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Category: Girl Names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

The good news about naming a girl: the options are limitless.

The bad news about naming a girl: the options?  Limitless!  How do you choose?

In the US, around two-thirds of all newborn girls are given a Top 1000 name.  We play it safe with our sons, with 79% – nearly four out of five – parents sticking with something in the Top 1000.  Sure, Cortez, Kamdyn, and Garrison are included in that Top 1000 definition of safe – but they’re not nearly as out-there as some of the rarities given to girls.

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vintage girls' names

So many vintage names have been retrieved, polished up and restored for baby use, from Amelia to Zachariah, that it sometimes feel that the attic’s been stripped bare. Not so. There are still lots of names that were popular in the past and are still waiting to be rediscovered. The examples here were all given to at least one hundred babies in the year 1914—a century ago—but have yet to enter the current Top 1000.

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O! Oh!..Those trendy o-ending girls!

o-end willow

We’ve long been loving o-ending boys’ names like Milo and Theo, but now we’re seeing that final vowel sound becoming a solid trend for girls. Except here names with the o-ending sound don’t necessarily end in ‘o’–it may also be represented by letters ow, oh or the French aux. Some prime examples: Marlowe has been a hot hit of late, and Isabeau is proving to be a more distinctive follow-up to the ubiquitous Isabel.

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two aggies

By Linda Rosenkrantz

For what seems like forever, this pair of sainted sister names, Agnes and Agatha, have seemed like the quintessential starched, buttoned-up, high-lace-collared, mauve-dressed Great-Great-Grandmother appellations.

I’d like to propose that we let the unbuttoning commence.

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modern girls names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Is the way we name our daughters changing?

The way we name our sons in 2014 feels different.  For years we relied on Biblical favorites with a few hardy Germanic go-tos mixed in.  But since the 1990s, we’ve seen names like Tyler, Mason, and Jayden reach the US Top Ten.  Jackson is more popular than John, while former favorites like Richard and Steven are less and less common.

Girls’ names have always been more volatile.  And yet, our ideas about what makes an appropriately feminine name were once more set.  Sophia, Isabella and Charlotte might be today’s darlings, but they’re not so different from Amanda, Melissa, and Heather in the 1980s or Barbara, Cynthia, and Karen in the 1950s.

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