Cool Word Names for Girls
By Abby Sandel
It was a good week for girls’ names.
Sure, there were some great birth announcements for boys, too. The late Christopher Reeve is now a grandfather. Daughter Alexandra Reeve and husband Garren Givens named their son Christopher Russel, after both grandfathers. Actors Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith welcomed Holt Fisher, a little brother for Harper Renn.
But it was word names that made headlines last week – some of them were surprising, and most of them were for girls.
BJ’s Restaurant is celebrating a healthier menu by offering a $10,000 gift card to the first parents to name their baby Quinoa. Yes, Quinoa. The American restaurant chain is requiring a birth certificate as proof, and it has to be the child’s first name, not the middle.
Believe it or not, the restaurant isn’t the first to imagine Quinoa could be used as a name. If you’ve been following My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter on Pinterest, you know all about fictional Quinoa and her BFFs, Chevron, Salinger, Paraffin, Schwinn, Harbinger. Some of those names are outlandish. Others are coming soon to a birth announcement near you.
Other word names for girls work even better. Some are graceful and vintage, while some are energetic and all new. Inspiration can come from anywhere: the map, the natural world, music, colors, the calendar, gemstones and precious metals, and yes, the kitchen pantry, too.
Let’s take a look at nine of the more interesting word names for girls in the news last week.
Marigold – Writer Tara Wood welcomed baby number 7, and chose a lovely, vintage botanical name for her newest daughter, Marigold Alice. It’s rich with meaning for the Wood family, but also feels perfectly on-trend in 2015. Even without the adorable toddler character of Downton Abbey fame, it’s easy to imagine parents moving beyond Lily and Iris to discover Marigold. You can read all about Tara’s name choice here.
Ginger – Vintage Ginger has it all. The name is colorful, edible, and possesses all the grace of legendary dancer Ginger Rogers. Names for Real recently featured Ginger in a birth announcement round-up. It’s a surprise, because Ginger is at her lowest rate of use since the 1930s. And yet, Ginger splits the difference between Genevieve and Harper. I think this one could wear beautifully today.
Fern – I’m so excited they used Fern! Remember this Name Sage post? The family now includes daughter Eliza Fern. Fern feels gentle and literary, thanks to Charlotte’s Web. Her name appeared in the June birth announcements. Plenty of the other new arrivals had nature-inspired middles, too.
Holiday – While we’re looking at the most recent babyberry report, did you notice the arrival of a baby Holiday? Holiday is as much a surname as Hadley, less dramatic than Easter, and not quite as mainstream as Noelle. Actor Harold Perrineau has daughters named Aurora, Wynter, and Holiday.
Silver – Names for Real spotted colorful, precious Silver in a recent birth announcement. Like Ginger, Silver shares that stylish –r ending. 35 girls were given the name in 2014 – not Harper or even Piper, but still not completely unknown.
Trulee – Here’s a question about word names: do you spell it exactly like the word, or tweak it to make it more “name-like.” I’ve heard both perspectives. Trulee appears in a Names for Real round-up. I’m partial to Truly, which is also the most popular spelling, beating out both Trulee and the as-seen-on-Sister Wives Truely.
Ariah – Tamera Mowry and husband Adam Housely went for a word name with a subtle respelling. The couple added the letter ‘h’ to the musical Aria. Between Game of Thrones and Pretty Little Liars, this name has gotten a lot of attention in recent years.
Tennessee – First Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth gave this meaningful place name to a son. Now there’s a berry birth announcement for a girl called Tennessee. With London and Brooklyn so stylish, could Tennessee be the next big place name?
Alaska – This week’s most surprising baby name choice comes from Russian-born supermodel Anne V. Anne and Adam Cahan named their daughter Alaska. It’s a bold and unconventional place name possibility, but it’s not truly unique. 46 girls were named Alaska in 2014 – a new high.
What do you think of word names? Are there any on your shortlist?
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on July 6th, 2015 at 12:23 am
I really like Holiday, Fern, and Marigold! Trulee reminds me (positively) of Truly Scrumptious from Chittychittybangbang ( : I’ do been crushing on Gertrude nn Trudy, so why not Truly?
on July 6th, 2015 at 12:46 am
Ditto the love for Fern and Marigold!
I was surprised to see Ariah as Aria with an H. I was actually thinking it was like Mariah without the M.
on July 6th, 2015 at 3:20 am
Honestly, I wouldn’t name my kid any of these names. Ginger doesn’t sound very wholesome to me, Silver is odd and seems more masculine (my family named a rabbit Silver, not a kid!), and Tennessee would get some weird looks. I don’t like the sound or spelling of Trulee. The only ones I like are Fern and Marigold, and Alaska is okay. I guess I’m not really a word name person!
on July 6th, 2015 at 5:54 am
I just love Holiday. Fern and Marigold are lovely too.
on July 6th, 2015 at 6:08 am
I have a total soft spot for word names! Currently loving Olive, Saffron, Reverie, Winter, Wren, Marigold, Fable, Ever and River.
on July 6th, 2015 at 6:52 am
@peacebird10 Your original guess was correct in that Ariah is not a form of Aria, but like Mariah without the “M”.
on July 6th, 2015 at 9:28 am
I love word names! On this list, I love Marigold, Holiday, Ginger, and Fern!
I also love Olive, Winter, Wren, Story, Poet, Ever, Lynx, Meadow, Plum, Fable, Sailor, Petal, Peony, Willow, Summer, Autumn, Ireland, Opal, Pearl, Amethyst, Ruby, Paisley, Tulip, Posy, Primrose, Poppy, January, Emerald, Bloom, Blossom, Rain, Bluebell, Clover, Daisy, Doe, Dove, Fawn, Fauna, Indigo, Honey, Lilac, Lavender, Lake, Magnolia, Maple, Noel, Phoenix, Sparrow, Snow, and Wisteria for girls and River, Fox, Bear, Lynx, Anchor, Sterling, Arrow, Atlas, Aspen, Blue, Caspian, Ever, Crane, Everest, Gray/Grey, Hudson, Noel, Sky, Storm, Finch, Wren, and Sequoia for boys.
I wouldn’t use most of these as first names, I love them in the middle though!
on July 6th, 2015 at 11:47 am
Trulee and Ariah are just wrong.
on July 6th, 2015 at 11:50 am
I like Fern and love Marigold. The others seem a little too far out there for me.
Although I do tend to like nature names: Micah, Jasper, Lily
and place names: Vienna, Geneva, Brooklyn
on July 6th, 2015 at 12:47 pm
Marigold, Ginger, Holiday, and Fern are four of my very favorite names.
Trulee and Ariah are abominations in my mind, but to each her own.
I love Harvest, Veranda, Bonnet, and Julep. As an English major and English teacher and writer, I love a bazillion word names.
on July 6th, 2015 at 5:02 pm
Tennessee only works on boys imo
on July 6th, 2015 at 6:38 pm
I only like Ginger and Fern.
Trulee is awful, sorry 🙁
on July 8th, 2015 at 2:38 am
Rain, Tempest, Reverie, Story, Frost, June, Meridian, Winter, Quill, Aerie, Harlow, Hallow, Cyan, Plum, Aria, Lyric, Lily, Angel, Rosemary, Echo, Georgia, Teá, Jasmine
on July 8th, 2015 at 2:44 am
Everest, November, Juniper, Indigo (love nn Indy for Indigo and India)
on July 8th, 2015 at 1:19 pm
I love Marigold (nn Mary or Goldie OR Margo) and Fern. I also love June and I am fond of Oceana, Zinnia, Gloria, Calla and Coral.
For boys West, Oak, Ash, River and Bay
Every Name Tells a Story – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on July 11th, 2015 at 10:48 pm
[…] – Let’s begin with a correction. I guessed that Tamera Mowry and Adam Housely were thinking music or television when they named their new […]
on July 28th, 2015 at 9:52 am
Sorry, but if I met a kid named “Holiday,” “Alaska,” or “Marigold”, I would think their parents were on crack or something when they named it.
on October 17th, 2015 at 4:53 am
I love Marigold and Fern. I prefer Trula or True over Truly/Trulee. My favorite word names right now are Remember, Crimson, Anise (but pronounced Annis, the way I like, sounds too much like a body part), Ransom, Comfort, Moon, Grey, Wren, Emerald and Iskra (word “sparkle” in Serbian). I’m thinking most of these would be middle names with a classic first name, at least for me.
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