Category: cool names for girls
by Suzi Catchpole
There are so many pretty names; the wallflowers, the shy, prim and delicate ones. I love them and am delighted when people use them, but of late, my own lists aren’t populated by the pretty ones. I want them edgy, loaded with pomp, prestige, colourful associations… and even a little arrogance.
We recently had our third baby son and we named him Jarvis. A friend exclaimed that Jarvis is a name with ‘serious swagger’ and we admit, we wanted something completely leftfield and totally cool. Bets were had that we would name our new baby Hugo, Sebastian or Jasper – all lovely names, but we were searching further afield for a wildcard; that neglected gem which so many parents seek.
After haggling and disagreeing about Wolfgang (his choice) and Rupert (my choice), we knew we had struck pay dirt when Jarvis was resurrected from the very first list I wrote back in 2004. It had been there all along, nonchalantly waiting for us to acknowledge its cred.
We live in Sydney Australia, and were aware that in the US, Jarvis is sometimes seen as a redneck or country and western name. Here, it has more of a hipster, Jarvis Cocker, upper crust British image. It does seem to have two identities though, and we decided we were fine with that.
And what if we had had three girls? Their names wouldn’t have been shrinking violets, that’s for sure! The feminine counterparts of Felix, Theodore, and Jarvis, my three sons’ names, that I would have loved to use for three daughters might have been Beatrix, Dahlia, and Juno.
So here’s a list of names which I think embody sass and swagger; girls and boys who have an edge and sit on the fringes… with attitude.
Around this time every year, we peek behind the Nameberry curtain to see which names are the most popular with our visitors. This Top 100 for each gender, which reflects views of the name pages on our site, indicates which names have captured the most interest since the start of the year.
The girls’ list is evidence of both pop culture events along with future baby name trends. Some analysis:
— The Hunger Games is the obvious inspiration for Katniss at Number 1. We don’t ever expect to see Katniss — or Primrose or Rue — in the U.S. Top 100 for real live baby girls. But the appeal of the heroine inspires a great amount of curiosity about her unusual name.
— Celebrities and their babies attract a lot of page views, which sometimes translate into baby name trends. Names high on the Nameberry list thanks to celebrities and starbabies include Harper, Seraphine, Penelope, Violet, Isla, and Scarlett. And these are all names that will continue to rise in the national name statistics as well, we predict.
As the authors of, literally, the book on Cool Names, you’d think we’d know everything there is to know about cool baby names.
But the definition of cool is so fluid and so subjective, it’s difficult to point to one name, or one group of names, and proclaim it as universally cool.
Yet sometimes, you know cool when you see it. I was reading about the British actor Damian Lewis the other day — the redheaded hunk on Homeland — and noticed (of course) that the names of his children with fellow actor Helen McCrory are Manon and Gulliver.
Huh, I thought. Now THOSE are cool names. Undeniably quirky, but cool.
We’ve always loved O Names, from our first book Beyond Jennifer & Jason when we declared names that ended (and sometimes also began) with the cheery letter O to be “So Far Out They’re In.” A quarter century later, they still are, with choices like Leo and Marlo officially stylish and a raft of other O names gaining much-deserved attention.
We’re still so fond of the O names that we find it difficult to narrow our favorites down to a dozen, but these to us feel both fresh and usable, contemporary and also deserving of respect. The only down side of the O names as a class is that there are more great choices for boys than for girls.
With photos that connect the letter O’s eternal circle with things relating to childhood, here are the best O names right now.
The strongest baby name influences right now: Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, and ancient Rome. Many of the hot names relate to nature and to worlds beyond our own. And most share a transcendence of traditional gender identity, containing elements of names for the opposite gender if not crossing over to unisex territory.
Nameberry’s hottest names of the year, which we predict you’ll be hearing lots more of in the future, are: