Category: names for girls
Our conclusion: No matter how unusual they are by the numbers, these names are drawing considerable buzz. And that’s bound to translate over the coming years into usage for a lot more babies.
Besides their incipient popularity, these names share several appealing qualities. Most relate to nature, but in a fresher, less obvious way than the Lilys and Roses we’ve heard so much of in recent years. Many have deeper roots than they first seem, plus intriguing cultural connections.
And is it coincidence that four of the 11 start with the letter C, and seven contain the letter L? We don’t think so.
Our picks for 11 unusual girls’ names we see destined for stardom.
Maybe because Nameberry attracts such serious name lovers, many visitors to the site can’t settle for choosing just one name for their babies.
I’m not talking about the trend toward picking two middle names but about the taste for baby girl names that have two very different versions: a classic, elaborate, elegant, formal name with a cute, modern, spunky nickname that may be very distinct in sound and feel.
These two-for-one names seem to work best for girls, as evidenced by a recent message board rundown of the possibilities. And of course it’s a phenomenon we’ve come across frequently on Nameberry before.
Many parents, in fact, say they’re only interested in baby girl names that go two ways. And most don’t want to settle for the obvious, traditional short form — Penny for Penelope, for example — but are seeking a proper name and an inventive short form.
Some examples of fresh two-for-one names for girls, with thanks to our wonderful berries for some of these creative ideas:
It’s easy to confuse popularity with stylishness. Many baby names feel “popular” when they’re merely stylish: We’re hearing them a lot, they’re in step with the baby name fashions, and we worry that if we choose them, our little Matilda is going to be one of many.
And perhaps if you live in some edgy, baby-centric enclave – Park Slope, Brooklyn, say, or Bernal Heights in San Francisco – that will be true. But for the most part, the numbers tell a different story, with many of the most stylish names used by very few parents.
One note: Names can be popular and stylish, so many of those in the popular column also qualify as stylish.
Looking just at girls’ names today, here’s a statistics-based reality check on what’s stylish vs. what’s truly popular. (Numbers in parentheses represent how many babies were given that name in the most recent U.S. count.)
Today’s Question of the Week is a two-parter:
Last week we talked about naming styles for boys, now it’s the girls’ turn.
- With girls’ names, there are even more style preference category possibilities. How would you characterize the names you like best? Girly girl, gender neutral, boyish? Classic, biblical? Vintage Old Lady? Trendy, nouveau? Family or surname names? British-inflected, international? Creative? Quirky? Eclectic? Exotic? Good girls or bad girls? (These are just a few suggestions–we’d love to have your own designations of your style.)
Here, our favorite 12 old lady names right now.
Ada is an old lady name that's simple enough to appeal to the modernist, who may also be inspired by namesake Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron and the first female "computer programmer." Ada was also the name of a heroine of novelist Vladimir Nabokov and the wife and muse of artist Alex Katz; this is one of Katz's many paintings of her.