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Best Names Given to Just 5 Babies

May 17, 2015 Dantea

By Angel Thomas, aka Dantea

These name choices are entirely my opinion, and you might not agree with them.  But after reading through the Below The Top 1000 list from the SSA, I picked out the best names I could find that were spelled properly or at least very close to the original. What do you think? Do you agree with my choices or do you have your own favorites from the bottom of the list?

Girls:

Amandine – A French diminutive of Amanda, which means “lovable, worthy of love.” Amandine is also a cake and a culinary term. I think it’s sweet without being overly so, a needed update to Amanda.

Ashana – I don’t believe this one is a real name, but it’s a lovely created one. Ash seems to be an ever popular beginning for both boys and girls names with girls appropriating Asher recently. Ashana could give the girls another option rather than having to use Ashley or the male Asher and Ashton.

Cleona – A feminine form of Cleon, meaning “glory.” Cleo is a favorite short name/nickname of mine, and I think Cleona makes a lovely, grown up choice that isn’t overly frilly or girly.

Daciana – This one was on the list last year, a Romanian name related to Dacia. It was the old Roman name for the region that is now Romania. There are some sites that list its meaning as “wolf.”

Delphia – From the name of the Greek city of Delphi, the site of an oracle of Apollo, which is related to Greek delphis “dolphin.” Delphia is more girly than some of the other names on the list, but it’s truly lovely with very accessible nicknames like Delly, Lia, Dia, or Phia.

Eilonwy – Why aren’t more of you using this gorgeous name? Eilonwy (eye-LAHN-wee) was invented by Lloyd Alexander for his series The Chronicles of Prydain‘ (1964-1968), based on similar-sounding actual Welsh names. Princess Eilonwy also appears in the Disney film adaption of Alexander‘s novels, The Black Cauldron‘(1985).

Fauna – This is one I’ll never understand why it isn’t more popular. It’s very easy to say, very pretty, and not overly feminine for those that don’t want something too frilly. The word for animals living in a specific region, Fauna was also a Roman goddess of fertility, women and healing.

Graciana – A repeat from last year, this is an Italian name meaning “grace.” If you have an Hispanic/Italian heritage and are looking for a sweet virtue name, this might be for you. It has the friendly nickname Gracie as well as the more spunky Cia or Gia.

Leonore – Related to the name Eleanor, I must say I like this variation a bit more than the parent name. Lenore too. For those that like boyish names on girls, Leonore gives you Leo or Lee as a nickname but still keeps a feminine name for later use.

Mazarine – This is a color name, a deep blue. While it isn’t my cup of tea, it’s very pretty in an overly sweet sort of way. Mazy is an adorable shortening of it too.

Nefertiti – Means “the beautiful one has come” in Egyptian. Nefertiti was a powerful Egyptian queen of the New Kingdom, one of the wives of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaton. I’m not sure I would suggest this as a first name, but it did surprise me that there were five of them born last year. It’s a strong name with a great history though, so maybe don’t let the overpowering nature of the original owner stop you from considering it as a middle.

Sebastiana – This Italian feminine form of Sebastian is one of those longer, girly sort of names that I almost love. It’s very soft, elegant even, but you’ve still got Seb and and Bastian for the tomboys and Ana or Tia or Tiana for the girly girls.

Soteria – In Greek mythology, Soteria is the female personification of safety, preservation, and deliverance from harm–a  great thing to wish for your daughter. Nicknames Tia/Ria/Sia and Terra work well on most any girl.

Xanthe – Derived from Greek xanthos meaning “yellow” or “fair hair”. This was the name of a few minor figures in Greek mythology. Xanthe (pronounced zan-thee) is one I see all over Nameberry, but it doesn’t seem to be very popular. I think it’s very cool with that X-beginning, with a literary feel.

Boys:

Bowan – From Bowen, which is from the Welsh Ap Owain meaning “son of Owain.” It’s got that en/an ending that people seen to really love with the easy nickname of Bow.

Donovon – A mispelling of the Irish surname Donovan; I actually like this spelling better, but I couldn’t tell you why. Donovan is a strong name, with the simple nicknames of Don and Donny and Van for a teen or adult to use.

Heathcliff – Created by Emily Bronte for her novel, Wuthering Heights.. It’s old fashioned and might not be quite ready to be more popular, but it is a certainly very usable for a middle.

Icarus – On the list last year, this name found in Greek myth as the son of Daedalus, locked with his father inside the Labyrinth. They escaped using wings of wax, but Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, plunging him to his death. Icarus could have the very normal nickname of Russ.

Junius – Probably derived from the Roman goddess Juno. It was borne by Lucius Junius Brutus, the founder of the Roman Republic in the 6th century BC, and by the 1st-century BC Roman politician Marcus Junius Brutus, commonly known as Brutus, one of the assassins of Julius Caesar. Older names have been gaining popularity, so why not Junius?

Lancelot – In Arthurian legend Lancelot was the bravest of the Knights of the Round Table.  I wouldn’t necessarily say this is a good choice for a first name as the original bearer very much overshadows anyone else, but it is an interesting name, and Lance is easy as a nickname.

Remus – Also on last year’s list. The name of one of the mythical twin founders of Rome: Romulus and Remus. In more recent times, Remus was the first name of Lupin in the Harry Potter world. Like Icarus, has the approachable nickname of Russ.

Severus – Another repeat from last year. Though this name sounds as severe as its meaning suggests, I really like it. It was borne by several early saints and more recently was the first name of Potion teacher Severus Snape of the Harry Potter franchise.

Silvan – Derived from Silvanus which means “wood, forest.” I love this short form, and wish more people were using it. It is short, still masculine but not overly so, and Van is a normal nickname.

About the author

Dantea

Angel Thomas, better known on Nameberry as Dantea, is a stay-at-home mom with a passion for onomastics who writes fantasy novels in her spare time. Her knowledge of Greek names stems from her ancestry and her religion.

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