Category: names for girls
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.
Around this time every year, we peek behind the Nameberry curtain to see which names are the most popular with our visitors. This Top 100 for each gender, which reflects views of the name pages on our site, indicates which names have captured the most interest since the start of the year.
The girls’ list is evidence of both pop culture events along with future baby name trends. Some analysis:
— The Hunger Games is the obvious inspiration for Katniss at Number 1. We don’t ever expect to see Katniss — or Primrose or Rue — in the U.S. Top 100 for real live baby girls. But the appeal of the heroine inspires a great amount of curiosity about her unusual name.
— Celebrities and their babies attract a lot of page views, which sometimes translate into baby name trends. Names high on the Nameberry list thanks to celebrities and starbabies include Harper, Seraphine, Penelope, Violet, Isla, and Scarlett. And these are all names that will continue to rise in the national name statistics as well, we predict.
There’s a new generation of mom names, not the midcentury Kathys and Sues that are fast becoming grandma names, but the names of young moms today, born for the most part in the 70s and 80s, their names acquiring a more grownup image as they’ve grown up themselves.
This blog was inspired by the discussion of mom names over on the forums. On that board, berries are discussing their own moms’ names plus the names of moms they know who have young children.
Of course, not every name of a twenty-or-thirty-something mother qualifies as a mom name. What does?
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.