Finding New Names in Vintage Categories

Maybe there are certain kinds of names that you really like–flower or color names, say, or virtue names– but you’re reluctant to use one of the more obvious examples, the epidemically popular ones, attractive though they may be.  Well, there’s no reason you have to limit yourself to those few; more and more parents are digging deeper into those appealing categories and coming up with  newer sounding choices.

Take flower names. If you want to move beyond Rose, Daisy, Lily and even Poppy and Violet, you might consider these more exotic blooms that are beginning to come into their own:





IRIS (not exotic, but long neglected)







Similarly with gems–Ruby, Crystal and Jade aren’t the only jewels in the case.  Consider:








And speaking of Turquoise, there are also some richly hued colors beyond Scarlet and Siena:















Perhaps you like the idea of an avian name, but are tired of Robin and RavenHow about:

ALOUETTE (lark in French)








And finally we come to Virtue Names.  Hope, Faith and Grace certainly aren’t the only righteous names out there–also worthy of consideration:












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23 Responses to “Finding New Names in Vintage Categories”

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Amanda Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 12:44 am

This was wonderful! I especially love Iris, Wren, and Verity, but this entire list is filled with gems…no joke intended:)

Megan Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 6:24 am

Good list. We’re thinking of hazel, violet and daphne – could’ve been added to the f

Jessie Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 8:22 am

I’ve been hearing Radiance tossed around as a virtue name lately

Bernadette Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 8:22 am

Lilac is the name I want if we have a girl….still trying to pursuade my partner. I like Lilac Amelie Pearl

Elizabeth Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 11:38 am

There are a lot of great virtue names in spanish that could work nicely, my favorite is Mercedes.

bernadinehoward Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I love Azalea with the variation Azalia and I actually like the name Amity for a boy….

Abby Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Great list! I think you suggested Vrai – the French word for truth – in one of your books. That’s always been one of my favorites, at least in the middle spot.

Bernadette, Lilac is lovely!

linda Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Abby—I really like Vrai too, but haven’t heard of anyone picking up on it yet.

peach Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

I like these categories of word names. I find Lilac, Lotus, Marigold, Tulip, Azalea, Aster, Hazel, Azure, Citron, Indigo, Wren, Lark, Alouette, Serenity all appealing.

teabee Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

For unusual gems, I’m fond of Emerald and Garnet. For unusual flowers, I like the sound of Marigold and Camellia. Hyacinth unfortunately reminds me of “Keeping up Appearances!”

“The Bouquet residence, the lady of the house speaking! Oooooh, it’s Sheridan! How much, dear?”

marikm Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I think Sapphira is a really pretty Sapphire alternative…

Boston Girl Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I like most of these, but I wonder about “Turquoise”. Knowing how kids create ugly nicknames for classmates, I’d be afraid the poor kid would wind up being called “Turkey” all the time…! I do like it, but it doesn’t lend itself to nicknames other than the teasing kind. I’d probably save it for a cat or a parakeet.

Tirzah Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I really wanted to use Azure, but no one could pronounce it correctly!! (Or spell it.) We went with Indigo instead (nn Indie).

Kelley Says:

July 13th, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Indigo is my guilty pleasure name, the name I loooove, but don’t think I’d ever have the courage to use. I’m honestly surprised Emerald doesn’t get more attention given the Emily/Emma craze combined with the gem craze.

Rebecca Says:

July 14th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I have no children, so I indulge in my love for names with my pets. My kittens are called Tulip and Petunia. ‘Tulip’ is my favourite flower and we were planning on only one kitten, so it was perfect. Then, we couldn’t leave behind Tulip’s sister at the SPCA, so she became ‘Petunia’.
They are great names and I think, for a baby girl, they’d be lovely too!

Charlotte Says:

July 15th, 2009 at 2:36 am

I submit Lavender!

Katy Says:

July 15th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I’ve always liked Dahlia.

CountryLizB Says:

July 16th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

I like these names:

ailsa gray Says:

July 17th, 2009 at 4:07 pm

What about Linnet (bird name)? I also remember reading, years ago now, a series of books called the Jalna books, with a Pheasant (female) and a Finch (male). Weird and wonderful!

ailsa gray Says:

July 17th, 2009 at 5:10 pm

PS as well as six teenagers, I have six cats. Three of the cats are Pearl (white) Amber (ginger) and Jet (black of course). Three little jewels. Amber is a three-legged male, but a complete softie, and he doesn’t seem to mind that he has a girl’s name at all!

Amy Says:

July 28th, 2009 at 10:24 am

A name I used for my character on the game Rock Band, Liriope, my husband actually likes and thought we should consider it… Liriope is also know as lilyturf or monkey grass; not necessarily a beautiful flower, but fun to say nonetheless. Similar to Calliope.

LilacaRose Says:

November 28th, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I also love Juniper too, have you considered that? I would love to have a little girl named Juniper, nn June or Junie. I have a huge list of cool florals on my blog:

I also love Celastrus and Chantilly, nn Ellie and Tilly

Martina Says:

May 20th, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I absolutely love Amaryllis. Because of how my hubby and I decided to name our children, my future daughters (if we have any more) will never have that name.

I also love: Pearl, Hazel, Olive and Wren.

My grandmas name is Bernadette (as was her mom) and they always called her Birdie. Her sister Matilda (my daughters namesake) was called Tillie. Their other sister Aurelia was call Rolly.

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