Today, we present word names on a Valentine’s theme. Modern English word names are a style that just keeps growing, and the twelve on this list are a mix of rising favorites and rarities still waiting to be discovered. Although they all link to Valentine’s Day, they’re lovely names for February babies or indeed, those born every day of the year.
This is a name to please both romantics and comic book fans (and romantic comic book fans). Arrow is undeniably a weapon name, but in the sense of Cupid’s arrows of love, it feels less military and more symbolic. The link to the superhero Green Arrow gives it extra cool points, as does the “o” sound ending. Archer has shot up the charts in the last decade, and its cousin Arrow shows signs of following.
Whether it’s a word for a sweetheart, a bow tied in a ribbon, or the bow to Cupid’s arrows, this is one hot syllable. You’ll find it in lots of stylish names, from Bowen to Bodhi, but Beau on its own is neat and streamlined. In America it leans male, but in the UK Beau is more unisex: it ranks 177 for boys and 274 for girls. If you like your spelling simple, use Bo – or if you prefer it fancy, Beaux is a modern variant.
Ah, the image of lovers meeting for a tryst under a leafy bower. With woodland names like Oakley and Forrest coming into style, you’d think Bower would be seeing some use…but you’d be wrong. It only made the charts once, back in 1920. Name your child Bower now, and they’ll have a pleasant, familiar word name that sounds fashionable but is incredibly rare.
The most romantic of birds, doves were sacred to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Dove hasn’t been used as much other bird names like Robin and Wren, but with its double symbolism of love and peace it makes a powerful and gentle choice. If you prefer a hidden meaning, there are many names from words for dove in other languages, such as Callum, Jonah and Paloma.
We heart Hart, and we suspect that more parents will fall in love with it this year. This surname/animal name sounds, of course, just like heart, the symbol of love and the place where we traditionally feel emotions. It’s been rare up to now, but it suddenly came onto the radar in 2018 when two celebrity couples – Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel, and Jim Edmonds and Meghan King Edmonds – chose it for their sons. There’s also the literary reference to Hart Crane.We hope to see more Harts coming soon!
A sparkly stone can be a Valentine’s Day gift, and a name for a precious baby. Gemstone names are very much in style, and if you can’t decide whether to choose Ruby, Jade or Aquamarine, Jewel covers them all. A vintage hit made popular again by singer Jewel Kilcher in the 1990s, it’s now used steadily but isn’t likely to skyrocket any time soon.
This name is a bit dainty and a bit luxurious, but also has an easygoing surname vibe. Part of the appeal is its similar-yet-different feel: it sounds like a fresh twist on Lucy, and a successor to 1970s favorites Stacey and Tracy. Lacey was most popular in the 1980s, thanks to TV cops Cagney and Lacey, but is still used steadily and seems to be on the way to becoming a modern classic.
Want to say it with flowers? This word for a small bouquet is sweet, innocent and fresh. It feels vintage, but it’s been used more in the last ten years than in the whole of the twentieth century – possibly helped by the rising star of baseball player Buster Posey. Also spelled Posy, it can be a nickname for Josephine, so it fits with other old-timey nicknames that parents are rediscovering, like Elsie and Minnie. For a more traditional Valentine’s Day flower name, Rose in all its variations is evergreen…or ever-red.
In medieval times, courtly poems, songs and stories were said to be in the “Roman” style, and so became known as romances. Roman is still the word for a novel in several languages – and for a bonus connection, Saint Valentine lived in Rome. Altogether this name is strong, full of history and, er, romantic. It’s become a modern sensation, entering the Top 100 in 2016.
Love poetry is a cornerstone of Valentine’s Day, and if you want something more than “Roses are red”, a sonnet – such as one of Shakespeare‘s – is a good option. Romantic but with a no-nonsense sound, Sonnet is one of several poetical word names that have gotten a lot of interest in recent years. Others include Story, Lyric and Poet.
As cuddly as the toy that bears (sorry) its name, Teddy also has a rock-and-roll edge like 1950s British Teddy Boys, and can be shortened to solid, dependable Ted. Teddy is big in the UK, but is still relatively uncommon in America – although there are probably Edwards and Theodores going by Teddy that the data doesn’t show.
Valentine’s Day is all about true love, being true… so what better modern virtue name to celebrate it? It’s not just for Kardashians: True was already rising for both boys and girls before Khloe used it for her daughter last year. There’s also the edgy spelling Tru, as in the TV drama Tru Calling, and sweet Truly.