Name Help: Twin Sister for Ruby RoseName 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!

Marie writes:

My husband and I are expecting our first, and I thought we had a girl’s name all set. Ruby Rose has always been my #1 name. It’s what I wanted to name the kitten we got when I was in fifth grade. (That didn’t happen, and looking back now, that’s a relief, because I’m not sure I could name my baby after the cat!)

The twist? We’re expecting TWINS!! Both girls.

Here are our ideas:

Name one girl Ruby and one Rose. My husband came up with this one. On the positive side, I’d get to say “Ruby and Rose” together all the time! But it’s hard to let go of Ruby Rose as a single name, if that makes sense.

Name one girl Ruby Rose and find another name we love for our second daughter. This is the way I’m thinking. I’d really like the second name to have the same sound and rhythm as Ruby Rose. I’m considering Maggie Mae and Lily Lou, but my husband thinks they’re just kind of okay. (And I probably agree.)

Some other solution … Maybe it’s a sign that we should start from scratch? Or is there something else I’m not thinking of?

I’m not due until September, so we have a little bit of time. Except that twins come early, so I’d like to be prepared!

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

Abby replies:

Congratulations – and what a surprise!

Ruby and Rose both strike a certain note, don’t they? They’re vintage, but with a modern sensibility. Neither is especially frilly, but they’re both definitely feminine. And they’re both associated with the color red, though it’s not quite like naming your baby Blue. They’re well-established, mainstream choices that would wear well on a small child or an adult.

So they’re strong names and they’re well-balanced together, too.

I can definitely see your husband’s point. They’d make great names for sisters, well-matched but not in a too-cute way.

Unless … were you planning to use Ruby Rose as a double name?

It sounds like your favorite name is “Ruby Rose.” But is it actually “Rubyrose,” all together? If you’re thinking of it – and intending to use it – as a single name, that’s a little harder, right?

Because the equivalent of Rubyrose isn’t Maggie Mae. It’s Annabelle.

My guess is that you’re thinking of her name as Rubyrose, but probably intend to call her Ruby in every day life.

Here’s the million dollar question: How did you imagine introducing her?

If you conclude that you plan to use Rubyrose as a single name, then I agree – your husband’s suggestion of dividing Ruby and Rose for your twins doesn’t work.


But I’m hoping that’s not the case, because Ruby and Rose make great sister names.

I’d be inclined to call them Ruby and Rosie, which might be even a little more matchy – but it’s quite sweet!

That means we need to think about middle name options:

  • Ruby Louise and Rose Margaret – Inspired by the rest of your shortlist. They could be Ruby Lou and Rosie Mae for short!
  • Ruby Rae and Rose Riley – Briefer, more modern middles with the right number of syllables to balance both names.
  • Ruby Eloise and Rose Elinor – Two EL names that work for sister middles.


Of course, it’s easy to imagine another alliterative name working just as well for Ruby Rose’s sister.

  • Ruby Rose and Mila Marie – Ruby has your all-time favorite name, but Mila shares her middle with you.
  • Ruby Rose and Lily Lane – I wonder if Lou and Mae feel too slight to stand up to Rose as a middle name? Something a little longer in the middle spot might make a better match.
  • Ruby Rose and Bella Blue – Blue in the middle is just plain fun!


  • Rubyrose and Annakate – I think Annakate is a little more surprising than Annabelle, but works just as well.
  • Rubyrose and Emmajean – Again, Emma Jean is a fairly familiar first/middle combination, so it might work well smooshed together.
  • Rubyrose and Adamae – Like Ruby Rose, I think Ada Mae just plain works as a double name.


I’ll admit that this sort of stumps me. Because you have one name you love, and no really good reason to give it up.

So I’m not going to comment on this possibility, but I’ll invite readers to think about whether Ruby Rose just isn’t the right name to use – in any combination – this time around.

My favorite option is to split the name into Ruby and Rose, with fresh middle names for both girls. Ruby Rae and Rose Riley appeal to my ear.

But I’m not sure if that feels like the best possible solution.

What would you do in this situation, readers?

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 agree, breaking Ruby and Rose up seems best. What about Red as a shared middle? Ruby Red and Rose Red. Or, if you don’t plan on using Rubyrose as a double name, and you don’t mind some matchy-ness, Ruby Rose and Rose Ruby. It does seem a little unfair to give twins essentially the same name, but it might be worth it.

  2. I completely agree, it’s such a sweet origin of twin first names. And avoids the feeling that one twin got your all time favorite name and the other got something that you liked ok to try to make it match. Ruby Louise and Rose Margaret are wonderful full names with cute nicknames Ruby Lou and Rosie Mae.

    You could probably swap some other middle names here that give the same cadence for nickname options. For example, someone suggested the middle name Isabelle for Rose, which could similarly give you Rosa Belle. Or something like Katherine –> Ruby Kate or Rosie Kate; Theresa –> Ruby Reese, Ruby Tess or Rosie Reese, Rosie Tess; Beatrice –> Rosie Bea. I’d play around with the options to see what sticks for you!