Sassy Short Girl Baby Names: Blythe, Blake, Blair

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by Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

After years of long-frilly girl names, the winds of fashion are once again shifting and one syllable names are getting recognition.

There are several lovely one syllable names with quaint femininity such as Jane, Rose, and Mae. And then there are one syllable names that are less girly, the streamlined chic names.

Here are some names that are short on frill but full of spunk.

Bex – This diminutive of Rebecca makes a sharp edgy stand alone name with the trendy X.

Blair – was considered primarily a boy’s name until 80’s hit sitcom The Facts of Life introduced Blair to girls. Blair hit the girls’ top 1000 for the first time in 1980, one year after the show first aired.

Blake – still dominates for boys. This may soon change. Blake’s popularity on girls has gone up dramatically, most likely due to actress Blake Lively.

Blythe / Blyth – Hollywood actress Blythe Danner familiarized the name, but the main character in the animated kids’ show, The Littlest Pet Shop, may inspire contemporary children to name their future daughters Blythe.

Bree – The name of Fancy Nancy’s best friend, Bree, exudes energy with just one syllable.

Greer / Grier – are both forms of a Scottish surname and have been used on Hollywood children. Greer is Kelsey Grammer’s daughter and Grier is Brooke Shields’ little girl.

Jill – A mid-century favorite with nursery rhyme credentials that has been passed over for Jillian in recent years. A renewed interest in short names makes Jill stylishly mod.

Joss – British soul singer Joss Stone (born Jocelyn Eve Stoker) made this name familiar. While a good nickname for Jocelyn, it’s very uncommon as a given name.

Laine / Lane – Striking yet simple as a stand alone name and a great nickname for Delaney. The nickname could also modernize Elaine.

Lark – boasts many wonderful meanings. Not only the name of a songbird, Lark also means “carefree adventure” or “prank”. The ideal name for the mischievous girl.

Neve – Canadian actress Neve Campbell reportedly loves her unique name, the maiden name of her mother. While the name remains unique in the U.S., in the U.K. it recently hit the top 150.

Noor – A multicultural choice with both Arabic and Dutch roots (as a short form for Eleonora). Known by American-born Queen Noor of Jordan. Makes an elegant stand alone name or a terrific nickname for Eleanor.

Paige – For a relatively modern name that wasn’t widely used until the mid-20th century, Paige seems timeless and sophisticated.

QuinnQuinn was once predominately a male name. 2010 was a pivotal year for the well-known Irish surname. That year the name was almost equally popular on boys and girls, but since then, Quinn has exploded on girls. In 2012 there were nearly twice as many girls as boys named Quinn. The name’s success on girls goes back to the 90s, possibly due to influences from 90s TV shows Dr. Quinn, Medicine Women and the animated series Daria with Quinn as the younger sister of the title character.

Reese – Made famous by actress Reese Witherspoon (born Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon), this anglicized form of Rhys has become very fashionable on girls since the turn of the millennium. The Rhys spelling is still predominately male.

Rue – An unexpected color name and a medicinal herb. This could become one of the next connector middle names that is unusual as a first name.

Shea – A multifaceted name with origins from an Irish surname and the African shea tree where shea butter is extracted. A sleek nature name.

Sloane – Perhaps best known as Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend in the classic 80’s comedy. This name–until recently–remained low-key. Sloane is zooming up the chart now, but had potential to become a hit decades ago.

Wren – A tiny songbird with a tiny offbeat name.

Wynn / Wynne – A Welsh surname with a breezy style that means “blessed” or “fair” .

This list is dominated by surnames and Hollywood personas (both real and fictional). But these nature names add some diversity: Lark, Rue, Shea, and Wren.

Regardless of origins, these names are perfect for those who like a smart, sporty, sophisticated image.

Angela created Upswing Baby Names to celebrate names on the upswing. She is an avid name-watcher and periodically features names she watches on UBN. One of these Names to Watch: Blythe, inspired this list of short, sassy girl names.

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About the author


Angela Mastrodonato created Upswing Baby Names to celebrate names on the upswing. She is a big-time name watcher, and has a growing list of names she watches by tracking their popularity each year. Sign up here to get your copy of this Watch List.
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17 Responses to “Sassy Short Girl Baby Names: Blythe, Blake, Blair”

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elliebean13 Says:

August 5th, 2013 at 12:12 am

I like Blythe, Quinn, Wren and Wynn. Nice list, Angela!

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

August 5th, 2013 at 12:59 am

Bex – I love this nickname, but am not a fan of Rebecca, except for its other nickname, Becca.
Blair, Blythe/Blyth, Greer/Grier, Shea, Wynn/Wynne, Neve – Not really a fan
Blake – I knew and had a crush on a Blake in school, so despite any raises in it on girls, it’ll only ever be a boys name.
Bree – I want to like it but just can’t.
Jill – I only like Jill as a nickname for Jillian and even then I prefer it “cutened” to Jilly.
Joss – I like it as a possible nickname for Jocelyn, but beyond that, not a favorite.
Laine / Lane – I like this name and can’t decide how I prefer it spelled.
Lark vs Wren – Lark’s a good name, probably my favorite of the bird names. Beats Wren in my book
Noor – Would never have thought of this as a nickname for Eleanor, but it’s cute in that sense.
Paige, Reese, Rue – All favorites of mine. I hope they don’t get too popular.
Quinn – I prefer it on girls but it’s a good name either way
Sloane – I agree with the article. I’m surprised this name didn’t become popular earlier. It’s a good name but, when I hear it, I think of a preppy, popular girl, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Tay2thestars Says:

August 5th, 2013 at 1:38 am

Layne is my sister’s name! Great list, Angela!

Guest Blogging News: Sassy Short Girl Baby Names | Upswing Baby Names Says:

August 5th, 2013 at 6:50 am

[…] Rafe inspired my Nameberry guest post, The Motorcycle Riding Poets, my post on Blythe inspired the Sassy Short Girl Baby Name post, which is running on Nameberry […]

niteowl13 Says:

August 5th, 2013 at 8:06 am

Bex is great! Thanks for this post! Frilly names for girls sound nice, but some of them are just too much. Even though I am not big on nicknames, I am always looking for a spunky nickname for them. I always go back to the short and sweet one syllable ones as my favourites. I love Neve! Bree is a favourite too. Great list!

EmilyVA Says:

August 5th, 2013 at 11:54 am

Blyth??? Blyth reminds with Myth or Biff. I don’t know. I have never heard this one. I don’t particularly like it either. It looks like someone left off the e on Blythe.

You can spell Blythe Blithe. I prefer the Blythe spelling. This name is one of my favorites. (Although I am not sure I see it as spunky.) I will use it either as a name for a person or character. I also like Quinn and Noor.
While I like Blake, Blair, Laine/Lane, Paige and Jill they all seem dated to me. (Although Blake as a boy’s name does not seem dated.)
I think Rose and Mae will become popular. I also like June which I think is spunky and belongs on this list.

KateMP91 Says:

August 5th, 2013 at 11:58 am

Lane, Shae, and Sloane are my fav’s..but I love them all!

kacl Says:

August 5th, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Blake, Blair, Quinn should stay boy names in my opinion, is every name gravitating to the girls?

Greer, Wren, Wynn ( Wynne not so much )
Blyth, Rue

marinadancel17 Says:

August 6th, 2013 at 12:24 am

Just gotta say, this picture is precious!

My #1 name (Rose) is one syllable. I like Blair, Rue, Sloane, and Wren. I’m not sure if I would actually use them, but I think they would all make awesome middle names!

Erinm Says:

August 6th, 2013 at 5:10 am

I don’t understand this new obsession with ‘Sloane’. I’m sorry but it’s a really unattractive name. Say it over and over again. Ugh, it’s so clunky it’s depressing. Moan, drone, groan, sloane.

Erinm Says:

August 6th, 2013 at 5:12 am

Oh and love that picture. Baby legs are so hilariously adorable

HannieKitt Says:

August 6th, 2013 at 6:53 am

I know a few short-for-Rebecca/Rebekah Bexes and one of my best friends is a Jill.

From this list I like Blythe, Lark, Neve and Wren. I find Sloane, Greer, Blair and Blake very ugly (though I don’t mind Blair and Blake on boys) and I don’t get Rue as it quite literally means regret and it’s not even a hidden meaning.

skizzo Says:

August 6th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Atrocious list.

Shea, Wynn, Blake, Blair, Quinn, Lane, Reese are boy names.

Rin Says:

August 6th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Blythe has been a favourite of mine for a few years now, if I ever have a daughter it will be a top contender…if it can bump my #1 girls’ name, Fern, from her position!
I have a love/hate relationship with Greer/Grier. I really like Joss, as a nickname, but it rhymes with our last name, which is a no-no!
Noor, is also lovely, but I’d never use it myself as it seems you’d need the right heritage to pull it off. A blonde haired, blue eyed kiwi kid, named Noor, just doesn’t seem to work, despite the meaning of the name!

Kibby Says:

August 6th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Love so many of these. However I would almost put money on the fact that Quinn’s upswing in popularity is due to Glee!

alphabetdem Says:

August 6th, 2013 at 11:25 pm

I just recently considered Lark for the first time. I quite like it, but I would only use these as a middle name or nickname. They’re not substantial enough for a first name for me.

I’m not really a fan of Wynne, Neve, Lane or Blythe, and I only like Grier, Lane, Quinn and Sloane for other people. Joss is all boy to me– because of Joss Whedon! Blake is also only for boys.

Bex is adorable for a nn, and I also like Wren, Rue and Paige.

tori101 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Ah such a interesting article, great list Angela.

I love Blythe, Quinn, Lark, and Wren. I think Rue, Paige, and Noor are also nice choices but I wouldn’t use them as first names. I prefer Noor as nickname for Eleanora! I think Bex should remain a nickname for Rebekah in all honesty, I really don’t think Bex works as a name in her own right. Blair/Blake are also great choices but I prefer Blair for a girl and Blake for a boy. I also like Reese but only for a boy as a first choice, I think Reese could work as a middle name for example Vivienne Reese. I’ve seen Shea rising in popularity similarly with the Shay which feel similar in style and look. Sloane, Greer, and Joss are unattractive in my eyes! I also like Lane but prefer Lane as middle name, for example Rosalie Lane. Neve is a nice choice but I prefer the Irish spelling Niamh.

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