Unusual Girls’ Names: Lotus, Arrow, Pehr, and the rest of the Nameberry 9


Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain focuses this week on some bold and daringly unusual girls’ names that made baby name news.

Some weeks I’m astonished by the range of names we can choose for girls.

We love our children regardless of gender, but when it comes to talking baby names, many of us seem to be on Team Pink.  The statistics bear this out: almost 79% of boys born in the US in 2011 received a Top 1000 name, while the same is true for just 67% of girls.

2012 social media babies Like and Facebook were both girls, and rumored baby Hashtag is also supposed to be a she.  Meanwhile, former #1 name Mary has plummeted to #112, while her male counterpart, John, remains a relatively common #27.

Bottom line: right or wrong, we take more risks when it comes to naming a daughter.

This week’s nine most newsworthy names are all on the wild side – girls’ names decidedly out of the ordinary.  Do they go too far?  Or are they all valid twenty-first century options?  What do you think of:

SeverineBérénice Marlohe plays Skyfall’s Severine. Marlohe is the latest actress to share the screen with the legendary James Bond.  It’s also worth noting that, unlike many a Bond girl, her name is not a double entendre.  Severine has deep roots, stretching back to ancient Rome.  Her sound is severe, but she also conjures up Harper Beckham’s middle name, Seven, and lots of ends-in-ine names, from Clementine to Caroline.

Arrow – If Severine isn’t sharp enough, how about Arrow?  We’re naming children Archer, and Bo, so another archery name seems reasonable.  Musicians Aja Volkman and Dan Reynolds recently welcomed a daughter called Arrow Eve.

Beroe This is my favorite from last week’s Stump the Masters list: Beroe, submitted by acawood. In Greek myth she’s the daughter of Aphrodite and Adonis.  Beroe looks a little bit like Arrow, but she’s pronounced ber oo ee, something like Chloe and Zoe.  If Phoebe is a hit, why not Beroe?

Bergamot – While we’re talking Beroe, how ‘bout Bergamot?  It’s the name of a citrus fruit from Southern Italy, as well as an herb.  As edible names go, Bergamot is one of the more exotic.  Without an easy nickname, though, she might be tough to wear.

Lotus – Australian filmmaker Shalom Almond is a new mom.  Shalom’s name is drop dead gorgeous, and she and partner Oskar Linde have chosen an equally lovely name for their daughter: Lotus.  This trio could win some sort of an award for best named family.

Pehr – Oh, but Lotus has some competition!  Marginamia profiled a couple named Artemis and Nao.  Their new baby girl is called Pehr.  The couple explains that it is a Swedish boys’ name related to Peter and also a Hindu girls’ name.  Pehr reminds me of tailored girls’ names like Sloane and Blair.

Jaymes – Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean recently welcomed daughter Ava Jaymes.  If Ava is a predictable choice, Jaymes was a surprise.  She shares dad’s middle – his full name is Alexander James.  Many of us are reluctant to hear masculine names on girls, but what would be a feminine form of the name?  JamieJamesettaJamesina?  All possibilities considered, Jaymes works pretty well.

NoaJaymes may be an invented feminine form, but Noa is a legitimate one.  Matilda Magazine recently shared a birth announcement for a baby Noa.    In our age of Mia, Ava, and Zoe, Noa is one that should work.

Troy – Late last month Belgian DJ Pat Krimson and his wife Jolijn named their new baby girl Troy.  It’s a wacky choice at first glance, but the couple was inspired by French place name Troyes.  And Troy isn’t a common boys’ name in Belgium, meaning that while the name is unusual, it may not be perceived as gender-bending, at least at home.

Are you more daring with girls’ names that boys’ names?  Do any of these appeal to you, or do you think they’re too different?

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz