Baby Girl or Boy Doherty, Sibling to Rose

Help! I’m due in 2 weeks and cannot settle on a girls name for this baby. If it’s a boy, we’ve picked the name James Patrick (James is a name we like and Patrick is my husband’s name). We have a 2 year old named Rose Evelyn (we liked the name Rose and Evelyn was my husbands paternal grandmothers name).

To me, Rose Evelyn is the perfect name for us. Sounds great with our last name (Doherty; we pronounce it door-tee), easily recognizable but not overly common as a first time, and you cannot tell the age of the person just by seeing their name.

We had picked the name Claire Eloise out if we had another daughter, but my brother-in-law just used Claire for his daughter, so that’s off the table now.

Our two finalists are:

May Emmeline (not after any family members) or

Eloise Margaret (Eloise after my mom who’s middle name is Louise and Margaret after my mother-in-law).

My main criteria are a classic, non-trendy name that is timeless. Other names I like that have been vetoed by my husband are: Fiona, Lucy, Florence, Alice and Margot.

Any other suggestions?! Which name do you like best and why? Thank you!



The name I like best is May. Here is why:

1. It’s a name that, like Rose, is more familiar as a middle name, and a fresh surprise as a first name.

2. It’s one syllable, like Rose and the possible future brother James.

3. Like the name Rose, it’s a name that gives me a feeling of sweet simplicity.

4. It has completely different sounds than the name Rose, while matching beautifully in style.


But I also love the name Eloise. Here’s why:

1. If you later have a James, you’d have three names in which an S is pronounced like a Z. I wouldn’t put that as a huge selling point (and in fact it could be seen as a downside), but it could be fun.

2. It won’t make you feel trapped into using only one-syllable names for possible future siblings.

3. Like the name Rose, it’s a name that has some sass to it.

4. You’ve paired it with Margaret, and I like that each girl gets a family name.


My favorite of all would be to take May and pair it with a family middle name. I don’t always like alliteration, but I feel drawn to May Margaret. I like to say it. I am picturing the baby, and I would call her May Margaret.

Or I also love May Louise. My mom and I feel that Louise is the winner for Most Fun to Say middle names. Rose Evelyn and May Louise is spectacular.




Name update:

Thanks so much for all the great responses! To our surprise, this baby did indeed turn out to be a girl!! We went back and forth for a few hours between Eloise and May, but decided on May after the midwife mentioned she had delivered another Eloise this week (plus the overwhelmingly positive responses on here)! As for the middle name, I decided to let my mom choose…I figured no better way to honour her than that! So May Emmeline it is! Thank you so much Swistle and followers for your help!

25 thoughts on “Baby Girl or Boy Doherty, Sibling to Rose

  1. Lisa

    I love Louise as a first or used in the middle spot, it just feels more classic/vintage to me just like the name Rose. It seems like I have heard it used more in the middle spot too like Rose. I also love May Louise door-tee. I can see myself sometimes calling her May-zee. Margaret is a beautiful name as well and like Swistle I do like the May Margaret combo. Good luck, you have some beautiful names picked out.

  2. Jd

    Eloise Margaret is just so sweet and pretty. I would maybe nickname her Em for the initials. And I love the double family connection.
    Margaret should be under consideration for a first – so many lovely nicknames. Margaret Eloise. You could even call her Margo.
    May is a really sweet name. I would be a little hung up that both sisters names are nouns. I don’t notice with just Rose, but Rose and May together bring it out for me. Maybe spelled Mae?

  3. TheFirstA

    Seeing as your daughters name (and boy pick) use honor names from your husbands family, I want to encourage you to use an honor name from your family. It just seems more balanced this way.
    Since the pattern you have with Rose (and James Patric) so far is first name you like + family honor middle name, I’d suggest looking for a way to keep that pattern. May Louise or May Eloise are both lovely, and I agree that sisters called May and Rose would make a sweet and unexpected pair.
    Emmeline Louise or Emmeline Eloise both seem like a mouthful, but there is no reasonable n they couldn’t work if you really love Emmeline. You could also shorten it and do something like Emma Louise.

    I would probably not do Eloise Margaret, esp finally since you’ve already used a family name from husbands side. My preference is for things to feel more balanced. I also like the idea of keeping Margaret in reserve for a future girl (assuming you plan on more children later).
    Since Claire is off the table, maybe names similar would appeal? Cate Eloise, Cora Eloise, Paige Eloise, Chloe Eloise, Cleo Eloise?

  4. juniperjones

    Jane, Grace, Faye, or Eve? I love the 1 syllable connection, and I think May is fabulous. Jane Eloise might be my favorite though. Rose and Jane are adorable together! I also thought of Eliza for you. Eliza Margaret.

  5. Brooke

    Rose was my runner up name for our first daughter and will be used if we have another. We ended up with Delia. My taste is similar to yours and some others I like (among those you mentioned) are Marie, Harriet, Daphne, Margaret and her variations (Pearl, Mae, Maggie, Margot, Marjorie), Louise/a.

    I think Louise as a first name would sound so refreshing and timeless all at once.

  6. Suzanne

    I love all your name choices but May Louise is my favorite. It is a fantastic name and I love that Louise is your mom’s name. Congratulations!

  7. liz

    I love May Louise, because
    1) it honors your mother in the same way you’ve honored your husband’s family
    2) May sounds so good with Rose
    3) It harkens to Louisa May Alcott.

  8. Jean C.

    May Louise! I really love May spelled “Mae,” but either way it’s beautiful and perfect. It brings balance to your children’s honor names and it’s just lovely.
    If you need other names (which you probably don’t because the options you have already are so great): Cecilia, June, Vivian. Or I’m obsessed with the name Emmylou. Could you name her Emmaline Louise and call her Emmylou?

  9. Renee

    Another vote for May but I like Mae better, it has the sass of Miz West and isn’t a word (in the written form.) You could even say May / Mae is for Margaret isyou also tweak Louise to Eloise. Mae Eloise is amazing. Maybe I’m biased because I helped name a little Eloise Mae who is adorable. I also like the alliteration of Mae Margaret. Good luck! I’m sure you’ll find a wonderful sister name for Rose, it just always feels more difficult the second time, when the first time was a slam dunk. (And your perfect sister name was used! ack!)

  10. Kim C

    May Louise is adorable! I also prefer the spelling Mae but either way is lovely.

    Jane is a great suggestion too! Jane Margaret or Jane Eloise?

    What about Grace, Beth or Faye? I absolutely love the name Faye. Rose and Faye. *sigh*

    Good luck!

  11. Erin Beth

    I love May best with Rose. I agree May Louise is a fantastic combination–I actually know a young one and I love it.

    I might consider using Margaret Eloise also the full name and calling her May or Mae as nickname.

  12. sandra

    I love May/Mae and Eloise but I think I actually prefer Eloise May to Eloise Margaret…you have chosen Eloise to honour your mother i dont think Margaret needs to be in the mix as well. .you have already included that side of the family with #1s name and possible son’s name
    I also like Eloise Anne or Elise Anne if you thought Elise still honoured your mother.
    Good luck

  13. Andrea

    I am firmly on team May (though I prefer the Mae spelling). I think it is PERFECT with Rose for all the reasons Swistle stated. If I was going strictly by sound, I would pick May Margaret because I like the alliteration here and the longer middle with the short first. However, I also really love May Louise and I definitely think you should have an honor name from your side of the family. Beautiful names!! Good luck!!

  14. Reagan

    I prefer Eloise Margaret. May is sweet but Eloise sounds more spunky and I like the Eloise children’s books. I also like the family connections.

  15. Maree

    Are you in the US? I ask because I’m not and I prefer May to Mae unlike other posters.

    I love May. We tossed between May Frances and Mary Frances, but then we had a boy.

    All your choices are lovely. Good luck!

  16. Sargjo

    I’ll add Hazel which seems like SUCH a style match. I think Hazel Louise is wonderful-I like the z tie in between the names and with Rose. Violet is another classic choice, but for me Rose and Violet is too flower focused while Rose and Hazel, while connected, are not so much a theme.

  17. beep

    I love May! I am in the US and strongly prefer the spelling May to Mae. For me, May has a simple, pure, springlike connotation from the month as well as a sense of limitless positive possibilities from its other meaning (I may do that; yes, you may!), while still reading 100% as a name. Mae for me is a little more vamp-y because of Mae West as well as less timeless because it reads as vintage revival.

    I may be in the minority (and actually gave my two daughters virtue-ish matchy-ish word names), but I like the many connections between the names Rose and May: classic, short, have meanings easily accessible while still definitively being names, have connotations of freshness and late spring/early summer. For me the fact both are words in English is a plus rather than a minus.

    Others I’d consider for you: Pearl, Laurel, and Jane (though maybe not if you think you’ll ever have a James).

    I like all the middles you’re considering, but especially Louise. May Louise, just beautiful.

  18. Molly

    Another vote for May Louise! I’m in the US and prefer the May spelling. I met a little girl a few years ago named May and it has always stuck with me, such a light, airy, beautiful first name!

  19. Candice

    May Margaret is darling!
    I can understand wanting to honor your mom though. In that case I would use Louise. You won’t go wrong with any of your picks.

  20. Kim

    Me, I don’t like the connection between Rose and May. Much too matchy for me. I like Eloise Margaret the best of the choices. Eloise can go to Ellie or Lolo or Lola or stay Eloise. I love the conection with your mom.


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