9 Girl Names Inspired by Ines

December 25, 2016 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds waited months before sharing their daughter’s name – again! The family of four recently made their first public appearance, to celebrate dad’s new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not long after, they made the big reveal.

Her name is Ines.

No word on the back story. Firstborn James was named for Ryan’s late father, so it’s possible there’s a family connection.

Ines has plenty of cross-cultural potential. The Spanish form of Agnes works flawlessly in English, too. That brings to mind other recent Number One names, like Isabella.

Or maybe it’s the latest vintage revival. Back in 1910, Inez – the more popular spelling in the US – ranked in the Top 100.

Let’s take a look at more names that you might love if you like Ines.

Alta – This name was given to just two dozen girls last year, but Alta and Inez would have shared the same playground a century ago. From the Spanish and Italian word for elevated, Alta carries a great meaning and makes an alternative to fading favorites like Alyssa and Alana.

Blanche The lone neglected name from The Golden Girls, fair Blanche has a sound that’s unexpected for girls born today – just like Ines. The Italian form of the name, Bianca, has fared well, while the French Blanche is nearly extinct.

IdaBack in the day when Inez made the Top 100, Ida cracked the Top 50! The name of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera and a Tennyson poem, today this mini name is obscure. But with that stylish letter I, our love of Mia and Ava, and Ida’s vintage appeal, it’s easy to imagine a comeback in 2017.

Iona – Another I name, Iona feels every bit as neglected as Ines. There was the quirky BFF in Pretty in Pink – but that was in 1986! It’s long been big in Scotland, thanks to the island. But in the US, Inez and Iona once kept company.

LetaLovely Leta comes from a Latin word meaning joyful, and also brings to mind Leda of Greek myth. It fits on style and era, but it also makes this list thanks to minor Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them character Leta LeStrange – set to take a leading role in the series’ next installment.

Lula – It’s easy to imagine the equally vintage Lula feeling fresh again. After all, Liv Tyler’s daughter Lula can hang out on the same playgrounds as Blake’s Ines. Short for any of the longer Louis– names, Lula works independently, too, and feels like a successor to Lola and Lucy.

OlgaLike Ines, Olga is an import worn by a saint. In this case, it’s Russian rather than Spanish. It has a great meaning – blessed. Olga hasn’t been considered fresh or fashionable in recent generations, but that could easily change, especially considering our affection for names starting with O.

Selma Selma Blair’s professional success failed to spark a comeback for her name. But maybe it was just too soon. After all, Selma is waiting in the same time capsule that held Ines, a name long-overlooked. Following the success of Ava DuVernay’s 2014 movie about the 1965 voting rights marches, it takes on a deeper meaning.

SybilThe most overlooked of the Downton Abbey names, Sybil also shares Ines’ spare, frills-free sound. Neither has been given to more than one hundred girls in a single year since the 1980s, but that could easily change.

Were you surprised by Ines? Do you think it will catch on? 

About the author


Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at

View all of Abby's articles


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