Category: Girl Names

Vintage Girl Names: 9 Fresh Ideas

vintage girl names

By Abby Sandel

Vintage girl names can make great choices for a daughter born today. They’re tied to the past, have plenty of great namesakes, and yet feel fresh and unexpected, too.

The only problem? Many of them are far more popular than you might expect.

Anna Chlumsky, the My Girl child star turned Emmy-nominated Veep cast member, recently welcomed her second daughter. She and husband Shaun So embraced the vintage girl names trend with her name: Clara Elizabeth, a little sister for Penelope Joan.

A former Top Ten favorite, Clara brings to mind The Nutcracker, silent film star Clara Bow, and Red Cross founder Clara Barton. No surprise, then, that the name ranked Number 98 in 2015.

That’s not nearly as common as Emma, Sophia, or Charlotte. But with similarly antique choices like Lucy, Violet, and Eleanor in vogue, it’s likely that Clara is catching on.

What’s a lover of vintage names to do? Look farther down the list, of course! Here are nine vintage girl names that remain quietly under-the-radar – for now.

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How Ramona Made Me A Name Nerd


By Duana Taha

We’re delighted to present a chapter from Duana Taha’s recommended new book, The Name Therapist.

For a certain type of outspoken, literary woman, Harriet M. Welsch is a touchstone figure. She is mouthy and candid and brutal in her pursuit of the truth. I mean, she has to be. She’s a spy. For the uninitiated, I’m talking about Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, and if you’re reading this in a place that sells books, you should purchase that one to go along with this wonderful volume you’re holding.

I’m not saying an eleven-year-old Manhattan-based spy is my role model but, you know, listening to everyone talk about their names for years is a form of observation, and Harriet certainly taught me all about that—you see where I’m going here? She’s not not my role model.

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a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
unusual baby girl name

They thought finding a name for their daughter would be a snap! But now they’re struggling to narrow down names that are classic, but not too common, to find the perfect unexpected – but not too out-there! – name for Jonah’s sister.

Brittany writes:

My husband and I have a son named Jonah and are expecting a daughter in a few months. We thought finding a girl name would be easier!

We are looking for a girl’s name that is not super popular, but not so unusual that it is weird. My husband prefers classic names, but I am drawn to names that I hear less often.

Current favorites from both of us include Cora, Isla, Margot, Eleanor, Autumn, Elaina, and Daphne. Meaning also plays a part, as some meanings or background can be off putting. Middle name will be Elizabeth (family name), and our last name is very common.

What feminine, but unique/classy name are we missing?

The Name Sage replies:

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Lu-Girl Names Inspired by Paris

Lu-girl names

By Abby Sandel

What’s popular in Paris? When it comes to French baby names, Lou rules. Louise has held the top girls’ spot for eight years running, while Louis is a Top Ten pick for boys.

That tracks with the trend reports French baby name site Meilleurs Prenom’s Stephanie Rapoport has filed for Nameberry in recent years. Louis and Louise are in the nation-wide Top Ten for France, and other names, like Lilou and Louna, have been in favor, too.

At first glance, American parents have let this trend pass us by. But when Lu– names are added in, it’s a different story.

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unique girls' names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Very feminine names that were unusual and exotic a generation or two ago have risen to the top of the US popularity lists: I’m looking at you, Isabella, Sophia, Olivia.

So what’s the parent to do who loves this kind of elaborate girls’ name but wants something a lot more rare?

Some of the best choices in this style don’t even make it onto the extended list of American baby names: All the names starred below were given to fewer than five baby girls in the US in the last year counted.  And the others were used for only a handful of babies.

Is Cassiopeia or Petronilla too much name for a baby girl (or even a grown-up woman, for that matter)? Maybe, but you can always call her Cassie or Nilla and trust she’ll grow into her august appellation, at least by the time she’s 40.

And if you like super-feminine names for girls, why stick with the safe Gabriellas and Valentinas when there are all these exotic beauties out there?

Thirty rare, feminine names you might consider for your little girl are:

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