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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
Readers, what would you suggest to Sydney for a daughter’s name?
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on June 7th, 2016 at 11:15 pm
I like Daphne best. It isn’t too matchy matchy with Dawson despite the shared first letter, and the three kids’ names sound nice together.
on June 7th, 2016 at 11:17 pm
How about Juliette?
on June 8th, 2016 at 12:18 am
I like these four because they are two-syllable names, just like Summer and Dawson. In addition they all have a nature connection (to varying degrees), just like Summer.
on June 8th, 2016 at 5:01 am
I love the idea of Summer, Willow and Dawson.
All have 6 letters. Summer and Willow have a beautiful nature link and Willow and Dawson share the ‘W’. Name sage that is brilliance!
on June 8th, 2016 at 6:01 am
We named our last child after the Orson Scott Card book series. His name is Ender Scott Deal. He is now six and he loves the movie Enders Game. He is convinced that’s his movie he played in..it’s too cute. I’ve heard of lots of Hinders but not one other Ender. The name means scarce or rare.
on June 8th, 2016 at 6:24 am
What great choices! I love all the namesage’s suggestions, but my personal favorite here is Daphne Violet! So pretty!
I’m wondering if it would bother the couple if their child’s name entered the top 100 over the next few years. If so, some of these choices (like Ivy) might be a little too close to the top 100. Just a thought!
on June 8th, 2016 at 7:37 am
Summer, Dawson, and Eden sound perfect together, but I also love Willow. No need to search any further, either one would be great choice.
on June 8th, 2016 at 7:49 am
I would encourage you to look at the popularity of a name in your state. For instance in Alabama Violet is not in the top 100, but in California it’s number 45. State popularity can vary widely, and it could where you live Violet would be an uncommon name. Personally I think Violet seems like the perfect addition to your wonderful family names.
That feel of different but not too different is a hard balance to find. From Abby’s list I really like Ivy, and Wren. Ivy being the stand out for me.
I’d like to add my own suggestion of Meadow. It has a link to both Dawson (because of the w) and Summer, because it’s a word name. I feel like nn Medi or Mia could come from Meadow as well. A sweet nature name, I am surprised it’s not more popular!
on June 8th, 2016 at 8:04 am
I find it interesting when people (particularly on NB) say they want to avoid the top 100 and then mention Isabella and Olivia and Mia, all of which are in the top 10. This person mentioned that she loved names most of which are in the top 10 (Olivia, Isabella, Mia, Harper, Charlotte) Violet is #50, but was given to .25% of girls last year. So yes, it’s in the top 100 but I’d hardly call that too popular. A previous poster gave a good suggestion of seeing how popular a name is in your state. Just a thought because sometimes we are so stuck on names being too “popular” that we put ourselves between a rock and a hard place. I actually think the deeper issue here is finding a name that fits the sibset.
I think Willow is the perfect choice. A word/nature name like Summer and has a W like Dawson.
on June 8th, 2016 at 8:45 am
1. Willow, Dawson, Summer
All 3 names would be the same length. Girls share the nature theme (as violet does) and repetition of middle letter (ll and mm), Twins share the W
2. Daphne, Dawson, Summer
All 3 names would be the same length. Daphne still contains a nature meaning and sounds light like Summer. Twins share D
3. Ivy, Dawson, Summer
All 3 names share same amount of syllables. Girls share nature theme and contains the same beginning sound as VIolet (IVy)
Ruby Byler Said
on June 8th, 2016 at 11:24 am
These were all great suggestions, Name Sage!!!! My favorite out of all of the suggestions was definitely Harlow, because it reminds me so much of a name that I am just starting to LOVE, Marlowe. I actually also like the name Eden for a girl, i think its cute! I am also going to suggest one or two names: So one name I am going to suggest because it reminds of Ivy and Iris, because of the shared I. It is actually a name that I have never met anyone with, so the ranking of the name surprised me a little because i thought it would be below at least 500 on the SS list. But no, it came in at #141, so maybe its ranking is a little more then what you would like. The name is Isla (eye-la), it is one of my personal favorites, and I have already thought that the name actually wouldn’t sound that bad if you would pronounce it the way it looks, (eyes-la) or (is-la). And its spelling reminds me in Isabella. Another suggestion I thought of because of its shared E with Eden. But, I don’t know, this one maybe a little to far out there. It is again one of my personal favorites, and ranked at number 682 on the SS list. The name is Esme (Ez-may.) So those are just my opinions and suggestions and I hope that in one way or another they help you!!! : )
I wish you all the best! And having a child in August is definitely the best month, (the month I was born in!!!) : )
Again I wish you all the best and hope that the future holds nothing but happiness and many many many baby cuddles!!
on June 8th, 2016 at 11:35 am
All of the choices the Name Sage offered were fantastic! Ivy and Wren are my favorites: they are unique and also match the sibset. I’m also going to agree that you should check the name popularity list in your state, because you loved Violet so much. Best of luck! 🙂
on June 8th, 2016 at 11:36 am
on June 8th, 2016 at 11:56 am
Great suggestions as always, Abby! My favorites being Willow and Wren. Both are familiar enough without being too popular and sound great with the sibset.
on June 8th, 2016 at 12:53 pm
My favorite is also Willow. I think it’s the perfect match with Summer and Dawson.
Other names I found outside of the top 100, that I think could pair with these siblings:
on June 8th, 2016 at 12:57 pm
May I suggest Juniper? (Possible nn June.) It was my immediate reaction, before reading Abby’s suggestions. I think it fits in well with Summer & Dawson (and your previous like of Violet). I don’t know off-hand where it ranks, but it’s surely below the top 100 and definitely uncommon, yet familiar.
on June 8th, 2016 at 1:14 pm
As stand-alone names Harlowe, Marlowe, and Wren are my favorite of this list. But when you consider the siblings, Summer, Dawson, and Eden takes the cake! What a gorgeous trio! Summer and Eden have the same feel and flow, while being different sounding from one another. And I like that Dawson and Eden share a “D” sound but aren’t quite a double ‘D” twin set.
on June 8th, 2016 at 1:20 pm
I like Willa, too. Some suggestions:
on June 8th, 2016 at 3:47 pm
Willow is such a perfect find!!! What better name to go with the sibs, I love it.
on June 8th, 2016 at 4:08 pm
@ashbee I was going suggest Willa as an alternative to Willow too, (I prefer it myself) but then realized Willow matches the longer flow and that Willa (while also 2 syllables) changes things a bit and matches less.
Definitely think choices like Willow, Flora, Eden & Juniper, paired with Summer & Dawson, adds to/gives off a certain vibe together… Alternatively, pairing a name like Alice or Juliet for third choice lessens/changes vibes. Too bad we don’t know more about preference for length or vibe. Do think those classics are a tad more popular though.
Anyway, I thought of more suggestions:
Addison (too popular?)
on June 8th, 2016 at 4:41 pm
I like Willow because of its nature connection and w connection to Dawson
Perhaps you could also consider
Vivienne (as a substitute for violet)
on June 8th, 2016 at 5:47 pm
Oh BTW, I’m pretty sure Willow is on the rise. It’s becoming noticed. In fact, Willow on NB is ranked at 111 (for 2015), Willa is at 481. So Willow is actually not far from top 100. I imagine Ivy is also increasing… Especially with Blue Ivy.
Sydney, I think if you are really certain you don’t want a top 100 or a name that could soon be popular, than as much as Willow goes with your set, it should also be a pass.
Of course it is up to you, and as someone mentioned – popularity does vary in location.
(Full disclosure: I rescued and adopted a pet last December and so I was comparing Willow / Willa and found Willow to be more popular than I thought and increasing. I do also suspect that as people have relatives named William pass away, more people who wouldn’t normally consider it on style grounds will look at Willow (and Willa). That’s how I personally wound up with a Willa. So I’d bank on Willow increasing.)
on June 8th, 2016 at 9:00 pm
What about Dawson, Summer, & Paisley?
on June 9th, 2016 at 2:37 pm
Admittedly, I spent some time reviewing the top 200-300 girl names and I’ve narrowed down my own selection…
(Summer, Dawson &) Phoebe
(Summer, Dawson &) Jenna
(Summer, Dawson &) Tessa
(Summer, Dawson &) Georgia
I feel like the two-syllable name is a good way to go, since you’re already doing this with Summer and Dawson. I also like the idea of the ending syllable having its own sound. Summer is a solid modern established name, and I feel like while Phoebe has been around a long time, it has the same appeal as Summer.
I threw in Cassidy for fun as well because even though it’s a 3-syllable name, I think it sounds great with Dawson.
Of Sage’s names, I love Ivy and Iris the best!
on June 9th, 2016 at 3:36 pm
My favourite name the Name Sage suggested for Sydney is Willow. Summer, Dawson and Willow definitely sound nice together! I like Iris and Lilia too. I also like a previous comment’s suggestion of Tessa. Summer, Dawson and Tessa. But overall, don’t be afraid to put Violet in the middle name spot, it’ll balance the name out.
on June 9th, 2016 at 9:52 pm
Reading the letter, I immediately thought “Iris”, even before I reached NameSage’s response.
on June 9th, 2016 at 10:34 pm
Vera, Viera, Vienna, Jade, Rose/Rosa/Rosalie/Rosalind, Sienna
Harlyn, Emerson/Emersyn, Teagan, Sailor
Lynette, Gabrielle/Gabriella, Brielle/Briella, Colette, Josette, Lacey, Evangeline, Gwenyth, Seraphina
Lavinia, Ophelia, Lucia, Dahlia
-Also liked the recommended Gemma and Ivy
on June 9th, 2016 at 11:10 pm
I think Eden is absolutely perfect!
on June 10th, 2016 at 10:22 pm
I really like the previous poster’s suggestion of Juniper! I think it fits perfectly with Summer & Dawson. Nature-y, but down to earth, recognizable, but not common.
A few more ideas: Avery, Brynn, Daisy, Stella, Lilia, Rosalie & Georgia.
on June 11th, 2016 at 1:48 am
I wanted somthing different and pretty for my baby girl I called her Bria – Anais
Summer, Dawson & Bria sound perfect to me 🙂 x
on June 12th, 2016 at 9:46 am
I really like the Namesage’s suggestions of Willow and Eden! However, Willow seems to be climbing quite quickly in popularity so that’s something to consider! Juniper and Bria were also great suggestions!
Some other suggestions to consider:
– Summer, Dawson, Sage
– Summer, Dawson, Austen
– Summer, Dawson, Edythe
– Summer, Dawson, Megan
– Summer, Dawson, Clover
Hope you find the perfect name!!
on June 13th, 2016 at 1:45 pm
If you like Willow I suggest Meadow.
I like the feel if give the sibset with Summer. We have a Dawson and I always think of the tv show. How about River instead. Summer, Meadow and River. Hope your outdoorsie!
on June 13th, 2016 at 2:11 pm
If you like Willow I suggest Meadow.
I like the feel if gives the sibset with Summer. We have a Dawson and I always think of the tv show. How about River instead. Summer, Meadow and River. Hope you’re outdoorsie!
on June 13th, 2016 at 10:11 pm
I love Harlow it matches in a way with Dawson and with the other sibling names. Isabella as middle would go nicely.
on August 20th, 2016 at 10:14 pm
I love Summer Willow and Dawson together. Some others I like are:
Aspen- I like how it shares a n with Dawson and is inspired by nature
Thalia- Seems to me to have the same feel as Olivia, Mia, Charlotte and some of your other names, but is much less popular
Emmalyn and Emerson I also like, but I’m not sure if they are your style
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