Underrated Baby Names: What’s your nomination?

The question of the week is:

Is there a name that to you seems to have everything going for it and yet hasn’t caught on?  Do you have a theory as to why it’s been neglected?  Maybe it’s a Nameberry fave that outsiders haven’t discovered or maybe it’s your own personal pleasure (guilty or not).

Is it part of a whole category of names that you consider underrated?

Or is it a name that you think has been misjudged–for all the wrong reasons–and that you’re willing to make a case for here and now?

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78 Responses to “Underrated Baby Names: What’s your nomination?”

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Tara Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 1:29 am

I think most of the names us Berries love are very underrated. Charlotte is definitely one of them, at least in the US. I know it’s catching on, but we are so slow. It should be epidemic already, not that I want it to be. If it never becomes too popular, I will use it but right now I’m expecting it to be. Others include Aurelia, Geneva, Callista, Stella, Violet, Vera, Alice, Rosalie, Vivienne, and Felicity. Some of these aren’t exactly underrated, as they are becoming popular, but I expected them to be everywhere now. I expected Violet to be so much more popular than seemingly obscure Isla, but I guess I was wrong. But I think many name enthusiasts are overly eager about name trends changing, so much that we sometimes forget that the general public takes awhile to settle down and them move on. So I guess trends don’t change as fast I we think they do. But if I ever see Charlotte up at number one (which is one of my predictions for coming years) I will be happy, even if I never get to use it, because it means Americans are making good, sophisticated choices.

NameLover Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 2:47 am

Jemima and Dinah (at least in the States). I think it is because they are seen as slave names. Past time to move beyond that and use these great, Biblical names. I also love Jasper, but I think it is about to boom, so can’t complain.

Eglantine Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 4:53 am

(In Australia)
Girls: Florence. Cecily. Dolly.

Boys: In the US it seems to me there is huge potential for a big Celtic/Gaelic revival. Hamish being a prime example.

Eglantine Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 4:55 am

Oh, also in Oz. I think Wasps will embrace Asian names (we are considering Toshio for a boy). I think our multicultural demograph is changing and naming will reflect that, moving away from Italian and Greek and Gaelic naming practices towards Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese etc.

Elizabeth Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 5:15 am

I think Jemima is underrated.

Namer Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 6:39 am

Judah! I think it’s a great boy name, but perhaps people are shying away from it because it reminds them of Judas? (or they are concerned it will remind others of Judas?) It seems to fit the biblical trend for boys, yet isn’t very popular.

Kim W Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 6:59 am

I submit Louisa as a very underrated name.

ycw Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 7:19 am

I love Biblical names, but to me Jemima is syrup and the way we know about Dinah is that she got raped and her brothers murdered an entire town for her…. I really like Tamar but can’t get past the associations on that one either.

I think Martha is ready for revival.
Other underrated girls’ names: Charity, all of the Dor- names (Doris, Dorothea, Dorothy, etc.), Evangeline/Evangelina, Faith (but I think this is on the way up), Joy, Lydia, Pearl, Patience, Rachel, Rhoda (she’s a great choice, ripe for comeback and very modern sound), Ruth (also ready for a comeback, I think), Sarai, Susan (so ready to come back!), Selah, Trinity, Virginia (another one that’s ready to come back; think it may do so even….)
I know Eden is rising; loved this when I first heard/read it…
I like Magdalen/Magdalene/Magdalena/Magda/Magdala so much better than Madeleine (let alone Madelyn); also much better than Margaret imo; and one could use Maggie or Maddie.
I like that Ruby is rising….

For boys, I love obscure Biblical names.
Some gems are completely overlooked:
Asa, Ephraim, Judah, Silas, Shem, Seth
Some are occasional choices but not really rising:
Abraham, Gideon, Jesse, Moses, Mark, Nehemiah, Peter, Simon
Some are too weird to ever get really popular:
Hezekiah, Japheth, Mephibosheth, Methuselah, Mordecai, Naphtali, Obadiah, Zacchaeus
Some are really rising in popularity:
Elijah, Ezra, Josiah, Jeremiah, Levi, Malachi
I don’t understand why Ebenezer is so verboten; it has a lovely meaning and the famous character who ruined it does become a good guy.
I love John; I think it’s due to come back bigtime.
I also think Alfred is due for a comeback.

LJandRL Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 7:29 am

Mirabelle – just doesn’t seem to have caught on with the other Bel/Belle/Bella names for some reason, which I’m happy about!!

Danni Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 8:39 am

Classic Greek and Latin names, which are a personal favorite of mine, are extremely underrated in the mainstream world of baby naming. Though I am happy to see that Celtic/Gaelic names are getting more popular in the States, it’s quite sad that many excellent names are ignored, lost, forgotten, or just not used.
Some of my personal favorite underrated Greek and Latin names are:

Greek Girls: Anthea, Cressida, Electa, Evongeline (WAY prettier than Evangeline, which I think sounds harsh), Helena, Hermione, Ianthe, Ophelia, Penelope

Greek Boys: Artemas, Sirius (Latin from original Greek)

Latin Girls: Arabella, Aurelia, Aurora, Aveline, Aviana, Avis, Christabel (also French), Florence (also Italian place name), Juno, Marina, Minerva, Ruby (getting attention though!), Valentina

Latin Boys: August

I’m not sure why many of these do not take well in the States. I think for Americans, these names lie within a realm of ancient, mythological names that are too “high-fashion” for everyday use. I obviously disagree!

Madeleine Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 8:51 am

Florence, for sure. Its so popular in places like the UK, and barely acknowledged here at all. Its gorgeous.

I’m also going to second John – I cannot believe its at its lowest popularity its ever been in SSA history.

Stephanie Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 9:07 am

Verity and Amity. I think Amity is overlooked because of the “Amityville Horror” true crime and movies based off of it. Verity I can’t understand at all…it is so pretty!
I also am susrprised Winona never caught on. It is so beautiful and has a nice meaning.

For a boy I am surprised Fletcher hasn’t been more popular with the occupational surname craze going on.

Meredith Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 9:18 am

Greer for a girl. It’s a surname, been used by a celebrity, unique, has the old Hollywood glamour factor… I can’t figure out why it is never mentioned, even on Nameberry!

Jenny Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 9:22 am

Prudence. I like the sound of it. I like the meaning. I even like the meaning of ‘Prude’ for the most part. Although I think most parents would go with ‘Pru’.

phaedra Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 9:41 am

Girls: Miriam
Boys: I agree with whoever said Asa! Also Ezra.

SJ Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 9:53 am

I’m always shocked that Beatrice is so uncommon. I feel like it was really common in the 1990’s in the US, but according to the stats it’s never been above 500 in my lifetime. When I first saw it in the 800s on the Top 1000, I thought for sure it had to be a mistake! To me it’s in the same gently old-fashioned, ladylike-without-being-frilly vein as Isabelle, Violet, Lillian, Evelyn, etc.. I think there’s several other names in this group that will be following those up the charts.

I also agree with the virtue names Verity and Amity, to which I add Felicity. I think they’re all lovely and the virtue part is more subtle than, say, Grace or Faith. Maybe that’s part of the problem–not enough people realize what they mean.

itsreelygreat Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 10:03 am

I keep thinking of how the name Fiorella is extremely underrated — I’ve hardly ever even seen it mentioned on Nameberry. I think it has so much going for it — Italian, “ella” ending, spunky sound. I think Fiorella is absolutely lovely.
I second the nominations of Aurelia, Violet, Alice, Felicity, Jemima, Louisa, Verity, Beatrice…

Jaeryn Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 10:04 am

Associations and impressions about a name are often strong and hard to break. After reading Dante’s Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso I fell in love Beatrice! How could you not? She is glorious! However, the name is seen as quite the opposite of Dante’s character–dull, unintelligent, even fat or ugly! How can this be?

I also think Veronica and Magdalen(a) are similarly underrated.

I think Classic/Roman/Greek names are also underrated for both genders–Marius, Aquillo, Caio, Sabina, Calandra, Calliope.

I am adamant that boys names should stay in the boys camp and not be lost to the girls (except as maybe a middle name in honor of someone), so some now “girl” names are underrated for boys–Kelsey, Ashley, Courtney etc.

Annelise Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 10:20 am

Isadora – It’s a substitute for Isabella/Isabel, with familiar nickname options like Izzy, Dora, and Dorie, but it remains amazingly rare. I’d be surprised if Isadora Duncan had much to do with it, so maybe it’s just that clunky D in the middle?

Warren – With all the hubbub over boys’ names that end in “N” and contain soft, pliable (almost feminine sounds) where’s Warren? Too grandparent-y? Too war-like? Too many questionable connotations? (How many parents today would think of Teapot Dome?)

Jaime Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 10:46 am

Hmm…here are a few that I love that I don’t hear often:

Daphne
Rosemary (Romy)
Rosalie
Gemma
Edie
Enid
Eira
Carina
Francie (as nn for Frances or Francesca)
Helen
Nova
Berit
Marit
Sybil
Sunniva
Margot
Greta
Marnie
Veda

AND
Burke
Milo
Rufus
Callum
Grady

I’m pretty sure most are either just too unfamiliar to Stateside ears (Eira, Enid)…or some are considered too musty yet (Helen and Rufus)

Honestly, I’m mostly glad they are underused in case I decide to use one for baby #3. 😉

Mamie Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 11:02 am

I think that Edmund is an underated name. It is a classic, literary name which sounds familiar but is not too popular. I has a similar feel to currently popular “old man” names such as Henry and Oliver. It has cute nickname options in Ned and Teddy. I’m not sure why it is so underated, even on nameberry, though some may be wary of the likely nicknames of Ed and Eddie.

Sachiko Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 11:08 am

I’m hesitant to list great names I think are underrated, because that would reveal the contents of my short list, and I selfishly want to keep those awesome names all for ME! Which is utterly ridiculous.

ycw–how did you know? I’m strongly considering Selah as a finalist.

Evangeline–I agree with the Japanese names. I’ve seen more of an interest in them lately among my non-Asian friends. I have friends/acquaintances who’ve adopted from China and that produces a predictable interest in Chinese names.

Jaime–I LOVE Sunniva!

I’ve been hearing rumbles towards strong historical names for boys–hearing about boys *almost* being named Leonidas, for example.

And I met a grandma of a Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus! Isn’t that FAB? Talk about class and pedigree in a name. Light-years beyond any of the -aidens.

I predict with the very recent trending towards short names with strong consanants, Dutch names will get even more popular. It seems like with Dutch name they never use two syllables where one will do. Griet, Mart, Sanne, Bram, etc.

I think Adeline could stand more attention. And I want more Puritan names–Patience and Comfort and Steadfast and Fortitude. I know Mercy and Honor have caught on with the celebs, and I’ve personally met a Justice (boy) and several Chances.

I think Idony deserves far more fame and glory than she’s got.

I’m surprised I haven’t seen more Isabeaus. (Idony and Isabeau are both on my short list)

I want more Letty and Nellie and Hattie and Agnes and Flossie. But never Fanny. Fanny, I am sorry to say, will need to remain underrated until our idiomatic usage of “fanny” disappears. Just like we’ve had to let go of names like Gaynor.

I have to say I am delightedly shocked that people are using BETTY again. Betty! Fantastic.

Sachiko Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 11:11 am

Yes, Sybil and Sybella–it’s so close to Isabella, you’d think people would flock to it. Ditto about Isadora *nod to Annelise*

Abby@AppellationMountain Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 11:29 am

Constance. I love Constance. Sure, Connie is dated – but if all those little girls can be called Charlotte in full, no nickname required, why not Constance?

Sachiko, I’m with you on Hattie and Betty. Great names!

Huxley is my new favorite boys’ name, British pig be damned!

Kat Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 11:38 am

I agree with Mamie about Edmund – should have added that to my Shakespearean name list!

Kat Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 11:39 am

oops; it looks like my Shakespearean names comment didn’t even make it. 🙁
Well, I think Shakespearean names are underrated.

Chloe Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Susannah! I love the name, and I love that it is unpopular (at least in Canada) but I think people need to look twice at Susannah! It has so much potential!

For boys I think Sullivan is being overlooked. It, like Susannah, has so much potential!

Kat Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Okay I will try this again…

Shakespearean Names that are Underrated:

Girls: Rosalind, Ophelia, Beatrice, Luciana, Helena, Hero, Paulina, Cordelia, Regan, Silvia, Viola, Perdita

Boys: Cassio, Claudio, Lorenzo, Horatio, Duncan, Titus, Lysander, Demetrius, Balthazar, Caliban, Malcolm, Orlando, Oswald

braveangel2 Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Bonnie

I have a feeling about this name…it’s nick name-like without being a nick name for anything specifically, it received two boosts within the last 100 years – first, Gone With the Wind (Bonnie was the nick name Rhett gave his little girl) and the second when the 1967 movie, Bonnie and Clyde came out. I just watched Toy Story 3, and the little girl in it is named Bonnie. I think it’s due, but was suprised it’s not even in the top 1000.

Bella Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Jemima, Delilah and Aisling

Jemima for the ‘slave’ connotation, Delilah for her bad girl rap and Aisling because most, including myself, would rather pronounce it A-sz-len than Ash-lEenG.

Lauren Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

There are several, several names which I think are underrated, but Ephraim definitely tops my list of underrated names. I love it and wish others wouldn’t crinkle their noses everytime I say it!

Kat Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Stephanie, I can’t do Amity because of the movie Jaws. The place was called Amity Island; I have a huge fear of sharks!

Linelei Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

In names already mentioned, I’m voting for Magdalen/a, Prudence (who can resist Pru as a nickname?), Hattie, Calliope, Silas, and Callum.

Also, what about Brigit? It’s so rare to hear of a Brigit nowadays, and I think it is one of the best names out there. It’s spunky and fun yet steeped in meaning and depth.

And for boys: Lazarus. Great meaning, biblical but rarely (if ever) heard, and has the fabulous nickname of Laz. Uh oh, I shouldn’t talk it up too much. This is my number 2 choice for a boy.

Becca Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I agree with whoever said Selah! I love it!
I agree with whoever said Rufus, Sullivan, Fletcher! Great names!

Sachiko Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Oh, yes, Linelei–Brigit/Bridget is awesome. She comes from solid name stock and she’s full o’ spunk. And she has that awesome nn Bridie. I LOVE Bridie! If we were more Celtic and less Japanese around here I would be all over Bonnie and Bridie like white on rice.

I love Lazarus too. I think there’s some historical association with leprosy with the name, but I wish he could shake that off and, haha, rise again. It’s a great name.

Charlotte Vera Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I’m in favour of a revival of “er” names like Gertrude and Earnest. I know that names that end in “er” are popular for boys, but placing it in the first syllable seems not to be done these days. I love names like Gertrude, Hermione, and Earnest.

I’m also a big fan of Eglantine, but I think that the “egg” associations throw people off.

NameGoddess Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Kat: I agree on the Shakespeare names! And so many of them have modern nn possibilities (Benvolio-Ben, Tybalt-Ty, Sampson-Sam, etc.) I’d love to see these gain more recognition.
Hero is a personal favorite of mine. What’s not to love about it??

Elena Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I definintely second Ephraim, Magdalen, Hermione, Penelope, Prudence, Christabel, Edmund and Susannah, amazing!

I would like to add Bryony, Clemency and Kerensa for girls, and Conan, Tor and Remy for boys 🙂

Toni Vitanza Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I miss all the Marys, Susans (and Susannahs) and Nancys.

loraena Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Definitely Jemima (that bad rep has got to go!). What about Beulah? It’s got a nice meaning and is so similar to lots of popular names. Also Imogen, Cecily, Bryony, Susannah, Elsa.

For boys, I agree that Ebenezer should be on the rise. Also Barnaby & Atticus. Those are all names my husband and I like, but aren’t convinced others are quite ready for them…

braveangel2 Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Mary

Mary should come back around too. There’s this really cute commercial where a little girl named, Mary decided what color she’s going to wear that day and after I watched it for the first time, I thought – that’s a perfect name for a little girl who doesn’t want to get pigeon-holed into a category. Plus, we’ve done Marie, Maria, Mariah, Maryann etc. Time to let this little name shine again I think.

Christina Fonseca Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Rowena

I don’t expect people to like Millicent, but I love it!

eplj Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Neil is a great boys’ name. I think it’s got tons of all-American, good-guy, midcentury-modern appeal. I picture Neil wearing vintage baseball T-shirts and looking out for his little sister, Margo.

My husband, however, thinks Neil is an easy-target name for teenagers who want to make dirty jokes. Is that why it’s not being used?

Theresa Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Bridget makes me think of britches. But I do live in a place where the word “britches” is actually used for “pants.”

I love Cordelia. It sounds pretty, and it has the Celtic/Gaelic background everyone’s so crazy about. Although, it does always remind me of the character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

christy Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Helen – It might sound old, but the Helen of Troy connotations still work in its favor. It would also make a great middle name; it’s classy, and it means “bright”.

Graham – It’s so very handsome, and it works on someone of any age. Graeme just confuses me, though. — Christy (Margaret)

ann Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Boys: Magnus and Duncan.
Magnus is very popular in Sweden and Norway, but I believe it also has Irish roots (as a surname?). It is a similar feel to all the Max names (Maxwell, Maxfield, Maximus, Maximilian) because of the similar meaning. People say Magnus is over-the-top, but I don’t agree with that, it’s just uncommon. It is two syllables, easy to pronounce, and strong. Maximus is at 249, Maximilian at 479, and Maximiliano at 460. How are these names so popular and Magnus isn’t even in the top 1000? Why do people say Magnus is “too much,” but Maximus and Maximilian are so popular?
Duncan is a strong, Shakespearean name and I was surprised that it was only at 732, and dropping steadily in popularity. I love this name! I think the Dunkin’ Donuts association bothers a lot of people.

Girls: Maisie, Freya, Willa, Thea
Maisie is adorable! It ranks high in the UK but has never been in the top 1000 here. I guess it hasn’t caught on yet, and I have no clue why! I think it is similar to Daisy (ranked #153), but less cutesy.
Freya is another name that ranks very high in the UK that hasn’t caught on here yet, it has never been in the top 1000. I think it is a lovely name!
Willa is one of my favorite names! It hasn’t been in the top 1000 since 1962. I’m surprised it hasn’t made a comeback yet, but I think it will appear in the top 1000 in the next ten years, although I never expect it to get very popular.
Thea is a beautiful name that hasn’t been in the top 1000 since 1965. It is ready to make a comeback!

Lola Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Since it looks like #4 will never be for me, I offer Maud & Cosmo as seriously underrated gems!

Maud’s so soft and sweet and a snappy one syllable to boot.
Cosmo’s got a vibrant vibe, I can’t imagine a couch potato Cosmo, myself.
And I’ll third (or whatever) Jemima, Cecily, Florence, Helen & Frances. Hey, what about Amos? He’s so sweet!

Loren Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Here are some top-200 from 1925, ripe for comeback:

Sylvia (also I like Silvia)- it’s feminine with the hip central V and seems to fit with Isabella et al.
Cora (seems likely to come back soon)
Marcella – this seems to be a popular upper-crust choice in Mexico right now

Willard
Peter
Roland
Everett
Luther
Irving
Lyle

Of these 7 boy names, only Peter and Everett are even in the top 1000 now. I can’t believe a name as classic and omnipresent as Peter has fallen to 191.

Also, I think Ellery, Olympia, Adele/Adela and Annika are all underrated (only Annika is top-1000) but fit in well with current trends.

ycw Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Lola, I love Amos–just forgot it as it’s not on my list, since DH doesn’t like it.

Lisa Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Sylvie

It has elements of the popular Sophie and Evie…Couldn’t get my husband interested in it (though both Sophie and Evie were in his top 5).

Erin Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

There are so many names on here that I totally agree with! One of my favorite boy’s names right now, which I sold my husband on as well, is Bartholomew. I don’t mind Bart (went to school with a Robert who went by Bart, so I don’t have the Simpsons association so much), and Tollie, to borrow from our British friends, is adorable! I find that I really like -ine girls’ names too: Janine, Nadine, Noreen, Pauline…and none of them are popular right now.

In our area, there are a few trends going around I can get behind. One family, in the region for eight or ten generations now, is so large that they’ve had to expand from the regular names to find ones that weren’t already taken — sort of like back when people had to come up with new and interesting nicknames for Mary. As a result, you see members of that family with names like Ambrose, Ebenezer (Eben is so cute!), Kern (shortened from Kieran), etc. In my hometown Alycia/Alysha is one of the most popular girls’ names, which my husband commented on, since before he got here he’d almost never heard the name! So I second that Alice is on its way in, definitely. One final thing I wanted to share — our neighbors, a young couple named Joe and Naomi, just had their second child last week. Their older son’s name is, predictably, Jacob, but the newborn is Moses. They’re both named for their grandfathers, though. A trend in the making?

Madi Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Elodie. I think a lot of people (understandably) see it only as Melody without an “m”- in other words, a kreeatif name. But, to me at least, it’s much more than that. It’s girly without being weak, sweet, without being syrupy, flowing, with a nice ring, while still being original. It could even have my favorite nn for a nn – Lydie. For me, this name is perfect.

Meredith Says:

July 28th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I’ve always wondered how Aurora has flown under the radar so long. (I wanted to use it, but our last name starts with “Ra” so it just didn’t work). A Disney princess, a great meaning, and a beautiful sound…what’s not to love?

And I completely agree with Prudence. I’m in love and have been for a while!! Shhhhhh on Silas. He’s my #1 choice for the next boy that I may never have.

Richard Says:

July 29th, 2010 at 12:49 am

A first name, whatever it may be, should have a lyrical quality to it. In essence, the name should “sing” when applied with the last name. Another factor to consider is uniqueness or making a statement… examples: Marion Parsons, Crystal Shanda Lear, Macy Bloomingdale, etc. Why not have some fun with it. Fun, not cruelty. Never name your child if it will turn into a sexual double-entendre. Another no-no is naming you daughter after a flower or plant. Please put an end to all of the Daisy, Rose, Violet, Ivy, Blossum, etc. Also naming you child after a month in the year is bad. Please, no more April, May, June, Julie, August(a) for the lazy and uninspired parents.

Charlotte Vera Says:

July 29th, 2010 at 2:40 am

I just looked over my post and saw that I wrote “Earnest” instead of “Ernest” — my bad!

ycw Says:

July 29th, 2010 at 3:46 am

Ernest was my grandfather. I want to name a son John Ernest (after my grandfathers) and call him John Ernest.

Katie Says:

July 29th, 2010 at 5:12 am

I totally agree that Louisa is underrated! We’re expecting a little girl in November and plan to call her Louisa. I think it’s beautiful.

Elizabeth Says:

July 29th, 2010 at 5:44 am

I think Gertrude is underrated, too.

Pdxlibrarian Says:

July 29th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Richard,

As a woman named April I respectfully disagree with you. I don’t find that my parents were lazy or unoriginal. My name is meaningful with a lovely story behind it. I get many compliments and have always felt fortunate to have such a beautiul name (unlike Jenny, which according to you is more proper, but which sounds much more lazy and uninspired to my ears).

Pdxlibrarian Says:

July 29th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

My apologies. The comment above is for Richard, not Robert.

Eva Says:

July 29th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

i nominate: SABLE. i find it simply beautiful and mysterious. it means black, and i think it would be gorgeous on a dark haired girl. with names like Mabel and Fable getting attention, why not the heck Sable? It doesnt feel as dowdy as Mabel, but its not as daring and out there as Fable.

Emmy Jo Says:

July 30th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Beulah — It’s has the simple biblical two-syllable feel of Sarah or Hannah. The first syllable echoes the word “beautiful.” Plus, it sounds an awful lot like the popular Bella. If Abigail has overcome its maidservant associations to rise to the top of the charts, I see no reason why Beulah can’t do the same.

Susannah — I’m so surprised that this isn’t in the top 1000. It has the rhythm and initial sound of Sophia coupled with the old-fashioned femininity of Hannah. It means “lily.” Plus, it works well in both Spanish and English (which I think is what makes Isabella so popular, at least in California where I live). It could serve as a reasonable alternative to any of those four popular names!

Emmy Jo Says:

July 30th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Oh, and for boys:

Hiram — It has the beginning of Henry and the ending of William. There’s nothing “out” about the long I sound; in fact, it’s found in many popular boys’ names now, from Ryan to Tyler to Elijah to Miles. And biblical boys are definitely in style … so why not this one?

Ken Says:

July 30th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Gotta put a vote in for Keziah. Don’t know why it’s not more popular.

Cate Says:

July 31st, 2010 at 3:54 am

Girls: Gloria, Imogen, Jacinda, Madeleine, Winifred
All very feminine but not frilly names which haven’t been as popular as I would have expected. Especially Winifred with the nn Winnie is simply adorable.

Boys: Angus, Gavin, Hector
I also agree with Graham – fits with the surname trend, association with ‘Alexander Graham Bell’, familiar and strong.

monica Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 3:13 pm

underrated names where I live
girls: Saela, Carla, Nellie, Jane, Cami, Lucy
boys: Nash, Phoenix, Dallas, Graham, Beau, Sullivan

Mariah Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 9:54 pm

The reason Violet isn’t as popular as expected is because it’s one letter away from the word “violent” and can sound awfully close to that when you’re saying it. Trust me on this one. I love the name and wouldn’t use it because it’s too close to a very negative word. A lot of the names Berries have listed here have similar issues. Subconsciously, people will stay away from a name if it has a close sound (or look) to something negative.

Mariah Says:

August 2nd, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Grant and Clark are two that I think will gain in popularity. Solid, strong, masculine, familiar, easy to spell and pronounce. We’ll be seeing more of these two.

Amanda Says:

August 6th, 2010 at 3:43 am

I Love the name bryson, But have yet to meet anyone with the name or see it on any baby names list. I think its an awsome name and i am planning on using it. Its Underated!

Stephanie J Says:

August 14th, 2010 at 1:52 am

Amanda- I teach a delightful boy named Bryson. I love it.
Underrated boy names (at least in the US):
Matthias- it’s so strong and can still sport the popular nn Matt, but why would you want to with a name like Matthias? Also the biblical allusions are fun. He was the apostle who replaced Judas (which I didn’t even know when I gave this name to my son).
Tyrus- I recently met an old man called Tyrus. It’s so manly!
Graham is fabulous, though it IS rising in popularity.
Everett is a strong sounding, wonderful name.
Rollin is another one I like.

To Lisa: I think Sylvie is SO great! It’s classy sounding, and at once strong and feminine.

Mary is truly beautiful, but it means bitter. I almost named my daughter Mary, but I couldn’t with that definition, even though it’s the name of the mother of Jesus. I named my daughter Anna, which is just as classic, though much more popular than I realized at the time.
I agree that Susannah is gorgeous, and due for a comeback.
Lila is beautiful and deserves more usage.
To Robert- April is a truly lovely name. It’s not too trendy, it sounds beautiful, and I agree with the previous commenter that Jenny is much, much duller than April.
I think Erin should make another rise.
Brielle is lovely.
I absolutely love Vivienne. It looks so pretty and sounds pretty. I love Vivienne Aletha.
I’m surprised Lydia hasn’t taken off.

braveangel2 Says:

August 17th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Stephanie J – I wouldn’t be quick to write off Mary, I think her meaning is more complex than that…

http://www.behindthename.com/name/mary
http://www.babynamespedia.com/meaning/Mary

Lea Says:

September 16th, 2010 at 2:11 am

Jemima: Obviously, this one is not popular in the US because of the Aunt Jemima syrup brand, but it’s a really pretty name that has been around a lot longer than syrup.

Louise: I think it’s due for a comeback. The nickname Lou modernizes it and gives it some spunk.

Pistachio Says:

October 12th, 2010 at 6:40 am

I so wish Jezebel could be used…

Mystighost Says:

October 12th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

For those of you who mentioned Ebenezer: I love that name, especially with the nickname of Ben. In fact, I think I like it even better for Ben than Benjamin. Don’t get me wrong–I love the name Benjamin. It is just that, with my odd taste in nicknames, I like Jamie better as his nickname.

In my line of work, I hear Jesus (Spanish pronunciation of hay-SOOS) almost as often as I hear Jose on older Hispanic men, but I hardly EVER meet an Immanuel/Emanuel, which I think is highly underrated. Maybe, like me, parents are hesitant to use it because they dislike Manny. Or maybe it is because there are so many different ways to spell it that nobody knows where to start.

Rachel Says:

November 25th, 2010 at 1:08 am

My daughter’s name is Ruby. It is very common in Australia (where we live). Unfournately I know three other Rubys. One is a sixteen-year-old family friend and the other two are other babies from Mother’s Group. I think Quinn (for a girl), Amira, Jumilah, Sapphira, Bethyl, Rain, Cynthia, Poppy (in America), Selatan, Adelaide and Burma are all beautiful underrated names.

la Says:

December 19th, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Desdemona

Gina Says:

May 28th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

For years I’ve been wondering why Roxanna, Della, and Mariel aren’t in the top 1000 in the U.S. They’re all so gorgeous!

withinreason Says:

March 16th, 2016 at 3:25 pm

I agree with Sachiko about Idony and Isabeau!

Other girl names which are under rated: Louisa, Mary and Agatha (nn Aggie so cute;)

I know a baby Bonnie and two toddlers named Betty!

For boys: Walter (maybe not as viable because of Breaking Bad?), Lazarus and Jonas.

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