Name Sage: A Sister for Rex

Looking for a strong, feminine name for baby #2

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

Livy writes:

We are expecting our second child, a daughter, in four weeks and we are completely stumped on a name. We already have a son called Rex and his name was really the only one we could agree on but we both loved it; it fitted instantly. This time we have a lot of names that we both like but nothing that is ‘the one’.

We really want a name for our daughter that is strong, feminine, and not too frilly and, ideally, has the potential for nicknames. We are looking outside the top 100 names (we are in the UK so on the UK list) and want it to be interesting rather than popular or faddy.

Names we have on our shortlist are:

AdelineLove Addie, but worry it will become popular.

Zosia – I love the Z, but my husband isn’t so keen.

Fable – My husband loves Fay and I love Fable so it should work but something isn’t quite right.

Juno – This was the initial frontrunner but it has sort of lost its shine. I am also not keen on June as a short form and can’t think of any logical others.

Xanthe – This shares the ‘x’ with her brother’s name but again, not quite right and no cute nicknames!

I love the nicknames Dora, Fin and Toby for a girl but would like a more formal, longer version as the official name and my partner has vetoed all of the long ones I can think of!

The Name Sage replies: 

It’s easy to make long lists of baby names we like in theory. It’s a little harder to shorten those lists. But narrowing it down to just The Name, especially when the baby is due soon? That’s where it gets tough!

You’ve mentioned that you’d prefer to avoid frilly names. Some of the names on your list have a modern sensibility, like Xanthe and Zosia. Others feel more gently vintage, like Adeline and Dora.

The challenge is that both styles work beautifully with your son’s name, the handsome, regal Rex.

Let’s take a look at some names that are just a little bit different than the ones you’re currently considering:

Juniper Juno leapt out at me immediately, and then I remembered that Coldplay’s drummer, Will Champion, has twins named Rex and Juno. You’ve mentioned that you’re not wild about shortening Juno to June. What if Juno was the nickname? Nature name Juniper is a longer Jun– option, one that is seldom heard in England. British Baby Names covered Juniper a few years ago, and noted that it has some connection to Cornwall.

Delphine – Another nature name, this time related to the flower delphinium. (Though the girls’ name and the botanical one both ultimately come from the Greek city of Delphi.) Delphine comes to mind because it might short to Fin – or Del/Dell, or Della, all of which seem like possible sister names for Rex. Along the same lines, I wonder if Josephine could shorten to Fin? It’s a stretch, but I think it could work.

JulietJulia is still fairly common in England, but Juliet seems quite rare. I added it to the list because of unconventional nickname possibility Jet. It seems as bold as Fable or Juno, but with slightly more history as a girl’s name. Jet is used as a nickname for ends-in-ette names in Dutch.

Dorothy, Theodora Dory makes me think of Dorothy and Theodora, but I wonder if your husband has already scratched these off the list? I’m a huge fan of Theodora, which could easily shorten to Thea or Thora. The only trouble is that I think Thea is trending upwards in the UK, and might be slightly more popular than you’d like in a few years.

Constance, Colette, Cosima, or some other Co- name, called Coco Juno always makes me think of Coco, a name that feels more like a nickname than a given name. Cosima strikes me as too frilly for your style, but Constance and Colette could work.

Adair – I think you’re right to keep an eye on all of the Addie names. Madeline/Madeleine has made a mark in the UK, so while the Ad– forms appear rare, it’s easy to imagine them catching on. Still, they’re not popular yet, and an unconventional Ad– name might be just the thing. Adair, originally a surname related to Edgar, feels bold, tailored, and very wearable. For a more vintage direction, there’s Adelaide or even the spare Adele.

Axelle, Beatrix, Roxana – There’s something appealing about another X name to go with Rex, but the choices are limited. Beatrix seems a little more traditional than the rest of your list, but it does pair beautifully with Rex, plus shortens to Bebe or Trixie or Tris. Axelle is very rare, and Roxana perhaps a bit too close. Still, matching Rex’s x is definitely worth considering.

Zora, Zara – If not another X name, maybe something starting with Z? You’ve mentioned that your husband isn’t sold on Zosia. Could something more streamlined appeal? Zora and Zara have different roots, but similar sounds.

My personal favorite is Adair. I think it hits all the marks – tailored, rare, with a built-in nickname. Adair strikes me as quite interesting and definitely outside of trends.

The other two that seem like great matches for Rex are Constance, called Coco, and Delphine, called Fin. Constance is such a strong, classic name, and while it’s steadily used in the UK, it’s not common, and doesn’t seem to be catching on. While Delphine called Fin is a stretch, I do think that Delphine is a gorgeous, underused name that hits the right note between strength and femininity.

What would you name a sister for Rex? UK readers, I’d be especially grateful for your insight!

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About the author


Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at
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45 Responses to “Name Sage: A Sister for Rex”

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slave bracelets Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 12:45 am

Love Rex and Thora!

tiannarose Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 1:29 am

Love Rex! Masculine, handsome and refined.

I think Rex & Zosia is the best from the writer’s shortlist.

Loving the Namesage recommendations of:

Rex & Adair. So incredibly chic.

Rex & Delphine. Delphine is so soft, romantic and feminine…the perfect counterpart to the strong and timeless Rex.

Name Sage: A Sister for Rex Part of Top Quality of Picture and Image Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 1:59 am

[…] Nameberry – Baby Name Blog […]

LauraJ88 Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 2:01 am

Rex – what a fabulous name for your son!!

I have a couple of suggestions for you.
1. Use Goldie as a nickname for Xanthe. I’m really crushing on Xanthe at the moment. It’s a perfect name for a little blonde girl.
2. Zelda. It seems to fit your naming sensibilities and has a certain flair.

Love The Name Sage’s suggestion of Juniper with Juno as a nickname.

Rex and Xanthe/Goldie.
Rex and Zelda.
Rex and Juniper/Juno.

Just gorgeous!!

standardcrow Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 2:55 am

I am an expat but originally UK. I have a Seraphine nickname Phina but you could go Fin and an Isadora who only ever goes by Dora. Don’t know any UK based Seraphines and no other Isadoras at all. Their brother is Alaric so think you can use both names with a shorter male sibling name.

standardcrow Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 2:56 am

Finja is quite popular in Germany which could shorten to Fin as well

alfexa Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 3:20 am

I am the original poster, Livy, and can I just say that I love Nameberry and I wish I was naming babies with all of you! I love Zelda, Isadora and Seraphine but all have been entirely rejected by my husband! I am not sure why I involved him in the decision to be honest!! I am loving some of these suggestions and will keep trying them out on him. He has to say yes as some point surely?!

Cordelia16 Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 5:35 am

Rex is an awesome name!

I love the suggestion of Juniper (nn Juno or Juni). Rex and Juniper sound great together.

I also like Delphine and Zelda.

What about Zinnia? Could shorten to Zin, Zinni, or Nia.

spayefike Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 5:50 am

My friend just had a daughter named Zinitha, called Zini. Evidently an old name I hadn’t heard of. Might fit the bill…

Abby Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 6:28 am

Hi Livy – Thank you so much for commenting! Zelda is already ruled out! I thought that was a brilliant suggestion. And yes, he has to say yes eventually! 🙂 Best, Abby

epowell Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 8:33 am

I know a Rex who is 4. His sister is Finley 🙂

Wildsyringa Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 8:34 am

What about just Ada instead of Adeline? Short and snappy like Rex, plus it is strong and distinctly feminine.

Other ideas:


AshleyLouisa Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 8:37 am

Zosia made me think of Shoshanna (HBO Girls reference), nickname Shosh is cute. Girls has so many great names so I have to throw a few more out there: Marnie, Jessa, Lena & Jemima (nickname Jem or Mimi) I think would all work with Rex.

Rex and Maxine also sound cute together, nickname Max or Maxi. And Lastly Marin/Maren is I name I love that sounds nice with Rex, picking up the R sound.

Missmolly Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 8:50 am

What about Cordelia? Nicknames Delia, Del, Cor, Cora….

SeaZuno86 Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 8:50 am

While I was reading the letter I immediately thought of Zora and Zara but you already recommended those! I also LOVE Delphine and Thora from your suggestions.

Other suggestions:

Fiona (nn Fin)
Indigo (maybe nn Indi?)

jpruitt76 Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 9:46 am

I adore the name Fay (although prefer the Faye spelling), and so the name Phaedra came to mind for you. I also adore Juniper/Juno and Adair for you.

racheltheworm15 Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 10:41 am

I love Adair or Della with Rex! I also love Finley or Hadley/Adley.

katybug Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 11:18 am

Has Doris been suggested as a long form for Dora? I think Rex and Doris are great together!

LoveBugsMama Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 12:07 pm

My dad is named Rex. It’s always a kick to see it being used on a new generation.

I was going to suggest Zelda but I already see that’s been nixed. I’d like to second the suggestion of Maxine. Rex & Maxine sound adorable together.

Other suggestions:

Good luck!

Schickler Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Rex and Juno is perfection. It came up awhile back in the forums as being the name of celebrity twins Rex & Juno (Coldplay drummer’s kids in the UK.) So not sure it even rates as a consideration, but you could say this parent generation might have heard of that family. They chose well, and I love the of Rex and Juniper nn Juno or Juni. However, Delphine gives Rex a sophistication that I love!! Less word name, more Old Paris.

peach25 Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 1:58 pm

I think all of Abby’s suggestions are brilliant, especially Adair and Delphine. I know a Josefina who goes by Fina. I also like Finley and Fiona. Good luck and please let us know!

jtay07 Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

What about:


alfexa Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Thank you for all the suggestions! There are some really lovely names coming up and some that I will definitely be trying on my husband. I am loving Daphne, Juniper and Zelda (not letting go of it yet). Can anyone suggest a cute nickname/short form of Zelda? I think it is a gorgeous ‘grown up’ name but it would be nice to have a cuter option for a toddler.

My husband loves Beatrix but I am not sure if it is too mainstream, I do love Trixie though and I wonder if you could get to Betty as well. I love Ruby, Seren and Esme but they are all pretty popular in the UK.

Delphine I just don’t know about… I like it I think but I need to let it roll about my head a bit I think!

Keep them coming and thank you!

alfexa Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Meant to add, I really like Goldie as a nickname for Xanthe! I had previously suggested Marigold so Goldie really appeals!

jtay07 Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 7:08 pm

Zelda could have the nicknames Zell/Zelly or Zed/Zeddy. I do think you could use Betty as a nickname for Beatrix. Bex is cute and could work too.

Lanternlight Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Loving some of the suggestions so far, especially Freya and Zinnia. I think you can definitely get Betty from Beatrix too – that works perfectly to me. And Goldie for Xanthe is great too – as an Aussie, we’re pretty flexible with nicknames, so anything that has a dominant letter or sound or a meaning related to the name works in my mind. 🙂 Xanthe could also give you Zizi, Xixi, Zanni, Ani, Thea, Thaz, Thena.

Here are a few more:

Rex and Izarra (nn Izzy, Zar, Zizi, etc)
Rex and Kallista (nn Kiki, Kalli, Lili, etc)
Rex and Phoenix or Fenix (nn Phi, Fi, Fifi, Nixi, etc)
Rex and Hannelore (nn Hanna, Lora, Ella, etc)

I thought of Aurelia for you too but I know it’s become quite popular in the UK in recent years.

lesliemarion Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 10:48 pm

I agree with Rex and Thora — lovely. I also like the suggestion made of Rex and Noor.

And I love Rex and Endellion or Rex and Morven.

joquinta Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 11:21 pm

I love Della & Rex, Rex & Della. Either way it sounds super cute. Della is feminine, but not too frilly and I’ve never met a Della. 🙂

joquinta Says:

August 12th, 2015 at 11:33 pm

Also Dahlia is another option if you’re not fond of Della. It’s a flower name, and could be shortened to Dolly or Lia(Leah). Dolly and Rex sound cute to gether as well.

ambercat Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 12:18 am

Ginger, Daisy, Lola, Piper, Bella, and Lucy all seem to go well with Rex.

Essa Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 3:51 am

I really like Juniper (Juno), Cosima (Coco), Thora and Adair (Addie).

While I’ve met a few Maddie’s in the UK, I’ve never met an Addie, I think, for now, you’re safe with Addie’s popularity.

I disagree that Constance is less frilly than Cosima so makes a better choice for you to then use Coco but I suppose that’s just personal preference.

tori101 Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 8:48 am

I live in South East England and I think most of the names suggested by Abbey are great. I love Juliet she’s so romantic and sounds gorgeous with Rex. Delphine is pretty as well and I don’t think will suddenly leap in popularity. I think maybe Dorothy and Theodora could become popular as they have a similar feel to the already gaining popularity Florence & Beatrice. Also Theodora has been used by Robbie Williams who is loved by most Brits. I think Constance is fine she is steadily used in the UK but she isn’t exactly the next Amelia so that’s good however I think Constance visually is to long next to Rex. Colette is lovely French name that out of Abbey’s ‘Coco’ suggestions is my favourite. I think Colette is elegant and sounds good with Rex. Cosima seems to frilly for a brother called Rex. Adair is cool and would work with Rex also I like the ‘Addie’ nickname which doesn’t appear to be popular here unlike Maddie (Addison is seldom heard whereas Madison is) other Addie names that could work are; Adora, Aida/Ada, Adara, Adabella, Adela. For Axelle appears to be visually strange looking not my cup of tea. Beatrix will most rise in popularity because of Beatrice gain suggestion Beatriz? Roxana is gorgeous but too similar to Rex.

From your choices I think Adeline is lovely but could become popular due to everyone loving Madeline/Madeleine. I think other Addie alternatives could be better like Adora or Adela. Zosia is cool and even though I don’t think it’ll suddenly be sitting with Sophie on the popularity charts I can see this becoming more popular due to the TV character on the popular show Holby City. I just wanted you to be aware of that. Suggestion Zora, Zia, Ziva? Fable is really cute but I prefer as a middle name. Juno is really cool regarding the nickname do you really need to shorten a four letter name?! Xanthe is gorgeous upper crust British choice I went to primary school with a Xanthe it’s cute and she didn’t have a nickname and again I don’t think it needs one.

I love Juliet as my favourite from Abbey’s choices from yours Juno!

Hopefully I helped a little one Brit berry to another : )

gwensmom Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 9:12 am

@alfexa – I think I’d stick with the adorable Zee has nn for Zelda. Loving that one for you!

mommy_lady10 Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

I love the pairings of Rex and Adair and Rex and Juniper. But I also thought Rex would go nicely with:
Viola (nn Vi)
Coraline (nn Cora)
Finnian (nn Fin)

Good luck finding the perfect name. My husband and I had similar problems naming our son. We picked our two favorites and when he was born we looked at him and realized he wasn’t either of our names (Sawyer or Dominic). So we looked at him and prayed about it and we came up with the perfect name. He is totally a William Everett. Good luck.

mommy_lady10 Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 12:16 pm

I have one more combo how about Rex and Everly? Everly could possibly be shortened to Eve, Lee or Lili. Again best of luck finding your baby’s name.

rachelf Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 12:53 pm

What about Zuri? It means beautiful and sounds unique

standardcrow Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 1:30 pm

If hubby is going for Beatrix and accepted Rex for your boy, maybe he likes X. What about Alexandrina which has that unusual but real name feel (it was Queen Victoria’s actual first name) and has many nickname possibilities

lemon Says:

August 13th, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Love the ideas of Juniper, Delphine, and Zelda is jaunty, too! Love Daphne.

I thought of the even more uncommon, but regal, Junia – nicknames Junie, Juno, Nia – and love the suggestions of Zee and Zelie for Zelda’s nickname.

With Rex, I could see Celeste (Cece, Celie), Colette/Cosette (Coco, Ette, Etta), Aria (Ari), Boheme (Bo, Em, Emme), Eveline (Evie, Eve), Hosanna (Anna, Annie, Hanna), Jessamine (Minnie, Mina, Jessa, Jessie, Jess), Orla (Orly, LaLa), and Tallulah (Tula, Lula, Lulu, Tally).

LadyOh Says:

August 14th, 2015 at 2:14 am

I would go for Rex and Farrah/Farah! You can still call her Fay.

It could be really cute. Out of all of your choices in your list, I think Fay and Rex sound like a real pair. =)

Maple10 Says:

August 14th, 2015 at 8:21 am

Oooh, so many names sound great with Rex! I like Fiona ( fo, fin), Zara, Cordelia, Thea,.
What about Hazel, Zandra, Eliza?

mommy_lady10 Says:

August 14th, 2015 at 11:28 am

Ooh I love Rex and Anika! Anika has some cute nickname possibilities like Annie, Kia or Ann. Also Avril nn Ava and Tessa nn Tess would be cute too.

Austine0923 Says:

August 14th, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Rex means ‘king’ so what about something like Regina for a girl? You get lots of cute nicknames from it (Reggie, Gina, Nia, etc.) and it carries a similar meaning. Plus, it’s not unheard of, but not really popular anymore.

However, you might not want for both your kids to have the ‘R’ beginning of a name…

katys Says:

August 15th, 2015 at 9:47 am

Riffing on Austine’s suggestion above, what about Anthea? It’s a queenly name to match Rex, with nickname possibilities (Ana, Annie, Thea, Tee) and maybe less popular than Adeline.

indigomagnolia Says:

August 16th, 2015 at 10:15 am

Raina (Rain)

Juniper (Juno)

Georgia (Gia)

Magnolia (Nola)

Eloise (Ellie)

Evangeline (Evie)


SalAyla Says:

August 21st, 2015 at 11:08 am

I love Rex and Juno!

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