Baby Girl Davis, Sister to Esther


I love the Swistle community! The help we received during my first pregnancy was a highlight for me and helped me solidify my choice to use Esther Elizabeth as our first daughter’s name. We chose the names to honor two amazing grandmothers.

Based on the difficulty of that decision, we didn’t have a huge base of family names we loved to choose from. Now we want to stay with a family/traditional name, but are debating what the right choice will be.

The most popular front runner for most of this pregnancy has been Edith. I like the idea of Esther and Edith (two baby grannies) I also like the nn Edie. I just feel like I have to keep looking to make sure it is perfect. Edith was a beloved great aunt on my mother’s side and I believe it would be an honor to her children to use her name.

If I go with Edith I was debating if it would feel more regal or powerful if I went with an alternate spelling such as Edythe, then her nn could be Edy? The issue is that I don’t want her to always have to say “I’m edith with a y and an e at the end”. I just love how that spelling looks. With such a common last name as Davis I also like the idea of being more unique somewhere else. however I don’t want to burden a child with a fussy name.

In addition to our concern about loving the first name enough, i really wanted to use Rae or RaeAnn as the middle name to honor my mother. We had debated this the first time as well. An Edith Rae sounds very southern to us (not like that’s a bad thing!) and we were hoping for a more classic sound like her sister has.

Our due date is Feb. 18th. We would love hearing from this expert name community again.

Thank you.


My vote is to keep the Edith spelling, especially if that was the way the beloved great-aunt spelled it. I don’t think changing the spelling improves it, and it adds the fussiness complications you’re hoping to avoid. I think you could spell the nickname Edy even if you spelled the name Edith (just as an Addison can be Addi, Addie, or Addy), though my own preference is for Edie either way.

I agree with you that the mood of the name Edith RaeAnn is not quite the same as the mood of the name Esther Elizabeth. I think it will come down to which is more important to you, the honor name or the mood of the name. Those two choices sound as if I’m trying to say the honor name should be more important, but that is not how I feel about it: I think both things are important, and sometimes one thing wins and sometimes the other does. With my own kids’ names, sometimes I went one way and sometimes the other.

My own favorite here would be something like Edith Josephine. Do you have a Joseph in the family tree, perhaps? Or Edith Margaret. Or you could go all-out on E names and name her Edith Eleanor.

Getting back to Josephine/Joseph, that might be a good idea for finding more family names in general: see if any of the men’s names can be feminized. Henry/Henrietta, Charles/Charlotte, George/Georgia, Louis/Louisa, Francis/Frances, Philip/Philippa, Robert/Roberta, Frederick/Fredrika, etc.

If you are not quite set on Edith, it might be fun to discuss other options. Ruth, for example, is similar in style and shares the -th. I love the nickname Ruthie. Ruth Davis; Esther and Ruth.

Or Winifred. I so love the name Winifred. Winifred Davis; Esther and Winifred.

Sylvia is pretty. Sylvia Davis; Esther and Sylvia.

I have an unbroken track record of getting no one at all to agree to use Millicent. Shall we break that record? Millicent Davis; Esther and Millicent.




Name update:

Hello!  I have a name update.
We are so happy that our swistle email was answered.  We spent a lot of time contemplating this name and are so very grateful for everyone’s advice.

We chose Edith Frances Rae (two middle names) as the baby’s name.  As we are unsure if we will have another child I decided that I wanted to feel like I chose a name that I loved that wasn’t necessarily an honor name.  I have always liked Frances and am happy to be able to include it.  My father’s middle name is frank so it can also be a loose tribute to him.  I added Rae as a second middle name so I could have it included as a tribute.  I have 4 names so I felt this wouldn’t be so out of the norm.  Thanks swistle universe!

50 thoughts on “Baby Girl Davis, Sister to Esther

  1. KLNW

    I do love Esther and Edith together. I think if you wanted to go with Edith RaeAnn, it shouldn’t cause too much worry that it isn’t the exact same “feel” as Esther Elizabeth. I would imagine that you would usually just say Esther and Edith out loud together more often that saying all four names out loud together.

  2. liz

    What about Edith Rachel? That way you can get to Rae (or Ray) from a nn and still maintain the flavor of Esther Elizabeth’s style.

    1. Shannon

      I popped in to suggest the same and also mention that I was named Shannon Rae after my great-aunt Edith Rae. We were both born in Tennessee, so Edith Rae does strike me as Southern.

      I think Edith Rachel is lovely and goes beautifully with Esther.

  3. Shannon B.

    First, congratulations and I love the names Esther and Edith–you have excellent taste!

    I think Swistle stated it perfectly that you need to decide which is more important: the honor name you want to use or matching style. I personally prefer matching style. I like Edith Josephine, Edith Georgiana, Edith Louisa, or maybe Edith Cecilia.

    If you stick with the honor name, I think Edith Rae flows better than Edith RaeAnn. Could a variation of Ann work for the honor name? Edith Anne?

    1. Christi

      Edith Anne? Wasn’t that a Lily Tomlin character in the 70’s? From Laugh In I think. The character was a little girl and her tag was “and that’s the truth!” followed by a rasberry. I remember her and I’m not quite 50 so that might be a problem with older friends and relatives.

      Don’t use the inventive spelling. Edith isn’t common enough that it is necessary to set her aside from any other Ediths.

      Finally- Swistle’s suggestion of Esther and Ruth would be fantastic if you are a Christian. That is one of my favorite bible stories.

  4. Renee

    I love the idea of playing with RaeAnn to get closer to the style you want, like liz’s suggestion of Rachel. Love that name. Or..

    Edith Mae
    Edith Raena (or Reyna or Raina – regal!)
    Edith Annabel
    Edith Ramona

    Or how about your mom’s maiden name or something else to tie to her?

    I also vote for keeping Edith the traditional way. The y and e adds nothing but extra work. Plus, when I was floating Edie by friends, more than a few thought it was Eddie, on sight. I think the Edy spelling would further link it to Eddy on paper.

  5. Megan

    I agree that Edith is much better than sort of making up a new way to spell it. Especially if you like the classic approach. You could do Ann instead of RayAnn….or I like the idea of another man’s name feminized.

  6. Lee

    I really like the name Edith and the original spelling. It is my husband’s grandmother and aunt’s name and I knew a woman growing up with the name. It is on my names list if we have another girl and always have thought it is both feminine and confidant sounding.

    An alternative to Rae or RaeAnn that came to me as I read the post is Aurelia. Edith Aurelia.

  7. Heidi J

    Edith spelled Edythe would make me be uncertain about the pronunciation. I’d wonder if it was supposed to be EE-die-th. So, I would stick with the traditional Edith spelling.

  8. Elizabeth

    Do you plan to have more than 2 kids? Many people don’t mind having 2 with the same initial and a 3rd with a different initial but something to take into consideration before you repeat the E. This is a minor point, but one I’d want to consider if I were you.

  9. Holly

    I definitely remembered this consultation because Esther Davis is such a fab name! I like Edith Davis too. Esther and Edith. I don’t really care for Raeanne. I wonder if you’d like Edith Anna instead? Esther Elizabeth and Edith Anna go well in my mind. Even Edith Anna Rae Davis may work? Edith Eleanor would be cute too because then they would both be EEs. Of course, if there are going to be more children in the future, that may not be the way to go :) Good luck! I can’t wait to hear what you choose.

  10. StephLove

    I love Esther and Edith as sisters. I’d keep the original spelling, both out of stylistic concerns and to keep it more of an honor name. As for the middle, I don’t think it’s as important that the girls’ middles match in style as they are heard together much less frequently, so I’d probably go with Edith Rae, though Edith Rachel is a very appealing solution as well.

  11. Sarah Johnson

    Something about dropping the “e” of RaeAnne and making the name Raeann brings it closer into a classic style. That spelling looks Celtic or medieval to me (maybe just me?). I think Edith Raeann Davis works in a way that Edith RaeAnne doesn’t. Love Edith!

    1. Sarah Johnson

      Oh just noticed that the e is already dropped. How about dropping the capital letter? I think that might work :)

  12. TheFirstA

    Since you are thinking about splitting RaeAnn up anyway, maybe you could do Edith Ann? Ann feels more classic in the way Elizabeth does.

    Another option might be to lengthen Rae? For example, my sister is named Rachel, but her nickname is Rae. So perhaps something like Edith Rachel would work for you?

  13. beep

    I agree strongly with everyone else: keep the Edith spelling. Like Swistle, I prefer the Edie spelling for the nickname. I also agree that if you want to best complement Esther’s name, the obvious part of RaeAnn to use for the middle name is Anne, Ann, or Anna. Of these, I like Anne the best. Otherwise, you could consider using your mom’s maiden name if it is suitable. Another (maybe a little too out there?) option would be to contract RaeAnn into Rain for a nature-inspired name. Edith Rain Davis. This takes the feel of the sibling set in a slightly different direction, but for me isn’t jarring/mismatched with Esther Elizabeth in the way Edith Rae or Edith RaeAnn is.

  14. Alexandra

    Edith is my sister’s middle name, and I loooooooooove it! I’m a vote for original spelling, as well.

    I think it sounds beautiful with Esther. I can’t wait to hear which direction you go!

  15. KLNW

    I just had another thought after rereading the post about Esther’s name. You original letter said you weren’t sold on Esther because it felt harsh, but really wanted to use it to honor the grandmother. In the end, Esther ended up being perfect and everyone loved it. I wonder if using RaeAnn would lead to the same satisfaction. Personally, I think you should do whatever is going to make you and your family happiest and if that means using an honor name that is a different style, then so be it. :)

  16. Emily

    I love Esther and Edith together, especially if those will be your only two children. ( For whatever reason, a string of E names would feel tired to me, but a pair is adorable.) However, as others have said, I greatly prefer the traditional spelling. I think it looks a lot prettier, and is much more of an honor name. Honestly, I typically dislike creative and unique spellings. You can easily still use Edy as a nickname, although I actually think I prefer Edie.

    For middle names, I really don’t think it matters much in the long run. However, for symmetry reasons, I do love Edith Eleanor. (Or another classic E name, like Emily, Emmeline, Ellen, Elise, etc.) However, since baby 1 gets two honor names, I can see the pleasure in using two honors names for this baby, too.

  17. The Mrs.

    Esther and Elizabeth…Both queens. That is why your older daughter’s name feels so regal.

    I agree with other posters; Anne is a spectacular choice…Also worn by a queen. :) Eleanor, too, was a queen. Lots of Marys were in the same boat.

    Non-royal but charming options:
    Beatrice (okay, she was a queen as well)
    Caroline (another queen)

    Best wishes!

  18. Emily

    I like Edith RaeAnn. I wouldn’t skip over the name of a beloved family member just because it doesn’t have the same ~feel~ as Esther Elizabeth. Esther and Edith are still gorgeous for sisters, and Esther and Edith is how most people will know them.

  19. Dwd

    I vote Edith Rae or Edith RaeAnn. I think it’s much more important to honor a loved one than have your children’s names be the same style. Especially since its just a middle name. I would be upset if my sister got two family names and then I wasn’t named after anyone significant, just given a name that matched the style of my sister’s meaningful names.

  20. Susan

    I love the names Esther and Edith together, and would have a strong preference for the classic spelling, which seems perfect. I wouldn’t know how to pronounce “Edythe,” and Edith wouldn’t be my first guess, or even my second guess. Also, I think those classic middle names sound really wonderful with Edith. Edith Ann, Edith Eleanor, Edith Louise … fabulous!

  21. Kim C

    Esther and Edith are so great together! Essie and Edie! Adorable!

    Coincidently, I’ve just realised, there is an Australian actress named Essie (Esther) Davis who just had a small part in the last season of GOT!

    I’s stick with the Edith spelling, less complicated, and use a more traditional middle name. What about two middle names? Edith Rachel Ann perhaps? I like Edith Rae and Edith Ann(e) too if you’re leaning in that direction.

    Other suggestions:

    Edith Rebecca
    Edith Victoria (really like this one!)
    Edith Isabella
    Edith Olivia
    Edith Susannah
    Edith Alexandra/Alessandra
    Edith Louisa
    Edith Helena

    Good luck!

      1. Kim C

        Yes, Essie Davis is wonderful in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries! I didn’t mention this as I wasn’t sure if Americans would be familiar with this show. I have since discovered that many know it all too well! :^)

    1. Kate

      I am the mom to an Edith, middle name Louise and came here to recommend Louisa as well! (Particularly if there’s a Lou or Louis or Louise to honor somewhere in the tree…maybe someone from Louisiana?) I would definitely avoid Edith Anne, despite loving the name and connection to RaeAnn, because of the Lily Tomlin character (we still get a few comments about her, even with the totally different middle).

      Congratulations on the pregnancy, and on your excellent taste in names!

  22. Britni

    As a Britni who spells her name like that, I would encourage the classic spelling of Edith.
    For middles, the only other thought I had was looking into other forms of Betty/Elizabeth if you don’t like the vibe of RaeAnn. Behind the Name shows Liliann as a possible related name to those. Edith Liliann?

  23. Jean

    I prefer the traditional spelling of Edith. I like the suggestion of Annabel as a middle name, or would you consider Anneliese/Annalise? Edith Anneliese sounds regal to me, similar to Esther Elizabeth.

  24. Laure

    Another close variant (Hi Britni!) chiming in for “Edith.”

    I don’t think Edith Rae sounds less classic than Esther Elizabeth. Rae is absolutely a classic middle name, in the category of Ann and Marie. But if you’d rather go more clearly granny than Rae, how about Faye? (If it doesn’t dilute the honor too much for you – I admit I’m wayyy on the favors-twisted-paths-to-honor-names end of the spectrum.)

    In any case, please choose anything other than an E- middle name. The girls deserve their own initials.

  25. Maree

    Edith Ann is beyond perfect. I love it spelled that way or perhaps Edith Anne I can’t decide. If you wanted a stretch Edith Anastasia is pretty awesome.

  26. Elizabeth

    I vote for Edith Ann(e), even if there is an association with a TV character. That is a nice nod to your mother and fits perfectly with your style.

  27. Jd

    Edith! Great name, please no novel spelling.

    I think Rae or Raeanne are nice. I would use the names as is, pick a different honoree or different name. I would avoid Rose/Rachael/Reign to honor Rae Ann.

  28. onelittletwolittle

    First of all, I want to say that your original post (for Esther Elizabeth) convinced me to name my new baby Esther. Our last name is almost exactly yours – Davies – and everyone loves, loves her name. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Second, I had a similiar quandary as you’re having with our Essie. I couldn’t decide whether to use my sister’s name in the middle (Margaret) or mine (Laura), so I just used both. She’s our last baby, so I didn’t want to leave honor names I really wanted on the table. It’s a little clunky, and a little clunkier than my other kids’ names, but I think I made the right choice on that.

    So what I’m saying is that it sounds like RaeAnn is important to you, and I say go for it. Edith RaeAnn sounds so lovely. I’ve said it out loud a lot of times, and the name flows well. I also like Edith Ann. That sounds so colonial and classy and Downton Abbey at the same time, a lot like Esther Elizabeth.

    I much, much prefer the Edith spelling. And I adore Edie. I know a 10-year-old girl named Edie (just Edie), and she’s sparkly and wonderful.

    My other daughters are Adaline and Ceridwen (we call her Cate), if that helps at all!

  29. Alice

    I really want you to use some variant of RaeAnn that preserves the “Rae” because Edie Rae is an ADORABLE nickname. Southern, sure, but very sweet for a little girl.

    100% favor classic spellings, always, or at least semi-common variants. I feel like I have seen Edythe before in a 19th novel, but it looks made up.

  30. Charlotte @ To Harriet Louise

    I absolutely love the name Esther Elizabeth. And in theory I love Edith a lot, too. I say in theory because I love it… if spelled the classic way. I think in the case of this name, the Edythe spelling confuses things and almost makes it seem made-up, which is FINE in most cases, but since you’ve already got an Esther Elizabeth, I’m assuming made-up isn’t your style (especially if you like regal sounding names). I’m not overly fond of RaeAnn, but I understand using it if it’s special to you as an honor name. I do really love Edith Anne, though. I think it’s a perfect name for a sister to Esther Elizabeth. Edith Rae is also very sweet. I love Swistle’s suggestion of Edith Eleanor.

    I did think that if you’re into the look of the “ythe” spelling, maybe the name Blythe would work for you. It’s got those exact letters, but avoids the confusion since it’s the traditional spelling. I think Esther and Blythe make wonderful sister names.

    Good luck! I’m sure whatever you choose will be lovely.

  31. Becca

    Have you considered Edith Ann? It’s similar to Edith Rae in that it keeps half of mom’s name, but I think sounds much more “classic” a la Esther Elizabeth.


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