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Category: classic girls’ names

Buttoned-up Girls’ Names

classic girls' names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

The trendiest girls’ names of recent years have been flowery and elaborate: Isabella and Sophia, Olivia and Arianna.  They end in vowels….and often begin with them too.  And if they’re not exotic confections, stylish girls’ names are often gender-and-tradition-confounding novelties such as Harper and Hadley and Neveah.

You can almost hear your granny asking: What ever happened to a nice name like AnneAren’t any babies named Mary these days?

Well, fewer and fewer, in many cases, yet all the frippery in girls’ names is enough to make the old-fashioned buttoned-up standards feel downright refreshing.

A few of these buttoned-up names – Eleanor, most notably – are already making a comeback.  But most are simply lovely standards that may feel buttoned-up, but come with fanciful nicknames for now that can be shed (or not) if and when the future demands more seriousness.

Supreme Court Justice names, anyone?

The buttoned-up names for girls we think deserve a closer look include:

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girl baby names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Katie Price’s firstborn daughter has Nymphadora Tonks syndrome.

By now, you might have heard that British glamour model-turned-reality star Katie Price has welcomed a daughter with a surprising name: Bunny.

That’s the way Katie rolls.  Her older daughter is Princess, and Katie apparently shortlisted Duchess for daughter number two.

Singer Peter Andre is Katie’s ex, and dad to Princess.  He reports that their daughter – now 8 years old – dislikes her frilly given name.

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alice-in-wonderland (1)

What’s your favorite classic girls’ name?

And by classic, we mean timeless choices such as Elizabeth, Sarah, and Margaret.

We also mean currently fashionable classics such as Charlotte and Alice.

In fact, when you tell us which classic girls’ name is your favorite, maybe you can also tell us why you consider it a classic.

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baby name Maisie

The names Mary and Elizabeth were once so ubiquitous (there sometimes would be two in one family) that it was inevitable that a ton of nicknames and variations would evolve, not to mention international versions. Running a close third to those ultimate girls’ classics is Margaret, which means ‘pearl’ and which in fact shares a number of Mary’s pet forms. Here are just a few of Margaret’s offspring, and their recent bearers.

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claire_danes_4

by Linda Rosenkrantz

The crystalline clear classic Claire has seen an impressive rise recently—entering the Top 50 for the very first time in 2011—and bringing Cousin Clara and other relatives slip-streaming along with her. The perfect time to take a closer look at this clear-eyed family.

CLAIRECurrently favored spelling Claire was introduced to England by the Normans, but its modern use only dates back to the nineteenth century.  Now at Number 45, Claire has risen more than forty places since 2000, one of those solid  ‘sweet spot’ names that is familiar but distinctive, feminine but not frilly, popular yet immune to trendiness. Most prominent Claire at the moment is Emmy Award-winning Homeland star Claire Danes (mother of a son named Cyrus), while characters called Claire have appeared in movies and shows from The Breakfast Club to Lost to Modern Family.

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