Category: names for girls
by Linda Rosenkrantz
I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer quantity, gorgeousness and wild originality of the names reported in the Birth Announcement forums for this third quarter of the year, from July through the end of September. So overwhelmed, in fact, that I’m dividing the results into two separate blogs—one for the girls and one for the boys.
Not surprisingly, with this large number of names, there were more duplicates than ever. Perennial NB fave Charlotte along with Phoebe were chosen three times, while the girls’ names picked twice were Alice, Annabel, Arabella, Daisy, Daphne, Elodie, Francine, Ivy, Luna, Nora, Penelope, Rory and Vivienne.
Most popular initial: A (surprise, surprise); most popular consonant initial: M
Most unusual middle name: Wildflower
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.
Avalon – If you like Ava and Adeline, but want a name that’s more unusual, you might love Avalon. Avalon 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.
See all the girl names on Nameberry here.
Imogen unseated longtime favorite Charlotte as our most-viewed girl name so far this year. In third place we have another new entrant to the girl names list, Harper, which we’ve moved over from unisex given that over 90 percent of the babies named Harper are now female.
This list of Nameberry’s Top 100 girl names is based on over 8 million views of our name pages for the first half of 2013.
This list shows the influence of popular culture, news events, and celebrity on interest in names. Merida was an animated film heroine, while Clementine and Everly were girl names chosen by celebrities and Francine and Frances may be inspired by the new Pope.
And we see names in the lower half of the list moving up on the coattails of their more popular sisters: Elodie and Eloise are rising behind Eleanor, for instance, while Mae and Maisie follow Maeve. Ada is a new entrant at Number 92, and we predict will move up on the strength of the popular Ava, still strong at Number 12.
While many of the girl names popular with Nameberry visitors also rank high on the U.S. baby names popularity list, others are outliers. Our top girl name Imogen, for instance, has never been on the U.S. Top 1000.
Here, Nameberry’s top girl names 2013….so far:
One of the search terms that sends a lot of people to Nameberry every day is “pretty girl names.”
Are they searching for names that are pretty, we wonder, or names that sound as if they belong to pretty girls? Or maybe what people are after is names that mean pretty or beautiful?
Or probably, all of the above.
We do have a list called Pretty Girl Names, which is admittedly subjective, a compendium of names that carry the literal meaning as well as those that convey prettiness in our minds.
A selection of possibilities:
To clear up any misunderstanding, let me say straight off that these are not literally sister and brother names — you would decidedly NOT want to name your children Oliver and Olivia or Seren and Soren.
What we’re talking about are names themselves that are closely related, male and female versions of names with similar sounds and feels, too close to bestow on actual siblings but offering parents boys’ and girls’ choices of what are virtually if not literally the same names.
We’ve written a lot recently about unisex names — the same name used for both genders, like Rory or Emerson — and we’ve also touched on the recent phenomenon of boys’ names that have risen to popularity on the coattails of their trendy sisters: Emmett from Emma, for instance, or Everett from the Eve contingent.
That can work the other way too, with a fashionable boys’ name inspiring the rise of a similar-sounding sister name. In fact, does it really matter which gender’s popularity comes first? We see a lot of trendy names these days with both female and male counterparts, so that if you’re attracted to a certain sound or style, you can use whichever version of the name fits your baby’s gender.
But others don’t share an origin and developed separately, only to be connected at this point in baby name history by their similar feel and the desire on the part of parents for baby name parity, even if they’re not interested in using unisex names.