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Category: names for girls

classic girl names

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Think you have to pick between names that are classics, with deep roots and centuries of use, and names that are unusual?

You don’t, as these classic girls’ names, all ranked below the U.S. Top 1000, attest.

Some were popular in recent years and are now sinking from view — Pamela, Jean — while others are rising stars we predict will soon appear on the official Top 1000: Imogen is a prime example, along with Mabel, the Margos, and Clementine.

That still leaves dozens of classic girls’ names that are neither coming into style nor sailing out but simply holding steady below the radar.

A note on how we chose the names: We did not include variant spellings of more popular classic names such as Emilee, and for the most part excluded short forms unless they have been traditionally used on their own.  Our definition of classic embraces ancient names such as Phaedra and Keturah along with more recent widely-used girls’ names such as Maureen.

If you’re in search of a classic girls’ name that’s both traditional and unusual, consider these 100+ picks, ordered from those given to the highest number of baby girls in the U.S. in 2012 (Aurelia, at 250) to the least (Petal, used for just 5).

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Our Top 100 Girl Names of 2013

baby girl names

There’s a new top girl in town, and her name is Imogen.

Imogen seized the crown from the Hunger Games-inspired Katniss as the Number One girls’ name on Nameberry for 2013.

Charlotte, which had been the most popular girls’ name in previous years, now stands at Number Two, while Harper, now officially classified as a girls’ name with over 90 percent of the baby Harpers female, is a new entrant to the list at Number Three.

Our popularity lists are tabulated by ranking the unique page views each name attracts out of the over 20 million total views of our baby name pages in 2013.

Major trends in girls’ names we see based on our 2013 Popularity List:

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Sundance Catalog Names

sundance

by Pamela Redmond Satran

At this time of year, catalogs flood the house every day – the poor mail deliverer! – only to be promptly thrown into the recycling bin.

One of the few exceptions is the Sundance Catalog. It’s not as if I ever order anything from there, though if my husband is reading this, he should know that I’d be very happy to find any of their earrings under the Christmas tree.

It’s more the image and the lifestyle that attract me, at least for the length of time it takes to eat a peanut butter sandwich. Relaxed yet chic, feminine as well as outdoorsy, the Sundance Catalog depicts the kind of woman I’d be if only I spent my time rambling around a ranch rather than typing on a sofa.

What does any of this have to do with baby names? As usual, everything, as the Sundance Catalog includes lots of girls’ names and also nature names that are in keeping with its cosmopolitan Western bourgeois bohemian aesthetic.

Here, for example, are some of the girls’ names Sundance uses for blouses, boots, and bracelets — but that might work just as well for your own little cosmopolitan cowgirl:

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Badass Princess Names

photo copyright Lissy Elle

A cartoon in a recent New Yorker features a little girl and her mother surveying Halloween costumes in a shop window. “I want to be whichever Disney princess is the most badass,” the girl says.

Badass princess is an image that not only appeals to contemporary little girls but to their parents when choosing a name.

Like the hipster cowboy names we wrote about recently, badass princess names are appealing not so much because of their sound or their style but because of the complicated image they convey. These are girl names that are both decidedly feminine and rooted in tradition, but are not at all conventional or conservative.  They’re creative and edgy, but not invented or unorthodox like Blue or Bellamy.

Rather, these are names that could be – that in many case are – used for royalty, yet they’re a lot, well, badder than names like Elizabeth and Victoria.

The badass princess names are  classy and sassy, cosmopolitan yet earthy, chic but never trying too hard.  It’s an image that many an urbane parent can embrace for her daughter, and that a little girl can have fun living up to, in Halloween costume and beyond.

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Baby Girl Names: Short and sweet

sweet

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Baby girl names have been trending toward the long and elaborate for some time now, with selections like Isabella and Elizabeth, Olivia and Sophia winning out over the kind of brisk no-nonsense names — Anne, Gail, Lynn — that dominated a couple of generations ago.

But there are some popular names that are short and sweet.  I’m thinking of Emma, Ava, Mia, Ella.  And some parents are starting to feel this simple style carries a more modern brand of femininity.

You might want a short, sweet name for your daughter’s middle.  Or maybe you want a short and sweet first name to balance a longer or more complicated last name.

How short is short?  We’re going to cap it at four letters.

Our ideas for fresh baby girl names that are both short and sweet include:

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