Meaning:"pretty, pleasant, desirable"
Description:Hebrew name heard more frequently in Israel than here.
Origin:Indian mythological name; Hebrew, Swahili
Description:It would be easy to dismiss this girlish name as invented fluff, but it has roots in several cultures with evocative meanings and references. Shani refers to the "scarlet thread" or theme of a story. Shani is also the name of a Hindu god and the Sanskrit word for the planet Saturn. And it's a Swahili name also found in other African cultures that means marvelous.
Description:Unique possibility for a girl born between September and November.
Origin:Hebrew or Spanish
Description:Paz, currently represented by actresses Paz Vega and Paz de la Huerts, would make a sparkling middle name choice. It originated as a title of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Peace, and is one of the names that mean peace.
Origin:Hebrew variation of Ethan
Description:This Hebrew version of Ethan, also a place-name in southern Israel, works well here. Eitan is a Top 10 name in Israel.
Origin:Italian feminine variation of Abraham
Meaning:"father of multitudes"
Description:This lovely name is all but unknown outside Italy but fits perfectly in with the fashions for vowel-starting names that are elaborately feminine. Might make a distinctive alternative to Angelina or Arianna. Downside: People will inevitably mistake it for Adriana.
Description:Because of its meaning, this is a symbolic name given to girls born on Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.
Origin:Diminutive of Zachary
Meaning:"the Lord has remembered"
Description:This zippy short form of Zachary is more and more often standing on its own -- sometimes as Zac, Zach, Zack, or even Zakk -- but this simple-yet-straightforward version may be the very best.
Origin:Spelling variation of Jadon
Meaning:"God has heard"
Description:From obscure male biblical boy's name to unisex favorite, Jadon/Jaden, in all its variations, has had a meteoric rise in popularity, building on Jade and Jada, plus the trendy en ending.
Description:Cute, nickname-y, and international, à la Romy or Demi. Spelling it Orly turns it into a busy French airport.
Origin:Diminutive of Samantha
Meaning:"told by God"
Description:Sam as a name standing on its own was given to only 12 girls in 2015, versus over 500 boys. But as a short form it's appealing and down-to-earth for both sexes, and heard far more often: There were over 5000 baby girls named Samantha in the US in one recent year and more than 10,000 boys named Samuel, so you will hear the name Sam a lot more often than you might guess judging by the numbers for this short form. Like Charlie, Sam is a nickname that works equally well as a girls' name as a boys'.
Description:In the Old Testament, Jair is a son of Manasseh as well as a judge of the Israelites. Jair is off its 2003 peak but is still hanging on in the Top 1000 and as a simple yet distinctive name with serious history, is worthy of consideration.
Meaning:"helper of God"
Description:If you're seeking a biblical name somewhat similar to the popular Samuel but way more distinctive, this could be the one.
Meaning:"I have a light"
Description:Lior connects with several factors stylish for Israeli names: It's short, it's unisex, and it has an uplifting nature theme. Lior might make a more modern spin on Leah.
Description:Too close to "Hi ya".
Description:This name of a son of Noah, whose descendants were said to have populated Europe, was well used by the seventeenth century Pilgrims. Pronunciation challenges would seem to hinder its chances for resurgence today, but "Ja" names and obscure Old Testament names are both trendy these days, so you never know.
Meaning:"messenger from God, angel"
Description:Bell-like and original.
Origin:Dutch form of Shem, Hebrew
Description:Popular name in the Netherlands that's arguably more attractive than the original Shem, who was one of the biblical sons of Noah. A Sam alternative, though you'll forever be explaining it.
Meaning:"light or fire of God"
Description:The name of an angel in the Zohar, Nuriel is related to the Arabic name Nur.
Description:Rarely, if ever, heard outside the Jewish community.