Perfect P Baby Names for Girls: Poppy and Pauline
By Abby Sandel
The two biggest celebrity baby name announcements featured girl names starting with P, and both of those names are pretty unusual in the US. Designer Nate Berkus became the dad of a little girl with the P-starting name Poppy, and actor Vin Diesel became the father of daughter Pauline.
Could the celebrity baby names in the news inspire more parents? Are there even more great names starting with P that could catch on?
Let’s start with the celebrity baby birth announcements, and then move on to even more P names for girls packed with potential.
Poppy – Congratulations to designer and television host Nate Berkus and husband Jeremiah Brent on the arrival of their first, daughter Poppy. Flower power name Poppy has been wildly popular in the UK. In the US, the name remains relatively rare. Will the Brent-Berkus baby finally convince American parents to embrace this colorful flower name?
Pauline – Vin Diesel and Paloma Jimenez recently welcomed their third child, a little sister for Hania and Vincent. The new baby’s name? Pauline, in honor of Vin’s The Fast and the Furious co-star, the late Paul Walker. The seventh installment in the franchise, starring both Vin and Paul, was just released. The name choice is a moving – and timely – tribute. Here’s something else to note: the name Pauline was most popular back in the 1910s and 20s. If the hundred-year rule applies, it could be time for Pauline to make a comeback.
Polly – Molly has ranked in the US Top 100 in recent years. But what about Polly? Like Molly, Polly started out as yet another affectionate nickname for Mary. But while Molly has fared well, Polly is teetering on the edge of obscurity. The name was given to just 43 girls in 2013. It could be a way to honor a loved one named Paul or Paula, or just an unexpected retro choice for a daughter.
Persephone – Yes, Persephone is a long, extravagant name. But the same is true for Penelope, a mythological baby name that’s gone from unranked to the Top 100 in just over a dozen years. 167 girls were named Persephone in 2013 – a new high! – so it’s possible this name is catching on.
Primrose – Primrose is a botanical name and a character name from the young adult bestsellers-turned-blockbusters, The Hunger Games. Primroses got their name because they bloom early in spring – they’re the prima rosa, the first flower. It’s an unexpected seasonal name from the garden. A few dozen girls have been given the name in the US in recent years. Compared to some flower names – Azalea, Edelweiss, Bluebell – Primrose feels almost restrained.
Philomena – The current US Top Ten includes lot of long, lovely names. There’s Isabella and Olivia, Sophia and Elizabeth. Philomena would be right at home in their company. Television host Daphne Oz gave this name to her daughter in 2014, Philomena Bijou. They call her Philo for short. A saintly name and a poetic one, too, Philomena was last popular about a century ago – meaning that, like Pauline, this could be her time for revival.
Plum – Does Plum make you think of Gwyneth’s daughter Apple? Or does Plum suggest edible names that have gone mainstream, like Olive and Clementine? Writer Plum Sykes was born Victoria, but has long answered to her childhood nickname. It’s a bold first name, but could be perfect in the middle spot. The wildly named Moon Unit Zappa is mother to Matilda Plum.
Pippa – Back in 2011, a nice English girl named Kate married Will, the boy who will be king. The breakout star of the royal wedding was the bride’s sister, Pippa, born Philippa Charlotte Middleton. Pippa feels quirky and fun, but perfectly wearable at the same time. 107 girls were given the name in 2012, suggesting that the future queen’s maid-of-honor influenced some families across the pond.
Posey – Let’s end with a name that’s slightly botanical, almost poetic, and extremely rare. Also spelled Posy, Posie, and Poesy, the -ey ending is the most popular spelling. 26 girls were named in Posey in 2013 – a new high! Posey fits right in with Daisy and brings to mind indie actress Parker Posey.
Congratulations to Molly Sims on the arrival of Scarlett May, a little sister for Brooks. We were pleased as punch when Molly – and Maya Rudolph – talked about their love for Nameberry on Late Night with Seth Meyers earlier this year.
What are your favorite P names for girls? Are there others that should be on this list?