Stylish Baby Names: The Nameberry 9–from Winter Victoria to Vivian Vespa

Some stylish baby names in Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel’s Nameberry 9.

When I heard that Lily Allen was expecting a second child, my heart skipped a beat.

I don’t know Lily Allen.  When her first baby arrived, I had to Google search to find out that she was a singer, and I’d never heard her sing until I headed to YouTube.

The British pop starlet turned television presenter made waves with her first daughter’s name, Ethel Mary, and I’ve followed her ever since.  She didn’t disappoint with her second daughter’s name, Marnie Rose.

What would you call Allen’s style?

I’m thinking “So Retro it Hurts.”  She chooses great names that few of us have the guts to use – yet.

We classify names as traditional or modern, classic or trendy.  But the truth is that everything goes when it comes names, and there are all sorts of styles and strategies to describe our approaches to naming children.

This week’s nine most newsworthy baby names are all on Team Pink.  I’ve taken a stab at describing each name’s style.  How would you describe:

Marnie Rose – The most intriguing name of the week is Allen’s throwback choice for her secondborn.  Marnie is just as unexpected as Ethel, but with an HBO Girls character answering to the spunky nickname, she could follow retro nicknames like Sadie and Hattie.

Winter Victoria – Facebook veteran Sean Parker and his fiancée Alexandra Lenas are new parents.  Call their style Tailored Moderns/Enduring Middles.  ThinkWillow Katharine or Harper Jane.  It’s a smart choice.

Bo Elizabeth – Australian notables Tim and Monique Blackwell recently welcomed a daughter named Bo Elizabeth, another name that fits in the Tailored Moderns/Enduring Middles category.

Vivid Rae – From a birth announcement at Names 4 Real, this one is a Daring Noun Name.  Many seasons, flowers, and surnames are mainstream finds on birth certificates.  Other choices from the phone book and dictionary are not.  Vivid seems daring, even outlandish, but with nickname option Vivi, she might fit right in with all of those Genevieves and Viviennes.

Vivian Vespa – Speaking of Vivi, Vivian Vespa illustrates another great strategy:  Mainstream Givens/Wild Middles.  A girl named Vespa would raise eyebrows, but the zippy Italian appellation is a delightful surprise in the middle.

Eve Marion – Swistle and company recently helped a family name a second daughter, a little sister for Sloane Eleanor.  The couple described their style as “Brisk and Breezy.”  That pretty much sums it up.

Paisley Faye – I wasn’t a fan of Jennie Finch’s choices for her sons at first.  But Ace Shane and Diesel Dean have grown on me.  They’re “Names That Will Seem Normal in Thirty Years.”  Or make that “Names That Won’t Be Out of Place in Kindergarten.”  Baby makes five for Finch and her husband, and their new daughter’s name fits right in with her big brothers.

Calvary – If you have two girls named Genesis and Nevaeh, what could you call a third daughter?  Matilda Magazine stumbled across Kalvary.  It’s an intense name – Calvary is a hill outside ofJerusalem, the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion.  But the sound is gorgeous, and for families intent on finding a spiritual name, it’s not out of the question.  Call them Nevaeh’s Sisters – names laden with meaning.

DakotaRosie O’Donnell is a mom for the fifth time, welcoming her first with new wife Michelle Rounds.  The couple went with a Cowgirl Cool name for daughter Dakota.  Names like Wyatt and Cole are still rising for boys, but wild west options for girls seem to have lost steam.  Or is she simply another name that will seem downright normal in a few more years?

What’s your favorite name style?  Have you spotted any interesting names lately?

(photo: c Anduca/

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23 Responses to “Stylish Baby Names: The Nameberry 9–from Winter Victoria to Vivian Vespa”

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Kibby Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 12:07 am

There’s something very very alluring about the name Vivid to me, not sure what it is, but it’s lovely! Love Winter Victoria also. So pretty!

TeacherMA Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 1:19 am

Winter Victoria reminds me of Victoria Winters from Dark Shadows.

WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 3:30 am

I love Marnie Rose and Vivid.

Calvary seems a bit … much, then again it’s a common name for hospitals which seems odd, and I’m not even used to Nevaeh.

Dakota already is pretty common for girls for here; so much so that it’s developed a dizzying array of variant spellings to try to stand out.

M2Mom Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 7:48 am

I love Winter Victoria although I could never use it!

Mego0801 Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 8:10 am

Marnie makes me think of that crazy lady in True Blood S4, that was her name. I really like Winter and Vivid, those are great names! Bo is my nephew’s middle name so it’s kinda weird seeing it on a girl. I love Paisley, it sounds neat, but since it’s a widely used fabric/paper/etc design and the last name of a popular singer, I would never use it.

Calvary… That’s a place where something tragic happened, I don’t think naming someone that is in their best interests whatsoever…

Elenath Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 10:35 am

For me Calcary sounds too much like Calgary.
I do love Winter Victoria though… sounds perfect.

Flick Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 10:45 am

Dakota is just tacky and classless – nothing “cowgirl cool” about it. In fact, using tribe names as children’s names is quite offensive. Paisley is just ugly and trendy.

Winter Victoria is beautiful, I love it. Marnie is ok, sounds more like a nickname, her other daughters name is much nicer, IMO.

amy_beth Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I know a little girl called Paisley, such a cute name

BritishAmerican Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I’m not at all familiar with the name Marnie. I see it’s from an old movie? So not knowing the name gives it a very different vibe to the super-old-lady sounding Ethel.

There was a 1 year old Opal at the library today. Loved seeing her name. I hope I can overhear her baby sibling’s name, in the weeks to come!

Then there was a 3 year old Maple and her toddler brother North. I was so excited to read their name tags!

Abby Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 3:54 pm

@BritishAmerican – Oh, nametags at story hour are the best!

@Flick – Dakota isn’t quite as divisive as Cohen, but it is good for parents to recognize that it may cause some strong opinions.

@TeacherMA – You’re right! Never thought of that …

Flick Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Oh, it’s just as bad – but for some reason every seems to skip over the fact that it may be(and is) offensive – no one gives it two thoughts. Many Native American tribe’s have names based out of spirituality and religion, so to just take that and use it for a name for your child is very, very offensive.

strawberrytree Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 5:49 pm

The idea that Nevaeh is a name ‘laden with meaning’ gets a big ol’ “LOL wut” from me.

I do like Winter Victoria and Marnie Rose. Most of the others- especially Calvary, Dakota, and Bo- are more cringe-worthy for me.

HerMajesty Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 6:14 pm

I love Calvery, its so pretty. Bo for a girl is interesting, being I have only seen it on male speciman. Dakota is well…… Erm, interesting. I like Winter and Marnie remindes me of the name of the girl off Halloween Town.

AnaJo Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 10:26 pm

I’m loving Calvary, though I would use it for a boy with the nn Cal. Names with meaning fits me to a tee.

Abby Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

@strawberrytree – I think Nevaeh and Calvary probably resonate for families of a specific faith perspective. It isn’t my worldview, but I’ve come across plenty of families who embrace names like these. Even if they’re not my style, I can appreciate the thought that goes into the choice.

As for Bo? Oh, I love Bo! Isabeau is one of my all-time favorites for a girl …

Ivana Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Ugh I get an adult entertainment vibe from “Vivid”

amandaberry Says:

January 14th, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I was very surprised and a little befuddled to hear that Eve Marion and Sloane Eleanor have been described as “brisk and breezy.” I’m curious to know in what way? To me the names Marion, Sloane and Eleanor are not breezy at all but very very grounded. If any name in the to 9 were to be described as “brisk and breezy” it would have to be Paisley Faye. Brisk with it’s 3 syllables and breezy because it actually sounds that way. Maybe it’s all the “n”s in Marion, Sloane and Eleanor that keep them from necessarily flowing off the tongue like the wind. Anyhow, Eve is the only name in that family I would say is accurately “brisk and breezy”.

Taz Says:

January 15th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I considered Vivid for a girl’s name to honor a David. I thought I was a genius & found a perfect name…until I brought it to the nameberry forums & found out it’s a porn video production company! Poor Vivid Rae’s parents shouldn’t come here. Or googled!

katybug Says:

January 15th, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I just love Eve Marion! I agree that it doesn’t strike me as brisk and breezy–more sleek and tailored. Two old-fashioned names that sound completely modern together.

Poppaea Says:

January 16th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

I agree with many of the comments above! Eve Marion as sleek and tailored, not breezy — yes, exactly. Well said. Love Winter Victoria and Vivian Vespa — clever pairings, original but not too weird, and pretty. Marnie I associate with the Hitchcock film THE BIRDS — either the actress or the character was named Marnie, I forget which.

Poppaea Says:

January 16th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Oops, no — wait. Wasn’t MARNIE the title of another Hitchcock film? Anyway, I associate it with Hitchcock.

Flick Says:

January 16th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

LOL deleting comments that don’t kowtow to your vast “knowledge”.

jenjenbarnes Says:

January 16th, 2013 at 11:34 pm

lilly allen is a naming goddess!

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