I-Initial Names: Eyes on the ‘I’s’

Now that Isabella is #2 on the list of most popular girls’ names, Isaac and Isaiah are in the Top 50 for boys, and names like Isla are heating up, we’re wondering if the letter ‘I’ just might be in line to become the next vowel du jour, moving up on ‘A’ and ‘E’.

This didn’t seem a very likely prospect a few years ago, when, as recently as  1995, there wasn’t a single name starting with ‘I’ in the Top 100.  On the plus side, this means that there is a whole letter-full of neglected, waiting to be discovered, rediscovered and ready-to-be imported names.  And it’s a nice initial for a child to have, straight and strong and tied up with identity and ego.

The following girls names are the most fashion forward, either already being appreciated or else on the cusp:

IDA

ILANA/ILEANA

IMOGEN/IMOGENE

INDIA

INDIANA

INDIGO

INEZ

INGRID

IRELAND

IRENE

IRINA

IRIS

ISABEL/ISABELLE

ISABELLA

ISADORA

ISLA

IVORY

IVY

And some still not in  the mainstream:

IANTHE

IDRA

IGNACIA

ILIA

ILONA

IMAN

IMELDA

INGA/INGE

IOLANTHE

IONE

IPHIGENIA

ISABEAU

ISEULT

ISHBEL

ISIS

ISMAY

ISOLDE

IVANA/IVANKA

And a few that time has left behind:

ILA

ILKA

ILSA/ILSE

IMA

INA

IOLA

IONA

IRMA

ISA

There are fewer viable I-choices for the boys.  Those most often heard today:

IAN

IKE

INNES/INNIS

ISAAC

ISAIAH

ISIDORE

ISRAEL

IVAN

Those further out of the mainstream:

IAGO

IB

IBSEN

ICARUS

IFOR

IGGY

IGNATIUS

IGOR

ILYA

INGMAR

INGO

INGRAM

INIGO

IOLO

ISHAM

ISHAQ

ISHMAEL

IVAR

IVES

IVO

IVOR

And those, at least momentarily,  lost to time:

ICHABOD

IRA

IRVIN

IRVING

IRWIN

IZZY

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26 Responses to “I-Initial Names: Eyes on the ‘I’s’”

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Charlotte Vera Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 3:54 am

Awww, I like Ira!

Imogen is my most favourite of favourite girls’ names, but sadly, the husband says “No!”. I can still hope and dream. . .

Sherri Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 6:58 am

Haha.. my last name is Inness… I didn’t know that people used that for a first name!

As far as boy’s names go… I think that for the most part, I don’t really like “I” names for boys. It just seems like a very girly letter to me. Not to mention there’s not a single boy’s name on this list that I find appealing lol

Abby@AppMtn Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 9:24 am

I love Iris and Ivy, and my grandmother was Irene. My kids have a cousin Ignace (in Poland) and we’ve considered Ignatius, nn Nate, ourselves.

But my real love from this list? Icarus! I’d never dare, but what a cool name.

Corinne Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 10:26 am

I’ve got Isla, Iris, Ivy, and Ian on my shortlists for boys and girls!
I do love ‘I’ names and wish I could use Isabel, Imogen, and Isaac.

Steph Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 10:31 am

My 5 year old son is named Ian and I love it now more than ever….simple, sleek, and still unusual here in our rural area 🙂

pippa Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 10:42 am

I love Isadora, India and Isa. Just lovely. I would love to use India but the colonialist overtones do give me pause…

Diana Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 10:52 am

I love the I names. Here is another that I would like to mention. I doubt that anyone here would be likely to know it. It is an Indian name from Mexico and it’s the name of my Husband’s niece. Itzel. I don’t think that’s exactly how you spell it, but phonetically it is correct. I love this name! Don’t like the name of their second daughter much though….Miraslava! Laura you might like to check out some of the Mexican names. I’m sure they would surprise you. Not the common ones that everyone knows, but the lesser used ones.

susan Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I love Iris, Isaac, and Indio. Indio isn’t on the list, but I have seen it in your books before.

Victoria Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I adore Isolde but my hubhy hates it. He says that he only hears Is Old

JNE Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Of course, I love Imogen, but also really like Isadora, Ivy, Ingrid, and Ilsa. Ina makes me instantly think of Ina Garten, the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa. For the boys, I especially like Isaac – one we considered for this baby, but we decided not to do two “I” names, and also Ignacio (Iggy is a great nickname). Irving is pretty cool to – it definitely appeals. Definitely love the “I” names!

Sarah Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Iphigenia? Hah! I can see it now…

“Mom, Dad?”
“Yes, sweetie.”
“Dave and I have decided to name the baby Iphigenia!”
*silence*

That would be hilarious. 😛

Sarah Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

But on a more serious note, I love Imogen, India (would LOVE to use this one day), Indigo (always pictured it on a boy, though), Ingrid, Isobel, Isla, Ivy, Isabeau, Isolde, Ila, Ike, Isaac, and Ignatius. Somebody loves ‘I’ names. 😛

Isaac would also be fun to use since Isaac was the Biblical son of my namesake, Sarah. 🙂

Eleonara Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

I’ve had a passion for I names for what feels like forever, my absolute favourites are

Imogen – makes me think Imagine, endless possibilities, who wouldn’t want that?
Iris – my great aunts name, love it
Ivy – we came so close to naming our first daughter this, like, pen in hand, signing the certificate.

Ashley S. Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

I have an Isla and I really lobbied for Ivy for our third but my husband overruled me. He claimed the “I”s were taking over!

Tirzah Says:

December 9th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I have a daughter named Indigo. A sleek I beginning with a hip O ending. Plus a cool nickname Indie. It’s got a nice global feel too. I’m in love! 🙂

Leah Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 2:57 am

We’re thinking about Ilan for our son, its a fairly common name in France, from the Hebrew word for tree. Unusual, but not shocking I think 🙂

Ivory Says:

December 10th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

I am an Ivory, and have always loved that my name is common enough that no one messes up the pronunciation, but also unique enough that the only other Ivory I’ve ever met was a man in his 60s.

lorencs3 Says:

December 12th, 2009 at 1:39 am

Another Mexican “I” name that I find really attractice is Isela. I’ve never seen it on a child though. I’m not wild about Itzel but at least it’s much easier to pronounce than another popular indigenous-inspired name, Xochitl. Also I like Isaura but associate it immediately with that telenovela Isaura the Slave Girl.

Janine Says:

December 16th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I adore the name Indigo. Lovelovelove it. Ivy, Iris, Ivory and Ianthe are some that I like too.

Anna Says:

December 18th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

My favourites include
Ida, Isadora, Iris, Isobel, Imogen, Io & Ivo, Indigo & Ira.

http://babynamelover.wordpress.com/

UrbanAngel Says:

December 23rd, 2009 at 9:40 am

Imogen sort of appeals to me. I feel like I should love it- but can’t. I ADORE Isla and truly hope to use it one day. Indianna is just infectious. Indigo has grown on me a lot and Indie is just adorable. Ismay is interesting, and cute in a Celtic way. Not one I would use
The only male name that I like or don’t mind is Ian.The girl names are a lot more appealing

spotlightstarlit Says:

February 6th, 2010 at 1:04 am

Some of these flow effortlessly while others in this ipod nation look like the ‘I’ was tacked on as an afterthought…I’m torn.

anna.bliss Says:

March 6th, 2013 at 11:46 am

I am in love with I names right now. Ivy and Isadora are my favorites followed by Iris and Isla

shyshutterbug Says:

March 6th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I was a hair’s breadth away from being an Ivy. I like Ivy well enough, but it’s not landing on any of my kids’ birth certificates. I do like Ian and Ireland. I adore Ione (eye-OHN, absolutely NOT eye-OH-nee) – it was my grandmother’s middle name.

hollyduemmel Says:

March 6th, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I named my daughter Irie and I absolutely love it! Is so unique amd fits her perfect

chan Says:

August 9th, 2013 at 7:16 am

I was looking for a suitable “I” name in order to pass on a heavy family name Innocent. I only liked Isaiah and Isaac.

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