Category: girl baby names
One of our most popular blog posts ever was on 100 wonderful names given to 25 or fewer girls each year. (We did a boys’ version too.)
But what, we wondered recently, would happen if we narrowed the parameters even more? If we looked only at names given to ten or fewer girls in the most recent year counted? This still includes a mind-blowing total of nearly 10,000 names, but would we be able to find 100 great ones?
The answer, we believe, is a resounding yes, and we hope the list here proves it.
If you truly want an unusual name for your baby girl, this is the list for you. It includes underused classics such as Maude and Rowena along with international choices such as Anwen and Timea; ancient names such as Hebe and Hero; and newly-minted names like Cairo and Blue. And each given to only ten girls or fewer in the entire United States.
Our picks for the 100 best cool unusual girls’ names, with the number of children who received it in 2012:
by Linda Rosenkrantz
I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer quantity, gorgeousness and wild originality of the names reported in the Birth Announcement forums for this third quarter of the year, from July through the end of September. So overwhelmed, in fact, that I’m dividing the results into two separate blogs—one for the girls and one for the boys.
Not surprisingly, with this large number of names, there were more duplicates than ever. Perennial NB fave Charlotte along with Phoebe were chosen three times, while the girls’ names picked twice were Alice, Annabel, Arabella, Daisy, Daphne, Elodie, Francine, Ivy, Luna, Nora, Penelope, Rory and Vivienne.
Most popular initial: A (surprise, surprise); most popular consonant initial: M
Most unusual middle name: Wildflower
It’s a common baby name dilemma: You love a name like Cora or Lila forever, holding it close as your own special secret choice, and then bang! Right when you’re finally in a position to use it, you discover it’s become a trendy new favorite, vaulting up the charts.
What are more unusual baby names that may relate to trendier names but are more distinctive?
Here, drawn from our new book The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names are ten girls’ names that offer some of the feeling of today’s most stylish names but are more adventurous.
Avalon – If you like Ava and Adeline, but want a name that’s more unusual, you might love Avalon. Avalon is the name of a mythical island paradise – literally, “island of apples” — that offers a fresh take on several trendier girls’ names. And okay, so it’s also a car name, but so are Mercedes and Portia.
Do you name boys and girls the same way?
We often reserve antique gems for girls – lady-like appellations like Charlotte, Amelia, Lydia, and Hattie. But this week, parents proved that retro picks work for boys, too. Several high-profile birth announcements revived grandpa-chic choices for our sons.
I’ve heard parents report that they stick to the classics for their sons, but take risks with girls’ names. Could that be changing? Are fewer parents playing it safe when naming a son?
And if we embrace bold names for girls – ones with interesting sounds and lots of presence – will we feel less pressure to borrow conventionally masculine names for our daughters?
This week’s nine most newsworthy names are:
Luna – Penelope and Javier have announced their daughter’s name. Leo’s little sister is Luna Encinas Cruz. Luna has gone from quirky Harry Potter heroine to one of the fastest-rising choices in the last decade. Originally worn by a Roman goddess of the moon, Luna is now a favorite with Hollywood stars. Uma Thurman calls her many-named daughter Luna, too.
So for our Question of the Week, we’d like to know: What are your favorite girls’ literary names?
Consult our master list of literary names for girls for inspiration. And please feel free to add wonderfully-named heroines we’ve overlooked.
And please tell us about the heroine, the book, and why you love it and the name so much!