Girls’ Names 2013: Our 10 newest choices

We’re always adding new names to Nameberry, and the ten newest on the site all just happen to be for girls.

Half of these names existed on Nameberry before as variations of other names, but without commentary of their own, and the other half are new entries.  All have ancient roots though are unusual — yet usable — in modern times.

Our newest girls’ names for 2013:

Adelina

Adelina is back in the Top 1000 after an absence of nearly a century, thanks to the meteoric rise of her sister name Adeline — along with Adelaide, Adele, and Ada.  Some parents choose Adelina because they want to get to cute vintage nickname Addie, but others favor it as a slightly more unusual form of this sweet vintage girls’ name. 

While Adeline is usually pronounced in the US with a long i in the last syllable, to rhyme with mine, Adelina is pronounced with the long e sound at the end, as in lee-na.

Ahna

Want to be sure that people pronounce your baby’s name the way you intend?  Then choose a spelling variation like Ahna for AnnaAhna is best known as the name of actress and ex-James Franco girlfriend Ahna O’Reilly.  Pronunciation issues aside, we still prefer Anna.

Eleanora

Eleanor is back, Nora is back, and soon Eleanora will be too.  Off the charts since the 1930s, this elaboration of the classic Eleanor was in common use for decades before falling from favor.  Spelling Eleonora adds yet another syllable to make the pronunciation el-LAY-oh-nor-a, and you can try to instruct people to say Eleanora that way too, but most will pronounce it like Eleanor with an a at the end and that’s just fine.  That final vowel gives a serious, stately name a little flip at the end, making it more distinctive and modern if not right for every taste.

Eponine

Eponine is attracting new notice via the movie of Les Miserables, based on the book by Victor HugoEponine is the spoiled daughter of Cosette‘s foster parents whose name, according to the story, was lifted by her mother from a romance novel.  As in a romance, Eponine redeems herself by becoming a martyr to love.

Kirrily

Kirrily, which rhymes with cheerily, is a name that’s uniquely popular in Australia.  It originated in recent decades as an elaboration of several similar names — the European Kyra or Keira, the Maori Kiri which means tree bark, or the Aboriginal word kira which means leaf — plus the lee sound.  Australian fashion designer Kirrily Johnston has helped popularize the name, which has spawned a countless number of spelling variations.

Liliosa

Liliosa, one of the most exotic forms of the ever-more-popular and varied Lily family, is an ancient saint’s name that’s a perfect candidate for revival by parents who love the double-L flower name trend but want a distinctive variation.  Saint Liliosa was one of the martyrs of 9th century Cordoba, along with her husband Felix and cousins Aurelius and Natalia — all names newly fashionable in the modern world.

Ovidia

Ovidia is the unusual feminine form of the ancient Roman Ovidius, which means shepherd or sheep and is most famous as the name of the exiled 1st century Roman poet Ovid.  Modern male form Ovidio is known in Spain and Portugal.  Ovida is another variation.

Petronilla

Petronilla is an ancient saint’s name that relates to the Roman family name Petronius, thought to mean yokel, though some connect it with Petra or Peter, meaning stone.  With the resurgence of so many ancient Roman names, the elaborate and pretty Petronilla or its French form Petronille seem more usable these days than they have in centuries.

Rosaline

Rosaline, which can be pronounced to rhyme with mine or green in its final syllable, has a deeper, richer pedigree than it might seem.  Rosaline was used twice by Shakespeare and was also used in the poetry of Edmund Spenser.  While we prefer the stronger-sounding Rosalind or Rosamund, Rosaline deserves a fresh contemporary look.

Saar

Saar is a very popular girls’ name in The Netherlands, where it’s an abbreviated form of Sarah.  The Dutch feminine Saar, pronounced sahr, is distinct from the Hebrew place-name Saar used for boys in Israel.  In the U.S., Saar can be a fresh middle name possibility or a new way to honor an ancestral Sarah.

Rose headband by Emerson and Ivy on Etsy.

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32 Responses to “Girls’ Names 2013: Our 10 newest choices”

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klcalder2 Says:

April 29th, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Eleanora and Rosaline are divine!

shellezbellez Says:

April 29th, 2013 at 11:17 pm

My very first thought at seeing “Liliosa” was this:

“it’s li-lee-OOOH-sah, not li-lee-oh-SAH”

I’m sorry, it’s a nice enough name, but that was my first thought!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx2zLgdkJpk

sweetpeacelove Says:

April 29th, 2013 at 11:29 pm

“My very first thought at seeing “Liliosa” was this:

“it’s li-lee-OOOH-sah, not li-lee-oh-SAH””

Hahaha that was my first thought too.

MissusAytch Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 1:08 am

I’m not even a big HP fan and I immediately thought wingardium leviosa. Ha! However I think Liliosa is gorgeous. Ditto Adelina and Rosaline. Kirrily is cute and Eleanora is nice. Ovidia is intriguing too. Petronilla is nms but ok.

But Ahna – ugh. Just spell it Ana!

Whirligig Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 1:18 am

Oooh its so nice to see Kirrily being put on the database. I have LOVED it for a very long time.

SugarPlumFairy Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 1:38 am

Very nice list. Rosaline and Eponine are the standouts to me.

Petronilla is amazing and has many interesting variations: Parnell, Peronel, Penn, and Petronel all used to be common in English – and also the original “long form” of Penny!

Cheele Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 2:42 am

Ooo, Saar is awesome! And I can’t help but to wonder if I had any influence in getting Ahna on here with my adoration for it and mention of it some weeks ago before there was an entry.. Hehe.

grackym Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 4:00 am

I love Adeline/a, such a sweet name! Wish my husband loved it that much.

R_J Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 7:28 am

Wonderful additions! Rosaline is so beautiful, and I am intrigued by Ovidia. Vida for short?

arreisenlaluz9 Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 9:21 am

I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought first of Hermione pronouncing Liliosa.

It got me thinking… how many Harry Potter spells would work as names?

Leviosa?
Alohomora?
Kedavra?
Diffindo?
Fidelius?
Imperio?
Protego?

Is it bad that my favorite out of the list would be Kedavra?

OliviaSarah Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 10:16 am

I love Kirrily and Adelina.

Saar is so pretty too although I think of the German region straight away.

Gretel Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 10:29 am

I prefer Adeline and Eleanor to their elaborated forms (although maybe I’m just becoming biased against that ending for girls in general), but both are nice.

Even 10-15 years ago a name like Ovidia wouldn’t stand a chance, but in this age of Olivia/Alivia/Livia/Lydia/Lavinia it’s looking more and more accessible. Vida as a nn works well.

Lily and its many variations have never appealed to me that much, but the ancient saint pedigree for Liliosa does make it more interesting.

How do you pronounce Eponine? Is it Ep-oh-neen?

ScarlettsMom Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 11:55 am

I think Eponine is pronounced with a long E sound, like Eep-oh-neen.

southern.maple Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I heard Hermione pronouncing Liliosa too. I’ve never heard Ovidia before, but I really like it. It’d be a great alternative to Olivia.

maggiefromcanada Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

arreisenlaluz9: What about Accio and Muffliato?

From the list, my favourites are Avelina, Ovidia, and Rosaline. Saar makes me think of the Saar Basin/Saarland. Kirrily is interesting. I initially thought it was a feminine version of Kiril.

saraallison Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

There is a cute YA mystery with a Petronella (slightly different from Petronilla). It’s called Petronella Saves Nearly Everyone. I wish the author had done more bc it was pretty fun and entertaining. Anyway, I kind of like the name, but it does remind me of a bug spray…not sure why! I haven’t analyzed that thought pattern yet…

heybreezy Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I teach a student named Onna, pronounced “Ahna”. It’s a lovely sounding name.

GrecianErn Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

The last half of this post screamed Harry Potter at me. The whole time.

I thought Ahna was ridiculous.

And I was shocked that Eleanora and Evanora… these could be from the new Oz remake.

I don’t know… Most of these names seem to out there for us.

covella Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

1. Eponine is only spoiled at a very young age. When she is older she is dirt poor and wears rags.
2. Her parents (the Thenardiers) aren’t Cosettes’ foster parents. They are basically her slave masters and her mother pays them to watch her.

arreisenlaluz9 Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

@ Maggiefromcanada:

I like Accio! Muffliato I’m not so sure about. ahaha

tori101 Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Ah great post!!
I love Eleanora, Adelina, and Rosaline their just so frilly and feminine. Gorgeously elegant choices.

southern.maple Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Will there be a boy’s version of this?

calliewalker718 Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Adelina is one of my coveted faves…

alphabetdem Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Adelina is an improvement over Adeline. I really want to get on board with Liliosa but I don’t know, I just can’t. I do like the Harry Potterness of it though! Rosaline seems lovely and bit old fashioned and I immediately thought of Romeo and Juliet! Kirrily seems very happy!

Eponine, at least in the musical, is definitely pronounced Epp-oh-neen.

sstine1185 Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Adalena is my 3 year old daughters name so while I’m excited to see it here I’m also not because I don’t want it to become popular, which is why we picked it in the first place. We use Lena as a nn though because we aren’t huge fans of Addie

Lucretia Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Just say no to Saar! As someone who dated an Israeli man of that name, I can tell you that not many English-speaking people, could pronounce it correctly. The double aa is actually an ayin (gutturally said, Sa’ar, as if you’re swallowing the vowel). Most people called him Czar.

Whimsy21 Says:

April 30th, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I love Kirrily! It has a great ring to it!

UniqueNameLover Says:

May 1st, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Love Rosaline, Adelina and Eleanora!

HannieKitt Says:

May 3rd, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Rosaline, Eleanora and Adeline are my favourites. I’m not sure whether I like the sound of Ovidia or not, but I think it’s definately not for me ’cause I thought of sheep before I even read the meaning. It’s pretty close to the Latin name. I do like sheep very much, but still.

rachelemma Says:

May 7th, 2013 at 11:32 pm

We have Liliosa on our list. Mostly as a potential alternative to Mimosa. If only Lily itself wasn’t so popular we may use it – as a Liliosa would no doubt get called Lily. 🙂

vito208 Says:

July 15th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

LOVE Adelina….Eleanora is great too .

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

July 20th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

When I first saw Kirrily, my brain when “What the heck?”. But after seeing how it was pronounced, like cheerily, I actually did a quick 180. It’s cute.

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