Baby Girl or Boy Airs, Sibling to Jacob, Avery, and Carter

Dear Swistle,
We could really use your help! I am three weeks away from having our fourth (and last) child, and we do not know if it’s a boy or a girl. Our older kids are Jacob Daniel, Avery (called both Avery and Avery Jane) and Carter William. Our last name sounds like Airs.

If it is a girl, we are somewhat settled on Cameron Grace or Cameron Rose, but I have a hesitation with Cameron for a girl, which is that it was given to 6,807 boys in 2016 but only 583 girls. Would she always be mistaken for a boy? If not Cameron, my husband likes Charlotte and Harper but I think they are too popular. I like Emily (maybe too dated), Josie, Sadie and Macy but am afraid that Sadie and Macy are common dog names. I am also not sure about Josie as a standalone name.

If it is a boy, we have another issue that has come up on this blog before. We really like the name Logan but it was the name of our family’s cat that died about 2 years ago. I have heard people say that it’s fine to use it since the cat is no longer with us, and other people who just think it’s weird. We don’t want to create confusion/weirdness but we are annoyed with ourselves for using Logan on a cat 13 years ago. Our oldest (11) doesn’t think there is a problem with it. Is Logan still usable? I like Benjamin, Ethan, Evan, Jeremiah, Wesley and Nolan. My husband really likes the name Chase (I think it might be too short), is warming up to Benjamin and doesn’t like Ethan or Evan. He is thinking about Jeremiah, Nolan and Wesley. Middle name options are open but I am thinking about Michael after my brother.

Names we can’t use: Emma, Marley, Morgan, Lucas, Grayson

Your help is appreciated!!

Thanks,
Kathi

 

The difficulty with a name like Cameron is tallying up all the spellings. Here are just the ones that were used for at least 50 boy babies or 50 girl babies in 2016:

Kamryn: 861 F, 279 M
Camryn: 815 F, 186 M
Cameron: 583 F, 6807 M
Cameryn: 64 F, 33 M
Kameron: 59 F, 1436 M
Kameryn: 58 F, 34 M
Kamron: – F, 196 M
Kamren: 17 F, 179 M
Kamran: – F, 51 M
Camron: – F, 241 M
Camren: 10 F, 162 M

Even so, we can see without doing the math that the name is used more often for boys—but still hanging in there for girls.

Part of the package deal of a unisex name is that people may sometimes mistake it as belonging to someone of the opposite sex, but this seems fairly easy to correct when it happens. And most of the time when there’s doubt (on paperwork when the child is not present, for example), there will be other information available such as the middle name or an M/F entry. Also, Cameron is a well-known unisex name: many people encountering it will know they need more information before automatically adding the name to the boys’ team or the girls’ team.

One possible solution is to use a spelling more associated with girls: Camryn, for example. There will still be occasional mistakes, but it will reduce them. I would do this only if you don’t really care about the spelling: I think there will be occasional mistakes no matter what spelling you use—unless you go with ♀️Kamrynne♀️.

If Harper is too common (and to me, it also sounds too much like Carter), I wonder if you’d like Harlow or Harlowe.

I wonder if you’d like the name Riley? It’s another one that needs some spelling-tallying:

Riley: 7110 F, 1706 M
Rylee: 2947 F, 165 M
Ryleigh: 1877 F, 10 M
Rylie: 1003 F, 31 M
Rilee: 127 F, 17 M
Rileigh: 127 F, – M
Ryley: 97 F, 73 M

Still unisex but, like the name Avery, it’s used more often for girls.

On the subject of Logan and the cat who is no longer with us: I think you should go ahead and use the name. I think the handful of people who find it weird will get over it, as well they should, and that none of them are likely to care very deeply about it even during the stage when they still find it a little weird. For anyone you haven’t yet asked, I wouldn’t mention the connection: I’m trying to think of the names of my friends’ pets, and I’m having some trouble. If a friend used a name that I remembered was the name of a former pet, I might remark on it but only because I would want to hear more of the naming story, not because I thought it was weird.

On the other hand, Paul and I didn’t use the name Oliver, not because we’d had a cat named Oliver but because Paul said he was certain his mother would never, ever stop saying “Oliver: the boy named after a cat!,” and then Paul so perfectly imitated the little laugh she’d do every time she said it, it immediately killed the name for me. But if you don’t have anyone like that in your life, I say use the name and shrug it off.

Otherwise, my favorites are Wesley and Nolan: I think they both do a nice job of uniting the styles of Jacob and Carter.

 

 

 

Name update:

Hi Swistle,
We had a baby boy on Monday and his name is Malcolm Everett.  He weighed in at 9lbs 12 oz! Thanks for the naming advice!
Kathi

30 thoughts on “Baby Girl or Boy Airs, Sibling to Jacob, Avery, and Carter

  1. Megan

    Logan to me is a gender neutral name ,so since your girl’s name is also gender neutral, I wouldn’t use it. What about Piper? I know someone with 3 daughters, one of whom shares your daughter’s name, the other two are named Josie and Piper and I think that is the most adorable collection of names ever ha.

    Also I have to say I really dislike the trend of adding a y to a name to make it appear more feminine. I know it’s acceptable right now, but not a fan personally (if you are then go for it!). At least Cameran does have the nickname of Cammie which makes it more feminine. I also think Harlowe or Harper would be nice.

    Reply
    1. Swistle Post author

      You’re right that Logan is unisex; however, it’s used much more often for boys: in 2016, there were 852 new baby girls and 11,200 new baby boys named Logan.

      Reply
  2. laura

    I think Cameron is generally associated with a unisex name- indeed, I would be more likely to think the child was a girl than a boy, as I have only personally known female Camerons. I think since Avery is also a unisex name, and Jacob and Carter are not, I would assume among the sibling set that Cameron was a girl.

    I like Logan and don’t think it would matter that it is the name of an erstwhile pet. But if not I like Benjamin for a boy.

    Reply
  3. Britni

    Personally, Cameron is too unisex for my taste with the other siblings. I like Charlotte, but also my personal preference would be to not repeat a first initial in a family of 4. I like Swistle’s suggestion of Riley. Would you consider Reagan?
    I think Logan is still usable, but I really like Nolan!
    Good luck and Congrats!

    Reply
  4. Kay W.

    Do you like Landon? To me it’s a more unusual cousin of Logan. I think it goes very nicely with your other kids’ names too!

    In terms of Charlotte and Harper being too popular—have you found that to be an issue with Avery? Her name is nearly as popular as they are. The most popular names now just aren’t as widely used as the top names were when we were growing up.

    For what it’s worth, Emily doesn’t feel dated to me, at all! It’s a classic.

    Reply
  5. Shannon

    I love Cameron for a boy OR a girl–it’s got beautiful soft consonants, which makes it feel credibly feminine. Plus, Cameron Diaz (female) is probably its first association for lots of people who don’t know a Cameron in person. (Actually, that’s true even for me–and it’s my brother’s middle name!) I also agree with the above poster’s point about Avery–you’ve already established yourself as a family that confidently uses unisex names for girls, which makes it even more okay to continue. :)

    If not Harper (which I think of as trendy, not-fussy, and tailored), then what about Taylor, Saylor, Marlo, or Tyler (used regularly on girls in my area)?

    If a boy, TOTALLY use Logan.

    Reply
  6. Cameron

    Female Cameron here!
    Only time I come across confusion is via email at work. I usually don’t correct it- someone else will, or eventually we will talk on phone and they’ll figure it out. No big deal.
    And if someone apologizes, I tell them I’m only offended if they call me sir after we’ve met face to face! :)
    I have a feminine middle name (Elizabeth) but dropped it when I got married- personally, I love my name.
    Good luck!

    Reply
    1. Also female Cameron

      Yep, pretty much exact same story here–I’m another female Cameron and it’s absolutely fine. I sometimes get mail addressed to Mr Cameron ______ but it’s not a problem and I’ve never wished my name were more feminine.

      I would suggest a female middle name as well just like you’re considering as she grows up for school paperwork etc because it makes it easier. But like the other Cameron commenter I too dropped my feminine middle name in favor of my maiden name when I got married and don’t regret it at all.

      I think it’s absolutely fine for you to use a unisex name for this child (if it’s a girl) because Avery rings a bit unisex to me. It’s not the same as an Elizabeth or Margaret and a Cameron as sisters (even though I think that’s totally fine too).

      Reply
  7. Kim C

    Cameron is great on a boy or girl, and I think most people are pretty familiar with it being a unisex name these days, mainly associating it with Cameron Diaz.

    The suggestions of Riley and Piper for a girl are great too! In line with some others on your list, what about Marnie or Lacey? Maybe Pippa or Indie?

    I don’t see a problem with using Logan, especially now that the cat has passed on, but I really like Nolan with your sibset. What about Bennett?

    All the best!

    Reply
  8. Kim C

    Preston, Ashton, Hayden or Sterling for a boy.

    Paisley, Presley, Eden or Rowan for a girl.

    If you want a more formal name, or one that is a bit longer, Charles or Charlie with the nickname Chase would be a good choice.

    😀

    Reply
  9. Nathalia

    Chase doesn’t seem too short to me at all. I actually really like it with your last name. Some 1 syllable first/last combos stand out in a good way, and I think this is one of those situations.

    Reply
  10. Erin

    Peyton, Rowan, Finley for a girl.

    Liam or Wyatt for a boy.

    *Swistle, the story about Oliver and your mother-in-law made me laugh out loud! So hilarious to me as I have a person in my life who would do that.

    Reply
  11. Hannah

    As the proud mom of a Sadie, I just had to chime in. A friend’s husband once said to me “Sadie is a dog name.” It hadn’t even occurred to me– it was my grandmother’s name, and I’ve always loved it. Here’s my feeling: Off the top of my head, I’ve met dogs named Lucy, Emma, Ella, Lola, Layla, Abby, Jack, Jane, Charlie, Teddy, Sam, Miles, Bella, Alex, Oliver, Andy…. I could go on. Are those all “dog names?” Can you not use any of those names? I think unless you’re naming your kid, like, Fido, I would absolutely not worry about this. We met a dog named Sadie once, wearing a monogrammed doggie coat. My Sadie loved it, and thought it was cool. We carried on. Don’t even worry about this issue.

    Reply
  12. Sargjo

    I suggest Maisie for a girl if you don’t go the unisex route since you’re finding drawbacks to the other names. I was named after my mother’s cat, and it became a charming humorous story. It helps that my name,Sarah, and Logan do not “read feline,” as, say, Mr. Wobbles or Whiskers or Penny Paws might hahaha.

    Reply
  13. Kim C

    I like the sound of Jacob, Carter and Beckett for brothers. All have the hard ‘C’ sound to connect them together. Nice!

    Reply
  14. TheFirstA

    I think Cameron fits nicely, especially with Avery as the sister name. Have you not had any confusion over Avery? If I heard of a sibset named Jacob, Carter & Avery, I would hesitate if Avery was boy or girl.

    Harper is nice, or perhaps Piper? I think your other girl names are too feminine with Avery as a sister. In a group of Jacob, Carter, Avery & Charlotte, I would for sure guess Charlotte was the only girl.

    Riley is a nice fit for you. Or perhaps Peyton, Bailey, Casey, Reese, Delaney or Landry? I’m currently too lazy to look up name stats, but these lean more girl for me.

    I like Nolan best of your boy names. I think it bridges the gap between the more traditional style of Jacob & the more modern surname style of Carter. But Logan would also be fine, and I don’t think you should worry about the cat. People will get over it.

    Reply
  15. Jean C.

    I think Cameron works great for a girl name–I don’t immediately think of it as being a boy name at all and it really is a perfect sister match for Avery.
    I personally couldn’t do a pets name (even if the pet was deceased). But if it doesn’t bother your immediate family, then it’s no one else’s business and you should definitely go for it.
    But I do really really like the suggestion of Beckett–it fits so perfectly with the other names. Nolan is a close second for me. I would also add to the list Owen or Gavin (maybe especially Gavin–I love the repeating V with Avery)
    Jacob, Avery, Carter and Gavin.

    Reply
  16. Erin Beth

    My first thought was Hadley, which I see has been suggested. I also like the suggestion of Delaney and I would add Tierney and Sheridan.

    Reply
  17. Kim

    I seem to be an outlier on this, but Logan would be absolutely off the table for me. The cat’s only been gone for a couple of years, presumably the other kids have memories of the cat. Solid nope for me. Unlike Swistle, I not only know many of my friend’s current pets’ names, but also the names of past ones as well. They’re family members. My family would have a field day with it as well. There are so many other great names to choose from! Lachlan, maybe?
    Charlotte seems like an outlier next to Avery. Morgan, maybe, if Cameron doesn’t work?
    And lastly, an observation about popularity. I live in a fairly bohemian place on the Californian coast, and there are roughly 500 kids in our elementary school. There are Ava’s and Zoe’s and Caden’s, as you would expect. No Harpers., no Liam’s. There were 3 Gianna’s between 1st grade and kindergarten last year, and 2 of them were in the same class. Gianna. I guarantee none of those parents though they were picking a popular name (they didn’t!) but you just never know. You never know!

    Reply
    1. Elisabeth

      i do too, ‘though in our cases, pets have been mostly named things like Moochie, Scout, and Galadriel

      Reply
  18. liz

    I like Cameron with Avery. They go together well and, as others have pointed out, in a sib set of Jacob, Carter, Avery, and Charlotte, I would guess that you had one daughter and three sons. With Jacob, Carter, Avery, and Cameron, I’m much more certain that you have two boys and two girls.

    Not that this matters at all when they are no longer considered as a set.

    Reply
  19. Tabby

    Yes, I’m firmly on the ‘use Cameron’ team! I think it’s a perfect fit with your sibset and especially sisters Avery and Cameron. Also hearing from real-life Cameron’s that they’ve never really had any problems is cool. I do really love the suggestions of Piper though – Avery and Piper are adorable!

    I’m also very firmly on the ‘use Logan’ team too! I had Molly (my first family dog who we lost a few years back) on my top 5 names and it would have remained a serious contender had 2 friends not used Molly this year. It may be a funny naming story for those who knew your cat, but if you liked the name enough to name your cat Logan there must also be a story behind why you love the name to start with. For everyone else they can hear that version of the story and not the pet version if it would bother you.

    Reply
  20. beep

    My seven year old son has two kids named Cameron in his class. One is a boy and one a girl. They are usually called by Cameron Lastname (both happen to have simple 1-syllable last names), but sometimes also Boy-Cameron and Girl-Cameron. As far as I can tell, they haven’t minded being identified by gender like that.

    Like some others, for girl names I am drawn to the sporty, unisex-leaning-girl, ending-in-y names for you: Mallory, Ellery, Casey, Riley, Emery, etc.

    Reply
  21. auktastic

    I think Cameron would be a great fit for a girl in your family! I agree that a more gender-neutral name for a sister seems like a better fit with Avery than Charlotte. I also know sisters named Avery and Quinn. Looking at the pages for Avery and then Cameron on the Baby Name Wizard, some of the suggested sister names that are listed include: Cadence, Carson, Chandler, Emerson, Addison, Harper, Riley, and Sydney. (Plus, Avery is listed as a sister name for Cameron! So that’s one more point in its favor.)

    Reply
  22. Kathi

    Thanks for all your comments, this has been really helpful! If anyone is still reading this, we’re now considering Malcolm for a boy. Do you think this works well enough with the other names?

    Reply

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