likes the names Alice, Zoe, Molly, and Elle/Ellie, but Lydia has vetoed all of them. She thinks that Cleo and Elle sound odd as sisters, as they are both titles of women’s magazines. Lydia likes the name Eve, but a friend has a daughter of this name, and she’d feel bad about forcing her to name-share, although that wouldn’t stop her if it was the clear favourite.

The middle name will probably be a family name, maybe Joy or Hannah, although they’re not sure yet. Lydia feels that once they have selected the name, the middle name will slot into place pretty naturally.

Lydia would ideally like a name that’s ahead of the curve that won’t be confused with other names, loves names that either start or end with a vowel, names that can be shortened to an -ee sound nickname (eg Quinnie), likes the letter X, and fancies a name starting with E, so the children’s initials would spell ACE, but these are just nice-to-haves rather than must-haves.

Lydia wonders what people think of Edie and Quinn, and if there are any other names that would suit a sister for Archer and Cleo?

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I think Edie is a great choice which seems to tick pretty much all of your boxes. It’s fashionable and spunky like Cleo, and has a relaxed casual feel like Archer. It also seems a bit like Oliver’s choice of Ellie, and would sound great with the middle name Joy, if you end up using it.

The only drawback that occurs to me is that a mum who wrote in to the blog last year said that she had a daughter named Edie, and people often misread it or mispronounced it as Eddie – maybe they thought it was short for Edwina? I’m only mentioning that because you said you would prefer a name that didn’t get mistaken for other names, although it seems as if many shortish girls’ names get muddled (as an Anna who gets called Hannah or Emma, I think most get used to it).

Quinn is also a great choice – it’s sleek and modern, and in a similar style to Archer and Cleo. I think make sure that you feel comfortable saying and calling Cleo and Quinn together on a regular basis, because although they look very different, they start with the same sound.

The only data I have for the name Quinn is the 2012 complete data from Victoria, and that shows Quinn to be fairly evenly unisex – 24 girls named Quinn, and 30 boys. That tallies with my own observations, because I quite often see a girl named Quinn and a boy named Quinn in the same week of birth notices. (Girl Quinns have been selected for the Birth Announcements on the blog more often than boys, as they tend to have more stylish or interesting middle names). I think it seems suitable for either sex.

Holly -ow did not particularly sound like Holy Cow to me – it reminded me more of Holly Bough, which is why I selected Bough as your fill-in surname. The trouble is, no matter what anyone else says, if Oliver hears it as Holy Cow, he’s probably always going to hear it as Holy Cow, so I think it has to be crossed off as a possibility.

Here are some other names which might appeal:

Eden
I thought this might work with Edie as the nickname. It’s clean and modern like Quinn, unisex but more obviously feminine in usage, associated with Eve, and sounds nice with Joy as the middle name. It’s popular, but still at the bottom of the Top 100, and is on the upswing without rising rapidly. Is this too religious or too gardeny for you?

Millie
You seem really keen on Millie, but can’t quite find the right name to get there, while Oliver has Molly as one of his favourites. Millie is so spunky and stylish, and I think Archer, Cleo and Millie sound wonderful together. If you are considering Edie as a stand-alone name, why not Millie?

Minnie
Millie + Quinnie = Minnie? This is an extremely cute name that’s super sassy – it’s so ready for a comeback, and is already doing well in the UK.

Romy/Romie
This is such a hip little name, and I think it makes a great match with Cleo. It has the same syllable sounds as Zoe, which Oliver likes.

Roxy/Roxie
If you like Lexie, how do you feel about Roxie? To me it has that same sassy feel as Cleo.

Hallie
This short form of Harriet is in line with Holly, Molly, Ellie, and Millie, and like Cleo, is a vintage choice which seems fresh and contemporary. I’m wondering if Hallie -ow still sounds like another phrase to Oliver, though.

Heidi
Reminds me of both Holly and Hannah. I hope Oliver doesn’t hear it as sounding too much like “hide a cow”, or “cowhide”.

Hazel
Somehow this pretty name reminds me of both Holly and Zoe, and if you used Zellie as the nickname, might seem like Ellie without being too run of the mill. It seems like an interesting and unexpected match with Archer and Cleo, although like Quinn it doesn’t follow the pattern of beginning or ending with a vowel.

Winnie
You love the sound of Quinnie, so how about Winnie? It’s ahead of the curve and just adorable.

Xanthe
It’s got an X, but it doesn’t have an X sound – is that a problem? I think it sounds lovely with Cleo.

It sounds as if you really love both Edie and Quinn, and either one of those names could very well be your perfect choice. Even if a name seems to have a few little niggles, it’s best to follow your heart rather than look for something which looks perfect on paper, but doesn’t feel right.

Readers, what do you think of Edie or Quinn as a sister to Archer and Cleo? And what other names could be suitable?

UPDATE: The baby’s name was Edie!

POLL RESULT: Edie was the public’s top choice for the baby’s name, receiving 16% of the vote, and Eden, with the nickname Edie, was only just behind. Quinn received half as many votes, with 8%.

(Painting by Pino Daeni)

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