Baby name needed: Girl name for Copeland’s sister

A reader named Lisa is expecting her second daughter a couple of weeks and needs some name assistance. Her first daughter is Copeland Rhine. Lisa’s main predicament is this:

[H]ow do I find a strong unique vintage name for this second precious girlie that will not wilt next to a strong name like Copeland Rhine?

And here are some other questions and points Lisa brought up:

  • “Our goal is not to have their names competing for placement but complimenting each other.”
  • “We do not want to be boxed in on unisex or surname first names.”
  • “I have been gravitating towards Sojourner Bliss or Sojourner Mercy (Sophie for short) but that is all I have and my husband is not sold on it nor on a stronger masculine name.”
  • “My husband really loves Evangeline yet he is not wanting to use it because it is becoming so popular. We both love the idea of Evie as a nickname.”
  • “I really want to honor three people in my family but all three would not wish their name on anyone: Leona, Gertrude and Lorraine. Are there any derived names that I could use?” [Other family names she mentioned are Cornelia, Josephine, Ester, Rosemary, Carmelita, Trinia (Trijntje), Johannes, Sophia, Evelientje, Alice (called Ollie), Francis, Felicia and Blanche.]

The baby’s surname will be a 2-syllable name that starts with D and also includes a z-sound. It’s somewhat similar to De Souza.

So the challenge is to find “strong unique vintage” names that work with Copeland, but that won’t lock Lisa’s family into surnames or unisex names. And to try to get a family connection in there as well.

I think Evangeline is a great idea, actually. It’s strong, vintage, and neither a surname nor a unisex name. And both Lisa and her husband like the nickname Evie. Seems like the only thing holding them back is the popularity.

Yes, Evangeline has become slightly popular recently. It’s been back in the top 1,000 since 2006. But let’s put that into context. Over 2,000,000 baby girls were born last year, and only 735 of them were named Evangeline. That’s a very small percentage. (But if it’s really that bothersome, there’s always Evangelina, which is still well out of the top 1,000.)

I’m not a big fan of Sojourner. It’s strong, and unique, and not a surname…but it’s not feminine, and it’s not what I’d call vintage, even if Sojourner Truth was a well-known 19th-century woman. I’d worry about teasing, especially with a noun-middle like Bliss or Mercy. And I think naming a third child (of either gender) after Copeland and Sojourner would be tricky.

Sophie seems like it would be an awkward nickname for Sojourner. It’s so different from Sojourner that it strikes me as more of a cover-name than a nickname–as if Sojourner were just too strong or strange to work as an everyday name.

Leona, Gertrude and Lorraine…the most interesting way I could think of to combine them was to look for names that feature their first letters (L, G, L) such as Nigella, Allegra and Gillian.

Here are a few other name ideas that came to mind:


Some are related to the family names Lisa mentioned (e.g. Adelaide/Alice, Sophronia/Sophia).

Which of the above names do you like best for the sister of Copeland? What other names would you suggest to Lisa?

8 thoughts on “Baby name needed: Girl name for Copeland’s sister

  1. Nope! This is legit.

    (Also, Lisa said that Copeland Rhine was “named after family members,” in case anyone was curious about where her name came from.)

  2. I don’t think a name has to be masculine to be strong. I would like to suggest Wilhelmina.

  3. Here are some other, uncommon names that could use Evie as a nickname:
    Evanna- combination of Eva+ Anna or a feminine from of Evan.
    Evadne – Greek mythology name meaning “well, good” (pronounced: eh VAD nee)
    Evelien – Dutch form of Dutch form of Evelina (pronounced: ay-vah-LEEN)
    Evangelia – Greek form of Evangaline (pronounced: ev-ahn-ghel-EE-ah)
    Elisheva – Hebrew form of Elisabeth (pronounced: i-lish-eh-vah or eh-LEE-sheh-vah
    Evanthe- Greek mythology name meaning “good blossom”. Pronoucned: EV-an-the
    Evren- Turkish name meaning “cosmos, universe”. Pronounced: EV-rehn

  4. Well, most of my ideas aren’t vintage, but maybe Lisa’ll consider them anyway.

    Ivanna- (either ee-vah-na or ai-vah-na)- seems a bit like Evanna (above), maybe the nickname Evie could work, although if you use (ai-vah-na) Ivy would make more sense.
    Isolde- (iz-old-uh) It has a nickname and in my opinion it’s strong (the name, not the nickname).
    Genevieve- maybe a little too feminine for Lisa’s taste, but Evie could definitely be used as a nickname for this name.
    Mercedes- Since Lisa thinks of using Mercy for the middle name (with Sojourner), but what about Mercedes with a nickname of Mercy?

    I hope those might help.

  5. Thank you, Nancy for your help, insight and support! I am happy to announce our daughter’s arrival. We chose to name her Evangeline Sonnet. It fits her perfectly and has just the right balance of classic and unique as well as balance with her sister’s name.

    I appreciate the input in the comments as it gave us ideas we never thought of when going through names.

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