Ava and ..............


I have posted here in the past and I’m at it again J  We are TTC and I’d like to have a boy and a girl name picked out for big sister Ava Louise.

Here is what I’m looking for:

-longer name:  at least 2 syllables, preferably 3

-nicknames are extremely important (I like a natural nickname and ones that are created with the first few letters/sounds of  the beginning of the name, such as “Ev” for Evelyn or "Lu" for Lucille.


-I do NOT care about popularity whatsoever, I actually prefer a name at least in the top 200, preferably top 100.

-cannot be a made-up name or something too obscure.  In fact, if it is more well known name from a TV series or movie or actor/actress, that is a bonus! My biggest inspiration is from characters or other people I admire with the name.  

*The runner up the first time around was Evelyn and I would love to use this for a girl, but feedback I’ve received is it’s too similar with sister, Ava.  I can agree they have similar sounds, but I have heard much more similar sibling names.  I just had a friend name her daughter Vivian and she has an Evelyn. To me, those sound even more alike.  Or I’ve heard of C00per and H@rper.  Mich@el and MitcheI.  If it werent for the similarity issue, this would be my girl name.  Thoughts?

Some other names I like but am not 100% convinced are…


  • ROSALIE (love the nickname potential --Ro, Rose, Rosie--classic, long & pretty)
  • OLIVIA (again, too close with Ava? I do love the nickname Liv or Livi, even tho this NN is rooted in the middle of the name)
  • ELEANOR (also love the nickname potential, classic, long, but am unsure of the “nor” ending as I sometimes think its feels “stuffy”)
  • ADELINE (not a huge fan of double “A” initials as it reminds me of 'Alcoholics Anonymous', but I may be able to overlook that. Also, a close friend named her baby Addison recently so that might not work well in our group of friends)
  • EMILY(seems so plain to me)
  • PENELOPE (husband dislikes it)
  • CHARLOTTE (not a huge fan of the NN “Char” and as I mentioned earlier I would like a good nickname)
  • SCARLETT (same as above, not a fan of "Scar" as a NN)
  • NATALIE (cannot find anything specific wrong with this one. I just dont like it as much as Evelyn or some of the others)
  • MOLLY (is this too much of a “dog name”?  drug association?)

LUCILLE (the NN would be "Lu" and we already use that sometimes as Ava's nickname as we call her "Ava Lou")


  • BENJAMIN (love the full name but am not a fan of just ‘Ben”. I am looking for more of an obscure nickname like “Em” short for Emily or “Vin” short for Vincent.)
  • HENRY (I’d be tempted to use “Hen” as a NN and I fear that has a strong feminine association because of the female bird. Other than “Hen” there are no nicknames.  I don’t like Hank b/c to me, that’s not a natural nickname.  I never quite understood how Hank is a nn for Henry…. ??)
  • HUDSON (too trendy?)
  • ETHAN (nickname?)
  • OWEN (too short?)
  • OLIVER (husband isn’t a fan)

ZACHARY (too 1990's?)

The above names are options I will still consider, they are just names I am not 100% sold on yet.  Am I being wayyy too picky?  I appreciate the feedback and any other suggestions!!



July 20, 2017 9:48 PM

Hi! I don't think Evelyn sounds too close to Ava (both very beautiful names by the way) but I also love Rosalie on your list and Eleanor, though if you don't like the "nor" part you could always use Elliot as it is a unisex name :). I also really like Amelia which I think goes good with Ava and it is definely a classic. For Charlotte you could always use Cece or Charlie as a nickname.I also think Katherine/Catherine is a pretty name with some good nicknames. For the boys I like the name Hudson on your list, I also like the name Edward which has a lot of nicknames and is also a classic :), anyway congrats, please update us when you find a name :)- Alyssa 

July 20, 2017 10:31 PM

Elliott is not a unisex name. It is a masculine name, the diminutive of Elie, the French variant of Elijah. A few parents have named their daughters Elliott in the same way there are girls named Michael, James, Elisha, Micah, and President Obama's mother Stanley.

Genuine unisex names include word/place names with no history of use as given names and certain surnames which are not grammatically gendered or derived from masculine (or very occasionally feminine) given names.

July 20, 2017 11:46 PM

I consider anyname that can be use for a boy/girl unisex personally. Though I knew a few female elliots, Though I just suggested it incase she liked it better than eleanor as it gives the same nicknames. 

July 20, 2017 11:48 PM

Though i personally like eleanor better. I think Elliott could work for boy or girl. 

July 20, 2017 11:58 PM

Anyone can use any name, but naming a daughter Christopher or Thomas or William does not make those names unisex. Rather simply those girls were, for whatever reason, given masculine names.

July 21, 2017 12:08 AM

I understand what your saying, Though my personal defination of unisex is any name that has some what been used with both genders regardless if it sounds more masculine/Feminine or not.

July 21, 2017 7:05 AM

Thank you both for the replies & suggestions! I should've included in my original post that I do NOT care for unisex names. I want the name to be clearly masculine or feminine. 


Glad to hear you don't think Ava & Evelyn are too close :) 

July 21, 2017 10:02 AM

By your personal definition, EVERY name is unisex. Just saying.

July 21, 2017 10:43 AM

I don't even know why I keep on having to explain this. I think names that are commonly used for both genders as unisex so obviously if someones uses william as a girl name it is still a boy name as it isn't as common. However i know a few female elliots and it is starting to become a little more common for girls. Just like Bobby/Bobbi, I am not saying every name is unisex I am saying names to me that I heard more than a few times for girls/boys are unisex for me. Anyway I rather stop talking about this now as this forum is to help someone find a name not argue about my own personal defination of a word. That being said it doesn't even matter as she doesn't want unisex names anyway, so please lets move on. 

July 21, 2017 4:19 AM

 Ava Louise   and Evelyn are nice

 Rosalie is nice,  Olivia is nice too

Adeline - I wouldnt worry about baby Addison,  but I dont like kids with the same initial

Emily - is lovely, so is Penelope

Charlotte - is nice,  nn Charlie,  Lottie

Scarlett - dont like much,  nn Lettie

Natalie is lovely

Molly is ok - not a dog name, nor drug association

I prefer Lucinda to Lucille - could be a problem if you call Ava Lou - although you could change that



Amy,  Emma, Phoebe, Rose, Genevieve, Elizabeth, Catherine, Lillian, Matilda, Sylvie, Tessa, Vanessa, Josephine, Elsie, Bridget, Gabrielle, Isabelle, Heidi, Clara, Caroline, Greta, Liesel, Victoria


love Benjamin,  Em for Emmett, Emerson


 Henry is nice - a nn doesnt necessarily have to relate to the name

  Hudson is ok, but not traditional/classical,  not a fan of this name

Ethan is ok

  Owen is good and goes well with Ava

 Oliver is nice

 Zachary isnt too 1990's


others  Harry, Harrison, Nathan, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Oscar, Timothy, Jeremy, Reuben, William, Lewis, Theodore, Thomas, Elliott, Nicholas

July 21, 2017 10:22 AM

I'm currently working on a bit of the extended family tree that includes siblings Margit, Marta, and Maria. Compared to that, Ava and Evelyn have almost nothing in common. :-)

It does sound like you really like Evelyn best, and I think you should use it if you have another daughter. People who are prone to mixing up names will do it regardless of the sounds involved, and for everyone else, the two names have different initials and different lengths.

Other thoughts: if the Olivia -> Liv connection is intellectually unsatisfying, consider Livia. For similar sounds but a bit further from Ava (because no 'v'), there's Lydia.

Eleanor without the 'nor': Elena or Helena (though these add pronunciation ambiguity), Helen, and of course Ellen. But Nora is rising in popularity fairly steeply nowadays, so I don't think 'nor' sounds stuffy to most people.

I know a young Charlotte who is mostly called /shar/ (like 'sharp' without the 'p'), but my personal favorite nickname for it is Lottie. But if that connection doesn't do it for you, you have plenty of other names to choose from.


Hen for Henry sounds totally doable to me, probably because I know multiple old guys called Heni (in my dad's hometown in Hungary). Many traditional English forms or nicknames of Henry are somewhat far removed from the original by modern standards, due to changes in pronunciation over the centuries and across dialects: Hank(in), Hal(kin), Hawk(in).

Other boy names that may appeal: Nathaniel, Daniel, Sebastian, Joseph.

July 21, 2017 8:18 PM

I agree that Hen would be fine as a nickname for Henry.  If he decides it's "too girl" as he gets older, he can always drop the nickname at school/with friends (I would totally still use Hen at home).  

Hank is not my favorite Henry nickname either, but I do quite like Hal and Harry.

July 21, 2017 10:24 PM

That's a good point, thanks!

July 23, 2017 6:52 PM

To add to the "El" options: Eliana, Ella, Eliora, Elizabeth, Elsa, Elspeth, Eloise, Elise, Eliza.

July 21, 2017 12:04 PM

I don't think Evelyn and Ava are too similar. However, I do think Av and Ev are too similar--actually, any combination of Ava/Av/Avie and Ev/Eve/Eva/Evie/Evva/Evvie seem too close for siblings. Ordinarily that wouldn't be a problem; I'd just say use the full name, or a nickname like Lynn. Even if other people used a truncation, it generally wouldn't be at a time when her sister was present, so it wouldn't be a problem (and if it bothered *her* to be called something so similar to her sister's name, she could just tell her friends to knock it off). But it sounds like Ev is really the nickname you like best and what you really want to use, which makes the name much more problematic as a sister to Ava.

Some other random thoughts:

I think Liv is much more usable with Ava or Av; names like Evie and Ava depend almost entirely on that very strong V for their sound, and in different situations/accents can sound almost identical. Adding another consonant into the mix really breaks up that problem. So I think Olivia would work well for you. If you want to get away from the vowel initials and really want the nickname to come straight from the front of the name, you could also consider Livia, which is a name in its own right.

If Emily seems too plain, how about Emilia? It was #102 in the US in 2016 and Amelia-with-an-A was #11, so it's more common than you may think, and you can still use the nickname Em.

Any interest in Benji? I know some folks probably still associate it with the dog, but I think it's super cute for Benjamin, and less common than plain Ben.

I have a nephew Henry; my SIL thought it would be nickname-proof, but he does indeed get called Hen. It works for him, despite any chicken associations (he's only six, though, so I can't speak for the difficult tween years). Once you've attached a word to a person, I think it gets slotted into a different category in the brain, which is why we don't automatically think of microphones for Mikes or butter for Pats.

A few ideas that lend themselves to the kind of nickname you prefer (all from the top 200 in the US in 2016, in reverse order of popularity--those closest to 200 first; sorry for any repeats!):

Girls: Juliette (Jule/Jewel), Vanessa (Van), Juliana (same as Juliette), Jocelyn (Joss), Liliana (Lil), Valentina (Val), Lydia (Lyd or Lydie), Victoria (Vic)

Boys: Waylon (Way; Wayland is the traditional spelling, but Waylon is the one climbing the charts at the moment--you'd probably need to be OK with Waylon Jenning's music to use this one, but I think the nickname Way is kind of cool), Elliott (El or Eli; I know this one was suggested for a girl, but I like it better for a boy--I also like this spelling, but combined with others it would be much higher on the list, popularity-wise), Rowan (Ro), Oscar (Oz), Calvin (Cal), Wesley (Wes or West, if you're OK with sticking in an extra letter...or using the less common spelling Westley, which was used in The Princess Bride), Miles (Mi/My), Asher (Ash)

July 21, 2017 4:45 PM

On the point of if Ava and Evelyn are too similar I think it depends partly on how you pronounce Evelyn (Eve-lin or Ev-lin; for me Ev-lin would be too similar Eve-lin could work) and partly on what nickname you would want to use for Evelyn because I do think if you were going to call her Ev/Eve/Evvie and big sister is Ava/Av that's too close but if they're Ava-Lou and Evie (long e's) then that would be fine. 

I like Rosalie, you could also consider Rosemary or just Rosa, which both give the same nicknames. Olivia doesn't seem too close to Ava to me and Eleanor is one of my favourite names so I don't find it stuffy. For Charlotte and Scarlett would you consider nicknames from the end of the name? I know you said you prefer them to come from the beginnning but I think Lottie and Lettie are both very natural/intuitive nicknakes and really sweet. Do you like Natalia any better than Natalie?

Other girl name suggestions: Abigail, Beatrice/Beatrix, Victoria, Bella, Gabrielle/Gabriela, Florence

I know a little Benjamin who goes by Benji if you like that more than Ben? I don't think a Henry today would get any grief from the nickname Hen. Hudson I don't really like and I'm struggling to think of a nickname for Ethan, the Owens I know just go by O ("Oh") for short. I like the idea of Zachary giving you an A and Z initial and to me it doesn't scream 90s, but that could be because I know a few little boys called Zach (in fairness they are all just Zach, but I assume that's what you would be calling him).

I find boy names a lot easier to fit to your criteria though, how about: Alexander, Nicholas, Nathan/Nathaniel, William, Sebastian, Thomas, Joshua, Matthew, Daniel, Andrew, 

July 21, 2017 11:01 PM

Evelyn + the "Ellie" part of Eleanor + Adeline = Emmeline "Emmy".


Would it blow your mind if I told you that Hank originated from John, and only later became associated with Henry? :)

July 22, 2017 7:26 AM

Great idea And I do like Emmeline but it's just too obscure for me. I'd fear I would have to explain and repeat her name bc it's so uncommon and I'd rather avoid that. Id rather have a name with some association and familiarity. But thank you for the thought!!

And yes, the history of the nn Hank seems so complex...very interesting :)

July 22, 2017 9:14 AM

My daughter's name is Rosalie, and while I LOVE it, many, many people have been unfamiliar with this name. I am frequently asked if we invented it, how to spell it, etc. So if you're looking for a name you don't have to explain, I'm not sure Rosalie is it.

Any interest in Sophia, Lily, Zoe, Georgia, Caroline?

July 22, 2017 11:41 AM

Interesting.. I guess I've heard Rosalie as characters names in the past (Twilight, the aunt/friend of Carmella in the hit series Sopranos was Rosalie and often went by "Ro", and I've seen a fitness guru named Rosalie on TV and Instagram). 

To me, yes its a much less common name than most of the names I've considered but not as obscure as something like Emmeline. I do wish Rosalie was MORE popular tho and that's probably the main thing that keeps me from using it. 

Sophia & Lily are close cousins baby's names, Zoe is way too short and I'm not a fan of the others...

But I appreciate your feedback!!

July 22, 2017 2:14 PM

Can I ask why the sudden desire for long names? Zoe is exactly the same number of letters and syllables as Ava. :)

July 22, 2017 5:33 PM

Because I want many nickname options. To be honest, I sometimes regret that Ava is so short. I am just set on a longer name this time around. 

Plus our last name is very short, one syllable. 

July 23, 2017 2:15 PM

Fair enough, sorry I was just being nosy!

July 22, 2017 7:54 PM

For context: http://www.babynamewizard.com/forum/name-remorse-help-avaoliviaevelyn?page=1

July 23, 2017 2:44 PM

I personally think Evelyn and Ava are very close if you are going to use the nickname Ev, or even Evie. Going off of your criteria, it seems like Eleanor (nn Elle or Ellie) would be the best fit from your list. It also is in the top 100 and has recognizability. Lucille also works if you want the first syllable nickname thing, but it is definitely not as common. I don't actually know any little children named Lucille, but that could just be a thing for my geographic region. I wonder if I could interest you in my name, Allison. It definitely has nickname potential and has been steadily holding its place in the top 100 for years. Also, Alexandra would fit what you are looking for IMO.

For your boys, Zachary and Benjamin really seem to fit the bill if you are wanting nicknames that come from the first part of the names. I think any of your names on that list would work well with your daughter's name, though. 

July 23, 2017 4:28 PM

Ava would be too close to Evelyn for me, especially if you were to call the sister Evie much of the time (pronounced either Eh-vee or Ee-vee). Olivia is better, because of the consonant in the mix, but if you call your daughter Ava-Lou regularly that is again mixing up many of the same sounds. I would look elsewhere, personally, but I have a bunch of kids to keep distinct and any sound overlap would be a setback.

Amelia would be one of my favorite ideas for you, or Emilia if you wound like distinct initials. Eliana also meets all of your criteria and is like Eleanor without the   weighty ending.

I would try out a name like Emmeline yourself before you dismiss it as too obscure. It's a stealth-popular name due to being split between many different spellings. I'd try giving it as your name next time you reserve a table at a restaurant or order coffee or similar, and seeing what kinds of responses you get. 

July 23, 2017 9:02 PM

A reply to some of your feedback....

First off, THANK YOU!!

Regarding the similarity between Ava & Evelyn/Ava & Olivia-- I think both could work but I realize there are better options to pair with Ava.  It's just ashame bc I favor those 2 girl names more than any other.  They just so happen to have similar phonetics as my current daughter's name.  Does the sheer fact that, Evelyn is my #1 trump the similarity to Ava?  To clarify, I would not ever introduce her using her nickname, "Ev" or "Evie"...(actually, I probably wouldn't use "Evie" at all, just "Ev".)  The full name would be used most often.  But I might say, "Hey Ev, do you want to go to the playground?" or something of that nature. I think the very different ending of Evelyn is what seperates them for me.  I know its ultimately my decision, but do you think still too similar considering these points?

As for Benji, I have considered that and it's an option. Although I dont think my husband woudl like that NN. It would probably be "Ben", "Benny" or just "B" which might work.  My hang up is, while i want a very familiar full name, I desire  having an obscure nickname.  Like I mentioned above- "Vin" for Vincent or "Em" for Emily... something that isnt an actual name on its own but can clearly be said and written..(if that makes sense :)  And "Ben" is very much an expected nickname and can be standalone. 

It makes me feel a bit better that you don't hink "Hen" as a NN for Henry is all that bad.  I love that its a very natural nickname and rolls off the tongue. Does anyone else have experience with this?

I do like some of the other suggestions offered, but nothing is really grabbing me.  Some I cannot use because a close family member already used it.  I feel some are too obscure, like Emelia for example.  I have never met an Emilia. I have never seen one on TV or even read about one.  I feel as though I'd have to explain myself and she'd be mistaken for the more popular & familiar Amelia. 

One thing that you all might be able to help with is further name inspiration from movies, characters, famous celebrities, etc.... (Perhaps I create a seperate thread for this topic ;)     Do any of you have suggestions on a movie or TV series I can watch of a man or woman/boy or girl with a longer, classic name with nickname potential that I may be inspired by?  I think one of the reasons I fell in love with Evelyn is because I watched the movie Pearl Harbor where Kate Beckinsale plays the beautiful nurse, Evelyn.  I admired the character and then I fell in love with the name.   Please let me know if you have any reccomendations....

Thanks a ton!


July 23, 2017 10:04 PM

JSYK, there is a prominent actress on the Game of Thrones TV show named Emilia Clarke. I actually have a first cousin named Emilia and have run across several of that spelling...but popularity is so very regional sometimes so that just may not be the case where you are. 

I have had several instances where reading a book/watching a movie/TV show has made me like a name more. Sometimes because I liked the character so much, sometimes just because I found something about the book/movie/show enchanting. Off the top of my head:

Lucy (I Love Lucy/Lucille Ball, Lucy Snowe from Charlotte Bronte's Villette)

Margaret (Margaret Hale from North and South)

Elizabeth (Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean)

Calvin (A Wrinkle in Time)

Henry/Claire (Time Traveler's Wife)

Max (Rebecca)

July 24, 2017 8:41 AM

Thanks for the recommendsrions! I do not watch Game of Thrones so I wasn't aware there is an Emilia, that may help a bit.. 

I actually do like Lucille NN "Lu" but feel I've eliminated that option bc we call our daughter Ava Lou. This is not a name we introduce her as, just a NN we use once in a while. But i think it's be weird if we incorporate other "Lu"/"Lou" nickname :/

July 23, 2017 11:41 PM

Ava or especially Ava Lou and Evelyn would be too close for me personally, but if that's the name you really love then I think the big question is whether you would regret not using Evelyn more than it would bother you that the girls' names are similar. I think Olivia almost sounds like Ava Lou backwards. Again, it would be too close to Ava for me, but I think it's a bit less similar to Ava than Evelyn because it doesn't have the vowel-V-vowel pattern at the beginning. I really prefer siblings' names to be distinctive in sounds, so many sibling sets I know in real life are far too similar to each other for my taste, but it doesn't seem to bother the parents or children in those families. I think it can work, even if it's not ideal.

You seem to really love the 'v' sound, so have you considered Violet or Vivian? They both have nickname options, are in the top 100, and have the 'v' sound, but aren't as similar to Ava as Evelyn or Olivia. (ETA: Or maybe Lillian? It's similar to Evelyn but not to Ava.)

Have you ever seen the movie Evelyn or read Evelyn Doyle's memoirs? I don't remember her ever being called by a nickname in either the book or movie, but that's my main association with the name Evelyn.

July 24, 2017 7:38 AM

Thank you!

Just to clarify, I do already have great name associations for both Evelyn & Olivia. I'm more looking for new name inspirations via movies, TV, celebrities... 

Thx again :)

July 24, 2017 2:46 AM

I'd still used Evelyn or Olivia


what about Reuben nn Ben


I dont like the nn Hen - but if you do that's all that counts


Emily or Emma is nice too  or Emelia,  or Emmaline


another good name with V in it is Genevieve  or Vanessa, Victoria, Maeve, Sylvie, Yvette

July 24, 2017 10:26 AM

For an Emilia association specifically, I can recommend the old Bruce Campbell TV series "Jack of All Trades". It's probably available on NetFlix etc. (it looks like the pilot is on YouTube). It's a super-campy historical spy show, set during the Napoleonic wars. "Jack" is a swashbuckling super-spy, and Lady Emilia is his British counterpart. Think Emma Peele, but in bodice-ripping fashions :). It's very goofy, but fun, and definitely a good association for the name (at least for me).

Emilia is also a Shakespearean name, for several supporting characters. Unfortunately, two aren't very memorable and the third is somewhat of a mixed association (Iago's wife in Othello).

July 24, 2017 10:33 AM

Also, usually spelled Emelye, it is the name of the Amazon who is the beloved of the two rival suitors in Chaucer's Knight's Tale.

July 25, 2017 5:27 AM

It's nice to hear from you again, and to know that you are using Ava Lou as a nickname (one of the more adorable propositions I've read on this board.

I tend to think you should go with Evelyn, even if it is too similar. You've been talking about Evelyn for a long time. My sisters have names that almost rhyme, and are both very unusual which makes their similarity to each other stand out even more. My mom admits she always worried that they were too close, but flash-forward 27 odd years and everyone is surviving and not getting mixed up with each other -- or not any more than they get mixed up with me, or the dog).

Otherwise, I like Rosalie, Olivia and Eleanor fine for you, although I think if you go down the similar-to-Ava route I would just go with Evelyn. I second the suggestion of Natalia instead of Natalie, and of Emilia instead of Emily. My own name is Emily, and I don't find it plain, but it's definitely overused. I think that works in your favour in terms of Emilia though. It's a riff on the super-mega-hit of the past two decades, so while it may not be as popular as you'd like in and of itself, it will be recognizable to most people (and many people will know Emilia Clarke). The same goes for Natalia for me...I don't think it's going to require any explanation, but "like Natalie, but Natalia," will be enough in any case. 

On the boy front I firmly like Henry for you. I do not think Hen is even remotely an issue, and he can always go by the full name if he decides it is. I think any of your boy names are fine except for Hudson, which I find definitely too trendy, and gives me an unappealing, hulking image that doesn't go with the rest of your choices.

Good luck!

July 25, 2017 7:27 AM

Thank you, Emily! You have certainly given me some very reassuring feedback :)  Im curious where you're located just because sometimes different regions have different opinions on pronunciation & name similarities.. Are you in the USA (if so which state) or in Europe..?

As for Natalie/Natalia, I actually prefer Natalie bc I like the "ie" ending sound better with the "a" of Ava. 

Anyway, I do appreciate your thoughts! 

July 25, 2017 8:49 AM

I live in Europe but am Canadian (mainly Western Canada). It's true that I may be pronouncing the names differently than you (on this board my mind is constantly being blown but how people pronounce things). I'm saying AY-vuh, and EH-vuh-lin if that helps. AY rhyming with day and Ehv rhyming with Bev.