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Vintage Modern Girl Names: Margot or Juliet?

Seeking an oldie name that still feels fresh

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

 She says vintage; her partner prefers something more mainstream. Where’s the sweet spot?

Emma writes:

My partner and I are expecting our first together in less than two months! My partner has two daughters already; Olivia Sadie and Lucy Elena and I’ve got another Penelope Tilda. We’re team green, but I have a feeling it’s a girl (which probably means it’s a boy!)

For a boy, we are pretty sure on Hugo. The Hu- part is the first two letters of my MIL‘s maiden name (Hunter), and the -go are the first two letters of my mum’s maiden name (Gordon).

We’re having a lot more trouble with girl’s names. DP’s top name is Ava, which seems too popular. Her second top name is Evelyn, but it’s my goddaughter’s name, and I feel it’s too close for comfort.

My top name is Martha. DP hates it. My second choice would be Dorothy. DP finds it too vintage, and can’t get away from the Wizard of Oz association.

We do both love Felicity and Cecily, but our surnames are very ‘s’ heavy. We like, but don’t love Daphne, Elowen, Georgia, Rowena, Juliet, Delilah, Audrey, Eleanora, Vivian, Marina, Cora, and Arabelle.

Could you please give us some suggestions for this baby, if it’s a girl? Or even just tell us we’re being stupid and we’ve already looked over our perfect name!

The Name Sage replies:

First, may I say that Hugo from Hunter and Gordon is pure genius? It’s subtle, but meaningful. And Hugo makes a great brother name for Olivia, Lucy, and Penelope.

When it comes to girls’ names, it seems like your partner prefers more mainstream choices, while you’re willing to take a risk on the next antique revival. Evelyn is very much back. Dorothy is just starting to feel fresh again.

So what falls somewhere between Evelyn and Dorothy, but isn’t too close to the big sisters’ names? We’re looking for something traditionally feminine, and easily recognized as a given name. That means saying good-bye to Harlow and Haven and Juniper. And I think we’re probably avoiding nickname names, like Maisie and Elsie, too.

From your original list, I think Daphne, Georgia, and Juliet are all strong contenders. If you hadn’t listed them, I almost certainly would have!

But you asked for more ideas, so let’s consider some names that haven’t made your shortlist.

Ada Ada ranks Number 357 in the US, a good stands-out/fits-in choice. If your partner adores Ava, Ada might be a good substitute. It feels a little more vintage, and definitely less common.

Bianca Long and lovely Olivia sits near the top of the charts, while Bianca hovers just inside the Top 400. It’s every bit as Shakespearean and lovely, so it’s hard to say why we don’t hear more of Bianca. It reminds me of Marina from your maybe list.

Eloise – At Number 256 and climbing, plenty of parents love Eloise. But it remains far outside of the Top Ten names. You have Eleanora and Elowen on your list; Eloise might be a slightly more mainstream pick that shares the El sound.

GretaIf Cora and Georgia aren’t quite right, how about Greta? It’s one of those names that everyone recognizes, but nobody is using – it ranks Number 573.

Lena Lena might be too close to Lucy’s middle name. If that doesn’t bother you, it’s worth consideration. It feels sleek and modern, like your partner’s Ava, but also traditional, even vintage, like your Martha.

MargotSpeaking of names that bridge the vintage-modern gap, Margot does this gracefully. It’s just inside the current Top 600. Margaret might feel too buttoned-down, but Margot makes a great sister for Olivia, Lucy, and Penelope.

Sabrina Marina and Rowena make me think of Sabrina. It’s a poem, an Audrey Hepburn movie, and a surprisingly underused choice. Even in our age of Isabella and Sophia, Sabrina only ranks around the 350 mark. But will Sabrina work with your surname?

Vera – I’ve saved the best for last! Take Ava, add an antique patina, and you’ll have Vera. It has the same vivacious sound as Ava, but style-wise fits in better with Cora. At Number 312, Vera probably won’t have to share her name often, if at all.

I do think Vera works nicely as a sister for Olivia, Lucy, and Penelope. It combines qualities you both seem to want in a name.

But there are some great options on your maybe list, too. My favorite is probably Juliet. It gives all four girls a different ending to their names, and there’s not a trace of an ‘s’ to be heard.

Readers, what would you name a sister for Olivia, Lucy, and Penelope?

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About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.
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25 Responses to “Vintage Modern Girl Names: Margot or Juliet?”

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thomasina Says:

May 2nd, 2017 at 11:11 pm

As mommy to a Dorothy I do think it’s on the brink of revival, especially since it carries so many adorable and current nicknames. My daughter alone goes by Dot, Dora, Dottie, Thea and sometimes is called Dorit or Dorito by my husband. So it’s of course my first recommendation.

I have to say though, that bridging Emma’s style with her partners the perfect options are Margot, Juliet and Eloise (or Eloisa if you prefer it more Latin rather than French). They fit perfectly.

Suggestions: Sylvie or Sylvia, Louisa or Louise, Mabel, Josephine, Adele, Leona, Lenora, Beatrice or Beatrix, Violet, Daisy, Ruby, Liliana or Lillian, Mae, Matilda, Evangeline, Clara, Flora, Phoebe, Rosemary, Hazel, Lavinia, Rosalie and Willa.

BrittanyBrown Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 1:28 am

Wondering why you suggested “Lena”, The Name Sage? They already have a daughter named Lucy Elena”.
I think you should go with a shorter, unexpected and refreshing vintage name like….

Sylvie
Delia/Della
Cora
Blythe
Mavis
Maven
Willa
Etta
Edna

Be well and congrats!

amylette Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 7:53 am

Some suggestions – Florence, Josephine, Amelia.

If she likes Evelyn, what about Everly. And if she loves Ava, what about Eva? Slightly less popular than Ava, but has the Ev from Evelyn. Evie’s a lovely nickname too for either option.

LAINY Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 8:20 am

Violet <3

Bobcat108 Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 10:38 am

When I look at the set of Olivia, Lucy, & Penelope, I think British all the way. W/that in mind, what about Verity?

I second Sylvie/Silvie, Clara, Josephine, & Phoebe from thomasina’s post, & I *love* Juliet.

Perhaps…

Emiliana
Octavia
Delphine
Cordelia
Corinna
Theodora/Theodosia
Isabelle/Isabeau
Annabelle/Amabel
Miranda

Good luck! 🙂

livsmama12 Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 11:34 am

Love all the names! What stood out to me is that all the girls names have an L in theme. Keeping that “theme” in mind, I’d suggest:

Annabel
Amelia
Matilda

And I’ll agree with the previous suggestions of Mabel, Violet and Juliet.

I personally think Olivia, Lucy, Penelope and Violet make a great sibset!

Revlon Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 11:49 am

Clara also came to mind.

Amiehj Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 12:17 pm

I know an Avelyn, it is a nice cross of Ava and Evelyn.

RL Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 12:49 pm

I’ve liked a lot of the suggestions above (esp Juliet and Amelia). For additional names, what about:

Astrid
Honorine
Rose
Agathe
Victoria
Heloise

If you have been considering Eleanora, what about the French variation: Alienor (al-ee as in see-ay as in say-nor)?

Bassilly Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 3:41 pm

I love the suggestions of Ada and Margot! If the ‘t’ is too much, you could always go Margo. I think Ada is just a lovely choice.

kennamoon Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Vivia
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Coraline
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Delaney
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Blaire
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Kenna
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Tatiana
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Talia
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Tabitha “Tabby”
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Wynn “Wynnie”
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Gwen
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Gwyneth

Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Adelaide
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Betsy
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Celia
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Dory (cute/underrated alternative for Dorothy)
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Eden
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Freya
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Genevieve (I personally love Ginny as a nickname but it doesn’t need one)
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Hazel
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Ilana (Hebrew version of Alana)
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Jessa
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Kimberly “Kim”
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Lindsey
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Meredith (I think it might be my favorite match!)
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Nadia
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Ottilie (Kind of a combo of all the names!)
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Perry
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Quin
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Ramona
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Selena
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Teagan
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Uma
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Valerie
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Willa
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Xaviera
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Yara
Olivia, Lucy, Penelope & Ziva

can90 Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 6:43 pm

I feel sad that Francine isn’t added to this list. 🙁 It’s my favorite! <3

ARead Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 7:15 pm

I’d just like to second Adelaide, Rosalie, Coraline, Verity, Delphine, Sylvie, and Ottilie! All on their way back, I think, but none over the top popular!

Have you considered something like…
Seraphine
Susannah
Clementine

eechick Says:

May 3rd, 2017 at 9:23 pm

I love the recommendations of Sylvie/Sylvia!

Some other well known yet vintage name choices can be:
Alice
May/Mae (maybe too nickname?)
Adeline
Hazel
Clara
Louisa
Ruth
Jane
Nora
Flora
Marie

Cordelia16 Says:

May 4th, 2017 at 9:10 am

I agree with a previous poster who mentioned it would be nice to carry on the L-somewhere-in-the-name tradition, even though it was unintentional!

With that in mind, and trying to follow your styles, I like Juliet/Julia, Delilah, Alice, Natalie, and Hazel… with Hazel I like that each of the girls would have the L in a diff place within their names!

Otherwise I like/suggest

Miranda… also a character from Shakespeare, and more vintage than Marina
Sabrina
Veronica… uses the V that partner seems to like (Olivia, Ava)
Daphne
Vera… uses V + short and spunky like Cora
Ada… like Ava but nowhere near as popular
Greta
Marina
Audrey
Nora/Norah
Margot

Best of luck! BTW I love the origin of Hugo for you both!

Cordelia16 Says:

May 4th, 2017 at 10:39 am

Just remembered you want to avoid S sound, so I will retract Alice from my list!

MamaEnzi Says:

May 4th, 2017 at 1:57 pm

How about… ?
Charlotte
Alice
Caroline
Eleanor
Amelia
Audrey
Poppy
Genevieve
Beatrice
Catherine
Josephine
Juliana
Clara
Eliza
Rose

Genevieve Apple Says:

May 5th, 2017 at 4:16 am

Some great suggestions so far! I particularly like Greta, Margot, Vera, Sylvie, Mabel, Josephine, Beatrice, Evangeline, Clara, Flora, Hazel, Willa, Della, Florence, Delphine, Miranda, Verity, Astrid, Rose, Adelaide, Genevieve, Francine, Ottilie, Susannah, Jane, Natalie and Eliza.
Some other ideas that spring to mind are:
Edith, Geraldine, Tamsin, Elodie, Saffron, Amelie, Lenore, Philippa, Agatha, Marion, Harriet, Jemima, Clarice, Bryony, Simone, Lilian, Ida, Yvette, Angeline, Iris, Eve, Ophelia, Emmeline, Francesca, Margery, Athena, June, Frances, Gemma, Estelle, Anneliese, Zelda, Erin, Naomi, Nina, Stella, Thea, Gillian, Tabitha, Marceline, Portia, Maxine, Anastasia, Lois, Esther, Heidi, Elspeth and Myrtle.

Piciacio Says:

May 5th, 2017 at 9:18 am

My favourite type of theme!

Violet
Coraline or Cora
Cecile or Cecily or Cicily
Juno
Evangeline or Evangelie
Martha or Marta
Mabel
Sylvie
Aurora

roemom Says:

May 5th, 2017 at 2:30 pm

How about:
Georgina – like Georgia but more polished
Leonora
Aria
Valentina
Bellamy
Bernadette
Love the vintage names, I have a Vivienne

Kate4hisglory Says:

May 5th, 2017 at 11:17 pm

I love Josephine, that way Penelope isn’t the only one with a longer name. And the s is buried in the middle of the name, so it shouldn’t clash with surnames. Another name is love is Jessamine. The s is more prominent in that one, but it is beautiful and classic. And both have great nickname potential, and syllable-wise, both would sound nice with small middle names like Ava or Leah. Other names that are gorgeous but may not be too popular are:

Octavia (close to Olivia, but still adorable)
Malin (a form of Madeline)
Henrietta (Etta is adorable)
Francine (Francie, anyone?)
Johanna
Tamsin
Vivienne (Vivi, ya-ya! Get it?)
Florence
Greer
Magnolia (trendy now, with Maggie as a nickname)
Theodora (close to Dorothy with the cute nicknames Thea, Teddy and Dory)
Wilhelmina (Willa, Mina, or Minnie)
Rowena (old made new again)

And a tip from the many baristas I seem to befriend: don’t make your child’s name too complicated, because baristas will never spell it right, and that just leads to frustration.

stormy5656 Says:

May 6th, 2017 at 3:56 am

Olivia, Lucy, Penelope, and…

Charlotte
Julia
Emilia
Lila
Antonia
Lydia
Violet
Stella
Aurora
Elizabeth
Arabella
Charity
Scarlett
Clara
Hannah
Hazel
Audrey
Camille
Laura
Caroline
Abigail
Evelyn
Annika
Molly
Verity
Isla
Eleanor
Natalie
Vivian
Claire
Madeline
Sadie

oliviamcdonald Says:

May 6th, 2017 at 10:39 am

I vote for Juliet, Margot or Clara.

But how about Adeline/ Adaline? It is vintage but fairly mainstream. Can have the nn Ada, among others(Adele, Delia, Addie, Del), and it sounds similar to Ava and Evelyn.

CleoEmma Says:

May 7th, 2017 at 11:56 am

Oh, wow, thanks very much for answering us! We have actually already decided on Camilla if its a girl, but I’m also really loving Margot!

namelove Says:

May 11th, 2017 at 10:12 am

Sabine
Aurelia
Elise
Adair
Georgianna

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