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Category: girls’ baby names

12 literary girls

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Novels and plays are filled with wonderful character names that provide great naming inspiration–recently we’ve seen that reflected in the newfound popularity of Holden from Catcher in the RyeAtticus and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, Scarlett from Gone with the Wind.

Today we’re looking at some of the more unique girls’ names that haven’t gained that kind of popularity–some of them perhaps not likely to. It was hard to make a choice, but here are a dozen that made the cut.  We’ll be doing the same thing for boys soon.

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

I’m imagining next Christmas morning at Buckingham Palace.

Sure, it is a palace. Even the simplest room is probably chock full of history and priceless antiques.

The children opening presents might be members of the royal House of Windsor, but they will share their rather ordinary names with children throughout the English-speaking world.  The current generation includes the princely George Alexander Louis, but also three girls – Peter Phillips’ daughters Savannah and Isla, and now Zara Phillips Tindall’s new arrival.

Any of the extended Windsor family names could be overheard on local playgrounds almost anywhere.

Some called the Tindalls’ choice disappointing, hoping for a Eugenie or a Zara.  But it also speaks to the incredible freedom we enjoy when naming children in 2014.

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by Pamela Redmond Satran

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. 

AvalonIf you like Ava and Adeline, but want a name that’s more unusual, you might love AvalonAvalon 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.

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The Nameberry 9 by  Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Are we becoming more tolerant of creative names?

My kids’ friends and classmates are a diverse lot, and their names reflect it.  There’s Seamus and Shivarama, a boy named Delaney and a girl called Jordan.  Yes, we have Matthew and Sam and Zoe.  But in their school of 300 kids, I can count the number of names that repeat on one hand.

Even though we know lots of boys with unusual names, it seems like girls have the edge.  Statistics bear it out.  In 2012, over 78% of boys received a Top 1000 name, but fewer than 67% of all girls did.

This past week seemed to be all about unusual, but perfectly wearable, names for girls.  I’m not thinking of headline-grabbing choices like North and Khaleesi.  Instead, I’m thinking of the wide universe of wearable names, choices that are a little bit different, but not staggeringly strange.

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This week’s Nameberry 9 by Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel shows us the wide range of girl baby names available to today’s parents.

Did you read Swistle’s post about a woman named Justin?

Some of us probably felt vindicated.  Of course you shouldn’t give a boy’s name to a girl!

Others probably thought: If only they’d chosen Justine instead.

Miss Justin might be an extreme case, but this week’s name news reminds us that the range of possibilities for girls is vast.  From conventionally masculine names to modern inventions to antique revivals, we are willing to be daring when naming daughters.

That’s not just a name nerd perspective, either.  In 2011, almost 79% of newborn boys in the US received a Top 1000 name.  For girls?  Just under 67% received a Top 1000 choice.

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