Fall-Inspired Girl Names Needed Now!

June 5, 2018 Abby Sandel

A double challenge: getting dad more involved in the naming process AND finding a girls’ name both parents love for their new daughter. But does that mean mom has to give up her favorites?

Amber writes:

Thank you in advance for helping us name our daughter, due at the end of September/early October.

This baby will have two sisters, Emily and Haven Grace. Emily is from a prior relationship, thus the huge difference in the girls’ names.

I chose Haven Grace and her dad agreed, so this go-round, I would like him to play a bigger part.

Harlow is my favorite, but it has been vetoed. My runner-up loves are October and Sage (go figure, Name Sage!) but Dad is not impressed with October, even though it’s the month we were married.

He likes Autumn, Serenity, and Faith. I’m not a huge fan, though I might like Autumn Rain or Autumn Reign.

I’m looking for names for autumn babies with the beautiful colors of the season being highlighted in the name. Her baby color theme is orange. That beautiful, New England, fall sunset type of orange that can be yellow or pink. We very much enjoy Biblical names and terms. Jesus is our homeboy. We aren’t afraid of Halloween themes, as our wedding was just that.

One more wrench in the works: our last name. Kids are vicious, and our last name sounds like Please without the ‘L’ sound.

The Name Sage responds:

How exciting to be expecting another daughter!

Here’s what leaps out at me: you’d love your daughter’s name to reflect your favorite time of year. That’s a sweet idea, especially since your anniversary falls in October. Plus, you’d like your husband to be more involved in choosing a name this time around.

It sounds like your wish came true.

Not only did he suggest a name that brings to mind your favorite season, Autumn bridges traditional Emily and more modern Haven nicely. Emily, Haven, and Autumn sound very much like sisters.

So maybe this isn’t just about a great, seasonal name and getting your partner more involved in the process. Maybe it’s also about finding something slightly unusual that appeals to you both. It sounds like that happened with Haven’s name, so it’s possible he’ll warm up to something a little less mainstream – even if the doesn’t come up with it on his own.

The question, then, is how unusual? Autumn and Emily both rank in the Top 100. Harlow, Sage, and Haven are beyond the Top 250, but comfortably in the Top 500. October is quite rare. It was given to just 52 girls and six boys last year.

So let’s look at names that nod to your favorite season, but are all over in terms of popularity.

Aurelia – Ancient Aurelia means golden, which seems right for the season. At Number 677, it’s unusual, but feels like it would fit right in with Olivia and Sophia and Amelia. But is it too frilly compared to tailored Haven and Autumn?

Aveline Aveline is the French word for hazelnut. It’s quite rare, and likely to be confused with Evelyn and Adeline. But it is tailored, rare, and picks up on the gorgeous golden-brown hues of the season.

Ember – Fall is the season of bonfires, which made me think of Ember. (And Blaze and lots of other fire-inspired baby names.) But Ember ranks Number 289, and shares Haven’s tailored style. Perfect, right? Except … can Emily‘s sister be Ember? And can Amber’s daughter be Ember?

Harvest – A logical – if very rare – name for a child born during the season. It picks up on some of Harlow’s sound, and feels very compatible with a sister named Haven. But maybe it’s too different? 15 girls and 6 boys were named Harvest last year.

Hazel – I mentioned Aveline above; top 100 favorite Hazel shares the same colorful image. At Number 43, it’s popular – plus, it’s a vintage choice, in contrast to fresh, modern Haven. Still, Hazel feels at home in the fall.

Maisie Maize is another word for corn, as well as a golden color. It comes from the Spanish form of a Native American word. It’s utterly unrelated to Maisie, which is a Scottish diminutive for Margaret. But the sound is there – and at Number 524, this might be familiar enough for him and different enough for you.

Orla Orla comes from the Irish words for gold and princess; the name appears in Irish history, though this is the more modern spelling. Just 18 girls were named Orla in the US last year, but  a handful of notable Irish Orlas make this name feel more familiar. Simple, straightforward, and rare – that’s a winning combination!

Saffron Saffron is a deep golden-yellow color, one that feels like a fit for your favorite season. It’s also tailored and unexpected; it’s never made the US Top 1000, though it’s more familiar in the UK.

Scarlett – I tend to think of red as a winter color, but of course, it fits with fall, too. At Number 18, it’s the most popular name on this list, and yet, Scarlett sounds very much like a sister for Haven and Emily.

Season – I keep saying “season,” so maybe that’s why I’m adding it to the list! On the downside, it could refer to any time of year. And yet, it reminds me of Haven, too, so I’ll mention it here.

From that long list of ideas, here are my top three favorites:

Sage — Overall, my favorite from your list is Sage. It’s a nature name just outside the current Top 300, and it refers to wisdom. Like Haven, it’s a modern word name that doesn’t feel invented or too different.

Maisie — Maisie feels modern, but has history galore. And it falls somewhere between Haven and Emily, which seems like a good thing, too.

Autumn — I keep coming back to Autumn. It sounds like it’s dad’s first choice, and it’s important to you that he be an active part of the naming process. Even if it’s not the name you might choose on your own, I wonder if his love for the name is enough to sway you? If you can find a great middle name to pair with Autumn, I think it would be tough to beat!

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

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