28 Gorgeous Girls’ Names We Love
By Abby Sandel
Nameberry is lucky enough to have millions of visitors every month, and one of our favorite things to do is check out the baby names that catch your interest. It’s the basis of the Nameberry Top 1000, a list that includes many a favorite in the US and elsewhere in the English-speaking world, but also some baby names that are popular only on Nameberry – at least for now.
Let’s take a look at some of the gorgeous names for girls that are far more popular on Nameberry than they are in the US. Sometimes it’s clearly the influence of Britberries – Imogen, we’re looking at you! But often it just demonstrates that Nameberry readers are consistently ahead of the curve when it comes to choosing stylish baby names.
Here’s the girls’ edition. They’re ranked by the gap in popularity, biggest to slightly-less-big. Look for the boys’ edition soon!
Imogen – Number 23 on Nameberry; not ranked in the US Top 1000
This is the prime example of Britberry influence. Shakespeare created the appealing Imogen from the Celtic name Innogen. (Or it may have been a typo!) The name is huge in the UK, as well as Australia and New Zealand, but has yet to catch on in the US. That could be changing. 160 girls were given the name in 2014 – a new high!
Seraphina – Number 64 on Nameberry; not ranked in the US Top 1000
Fiery Seraphina seemed like an obvious choice for parents after a name like Isabella, but much less popular. The name has gained in use since Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck chose the name in 2009, but remains outside the US Top 1000.
Elodie – Number 77 on Nameberry; not ranked in the US Top 1000
This French name could be a great substitute for Emily and Avery. The French form of a Spanish saint’s name, Elodie has been popular in France and is catching on in the UK, but has yet to crack the US Top 1000.
Poppy – Number 61 on Nameberry; not ranked in the US Top 1000
Poppy is a perky floral name feels quintessentially British, in part because one of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s daughters is Poppy Honey Rosie, a sister for Daisy, Petal, and Buddy. But Americans are discovering this colorful bloom. Nate Berkus welcomed a daughter by the name in March, and Jenna Bush Hager chose the name for her second daughter in August.
Cordelia – Number 67 on Nameberry; Number 993 in the US
The second Shakespearean name on this list is Cordelia, the loyal daughter in King Lear. Two trends meet in classic Cordelia: our love for –ia and –lia ending names, and the Downton Abbey–fueled rise of Cora. Put them together, and you have a literary name that stands out, while still fitting in.
Clementine – Number 67 on Nameberry; Number 943 in the US
Oh my darling! Clementine is as edible as Apple, as homespun as Hannah, and yet feels as wearable as Josephine. Kate Winslet played Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Claudia Schiffer and Ethan Hawke both have daughters by the name.
Aurelia – Number 41 on Nameberry; Number 832 in the US
Golden Aurelia is another ends-in-lia name with the potential to replace the mega-popular Amelia. An ancient name worn by early saints, Aurelia was given to 329 girls in the US last year – a new high.
Esme – Number 34 on Nameberry; Number 816 in the US
Thea – Number 50 on Nameberry; Number 776 in the US
Short, sassy Thea re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2014 after nearly fifty years’ absence. Brother names Theodore and Theo have been on the upswing in recent years, so no surprise to see Thea also climbing. It rhymes with other popular short, sweet, and complete names for girls, like Leah and Mia.
Wren – Number 76 on Nameberry; Number 704 in the US
Once upon a time, nature names for girls were almost exclusively borrowed from flowers. But now one of the hottest nature names is the gentle Wren, leading a new flock of possibilities like Sparrow and Lark.
Mae – Number 55 on Nameberry; Number 682 in the US
Hollywood’s Mae West was larger than life, but this name seems sweetly vintage, more reminiscent of May Welland from Edith Wharton’s 1920 novel The Age of Innocence. More modern than Kay or April, Mae’s moment might be now.
Maisie – Number 45 on Nameberry; Number 658 in the US
Maisie could be the latest in a long line of nickname-names following Sadie up the popularity charts. Maisie was originally a Scottish nickname for Margaret, but now it feels like a possibility as an independent given name. Maisie debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2014 at an impressive Number 658.
Beatrice – Number 31 on Nameberry; Number 601 in the US
Beatrice feels like a classic name, a sister for Alice or Katherine. Thanks to Dante, it’s impeccably literary, too. And yet, Beatrice is far less common than many a traditional choice. Beatrix doesn’t even crack the US Top 1000, but comes in at Number 209 on Nameberry.
Matilda – Number 38 on Nameberry; Number 583 in the US
Matilda has a clunky-cool vibe that appeals to stylish parents. Michelle Williams and the late Heather Ledger used the name for daughter Matilda Rose in 2005. Shorten it to Mattie, and it blends in with a generation of girls named Madelyn, Madeline, and Madison. But Matilda is a stand-out.
Harlow – Number 46 on Nameberry; Number 508 in the US
This name brings to mind all the glamour of 1930s star Jean Harlow, also known as the Blonde Bombshell. Nicole Richie and Joel Madden put the name on the map in January 2008 with the birth of Harlow Winter Kate. The name was given to just 28 girls in 2007. By 2014, the count was 605. It’s an impressive rise in the US, and all of the interest from Nameberry might mean that there are more Harlows to follow.
Maeve – Number 53 on Nameberry; Number 482 in the US
Irish parents eager for a heritage choice have cycled through Megan and Kathleen. Now a new generation of Irish-American girls answers to Maeve, a short, sharp name borrowed from a legendary warrior queen.
Celeste – Number 95 on Nameberry; Number 467 in the US
Nevaeh was one of the trendiest names of recent years, a name that looks likely to fall as quickly as it climbed. Berries know that Celeste – derived from a late Latin name meaning heavenly – is a far more sophisticated choice.
Adelaide – Number 16 on Nameberry; Number 316 in the US
Addie names are popular, no doubt! Adeline is Number 10 on the Nameberry list, and Number 219 in the US. But the gulf is even bigger for Adelaide. Adele also fares better on Nameberry, while surname name Addison fares worse.
Eloise – Number 37 on Nameberry; Number 300 in the US
Eloise is the heroine of the eponymous children’s book, where she’s forever six and living at the Plaza. The name has a distinctively different sound, somewhere between Ella and Louise, but more popular than either of those names on Nameberry.
Nova – Number 51 on Nameberry; Number 287 in the US
Nova comes from the Latin word for new, and for many years was associated with a make of Chevrolet. Now it’s more likely to bring to mind the night sky, thanks to supernovas. Or perhaps credit should go to MTV’s surprising baby name influencer, Teen Mom, where young parents have named their children Nova and Novalee.
Iris – Number 52 on Nameberry; Number 245 in the US
Elegant Iris is a botanical name that’s caught on in the US in recent years. Berries are ahead of the curve, ranking Iris firmly in our Top 100. One-part nature name, one-part literary choice, Iris has been on the rise ever since the Goo Goo Dolls recorded their hit ballad “Iris,” used for a Meg Ryan–Nicolas Cage movie.
Olive – Number 99 on Nameberry; Number 282 in the US
Olivia is a favorite for parents throughout the English-speaking world, ranking Number 4 on Nameberry and Number 2 in the US. But when it comes to tailored Olive, it’s a very different picture. Olive is much more popular on Nameberry, though thanks to high profile birth announcements from Isla Fisher and Drew Barrymore might convince more parents to consider this tailored alternative to the Top Ten name.
Gemma – Number 98 on Nameberr; number 272 in the US
Americans are wild about Emma, but somehow Gemma remains under-the-radar in the US. Gemma blends the appeal of gemstone names like Ruby and Italian chocies like Francesca. It’s been very popular in the UK, where it is now fading, but is just starting to catch on in the US.
Rose – Number 22 on Nameberry; Number 194 in the US
Rose is the go-to middle name of the moment, but this gorgeous, understated name deserves to be in the spotlight! Ever since Kate Winslet set sail on Titanic as Rose in 1997, I’ve been waiting for Rose to return to the Top 100, a place the name occupied until 1960. It hasn’t happened yet, but if Berries have anything to say about it, it might happen soon!
Arabella – Number 20 on Nameberry; Number 174 in the US
Graceful Arabella likely developed as a Scottish spin on Annabelle, another berry favorite. But the gulf between the Nameberry and US lists is much greater with this name, chosen by Ivanka Trump for her daughter in 2011.
Alice – Number 5 on Nameberry; Number 97 in the US
Storybook Alice has been on the rise in the US, boosted by the Tim Burton re-telling of the classic tale, as well as Tina Fey’s choice of Alice Zenobia for her daughter in 2005. While Number 97 in the US is perfectly respectable, this name is a true Berry favorite, ranking in our Top Ten.
Cora – Number 12 on Nameberry; Number 103 in the US
James Fennimore Cooper may have been the first to use the name Cora, for a character in his 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans. It was a Top 100 favorite in the US through the early 1910s, making it a very appropriate choice for the American-born heiress who became the Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey. The second fictional Cora is doubtless the reasons Cora is so very popular on Nameberry.
Eleanor – Number 9 on Nameberry; Number 78 in the US
Eleanor is an impeccable classic, worn by an unforgettable medieval queen and a highly respected First Lady. It’s also proof that Berries prefer their baby names with substance. While the name ranks in the US Top 100, it’s even more appreciated here, charting in the current Nameberry Top Ten.
What are your favorite names that are much more popular on Nameberry than elsewhere?
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on November 18th, 2015 at 11:41 pm
Oh, I love Cordelia, Esme, Thea, Eloise, and Iris from this list, though they now seem tame!
Some, like Imogen and Harlow, I just don’t get, but to each her own.
The names I love to see are ones I NEVER meet in real life like Jemima, Clarissa, Vera, Paloma, Nerissa, Citron, Tangerine, Odessa, Gertrude, Eudora, Enid, Forsythia, Ginevra, Svetlana, Endellion, Morwenna, Angharad, Claret, Verbena, Begonia, Tamsin, Flossie, China, Maud, Lilac, Evening, Hortense, etc.
Sometimes I feel a bit sad because I am no longer super young and every group I join is composed of names from my generation: the Debbies, Karens, Carols, Lisas, and Melissas. 🙁 Oh, for a Verity or an Araminta!
on November 19th, 2015 at 5:25 am
I really don’t consider Clementine a name with a “homespun” style; I see it as cold and fussy.
From this list I love Beatrice, Iris and Imogen. Funnily enough my two dearest friends are called Beatrice and Imogen.
@lesliemarion, I like the names from your generation. Deborah “Debbie” and Elizabeth “Lisa” are full of muted, austere elegance and substance that is very beautiful. I would rather be a simple, Biblical Deborah than a primping Verity. And I’m part of the younger generation.
I do love lots of the names you listed as liking, though, particularly Paloma, Enid and Hortense.
on November 19th, 2015 at 7:42 am
My favourites from this list are Iris, Olive and Rose. 🙂
on November 19th, 2015 at 12:49 pm
Good to see some of my loves on here; Imogen, Seraphina, Thea, Wren, Matilda, Maeve (!!), Adelaide, Iris and Arabella.
on November 19th, 2015 at 2:34 pm
I find it fascinating how different generations perceive names differently. I’m in lesliemarion’s generation & grew up w/a slew of Debbies & Karens (Lisa & Melissa were names from a few years younger than me). When I think of the name Hortense, my reaction is the same as that described by Pam & Linda in my first Nameberry book from close to 20 years ago: NO! But obviously Hortense doesn’t have the same feel to people who are younger.
on November 19th, 2015 at 4:18 pm
Emmaline, all the way (pronounced Emma-line, not -leen), however one chooses to spell it! I’m pretty sure Emmeline is the more popular way, but we went with the “a” spelling, which is more common in our corner of the world. We love everything about this name! An old yet young, sweet but spunky, traditional yet full of gumption kind of name, for our girl who continually defies both the odds and being fit into boxes. And so many fun nickname possibilities too!
on November 19th, 2015 at 4:22 pm
♥ Aurelia has been my favorite name since middle school, lol I told everyone that when I have a daughter her name will be Aurelia, but no one ever really liked it. It’s cool to see it at #41, maybe it’ll become more acceptable now.
on November 20th, 2015 at 9:40 pm
Hello Louisa! Nameberry 117 and US 973. Huge difference for this beautiful name.
on November 21st, 2015 at 4:57 am
It’s funny because I’m British and quite a few of these are actually quite high in the ranks here (ie. Matilda) which is quite a shame since I really love most of them.
on November 21st, 2015 at 12:29 pm
I don’t agree with most of these. Ugh! Imogene is my least favorite name, and Wren sounds so drab to me. Ones that I do like are: Gemma, Esme and Adelaide. Where are the more fem-fatale names? Delphine, Francine, Wilhelmina and Helene…these are more my style 🙂
on November 22nd, 2015 at 5:02 pm
Frances, Louisa. Lucretia., Leticia. Mabel.
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on February 23rd, 2016 at 2:34 am
This list is NMS at all. I do become fond of any name that I came to know on Downton Abbey because those people are so talented that I feel like I know these characters! I would consider both Rose and Edith from this show.
But I love romantic names like Tatiana and Anastasia!
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