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Category: girl 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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O! Oh!..Those trendy o-ending girls!

o-end willow

We’ve long been loving o-ending boys’ names like Milo and Theo, but now we’re seeing that final vowel sound becoming a solid trend for girls. Except here names with the o-ending sound don’t necessarily end in ‘o’–it may also be represented by letters ow, oh or the French aux. Some prime examples: Marlowe has been a hot hit of late, and Isabeau is proving to be a more distinctive follow-up to the ubiquitous Isabel.

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two aggies

By Linda Rosenkrantz

For what seems like forever, this pair of sainted sister names, Agnes and Agatha, have seemed like the quintessential starched, buttoned-up, high-lace-collared, mauve-dressed Great-Great-Grandmother appellations.

I’d like to propose that we let the unbuttoning commence.

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modern girls names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Is the way we name our daughters changing?

The way we name our sons in 2014 feels different.  For years we relied on Biblical favorites with a few hardy Germanic go-tos mixed in.  But since the 1990s, we’ve seen names like Tyler, Mason, and Jayden reach the US Top Ten.  Jackson is more popular than John, while former favorites like Richard and Steven are less and less common.

Girls’ names have always been more volatile.  And yet, our ideas about what makes an appropriately feminine name were once more set.  Sophia, Isabella and Charlotte might be today’s darlings, but they’re not so different from Amanda, Melissa, and Heather in the 1980s or Barbara, Cynthia, and Karen in the 1950s.

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