by Emma Waterhouse
Another year, another raft of fantastic new names added to the Nameberry database, courtesy of our brilliant Berries! From Adalind to Zaelia, Alberic to Zlatan: the newest Nameberry names may all be extremely uncommon in the English-speaking world, but most of them feel eminently wearable — many even right on trend.
A huge thank you to all those who have contributed, and please do keep your suggestions coming! We love reading them.
Here are some of our favorites from the latest batch of new additions, with the contributor’s comments:
A beautiful botanical option with a hardy natural namesake: Calluna vulgaris is the scientific name for heather, making this a fresh twist on an old favorite. Despite its down-to-earth meaning, there’s something of the stars about Calluna, which feels more at home alongside celestial beauties Calliope, Callisto and Luna than out on the wild Scottish moors.
The name was created in the 19th century by British botanist Richard Anthony Salisbury, who based it on Greek ??????? (kallúno) “to sweep clean; beautify”, due to the traditional use of heather in brooms. It was first recorded as a given name in the 20th century.
Thanks to @kipperbo1 for suggesting Calluna.
“I first heard it in the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Word and virtue names are trending in a big way, and Credence (meaning “belief in or acceptance of something as true”) fits right in with current favorites and rising stars: think Chance, Creed and Cadence, Honor, Valor and True…
Despite its fashionable sound and origin, Credence is surprisingly underused as a baby name — appearing on the US charts for the first time in 2013, and given to just 12 boys and 8 girls last year. But we think that could be about to change, thanks to the enigmatic figure of Credence Barebone in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise, played by Ezra Miller.
Thanks to @tabitha_stone for suggesting Credence.
“Isn’t it just gorgeous?”
Its origins are not entirely clear, although it’s usually cited as an Anglo-Saxon name meaning “princess,” possibly drawing on Old English æþeling “prince” (æþele “noble family” + –ing “belonging to”). It may also derive from the Anglo-Saxon elements ead “wealth” or æðel “noble” by way of a Latinized diminutive, as in the case of Adeline.
Thanks to @stellarvra99 for suggesting Eadlin.
“There are so many myths behind this name.”
The genus name of the pretty little blue wildflower colloquially called the forget-me-not, Myosotis derives from Greek elements meaning “mouse’s ear” — a reference to the distinctive shape of the plant’s leaves. It has never ranked in the US, but the Spanish variants Miosoti and Miosotis have proved marginally more popular, appearing a handful of times over the years.
The flower’s colloquial name comes from a medieval legend: a pair of lovers were walking beside a river, when the young man spotted some forget-me-nots growing on the bank and bent to pick them. He fell into the river and, before he was swept away, threw the flowers to his beloved with the cry “Forget me not!” A symbol of true and undying love, myosotis flowers were a popular image on Valentine’s cards during the Victorian period.
Thanks to @dynamitegal for suggesting Myosotis.
“I think it would make a wonderful name for parents who are fans of the books!”
The surname of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy from C. S. Lewis’ Narnia books has all the makings of a brilliantly bold middle name option for literature-loving parents — or even a first, if you’re feeling really brave!
Deriving from the name of the bay and civil parish in East Sussex, England where William the Conqueror landed in 1066, Pevensie shares the jaunty rhythm and refined charm of quirky British Telegraph-esque picks like Rafferty, Willoughby, Devereux and Peregrine, but is even more uncommon.
Thanks to @leviosarah for suggesting Pevensie.
“Zlatan Ibrahimovi? is a huge star in the world of soccer.”
Deriving from Slavic zlato “gold”, Zlatan falls on the traditional side of the spectrum. It’s in widespread use throughout the South Slavic language area (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia), but is particularly popular in Bosnia, where it’s considered a neutral choice in a very ethnically diverse community. In the US, it was given to just 18 baby boys last year, making this a striking and distinctive option.
Thanks to @choupette for suggesting Zlatan.
MORE NEW NAMES
Here are the rest of the new additions! Which are your favorites?
- Maria (M)