@pemdas - The three that you weren't sure how to pronounce;
Demelza: A Cornish name that is pronounced pretty much how it's spelt! Dem-el-za.
Dilys: A Welsh name that's pronounced Dil-is. Rhymes with 'Phyllis'
Torill: A Norwegian name that rhymes with 'Sorrel'. Actually I think the correct spelling is Toril, but the first person I met with the name spelled it with two l's, so it sort of stuck in my brain that way.
Hope that helped.
In order, my five favorite are...
1) Sylvia: Good meaning and smooth, lilting sound, a lovely name (it even sounds like "lovely")
2) Phoebe: I've loved it since before Friends, and the character seems more like a plus than a minus to me; also, I don't think the connection to the show will be very strong in a few years. It's familiar but I don't ever see it being a Top 10 name, another plus.
3) Hester: So beautiful and ancient, with a great meaning and those whispering, soft syllables
4) Tabitha: I think the meaning is enchanting and it sounds pretty, it's easy to spell, and like Phoebe, is familiar enough to not be a huge surprise but uncommon enough to be unique.
5) Antonia: I love its potential for nicknames and it's one of Sally's daughters in Practical Magic. Uncommon but familiar. Also, can you beat that meaning?
and my five least favorites...
1) Demelza: Demented. I can only think demented. Demented Esmeralda, the crazy gypsy lady.
2) Megan: Not inherently bad but I see this as really boring and dated as a first name. I knew a million in school and most of them were mean. Though I do see it being used as an honorific name in the new couple of decades as all the Megans I grew up with become moms, aunts, grandmas, etc., and I think it would maybe look okay in a middle spot.
3) Lorna: I'm not a huge fan of names without meanings. Also, I hate the "-rn" noise in names (Myrna was almost a least favorite, redeemed only because it is better than the world having yet another Megan). It sounds like grinding your teeth, and I can only think of negative words. Thorn, torn, fornicate, urn, horns, ornery... It grates my ears. If you have a different accent, it wouldn't be so bad but it is not pleasant to my Southern American ears. This name has no positives to me.
4) Dilys: This is a huge turn-off. It doesn't sounds pleasant at all, especially not for a girl. Just... no.
5) Ariana: I can't help it, I think it sounds trashy. So does Adriana, but for some reason that one doesn't bother me quite as much.
(Nicola was a close 6th.)
Dislikes: - they don't sound nice to my ear when I say them
Pandora - the story
The main reason for these top 5 is, they all sound very feminine to me.
Ariana - Sounds light, airy and fresh.
Anastasia - Give a royal vibe and I like Anna names very much.
Tabitha - This sounds sooo cute but unusual. Has a special soft sound and reminds me of something magical.
Penelope - It is a pretty name with a cute nn Penny.
Nicola - An unusual variation of the classic Nicole. Makes it sound even more feminine and special.
Ramona - Sounds rough to me like a tomboyish scrappy name.
Myrna - For some reason it reminds me of a ditzy/wacky person.
Hester - I like Esther much more! Hester sounds like a snake hissing and sounds sneaky to me.
Dilys - Ok, this reminds me of the name Phyllis for some reason. Sounds like a wild wacky person.
Viola - I don't want to sound mean, but this name seems like it could be destined for obesity.
Leah - Simple, beautiful
Astrid - All I hear is "ass." Also, Jan's character on The Office ruined it for me.
Damaris - Sounds too masculine
Demelza - Sounds like this would be a villain in a Disney movie to me.
Lorna - I have just always hated the sound of this name
Viola - same as Lorna.
Others I like: Anastasia, Ramona, Tamsin, Ariana, Sylvia, Dylis, Pandora & Hannah
5 least favourite:
4) Rachel / Rachael
Others I dislike: Ophelia, Hester, Myra, Damaris, Leah, Astrid
Ramona- My 18 month old daughter is Ramona!
Phoebe-I would definitely use this Name for my daughter...but its my cat's name :)
Like the least: