Baby name needed: Girl name for Lilia’s little sister

I heard from a reader named Shana a couple of days ago. Here’s what she says:

I’m 35 weeks pregnant and my DH and I still can’t find a name. Maybe it’s because we would like to incorporate too much into the name or maybe we’re just unsure if we want a trendy name/classic name. I think we are trying to find both in one name, yet can’t.

Our DD is named Lilia Josephine. We both love that it takes a name that is recognizable such as “Lily” and puts a spin on it, so that she will indeed be the only “Lilia” in her class even if their are other girls named “Lily”.


The name must contain Anne/a in either the fn or mn. Also, she will be born and living in Hawaii the first 2 years of her life. We would love to incorporate that into the mix somehow (hence, Isla).

On their list right now is:


I really like Norah, Annelise, Isla and Gabrielle/a. I think any of them would sound good with Lilia. I especially like the first three because they bring something more than style to the table. Annelise has the Anne connection, Isla has the Hawaii connection, and Norah has a distinct set of letters/sounds.

I’m not too keen on the other five names, though. Sierra, Abriana and Abrielle don’t seem right to me in terms of style. They remind me of modern-trendy names like Alexis and Brianna, whereas Lilia reminds of old fashioned-trendy names like Isabella and Olivia. Layla and Leora worry me because they’re so similar to Lilia–same first letter, same last letter, same length. I think it would be wiser to choose a name with at least a different first initial.

Suggestions (inspired by Hawaii)

I love the idea of Isla symbolizing Hawaii. Other names that might work are the names of historical Hawaiian royals. Here are some that I like with Lilia:

  • Analea (The good news is that it could satisfy the Anne/a requirement. The bad news is that it could be mispronounced “anally.” Might be best as a middle name.)
  • Emalani/Emmalani (The second spelling was no doubt influenced by Emma, as Hawaiian words aren’t typically spelled with double consonants.)
  • Eva
  • Miriam
  • Theresa
  • Victoria (Multiple royals had this name.)

I didn’t include Lydia because, as with Layla and Leora, I think it’s uncomfortably close to Lilia.

Suggestions (based on style)

I tried to come up with names that remind me of Lilia (old fashioned with a twist), that aren’t too laden with L- and I-sounds, and that have some sort of connection to Anne/a.

  • Anastasia – not related to Anna, but looks & sounds like it could be.
  • Annetta – Italian diminutive of Anna, though it also sounds like an altered form of Annette.
  • Bryony – a little like Abriana.
  • Dorothea, Dorothy
  • Georgia, Georgina
  • Hannah – early form of Anna.
  • Iona – refers to an island in Scotland. (And might be derived from the Old Norse word for island.)
  • Irena
  • Junia – could be seen as a spin on June, though it’s a legit name in its own right.
  • Lisanne – same elements as Annelise, but reordered.
  • Nanette – French diminutive of Anne.
  • Rosa, Rosalia
  • Sophia, Sophie, maybe Sophronia
  • Vivian, Viviana


Considering only names on the shortlist, I like the pairings Isla Annelise and Norah Annelise. (Though I wish the A-sounds at the end of Isla and Norah didn’t blend with the A of Annalise.)

Of all the names above, let’s see…I might go for Hannah Victoria, Annetta Theresa and Junia Analea.

Now it’s your turn: Of the names above, which are your favorites for the sister of Lilia Josephine? What other names would you add to the mix? What first/middle combinations would you suggest to Shana?

14 thoughts on “Baby name needed: Girl name for Lilia’s little sister

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post!! I really appreciate your point-of-view on our names, as well as, your lovely additions. From your suggested names I do love:

    * Anastasia – we used to have this on our list, but took it off because it’s my cousins name. I’m turning it over in my head once again though…
    * Bryony – One of my favorites, but DH doesn’t like it at all.
    * Hannah – I do wish there wasn’t the Hannah Montana reference though
    * Rosa, Rosalia (LOVE, my DH is not convinced though)
    * Sophia/Sophie (don’t think I could stand how popular it is though)
    * Eva-would use this in a heartbeat if my DH could agree
    *Victoria-Again DH won’t okay it, but it’s one of my LOVES!

    I think we may have narrowed our list to Annelise, Norah, Isla and two new-comers **Clara and Aubrey/Audrey**)

    My DH has a new affection for the name “Kaila” since it contains the Hawaiian word “Kai” in the beginning. I don’t think it fits with Lilia’s name though. What are your thoughts?

  2. Hi Nancy,
    I like your name suggestions for Shana. You have a wonderful knack.

    Shana, I noticed you have a couple of “ella/elle” names. Have you considered Anabella or Anabelle already?
    I agree with Nancy. I love your choice of Norah, Isla and Gabrielle/a.
    The names you’ve centred on already are a few of my already existing favourites.
    My other faves include Abigail, Ivy, Olive, Emaline, Violet and Willow.
    Have you considered twisting Kaila around to see if there is an alternative DH is happy with? Something like “Kaia” or “Kaiana”?
    (However, I suppose you must be prepared to spell it for others)

    You’re right, Bryony is pronounced “BRY-on-ee”

    Good luck with the name hunt!

  3. Shana (and Nancy), I’d like to ask you if I may post my own answer to your question in my blog, Naming By Numbers. I started writing out this long, intricate and complicated post replying to you and submitting my thoughts, before I stopped and thought, “This is getting a bit unwieldy for a comment.” If I may, I’d love to post my response on NBN, just so I can sort of have more free reign (and post space)! Nancy, I included you in the opening just in case you’d prefer her question to you to stay on your blog alone. Aside, I would only be including Shana’s letter in my blog post, not your response (so I may not claim credit), if given the go-ahead. I’ll hold myself back from posting until I get both the thumbs-up from you (Nancy) and Shana. Thanks!

  4. @Shana – I agree with you about Kaila maybe not fitting with Lilia too well in terms of style. Also, I would be concerned about mispronunciation. The name Kayla has become very popular in the last couple of decades, so I think “KAY-la” has become the default pronunciation for most K-la names (e.g. Kaila, Kaela).

    Lily is right about Bryony–sorry I didn’t respond right away to that.

  5. @Lily – That’s a good idea about finding other ways to use Kai. I think Kaia is a great suggestion–just a letter away from Kaila, but that one letter makes a big difference. (And I bet it would be pronounced correctly much more often.)

  6. @ Lily-

    We had considered Annabelle, however my DH is on the wall with that one and I’m not so much in love with it that it bums me out. However, I can see this being an unexpected possibility after she is born, because it does contain 2 very nice nicknames.

    Also, all of the “elle/a” names we liked, because of the nickname Bree. We can agree on a nickname, but both of us aren’t really head over heals with the full name.

    Ohhhhh…I do like Kaia. I’m going to have to mention this to him.

  7. @Mookie….go ahead and blog away. ; ) I welcome all of the advice I can get at this point. I keep feeling like I’m so close to the name, yet just can’t grab it.

  8. @Nancy….I can see the mispronunciation that would occur with Kaila. I’m guessing with this spelling, more so than the Kyla spelling. However, using that would defeat the reason of the name. I’m going to run Kaia past my DH when he gets home tonight and see what his thoughts are.

  9. I really like Analea – maybe a variant spelling to produce the right pronounciation, like Annalie?

  10. @ Shana-
    From your original list, I like Anneliese, Abriana and Norah. Also, you could use the nickname Bree for Abriana if it’s pronounced Ah-bree-ana (I’m not sure).
    From Nancy’s list I like Anastasia, Vivian and Lisanne.
    Kaia is also really pretty. Ever considered the spelling Kaya?
    I like Vivian Abriana/Abriana Vivian, Kaia/Kaya Anneliese and Lisanne Victoria.
    I hope I commented early enough for you to consider my ideas :).

  11. i have a daughter called isla she is the only 1 in her nursery called it its a beautiful name and i absolutely love it, what did u settle on in the end?

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