Dominic and Ellis, Elijah and Daxel: Great D and E Names in the News

October 6, 2013 Abby Sandel
names that start with D and E

The Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

From Alexander to Alivia, the letter A has dominated baby names in recent years.

This past week was different.  Could we be ushering in a new era of D and E names?  Or is it just coincidence that three celeb birth announcements for baby boys started with the letter D this week?

With favorites like Ella and Emma, it comes as no surprise that the letter E is currently the fifth most popular letter for girls’ given names in the US.  For boys, D ranked #5 last year (behind J, A, C, and M) while E came in at #8.

What does that mean for expectant parents?  If you’re after a truly stand-out name, it might be worth considering a lesser-used initial, like H, T, O, or F.  Alternately, a really unusual name, like Avalon or Arden, isn’t so strange when lots of little girls are answering to Ava and Allison.

D and E names could hit that sweet spot – familiar, but not overused.  Or they could be catching on, ready to eclipse A in the next few years.

Now, on to those great D and E baby names in news:

ElijahGlee’s Heather Morris is a new mom.  (The actress might have played a high school cheerleader just recently, but in real life, she’s 26!)  Elijah has ranked #13 for the past two years, making him among the most popular of Old Testament names for boys.  More proof that plenty of starlets choose completely mainstream names for their children.

Ellis – Fretting that Elijah is too popular?  Surname Ellis is related to Elijah, via a medieval form of the name.  A new baby Ellis appeared in one of For Real Baby Names’ recent round-ups.  His ‘s’ ending feels fresh and very wearable in 2013.  Ellis Marsalis is a noted jazz musician, plus there’s designer Perry Ellis and writer Bret Easton Ellis.

Easton – Speaking of Bret Easton Ellis, did you hear that Rachael Leigh Cook and Daniel Gillies have named their daughter Charlotte EastonCharlotte is an impeccable classic, and a popular choice.  Easton is an up-and-coming name, popular for boys and climbing for girls in our age of North and Westley.

Dekker EdwardMarkPaul Gosselaar’s first two children are named Michael and Ava, but the actor had promised that he and new wife Catriona McGinn were choosing something less traditional for their first child together.  Dekker fits that description.  He’s far less popular than Carter or Hunter, but he’s not as out-there as Rekker or StrikerDecker is a surname for a builder or roofer, and the double ‘k’ spelling is a valid variant.  It is easy to imagine the name catching on – though I’ll admit that the ‘ck’ spelling strikes me as the more attractive choice.

Daxel – It’s been a few days since America’s Next Top Model alum Lisa Marie D’Amato and Adam Friedman announced the arrival of their baby boy, Daxel Vaughn, and I’m still not sure what to think.  It’s a true rarity of a name, not as literary as Dashiell, far less expected than Alex or even Axel.  Unlike the dozens of re-spellings of Kaedyn, Daxel definitely feels novel.  Despite comparisons to pixel and Paxil, I think Daxel works.  He shortens to Dax, a wearable cousin of Jax and Max.

Dominic – A few years ago, two celebs welcomed baby girls named Cosima back-to-back.  Then last fall, we had a pair of boys called Camden born within weeks of each other.  This year, it is double Dominics!  First Mario Lopez welcomed son Dominic.  Now it is Survivor alum Rob Cesternino and wife Nicole with new baby boy Dominic James.

Della – Looking for a different, but not-too-out-there name for a daughter?  How about Della?  She has all the charm of Ella and Bella, plus she feels like a slimmed-down version of the elaborate Delilah.  Best of all?  Even with al of these pluses, she’s completely off the radar of most parents – Della hasn’t charted in the US Top 1000 in decades.

Endellion ¬ I loved everything about Bree’s list of Shabby Aristocrat names.  It’s a quirky compilation of offbeat choices, meant for the pages of a bestseller.  For boys, her list includes Wilder, Robin, and Enzo.  For girls, it is Perpetua, Jessamy, and Lilou.  And EndellionRemember when British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed his youngest?  Samantha Cameron went into labor a few weeks early, while the family was vacationing in Cornwall.  They named their daughter Florence Rose Endellion, the last name a nod to a Cornish saint.  Endellion is completely overlooked in the US, but could be a stunning choice with lots of easy nicknames.print_F_E_i

Elsie Marigold – While we’re visiting the UK, let’s end with a birth announcement from Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd and English actress Alice Evans.  The couple recently welcomed a second daughter, Elsie Marigold, a little sister for Ella Betsi Janet.  While I love the unexpected combination of Elsie Margiold, I wonder if sisters named Ella and Elsie are a bit too close?

You can now buy the initials D and E, along with all the other letters of the alphabet, in beautiful botanical photographs available at the Nameberry store.  Find out more here.

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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