Baby Girl Martin, Sister to Beckett Grace

Help! I’m 30 weeks along with our second baby girl. Our first, Beckett Grace Martin, will have just turned 4 when she arrives. I loved the idea of androgynous first names with feminine middle names. My immediate first choice was Blake Elizabeth (my middle name was Elizabeth before marriage – I felt it was a mouthful with Beckett but I love it with Blake.) My husband wasn’t totally on board with Blake – worried it was too popular of a boy name. We brainstormed and he loves Clara. I worry it’s too popular (I have historically been anti-top 100 names) and now there is an animated movie coming out called Clara so this concerns me!

We need help! So with our last name Martin we don’t like names that end in -en, and my husband wants to make sure it’s easy for others to spell/pronounce – “a real name” he says! We don’t love names that start with M (Molly Martin) but we aren’t opposed to having two girls who start with a B (Beckett and Blake). Our third and fourth choices were Lana and Liv but we left them in favor of Blake and Clara. But I just don’t know if either will work. Any advice you have would be wonderful!

Thank you!


In the U.S. in 2015, the name Beckett was given to 99 new baby girls and 1,816 new baby boys: it’s a unisex name used mostly for boys. The name Blake is similar: in 2015, it was given to 748 new baby girls and 4,211 new baby boys. The name Clara, on the other hand, was given to 3,049 new baby girls and isn’t in the data base at all for boys: it’s less common overall than the name Blake, but with completely different usage. Lana and Liv are also both unambiguous names used exclusively for girls in the U.S.

I think the first step is to figure out how much this issue matters to the two of you. Some people care approximately zero, and would have two daughters named Max and Molly with no issue at all. Others care to the point of comparing usage on the Social Security data base. Most people are somewhere in between, I think: they don’t want to create a jarring effect, but they want to go with the names they love.

My own preference here would be to find something that is at least unisex, if not unisex-used-mostly-for-boys. That is, I think names such as Avery and Riley would work very nicely, even though those are unisex names used more often in the U.S. for girls. I would not be inclined to choose a name used exclusively for girls for one daughter, after I’d chosen a name used mostly for boys for another. So in this situation I’d cross off Clara, Lena, and Liv, without going so far as to say that I’d prefer the name to be the SAME type of unisex as the name Beckett.

It sounds as if your husband’s main concern with Blake is that it’s too popular of a name for boys—and indeed, it’s used for well over twice as many boys as the name Beckett. What if we looked at names in roughly the popularity range of Beckett? The name was #218 for boys in 2015, so I looked in that range and found these possibilities:


I also suggest Ellis and Hollis: both of them, like Beckett, have the option of shortening to a girlish nickname (Beckett/Becky, Ellis/Ellie, Hollis/Holly), yet the full names are used more often for boys. I like both of these options very much.

Micah is another one used mostly for boys, but with elements that make it seem right for girls as well. I like the repeating CK sound with Beckett: Beckett and Micah. Oh, but that is alliterative with the surname.

For something more like Blake, I wonder if any of these would work:

Flynn (or Finn, from the list above)

Or we could look at more surname names: it’s a good way to tie the two names stylistically, without feeling as much pressure to find another name used mostly for boys.





Name update:

Hi! Our baby girl arrived on March 2 – we made it to 39 weeks!

I can’t tell you how much your post helped us! First, you and your readers gave us so many extra names to consider. We quickly added Spencer, Quinn, Cole, Lane, Campbell, Drew, Collin, and more to our lists to consider. We giggled that so many loved Elliot for Beckett’s sister’s name as this is her 24-year-old uncle’s name so we knew that wouldn’t go over too well with the family. :)

The biggest thing you made us consider though was finding a name that is at least unisex (or unisex used mostly for boys) so that we didn’t have one daughter whose name is used exclusively for girls and the other daughter with a name used mostly for boys. This helped us be more comfortable with stepping away from Clara. Even though we liked it, it just didn’t fit as well.

All of this is to say thank you for helping us land where we started – we ended up feeling more confident in Blake Elizabeth Martin. I love that Blake and Beckett share a B, K, and E, and that it’s one-syllable vs. two and that both girls have unisex-used-mostly-for-boy names. We’re very happy with our choice and can’t thank you enough for your time and talent to helping us name our baby!

Kelly & Austin Martin

55 thoughts on “Baby Girl Martin, Sister to Beckett Grace

  1. Renee

    I’m going to throw a few B / C / L surnames that might appeal… I do agree with Swistle that Beckett and Clara seems jarring, plus you’re entirely right that it’s rising. Up here in Canada we seem to see names rise first, and people are using it a lot as an ode to Doctor Who. I think you should continue the familiar yet not-quite mainstream surname style…..

    Livingston (nn Liv!)

    And have you thought of shortening Elizabeth to Eliza or Beth so that it still connects to you but flows better? I love Beaudry Eliza Martin. And Calloway, I’ve been hoping to see that get more use! Calloway Beth Martin.

  2. CC Donna

    There is new tv show that features baby girl quints. I believe the older sister’s name is Blayke. I think the pronounce the E at the end. You could also opt for Blakely. I like Finley, Kellen and Emory, too.

  3. beeejet

    I really like Blake! It doesn’t seem too much to say with Beckett to me, but that’s a personal preference. Like Swistle I would not want to use a, unambiguously girl’s name, but again, that’s MY preference. Would hubby like Blakeley better?

    I immediately thought of Elliot and Sawyer.

    What about:
    Rory (love this one!)

    From those I think my favorites are Rory, Blake and Elliot. And I think all sound good with the Middle name Elizabeth!

  4. Ira Sass

    Elliot and Beckett share an ending, especially if you spell it Elliott, so that’s kind of cool. I don’t know if Elliott Elizabeth is too much for you though.

    Emory made me think of Emerson. I don’t know if the repeated ending with first name and last name (Emerson Martin) bothers you or not. A lot of my suggestions end in N…

    There are some great gender-neutral-ish B names.
    If you like Blake, you might like Blaise, Blair, or Blaine. Or:

    Lana made me think of Lane/Laine.
    Other gender-neutral L names:
    Lake (also similar to Blake!)

    I love the name Kai, which has meanings in several different languages. It also made me think of Sky/Skylar.

    I like the suggestion of Bellamy, too. You could use Bell as a nn.

    You might also like:
    Charlie (maybe too popular)

  5. Ash

    I know a girl named Blayke so I don’t think that’s too far out there. I do like the suggestion of Blakely!

    Other B names:
    Barrett (there’s a little girl in my daughter’s church class named this)

    Logan also tends to be one of those boy names that is becoming more popular. Kellen is my youngest sister’s name so I’m a bit partial to that one!

  6. Sarah

    First of all, I like Blake for a girl. I think of Blake Lively, who I have a total girl crush on, and because I don’t know any male Blakes, the name feels more “girl” to me.

    I also love Swistle’s suggestion of Elliott for a girl in order to have similar popularity. It sounds feminine with the “-ette” ending (the way I pronounce it), but still solidly is a “boy” name.

  7. Shannon B.

    I think you should stick with Blake. Even though there are more boy Blakes than boy Becketts, I think the ratios are more important. According to Swistle’s numbers, for every girl named Beckett there are 18 boys called Beckett. For every girl called Blake there are only about 6 boys called Blake. Plus Blake Lively’s continued popularity shoves the name to more feminine territory.

    Blake Elizabeth Martin is great!

    1. Reagan

      I believe that her husband doesn’t want to stick to it and unless he becomes totally comfortable with Blake as an option, she needs to move on. I do think Blakely is a nice compromise but doesn’t work well with Elizabeth as the first name.

      I agree with Swistle about avoiding such feminine name as Clara with a sister named Beckett but that is personal preference.

      I think the email writer is on to something with using a one syllable first name with the middle name Elizabeth. I rather like:

      Brahms Elizabeth
      Blaine Elizabeth
      Clove Elizabeth
      Drew Elizabeth
      Sage Elizabeth

  8. Elle

    Blake seems perfect for you! Also, it always makes me think of Daphne Blake, from Scooby Doo, which is both a positive and a feminine association, if that helps. :) Also, as someone already mentioned, Blake Lively is another very feminine association.

  9. Jamie

    I like Blake Elizabeth! Also like Swistle’s suggestions of Lennox, Reese, Sawyer and Finley.
    I would also suggest: Morgan, Casey, Logan, Adair, Brett, Harper (even though it is so popular), Parker, Sutton, Sinclair (nice way to include Clara), Teagan

  10. Jordan

    If you like Blake for a girl, you might like Logan? A fitness blogger I follow has a 4 year old Logan and just named her new baby sister Blake.

    Overall I like Blake with beckett, a lot!

    Other suggestions I really like are Campbell, Elliott, Quinn, and Crosby.

    I really would stick with unisex for #2. Clara is just so feminine and Beckett is not at all.

  11. Jess

    Even though Blake is more common for boys than Beckett is, it’s also more common for girls–it’s just a more common name generally, but that doesn’t mean that it will be perceived as more boyish than Beckett is. In fact, you could argue that it’s more unisex than Beckett–in 2015, the name Beckett was used for boys about 18 times more often than it was used for girls, while the name Blake was used for boys about five and a half times more often than it was for girls. I love Beckett and Blake as a sister set and hope that your husband can be convinced.

  12. Sarah Johnson

    My favorite has not yet been mentioned. BROOKE. Doooooo it. Or Brooks if you want to go even more unexpected. I love Brooke, love that it skews just on the feminine side of unisex. Love it with Elizabeth, love it with Martin.

    Brooke Elizabeth Martin. Brooke and Beckett. Brooks and Becks. Heart eyes!!!!

    1. Swistle Post author

      In the U.S., the name Brooke (spelled that way) is currently used exclusively for girls: 2,139 new baby girls and not in the data base at all for boys; there were 13 new baby boys named Brook, though. The name Brooks is used almost but not quite exclusively for boys: 32 new baby girls and 1,650 new baby boys in 2015.

  13. Michelle

    Like Swistle, I’d choose a unisex name this time, too. I love Swistle’s suggestion of Elliott ( I think Elliott Elizabeth sounds sweet… Both girls’ names ending in “tt” could be cute or to cutesy depending on your stance). I also like Ellis. How about Ellsworth? It’s a name I just recently heard from popular instagrammerskbrawner3’s account…it’s her eldest daughters’s name. They call her Ells for short.

    Another unisex name (though, unlike Beckett, it leans girl) that I love is Lane.
    Beckett & Lane. Lane Elizabeth.

  14. Kelsey D

    I LOVE the suggestion of Sinclair.

    I also LOVE Jude.

    Is Everett too close/matchy to Beckett for you? I love Beck and Eve as shortened names.

    I do really like Blake. I have a friend who has a 3 year old girl name Blake and it actually makes me think of the name as more girl than boy now.

    Other names I like:
    Quincy or Quinn
    Winslow – love
    Maguire – love nn Mac

    What about Greer? I know it’s more a female name but it has that androgynous feel to it. Beckett and Greer.

    Good luck!

  15. Angela

    Blake seems to work well with Beckett. I agree that Blake Lively really helps this name seem more usable for girls. I really like the suggestions Elliot and Sawyer. Both sound great with Beckett. I would add Sailor to the list too. It seems both unisex and surname-ish. Beckett and Sailor. So lovely!

  16. Trudee

    I really like Blake with Beckett. But a lot of people have suggested Lane (a favourite) so I will also suggest Delaney for you. Leans far more girl than Beckett but might work for your husband’s concerns. Delaney Elizabeth.

    1. Trudee

      Ooh, just reading the news and the name of one of the Murdock brothers hit me as a good fit here: Lachlan (LOCK-lyn). I love this name (but couldn’t get husband on board). I have no idea where it falls on the SSA or boys vs girls, and I know that some people have “feminized” it to Lachlyn when used with girls, but I actually like it just as Lachlan for you. Lachlan Elizabeth.

      1. Jd

        Vince Vaughn’s daughter is named Lochlyn. I’m not sure why I’ve retained this bit of trivia. I love it for a sister with Beckett

  17. namenculture

    I love the suggestion of Hollis! Beckett and Hollis sound great together.
    I also think something more androgynous than Liv or Lana would be preferable. Beckett definitely sounds like a brother to Lana- it’s conspicuously feminine.

    1. Kimberley

      Totally agree with all this. I like Hollis the best of all the suggestions. It matches just enough to be pleasing with her sister, not gendered too much one way or the other, and is just very pretty overall.
      Beckett and Hollis, yes please!

  18. beep

    Swistle totally hit the nail on the head.

    I have only one thought, about the name Emory from Swistle’s list. It is my son’s name and I absolutely love it. One thing I’ve learned as he goes through life is that there are more girls named Emery than boys (and especially girls) named Emory. So, while it is unisex, the name as it sounds rather than as written actually leans girl, and there does seem to be something of a boy-leaning and girl-leaning spelling. So if you like the name, you would need to choose which spelling you prefer.

  19. Kellie

    What about Laikin? I know of a little girl being named this recently and I actually assumed the baby was a boy based on the name!

    Laikin Elizabeth

    Beckett and Laikin

    I too really love Blake Elizabeth though.

    Best of luck!

  20. Erin Beth

    So many great suggestions here! I agree that Blake would work well and I also really like Cole and Elliott, among others. I just wanted to add that I also know girls names Hollister and Holland and think these could work for you.

  21. Kay W.

    What about Clare or Claire? It’s not unisex, but it’s much less frilly than Clara and has a surnameish quality. Sisters named Beckett and Clare don’t startle me at all the way Beckett and Clara do.

  22. Jd

    I think choosing a traditionally feminine name could cause discontent between sisters. I’d stick with androgynous choices for sister #2. Lots of great suggestions and I like Blake. I’ll ask suggest Lee, Monroe, Ellis and Tristan.

  23. Amanda

    My first thought when I read the letter was Leighton – I love this name for a girl SOO much!

    I knew a girl in high school named Brett – she was actually Victoria Brett, but had 5 brothers and her parents wanted her to fit in. Still LOVE Brett for a girl!

  24. Lashley

    Lots of good ideas! I like Blake, as well as Blair, Ellis, Hollis, amd Jude.

    Lake is appealing, but sounds like a place name with your surname (maybe it does with all surnames? I’m not sure).

    Thoughts on using Elizabeth for a first name and calling her Eli?

  25. Mrs. RPF

    Before reading the post, I was trying to match Beckett Grace and came up with Sloan Felicity.

    Also, a poster here in the comments is Reagan. That’s an option, too. Or Teagan.

  26. Jillio

    I think Cleo, although traditionally feminine, reads unisex. Cleo Elizabeth Martin. My cousin just had a baby boy named Winston. Made me think of Winston Elizabeth, nickname Winnie or Win (although not sure with your last name). Or Cameron Elizabeth Martin. Finally, went to school with an Allaire. It has similar sounds to Blair/Clara but much less common. Allaire Elizabeth Martin.

  27. Kim C

    Blake Elizabeth IS pretty cool!

    Love the suggestions of Spencer and Campbell nn Cammie is sweet.

    Parker, Wesley, Hunter or Archer?

    I have heard Connor on a girl before and really liked it. Connor Elizabeth.

    Beckett and Connor. Awesome!

    Best of luck!

  28. Caro

    I love Campbell, and have recently heard of a little girl named Carter. That would give a similar effect as Blake. Another favorite is Alexandra, nn Alex. Alex is used frequently for boys, but it is charmingly tomboyish on a girl.

  29. Cece

    My mind immediately went to Leni. Similar to Lana but with a androgynous vibe. Leni Elizabeth Martin is just too cute and Beckett and Leni sound great together.

    I do really love Blake. One of the few names that I love equally for each gender. Blake Elizabeth is gorgeous.

  30. Myra

    Beckett and Blake: two surnames used as given names, similar surprise factor when you hear each name, and both Irish writers. They’re great together! Go for it!

  31. Michelle

    I just thought of Holleder. The Novogratz family has a boy named Holleder and they sometimes call him Holly.

    Beckett and Holleder sound like sweet sister names to me. I like that they have would each have traditionally female nn’s built-in: Becky and Holly.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *