While A, E, I and O-starting names abound, increasing in popularity all the time, poor little step-sibling vowel U tends to get neglected. Of course there are many fewer names starting with that letter, and even fewer that would appeal to the modern baby namer, but there are definitely a few that are at least worth a look, most of them with a touch of the exotic.
ULLA, ULA – Seen in several cultures, this stong name (it actually means strong-willed in Norse), is sometimes used as a pet form of Ursula or ULRICA/ULRIKA. Most recently associated with the leggy Swedish secretary character in The Producers.
UMA – Thanks to Ms. Thurman almost a one-person name, this throaty, exotic appellation is a name of the Hindu goddess Parvati–which surely inspired her father, a renowned expert on Eastern religion, to bestow it on her.
UMBER – A highly unusual color name, dark and mysterious, which could be used for either gender.
UMBRIA – Richly evocative, shadowy Italian place name–a neighbor of Tuscany known for its wines, olive oil and truffles. Could be a possible replacement for the rapidly becoming overused Siena/Sienna.
UNA – An ancient Irish name, also Anglicized as Oonagh or Oona, used by Edmund Spenser for the heroine of his classic The Faerie Queene; she’s the daughter of a legendary king and the quintessence of truth and beauty (it was for her that St. George slayed the dragon).
UNIQUE – Not any more.
UNITY — One of the newly appealing, lesser used Puritan virtue names, with an admirable meaning.
URANIA – One of the nine Greek Muses, whose special area was astronomy. This one is not recommended, for obvious reasons.
URBANA — An unusual possibility for a city girl.
URSULA – Kids today will probably associate this martyred saint’s name with the campy, corpulent octopus sea witch in The Little Mermaid, while others might tie it to a character in Shakespeare‘s Much Ado, Ursula Brangwen in D. H. Lawrence‘s The Rainbow, novelist Le Guin, 60′s Bond Girl sex goddess Andress, or the character on Friends. Novelist/style icon Plum Sykes chose it for her daughter, which puts it on trend alert.