Nameberry 9 Roundup: The year’s best from Scout to Sylvie to Sutton
Nine names per week over 51 weeks equals 459 names. They’re classic, they’re quirky, and sometimes they’re downright strange. But when I sat down to review a year’s worth of Nameberry posts, I realized that most of them are actually pretty wearable.
Very few of them repeat – something that surprised me, as it so often seems that a name is suddenly everywhere all at once. Some garnered lots of positive comments while others went completely unnoticed.
My favorite comment? “No, don’t mention THAT name. It’s the top of our list!” As I scrolled through the posts, there were more than a few groans of disappointment.
The best names, though, aren’t necessarily the ones that will be racing up the popularity charts. I’m most attracted to the ones that seem novel – unlikely to catch on, but probably part of a bigger change in how we think about names.
It was tough to narrow them down, but the nine most intriguing names from a year’s worth of Nameberry 9s are:
Dev – Actress Daya Vaidya and husband Don Wallace welcomed twin sons this summer: Jai Blue and Dev Eshaan. Dev fits in with a host of novel short names for boys. Jax, Dax, Cade, Cash, Kai, Lev, Zev, Dev. He’s modern and unexpected, but easy to spell and pronounce. His twin’s name narrowly missed this list, if only because it could rhyme with sky or way. At just three letters, Dev packs a lot of style.
Sutton – Not everyone loves a surname name, but from Taylor to Madison to Mason, they’re certainly mainstream. Sutton made one of the December lists, thanks to all of her small screen appearances. The more I hear her, the more I find myself thinking that Sutton could be on the uptick.
Mary – How can ordinary Mary make a list of most intriguing names? It isn’t so much the classic appellation, but her fall from use that surprises. Generations of women received the storied, elegant name, but suddenly she’s fading as quickly as Miley. Meanwhile, Elizabeth remains in the Top 20.
Beau – He’s a handsome Southern gentleman with a hint of cowboy, too. Beau seems to be one that I can’t stop talking about, and he’s catching on in the English-speaking world, too. Despite his masculine meaning – Belle is the feminine equivalent – Beau has been spotted on girls, too, sometimes respelled Bo.
Arrow – Call it the most unexpected word name of 2012, boosted by a Hunger Games/Avengers-fueled interest in archery. Arrow sounds like a modern virtue name, more daring than Archer or Artemis, as fresh as Harlow or Marlowe. It isn’t headed for the US Top 100 any time soon, but a handful of girls and boys are answering to Arrow.
Scout – Harper is hot. Atticus is cool. If we’re sourcing names from To Kill a Mockingbird, will more parents go the Bruce Willis–Demi Moore route and name a daughter Scout? It also has potential as a boys’ name. Scout made the list back in April, and continues to surface as a possibility on some parents’ shortlists.
Jenico – I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the first six names on this list, but spotting Jenico on a birth announcement? That would be a shock. He’s a medieval spin on Ignatius, one that hasn’t been heard in ages. But Jenico could be great – with built-in nicknames Nico and Nick, he can stand out or fit in.
Sylvie – Jason Bateman made headlines when he and wife Amanda named their second daughter Maple. But it was Maple’s middle that caught my eye. Sylvie feels like a cross between Sophie and all of those lovely, vibrant v names of which we’re so fond.
Isabelline – Isabella is a great name, but she’s everywhere. The elaborate Isabelline is a color name, a shade close to parchment. It’s usually used to describe horses or birds. I love finding Isabelle, Isabel, and especially Isobel in the middle spot. Discovering a little Ava Isabelline or Maya Isabelline? I’d swoon.
What were your favorite names of the year? Are there any that weren’t on your radar at all in 2011, but seem to be everywhere in 2012?
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on December 28th, 2012 at 12:00 am
I’ve fallen in love with Mary over the past few weeks- might just be the holiday atmosphere, but it is a strong, classic name with an amazing religious namesake. Plus, it makes a much better middle name then Marie, with the same style but much more uniqueness-spelled-right.
I can definitely see Isabelline rising into the top 1000. The trendy -line ending makes it a viable alternative to the uber popular Isabella, and takes away some of the Twilight association.
Dev and Sylvie will most likely a mark on the charts, albeit a small one, due to parents following the British nickname trend.
on December 28th, 2012 at 12:26 am
Most of the names are nms but Arrow is on my very, very short list for boys and has been for maybe 6 months. I feel like it’s popping up a lot lately but I hope it doesn’t get too trendy because I would use it for a boy in a heartbeat.
on December 28th, 2012 at 12:37 am
I adore Beau and Scout. I’m considering both as middle names! I also think Sylvie is gorgeous! Mary, on the other hand, is way too common!
on December 28th, 2012 at 12:40 am
I love Sylvie and Sylvia. Would have definitely used one of these for a daughter, but my hubby nixed them immediately. Dev is interesting. I’d never use it, since I have a 4-letter last name and all of my other kids have 3- or 4-syllable names, but it is definitely cool. Sutton is actually my grandmother’s last name, but I can’t get behind it as a first name. And I am not a fan of Isabelline. At all.
Caspian is my favorite celebrity baby name of the year. I have always had a soft spot for Caspar, and Caspian gets close to it without the friendly ghost association.
on December 28th, 2012 at 7:20 am
Great collection, Abby. My personal favorites: I admit to a soft spot for Sutton, but would probably be more likely to name a child Sylvie.
on December 28th, 2012 at 9:35 am
Sylvie has my vote! I adore her and have for years.
on December 28th, 2012 at 9:38 am
Oooh Isabelline is pretty! It seems like a better middle name though. It’s very frilly.
I have had my eye on Isabetta though.
To my dismay, reality tv stars Rob & Amber used it in 2012, so I hope it doesn’t get too popular now.
Arrow is a tv show now based on the Green Arrow comics, so I see Arrow becoming popular with celebrities, maybe. Personally, I would only use it on a dog.
Caspian is my fave celebrity baby boy name of the year.
on December 28th, 2012 at 11:04 am
My new baby nephew’s middle name is Bo 🙂
on December 28th, 2012 at 11:22 am
Ack! Sylvie is the name we plan on using for my baby in March.
on December 28th, 2012 at 11:26 am
Couldn’t help noticing Beau and Arrow were next to each other…they’d be excellent for boy twins 😛
on December 28th, 2012 at 11:46 am
I kind of love the idea of using Beau for a girl but spelling it Bowe. What do you think? Would it work?
on December 28th, 2012 at 11:48 am
Sutton is on my list and I once knew a girl in college who went by it (it was her last name) and I just loved it – though I don’t necessarily think it works with our last name.
I remember hearing Bo on a girl in the movie “Signs” and it totally suited her. I liked it, but I’m not sure I would be brave enough to use it.
I come from a line of “Mary”s and while I like it, I’ve always looked for one of the alternate names for Mary, like: Mollie, Marielle, etc.
on December 28th, 2012 at 1:06 pm
Mary is what my mom wants me to name a child. I think it’s a bit too plain Jane for me right now, though I confess I may be swayed by the nn Molly to go with it.
on December 28th, 2012 at 1:35 pm
I love Arrow and Beau. I have a Spanish friend named Isabalina, which is close to Isaballine. I don’t really care for Sylvie, Jenico, Scout, and Dev, but Sutton is coolio and I have always had a sweet spot for Mary becase it was my Step-Grandmas name; I do find it strange that this classic beauty is falling of the charts since I know at least twelve between the ages of seventy-three and newborn.
on December 28th, 2012 at 1:35 pm
More masculine surnames for girls…..REALLY don’t get the appeal of Sutton, it’s literally one letter off from the word button. I bet if someone asked about Button as a name, people would give them hell, lol.
Love Sylvie, Isabelline is interesting, but I prefer other Is- names, such as Isemay or Ismene.
on December 28th, 2012 at 1:38 pm
I do however like Silvia. It is pretty.
on December 28th, 2012 at 3:32 pm
I love Sutton, but for a boy. I guess it’s okay for a girl, but… I don’t see it at all! And I like unisex names.
Dev is too nickname-y for me but it’s okay, and I like Arrow and Sylvie. Isabelline is interesting, and I also like Scout for a nickname.
I don’t like Mary, Beau or Jenico. By themselves, at least. And I think Jenson is much better. 😉
Anyway, those are just my thoughts. I would definitely name a son Sutton, though.
on December 28th, 2012 at 6:25 pm
LOVE Sylvie. And my eldest daughter’s best friend is named Scout so I love it as well. Her little sister is Wren, which I think is just a darling sibset. Mary is a beloved classic and I could see Sutton on a girl but I prefer it for a boy.
on December 28th, 2012 at 7:59 pm
More love for Sylvie here. One of the users on here had Sylvie Dove as a combo. So lovely!
on December 28th, 2012 at 11:42 pm
We considered Beau for our first, I remember how much I loved it then. Now it doesn’t seem like something I would use at all.
I love Mary. Such a pretty look and sound. I think maybe a lot of people see it as a middle-aged name. There seems to be a ton of Mary’s in their 50s and older but not so many younger than that. I really love it though and would love to see it on a baby, and I’d definitely use it as a middle name. And I’d use something like Mary Jane as a first.
Sylvie is very sweet. Christmas twins Goldie and Sylvie?
on December 29th, 2012 at 6:31 am
What about Elvy of Elvie?
on December 30th, 2012 at 5:38 pm
I posted a color names blog with Isabelline in it ^_^ I also knew a girl named Bo (she was from Thailand).
My favorites from the list are: Sylvie (we’re using Sylvana and Sylvie is the go to nickname) and Dev (but I prefer the longer Devereux. Arrow is something that would be very interesting in the middle I think.
8 Rising Baby Name Stars For 2013: The Girls | Upswing Baby Names Said
on January 1st, 2013 at 6:31 am
[…] Sylvie may place near the bottom-middle of the above list, but its star may soon rise. I can picture Sylvie catching up to Louisa. First of all, Sylvie is the second highest ranked of these names on BabyCenter (at the time of writing). And then when I visited nameberry while writing this article, it was right there as a title name for Nameberry 9 Roundup: The Year’s Best from Scout to Sylvie to Sutton. […]
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