Baby Girl Tennis-with-a-Gr, Sister to J@ck J0seph

Hi Swistle! My husband and I are expecting our second (and likely final) child in February. It’s a girl. We have a two year old son named J@ck J0seph. His first name is one of the few we agreed on, and his middle name is a family name on my husband’s side. Our last name rhymes with ‘tennis’ but starts with Gr.

We like fairly traditional/ preppy names that easy to pronounce and spell. I’m fine with classic/ popular but not so much trendy/ popular names. If baby was a boy we likely would have named him Reid or Graham. For a while I thought we were set on Evelyn and then in a week’s time I swear I met/heard about five different Evelyns and it made me doubt our choice. Now we’re having trouble even generating a list of enough girl names we like. Boy names were so much easier for me!


Evelyn (bonus that it was my great grandmother’s name)- We can’t agree on what we would call her. Evvie? Evie?

Elise- this is growing on me

Amelia- this was my favorite for a long time, but it has risen in popularity since then and husband is lukewarm

Claire- I would say this is a clear 4th choice, behind the other 3


Possible middle names:

Rebecca- my middle name

Elizabeth- family name on husband’s side


I think I’m still leaning towards Evelyn Elizabeth or Evelyn Elise (I like the double E’s since our son is double J’s, but it’s not necessary). Do you have other suggestions for us? Thank you- I promise to send an update!


The rise of the name Evelyn has been interesting to me. I have an aunt named Evelyn, so I’d mentally grouped the name with other names (Nancy, Carol, Barbara, Deborah) that were still being actively used by the mothers/grandmothers and so weren’t yet ready to come back around for new babies. It’s more typical for names to sound good right around the time everyone who had the name last time has, er, departed. But Evelyn broke away from the pack and came back early.

Well, or maybe not actually early: although I do have an aunt named Evelyn, the name last peaked in the U.S. in 1915, when it entered the Top Ten for one single year. It dropped pretty steadily after that, settling into the 200s rankings in the 1970s-80s. Then:

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Hello! Back for another round! Evelyn is a nice old name, and I think it’s great with J@ck. I think you could wait and see how the nickname works itself out, unless there is a nickname you actively dislike. I love your idea of doing double initials again; I’d vote for Elizabeth since that’s the family name. J@ck J0seph and Evelyn Elizabeth.

Claire is my own top favorite from your list, but I’m less enthusiastic about it if it’s well behind the other three for you. Do you like Clara any better? J@ck and Clara, very nice.

I’m less fond of Elise, but it’s hard to put a finger on why. I’m not crazy about the repeated S ending of Elise _ennis, that’s part of it.

Let’s see if we can come up with a few more names to consider. I like the idea of her sharing your middle name. Just for fun I was going to see if I could come up with a list of repeating-initial names in the right style, but I only found Rose and maybe Rosemary, and J@ck and Rose is probably too much Titanic. More first-name options to consider:

Eleanor. It has the rhythm of Evelyn, the El- of Elise, and a nice assortment of nicknames. J@ck J0seph and Eleanor Elizabeth.

Abigail. Along the lines of Amelia. I love the sound of J@ck and Abby.

Eliza. I love it with J@ck. Rules out Elizabeth as the middle. People differ on this, but I love the sound of a repeated -a first/middle: Eliza Rebecca.

Molly. Some of the sounds of Amelia. J@ck J0seph and Molly Rebecca.

Cora. One of my friends has a daughter named Cora, and it strikes me pleasantly every time I hear it. J@ck J0seph and Cora Elizabeth.

Lydia. This name, like Evelyn, surprised me by coming back into style before I’d expected it to. J@ck J0seph and Lydia Rebecca.

I also like the idea of naming her both of the family middle-name options: Elizabeth Rebecca. J@ck J0seph and Elizabeth Rebecca. That’s just PACKED with classic.




Name update:

Hi Swistle- You helped us with some name ideas for our baby girl back in November. I was really encouraged by all the positive feedback for Evelyn Elizabeth and we felt confident that was her name. But then- literally the same day that you posted our question- long distance friends had a baby and named her Evelyn. What are the odds?  So we had to decide how much that mattered to us, especially since we rarely see them. I loved your suggestion of Eliza and really tried to sway my husband. But in the end, we just couldn’t shake the feeling that she was meant to be named Evelyn Elizabeth- and it suits her perfectly. So far we’ve been calling her a mix of Evelyn, Evvie, and Ev. Thanks for all your help!

36 thoughts on “Baby Girl Tennis-with-a-Gr, Sister to J@ck J0seph

  1. Ash

    I went through my baby names list- these are names I jot down if they are unique or that I could go through once I have a second child so I searched for “E” names for you. On my list are Emsley and Elsie/Elsey. However neither one of those sounds good with your potential middle names. I do think the middle names are going to make it hard to find a first name. I do know of an Evelyn nicknamed Evie. She has siblings Maeve and Tillie if either of those strike your fancy!

    What about Eden or Emersyn?

  2. Bri

    I had to laugh at your suggestions, Swistle, because I have an Abigail (Abby), a Molly, AND a Cora! I can personally vouch for all three names as solid choices ;)

  3. TheFirstA

    I really like the idea of a double initial, but I als prefer the idea of Rebecca for the middle since your sons middle came from dads side of the family. I would probably avoid Rosa because of Titanic but I think a rose variation could work. Rosalie, Rosanne, etc. I’ll also add Ruby to the list. I love the cadence of Ruby Rebecca!

    But if you can’t find another R name you lie, I leans towards something the works with Rebecca. Lucy, Gemma, Paige, Alice

  4. Cara

    What about Roslyn Rebecca? Similar ending to Evelyn, but lets you have a double initial if you wanted to use your middle name.

  5. Kerri

    I love Amelia so much! It’s not even in the top 1,000 though, are you hearing it a lot where you live to make the comment about popularity? I vote for Amelia :)

  6. Kelsey D

    I really like Evelyn. Both the name Evelyn and Evie are so cute. We had the same problem when naming our son. The only name we could agree on was Oliver, but we weren’t super nuts on the popularity of it. We ultimately had to decide what was more important – how much we loved the name or going with a name we liked less but was also less popular. Ultimately we choose to stick with the name – we’ve met people who know an Oliver but we so far haven’t actually come into another one. Plus Evie is super cute.

    Do you like Eleanor? Ellie or Nora are cute.

    These two names make me think of Margot or Margaret. Jack and Maggie are super sweet together.

    Do you like Emilia better? This spelling is a little less popular and to me, it also has a bit different feel than Amelia.

    What about Ruth or Beth?

    We also have a Rose. Do you care for that name, or some variation? Rosa or Rosalie or Rosamund or Rosalind. We are really happy with Rose. It’s a common middle name, but less common for a first. We always get comments on it. It’s sweet but classic and doesn’t feel trendy.

    Good luck!!

  7. Christine

    I love Evelyn and wanted to use it but my husband vetoed it due to a bad association and Eleanor is a family name, so we have an Eleanor. Even though I think Evelyn is more popular according to the SSA I’ve met a lot more young Eleanors than Evelyns, so it must be regionally popular where I am in the Philly area. I really love Evelyn Elizabeth.

  8. Beckye

    I have to laugh. My name is Rebecca Lucille and my twin sister is Elizabeth Evelyn. We were born in 1982 and our middle names are after our grandmothers. Elise (spelled Elyse) is also a family name.

    The nickname of Evie from Evelyn is a stretch for me. I prefer EVie or just Ev.

    I love the name Rosalyn if you want double initials. Beth always enjoyed having E.E. as initials. How are you pronouncing Rosalyn? I usually pronounced as Roz-a-lyn which get rid of the Rose/Jack connection.

    Other family names from that generation: Florence, Dorothy, Bernadette, Ruth, Polly.

    I’m really looking forward to your update!

  9. Meredith M.

    Lyn(n) immediately popped into my head as a nickname for Evelyn. It’s old-school, but it has a delicate sound, and you certainly don’t hear it much nowadays.

  10. CG

    Question writer, here :) Thanks so much to everyone for the great comments so far! Just wanted to say that those middle name suggestions are VERY tentative ideas, and I’d rather settle on a great first name that we love. So don’t get too hung up on the middle name options. And if the double letter works out, great, but again- not a requirement.

    Of the names suggested so far I’m definitely adding Abigail/ Abby, Eliza, and Molly to our list. Maybe Eleanor. I love Margaret/ Maggie, but there’s a family dog named Maggie so that’s out.

    Keep the comments coming!

  11. Natalie

    Would you consider Rebecca as a first name? Taking someone’s Ruth suggestion, I think Rebecca Ruth is adorable. It flips Jack Joseph’s syllable-count (not exactly, I know). Or Rachel Rebecca? I loooove Rachel. Ramona Ruth? There aren’t a lot of Rs but there are some excellent choices.

  12. Jess

    I suggest Edith. It’s a beautiful name in a similar style to Evelyn but not nearly as popular, and it has an easy nickname option (Edie) if you want to go that route. I keep wondering why it hasn’t come back into fashion yet, especially with Downton Abbey. It was on my short list for my own daughter too.

  13. Kelsey D

    Other names:


    Ohh… what about Thea? I really love Jack and Thea. I love that they are the same number of letters, so they look good written out, but Thea has two syllables which separates itself out a bit from Jack.

  14. Eliza

    I love Molly. We had grandparent-like friends (an older married couple ) who were named Jack and Molly and I always* thought they had beautiful names that went together well.

    *even as a little kid; like most of us on this site, I’ve been noticing names ever since I can remember!

  15. KD

    You really can’t get more traditional/classic and not trendy than Elizabeth. So many nicknames to choose from: Betsy, Beth, Liz, Lizzie. Other names that strike me as being along the same lines are Katherine/Catherine, Diane, Margaret. And your use of the word “preppy” makes me think of Lucy, Bridget and Philippa. Good luck!

  16. Laura

    I agree with all the comments in favour of Evelyn Elise or Evelyn Elizabeth! I personally LOVE Elise, it’s on my own list of possible girl names. The one hesitation I have with it is that I like it better in writing that out loud… I think there is some confusion over whether it is pronounced “Elize” or “E-leece”. I like it with the SS sound rather than Z, but it looks to me like it SHOULD be pronounced with a Z sound, so I get hung up on that.

    I also love the idea of Rebecca as a middle name, with a first name starting with R! How about: Renee, Rachel, Ruby, Roxanne, Rowan, Rhea, Rayna.

    I LOVE Rowena! But I don’t really love the matchy cadence of Rowena Rebecca.

    A few others that seem to be your style: Lena, Antonia, Audrey, Matilda, Stella, Sophie, Marion, Chloe, Eloise, Sydney, Simone, Lydia, Meredith, Bridget, Georgia, Lila.

  17. Sargjo

    I’d add Alice and Sadie! Maybe even Emily which to me is a timeless name not a “mom” name.

    Emily Elizabeth
    Alice Amelia
    Sadie Simone/Susannah/something

  18. beep

    What about Rebecca as a first name with Rose? Rebecca Rose is beautiful and the order decreases the Titanic connection. Other R first names I like with J@ck: Ruby, Rachel (as with others above, my favorite for a classic name).

    If you like Evelyn, what about Vivian/Vivienne? Less popular but with similar vintage and sounds, and for me the meaning connection in the “viv”=life/live/lively root of the name is a nice thing.

    I also like Emily Elizabeth, as several people also mentioned. Though it does remind me of the big red dog!

    And randomly: Lucy, Josphine/Josie (nice with Jack), Milly/Millie (along the lines of Molly), Lillian, Juliet, Harriet/Hattie.

  19. Kerry

    I think you should go with Evelyn Elizabeth. It gives you three bonuses (great grandmother from your side + family name from husband’s side + double initial)…and looking at the other names on your list, I don’t think you can predict now which one would be the most widely shared among your daughter’s peers – especially if Elise might become Ellie. Better to stick to the name you like best than try to control something you can’t.

    Plus, if you – or she – end up feeling passionate about having a different name than everyone else, Lynnie would be adorable.

  20. Maree

    My favourite ev name is eve. Jack and Eve. My favourite R atm is Romilly. Romilly Rebecca. Elise is great. I know a Charlotte Evelyn which is nice Jack and Charlotte, Jack and Lottie 😀.

  21. L

    I have a cousin named jack Joseph! He has a sister Abigail…What about Lauren? Lauren Elizabeth was the name my aunt had picked for her first daughter, but her oldest son’s dad and wife had a baby girl before my aunt and they planned to name her Elizabeth. After she was born they asked for my cousins input on the middle name, he proudly suggested Lauren because he thought they sounded good together 😂. Needless to say my aunt ended up naming their daughter Abigail so my cousin didn’t have both an Elizabeth Lauren and Lauren Elizabeth for sisters.

  22. Aj

    For some reason the four letter thing is fun for me :)


    I also think you might like British royalty names?

  23. Kelsey

    I have to go with Evelyn. It’s classic, pretty, and an honor name. I work in a school with over 1000 students, and I’ve only met one Evelyn (she goes by Evie). You can always just go with Evelyn and see if a nickname evolves – if you want one, of course!

  24. Reagan

    I am meeting several young Evelyn’s lately. That said, if you love the name, you should still use it. However, since you aren’t found of the nicknames, it could be problematic.

    With Jack, my favorite E name is Eden. I also like Esme.

    Since you like Molly, would you consider Mary? Mary is classic and you have lots of nn options if her full name is Mary Elizabeth.

  25. Kay

    What about Annabel? It’s so sweet with your son’s name, your surname, and any of your middle name options. It seems like a cousin to Amelia and Evelyn, but it’s much less popular than either of them.

  26. Rachel

    I want to vote for whatever gives you double initials. I am Rachel Renee and I have loved it my entire life.

    That was probably no help.

  27. Jd

    Evelyn is probably equal to Jack in popularity with Jackson being #17 and Jack #40. I think it’s a nice choice just the same.
    Elizabeth Evelyn is stunning and there are so many nicknames (Eliza, Bitsy, Betty, Betsy, Eli etc etc).
    I’m also taken with Ruby Rebecca as suggested by others. Ruby and Jack!!!

  28. Juniperjones

    Evelyn Elizabeth is very pretty. I also love Eliza or Elizabeth as the first. The name I thought of to add was Anna. Or Anne nn Annie – so cute. Oh also love Claire!


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