Unusual Girls’ Names: Lotus, Arrow, Pehr, and the rest of the Nameberry 9
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:
Severine – Bérénice 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? Jamie? Jamesetta? Jamesina? All possibilities considered, Jaymes works pretty well.
Noa – Jaymes 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?
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on December 3rd, 2012 at 1:44 am
Lotus isn’t too “out there”. It’s been on my favorite name list for a long time. It’s a flower, and not even an uncommon one. It’s very popularly tattooed haha.
Not too into Serverine. If it hadn’t been mentioned that it was a Bond Girl name, I’d probably comment “It sounds like a Bond Girl.”
I quite like Arrow.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 3:10 am
Cute nickname for Bergamot…Bergie.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 3:43 am
I love Pehr and Noa, and I could get on board with Arrow.
Severine sounds like her parents were French-speaking Harry Potter fans.
I don’t really see Troy as a “boy” name, but unfortunately I just don’t like it. Maybe it seems too much like Toy with an R in it.
I don’t think Lotus is “out there” either, but as you say, it just sounds perfect for her – especially as her mother’s name means “peace”, and the lotus flower is a symbol of peace.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 7:54 am
I think my favorite is Severine, but I still prefer the masculine Severin. (Mostly because in German based languages the -e would be pronounced and I think it messes with the flow of the name).
and for James I feel like there are so many other options that are more classic than Jaymes. Not direct derivatives of James but from a translation. Jacqueline would be a prevalent example. (Another example could be Jemma -> usually considered a variation of Gemma but it could also work as feminine form of Jem – which is an Medival English version of James).
on December 3rd, 2012 at 7:55 am
The only one I really like is Severine. The rest are nms.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 7:59 am
Really? James, Noa, and Troy are all boy names! No matter how cutesy you spell them! I wish people would be a little more creative than that, there is a plethora of outstanding girl’s names, let’s let the boys keep their names!
I really like Arrow, I love the way it sounds outloud, and I think it looks cool.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 8:55 am
Although Noa may be an offbeat American choice for a girl, according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, it was the #1 choice for girls in 2010. (Noam was the #1 choice for boys.) Just goes to show it’s all about perspective.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 10:11 am
All of these are terrible names
on December 3rd, 2012 at 10:17 am
Noa actually isn’t a boys’ name. Look it up on Nameberry. It’s a rare, Old Testament girl’s name. It’s different from the very similar Noah.
I do like Lotus. I’m too cowardly to use it myself, but I’d love it on someone else’s kid. Though, Arrow seems like a great boys’ name.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 10:30 am
I like Arrow quite a lot on a girl. Noa is fine, although my first thoughts on that name are my male cousin, a really irritating boy in my class and Noah Cyrus – it also looks a little like a typo. I think I could get on board with Lotus, but I’m not quite brave enough to use it. 🙂
on December 3rd, 2012 at 10:34 am
We have a user on Nameberry who used the name Arrow Milena for her daughter. It has special meaning for her and I quite like how she didn’t let anybody talk her out of it. 🙂
on December 3rd, 2012 at 11:43 am
While I like the sound and look of Beroe, it’s not only a mythological nymph but it’s also a small, oval, transparent jellyfish. That kind of puts an end to that name for me!
I appreciate the history of Severine but I think it sounds better in the French accent.
I’ve grown to like Noa but I don’t think I could ever love it enough to use it on a girl.
The remaining names are not my style.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 11:51 am
I do tend to be more conservative with boys, I notice. But I do like a few names that are less popular. For girls, my names are everywhere. I love quite a few popular girls names while I also love some more unusual ones.
I really like Lotus though! I’m a huge fan of nature names, and Lotus just sounds so pretty. You can call her “Lo” 🙂 I don’t mind Noa either, I think it’d work well as a girls name.
I’m not a fan of Severine, Beroe, Bergamot, or Jaymes though. I think using Jay, or even names with Jay sounds in it (like Jane) would have been a nice option. Beroe and Bergamot I just don’t see the appeal in. And Severine.. I can see a foreign person with the name, but its not one I’d consider personally <3
on December 3rd, 2012 at 1:31 pm
VirginiaLark is right – Noa is big in Israel. It’s also pronounced differently than Noah in Israel, though they’d sound exactly the same here.
Interesting point about it looking like a typo, though …
on December 3rd, 2012 at 1:34 pm
I am more bold with my girls names because I think it is still more accepted for a girl to have a different name compared to a boy. I do like quite a few unique boys names that a lot of people would find weird.
I really don’t like any of these names, though I can see the appeal for a few. They just don’t fascinate me. I have a hard time seeing the appeal for Bergamot though. When I say it, it sounds like burger and it doesn’t sound nice.
on December 3rd, 2012 at 1:46 pm
Awe, GigiGibbons! Thanks for remembering! 🙂 I have a nephew Mason & my sister was about 10yrs or so ahead on the popularity of that name. Maybe Arrow will be the same? Though maybe 5yrs ahead instead of 10. LOL
Thanks for putting Arrow on this list! 🙂
on December 3rd, 2012 at 11:40 pm
You’re welcome, mrstrivette! It is really growing on me … I love the sound, and the more I think about it, Arrow feels like a modern virtue name.
on December 4th, 2012 at 7:14 pm
I love Arrow on a girl! It’s modern-sounding, has a nice sound, and I love archery.
on December 4th, 2012 at 9:13 pm
I love Severine! Its pretty. I have a cousin named Lotus Penelope, Lotus for short. Her sisters are Lilac Persephone and Lavender Pandora, Their baby brother is Anthony Jamson. I also like Arrow, its cool.
on December 4th, 2012 at 9:21 pm
Sorry, just read over that post, Lotus Penelope is her first name, as is with the other three. Their middle names are Flika(like the horse), Snow, Lace, and Mattew.
on December 4th, 2012 at 10:10 pm
I’ll second that Noa is a girl’s name. I know two Jewish girl Noas here in the U.S.
Don’t like any of the other names though, sorry. Arrow would be kind of cool on a boy, but I like Archer and Bo better.
on December 5th, 2012 at 8:58 pm
I love Severine, it’s on my list for a girl. I do like Arrow for a girl too, but as a friend of mine named her son Archer, Arrow will not be on any list for me.
on December 6th, 2012 at 11:37 am
I know a girl named Noa, but she pronounces it like “now.”
on March 17th, 2013 at 2:28 pm
One of my teachers had sisters named Troy & Ryan. I always thought that was so cool, but they hated having to always explain they were girls & “yes, that is our real name.”
on July 10th, 2018 at 6:46 am
My first daughter’s middle name is Séverine and I literally came on Nameberry to check out Arrow for our 2nd girl… either I’m not that original or I’m overly unusual 🤷🏼♀️
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