35 Names You’re Not Using (but maybe you should)

On a recent tour through Nameberry’s mysterious inner vault — think of it as a vast industrial basement jammed with gears and pipes, or maybe the endless stacks of a big city library, except instead of chemicals or books, it’s full of names — I came across a lot of baby names that were attracting some attention, but not enough to make our popularity lists.

Names that fit in with Nameberry style, but aren’t getting suggested on the forums or in our own blogs the way that favorites such as Beatrice and Charlotte, Jasper and Finn are.  That are attractive, distinctive, fashionable, unusual, yet are simply a bit quieter than their brothers and sisters who are getting noticed.

A lot of these names would make excellent and original substitutes for more obvious choices.  In a new spin on our trademark If you like X, you’ll love Y format, here are some more surprising options to fill in for current favorites:


If you love Arianna, you might like Aria

If you love Aurora or Aurelia, you might like Athena

If you love Lila or Bliss, you might like Blythe

If  you love Cora, you might like Coralie

If you love Ellie or Emmy, you might like Effie

If you love Genevieve, you might like Geneva

If you love Ada or Ivy, you might like Ida

If you love Lucy, you might like Lucille

If you love Mila, you might like Milena

If you love Elodie, you might like Mireille

If you love Nora, you might like Nova

If you love Payton, you might like Paige

If you love Violet and Pippa, you might like Petal

If you love Poppy and Rose, you might like Posey

If you love Ruby, you might like Ramona

If you love Sasha, you might like Saskia

If you love Tessa, you might like Theresa

If you like Millie or Matilda, you might love Tillie

If you love Willow, you might like Waverly


If you love Alexander, you might like Alistair

If you love August, you might like Ambrose

If you love Sebastian, you might like Balthazar

If you love Beckett, you might like Bennett

If you like Atticus, you might like Cato

If you like Silas, you might love Cyrus

If you love Dexter or Edmond, you might like Desmond

If you love Miles or Milo, you might like Django

If you love Ezra, you might like Enzo

If you love Isaiah or Zachary, you might like Ezekiel

If you love Emmett, you might like Garrett

If you love Leo, you might like Leon

If you love Jackson, you might like Lincoln

If you love Malachy, you might like Malloy

If you love Rhys, you might like Rhett

If you love Samuel, you might like Solomon

Got any other great “If you love X, you might like Y” substitutes to suggest?

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37 Responses to “35 Names You’re Not Using (but maybe you should)”

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dillonsfan01 Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 12:29 am

I know more Bennet’s than Beckett’s so I would say that if you like either of them you might love Breccan.

Nyx Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 12:36 am

If you like Ashton or Colton, you might like Barton 😉

fuzzycub Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 1:54 am

@dillonsfan01 or Brennan…

Poppy528 Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 2:50 am

Very nice post! This is always my favorite type, they make me expand my baby name paradigm. I love Tillie but none of its root names (except for perhaps, Tulsa?). Waverly is just dreamy. Effie is about to blow up, I believe, with Hunger Games right around the corner. And Alistair, oh how I love thee!


MollyKat78 Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 3:33 am

I struggle to like Katniss..I want to like it..but it sounds like catnip..and I also just think it is a little too catty..and weird.

afmastro Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 5:18 am

Effie is a good call. I suspect the only reason Effie hasn’t hit big is simply lack of familiarity. But I sort of hope Effie stays a secret. To me Effie has more warmth than Ellie.

I started to love Effie due to the character Effy from the British Teen drama Skins. The show is a great inspiration for names.

In a later season there is a character named Aloysius, but he is called Alo.

i.heart.nerds Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 8:25 am

If you love Addie or Abbey, you might like Aggie. Which is what I will be using as a nickname for Agatha.
I know a little Matilda who goes by Tilly. So gorgeous.

BrittanyM Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 9:42 am

Can I just say excellent matchups? I like all of the names suggested, especially Petal. Got that one from Jamie Oliver, and while his names are a bit too much for me, Petal is just so lovely.

Anyone who likes Effie should read “Effi Briest,” a great novel by Fontane. I’m sure if this book were more widely read in the states the name would be hugely popular.

Lola Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 10:48 am

Genevieve – Genevra! I adore Genevra. 😀 It’s distinctive and uncommon but easily said.

My Josephine has decided Effie is “the choice nickname” this year. Nearly 8, she wants everything to be Effie. Works for me. Beats Ellie/Ella/Emma in my book. Stands out a bit but not too much!
I also love: Aloysius, Balthazar & both Alexander & Alastair (although I prefer the latter spelled Alasdair).

Nice to see I’m not the only one who thinks Katniss is a bit too “catty”! 😀

Lovely, lovely list!

kjoebbb Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Oh, I love Geneva. It’s my great grandmother’s name!

d_ford Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Sssshh!!!! Do not mention Alistair! I love the name and want it to stay well in the shadows so that when I have an Alistair, people will be wowed! lol

Aria (Arya), Effie, Posey and Cato are going to blow up for sure with Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games.

romanticism Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Ooh I just love this! Milena (actually nn Mila) has crept into my #1 spot of late, nd Geneva has also been on my radar for some time, theyre both beautifully exotic. Posey is absolutely adorable, too!

PrincessNoriBori Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 4:48 pm

No no no! Athena is mine, all mine! 🙂

Effie is going to explode once the Hunger Games movie comes out, but it’s one of my favourites so I really home it doesn’t!

How about instead of May/Mae/Maeve – Maude?

pam Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Ooh, I like that idea, Princess. Maude is one of those names that was threatening to pop a decade ago and never really did, just kind of retreated back to the shadows. But I was thinking the other day (really!) that it could emerge again…

miloowen Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I love Maud and the Michael Balfe setting of Tennyson’s poem, “Come into the garden, Maud” (for the black bat, night, has flown). I have a great recording of John McCormack singing this….
Okay, I really like Ida over Ada (although I pronounce it EEda, Norwegian way). I prefer Athina to Athena, Alasdair to Alistair, Benedict to Bennett, Ciro to Cyrus, Gareth to Garrett, Posy to Posey, Lion to Leon, and Shalom to Solomon. I love Ezekiel and like both Desmond and Therese (Fr). And I think Ezio is cooler than Enzo, although Enzo is cool.

What about Eppie to Effie? I just remember loving Eppie in Silas Marner. Incredibly, my seniors last year actually fell in love with the book and thanked me (!!!) for having them read it. (Hard to imagine with today’s non-readers.) Several said they liked both Hepzibah and Eppie for names….a trend in Florabama, perhaps? If an Eppie is born down here, I’ll be sure to let “you-all” know.

theresa5267 Says:

January 31st, 2012 at 11:37 pm

If you love Louisa, you might like Larissa

If you love Natalia, you might like Nadia

If you love Arianne/Iris, you might like Irina/Irene

If you love Elena, you might like Linnea

If you love Grayson, you might Gregory

If you love Aidan, you might like Adam/Anton

If you love Benjamin, you might like Eben

If you love Christopher/Christian, you might like Crispin

linzybindi Says:

February 2nd, 2012 at 2:35 pm

My son is named Bennett…I haven’t met another one yet but I always hear about people that know a child named Bennett.

These are some great suggestions! My favorites are…

Blythe – on my list!

Alistair – on my list!
Solomon – great name…kind of heavy

arreisenlaluz9 Says:

February 7th, 2012 at 10:15 am

Aria, Coralie, Lincoln and Alastair were already on my list. Coralie and Lincoln are on my short list. This makes me feel good about myself. Lol.

But… SHUSH YOUR FACE about Lincoln. I don’t want him to get too popular!! Haha

moxielove Says:

February 9th, 2012 at 1:54 am

this is funny – both Ramona and Saskia are on my short list for our next daughter but I would never consider Ruby or Sasha!!

stephiekat Says:

February 22nd, 2012 at 11:45 am

LOL! My husband and I were between Dexter and Desmond and have ultimately chosen Desmond (nn: Desi) for our son due in June. Dexter’s chosen for the second son (if we have a second son). I agree with this post: we just thought that Desmond was a quieter, less trendy-sounding name than Dexter.

Lots of other great names on this list, too!

ariannew Says:

February 22nd, 2012 at 11:30 pm

If you like Athena, you might like Althea.

phrollic Says:

February 26th, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Great list! We ended up naming our daughter Waverly, but Blythe and Geneva were on our short list as well.
Like Bennett for a boy, and Malloy is pretty cool, I had never thought of it before. Love Rhett, but I’d probably go with Everett, Rhett for the nn.

caroline11278 Says:

March 3rd, 2012 at 9:00 am

I love Aria, Athena, Waverly,and Alistiar. The rest are okay. My major concern with Effie is that it could have a sudden jump in popularity (thank you, Suzanne Collins!), and then fall, making it what I refer to as a ‘trend name.’

edenlyla13 Says:

March 10th, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I adore almost every name on that list! Especially Aria(always has been a favourite), Athena, Mireille, and Effie! I don’t know if it’s because she is a Hunger Games character or what, but Effie is starting to grow on me. I expect that after the movie comes out Effie will become MEGA popular.

NataleeMJohnson Says:

May 28th, 2012 at 11:11 am

I know two completely unrelated sibsets consisting of a Kylie (girl) and a Braeden (boy – spelled the exact same way).

So, if you love the boy name Braeden, you’ll love the girl name Kylie.

mumnikki Says:

June 2nd, 2012 at 6:34 am

if you love Ellie or Effie, you might like Eddie?

baileystar Says:

August 16th, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Can someone help me out here? I like the name Effie, but I feel like it’s too nickname-y. What could it be short for?

dieselsmomma Says:

September 14th, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Shhh…shhhh….shhhh….don’t let lincoln and leon get popular…..I <3 them! Josephine with the nn effie is cute I !ii

dieselsmomma Says:

December 30th, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Lincoln and Leon need to stay secrets bc they are two of my favorite boy names

Dove14 Says:

April 5th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Love a lot of the alternate names here!

jennyb Says:

April 5th, 2013 at 2:57 pm

As the momma to a Waverly I’m always shocked at it’s low usage. Such a beautiful name, easy to pronounce and spell, with a gorgeous meaning. One celeb will use it and it’ll sky rocket.

justjessi Says:

April 25th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I love the name Lincoln and ADORE the nn Link! Coralie and Waverly are still too of my favorite and I can’t believe Waverly hasn’t gained the popularity I thought it would, although I’m happy it’s staying out of the mainstream!

EllaMeg Says:

May 4th, 2013 at 5:53 am

hi Baileystar – Effy is short for Euphemia/Eufimia/Efimia

OceaneBreeze Says:

May 24th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I love Aria, and like Geneva too. Lincoln is great for a unisex name, ang I like Ida if its pronounced EE-da. I know alot of people like Effie, but its really not my favorite.

Fieldsiefields24 Says:

June 4th, 2013 at 5:45 pm

If you like Aiden, you might like Teagan

If you like Finn, you might like Quincy

If you like Willow, you might like Harlow

If you like Zoey, you might like Zora

If you like Tierney, you might like Tenley/Tinley

If you like Felix, you might like Finch

If you Morrison, you might like Morrissey

Hannah-Banana Says:

November 18th, 2014 at 2:37 pm


Hannah-Banana Says:

November 18th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

In almost all cases, the ‘alternatives’ are on my lists as opposed to the ‘favorites’.

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