Short, Sophisticated Girl Names You’ll Love
By Abby Sandel
The Oscar-winning actor and his public relations executive wife chose a sophisticated, nickname-proof name for their first child. Iris has so many qualities expectant parents seek. It’s literary and glamorous, but not too much for a young child to wear. It’s nearly impossible to shorten Iris. And ecovintage Iris feels modern, but has history to spare, from the ancient world right through today.
If you’re after a name with those qualities, you’re not alone! Let’s take a closer look at nine names with the same qualities as Iris. None of them rank in the current US Top 100, though all are rising in use.
Arden – Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden is part-real, part-fantasy, and perhaps influenced by his mother’s birth name – Mary Arden. Actress Eve Arden and cosmetics entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden also wore this as a surname. But it has a history of use as a given name, too, charting for boys and girls over the decades. Arden currently stands at Number 912 for girls in the US.
Esme – Literary and with a winning meaning – beloved – Esme has recently gone from true rarity to rising favorite. JD Salinger gave the name to a character in a 1950 story. It’s also the name of the vampire matriarch in Twilight. Esme ranks Number 682, increasingly familiar but still nicely underused.
Gwen – Tailored names for girls range from surnames like Sloane and Blair to traditional favorites like Claire and Grace. Gwen falls somewhere in between. The name almost caught on during the 1950s, and has made a comeback in recent years, reaching Number 746. Some credit might go to the talented Gwen Stefani, or maybe it’s our growing preference for short, nickname-proof names.
Ivy – Speaking of short, Ivy packs a lot of style into just three letters. Like Iris, Ivy is a nature name that sounds like a given name – and has an equally long history of use. From turn-of-the-century actresses to Beyonce’s Blue Ivy, it’s often been a name in the spotlight. At Number 129, it’s the most popular suggestion on this list.
Mae – Hollywood icon Mae West makes this name every bit as glamorous as Audrey or Harlow. But it also feels prim, even lady-like, thanks to its springtime associations. The mini name has climbed to Number 589.
Margot – One of the secrets to choosing nickname-proof names is to focus on names that are already shortened. Margot started out as a French diminutive for Marguerite. Margot is up to Number 593, boosted by talented actress Margot Robbie, that fashionable ‘o’ending, and our ongoing affection for names that feel vintage and modern at the same time. Not a fan of Margot? A similar possibility is Greta.
Ruth – Biblical Ruth has a serious side, but also a compassionate one. In the Old Testament, Ruth pledges her loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi. The name ranked in the US Top Ten for almost four decades at the turn of the twentieth century. Now at Number 293, Ruth shows signs of revival.
Selah – Another name inspired by the Old Testament, Selah means “to pause” or possibly “to praise.” At Number 479, it’s rare, but not unknown. Actress Sela Ward’s name has different roots, but the same pronunciation. Selah serves as an intriguing update to Sarah, or an alternative to Leah.
Thea – Like Margot, Thea originated as a nickname for Theodora and Dorothea. At Number 464, Thea is far more popular than any of the longer forms. Credit the rise of Theodore and Mia. Other short names with a vintage vibe include Ada, Lena, and Vera, any of which would wear well for a daughter born today. Thea feels like a name that’s instantly familiar and seldom heard – exactly the combination so many parents crave.
What would you add to this list? Do you like this style of name?
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on June 19th, 2016 at 11:24 pm
I love Noor.
on June 20th, 2016 at 1:27 pm
I love most of the names on the list which is funny since I tend to like longer names with nicknames.
on June 20th, 2016 at 1:43 pm
Iris Mary is perfect. I also love:
on June 20th, 2016 at 9:45 pm
Liberty Bell, those are some of my favorites, too!
I prefer these shorter names to the elaborate feminine ones. A girl can run and get up trees faster unencumbered by a great deal of frill. 🙂
on June 21st, 2016 at 9:45 am
Single-Syllable Names for Girls – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on June 26th, 2016 at 10:46 pm
[…] week, we looked at short names for girls, like Iris and Thea, Esme and Ivy. This week, let’s go even shorter and focus on girls’ names with just one […]
Ruby Byler Said
on July 1st, 2016 at 1:29 pm
The name Esme was introduced to me by name berry!!! And the first time i saw it and knew how it sounded i completely fell in LOVE with the name!!! It is officaly an all time favorite name of mine. I’m only 14, so i guess you could say i am one of those young name nerds, but what can i say i love the adventure of finding new beautiful names, its fun, and a hobby! So a name nerd i am, and i am proud to be called a name nerd! But anyways so since i am only 14, if there are children in my future, Esme would be a name that i would LOVE to use for my baby girl!!! : )
sophisticated girl names with cute nicknames | Girl beauty 4 you Said
on October 31st, 2016 at 7:52 pm
[…] Source: Short, Sophisticated Girl Names You’ll Love – Baby Name Blog … […]
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