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Pretty in Pink: Lovely Names for girls like Lucy, Briar, and Calais

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The Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

If last week’s baby name news was all about modern classic picks for boys, this week goes to the girls.

From Laiyah to Lucy, a number of birth announcements were brought to us by the letter L. L continues to be the marker of many a popular name, from Ella to Lily to Annabelle.

It wasn’t all about L, though – popular choices from Israel and Brazil, and unusual possibilities from the wider world round out a list of names that range from the mainstream to the out-there.

When I look at the list, I think this: we talk about names. We discuss their history and associations, their meanings and use.

But do we really fall in love with sounds? I’m drawn to the lilting l and the vibrant long a, the sharp v and the cool oo.

Read on for nine great sounding girls’ names from this week’s baby name news.

Noa – Nope, this isn’t a case of name-napping. Noa is the #1 name for girls in Israel. Noah is the masculine form – and in Hebrew, the ‘h’ isn’t silent. Noa fits right in with mini names like Mia and Ava, but she’s rare in the US.

Laiyah – Singer Monica and Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown revealed their daughter’s name at a baby shower last month. Laiyah Shannon has arrived! I love that she shares her middle name with dad. Laiyah seems like an elaborate spelling – did the couple go that route to differentiate their daughter from the Star Wars name Leia? Or were they inspired by the Arabic Aliyah?

Alba Violet – This one made the news when UK footballer Gareth Bale signed with Real Madrid. If he’s the next David Beckham, good news – their taste in names is just as headline-worthy. Thanks to Elea at British Baby Names for the tip.

Lucy Jude – Have you caught this sweet time lapse video by Danny Pier? Part-pregnancy journal, part-love song to Colorado, it documents Danny and Erin’s recent arrival, Lucy Jude. Lucy is the new Emma, a classic heard everywhere, but still completely fresh and charming.

LydiaGenevieve Marie has a little sister! NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra have welcomed a second daughter, Lydia Norriss. Lydia is one of ends-with-ia choices vying to replace Olivia in the Top Ten, along with Cecilia and Amelia. It’s a popular choice, but a pretty one.

Calais – If you’ve crossed the English Channel in a ferry, then you’ve gone from Dover to Calais. Calais is such a gorgeous sound, especially for a middle name. Long association with the Channel crossing means that Calais is familiar to many. For Real recently spotted Audrey Calais. It’s my new favorite place name middle, hopscotching over Jeremy Renner’s Ava Berlin.

Briar – Here’s another one that should work in our Lily-Harper moment: Briar. She has a fairytale vibe, thanks to Briar Rose, might serve as a way to honor an uncle or father named Brian, and manages to be both different and familiar at once – the hardest part about choosing a stand-out name, right?

Georgelle – There are names that start with ‘l’ and then there are those that end with the sound. This one was spotted by Eponymia among the names of Old Quebec. If the recent royal arrival means that we’re all considering George and related names for our children, I’d love to meet a little Georgelle.

Giovanna – We started in Israel, let’s end in Brazil – with an Italian baby name. Statistics from Santos, Sao Paulo list Giovanna as one of the ten most popular names for girls. She’s seen some use in the US in recent years, too. Giovanna makes for an intriguing mix of the familiar and seldom heard – a nice balance between Lucy and Georgelle.

What are your favorite names for girls? Do any of them share the elle sound or start with the letter L?

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