Category: unique girls’ names

The Nameberry Nine: Embracing the Modern

Baby Name King

Nameberry Nine columnist Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain trolls the web this week in search of the newest, most modern monikers.  Here, her report.

The arrival of Blue Ivy, firstborn daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z, was a signal for every commentator to discuss wacky celebrity baby names once again.  It is a topic that never seems to grow old, though many name cognoscenti rated Blue as relatively tame, perhaps even less original than we’d expected from the stylish duo.

Ellen DeGeneres congratulated the couple, then revealed their secret – The Celebrity Baby Name Generator, issued to every star.  While Ellen and her partner Portia and childless, she gave the BNG a spin to see what they’d name their twins.  The answer?  Banjo Fire Escape and Elbow Gas Lamp – the latter, she quipped, obviously a boy’s name.

Despite all of this gentle mockery, I’ve fallen in love with modern word names over the past few years.  Maybe it is because of all those blog babies with such adventurous appellations:  Reverie, Morrow, Drummer, Glow.  Based on the chatter on the forums and in recent blog posts, I’m not alone at Nameberry.

This week’s Top Nine suggest that world is adapting to a much broader pool of given names:

King – American parents might choose this regal name in memory of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.  But he made headlines last week as one of the names most frequently rejected by New Zealand naming authorities, along with fellow royal titles Prince and Princess, plus noun name Justice.

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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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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:


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Word Names: A Dozen of the Best for Girls


The lovely Lemon, one of nameberry’s greatest treasures, guest blogs on her favorite word names.

I’d venture to say that many of the frequent posters on the Nameberry message boards consider themselves equipped with a “name-sense” of sorts, but for me it’s more of a “word-sense,” really.  After all, at their foundation, aren’t names actually just words – meaningful units of spoken language?  There’s something beautiful about language and, by extension, names.  So, when you’re out there, browsing through sites and books looking for “the” name, perhaps you should hit up a dictionary.  Here are a few word names you may not have considered before…

CadenzaCadence with an Italian flourish, literally.  Found in both instrumental and vocal music, a cadenza is an elaborate, oftentimes rhythmically free solo passage allowing for virtuosic display – the solo of all solos, if you will.  With its international flavor and striking Z, Cadenza is a great alternative to Cadence, Melody, and even the on-the-rise Aria.

Echo – A mythological name meaning “a repetition of sound,” Echo makes a lasting impression.  In Greek mythology, Echo was a beautiful but talkative mountain nymph who loved her own voice.  Unfortunately, she is most famous for her unrequited love of Narcissus, which resulted in her demise.  However, this short but striking name might be the ideal choice for your little chatterbox!

Fate – A short form of Lafayette meaning “faith,” this name’s about as modern as you’ll get in the virtue set!  Defined as “that which is inevitably predetermined,” one’s fate is his or her destiny.  In Greek mythology, The Fates – or Moirae – were those who controlled the thread of life for each mortal; as such, the name has a uniquely powerful energy.  Slightly unisex in sound, Fate is the perfect alternative to the classic Faith or the overdone Destiny.

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Do You Want A Truly Unique Name?


A lot of people use the term unique baby names when what they really mean is unusual baby names.  Names such as Romeo, Romilly, and Roxana may be distinctive, attractive, and uncommon, but they’re hardly unique.

But what about those names that truly are unique, as in one-of-a-kind?

Along with checking out which names were most popular on nameberry so far this year, we took a look at the names that were searched just once last quarter – nameberry’s own truly unique baby names.

Of course, there were many more unique baby names on nameberry, but these are our picks for the cream of the seldom-searched.

Might one be right for your truly unique baby?


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