name help: a sister for Rufus and HugoName 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!

Sarah writes:

Naming help request: What would you name a sister for Rufus and Hugo?

We like uncommon, but recognizable. Names ending with -n don’t go well with our last name.

Her middle name is likely to be Georgette or some variation of it.

Appreciate the assistance!

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations on your third!

Rufus and Hugo are great names for your boys. I wonder if part of the challenge is this: finding that “uncommon, but recognizable” mark is a little harder with girls’ names. Because we’ve traditionally used a wider range of names for our daughters, it feels like there are so many more possibilities.

That might feel like a good problem to have, but it makes narrowing your list challenging, right?

Rufus and Hugo both feel vaguely British to me, too, which is probably coloring some of the names that come to mind. And I’m guessing you’re leaning towards something that doesn’t automatically suggest a nickname.

I’m going to stick with names that don’t appear in the current US Top 1000, but there’s no reason the right name couldn’t be a Top 1000 choice.

Let’s see what we can come up with!



Combined, these two names were given to just 151 girls in 2022. (In fact, Cecile represents just 20 births.) Cecilia is far, far more common, but the restrained French Cecile and the lacy, medieval Cecily are familiar without being common.


Given to just 18 girls in the US in 2022, Cosima was the name that immediately came to mind for Rufus and Hugo’s new sister.


Names like Eden and Edith are fairly common, but just Edie remains relatively rare – but it works beautifully with so many girls answering to Millie and Sadie.


The spelling Mariel, with 93 births in 2022, is slightly more popular than Marielle, with 76 births. You might also consider Maribel/Maribelle and Mirabel/Mirabelle. (That last one is a little Encanto, but that might not be a bad thing.)


On a playground full of girls named Bella and Stella, it’s easy to argue that Nella fits right in. But it feels like a stand-out, too, a sweetly vintage possibility that’s just slightly different. 81 girls were named Nella in 2022.


It’s the name of an ancient city located in modern-day Jordan. But it’s also a feminine form of Peter. 138 girls were named Petra in 2022, making it rare, but still known.


After Downton Abbey became a smash hit, many of us expected Sybil to gain in use. But this name remains rare. 145 girls were named Sybil in 2022. A sibyl was a prophet in the ancient world; the spelling shifted to Sybil in English as a given name.


258 girls were named Tallulah in 2022, putting it just outside of the current Top 1000. I’ve added it to the list because it gives all three of your children a strong, but distinctive U sound in their names – and that’s an appealing link that sounds fun to say. Rufus, Hugo, and Tallulah.

It’s hard to choose a favorite from this list – you really do have so many good options! But adding in the middle name Georgette, I’m most drawn to shorter first names: Nella, Sybil, and Edie – or possibly Cecily.

Edie strikes me as a good sister name for Rufus and Hugo, but I think my personal favorite is probably Sybil.

Still, I feel like I should ask if Georgette could possibly be considered as a first name? I think it hits that “familiar, but uncommon” mark nicely and sounds great with Rufus and Hugo, too.

Readers, over to you! What would you name a sister for Rufus and Hugo?


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 like the idea of continuing the “u” connection, as that’s the first thing I noticed about Rufus and Hugo. Muriel is an especially good suggestion!

    Ursula gives you two Us, but a slightly different sound to the boys’ names. It definitely fits your “uncommon but recognisable” criteria.

    Claudia has a different u sound also – I quite like it with the brothers. Paula or Paulina would be nice, too.

    I thought of Eugenie, but that might be too much with Georgette in the middle. Eulalie would work well, though.

    Beulah is perhaps a bit too out there, but I actually find it quite fun with Rufus and Hugo.

    Dulcie is another possibility.

    Zuzana feels like a different style than the boys, but Zuzu as a nickname is pretty perfect.

    And finally, any Q name gives you a built-in U. Quincy would be very cute.