Spot the Missing Sibling: Answers

Jan 30th 2012

Last time I offered a baby name puzzle: spotting the "missing sibling" to go with a list of hand-selected style matches. Answers are below...but if you haven't made your guesses yet, take the sibling challenge first!


1. Brooklyn
Brothers: Camden, Kingston, Cooper, Grayson, Trenton, Chase, Bryson, Hudson
Sisters: London, Peyton, Aspen, Berkeley, Gracelyn, Alexa, Sydney, Bristol

A collection of contemporary place names, surnames and similar creations. Note that the B names give you a clue -- I try to offer alliterating options, especially for contemporary-styled names, for the many parents who seek that sound.

2. Lucy
Brothers: Leo, Sam, Oscar, Charlie, Max, Jack, Henry, Oliver
Sisters: Ruby, Ella, Sadie, Gracie, Lena, Stella, Alice, Molly

A collection of cozy picture-book classics.

3. Atticus
Brothers: Gideon, Beckett, Sawyer, Cassius, Soren, Emerson, Tennyson, Phineas
Sisters: Beatrix, Paloma, Oriana, Hermione, Guinevere, Aurora, Briar, Athena

A mix of the literary and classical, with a creative but not "invented" style.

4. Stephen
Brothers: Michael, Anthony, Philip, Thomas, Andrew, Daniel, Mark, Matthew
Sisters: Diana, Theresa, Christine, Rebecca, Cynthia, Andrea, Laura, Deborah

This classic was the #1 toughest challenge, based on reader responses! Note that this is Stephen, not the subtly different Steven. Brothers for Steven are Jeffrey, Kevin, Brian, David, Timothy, Eric, Patrick, Gregory.

5. Trinity
Brothers: Talon, Maverick, Orion, Tristan, Chance, Jett, Maximus, Zion
Sisters: Genesis, Destiny, Serenity, Nevaeh, Journey, Phoenix, Cadence, Harmony

Lots of you picked up on the modern power-meaning name with the slight sci-fi spin.

6. Adrian
Brothers: Julian, Damian, Xavier, Sebastian, Rafael, Dominic, Elias, Gabriel
Sisters: Natalia, Isabella, Giselle, Emilia, Mia, Ava, Valeria, Sofia

Another challenging one. Strong guesses included Felix, Nicolas and Diego.

More of these soon! I'm matching more every day. (In fact, I just had a devil of a time with Alistair. Any clever ideas?)



January 30, 2012 12:38 PM

Well I didn't get any of them correct but I was close on a few.

For Alistair, I would go for Sebastian or Hugo.
Callista (for sound/sp) and Daphne?

January 30, 2012 12:38 PM

Well I didn't get any of them correct but I was close on a few.

For Alistair, I would go for Sebastian or Hugo.
Callista (for sound/sp) and Daphne?

January 30, 2012 12:39 PM

Oops, don't know why it posted twice-Sorry!

By meJen (not verified)
January 30, 2012 12:46 PM

For Alistair - Archibald/Archie?

By Birdonthestreet (not verified)
January 30, 2012 12:47 PM

Four out of six! I'll take it!!

Alistair makes me think of a Disney character for some reason, so I'll suggest Oscar and Oliver as brothers. Sisters would be harder. Maybe Fiona/Finola or Beatrix?

January 30, 2012 12:56 PM

I got Trinity right! And I think that Augustus was very close to Atticus, and Phoebe or Kitty just as good a fit as Lucy.

Alistair is very Scottish - how about Lachlan, Finlay, Iain, Murdo, Kirsty, Fiona, Ailsa or Morven?

January 30, 2012 1:22 PM

Thanks for the explanation of the spelling of Stephen!

This was such a fun challenge. Not sure about sibling names for Alistair, though. Hmmm...

By Maxwell W (not verified)
January 30, 2012 1:35 PM

How about Alanis? The names have a certain similarity-- and they are both cast members of "You Can't Do That on Television", which you have to admit, is at least a _little_ clever. :-)

By Juli (not verified)
January 30, 2012 1:42 PM

I didn't get any of the siblings, but I only had guesses for two (Madison for the first one, David for the fourth). I console myself that I was in the right ballpark...

For Alistair's siblings, I checked the Medieval
Names Archive's Lowland section ( Of course, Scottishness is only one of many dimensions of Alistair, but I really don't know any of the others.

Brothers: Douglas, Fergus, Donald/Ronald, Archibald, Angus, Ingram, Morris, Gavan
Sisters: Elspeth, Jonet, Agnes, Isabell, Marjorie, Maude, Annabell, Muriel

By Birgitte (not verified)
January 30, 2012 1:53 PM

My day job is translating a certain Facebook game. The Alistair in that game is surrounded by characters from different eras, but only Eleanor would fit together with Alistair in my opinion.

January 30, 2012 2:03 PM

The trick with Alistair is that it's very Scottish, but to most Americans the impression is more "Masterpiece Theatre" -- a general aura of British elegance.

Here's the current working version:

Evander, Colin, Magnus, Dashiell, Gareth, Graeme, Lachlan, Finlay

Beatrix, Imogen, Ailsa, Iona, Penelope, Georgina, Annabel, Finola

By Yet Another Guest (not verified)
January 30, 2012 2:34 PM

4 of 6!

Other names that haven't been suggested yet for siblings for Alistair:
Callum, Fraser, Duncan, Kieran

Ishbel, Gweneth, Bronwyn, Morwyn

January 30, 2012 3:27 PM

Laura, I will second the British vibe gotten from Alistair. I recognize that it IS Scottish but it FEELS British to me. I will second the suggestions of: Magnus, Dashiell and Lachlan as well as Beatrix, Imogen, and Penelope. I originally tossed around Bridget for my first post but then negated it as being a bit too plain and missing some kind of flair that Alistair has. That's why I put Daphne down instead.

By Louise (not verified)
January 30, 2012 3:47 PM

4/6, and I got Stephen with the correct spelling. Not bad!

Alistair's brother is Quentin. Definitely.

Other siblings could be: Graeme, Hamish, Stuart, Jane, Virginia (Regina would be better, but do people shy away from the "vagina" rhyme?), or Fiona.

By hyz
January 30, 2012 4:19 PM

Ok, since Alistair is one of my favorites, I'll jump in here. I definitely agree with the "know it's Scottish but feels more English" thing--and I think it could fit in reasonably well with any proper British Isles set.

From the current list, I like (favorites are starred):
For boys
Evander, Dashiell, Graeme* (although I'd go with Graham), Lachlan*, and I'd add Oliver (not that this is a great sib name, because the sounds are too similar, but I also read the sib lists as a "if you like X, you may like Y" thing, so I think it could still be helpful), Callum, Everett*, and Silas*.

For girls
Beatrix*, Imogen*, Ailsa, Iona, Georgina, and I'd add Fiona, Isla, Rosamond*, and Eleanor*.

To me, Alistair is formal/proper, but not too stuffy ir inaccessible, and definitely familiar but not too common. The ones I didn't love from the current list generally either seemed a little too "different" (Magnus, Finola, and Iona is headed that direction) or too common (Colin, Finlay (in the family with Finn, Finnegan, etc.), Annabel).

January 30, 2012 4:28 PM

What about Philippa to go with Alistair since its so hot right now?

January 30, 2012 4:43 PM

I'm British and I've never ever heard the name Evander used in any British context. I'd think it was very American.Likewise Dashiell.
Colin and Graeme are middle-aged men's names in Britain...but I know you Americans think they are stylish and classy. We think they are plumbers or builders.
All the girls' names work though, with the possible exception of Penelope, which in the UK would be posh and old-fashioned English..not Scottish. Fiona works better. Eilidh is another lovely Scottish girl's name.

By hyz
January 30, 2012 4:45 PM

zoerhenne, I was thinking Philippa too--it is a bit like Georgina and, like Alistair, it has the "britishized version of a more universal name" thing going on (Alexander/Philip). I also liked YAG's suggestion of Fraser, above, but I didn't second it because it seems a bit less accessible than Alistair to me somehow--less familiar, maybe pronunciation issues--it was on my long list, but got knocked off because it seemed just a bit more... risky than Alistair. But at least I'm proof that the two names appeal to some of the same people. Also in that category, I'd put Ambrose, Leander, and Alban. Thought of a couple more I might add to the sib list, though--Simon, Orson, Emmett, Sebastian. I seem to meet a lot of little Sebastians lately. Also, I met a young Amos over the weekend, and was excited. I believe his sister was Marg0t.

By natalie7s19 (not verified)
January 30, 2012 5:15 PM

5/6! Only got Stephen wrong - I guessed Robert. I did contemplate Steven, but then thought it wasn't classic/timeless enough for the set. Forgot about the PH spelling!

Siblings for Alistair - Edmund, Simon, Francis, Dashiell, Phillip // Beatrice, Roselyn, Briony, Scarlett, Gwyneth

January 30, 2012 5:26 PM

Duncan, Felicity, and Rowena popped into my head for Alistair.

January 30, 2012 5:31 PM

Keren-The British vibe I get from Alistair is a "Jeeves" sort of thing. So with that thinking I believe Graham/Graeme, Colin, and Dashiell work quite well as does Ambrose. The girls are trickier.

By AmyRenee (not verified)
January 30, 2012 5:49 PM

I read a book once that had a British little boy named Alistair, and his sister's name was Rowena, so those names go together as a sibling pair in my mind.

January 30, 2012 6:31 PM

@zoerhenne Ah, the subtleties of the British class system! Colin and Graeme both hopelessly middle class to my ear, whilst your upper class 'Jeeves' names might be Archie, Bertie, George, Humphrey, Algernon, Percy etc. (Not, however, Alistair, which is more Scottish). (Jeeves himself was called Reginald, which is indeed more middle class, but from an older era. I suppose a valet born in 1950 or so would have been called Colin or Graeme - although there aren't many around any more - but I sense you are thinking employer rather than manservant).
As for Dashiell, to us English, it is only really known in the context of Dashiell Hamnett. And Evander, only known as Evander Holyfield. Both of whom are very American.
Fraser is a great sib for Alistair, as is Rowena.

January 30, 2012 6:41 PM

I agree that Alistair feels more British/Masterpiece Theatre than Scottish. Too me Alasdair is very Scottish though. As someone with Alasdair/Alistair on my list I would pair the following with it:

I find boys easy to pair with Alistair.

Girls are harder, you can go down the route of something like Lucy or Ruby but I also like the suggestions of Fiona and Rowena, Beatrix and Imogen.

I also like Anneliese, Genevieve, Josephine, Marguerite, Caroline and Harriet with Alistair.

January 30, 2012 6:53 PM

@ Louise (#14) - You know, I've heard some comments from people like what you said about the name Regina. (It's what I named my dog.) But every instance of the name I've ever heard has been pronounced reh-JEE-nah (long E), and to rhyme, it would have to be reh-JI-nah (long I), wouldn't it? Recent examples:
- Regina George (Mean Girls)
- Regina Spektor (musician)
- Regina Mills (One Upon A Time)
I've looked at the page on the name here, and I see it has both pronunciations. Personally, I feel that if you want to avoid the rhyming, you choose the version that doesn't rhyme!

By TamaraR (not verified)
January 30, 2012 7:24 PM

Yay for the earlier answers.

For Alistair (without carefully seeing what's a repeat already, sorry), ideas for brothers to play off that American mental image might include:
Broderick or Roderick
Tristan or Tristram

I'd add Rupert and Stuart, but I'm wondering if most Americans don't really see those as dashing, but still as nerdy or something?

And I hate to say, especially since I actually have a fondness for the name, I don't see Gareth as an Alistair kind of name. He may be an Arthurian knight, but the US schoolboys are going to end up calling him Gary, which is about as far a cry from Alistair as I can think of. But I know, I should stick to the name, not a possible nickname...

will think of sisters later..

By TamaraR (not verified)
January 30, 2012 7:54 PM

oh meant to add Sinclair

January 30, 2012 8:11 PM

Keren-LOL this is such a fun discussion. I think Chimu is hitting it more on the head than I am. I would say Archie, Bertie, George, Humphrey, Algernon, Percy etc. are British but don't seem as usable to me as Alistair. I suppose its a terrible stereotype in that Alistair and Reginald seem much more regal (as Chimu said "Masterpiece Theatre") than Archie and Percy (who btw reminds me of Thomas The Train). I was thinking Jeeves to be more of a servant type. So I really like Chimu's ideas of:Theodore; Rafferty; Cormac; Hamish; Angus; Fraser; Hugo
I think they are a good mix of British and Scottish.

Tamara's idea of Duncan is good too.

Louise + Rachel Dana-I have heard the name mostly with the EE sound but the place name with the I sound. Drives me crazy and makes me hate the name.

By Ellie'smom (not verified)
January 30, 2012 8:31 PM

Alistair -
Giles, Rupert, Nigel, Basil, Frederick, Edward,
Imogen, Jemima, Giorgiana, Rosalind, Fiona, Eugenia.

By Yet Another Guest (not verified)
January 30, 2012 8:38 PM

A couple more for Alistair that haven't been named yet:

Desmond, Malcolm
Rosalind, Maeve, Gladys

I love the suggestions of Ambrose, Amos, and Silas--those are some of my favourite names! I'd also go with the Graeme spelling over Graham. It's a personal preference as I think it looks more elegant, but it also seems to fit better.

January 30, 2012 10:09 PM

Great discussion of the dilemmas of Alistair! Many names have a similar problem of "multiple realities." E.g. should I match a Scottish name with other names that have a similar usage pattern in Scotland? In which case a good sister for Skye might be Eilidh...even though Skye is 9000% more popular in the U.S. and isn't heard as Scottish here at all?

For that matter, should I match Antoine as French or African-American? Does it matter, in matching, that Misha is a male name in Russia? Etc.

Hmm...this makes me think that offering up a few of my toughest "unmatchables" would be a good future name challenge! But I can't expect anyone to solve the ultimate unmatchable: Barack.

January 30, 2012 10:27 PM

ROFL Laura! I think matches for Barack are Mitt, Newt, and John (LOL). Can't wait for more challenges like this.

January 30, 2012 11:08 PM

The only one I got right was Lucy. ;)

As for Alistair:

Hamish, Angus, Callum, Logan, Cameron
Fiona, Una, Isobel, Lilias, Maisie

By Almk42 (not verified)
January 30, 2012 11:11 PM

I have a cousin Alistair. Other family names include Philip, Andrew, Samuel, Katherine, Erin, Viginia, Campbell and Ian.

By ChesterGrover (not verified)
January 30, 2012 11:23 PM

I don't know, parents of Barack might be interested in Millard, Rutherford, or Woodrow for a brother (I don't know where on the current political spectrum any of these three would fall!). I don't see anything noteworthy amongst the first ladies.
I found only one birth announcement online for a Barack (middle name Theodore after Dad), with no siblings listed, and a litter of puppies named Earl, Tyra, Beyonce, Barack, and Bobbi. Nothing too helpful there!

By Charly (not verified)
January 30, 2012 11:29 PM

Minerva (McGonagall), Harry (Potter), and Hermione could all be tie-ins with Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody. Other names which seem to fit are Gordon, Mary, Agatha, and Bertram.

January 30, 2012 11:39 PM

Charly wrote: "Minerva (McGonagall), Harry (Potter), and Hermione could all be tie-ins with Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody."

Ah, Alastor! Now there's another interesting wrinkle. While it CAN be used as an alternate spelling of Alastair, it's actually an ancient Greek epithet of Zeus meaning "avenger," which fits into Rowling's pattern of Greek & Latin charactonyms.

By ChesterGrover (not verified)
January 30, 2012 11:42 PM

Addendum: It would seem Mr. Obama has several half siblings himself - Maya, Malik, Auma, Abo, Bernard, Mark, David, and George. Some parents have named their sons Obama, which would certainly make for an interesting pair. Found twins Barack and Michelle too. Okay, I should probably leave this alone now. ;) Interesting challenge!

By SaraJane (not verified)
January 31, 2012 12:25 AM

Alisdair - I have always preferred this one.

Hugh, Danus, Lachlan, Edmond, Graeme, Philip
Philippa, Lucy, Jocasta, Helena, Violet and dare I say it Rowena. Alisdair and Rowena are definites.

The one Alistair that I know the sibs are Lucy and Jane.


Dairus, Ammon, Kurban, Oded, Omar, Berent
Jaia, Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Kira, Sara

January 31, 2012 1:05 AM

I wouldn't include Silas as a sibling option for Alistair, especially if you're going for a more British UK sound over the traditional Scottish. To me, Silas is very American Old West, as well as being Biblical. I feel like if you add Silas to the mix, it skews the feel to a point where you may start including other Western favorites like Colton and Sterling.

I feel that the other boy options are great, though. They definitely match the feel you're going for and offer a variety from more traditionally Scottish (Lachlan), to very hot (Dashiell), and more common (Graham).

The girls are spot on, though if you want to include Oliver, I would also include Phillipa.

By TamaraR (not verified)
January 31, 2012 2:00 AM

I'm curious if the sibling names that people write in on Namipedia or other reader contributions ever are of any help in considering the brother/sister suggestions?

By Angela Dawn (not verified)
January 31, 2012 7:12 AM

I only got one, #5 correct. I found #6 challenging but now that I see the answer in front of me, Adrian seems so obvious!

I didn't want to cheat so I didn't read the other responses. But now I see there are patterns or themes to each set, that I totally didn't pick up on. I was just going with what I thought sounded good. : )

By Esther E. (not verified)
January 31, 2012 8:20 AM

There's a punk band named Allister that I was in to in college. Alistair Cookie (Cookie Monster's Munsterpiece Theatre) is my immediate association though.

I like the suggestion of Phillipa, but I don't see it catching on. The nickname Pippa is much more on-trend for a feminine sound.

Here are my suggestions for siblings:
Frances, Enid, Edith, Eloise, Anastasia, Matilda, Beatrix

Sabastian, Miles, Russell, Stuart, Alfred

January 31, 2012 9:01 AM

Interestingly enough, TamaraR, my spouse vetoed Alistair as a name for a child because it was "too nerdy" (we gave it to a cat instead). Her favorite name (and one that we used) is... Rupert, which she perceives as "not nerdy at all". :) So I think that the line between the nerdy and dashing qualities of the "Masterpiece Theatre" names is a fine, blurry one.

I actually know an Oliver and Alistair sibset, with a surname that's also come up here as a potential Alistair match. So I think you're all on the right track!

My boy Alistair matches would include Tristram, Duncan, Angus, Hamish, Ewan, Gavin. My girl list would DEFINITELY include Fenella (I'd use that spelling, which has more of the "masterpiece theatre" feel than Finola).

January 31, 2012 12:00 PM

my humble opinion on siblings for Alistair:

Boys: Stuart, Blair, Duncan, Malcolm, Godfrey

Alistair and Stuart sound perfect for two little boys to me. Also Alistair and Godfrey. for some reason I don't see Alistair with Graeme or Lachlan type names - while they match in their Scottish origin, I don't get the same style-vibe, they don't have the conservative uppercrusty vibe that I get from Alistair.

Girls are definitely more difficult, maybe: Agnes, Alana, Claire, Imogen, Robina, Iona,

Alistair and Iona? lots of vowels.

My favourite Alistair has to be Ali G. :D although Alastair Cook is fun to watch too.

Great name.

By Sharalyn (not verified)
January 31, 2012 6:09 PM

The only Alistair (boy one anyway -- I know a female Allistaire)I know is younger beother to Lincoln and Zoe. :-)

By With an E (not verified)
January 31, 2012 7:10 PM

Just FYI--at the elementary school I work at, of our 430 students, we have students named (from the list):
Sawyer (F & M)
Emerson (F)
Trinity (2)

They sounded new and fresh--to many pregnant people 5-10 years ago!

By Coll
January 31, 2012 10:04 PM

Boys to go with Alistair:

Simon, Reginald, Frederick, Graeme, Rufus, Callum, Ambrose

Girls: Rowena (love!), Elspeth, Briony, Clare, Fiona, Georgiana

Since Alistair is my current favorite boy's name, I have to join it with Simon :)

By It's Beth (not verified)
January 31, 2012 11:35 PM

This may not be a popular answer, but ... Alistair or Alasdair sounds to me like the kid who gets picked on in school.

I'd pair it with Stuart, Simon, Oliver, Elliot, Beatrice, Hester, Mariah, Ramona, and Hermione.

If you are trying to play up the Scottish sound, I'd go with Briony for a sister option, to my American ear, it sounds more Scottish than even Rowena.

January 31, 2012 11:51 PM

I had no idea Alastair was Scottish, and with the crusty British association in my head, I immediately thought of Crispin as a brother.