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Girls’ Names 2013: Our 10 newest choices

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We’re always adding new names to Nameberry, and the ten newest on the site all just happen to be for girls.

Half of these names existed on Nameberry before as variations of other names, but without commentary of their own, and the other half are new entries.  All have ancient roots though are unusual — yet usable — in modern times.

Our newest girls’ names for 2013:

Adelina

Adelina is back in the Top 1000 after an absence of nearly a century, thanks to the meteoric rise of her sister name Adeline — along with Adelaide, Adele, and Ada.  Some parents choose Adelina because they want to get to cute vintage nickname Addie, but others favor it as a slightly more unusual form of this sweet vintage girls’ name. 

While Adeline is usually pronounced in the US with a long i in the last syllable, to rhyme with mine, Adelina is pronounced with the long e sound at the end, as in lee-na.

Ahna

Want to be sure that people pronounce your baby’s name the way you intend?  Then choose a spelling variation like Ahna for AnnaAhna is best known as the name of actress and ex-James Franco girlfriend Ahna O’Reilly.  Pronunciation issues aside, we still prefer Anna.

Eleanora

Eleanor is back, Nora is back, and soon Eleanora will be too.  Off the charts since the 1930s, this elaboration of the classic Eleanor was in common use for decades before falling from favor.  Spelling Eleonora adds yet another syllable to make the pronunciation el-LAY-oh-nor-a, and you can try to instruct people to say Eleanora that way too, but most will pronounce it like Eleanor with an a at the end and that’s just fine.  That final vowel gives a serious, stately name a little flip at the end, making it more distinctive and modern if not right for every taste.

Eponine

Eponine is attracting new notice via the movie of Les Miserables, based on the book by Victor HugoEponine is the spoiled daughter of Cosette‘s foster parents whose name, according to the story, was lifted by her mother from a romance novel.  As in a romance, Eponine redeems herself by becoming a martyr to love.

Kirrily

Kirrily, which rhymes with cheerily, is a name that’s uniquely popular in Australia.  It originated in recent decades as an elaboration of several similar names — the European Kyra or Keira, the Maori Kiri which means tree bark, or the Aboriginal word kira which means leaf — plus the lee sound.  Australian fashion designer Kirrily Johnston has helped popularize the name, which has spawned a countless number of spelling variations.

Liliosa

Liliosa, one of the most exotic forms of the ever-more-popular and varied Lily family, is an ancient saint’s name that’s a perfect candidate for revival by parents who love the double-L flower name trend but want a distinctive variation.  Saint Liliosa was one of the martyrs of 9th century Cordoba, along with her husband Felix and cousins Aurelius and Natalia — all names newly fashionable in the modern world.

Ovidia

Ovidia is the unusual feminine form of the ancient Roman Ovidius, which means shepherd or sheep and is most famous as the name of the exiled 1st century Roman poet Ovid.  Modern male form Ovidio is known in Spain and Portugal.  Ovida is another variation.

Petronilla

Petronilla is an ancient saint’s name that relates to the Roman family name Petronius, thought to mean yokel, though some connect it with Petra or Peter, meaning stone.  With the resurgence of so many ancient Roman names, the elaborate and pretty Petronilla or its French form Petronille seem more usable these days than they have in centuries.

Rosaline

Rosaline, which can be pronounced to rhyme with mine or green in its final syllable, has a deeper, richer pedigree than it might seem.  Rosaline was used twice by Shakespeare and was also used in the poetry of Edmund Spenser.  While we prefer the stronger-sounding Rosalind or Rosamund, Rosaline deserves a fresh contemporary look.

Saar

Saar is a very popular girls’ name in The Netherlands, where it’s an abbreviated form of Sarah.  The Dutch feminine Saar, pronounced sahr, is distinct from the Hebrew place-name Saar used for boys in Israel.  In the U.S., Saar can be a fresh middle name possibility or a new way to honor an ancestral Sarah.

Rose headband by Emerson and Ivy on Etsy.

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