By Abby Sandel
Love your girl names romantic, flowery, and with syllables to spare? Even as parents embrace boy names for their daughters, and put mini names like Ava and Mia in the US Top Ten, other families are going the opposite direction.
Now Kevin and Danielle Jonas gave us a great example of elaborate, even frilly names with their choice for their new arrival. Congratulations to the family on the birth of daughter Valentina Angelina, a sister for Alena Rose.
Plenty of parents prefer names syllable-rich. These longer names tend to offer nicknames galore, but don’t assume that they’ll shorten these three- and four-syllable appellations.
If long, romantic girl names are your style, here are nine more rising choices to consider for a daughter.
Serena – Peaceful Serena shares something with virtue names like Grace. But there’s also record-setting athlete Serena Williams, as well as the character that made Blake Lively a star – Gossip Girl’s Serena van der Woodsen. After several years of sliding, Serena gained more than forty places last year, to rank Number 411 in the US – and Number 250 on Nameberry.
Cordelia – The first of several literary names on the list, Cordelia comes from Shakespeare’s King Lear. Along with fellow Cor– names Cora and Coraline, Cordelia has risen dramatically in recent years. It’s back in the US Top 1000 after more than fifty years’ absence – and ranks a sky-high Number 106 on our site.
Louisa – Louisa also teetered on the edge of obscurity for years, but is back in the US Top 1000 – and at Number 136 on Nameberry. Louisa May Alcott makes the name literary and accomplished; nicknames Lucy, Lou, and Lulu keep it playful. It’s a logical substitute for Sophia or Amelia.
Clarissa – As a child actor in the 1990s, Melissa Joan Hart played two characters with frilly, feminissa names – teenage witch Sabrina and Clarissa, of Clarissa Explains It All fame. Clarissa had fallen sharply since the 90s, but on the strength of Claire and Clara, rebounded over 60 spots to Number 700 last year.
Estella – This name turns Stella up a notch, and brings to mind the character from Great Expectations. Frillier than sensible Esther, and less expected than many other Ella names, Estella has risen over 80 places to Number 874 in the US, and makes the Nameberry Top 500.
Galilea – Many of the most feminine names are also vintage revivals, as familiar in 1916 as today. But Galilea is new, a feminine form of the equally rare Galileo. It shares sounds with chart-toppers like Layla and Leah. No surprise, then, that Galilea rose over 130 spots to rank Number 637 in the US.
Aviana – Another name seldom heard before the twenty-first century, Aviana smooshes chart-toppers Ava and Ariana. Actor Amy Adams named her daughter Aviana in 2010. One year later, it debuted in the US Top 1000. Now it stands at Number 661 in the US, and Number 358 on Nameberry. As for the spelling, Avianna with two Ns is not far behind – just like Ariana outranks Arianna.
Lorelai – Not all of the romantic girl names end in a. Lorelai stepped from German folklore to the small screen with the 2000 debut of Gilmore Girls. Lorelei might be the more traditional spelling, and it remains more popular in the US, too. But with a Netflix reboot of the series coming out later this year, Lorelai continues to garner more attention. It rose nearly 170 spots last year, to Number 651 in the US – a new high.
Magnolia – Take Violet and Lily, mix in an affection for elaborate, romantic names, and you’ll have Magnolia. The name gained nearly 200 places last year, reaching Number 633 in the US – and Number 326 on Nameberry. 1927 musical Showboat gave the name to a main character. Many years later, Hart of Dixie used the name for a teenaged character. With nature names so in vogue, sweet, Southern Magnolia could catch on in a big way.
What are your favorite romantic, elaborate, and feminine names for girls? Do you think we’ll be hearing more of this style?