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You may know Nameberry’s most popular girls’ names 2011: from Top 3 Charlotte, Violet, and Amelia down to Molly, Maya, and Mary.

You may even know our hottest girls’ names 2011, which include such celebrity-influenced picks as Pippa and Mila.

But we’ve got a quieter, less obvious, but potentially more interesting list for you: those girls’ names that don’t make the Top 100 but that are attracting a dramatic rise in interest this summer over last.

Some of the names here bear a relationship to those on the most popular list: Aveline instead of Adeline, for instance, or Indigo rather than Scarlett, or Clover as opposed to Ivy or Poppy. While not all of these names are destined for future popularity, the baby namer in search of a name that will feel as fresh in ten years as it does today should take heed.

Our list of secretly popular girls’ names 2011 (look for the boys’ list next week):

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Top Girls’ Names: Transformed!

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This week, Nameberry Style columnist Elisabeth Wilborn, of You Can’t Call It It and The Itsy Factor, waves her magic wand over the girls’ top 100 list and transforms overly-popular names with chic new alternatives.

The list of top girls’ names is brimming with gorgeousness. After all, the top girls’ names got that way because people love them.

But if you seek a more rare, chic alternative for your little one, play this game with me. Ask yourself, is it the sound that makes you fall in love with a name? Is it the fact that it honors your heritage? Perhaps it’s the meaning? Whatever the names’ deepest appeal, there may be another, less popular option that will satisfy you.

I had fun with this list, maybe even more so than with the boys’ names because there are just so many viable options to choose from.

How would you amp up the style of the girls’ names from the top of the chart, and are there any that you’re too in love with to change?

1) Isabella–>Mirabella
2) Sophia–>Louisa
3) Emma–>Alice
4) Olivia–>Ottilie
5) Ava–>Rita
6) Emily–>Cecily
7) Abigail–>Tabitha

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baby rider

So you think you’ve found a secret baby name.  One that nobody has ever discovered before.  Or a sleeping gem neglected by other baby namers.

And maybe you have.  But the distressing news is that a lot of the names that parents think are secret finds are really being scoped out at the same time by a lot of other parents.

How do we know? Because we’ve analyzed which names are spiking the highest in nameberry views at the start of 2011 compared with 2010, and among the biggest risers are obscure picks and long-neglected classics.

What makes these names suddenly so hot?  For the most part, it’s hard to say.  All we can tell you for sure is that they are hot — a lot hotter than you might guess.

Here, the 50 hottest obscure names and how high their traffic has jumped:

Girls

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Unusual Names for Girls: Below the Top 1000

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Go straight to lists of unusual names for girls.

Often I’ll look up a name I think is attractive or stylish – or even trendy — on Nameberry, and find myself shocked to discover it doesn’t rank in the Top 1000.  How is it possible that a name du jour like Esme or Clementine, Tallulah or Wren doesn’t make it into the 1000 most popular names, I wonder, when it seems to me that every other baby girl I meet has one of these names?

But then I remember that I dwell in the relatively rarified world of Nameberry, where people’s taste in names tends to be pretty sophisticated.  Plus, some of these names seem poised for a big leap upward – or maybe that’s just my imagination?  I’ve marked those I expect to hit the Top 1000 any year now with an asterisk.

The really good news for the moment, though, is that all these names feel eminently stylish without actually being very popular.  Top name Bree was given to 262 girls last year; bottom name Louise just 100.  (I’ll deal with fashionable names given to fewer than 100 girls in another post soon.)  So while, if you live in a nameberry kind of neighborhood, it may seem as if all 108 baby Tallulahs were born within three blocks of you, the statistics confirm that it’s a highly unusual name nationwide.

That number on the left represents its rank in the complete U.S. tally.

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replacement

UPDATE!! Check out our final list of top baby names 2010 for girls.

Nameberry’s top baby names 2010 for girls are a mix of choices — Olivia, Sophia, Elizabeth, Ava, Isabella — that are also popular on the national count and more adventurous names, from Isla to Imogen to Iris, that are favored by visitors to nameberry.

The top baby names 2010 for boys also are a blend of the expected and the surprising.

Here then are the 100 top baby names 2010 so far for girls:

1. CHARLOTTE

2. SERAPHINA

3. OLIVIA

4. ELIZABETH

5. ISLA

6. SOPHIA

7. ALICE

8. VIOLET

9. LUCY

10. AVA

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