Now there are even more names on Nameberry! Last month, we added over 100 wild and wonderful new names to our database, all suggested by our knowledgeable members in this thread over on the Nameberry forums.
Today, we bring you Part Two, focusing on the second half of the alphabet: from Naoise and Nefertari to Zazie and Zindelo. We’ve had great fun researching all of these, and we’ve learned a thing or two, as well. In fact, many of these rare and remarkable names were totally new to us — so bravo, Berries!
Here are some of the most intriguing new additions this time around:
“First used in the 1800s in my family tree!”
Floral names have long been popular for baby girls, but who’s to say that they can’t work just as well for a son? Lovers of lively international favorite Oliver might like to consider this beautiful botanical option, which belongs to a sweet-smelling Mediterranean shrub with vibrant red, white or pink blooms.
The etymology of Oleander is something of a mystery. The most likely theory is that it derives from Ancient Greek rhododendron “rose tree”, corrupted by association with Latin laurea “laurel” and olea “olive”, due to the physical resemblance between the plants. Alternatively, it may come from Greek ollyo “I kill” + andros “man”, a reference to the plant’s extreme toxicity to humans. And an improbable, but irresistibly romantic, theory is that the name has its origins in Greek mythology — in Hero’s lament for her drowned lover: “O, Leander!”
Thanks to @addisoncar and @oleander for suggesting Oleander.
“On Nameberry it’s a female name, but Rosen is also a male Bulgarian flower name.”
Yes, we did have Rosen in the database already: as a rare variant form of Rose or its Irish cousin Róisín. But it’s also a common masculine name in Bulgaria, most notably borne by former Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, who was in office from 2012 to 2017.
Floral Rosen is a nature name extraordinaire, with not one but three natural namesakes. It derives from the Bulgarian name for the aromatic dittany plant, also known as “burning bush” because it produces highly volatile oils that can spontaneously ignite in hot weather. The homonym rosen also happens to be the Bulgarian word for “dewy”. As a surname, Rosen is widespread among people of German and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, deriving from the name of the rose flower.
Thanks to @eliane for suggesting Rosen.
“Surely this has to be the most requested name by now?”
Properly written with a fada in Irish Gaelic, Síofra (SHEE-fra) is a light and pretty Irish girl’s name with a dark and mysterious backstory. The name means “elf; sprite; changeling” (from Gaelic síog “fairy”), and traces its roots all the way back to Irish pagan folklore. According to popular legend, fairies would sometimes kidnap a newborn human baby and leave a mischievous elven changeling child — a síofra — in its place.
Despite its long history, Síofra has only been in use as a given name in Ireland since the 20th century. It’s an uncommon choice even in its home country, but it’s starting to be heard more often in Ireland and could make for a beautiful alternative to recent Gaelic rising star Saoirse, especially for parents concerned about the political undertones of the latter.
Thanks to @oliviasarah and @niamh for suggesting Siofra.
“I keep seeing Valkyrie popping up in announcements and lists!”
Mythological names are red-hot at the moment, but here’s a bold option you might not have considered before. In Norse mythology, the valkyries (“choosers of the slain”) were armored maidens who decided the fate of warriors in battle, leading only the most valiant to join the god Odin in Valhalla. And the Vikings believed that the Northern Lights were caused by moonlight reflecting off the shields and spears of the valkyries as they galloped across the night sky.
It’s certainly a big name to live up to, but we think the similarity to top 200 pick Valerie makes this one feel just wearable — and 48 sets of parents in the US in 2016 apparently agreed!
Thanks to @peacebird10 and @mamanmia for suggesting Valkyrie.
“Is this name a hidden treasure?”
This Galician form of George is almost unknown outside of its homeland in the north-western corner of Spain, but it would certainly make an eye-catching choice for adventurous parents further afield. Not only does it share its striking X initial with modern favorites Xander and Xavier, but it also sports that dynamic -o ending which is helping to propel names like Leo, Theo, Otto and Arlo up the popularity charts.
Pronunciation is the obvious pitfall with this one: the Galicians say “SHOOR-sho”, but your little Xurxo might quickly tire of explaining that!
Thanks to @hil and @undertherainbow for suggesting Xurxo.
And here are the rest of your new additions, from N to Z:
- Priti, Preeti
- Proserpine, Proserpina
- Raif, Raef
- Remiel, Ramiel
- Revere (F)
- Rhidian, Rhydian
- Sagi, Sagit
- Suresh, Suresha
- Svala, Svale
- Taro, Tarou
- Tenzin (M)
- Viatrix, Viator
- Vinicio, Vinicius
- Wenna, Wenn
- Yaroslav, Yaroslava
- Ygraine, Igraine
- Zarin, Zareen
- Zephan, Zephon
- Zindel, Zindelo
Which are your favorites? Anything else you’d love to see added? Let us know in the comments!