Positive Baby Names Lift the Spirits
Positive baby names can take many forms, including names with uplifting meanings in different languages. The news that Grey’s Anatomy actress Caterina Scorsone is now calling her daughter Lucky — short for Lucinda — is a reminder that upbeat names don’t have to be subtle.
They can also be English word names, shouting their joy from the rooftops.
The names below are (mostly) not traditional virtue names. We could argue the point, but being Merry or Sunny doesn’t feel like a virtue in quite the same way as Grace or Honor. Instead, these names are pure positivity and perkiness — something we can all use at times. Like Lucky, many of them could be short for more formal names, too.
Ace — For a name that means the best at something, it’s fitting that Ace is peaking right now. It’s punchy and positive without sounding over-the-top, and has been used by celebrities including Jessica Simpson. It shares the “ay” sound with many other popular names. Altogether, we’re not surprised that parents are falling in love with it.
Bliss — Another one-syllable name that makes a big impact, with a deeply contented meaning. Along with its sister name Blythe, it makes a great statement middle name and several Nameberry readers have used it as such. But we’d love to see it more in the first name spot too.
Bonnie — This Scottish word meaning pretty was popular in the 1940s and has been undeservedly forgotten since then — at least in the States. It’s a Top 100 name in Scotland, England and Wales. A modern association is Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films.
Delight — This bold word name might feel like a wildcard, but it has been used occasionally as a first name for girls over the years. And Delilah is currently popular, so why not this joyful choice that sounds so similar?
Glory — Sweet, simple Glory was never as popular as Gloria, which means that now it sounds fresh and undated. It’s one of those names that can be what you want it to be: spiritual or secular, celebratory or humble. In the last few years, it has started to see some use on boys as well as girls.
Jazz — One of the coolest musical baby names, Jazz as a standalone name is given to equal numbers of boys and girls, rarely but consistently each year. If you’d like it to be short for something, Jasmine is the obvious. But it could also be an interesting spin on classic names like James, Jacob or Jane.
Joy — The most classic name on this list, short and sweet Joy has never been out of style. The movie Inside Out, with its perky heroine, nudged it back up the charts. Much rarer are Rejoice, Joyous and Joyful, which have all been given to a handful of girls in recent years.
Marvel — This awestruck word name had a mini-wave of popularity in the 1910s, 20s and 30s, but recently The Hunger Games reminded us it could be a name. The long reign of the Marvel Universe in movie cinemas has probably also helped to keep it in parents’ minds.
Merry — A cheerful name that has perhaps suffered from Christmas associations, and from sounding like Mary in some accents. If it appeals but you’re not sure about putting it on a birth certificate, it could be short for anything from Meredith to Merlin to Romero to Esmeralda.
Poppy — British parents have long loved this bright, peppy flower name, and Americans are finally catching up. It stands alone, but could also be a nickname for something more elaborate like Persephone or Paloma.
Sunny — It could be the recent solar eclipse, the cute baby sister in A Series of Unfortunate Events, or just that a bit of sunshine lifts the spirits. Either way, Sunny is a word name to watch. It entered the girls’ Top 1000 in 2017 and looks (sun)set to keep (sun)rising.
Winner — In the style of the ever-popular occupational names, Winner makes a bold statement about hopes for the future, or maybe a baby who has beaten the odds. It’s much rarer than the Latin translation Victor, but the last three years have shown growing interest in Winner.
Would you consider using any of these names?