Category: Girl Names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Novels and plays are filled with wonderful character names that provide great naming inspiration–recently we’ve seen that reflected in the newfound popularity of Holden from Catcher in the Rye, Atticus and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, Scarlett from Gone with the Wind.
Today we’re looking at some of the more unique girls’ names that haven’t gained that kind of popularity–some of them perhaps not likely to. It was hard to make a choice, but here are a dozen that made the cut. We’ll be doing the same thing for boys soon.
My middle name is Joyce. I absolutely love it, not only because it is after my beloved grandmother, but also because it is lovely, versatile, and has a delightful meaning. And while I think it is perfectly splendid as a first name, as many parents in the 1930s and 1940s did, I personally love it in the middle spot. It is short, sweet and lends itself to be even shorter for nicknames… Sammy Jo, Sarah Joy, D.J., etc.
Some parents of baby boy Wyatts are nervous. Will Wyatt go girl? Others who had shortlisted Wyatt for a possible child someday might be rethinking. No one wants to introduce their child and have another mom respond, “Oh, like Ashton and Mila’s baby?”
The kerfuffle reminds me of singer Michelle Branch. In 2005, at the height of her success, she married her bass player and had a daughter called Owen Isabelle. Owen remained a Top 100 choice for boys in the US – gaining more than 20 places since – and is barely a blip for girls.
Can celebrities have an impact on the gender ID of their names? You betcha. First there were some earlier actresses with predominantly male names like Glenn Close, Sean Young, Michael Learned and Darryl Hannah, and then, more recently, Bryce Dallas Howard, Elisha Cuthbert, Tierney Sutton, Jules Asner and Mischa Barton, who have opened the door to the gender-bending of their names.
Here are some who have had a perceivable influence in making their lad names more acceptable for ladies.