Fresh Surname Names for Girls
They love surname names, but can’t agree on the right one for their December daughter.
The Name Sage replies:
The good news: you know your style, and you and your husband agree! You’ve chosen two handsome, contemporary names for your boys. Finding the right choice for a daughter ought to be straightforward, right?
Maybe not. Because the world has caught up to you. As of this year, Paxton charts at Number 203, and Crosby at Number 623. That’s relatively uncommon, but I’d guess both names were even rarer when you chose them.
I’d say that your style isn’t just surname names. It’s underused surnames. And that’s where both Sawyer (currently in the boys’ Top 100) and Emerson (hovering in the mid-100s for girls) might disappoint.
Collins – Collins caught on for girls thanks to a real-life character in the 2006 bestseller turned 2009 hit movie The Blind Side. It brings to mind Colleen and Colette, but remains fresh, unexpected, and all surname. As a bonus, it shares the ‘s’ ending of Davis.
Ellery – Girls called Ellie are everywhere, but English surname Ellery has been overlooked. It sounds like an Ella/Avery hybrid, but actually is cousin to the old Roman name Hilarius, meaning cheerful.
Ellis – Ellis might follow Paxton and Crosby straight up the popularity charts, but I’ll suggest it anyway. It reminds me strongly of Davis, and slightly of Emerson, too. While Ellis currently ranks higher for boys, it ranks just inside the girls’ Top 1000, too.
Langley – We love a great –ley ending name for a girl – just ask Ashley, Hailey, and Paisley. A common place name, Langley might not work if you live in Virginia, where it’s an Air Force Base and home to the CIA. But in most of the country, it’s an intriguing and uncommon sound.
Linden – Tree name/surname Rowan has become a twenty-first century favorite. Linden offers a promising alternative. Used in small numbers for boys and girls alike, Linden shortens to Lindy or Lin, but works beautifully without a nickname, too.
Sinclair – Sinclair started out as St. Clair, a French place name. The writer Sinclair Lewis put it on the list of possibilities for a boy. Given the popularity of Clara and Claire, today it feels every bit as reasonable for a girl.
Winslow – With Harlow and Marlowe in the spotlight as surname names for girls, why not Winslow? Winnie names, from modern Winter to vintage Winifred, all feel stylish. Winslow Homer lends it some artistic sensibility, but this one succeeds on sound alone.
Overall, I love the sound of Reeve with your older children’s names. But since you’re expecting a winter baby, I find Hollis terribly appealing. It’s rare, but instantly recognizable. And it gives each of your children a distinctive-sounding name: Paxton, Crosby, and Hollis.
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on September 19th, 2017 at 11:15 pm
Linden is my favorite from this list.
on September 19th, 2017 at 11:43 pm
I agree that Hollis is the best fit from the suggestions. I think the biggest trick is to find something distinctly feminine since all three children will be sharing surnames. Collins also feel very girly to me, though that’s probably a direct influence from The Blind Side.
on September 20th, 2017 at 12:08 am
All great suggestions by Abby. My favorites being Ellis and Sinclair.
on September 20th, 2017 at 12:10 am
I know a little girl named Lawrence – that could work too maybe?
on September 20th, 2017 at 12:31 am
Hollis is a fantastic idea. I used to babysit for a really neat single mom named Hollis.
A few additional ideas, from among the smart, well-named young women of my acquaintance:
on September 20th, 2017 at 1:01 am
I like the idea of Hollis but my favourite from this list is Linden.
Some more ideas:
on September 20th, 2017 at 5:29 am
I would suggest:
I think your suggestion of LANGLEY is SUPER cute. How fresh, interesting and adorable. It also goes nicely with brothers, Paxton and Crosby! Nicknames could be Glee or Leelee. SO CUTE.
on September 20th, 2017 at 6:25 am
I would suggest:
on September 20th, 2017 at 8:43 am
Agree with Hollis being a great choice for this sibset. I really like Collins but, personally, wouldn’t repeat an initial. Greer is the best of the ones they mentioned but I don’t see Davis on a girl at all.
A few others:
on September 20th, 2017 at 9:14 am
What a phenomenal list! I love the suggestions of Winslow, Hollis, Ellis, and Reeve.
Dallas (similar to Davis but slightly better suited for a girl, somehow?)
on September 20th, 2017 at 10:43 am
I would rule out Davis simply because it is so close to David. I like Greer a lot.
From the suggested list I think Hollis, Ellis or Ellery would be best.
Some other suggestions/seconding previous suggestions:
on September 20th, 2017 at 11:30 am
on September 20th, 2017 at 12:05 pm
I am surprised only one other person suggested Ainsley/Ainslie!
I agree with others that Hollis is a solid option.
on September 20th, 2017 at 12:46 pm
Of the Name Sage suggestions, I really like Hollis, Linden, & Ellery.
Other suggestions (apologies for repeats):
on September 20th, 2017 at 1:46 pm
I like Ellery and Langley from the list. Names that have been suggested that I like are Everly, Flannery, and Bellamy.
I also like Monroe and Parker, but they may be too mainstream. What about Remington or Revere?
on September 20th, 2017 at 2:00 pm
I really like the suggestion of Linden.
on September 20th, 2017 at 2:23 pm
I agree Hollis does sound perfect!
I won’t add anymore suggestions since there are already so many great ones! My favorites from pp are Sutton and Winslet! To me Winslet sounds very feminine and I think it it fits well with Paxton and Crosby.
on September 20th, 2017 at 4:24 pm
Lots of good suggestions! I like Linden and Hollis as they are names I have considered putting on my list since I like nature themes. I also really like Ellis and I think that is my favorite The Sage recommended.
Monroe and Winslet are great too and I love the Hollywood glam attached to the names. Plus Winnie is a cute nick name.
I would also like to recommend Adler / Auden / Delaney / Devon / Jensen / Seeley.
on September 20th, 2017 at 5:56 pm
Greer is amazing, but as usual Abby has great suggestions too—love Hollis, Ellis and Winslow! Ellis is my favorite with Paxton and Crosby, though I dig the December-holly connection with Hollis.
Also want to second Monroe, Merritt and Winslet from previous commenters.
on September 22nd, 2017 at 12:09 pm
Hollis is my favourite
on September 22nd, 2017 at 11:11 pm
I really like Winslow!! and Reeve, Ellery and Sinclair are cute too!
other suggestions –
Paxton, Crosby & Karson
Paxton, Crosby & Brighton
Paxton, Crosby & Leighton
Paxton, Crosby & North
Paxton, Crosby & Sloane
Paxton, Crosby & Sawyer
Paxton, Crosby & Mason
Paxton, Crosby & Delaney
Paxton, Crosby & Marlowe
Paxton, Crosby & Harlow
Paxton, Crosby & Hadley
on September 23rd, 2017 at 10:54 am
I LOVE Hollis — I read a book as a child about a main character called Hollis Woods and have never forgotten her! But I have to say, I am partial to Sinclair because it’s my middle name 🙂
In high school, I knew twin girls named Maddox (Maddy for short) and Lowry. I also like Callahan/Callie, Maguire/Maggie, and Leland/Lela. I was really amused that Abby suggested Langley because I am from Virginia — my dad went to high school at Langley!
on September 23rd, 2017 at 6:11 pm
Auden immediately came to mind when I read this letter. I think it works well with brothers’ names!
on September 24th, 2017 at 5:18 am
I love Hollis! I also like suggestions of Marlow and Hadley. I once new a pretty, intelligent girl called Landry, which could work.
on September 25th, 2017 at 1:40 am
I like Hollis, Linden, and Collins from Abby’s list. I would add Campbell and Sutton.
on September 29th, 2017 at 10:58 pm
My suggestions are:
Kerrigan (Nickname: Kerri)
Campbell (Nicknames: Cami, Belle)
on October 3rd, 2017 at 9:53 am
Ha, you mentioned Ashley and Hailey under “Langley.” I’m Hailey and my big sister is Ashley 🙂
on November 20th, 2017 at 3:58 pm
I know a Merritt, Sloane, and Carson. They all wear it well.
on December 26th, 2017 at 12:21 pm
Now that it’s late December I imagine this baby is already born and named, but I’ll throw in my two cents anyway! From the Name Sage’s list, I love Ellery, Hollis, and Winslow. I agree with many other commenters that Hollis seems like a particularly great choice for a December baby–a more fresh and original take on “Holly.”
Personally I love “-ley” names when it comes to surname names for girls, since they add a feminine touch without going over the top. A few off the top of my head are Hartley, Hadley, Kinsley (though that one may be too popular), Everly/Everley, and my personal favorite at the moment, Ridley.
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