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Rare Girl Names Promise Sisterly Style

April 1, 2020 Abby Sandel
rare girl names

They’re looking for recognizable, rare girl names to go with big sister Delphine.

Michelle writes:

My husband and I are due with our second daughter at the end of April and are still stumped on a name. 

Our first daughter is called Delphine – which we love for being recognizable, but not common where we live, for the international feel, and being a name that sounds sweet for a little girl, but that she can grow into. We get such great, enthusiastic feedback that we’re afraid our second kid’s name won’t possibly live up to the high standard we’ve accidentally set!

We both love French names, but I’m not into matchiness, so don’t want to go down that road again, which limits us. Other names we like but sound a bit too plain next to Delphine. Names we like (but that we aren’t sold on) include: Thalia, Linnea, Noelle, Linden, Elora, Flora. My husband also likes Bernadette or Fabienne – but I’m not a fan.

Last time it took us almost a week to pick a name, and I’d love to avoid that this time around!  Would love some additional ideas!

The Name Sage responds:

Delphine is a tough act to follow! Luckily, the pool of rare girl names runs deep. It’s just a question of finding one that sounds like a sister … but not a clone, right?

Avoiding French names makes sense. Not only is your daughter Delphine, but you’re Michelle! A choice like Fabienne might be quite stylish, but it does create a pattern.

From your current list, I’d love to talk you into Linnea. It’s recognizable, but seldom  heard. And there’s a subtle floral link between Delphine (thanks to delphinium) and Linnea (another name for the twinflower).

Not sold? That’s okay. Other options abound.

We’re looking for girls’ names outside of the current US Top 1000, but still easily recognized and pronounced. A certain international appeal is a plus, and the name has to grow with your daughter. And, of course, it has to have a certain spark, so both of your daughters can love and appreciate their distinctive names.

Based on that list, I’d recommend these rare girl names for Delphine‘s sister:

Adair Addie names are everywhere, but Scottish surname Adair remains under-the-radar. It’s an adventurous choice, with the word “dare” built right in.

Blythe – Like Delphine, Blythe feels tailored, but still feminine. It comes from an Old English word meaning cheerful.   

Calista – In the 90s, Calista Flockhart made her unusual given name just a little more familiar. But it never quite caught on. That makes it a possible sister name for Delphine, with a great meaning – beautiful.

Lavender – If you like the idea of two names with floral connections, but Linnea and Flora aren’t quite right, would Lavender appeal? It was given to just 101 girls in 2018, so it’s far less common than Violet or Rose.

Lucinda – We love lots of Lucy and Luke names right now, but Lucinda remains well outside the current US Top 1000.

Persephone – A Greek goddess name associated with the seasons, Persephone shares that slightly different vibe of Delphine.

Romilly – Originally a surname name brought to England by the Normans, Romilly has never been common. But it sounds like a smoosh of Rose and Milly, which makes it seem very current.

Sybil Downton Abbey launched Margiold, and pushed Cora farther up the charts. But so far, Sybil remains rare. I think it could be exactly what you’re looking for: an elegant name everyone knows, but no one chooses.

SaskiaI almost dropped Saskia from this list, because I’ve heard that this Dutch and German name is sometimes a little too different in the US. But it’s pronounced phonetically, and it fits right in with Sophia and company.

Overall, my favorite names with Delphine are Persephone and Blythe, or maybe Romilly?

But I know our readers will have lots of good suggestions, so let’s turn it over to the community: what rare girl names would you suggest for Delphine‘s sister?

About the author

Abby

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 namesage@nameberry.com.

View all of Abby's articles

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