Category: girls’ baby names
Some of us probably felt vindicated.Â Of course you shouldnât give a boyâs name to a girl!
Others probably thought: If only theyâd chosen Justine instead.
Miss Justin might be an extreme case, but this weekâs name news reminds us that the range of possibilities for girls is vast.Â From conventionally masculine names to modern inventions to antique revivals, we are willing to be daring when naming daughters.
The president hosted a fireside chat on Google+ last week.Â He tackled complex, divisive topics like the environment and the economy.
But baby names?
Giving baby name advice is tough.Â It means sorting names into the good and the bad, or maybe the good and the less good.Â Explaining why we like a name is nearly impossible sometimes, isnât it?Â Explaining what we dislike can be too easy.
This weekâs news was filled with gorgeous girlsâ names representing every possible style and trend, from imports to underused classics to modern discoveries.
The nine most newsworthy baby names are:
Since I happen to be Â married to someone whoÂ was born and raisedÂ on the island of Guernsey–yes, the Guernsey of cows and Potato Peel Pie Society fame–I’ve spent quite a bit of family time there and, out of curiosity, also check the Guernsey Press site online fairly regularly–particularly the names in the birth announcements, of course.
Even though Guernsey is closer to the French shore of the English channel than the English, and many of the familes have surnames like Le Maitre and Vaudin (my mother-in-law’s maiden name), and my husband Chris grew up with boys named Marcel and Henri, very few modern parents there are using Gallic first names for their babies, so that these birth announcements aren’tÂ all thatÂ different from those in the English papers.
Here are some of the most recent:
Wherever Ewe Go, There Ewe Are is the wonderful blog of today’s guest blogger formally known as âEwe,â an American living in the United Kingdom with her Scottish husband.Â Sheâs the mom of two sons, ages four and two, and is expecting a daughter, known for now as Lambchop.
I always thought I’d know exactly what I would name my daughter, but now that I’m actually having one, I’m seriously waffling. There are soooo many lovely girl names out there. And as a result, some of my ‘sure thing’ name combination options aren’t looking so ‘sure thing’ anymore. In fact, a whole slew of girls names that I have always thought I would give ultra-serious consideration to were almost immediately off the table for a whole variety of reasons.
Here, girlsâ names I love and admireâŚ.but WONâT be using.
1. FREYA. I adore the name Freya. In fact, back when I was pregnant with Boo, before I knew Boo was a “he”, Freya was at the top of my list for a wee girl. It’s a gorgeous name that doesn’t even crack the top 1000 list in the U.S., which is a head-scratcher for me because it’s a chronic top 20 name in England and Scotland. But, sadly, that’s why we took it off our list now that we’re actually having a girl; it’s waaaay too popular here. I see so many little Freyas everywhere I go here. If we lived in the states, this would be our likely choice. But we don’t, so it’s out.
2. MALIA. Another long, long-time favorite name. One of my sister’s best friends growing up was named Malia; and I fell even more in love with it during my six years in Hawaii. It’s just so pretty when it rolls off the tongue. But then we elected a new President last year, and guess what? His oldest girl’s name is Malia, which means it’s going to go straight up the popularity charts. Plus, it’s Hawaiian, and my husband isn’t quite as keen on the idea.
3. TRIONA. My love of Celtic and Irish music led me to this name years ago. It’s a shortened version of Catriona or Caitriona. But my husband pointed out that, technically, I was pronouncing it wrong (tree-oh-nah) when it should be pronounced like ‘trina’. And he was only willing to consider the full version of Catriona, which faces the same pronuncation issues, which I’m not as keen on. Plus, we already have an Auntie Trina, which violates one of my existing naming rules. (Not to mention the fact that a good friend made fun of it years ago, but I forgive her. She had a good point. heh heh)
4. AUDREY. Audrey is just a lovely, lovely name, made famous by the even lovelier Ms Hepburn. But it’s been screaming up the charts in the U.S. the past few years, and is clearly headed for the top 20 very soon. An old-fashioned name that is clearly coming back around, and rightfully so. But its popularity means it’s not for us.
5. LEILANI. Another gorgeous Hawaiian name that I’ve always admired; another ‘no’ from my husband.
6. LORELEI. Ditto the Hawaiian gorgeousness. And made even more mainstream in popularity by the quirky television series The Gilmore Girls. And now envision the ‘too Hawaiian’ name being vetoed by my husband with the addition of an eye-roll. Sigh.
7. ADELE. Another lovely, old-fashioned name that I think deserves to make a comeback. But I also can’t quite imagine giving it to a baby because it still sounds like an “older” name. I suspect that’s the reason it still hasn’t re-entered the top 1000 names in the U.S. We’d have to use a nickname, like Ada (and we have one of those in the family already, so ‘no’) or Addie while Lambchop was little. And, to be honest, I’m not huge on nicknames, so it’s an unlikely choice for us.
8. VIOLETA. Pronounced vee-oh-letta, I think this is a very pretty, sweet name for a girl. A lovely flower name, the prettier version of Violet. But one of Ramekin’s best friends on our street is named Violeta, so no go.
9. ANNIKA. On paper, and on the tongue, the name fits all of our potential naming criteria. It’s a lovely Scandinavian name (Swedish, though, not Norwegian), which would probably delight my Norwegian MIL. But after much –and I mean much– consideration while I seriously considered it, I just don’t think it will work with our childrens’ last names. There’s just something not quite right about it for us…. so it was with regret I took it out of serious contention. (I suppose it could make a comeback, though…you never know.)
10a and 10b. AILSA and ISLA. Both names are beautiful, traditional Scottish girl names that my Scotland-born husband really likes. But Isla is incredibly popular right now, so I’m not interested in using it. And, while Ailsa is lovely, the truth is, it sounds foreign coming off my tongue. I struggle to pronounce it properly, and I want a name I can easily pronounce for my own daughter. When I say Ailsa, it sounds more like Elsa, an almost equally lovely Scandinavian name, and, incidentally, the name of one of my husband’s (now deceased) Norwegian Aunts. But we know a four-month old Elsa. And I don’t like the look of it as much as Ailsa. So it lingers on the discarded names list.
11. SERENA. Pretty, but ruined by the existence of the teeny bopper television show Gossip Girl. I can only imagine how many younger moms-to-be will be using this name for their own daughters in the coming years.
12. JOELLE. Getting really tired of my husband’s eye rolls, which is what I got when I suggested it. And a reminder that we’re not French.
13. ARLETTE. My husband again reminds me that we’re not French, the party-pooper.
We’d like to offer our CONGRATULATIONS on the arrival of three beautiful (and beautifully named) baby girls born to members of the extended Nameberry family:
VIOLET KATHERINE, daughter of nameberry boards regular Kristen, who offered her thanks to all of you, writingÂ “Your book, the website and the advice of the wonderful ladies who are regulars on your forums led me to choose a name that had meaning for me and my family (instead of a name that I simply thought sounded cool) .”
One of my embarrassing little obsessions is princess names.Â The whole idea of royalty, in these modern times, is kind of embarrassing.Â And then there’s the issue of encouraging your daughter to aspire to be a princess rather than, say, a doctor or an astronaut.Â For more on this, check out Peggy Orenstein’s great piece from the New York Times, “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” and her bestselling book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter.
The fact, in our experience, is that most little girls go through a phase of wanting to be princesses whether you encourage them to or not.Â And there’s a lot of great name inspiration to be found in the world of royalty.
The most obvious place to start is with names that mean princess — for the most part limited to Sarah and her variations.Â Sara, Sera, Sarai, Sadie, Soraya, and Zadie are all possibilities.Â A British “glamour model” named her daughter Princess, though we don’t recommend this.
Aurora — One of the “real” names of Sleeping Beauty.
Fiona — The princess from Shrek, a great role model though a little girl might feel ambivalent about carrying her name.
Kilala — A Japanese fantasy/romance manga princess whose story plays out against her Disney counterparts.
Sasami — Japanese anime character who is a princess of Jurai.
Tiana — Disney’s first black princess.
Vasilissa — Meaning “queen” in Greek, Vasilissa is the heroine of a Russian fairy tale who starts out as a poor girl and ends up marrying the king.
Better inspiration might be found via the real little princesses of the world, with their string of four or five names for some poor future spouse to stumble over at the royal wedding.Â Â A selection of those born over the past decade or so:
Aiko — Japan
Amelia — Greece
Arrietta — Greece
Irene — Spain
Leonor — Spain
Sofia â Spain
What’s your favorite?Â What are some princess-worthy names and combinations that haven’t yet been attached to real royal babies?Â Let us know!