Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .
After being a Top 25 name in the late nineteenth century, Pearl went into a long slide, but is showing signs of a strong comeback -- it reentered the Top 1000 in 2010 and has already risen more than 200 places. Plus she's in the Top 100 on Nameberry.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Pearl is the illegitimate daughter of Hester Prynne, who gives her the name because she is 'her mother's only treasure.'
Pearl was also the alter ego name of Janis Joplin, tied to singer Pearl Bailey, and---hmm--the birth name of western writer Zane Gray.
Variations are PERLE and PERLA.
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