Spot the Missing Sibling: Round 2 Answers

Apr 3rd 2012

This round of Spot the Missing Sibling was a tough challenge! Yet every name was guessed correctly by two or more of you, and props go to readers "neuftette" and "knp-nli" for an impressive 3 out of 6 showing. The answers: 

1. Amy

Brothers: Adam, Timothy, Brian, Eric, Jeffrey, Kevin, Patrick, Scott
Sisters: Kelly, April, Stacy, Tara, Christine, Julie, Robin, Holly

The challenge here is that most of you know this generation of names SO well that many alternatives come to mind. Heather was one excellent guess, especially given the other nature names on the list.

2. Alejandro

Brothers: Eduardo, Javier, Antonio, Andres, Diego, Sebastian, Cesar, Fernando
Sisters: Adriana, Gabriela, Valeria, Mariana, Noemi, Ana, Natalia, Carolina

Spanish, trendy, lyrical, and lots of A names in the sibling lists. This was the most-guessed answer by far.

3. Wyatt

Brothers: Carson, Sawyer, Beckett, Jackson, Levi, Lincoln, Deacon, Cooper
Sisters: Scarlett, Avery, Faith, Piper, Hannah, Oakley, Ivy, Willow

Looking for a super-fashionable Western surname here. Beckett was a bit of a red herring -- it's there to represent the growing popularity of the double-t ending. 

4. Octavia
Brothers: Ulysses, Demetrius, Alonzo, Cassius, Tycho, Napoleon, Aeneas, Titus
Sisters: Augusta, Marguerite, Ophelia, Drusilla, Zora, Minerva, Olympia, Lavinia

This is, admittedly, an idiosyncratic name list. Heavy on ancient Rome, but with some other "exotic traditionals" thrown in to represent style over origin. One additional wrinkle is that Octavia has been largely an African-American name (think of author Octavia Butler and actress Octavia Spencer).

5. Eoin
Brothers: Ciaran, Oisin, Fionn, Tadhg, Ronan, Cillian, Cathal, Niall
Sisters: Aoife, Eimear, Aisling, Meabh, Roisin, Caoimhe, Saoirse, Niamh

No surprise that this was a tough one! There are plenty of Irish name possibilities, but one thing all of these have in common is that Americans have to pause and fumble trying to pronounce them.

6. Madeline
Brothers: Maxwell, Owen, Caleb, Carson, Oliver, Nathaniel, Samuel, Alexander
Sisters: Isabel, Caroline, Annalise, Claire, Abigail, Charlotte, Juliet, Annabelle

One clue is that unlike Amelia, Lily, Sophia etc., none of the girls' names on the list end in a vowel sound. But in retrospect, I have no clue what Carson is doing here. Sorry! Any suggestions for what boy's name should replace it? 



By meJen (not verified)
April 3, 2012 11:12 AM

How about Mason instead of Carson? I don't have stats to back me up, but I know more Masons than Carsons among my guy's Oliver-Charlotte-Annabelle friends.

By Guest K (not verified)
April 3, 2012 11:51 AM

-How about Andrew or Henry to replace Carson on the Madeline Brothers list?

April 3, 2012 11:52 AM

Madeline/Madeleine is high on our list for another girl! We have two children named Caleb and Annabel. Perhaps Elliot or Bennett instead of Carson? Henry fits in nicely for me, as well, though it ends in a vowel sound.

By TheLetterK (not verified)
April 3, 2012 11:55 AM

Maybe something to highlight the French origins of Madeline? Adrien? Is Sebastian too fancy?

By LauraP (not verified)
April 3, 2012 12:36 PM

I think Sebastian is a good one, but I was thinking Carter, too.

By Steph.anie (not verified)
April 3, 2012 1:52 PM

I think that Madeline needs another brother with a name longer than two syllables. Sebastian is good, but I would choose Theodore.

By EVie
April 3, 2012 3:13 PM

In retrospect, one clue to the Madeline puzzle that I should have picked up on is that the set contains Annalise as opposed to Anneliese—an Americanized/Anglicized spelling, just like Madeline instead of Madeleine.

For another Madeline match on the boy's side, I would look for a popular yet traditional name with Greek, Aramaic or otherwise New Testament roots (since Madeline comes from Magdalen). I think that Elliott is a very good suggestion, since the name comes via Elias, the Greek version of Elijah. I might also suggest Luke, or perhaps Timothy. And for some reason, Tyler comes to mind, though I can't back it up with etymology.

On the Octavia puzzle—well, that answers my question of where Zora comes from! Zora Neale Hurston is the first thing that came to mind when I read the name, too, but for some reason I never made the connection that Octavia is also an African-American name.

By hyz nli (not verified)
April 3, 2012 3:25 PM

Hmm, came in too late to post on the other thread, but did write down my guesses before peeking here. I was going to say Amy, Matteo, Hudson, Octavia, Eamonn, and Emma. I'll count 2 for 6 as a success, although generally in life, 33% would be a failing grade. :)

As for a Carson replacement, maybe Benjamin? I feel like Madeline rides a funny borderline--it gets to the Maddy nn like Madison, which leans more trendy/modern, so I know a Madeline with a brother named Riley, and another with a sister named Huntl3y, and that fits ok--to me, that's why Carson is not a bad suggestion. Then you have the more classic/pretty/safely yuppie (i.e. Pottery Barn) side of it, so I'd see it with the Juliet/Charlotte/Claire/Oliver/Samuel/Owen choices. And then there's the French aspect (although that's not the French spelling), so again Juliet, Isabel, Sebastian, Charles, all seem likely. If you really want to replace Carson, I think another fence-sitter like Logan, Jack, Christian, or Evan might suit best.

By Jane 7 (not verified)
April 3, 2012 3:29 PM

I also vote for Elliott as the replacement name. Or maybe, for this spelling of Madeline, Eliot.

Also, and this is off-topic, anyone have any info on the name Mariam?

April 3, 2012 3:56 PM

I got 1 & 2, but blew it on the rest. I still like Jasper for number 3, works well with his earthy sisters in the list but has a western, rugged, pioneer flair. Wyatt definitely works, but I'm partial to Jasper because of the girls list.

Boy alternative to Carson...I see Emanuel, Julian, henry, Noah as possibilities. And I like the arguments for Sebastian, too.

April 3, 2012 4:17 PM

Hmm, maybe Christopher Robin? To me, Madeline will always be the littlest of all of twelve little girls in two straight lines (especially with that spelling).

By Ellie'smom (not verified)
April 3, 2012 4:33 PM

I would suggest Miles as the replacement for Carson.

By Keren not signed in (not verified)
April 3, 2012 4:54 PM

I didn't get one right, but I loved that challenge! Can we have another one soon?

April 3, 2012 6:04 PM

I also think Sebastian is a good brother name for Madeline.

I have a Sebastian and an Alexander. If our 3rd is a boy, he'll be Oliver (we also considered Nathaniel and Maxwell). Caroline, Annalise, Charlotte, and Annabelle are all on our list if our next is a girl.

April 3, 2012 7:47 PM

Keren-You are not alone. I missed all of them too!

Perhaps since I guessed Elliott as a girls name for #6 (which was Madeline) then it would also fit as a boys name sibling match. I also like the suggestions of Benjamin, Sebastian, Timothy, Julian, and Christian.

By JustPupsTilBeckettEamon (not verified)
April 3, 2012 9:28 PM

Carson, you're out, Sebastian in! I agree with the consensus so far that that is the best replacement.

So I'm curious; with Carson having been in 3 and 6, I take it the groups of 16 sibling names do not stick together as I had assumed (that is to say if I were to look up Beckett in the new edition, the 16 sibling name suggestions would not 100% overlap with the Wyatt grouping that included Beckett)?

By Coll
April 3, 2012 9:57 PM

I was so sure Madeline was Eleanor. And I guessed Dido for Octavia (the mix of Roman and Greek was throwing me off. I thought there was an epics of the ancient world theme, but obviously Helen and Penelope didn't fit, and I knew there was no way it could be Clytemnestra or Antigone).

I like Sebastian and Elliott instead of Carson. Also like Gabriel for that slot-- has a whiff of the Continental about it, like Madeline does (or maybe Gabriel would be a better sibling for Madeleine).

April 4, 2012 1:54 AM

Maybe it's the cultural differences and naming groups are a bit different here in Australia but some of those answers really threw me.

I was sure that all the guesses of Amy for number 1 were wrong. I have 3 good friends named Amy and grew up with a bunch of them but most of the names in the sibset lists were not among the Amy siblings. To me Amy really goes well with Claire, Louise, Catherine, Kate, Emily, Matthew, David, Luke. At least in my circles these were name combos.

The Wyatt one also threw me as the girls names totally don't go with Wyatt for me. They just seem mis-matched. I get how it goes with the boys names on the list though. I agree with the above comment that Jasper seems to bridge the boys and girls names list better. Maybe I just don't get cowboy names though? I know that to me Wyatt sound geeky but I know from reading this board it's considered a cowboy name in the US.

Madeline I didn't guess at all but I can see how it works. I think that unfortunately I see too many Madelines that are Maddies and it has more of the trendy vibe now. Maddison/Maddy is totally different to Madeline to me.

To replace Carson I thought of both Sebastian and Benjamin and see they have already been suggested!

this was fun though and happy to do some more!

April 4, 2012 8:15 AM

Chimu: I agree with you on the many different vibes some names carry. I definitely envy Laura for the fun she has at her job but definitely DON'T envy her because it's a very tough job. Some of the Amy ideas work for me but others do not. This would be my list for Amy:
Girls: Susan; Natalie; Lisa; Tiffany; Heather; Claire; Jill; Julie
Boys: Brian; David; John; James; Scott; Kevin; Justin; Peter

I'm sure there are some others that could be suggested and I'm not sure why many of them are J names. What do you all think goes with Amy?

April 4, 2012 9:38 AM

Hi all, I'm a long-time lurker, but this is my first time posting, which of course means I'm looking for some baby naming help.

I am due in June with a girl and we are just at a total loss for name ideas. We have a 20 month-old named Alistair, and had lots of other boy names we loved, but girl names are harder for us, and nothing is catching my eye.

What we both love about Alistair's name is that it is uncommon, but not unknown, and that it feels both strong and soft/bookish. These are the qualities I always liked about my name too, so we're looking for something that hits similar spots I think.

So, thanks in advance for any suggestions you all have for a girl's name that goes well with Alistair. Oh, and the last name is Mull!g@n, which is probably helpful to know.

April 4, 2012 9:59 AM

Rhiannon-My first thought for you is Bridget or Iris. I don't really have any reasoning for those that I can define though. What are some of the other boy names you like? Maybe if you get a sense of what goes with them it will trigger an idea.

By hyz
April 4, 2012 10:01 AM

Rhiannon, congrats! I absolutely love the name Alistair (it was a pretty strong contender for our son), so here are a few thoughts from my girl list that I think have some similar appeal: Rosamond, Beatrix, Virginia, Anthea, Honora, Eleanor, Susannah, Sylvia, Fiona, Johanna, Philippa, Calantha, Dahlia, Iris, Isla.... Any of these heading the right direction?

By knp-nli (not verified)
April 4, 2012 10:09 AM

So excited to be the spotlight post in the newsletter, and mentioned in this post! I was shining as I told dh. :) yay!

April 4, 2012 10:32 AM

Congrats knp!

Also, Rhiannon I'll second hyz's suggestion of Philippa with a smidgen of caution for pronunciation.

April 4, 2012 10:42 AM

Zoerhenne - Thanks for responding - I like both Bridget and Iris more in theory than in practice, who knows why, but they are both good suggestions I think and go well with Alistair. Good question about our other boy names too. Some of the other names we had on our list, or loved but couldn't use, were Linus, Seamus, Declan, Rupert, Sebastian and Jasper. Linus was my all-time fave that my husband wasn't fond of, and Seamus was his first choice, but I worried that a very Irish first name with our very Irish last name might be too much.

Hyz - Thank you as well! Most of your suggestions are right on track, and I especially like Rosamond, Beatrix, Anthea, Eleanor, Sylvia, Fiona and Calantha. I know a few of those have been on my lists for years, but somehow getting them as a suggestion from another person makes them seem more appealing than reading their descriptions in name books. Or perhaps it's just hormones making me crazy that one day a name sounds old and stale and the next it sounds lovely? ;)

Anyway, this is helping. I don't share our names in real life, so I think just being able to get input from actual people will help a lot. Since writing this I've thought of a couple things that might help figure out our style. We definitely are drawn to Celtic and British names. As I said above my biggest concern with Irish names is whether they go too well with the Irish last name. We both have Irish in our backgrounds, but we don't identify as particularly Irish, so a name like Seamus (or Fiona, in this case) seems like it could be too much paired with Mull!gan. Wat do you all think? Also, I love many Greek names, but with no Greek background I tend to shy from them - maybe that's silly to automatically rule them out?

April 4, 2012 10:44 AM

Oh, and I do love Philippa, mainly because I LOVE Pippa, Pippi and Pip as nicknames (although we aren't real nicknamey), but like many others I was a little turned off by the sudden everywhereness of Pippa Middleton...maybe I should reconsider it though, or at least run it by my husband. Thanks!

By hyz
April 4, 2012 1:46 PM

Rhiannon, glad to help out, and it sounds like we have some similar tastes here. :) I do think that one of the more obviously Irish names will sound very strongly Irish with your surname, which can be great, but sounds like it's not what you're going for. If I had to try to put a label to the names you seem to prefer, I'd call them something like ornate British--generally weighty, historical, upper-crust kind of names, serious and smart but potentially romantic, names that you'd likely find in Austen novels or the Telegraph announcements. In that vein, I think that certain Greek names are totally fitting. For instance, I could easily see Octavia and most of its siblings above appearing on a Telegraph tot, or Calantha, Anthea, Althea, Xanthe, Ianthe, Penelope, Olympia.... Other ideas... Verena, Victoria, Verity, Eliza, Elsa, Clara, Augusta, Geneva, Amalia, Leonora, Matilda, Wilhelmina (maybe nn Willa, or Minna), Araminta, Meredith, Tabitha, Helena, Clementine, Cassandra. I don't know if you'd want to exclude A or M names--I could go either way on that--so I'm throwing them in there just in case any spark. Anyway, it's a great set of names. If you haven't poked around on, this might be a good time to do that--she has a plethora of these sorts of names listed across time, and it's a fun read.

By (No Longer) Nameless (not verified)
April 4, 2012 1:23 PM

Wow, I'm no good at this guessing game, even though my own name is on there. Regarding Madeline's "brother" Carson, I actually babysat for a family that had a Madeline and Carson, along with a sister Katie. Also, based on personal experience I support Elliot or Mason for replacement as Madeline's "brother".

Also, some of you may remember my issue a couple months ago with coming up with a name for my soon-to-be-born daughter that went with our last name. You all were very helpful! Just to give you an update, my little Coralise is in my lap as I type. My husband and I both really liked the name Cora, but I couldn't get past it's flow with our last name. I happened upon this name, with a different spelling, on one of the Puerto Rican SS name lists and we loved that it combined two of the names we loved but that didn't work for us on their own: Cora and Elise. I wasn't sure until I saw her, but it's a perfect fit!

April 4, 2012 1:32 PM

Rhiannon-You are welcome. I love helping. I picked up on the Celtic/British thing right away. I do understand what you mean about the name sounding "TOO" Irish. I have neighbors with an Irish LN very similar to yours. Her daughter is Abigail with mn as Br!dget. So maybe that's where it came from. I also noticed your names are a bit S heavy so for other ideas how about:
Phoebe; Stacey; Cynthia; Lucy; Brenna; Charlotte;
Darcy; Aubrey; Lydia; Dierdre; Daphne; Ainsley; Shannon; Felicity; Lorelei

ETA: Welcome to the world Coralise! what a great story and combo. Glad it worked out:)

By (No Longer) Nameless (not verified)
April 4, 2012 1:31 PM

Rhiannon, I love your son's name. With his name and your LN, I especially like Eliza and Matilda from hyz's list.

By hyz
April 4, 2012 1:47 PM

(No Longer) Nameless--Coralise is lovely--congratulations on finding a great fit, and on your wonderful new baby girl! :)

April 4, 2012 3:47 PM

Before today I had been feeling so listless and uninterested in finding a name, but you guys have gotten me energized and excited about naming again, so thank you so much!

Hyz - I think that is a perfect description of my taste, and your list of names is giving me lots of ideas (how did I forget about the name Verity? I love that name!) to go forward with. My husband doesn't think we should use an A or M name, but I don't care either way, and until we have a list at all I'm not so willing to throw out entire letters. I will definitely be checking out, thanks for the suggestion.

Zoerhenne - Ha, I hadn't even noticed how much we seem to like S, but you're totally right! We know kids with many of the names you suggested, but I'd forgotten how much I like Phoebe, Lydia and Daphne. And Ainsley is about the only girl name my husband has ever said he likes, but he doesn't want to use it because of the A.

(No Longer) Nameless - Thank you so much, and congratulations to you on Coralise! That's a really beautiful name and it's awesome you were able to find it and that it suits her so well. I love it! Eliza and Matilda are both names I really like, but unfortunately we have friends with both of those names, so they won't work for us. Maybe our problem is that our friends have too good a taste in names so too many good ones are unavailable? ;)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to sharing some ideas with my husband and seeing what he likes and what he throws out. And then I'll definitely be back with a list to get more feedback at some point. If anyone else wants to chime in with suggestions, I'm still open to them.

April 4, 2012 11:17 PM

Rhiannon - I thought of Fiona instantly for you. I think it'd be stunning with Alistair, and would work really well with your last name, too.

By TamaraR (not verified)
April 5, 2012 1:18 AM

A boy's name to go with Madeline? Pepito, of course!
No, not the books? ok, ok, I will echo the votes for Sebastian.

I'll also go out on a limb and suggest 2 others - Aidan and Xavier.

Their naming ranks are roughly close to Madeline now, and if someone picks Madeline rather than Madison, Madeleine and a huge number of variants of 'Madalyn' then they might like some of the other names that are more standard spellings among multiple variants (Aiden, Ayden, Xzavier and more)

By Whydelilah (not verified)
April 5, 2012 4:03 AM

I have a Claire Allison(2009). Had she been a boy, she would be a Henry. Her brother (born 06) is named John Charles, but that's a legacy name. He is the only John in his school! Well, there is one Johnathan. He sits next to a Huckleberry, Noelani and Leilani.

By Amy3
April 5, 2012 8:44 AM

@(No Longer) Nameless, congratulations on Coralise! It's a beautiful name and the story to go with it is great.

I'm so glad I got the only guess I made (Amy) correct! In looking back at the sibling names I has forgotten that my middle name, my husband's name, and my sister-in-law's names are also listed!

By Guest-2011 (not verified)
April 5, 2012 10:29 AM

For those interested in sets of namelings, here is an interesting site:

it uses mainly wikipedia to guess related names and it knows some very unusual names (like Kundry ...). It shows different namelings for english, german or french language -- it is worth to experiment withthe language settings. It is not very sharp in discriminating given names from family names and it sometimes takes usual words for names.

It is fun nevertheless.

April 5, 2012 11:14 AM

Alert to those with synesthesia: I know there are some that read this blog that have that condition. This article describes the condition for those not familiar with it and then links to a fun test of sorts to see if you have the grapheme (written letters) to colors sort. They also want to hear from people who have this disorder for a study they are doing. So I thought I'd post it.

The test is at this site:

By TamaraR (not verified)
April 5, 2012 6:13 PM

zoerhenne, thanks for the links! very fun.

By Adriel (not verified)
April 8, 2012 9:23 PM

First posting here: I was posting to suggest Henri to finish out the boys' set, but I do like Eliot and Sebastian as well.

By Julie Harrell (not verified)
April 8, 2012 11:39 PM

Woah... How does this work?!  Our oldest is Madeline, 2 of her sisters are Clara (like Claire) and Juliet... Our pick for a boy name if we have a boy (currently we don't know the sex) is Oliver... that just creeped me out a little...




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