name help: name a sibling for Vivienne, Caroline, and MargotName Help is a series at Appellation Mountain. Every week, one reader’s name questions will be discussed.

We’re relying on thoughtful comments from the community to help expectant parents narrow down their name decisions. Thank you in advance for sharing your insight!

Corbynn writes:

I am a long time fan of this name site and I believe you can help me! I currently have three daughters, Vivienne (Vivi) Estelle, Caroline Nicole, and Margot Michelle.

We are hoping to add another baby to our family within the next year but I am stuck on names for more children. I tend to love vintage, formal, traditional, and old-English names the most, but we somehow ended up with a French theme.

I am kind of 50/50 on keeping the French going. It would be nice, but I do think my daughters’ names sound English enough that we don’t have to stick with French.

My favorites for girls include Harriet (Hattie) and Katherine (Kate). My husband doesn’t love Harriet and although I love Katherine, it does feel a little boring with my other girls names.

We have only ever had one boy name and that is Wells. I have loved this name for decades but we are are wary of potential trendiness and would love more options. Other than that I love Theodore (Theo) but there are so many. I am thinking maybe something like Louis or Remy to fit the French theme?

Thank you so much! I completely trust your advice and I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

Please read on for my response and leave your thoughtful suggestions in the comments.

Abby replies:

It’s always exciting to think about names for future children, and the planner in me loves that you’re thinking ahead!

While I can see a thread of French linking Vivienne, Caroline, and Margot, it’s not overwhelming. Yes, you could lean into it with siblings called Colette and Remy and Jules and Manon … but really, I don’t think that’s necessarily your style.

In fact, I might call your list “current classics.”

They’re names that we love right now, choices that feel a little bit interesting and different from what we knew growing up.

Through that lens, a name like Theodore makes just as much sense as Harriet.

Still, let’s see if we can find some current classics that feel ever so gently French, too – because that might be the best of both worlds!



Frederic is the French spelling of Frederick. Freddie is the adorable short form currently big in England. (It’s ranked in the Top 20 for the past eight years and counting.) Neither spelling is particularly popular in the US right now, but it fits nicely with names like Alexander and Theodore.


Gabriel, on the other hand, has been a Top 100 favorite in the US since the 1970s. Does that make it too popular? It’s a classic with an a slightly French feel, which does seem perfect with your girls’ names.


Nicely international, Hugo can be heard almost anywhere in the western world.


Strictly speaking, the French form would be Julien. But the -ian spelling is much more common in the US, so I’d probably suggest opting for that spelling.


Nicholas dominated the 1990s, a Top Ten favorite. But drop the H and Nicolas is the name’s European brother. Use the name in full – Nicolas not Nick – or shorten it to Nico instead – and it’s nicely updated.


I suggest Raphael often in these #namehelp posts. That’s because it checks so many boxes – familiar but uncommon, nicely international but easily accessible in English. Shorten it to Rafe or use the name in full. Either way, it’s a handsome choice for a son.



Lots of little girls answer to Adeline, Adelynn, or some other spelling of the name. But Adelaide feels more distinctive.


In French, Nicole is the feminine form of Nicolas. And the -ette ending, and it’s Nicolette. Drop the first syllable, and you’ll have the delightfully tailored and still nicely French Colette. Like your older girls’ names it works perfectly in English while still feel just slightly French.


As Vivienne is to Vivian, Liliane is to Lillian. It’s rare in the US – and a little out of favor in France today – but Lily names are having a moment.


Old Testament name Naomi gets a European makeover as Noemie.


None of your girls’ names end with an -ie sound, so many Rosalie isn’t your thing. But it fits nicely with Vivienne, Caroline, and Margot.


From Nina Simone to Simone de Beauvoir, this is a smart, edgy kind of name with plenty of strength.

Overall, my favorites are Raphael and Rosalie. They’re gently French, but also current classics – names that match your older children in many ways, but still feel distinctive and different.

Readers, over to you! What would you name a sister or brother for Vivienne, Caroline, and Margot?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I love French style sisters’ names, but like Eloise after Margot might be too much? So I suggest for a girl (I like Audrey too in the previous suggestion):

    I suggest Adele for a middle name, since elder sisters have middle names end with -el.

    For a boy, I wish you’d choose Welles–crisp, tailored, familiar but not ordinary. And sounds fresh with his sisters. Other suggestions:

  2. Vivienne, Caroline, Margot, and…



  3. Your girls’ names do feel very French to me, especially with the middle names. I would probably continue with that theme, but perhaps go for a traditional French/English crossover on the shorter side to balance Vivienne and Caroline. Alice, Marie, Elise, or Claire come to mind.

    I like Monique for you, too, but perhaps it would work better as a middle name.

    On the longer side, Elodie has a current sound and fits in well with your girls. And I wonder if, instead of Harriet (great name!), have you considered Henriette? You could still use Hattie as a nickname.

    For a boy, my favourite way to get to Wells is Llewellyn. It might be a bit much for you, but I actually really like it with the sisters’ names.