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Stylish Names: What’s Their Secret?

Stylish Names: What’s Their Secret?

Some stylish names share a first initial: Vowel names are particularly popular right now, for instance. Other times, it’s a rhythm or ending sound: Boys’ names with two syllables that end in N or R are big these days.

Still other fashionable names share an ethnic origin such as Irish or a gender identity like unisex or girly-girl.

But the names here, among the most popular AND the most stylish names of our day, have something much more illusive in common. You might even find yourself adding many of them to your shortlist without putting your finger on their mutual appeal.

The secret: An L in the middle.

That might seem like a little thing, but we posit that the L sound, particularly fashionable now too as a first initial, rings all kinds of positive bells in our subconscious, relating to such uplifting qualities as lovely and lilting and, well, even uplifting.

It’s no accident that the following L-in-the-middle names are stylish these days, particularly for girls. Some examples:

Alexa
Alice (plus Alyssa and sisters)Amelia
Brooklyn (plus most names that end in lyn)Camilla
Celia (and Cecilia, Cecily etc)

Charlotte
Chloe
Delilah
Elena (and variations, such as Eliana)Eliza
Elizabeth
Ella
Elodie
Elula
Emily
Eulalie
Gabriella
Hadley (and most names that end in ley)Isabella (and all Bella names)Isla
Jocelyn
Juliet (and Julia, Juliana etc)Layla
Lila
Lillian
Lily
Lola
Madeline
Makayla (and all Michaela and Kayla variations)Mila
Millie
Natalie
Nola
Nellie
Olivia (and Olive)Penelope
Polly
Scarlett
Stella
Tallulah
Tilly
Willa

There are some examples for boys too:

Alexander
Cullen (also propelled by the Twilight influence)Elijah (and all the Eli names)Julian
Milo
Nolan
Oliver
Silas
Tyler
William

Along with a handful of unisex examples:

Bailey
Charlie
Dylan
Jaylen
Riley
Taylor

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.