Can These Baby Namers Escape the Top 100?

Can These Baby Namers Escape the Top 100?

JAre there any great girl names that aren’t in the Top 100? The Name Sage assures an expectant mama that there are plenty of gorgeous names that aren’t heard everywhere.

Sydney writes:

I am due this August with boy-girl twins. They already have a big sister named Summer Emilia.

In looking for girl names, I absolutely fell in love with Violet and was utterly heartbroken when I learned Violet is popular. Both my husband and I grew up with common names and are very against naming our children a popular name. Nothing in the top 100!

For our son, we love the name Dawson Gage. Gage is after my grandfather and Dawson is because partly because we love the name and partly because my husband’s name is David and Dawson means “son of David.” Dawson is ranked 239 on the Nameberry top 1000 so it is unique enough for us.

So now we are looking for a name to go with Summer Emilia and Dawson Gage but it seems like every name we like is within the Top 20. Names we love that are too common include: Violet, Harper, Isabella, Charlotte, Scarlett, Madison, Olivia, and Mia.

We are convinced that girls’ names out of the top 100 do not exist anymore! All beautiful names we find end up being wildly popular.

The Name Sage replies:

If you’ve always been one in a crowd, it’s completely reasonable to choose a child’s name that is a little bit different.

The trouble is, of course, that popular names are often great names. We’re all using them, because, well, how can you not like Violet or Mia or Olivia?

The good news is this: finding a name that’s just a little bit different is very doable.

After all, you found one for your older daughter! Summer is a Top 200 name. It’s much less common than Mia or Charlotte, but not as out-there as Thalassa or Sojourner or Mavis. The middle ground is vast!

Before we look at names, there is one other point to consider.

Summer strikes me as a tailored, modern, fresh name for a girl. Some of your other choices, like elaborate, traditional Isabella, seem like a style mismatch. I could suggest names like Annabelle, Marianna, or Cordelia that substitute for Isabella – but I’m not sure they’re great sister names for Summer.

Instead, let’s look at substitutes for names like Violet, Harper, and Mia. They’re feminine, but not quite so frilly.

I think a great sister name for Summer and Dawson might be:

Willow – A modern nature name, like Summer, Willow is just outside of the current US Top 100. I wonder if you’d like the idea of Dawson and Willow sharing the letter ‘w’ in their names – a subtle connection.

HarlowHarlow is a logical substitute for Harper – a very similar sound, but much less popular. Even more rare is Marlowe.

Wren – I almost suggested Brooke, but then decided to go with Wren. It’s more modern, plus it’s such a short first name that you might use one of your longer names as a middle. Wren Olivia or Wren Isabelle, maybe?

GemmaGemma is ranked in the mid-200s – neither too common nor too obscure. The Italian word for jewel reminds me of colorful Scarlett and Violet, but has some of the style of Mia, too.

Eden – Tailored Eden brings to mind the Biblical garden. Summer, Dawson, and Eden sound like siblings. Eden has held steady in the Top 200 for the past few years. My favorite combination is probably Eden Isabella.

Daphne – This might be a little bit of an outlier, but I think Daphne works. It does mean that she and Dawson would share a first initial. Daphne is mythological, and has a long history of use – but has never cracked the US Top 200. It’s a fits-in/stands-out name, and I like the idea of a combination like Daphne Violet.

IvyMia is a mini name, and Violet is all about that great V sound. Ivy might fall exactly in between the two, another nature name that isn’t overused. Ivy currently ranks Number 129 in the US.

Iris – Like Violet, Iris is a flower name, one with a similar color. Iris was also the goddess of the rainbow in Greek myth. I like the unexpected sound of Iris Olivia.

Readers, what would you suggest to Sydney for a daughter’s name?