Continue the M theme?


i'm expecting my second baby, a girl, and was wondering about everyone else's opinion on giving siblings names that start with the same letter. It's a bit of a tradition in my husbands's family. He and his siblings are Christian, Catherine and Claire (oddly enough my name also starts with a C). They all have different middle names and therefore different initials, though. This all started on his mum's side of the family, with her and her siblings being Marianne, Michael and Matthew. Their mum and her siblings name's also all started with the same letter. And then it's the same with his uncle's children.

So far we never had to think about whether we want to carry on with the tradition or not, but now that we're expecting our second we have to. My husband thinks it's "fun" and he says as it is a tradition in his family so we should continue with it and it would mean a lot to him. His mum would never ask him to do it, but I think she would like it if we did, at least so it seemed. I'm not convinced, I'd rather choose a name I love, no matter what letter it starts with, rather than pick a name I don't love as much only because we have to stick with the theme. Especially if we ever want to have a third or fourth I feel like it may get trickier every time. I understand he wants to carry on with the "tradition", but I find it diffcult.

Our daughter's name is Matilda Jane so we'd have to stick with M names...but I'm in love with the names Lucia (lu-CHEE-a) and Paige, both of which don't match the theme!!

Do you have any suggestions on what we should do? Stick with the theme or not? Or do you have any M names you think that would go well with Matilda that maybe I'll like? I think my style is mixed. I like feminine and traditional names, but also modern and unisex names.



August 9, 2015 11:34 AM

Hmm I think it's a nice tradition, but only if you really find something that you love! My mom's side of the family has a similar tradition with all of the first-born girls receiving 'S' names. My mom was going to name my older sister Stephanie but realized she didn't love it and went with her own choice (an 'A' name) instead. I think you really have to be comfortable with the name you pick, and that takes precedence over the theme.

Other 'M' names that may appeal to you:

Millicent (Millie is a cute nickname)









August 9, 2015 11:42 AM

I'm generally opposed to matching initials among siblings, but in this case, I think it's a meaningful family tradition. However, you don't sound like you're on board. 

A good compromise might be an M first name, but calling your child by their middle name. I know the typical advice is not to let the middle name dictate the first name, but I think in your situation, it might work well. You could still call your daughter Lucia or Paige, and your husband's family tradition would continue.

September 25, 2015 7:09 AM

This was going to be my suggestion.  I think it's a fair compromise if you can't get yourself on board with the tradition.  But I do think out of all the letters M is going to be the easiest to find names that you love.  

August 9, 2015 11:49 AM

Could you possibly invert the tradition, and use all J middle names? There are lots of J names out there, and this would let you pick the names you love most for the call name position while still honoring your husband's family's tradition.

I tend to agree that it's better to pick names you love rather than compromise for the sake of a theme you don't love, especially as you get to third and fourth children and the compromises become more egregious.

By rooo
August 9, 2015 1:58 PM

I was going to suggest the same thing! It's a great compromise.

It's a little hard to decide with hypotheticals, though. Try coming up with different combinations of M names depending on if your next children are 3 more girls, 2 girls and a boy, or 1 girl and 2 boys. Then do the same with non-M names or full names with J middles. Do any of the lists feel more like your family?

Luckily there are lots of fantastic M names if you do decide to stick with tradition!

By Fly
August 11, 2015 2:51 AM

Great minds think alike - baby name wizardry at its best.

August 9, 2015 12:08 PM

Thanks for your suggestions.
I agree it's a lovely tradition and I'd love to be 100% on board and I think I even would be if we just were to have these two, but since we want 3 or 4 children, I feel like we'll end up with names we don't really love.

That's a brilliant idea to continue the tradition in their middle names. I hadn't thought of that before. I'll suggest that to my husband tonight.

One M name that was suggested, that I do think I could come around to loving is Maisie! It's really lovely and I could totally picture our little one to be named Maisie! However after that I feel like it'd get tricky. But maybe for the one after that we could pick a middle name we love, as suggested before, and then call him/her by that name - great idea!

September 25, 2015 7:10 AM

I think Mathilda and Maisie sound like adorable sisters!!!

August 9, 2015 3:31 PM

If you can't find 2 M names for boys and 3 more M names for girls that you and your husband like, then don't continue the M tradition.  I second the suggestion of J middle names instead. 

August 9, 2015 3:56 PM

My husband leaves it pretty much up to me to pick out names that start with an M as long as he doesn't hate them... so that makes it a bit easier for

If we were to stick with the M theme I think this one would most like be Maisie. Other names for potential future daughters I may be able to get on board with are Madison and either Mira or Mila. Maybe even Maya and Millie. Do Madison and Matilda even work together?

For boys I like Mason quite a lot, but that wouldn't work with Maisie... I like Milo or Milan. Also either Mikey or Mickey, but not sure if they work on adults..

There are a number of girl names I really like that start with an M, but I really struggle with boys names.


J middle names are great too... I could think of a million names to use in the middle name spot


August 9, 2015 4:01 PM

If you really like Maisie, I think that's a great name for a sister to Matilda. Like other posters have mentioned, see if you can come up with enough M names that you could grow to like. 

Am I reading correctly that your mother in law is Marianne? If so, how about having your kids have the same letters as all their grandparents? For example, if grandparents are Marianne, Larry, Janet and Pete, you could have Matilda, Lucia, Joseph and Penelope (or whatever the genders end up being). That way you'd still be honoring family heritage without being stuck in a tradition that doesn't actually work for you. 

As previous posters mentioned, the same middle name is probably the easiest. There are SO many J names, and it's much better to settle for a middle name than to settle for a first name. 

Finally, I want to point out that if you do decide to use Lucia with Matilda, you've just given 2 names that are 3 syllables ending in A. Would you feel pressured to find a similar name for #3? Food for thought. 


August 9, 2015 7:42 PM

I am a fan of honoring naming traditions, but I think it was Lauren Wattenberg who advised against getting hung up on naming siblings as set.  In most of your baby's interactions, she won't be associated with her sister but as an individual.  If it would make your husband's family upset and damage your relationship with them, then I would value the tradition. I like the suggestion of keeping the middle initial the same.  Lucia and Paige don't have too much in common with Matilda or with each other (except they were both dancers on Dance Moms?) so I don't have a good handle on your name taste.  However, I think something like Paige Josephine or Lucia Jade may be a good compromise.  

August 9, 2015 7:56 PM

As far as traditions go, it's not too bad I suppose.  I do see your point about picking a name you really love.  I'd hate to think my name was chosen just so it would "fit" and not because my parents really liked it.  

My suggestion would be to fully explore all the M names.  If you find any that can compete with Lucia & Paige, maybe consider the M thing.  I'd be especially tempted to continue with the theme if you could find 3 or 4 M names that you do really like, just in case you have more kids later.

If you just can't find any that you like as much as Lucia & Paige, then it's time to compromise.  Perhaps you could do an M first name & then use the middle name as the call name?  Or maybe you could suggest tweaking the tradition a bit & giving all of your kids J middle names?  

August 9, 2015 8:22 PM

I had another idea.  You could use M and W names, and maybe E and S (for the upper case sigma).  When you put their initial on a water bottle, it will look the same.  Or you could use M names for girls and W names for boys. 

August 9, 2015 9:44 PM

The questions I have:

1) Realistically, what is the fallout for breakingthe tradition? Will it seem like you haven't truly bought into being a part of your ILs' family? How much rejection will they feel? Or is it just a bit of fun that no one takes too seriously?

2) Matilda: Does she go by Matilda, Mattie, or Tilly? If Tilly, it frees you up to look for names that might start with M, but have different initial for the nickname, like Michelle, nn Shelly. But also if Tilly, I would nix my favorite M name from above, Millicent, to avoid sisters Millie and Tilly. ;-)

Really, it sounds like strong enough a tradition to not be rejected outright, not without really exploring the M options out there! Name Finder at this site can generate a lot of ideas that won't come right off the tops of any of our heads.

August 10, 2015 10:28 AM

Matilda goes by Tilly...true that rules out Millie, didn't even think about that.


Do Madison and Matilda work together or are they too similar?


Also... I just completely fell in love with the name Elliotte nn Lottie!! Don't know why, but it was love at first sight when I came across the name. I know my husband would probably like it too, but it doesn't fit the theme... So tempted just put an M in front of it and call her mElliotte :P just kidding... are there any names starting with an M that could have Lottie as a nickname?

August 10, 2015 11:07 AM

Maybe Melody? That may be a stretch, though...

August 10, 2015 11:13 AM

Hmm, that's a tough one. Are you guys wine aficionados by any chance? I think Merlot would work--sound-wise it's fairly similar to Marlo. I suppose you could use Marlo, but spell it Marlot--just tell people it's like Margot with an L.

I've known a woman named Marletta, if Letty is of any interest.

Otherwise, perhaps a compound name, like Mary-Charlotte?

One thing to note: Tilly and Lotty are almost like anagrams of one another--do you think that might be confusing at all? I get tripped up on names easily, so I might have a hard time with this pair.

August 10, 2015 12:29 PM

I think you're really on to something with Marlo. (But Marlot looks a little too much like Harlot for me.)

You could do a T middle name. MarLO Theresa has LOT right in there, which is easily turned into Lottie. 

FWIW, Matilda, Marlo, and Maisie are a great sibset if you're still brainstorming M names to keep the tradition. 

August 10, 2015 4:41 PM

LOL, I was thinking that as I was typing. Actually, thinking "this definitely wouldn't be a usable alternate spelling for Harlow!" Marlo T. is a great idea.

August 10, 2015 1:38 PM

Lottie reminds me of _The Parent Trap_ -- the original German title of the book is _Das doppelte Lottchen_ "the doubled Lotties". The other girl is Luise in the book, but I've never actually read it (in any language), so I don't know whether Lotte is used as a stand-alone, or as a nickname for Charlotte.

I think Lottie could work as a nickname for any name with a -lo- in it, even without a 't' anywhere, because the -et(te) diminutive is well-known enough. In the Middle Ages, there was also a diminutive suffix -ot(a), resulting in names like Mabota from Mabel and Maggot (!) from Margaret. Any interest in Mallot(a), from Mary?

Madison and Matilda have a totally different feel: Matilda is a very old and classic feminine name, while Madison is a masculine surname lately taken up as a girl's name -- a trend started as a joke in a movie. For me, any phonetic similarity gets lost in the unexpected juxtaposition.

August 10, 2015 4:46 PM

I would personally not use Madison & Matilda together.  They seem too similar, especially when I think about the nicknames Maddie & Mattie.

I have to admit I'm not a fan of Elliotte-and Lottie seems like a bit of a stretch to me.  Possibly because Eliott for a girl seems to be discussed most often as a way to get to Elle/Ellie as a nickname.  Melody could work.  Perhaps Margarett?  Especially if it's Margaret + an L middle name.  Perhaps Marla?

August 10, 2015 3:46 PM

It's an old southern tradition to give girls the first name Mary and then call them by their middle names. Often the middle name is the mother's maiden name, so many girls are named things like Mary Chapman, Mary Walker, Mary Carter, etc. and are called Chapman, Walker, and Carter. Mary Charlotte would fit this trend and you could call her Lottie. From your use of the word "mum", however, I'm guessing you're not from the American south...

August 10, 2015 9:46 PM

If you're going to break the tradition do it now.  If you go with a second M name don't break it for the third.  I know a sib set with the J.  Jana, Jessica, and then their brother Peter... What???  I personally love M names, I think there are tons of options.  I don't think you'll have a problem finding names to fit in with the tradition.

Meredith Paige
Macy, Mabel, Magda, Maggie, Margo/Margaux, Marcheline, Miriam, Maureen, Merritt, Millicent (Millie!), Miriam, Miranda, Molly, Myra 

Milo Chrisitian
Micah, Matthew, Maxwell, Marshall, Mason, Mercer, Merrick, Mitchell

How handsome do the brothers Maxwell, Marshall, and Mitchell sound?? 


August 11, 2015 1:30 AM

I like Melliotte!  Much more than Elliotte actually - that is just the boy name with a girl spelling to me.  With Melliotte you get your Lottie, and keep on the family tradition.  So what if it's made up?

Also on the surnames-as-girl-first-names front.... Merlotte?  Very pretty.

I happen to have an M name fetish myself so I am grooving with this family tradition at the moment. ;)



August 11, 2015 12:20 PM

Haha I'm so tempted to actually name her Melliotte! The more I say it out lout, the more I like it. I don't think my husband would agree to a made up name though :D


I also came across Mirabel (or Mirabelle / Mirabella), which I actually quite like and then nn Mira!I think I'm coming around to the whole M thingy..

I could imagine the following sibsets:

if we have two boys after this one: Matilda, Mirabel(le/la), Mason and Milo

if we have one more girl and a boy: Matilda, Maisie, Mirabel(le/la) and Milo

if we have two more girls: Matilda, Maisie, Mirabel(le/la) and ?


thinking about another M name in case we end up having only girls. Would you pronounce the name Marcia Mar-see-a or mar-sha? Or maybe something along the lines of Maya, Madelyn, Madison or Mabel... Which one would you prefer?

True -I'm not from the southern US ;) I'm from the UK, but I still think a name like Mary-Charlotte nn Lottie would be lovely! However it somehow bothers me a bit that only one of my children would have a double-barrelled name while the others don't.

August 11, 2015 2:51 PM

For your 4th girl, I think Madeleine would be lovely. It's far enough from Matilda, but still has the beginning sound that you favor. Plus, you could call her Laney. Another option would be Maren or Marina. 

I would say mar-sha. 

I definitly think one child of 4 with a double barrelled name is just fine. I know a famly that did that: Luc@s, Beth@any, Nichol@s and M@ry-Elen@. With your taste, having only one double-barrelled would be fine.  I think it would only raise eyebrows when the styles are drastically different, like Riley, Taylor, Casey and Mary-Elizabeth. 

August 11, 2015 5:16 PM

WIth all the assorted Ellas/-ellas and Bellas/-bellas around, I have been wondering why Marcella (cute nickname Marcy/i) doesn't seem to be on the radar.

August 11, 2015 11:39 PM

You can always just tell your husband that Melliotte is a French name.  ;)

What about Miette?  It's a bit silly as a given name if she is actually in France as an adult, where it's a cutesy nickname that means "pastry (cookie) crumb."  But it is occasionally used as a given name in the US and seems to be in line with the kind of names and sounds you like.

Melanie, Miriam, Marianne, Molly, Maeve, Moira, Mairead (rhymes w/ parade)....





August 12, 2015 2:00 AM

I was just scrolling to the bottom to suggest Marcella. I know a little one, sisters Char1otte and Audr3y, and I think it's a wonderful choice for a family contemplating Lucia but wanting an M name.

I would think about whether you can name 3-4 children with M names that you love. I agree it will get increasingly harder to break the pattern later, but I do think that Mname Callname Surname is a perfectly fine option, too - Mary Charlotte Surname, going by M. Charlotte Surname most of the time, called Lottie, for example, would be just fine.

Other M-names that could yield Lottie as a nickname: Margalit? Melitta or Melita, if the coffee filters aren't a thing where you live? Behind the name suggests that Malati is another option, and I'm seeing not-equally-legitimate claims that Malot is a medieval variant of Mary.

This is a multigenerational pattern and it is really kind of fun that it's been going for so long, so I would try to continue it if you can find names that you love that would work to fulfill it.

Other names: Mirabelle seems like a great choice. Melisande is less likely to default to Milly than Millicent, perhaps? Mira, Miriam, Moira, Mirette (there's a fun kids book Mirette on the High Wire), and possibly also my personal favorite, Mehitabel or Mehetabel, though it might be too similar to Matilda (though Tilly and Meta wouldn't be too close).

August 13, 2015 11:32 AM

I think if you're going to get stuck with using one initial, then M is the initial to have. I know a family of Ms (M@tilde, M@tthew, M0lly and M@ll0ry. One of them has married into a family with all C names, so I'm kind of curious to see where they'll be going with their children.

I love Maisie for this next one.... :)

September 24, 2015 12:22 PM

I just wanted to thank everyone again for all the AMAZING help! I'm very happy to announce the birth of our dear daughter

Maisie Rachel

we are so in love with her, she is just perfect and a healthy and happy baby

Thank you all so much for helping me choose the perfect name.


September 24, 2015 4:50 PM

Thanks for the update!  Congrats!

By Eko
September 24, 2015 7:02 PM


September 25, 2015 6:39 AM

Congratulations! Maisie is such a great name!

September 25, 2015 10:40 AM

Congratulations on an adorable name and (I'm sure) an equally adorable baby!

October 1, 2015 4:50 PM

Congrats! Maisie is such a sweet name. 

By LunaEverleigh7896 (not verified)
September 24, 2015 6:48 PM

Ok, first things first, Lucia is pronounced Lu-SEE-uh, and if you end up naming her that, people will pronounce it that way. Matilda is really not my style, but here's some M names I love:






Though, I'm not sure if you like them.

September 24, 2015 7:04 PM

Thank you for your suggestions, but our daughter is already born and we named her Maisie. But thank you anyway - I do like Miranda, so who knows - maybe for another future daughter :)
Lucia can actually be pronounced both ways: lu-SEE-uh and lu-CHEE-ah

September 24, 2015 7:20 PM

And Loo-sha for that matter.  It's one name that always needs some "commentary."

September 25, 2015 10:41 AM

According to Behind the Name, it can even be LOO-tsee-uh (in German). Definitely an ambiguous choice, with lots of lovely options.