What name deserves more love?

baby names

It was the headline that caught our eye:

I think that Paul has been ignored long enough!, wrote our longtime friend and berry Rollo on the message boards.

Rollo goes on to make the case for Paul‘s wonderfulness, which made us wonder which other now-dormant or widely-ignored names people might champion for greater attention.

What one name would you singlehandedly and magically bring back (or introduce to the wider world, if it’s a new name), if you could?

Nominate your under-appreciated choices, ideally with reasons you think they deserve more universal love, right here.

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106 Responses to “What name deserves more love?”

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lesliemarion Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:10 am

I think Geneva is way under-appreciated. Geneva sounds to me the name of a girl or woman full of vitality, someone who is athletic and a traveler. Neva is a lovely and strong nickname, plus I love Ginnie.

For a boy, I think Wilkie is neglected. One could have a William or Willem and call him Wilkie. The name delights me and I certainly prefer it to Willy or Bill.

RainbowBright908 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:25 am

Seeing the ubiquitous Mary falling in popularity… :'( Speaking of Mary, I’d love to see double-barrel names come back. Mary goes well with just about any other common name.

And John. I went to school with so many Johns with double-barrel names. Really, when I was in school, with a name as popular as John, you almost have to go by two names, just to differentiate yourself from the other 6 boys in your class named John. At #28, it deceivingly looks like it’s still popular. 30 years ago, it was given to roughly 2% of boys. Today, about 1 in 200 boys is given the name. I have yet to meet a single John under the age of 20.

Fourthseason Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:46 am

I would love to see more Edwina’s and Alberta’s. I think they are very polished and Lady-like. They have an all grown-up appeal about them and work at any age with no need for a nickname. I may be a bit biased about nicknames, but some just appear child-like and when you grow up, your name should grow with you. Edwina and Alberta grow with you. As for boy names, I would like to see more formal names like: Kelvin’s, Victor’s, Robert, Alfred, Kenton, Edmund, and Fredrick. I think names for above reasons I stated for the girls. πŸ™‚

Maja Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 1:15 am

Sigrid! Astrid’s popular, Ingrid’s on its way back, and Sigrid is… utterly ignored! It’s such a sleek Scandi sort of name — I like it best out of the three.

nativoyoung Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 1:35 am

Harriet. So many old-fashioned names are vogue but Harriet still appears only around the fringes. Harriet is beautiful, has a rich history (my own daughter is named after Harriet Tubman), ages gracefully, and, most importantly, sounds intelligent and powerful without being domineering. It is absolutely perfect in every respect.

Fergus. Other Irish names are getting so much love but, unfortunately, have been used to the point of lacking personality. I love a boy name that invokes a sense of mischief, bare feet, and summer freckles but still ages well. Huckleberry, without being so obvious. Those of us who know any men know that boys never really grow up. I like a name that captures that. Oscar is the quintessential name for all the above qualities listed (and is already being noticed and used), but Fergus is second in line in perfection. Plus, if you like nicknames you get Gus–and that is also perfect.

Going_Merry Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 1:46 am

Alphonse and Dresden need more love. Dresden seems really under the radar even though its such an attractive boy name. Alphonse: I love this name to bits but somehow “Alonzo” is more popular. How, I may never know because to me Alonzo would be a struggle to say, especially when its the name of a toddler but it’d be pretty cute watching a little boy try and introduce himself as Alonzo. But anyway, Alphonse and Dresden need more love!

As for the girl’s side of things, I think Dorothy needs more love. Its a name I love but everyone I know connects it to a dinosaur and hates on it for that. It’s for that reason that Dorothy needs love and its cousin Dorothea could use some attention, I suppose.

alexa400 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 1:47 am

Arietta- adds vintage charm to Aria, updates Ariadne by a few 1,000 yrs., & legitimizes Arietty while nullifying the ‘yeti’ issue. Plus with it’s similarity to Harriet & Henrietta I think it deserves a little more attention.
Perseus- would fit right in with the upcoming tide of Latin names ending in ‘us’. One of the few Greek heroes who had a happy ending & the soft but handsome nn of Percy

tabitha Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 5:05 am

Nina. I love its directness and its flow, it’s not too girly or babyish – I feel it would suit a girl right throughout her life.
Also it means something lovely in just about every language!
Spanish: little girl, Hebrew: God was gracious, God has shown favour, Persian: nice, Hindi: beautiful eyes, Native American: strong, mighty, Arabic: friend, Ancient Greek: flower.
I would love me a little Nina!

psg007 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 6:14 am

I agree with pp that Dorothy deserves more love! Also Helen and Martha – many see these names as stern and old-fashioned, but I think they are beautiful classics that need a new image!

grackym Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 6:17 am

Edith for the girls and Thaddeus or Vincent for the boys. I love all these names, but because they aren’t in regular use, hubby won’t even consider them.

KirstGee Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 6:42 am

Jemima or Martha as girls and Alan for boys family names I love but terrified to use due to being so unpopular or associated with other ‘uncool’ things

KibaTalutah Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:11 am

Kiba because it’s my name and I don’t know anybody who has it. It’s pronounced KEE-buh and the meaning is “protect”. I like it because I don’t have to go by Kiba T., it’s JUST me. I hated it when I was younger because I wanted to be a Melissa or a Jennifer but now I love it! πŸ™‚

annabelle Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:17 am

I agree with tabitha about Nina! I don’t understand why it isn’t any more popular than it is. Except for what she said, it is also seems like it fits in very well with other more popular names like Emma, Mia, Ella, Mila,…

AshleyJuliette Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 8:14 am

I feel like Ellen is under appreciated. Most people can spell this name easily, and it is feminine without any frills attached. It isn’t clunky, yet substantial enough to stand alone as a strong name.
Ellen has many nickname options considering she only has five letters. I don’t know what Ellen’s ranking is on the chart, but I don’t have to know the number to know she is ready for a comeback.

findemaxa13 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 8:27 am

I second Mary, Harriet, and Geneva.

More originally, I would like to nominate Hester. It has a beautiful meaning, and multiple strong female namesakes–it’s a variant of the Biblical Esther, as well as the name of Hester Prynne from the Scarlet Letter, who, in my opinion, is a positive namesake. Essie and Hettie are both adorable vintage nicknames, and “r” endings, especially on girls, seem very fresh and unique to me (for instance, like Adair.)

For boys, I would like to see Franklin making a comeback. Like Francis (which seems to be getting the comeback it richly deserves) it is a longer way to get to Frank or Frankie, but it has a more sturdy, masculine sound. While it also has a prominent namesake, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it’s not overwhelmingly associated with this particular person, so it works as an honorific without being too distinctive, and is a fine stand-alone name even without the presidential associations.

sorciereblanche Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 8:54 am

I definitely agree Going_Merry on Alphonse needing more love!
I think Viola needs a bit more love, and I’m using Viola for a child. I just hope there’s no popular movie or book that comes out with a character Viola that makes it super common (see: Katniss and Isabella)

TaylorBlueSkye Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:03 am

I was Kind of surprised to See Dresden mentioned as a Name. I’d be shocked if someone used it, I always thought there is no Name that offenfs me but this one does.

I think Caspar is underused, also Torben.

obow Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:20 am

One of my favourite girls names is Magdalena – my husband knows a few (and veto’d it for that reason) but he’s Polish; aside from certain pockets of Europeans it’s not widely used here in North America. It’s so gorgeous and the nickname Magda is so sassy!

For boys I think John is underused, along with a host of other ‘grandparent’ generation names – we have a ton in my family (Albert, Wilfred, Russell, Warren). They are so refined.

ClaireDarling Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:25 am

I’ve always loved Peter, and feel that it’s fallen out of step with some other classic names. I’d also like to see more Simon’s in the world!

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:00 am

I am a fan of the names Vada and Vera for little girls. I agree about Harriet; I’m loving it right now and am currently using it for my writing, with the nickname Hetty. Also, Marie… I know it’s been used widely as a middle name and on Ray Barone’s mother, but I never hear it as a first name. Miriam is another name I’d love to see more.

As for boy names, I adore Paul (probably because of my intense love of Paul Reiser’s character Paul Buchmann on Mad About You, a show whose DVD’s are at the top of my list). Morgan is another name I’d love to see more of. I know it was popular not too long ago, but back then, I didn’t appreciate it. Now that I don’t hear it as much, I’d love to hear it more! Otto and Otis are other favorites of mine that I don’t hear too often. I recently read that August is becoming more popular, which I was glad to hear because I’ve loved that name and its nickname Auggie for as long as I can remember. I’d also love to hear more Rupert’s, because I’m a huge fan of the name Rue and can’t bring myself to use it alone, so I’ve resorted to looking for names that it could be a nickname of. Which may mean Rue should be on my list for a name that deserves more love!

I’m surprised I have more boy names that I want to hear than girl names.

laurenruthie Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:10 am

THANK YOU for asking! πŸ™‚ And three cheers for Paul-he deserves the attention, as does JohnPaul.

But I’m here to talk about another name sitting on a shelf-even in nameberry. Her definition for years (on this very site) has implied she’s not fresh enough, and not an appealing choice. She isn’t talked about in blogs and posts. She has no sharp consonants or severe pronunciation issues (minus the pronunciations made in different countries). But even that pronunciation issue shows she is international! She is absolutely fresh, as I know no one with the name: young or old. Two sweet syllables, beginning with the popular “F” … It’s Felice. It fits a child and a woman. It has historical significance. It means: happy! Blythe, welcome some new competition! πŸ™‚ it can be pronounced fe-leech-ay for Italian flare, joining the ranks of Luca and Lucia. But the Americanized version of pronunciation is just as lovely, flowing and soft. As feminine as it sounds, it’s actually almost unisex and is fit for either a prosecuting attorney or ballet dancer. Feminine but not frilly. While we continue to love the feminine names that end in “a” many are seeking the opposite. (Hello Eleanor, Olive, and Imogene). With Flora, Florence, Fleur and even Fable(!) being discussed, why is poor Felice the little name orphan sitting in the corner? Her history and meaning are rich. I think she’s waiting to be discovered!

laurenruthie Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:13 am

And I wrote on my phone so please don’t judge grammar, spelling, pronunciation above . I knew if I waited till I was home and in front of a real computer, I might not write my comment at all. God bless, and thanks for a great site!

jacquigirl Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:14 am

Definitely Mary! Its such a classic, but since it was over used for so many years, people still consider it overused! NOT true! I think I know maybe two Marys under the age of 15. Also, Margaret. I know some people think its too old-ladyish, but With all the fresh nicknames (Maggie, Margot, Maisy, Daisy) it can seem new again! For boys, I also love Paul.

tararyaz Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:14 am

I agree about Paul! And let’s just group him in with a great big list of Mid-Century names that are pretty much the new grandma/grandpa names. My daughter has grandparents & family members in that age group named Jean, Frank, Irene, Robert, Susan, Barbara, Marilyn, all names that I would find refreshing on a little one. Most of these names feel stronger & more down-to-earth than a lot of todays popular choices. While Isabella & Abigail lounge on fainting couches, Mary and Joan sit upright in their Eames chairs looking so much more stylish to me.

laurenruthie Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:38 am

Me again … Still writing on my phone here πŸ™‚ … After getting my Felice rant out of the way (the one I feel most strongly about) I feel there ought to be a blog post discussing why certain names are ignored because they’re out of trend (perhaps they’re too 70’s or 80’s) and so they don’t sound fresh enough to many, but if we can take our “trend eye glasses off” one can see their beauty, and also realize that in 30 years, they could likely be vogue again. … I’m a journalist and name guru … If you’d like me to try to write something up, it’d be my pleasure.

Lastly, back to the original question at hand, a little list of other names I feel deserve more attention. (I don’t consider these fully ignored. Instead, they more so just lack in celebration!) πŸ™‚ IMHO

Jones, Smith, Johnson ( why forget the most common of surnames, and what unique first names they make?)
Anthon (same feel as Gregor and Anders to me)
Woodrow (how fabulous is the fresh nickname Row?) Goodbye Woody. Hello Row. )

Diana (our beloved princess is a name fit for royalty-literally.)
Devorah (another way to spell Deborah, and absolutely more fresh, and flowing! )
Emmylou (with the Daisy, Annabelle, Petunia lovers–why not this sweet one?)
Zuzana (Susannah is back. The nickname Zuzu is beloved … Why not this rich international take?)

Last but not least, might I make a nameberry request for a name addition? Audrene. The beautiful French name Audrene. A bit Audrey, and a bit Adrienne. It’s not listed on the site.

laurenruthie Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:43 am

Oh! Ditto to Tararyaz! Amen and amen!!!
Susan, Joan, Jean, Frank, Irene, Mary …

indiefendi Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 11:21 am

The name Alaia! It’s so pretty and I think it has popularity potential. It’s so obscure yet usable. Just how I like it πŸ˜‰

Pam Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 11:26 am

@laurenruthie — I’ve been thinking about this recently and definitely we’d like you to write something! That would be great! Send to pam@nameberry.com

Mischa Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 11:39 am

Joan is a neglected name I would like to hear more often. It’s soft and feminine but there is an underlying strength of character. It sounds like the name of a well-adjusted, mature and reasonable person. If Joan is “dated” to a specific period, why is the similar sounding Sloane garnering such attention? Joan sounds a lot “softer” and much more appealing to me then the contemporary place name.

On the boys side, I nominate Paul’s saintly cousin Peter. Peter is an “average guy-next-door” kind of name. He’s not the most exciting man on the block but he’s a solid citizen – reliable, dependable, likeable and slightly square. But that’s ok for me. In this day of rapid change and flash-in-the-pan trends, he’s like an old friend who is just there when you need him. He has a quiet, understated style and he’s trend-proof.

flowermae Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Beulah! Come on, the first part sounds like beautiful and it ends in the soft, feminine “la” sound!

kyemsma Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I am going to say Laura. A feminine, historic, classic name that doesn’t seem to get enough love – maybe people think it is too dated, but I find it to be refreshing, fitting in with Cora, Nora and other sound-a-likes. And the reference to Laura Ingalls Wilder doesn’t hurt, either!

miloowen Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:20 pm

For girls, I love: Helen, Martha, Enid, Vera, Tamsin, and one you never hear in the US, Angharad.
For boys, definitely John — I’m so tired of all the misspellings and made-up variations of John (there are many, where I live). And then Harvey, Roger, Simeon, Wilfred, Gilbert, and Gerald –and a Biblical one rarely seen, Jotham.

theb4ndit Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Now, I’m not one to ever make a convincing argument, but I definitely think Ursula needs some love. It’s such a beautiful name with some literary roots that I feel could transcend a lifetime. The Little Mermaid association has surely stopped parents from using it, but if you just overlook the villain and “granny” nature of it you’ll find such a sweet name ready for a comeback. Especially with vintage names currently on the rise, a little Ursula wouldn’t seem so out of place with Matilda or Arthur (who has a similar meaning of “bear”).

capturedcastle Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Mallory–I know it means bad luck, but I’ve got so many positive associations with this name!
I second Harriet, Beulah, and Magdalena.
Phillipa–ancient-sounding, but still fresh and sassy.

studiotilly Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 1:34 pm

LUPIN!!!!!! It is used in various books (Harry Potter) and it’s also a ‘botanical’ name. I’ve come across a girl named Lupin but as I named my son Lupin I think it’s a boys name. Just because.

lerenard Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Zelda. It’s quite old fashioned, but I think the video game is really what’s been keeping it in the dark. For me, Zelda is just as nice as Daisy, Lucy and Violet. It certainly brings to mind Zelda Fitzgerald and the roaring 20’s.

eperdument Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Ombeline, Pomeline, Appoline, Emelda, Amalthea, Elthia Brunhilda, Gretel, Theophilia, Austra, NΓ©va, AnaΓ©, Caspia, Estelline, Tindra, Naphlette, Espera, AstΓ©ria, Saskia, Echo, Hera, Thera, Endora, Leocadia,
Pan, Thaddeus, Tiberius, Tobin, Cornelius, Finnegan, Felix, Vascilli, Moritz, Iffledorf, Ludwig, Wolfgang, Sherlock, Atticus, Casper, Elk, Alaric, Alerion, Aurelien/Aurelius, Victorien Draven, Deacon, Dimitri, Lucian, Lucifer (too bad about the rep), Lysander,
Phrixus means “thrilling” or “causing shivers.”
Elysian is a word meaning Beautiful or creative; divinely inspired; peaceful and perfect
Jibril (Arabic version of Gabriel sounds like SH/J-ib-rae-elle, rolled R, soft J
One I made up: Evraelle Ev-rae-elle, with a rolled R. Sounds lovely, but it’s too made up sounding to use for our daughter;

LuluBoo Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Martha and Matilda are very unloved in my opinion!!

Elliebellie Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I love the name Marshal. I think that it is cute and quirky on a young boy and also ages nicely as he grows up. I can see myself calling Marshall on the playground, cheering him on during a football game, and reading his name on a diploma. I picture many different types of men with the name Marshal…a firefighter, professor, builder, lawyer, athlete… In my opinion it is a perfect combination of uncommon but recognizable and is also a name that has some history to it. I really like the nickname Marsh and would definitely use it. Marshal is at the top of our list and will most likely be the first name that we choose if we have a boy. I tend to cringe a little when I reads the description of Marshal on Nameberry, although it doesn’t stop me from loving the name, it should be updated!

tori101 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 2:23 pm


I feel like this name is really neglected! I have only met one Caroline under 20 in the UK. It’s such a gorgeous classic with a range of brilliant nicknames; Carly, Cara, Carrie, Callie – it’s just lush! She has this beautiful southern belle feel and looks really elegant. As soon as I saw this post I was suddenly struck with how underused Caroline feels to me.

As obow mentioned above John is so neglected. This name used to be incredibly popular because it’s a strong handsome classic with great connotations and fantastic biblical associations. Nowadays everyone dismisses John. I have never, ever even heard of a John under 20. Which is bizarre when I’ve met Paul’s and David’s under 20 but not John. John is an effortless choice and people should remember him.

Jacquielle Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Peter! I wish I could see more baby Peters in the world. So many Old Testament names lately, the NT names are sometimes neglected.

Roger – I love Roger, but everyone thinks it’s still an old man name. I think it would fit in with the _er names though!

Beverly – I love this so much more than the Everly…much more substantial.

Fern – Wouldn’t I love to meet a little Fern!

Llumeneres Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Julian! It’s handsome and has a long history. Also, I love the long “u” sound. I don’t think it’s too feminine-sounding at all. For me it could work for a little boy or an older adult, and every age in between.

My only issue with this name is that all conceivable nicknames are definitely on the girls’ side of things- Julie, Jule, Juju, etc.


iwillpraise Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 3:10 pm

First of all, ladies, Mary IS coming back, what with the interest of lead role Lady Mary Crawley and the international sweep of Downton Abbey these last few years. Michelle Dockery makes her much more tangible and vogue… it’s probably the best thing that could have happened to propel the name forward instead of back.

@grackym – tell your husband that Vincent is EXTREMELY used in certain circles… namely Italian ones. If you don’t live on the East Coast, it’s more than likely unheard of.

@Fourthseason: I’m all for Alberta too; it has become a rare love of mine- with the nn Albie.
@findemaxa13: Franklin is definately one to love! He’s on my long middle name list. (as is other midcentury classic Gregor/y)

My personal name-needing-love would be Claudia/Claudina/Claudette and all her variants. I know her meaning is universally known as ‘lame’ but I found another, more appropriate meaning if you will: enclosure, haven or safety. This is taken from the root ‘claudo’, in essence, meaning to enclose, encompass, surround, imprison, hide, confine (not the best association, but think “claustro”phobia) –> http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Claudia.html#.T3t9lYER2vA. I know it’s a ‘heavy name’, and I love it because of my undying love for the Victorian era/Roman names, but honestly, there must be more of a reason that it was widely used during several historical periods… along these same lines, I wish names that fell within this same category would get more love; ie, Lavinia, Minerva nn Min, Rowena, Gordon, Rupert, Marcellus, Marco, Cyril, Robinson, Ambrose (b) /Ambrosia (g). Another one similar to Claudia, would be Clarice, although she’s more midcentury than anything.

My boy-needing-love-name (before any of the above mentioned) is Tobias… I fell in love with this one as a young teen (Animorphs, anyone??) and would LOVE to see more or at least hear more about him on the website. Apparently considered a “racial” name in my parents’ generation, I don’t find it to be that way at all. Toby is an extremely appealing and friendly nickname, and Tobias, well, he’s all too handsome…. swoon. He’s totally my cup of tea!

clairejustine Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Harvey and Judith

SorchaMcDougal Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I adore the name Hyacinth. I think it’s a gorgeous alternative to Cynthia, and it’s a flower name, so what isn’t to love? Cinthie is such a cute nick name, and the full name sounds so classy and elegant. I can picture a woman called Hyacinth as my boss, but I can also picture a sweet little girl, and an angst filled teen. It’s a name to grow up with, and as it stands right now, it’s doubtful that anyone else will have the same name, so there’s some bonus points.
I hope that Hyacinth will get some of the attention it deserves one of these days!

JH Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 4:25 pm

How about Jill? Not Jillian, just Jill. It’s a name everyone knows, but isn’t very popular. It’s a friendly name with a great meaning (youthful).

LuMary Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Martin, for sure.

Others I’d like to see more of: Peter, Francis, George, Richard, Robert.

LuMary Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I think Paul’s meaning “little” holds it back.

LuMary Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 4:47 pm

For girls: Irene, Mary, Heidi, Ida, and Helen (because I’ve been trying to like it for a long time).

LuMary Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Also, Victor.

bearcub27 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I think that Hugh is the most wonderful, underused boys name out there. It has such a rich history and its meaning (“Intellect”) is something that is very desirable. I was shocked to learn that it was so far down on the SSN baby name list…like barely on the list! But I’m not complaining…I want to use it for my first son and the fewer Hughs out there, the better!

I also agree with previous posters about the neglect of the name Peter. It’s such a strong name with many fabulous literary and saintly figures that many young boys could aspire to be. I would totally use the name Peter in the future!

Other boys names that I’d like to see more of: Edmund, Francis, Anders, Alastair, Benedict, Theodore, Simon, Philip, and Jasper.

Some girls names that I’d like to see more of: Edie, less common virtue names like Felicity, Honor, Constance, and Verity, as well as Eleanor/Elinor, Harriet, Anita, Cecilia, and Helen. They’re all so stately to me!

LuMary Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 4:57 pm

Marie and Lucretia.

rollo Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 5:03 pm

The name that resonated the most from all the neglected names mentioned is Fern. I think it should be wildly popular especially as so many people love nature names. And why with hoardes of people loving Belle names doesn’t Bluebell rate? I think it is a beautiful flower but Ivy which I see as unattractive gets lots of love.

One of my faves is the handsome Rupert and with a middle name of Simon is gorgeous, and love the nn of Roo .

julylacs Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 5:15 pm

@rollo I LOVE Fern! I want desperately to use it on a little girl to honor my grandfather (who was a Fernand), but everyone tells me it’s “too weird” πŸ™ I don’t see why! I think it’s lovely. Definitely needs more credit!

jem Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Would it be totally narcissistic to nominate my own name? πŸ˜‰
Jemima. My name is so rarely heard, yet I’m constantly complimented on it. Jemima has an ancient history with a lovely meaning (‘dove’). Jemima was one of the beautiful daughters of Job!
In America I believe there’s some kind of product called Jemima (syrup, I think??) which seems to hold people back from using (I’m not sure – I’m not American – but I *think* there are some racist undertones or something).
I think Jemima’s ready for a comeback! I have so many nicknames (Jem, Jemi, Jam, Mimi, Mima, etc…) and (to me, at least, although I may be incredibly biased) Jemima works on a lady of any age.

Other names that need more love:
Olympia: so elegant, yet the nickname Ollie is so tomboy-ish and fun!
Caspian: so regal, so handsome. I think it’s just too ‘Narnia’ for some, though.
Eric: it seems to have a permanent ‘nerd’ label. Why?! I love Eric!

rollo Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 6:26 pm

@julylacs I am so pleased to find someone else who loves Fern. I don’t think it is in the least weird. Have those people heard of the many unusual names found here on nameberry?

Are there any more Fern lovers out there?

And Jem I just love Jemima, everything about it, and it is really unfortunate that it has a social stigma in the U.S., maybe the Aussies could start the ball rolling and soon it may be as popular as the lovely Abigail, (another gorgeous biblical name).

linguaphile Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 6:34 pm

I second Ursula! Another beautiful name ruined by Disney… I’d name my daughter Ursula in a heartbeat if if weren’t for all the “like the sea witch?” comments I’d get.

thatzzarap Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 6:55 pm

I agree with sorciereblanche: Let’s bring back “Viola” but pronounce it with its Shakespearean pronunciation of VYE-ah-la (accent on the first syllable). This pronunciation is absolutely stunning!

ella17 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:16 pm

For boys Percy, Chester and Rupert=CUTE!

Chrisco Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Edmund! I do believe I’m seconding this, with Fourthseason having spoken first (with impeccable taste : ) My other favorites:




Ransom (I get the negativity, though)

MissTrash Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:25 pm

I totally agree with Eric. I think it’s such a strong handsome name! I am a little biased though as it is my grandfather’s name. I would like to use it as a middle name some day.

Others I feel are a little unloved are Marie/Maria, Clare, Jane, Bonnie, India, Annie, Jaime, Selah and Zipporah

And for boys Joe/Joel, Nicholas, Max, Saul, Ami and Sid.

lawsonhaley Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I nominate Anwen, Faye, Honora, Jessamine, Posy, Maeve, Ophelia, Rosamund, Saoirse, Verity, and Winter for girls, and Sutton, Darcy, Hadley, Avery, Bennett, Addison, Mackenzie, Alistair, and Leighton for boys.

benjamelissa Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Frank, for previously mentioned reasons.
Mallory, I have always loved this name for a girl, thanks to Family Ties.
Rosanna needs to make a comeback. So gentle, so feminine, yet independent.
And Rena isn’t widely used, but she was my husband’s grandmother and I just love it.

Sunflowerist Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:55 pm

@benjamelissa – thank you πŸ˜‰ my name is Mallory, I think it is a pretty name but the meaning (unlucky) is definitely holding it back!

Willis: is adorable, it has everything a trendy name nowadays could ask for I think? But it is totally unpopular!
Lyle: I prefer the spelling Lyell, but I also think this name is nice for a boy

ssterikoff Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:57 pm

For girls: Jemima, Zelda, Celeste, Isadora, Carmela, Clarissa, Mercy, Hope.

For boys: Constantine, Robin, Israel, Theodore, Sylvanus

mickie86 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 7:57 pm

I’ve always had a soft spot for the “ine” ending names. Francine, Christine, Justine, Corrine, Angeline, Pauline, Celine etc….are all so lovely. They seem to have a stigma of being mid-century feeling, but I think they belong to the classic, beautiful and now names.

Also, I agree with the old fashioned shorty middles like May, Mary, Marie, Ann, Dee, Lee & Lynn . I adore those lovely short mn’s and think they should have a chance for a comeback.

orphanedhanyou Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 8:30 pm

i LOVE Ursula!!! just cant get past the octopus and evil twin….
also agree with Carrie, but not as a form of Caroline, love it on its own.

CountryLizB Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Gertrude, Sibyl, Hepzibah, Barbara, Agnes, Agatha, Jemima,Ida
Alfred, Hamish

ella17 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 pm

For girls: Theola, Winifred and Faye.

Alexia Mae Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Ellowyn, Salomae, Claria
Boaz, Peregrine, Zealot

MauveBird Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:21 pm

I also love the name Fern, I think it is so pretty and would age well on a girl of any age.

Also would like to see Theobald, Raphael, Clover and Clea receive some more love. There are ton of Ed/Theo names making a come back but the ending of Theobald seems to be holding the name back, Clover is beautiful and holds so many connections for me to the people I love and Clea is very unheard of but Cleo/Clio seems to be popping up more and more.

jaycn Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:35 pm

I think the name Lochlan/Lachlan is widely overlooked here in the US. I’m okay with that though, my little Lochlan Elias surely won’t hear his named yelled out and wonder if it’s him that’s being called. πŸ˜‰ I also think Griffin is another great name for a boy that doesn’t get as much use as you’d expect here in the US.

On the girl’s side of things, Carolina, Magnolia, and Indira are all names I find lyrical yet aren’t in wide use.

Canne2006 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Always liked Harold. Harry or Hal are great nicknames.

For a girl, I’ve always cherished “ette” and “etta” names: Henrietta, Jeanette, Suzette, Bernadette

misskendra Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:53 pm

I have a JohnPaul so this post was awesome but let me tell you there was a Johnny C, Johnny P, a john called jack, and a john.

misskendra Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 9:53 pm

In his first grade class

KateMP91 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:29 pm

@lesliemarion – My mom’s name is Geneva and she goes by Jenny! I also had the pleasure of meeting a three year old named Geneva recently (it shocked me to hear her name as my mother was the only one I had ever even heard of).

The names I would love to see get a little more love are Mallory and Boden.

LadySarahB Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:31 pm

I would love for my daughter Pruitt’s name to become more popular. Pruitt sounds sporty and modern while the nickname Pru is sweet and girly. I was never looking for a unique name, but many baby name sites don’t even list Pruitt as an actual name. That’s a shame. I’d love for people to steal my idea.

Eizariya Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Derek, Jeffrey, Simon

shelly68 Says:

January 22nd, 2014 at 10:56 pm


arunciblespoon Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 2:41 am

I agree with people cheering for Nina, it deserves to be more popular; she’s feminine but not frilly and fun sounding without lacking elegance. I’d love to see Ophelia overcome her tragic beginnings, the O sound is a lovely way to begin a name the whole name flows really well. Also some love for Lucia, Lyra and Layla for being short and sweet. Lucia has a lovely meaning and can be lightened up with the nn Lucy.

mom3 Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 2:52 am

RoIlo & judylacs, I have to jump on board with Fern also. In the UK we have at least 2 well known ‘celebrities’ with the name Fern (refer Fern Cotton), so it wouldn’t be the least bit weird, but instead fresh & familiar!

Howard is my boys name in need of love and I don’t think it has yet to be mentioned…. To me it has the similar sultry ‘Hhh’ beginning like the favourites of Henry, Harry (uk), and the appealing Hugo, Hugh, Heath and it is totally underloved! I’d love to meet a young generation Howard and I think Howie is an adorable nn, which would fit right in with the Alfie’s, Charlie’s, Ollie’s. It is vintage & masculine without the clunkiness of Gordon, Albert, Donald, Bernard etc.

My other favourite seemingly underloved name is Arthur. And the nn Art is so cute, if not unfortunate in the rhyming department.

Peter was on my shortlist for my son but my surname starts with a similar sound so the strong alliteration ruled a little too much. I also love John & adore nn Johnny!

As my husband is of Eastern European decent I also have a true soft spot for the name Novak, made even more recognisable (& perhaps useable) by Novak Jokovic. To me this name has such strength & commands respect. It is easy to say, spell, nn proof. This should be an up & coming continental favourite, I love it!

arunciblespoon Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 3:00 am

And for the boys: Rupert, Edmund and Ignatius. For the Britberries here, Rupert brings great memories for those who read about the adventures of Rupert bear as children, but for some reason it’s not at all popular. Edmund is a great alternative to Edward and I’d love to see it used more. Not many people are with me on Ignatius, but I’ve always loved it for it’s cool, sauve undertones and Iggy makes a great nn.

chellemma1 Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 10:36 am

Paulina! I never hear anyone talking about this name and I think it’s beautiful. It’s classic and easily recognisable but hardly ever used at all. I’d love to see Paulina getting some more love.

Also Anne, Jemima, Cressida, Jean, Simon and Dougal/Douglas

chellemma1 Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 10:36 am

Oh and Catrin and Faye – I knew I’d forgotten some!

namelover77 Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Has anyone mentioned Jane yet? An easily-spelled classic with wonderful namesakes (think Jane Eyre) and- best of all- it could fit anyone!

namelover77 Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Oh, and Della! With all the Ella/Bella/Elle etc. names out there, Della is hardly seen anywhere. It’s simply gorgeous!

Chrisco Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 12:44 pm

@arunciblespoon – Totally agree with Edmund! And Ignatius is my brother absolute favorite name. It was just used by a cousin too : ) Rupert is just plain out adorable, but I think I like Rufus even more : )

VeritySilver Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 4:52 pm

My favorite girls names that I would like to see get more love: Salome. It means peace, which is always something to strive for. It sounds fairly modern, and is stylish. Manon. It is so pretty and French. It is also a diminutive of Mary. Barbara. It’s my grandmothers’s name. Emmeline. It’s a very sturdy name, and pretty with a few nicknames. Lastly, Nell. I just plain love it.

Boy’s names that I would like to see get more love: Jules. It’s the name of my favorite sci-fi author. Angelo. It’s my great-great-grandfather’s name. Umber. A pretty color and an unusual name. Constantine. Distinguished. The name of an emperor. Hamish. Very Scottish. Magnus. I really just love it.

findemaxa13 Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Another vote in favor of Fern. It’s so gorgeous.

Shaye Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 10:15 pm

I think names like Albert, Walter, Russell, Howard, Louis, Henry, Edward, and Bernard all need more love. I love classic names like “William” it is at the top of many baby list but I haven’t met a “William” in years.

I also think girl names like Alexandria, Natalia, Lillian, Sidney, Julia, and Audrey all need a little more love too.

Chloe14 Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 2:47 pm

I am not a fan of new names. I am more in love with vintage names. I love vintage names I think the name that needs more love is Brenda. Brenda is a lovely name and its so pretty.

Chloe14 Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I love vintage names. But I think the name that needs more love is Prudence because you can have cute nicknames like Prue but overall I love the name Prudence and it needs way more love.

Chloe14 Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I love vintage names. But I think the name that needs more love is Prudence because you can have cute nicknames like Prue.

possiblypascale Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Ooh, Cordelia and Odessa! Please! And Nataly and Lilias!

BerryBry Says:

January 25th, 2014 at 6:42 am

Christine! I don’t see why Christina and Christiana should be seen as better when Christine has such a clean, sleek sound! And of course she has some great namesakes…. Christine Daae anyone? Sorry I’m a bit of a Phantom fanatic haha!

tfzolghadr Says:

January 25th, 2014 at 10:49 am

Ooo… there are a few… Boys: Paul, Mark, Hugh, Nevin, Byron, Lars, Lawrence, Lewis, Clarence, Roland, Philip, Eben. Girls: Jeanette, Joy, Fern, Gwyneth, Lois, Maxine, Roxana, Rosemary, Nadine, and this list could go on forever… great topic!

Ericalynn1031 Says:

January 25th, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I love Vera and Viola. Such great underused alternatives to Olivia or Violet.

For boys- Abraham. Great history and namesakes. Plus how cute is Abe for a nickname?

Megan_Ashley Says:

January 25th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

Okay, the very first name that popped into my head: Kida! It’s not on Nameberry radar, but it’s a wonderful name* from the Disney movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire that is just as wearable as her husband Milo. Plus, the Atlantean queen is a wonderful namesake, being lovable, fiery, curious, intelligent, tough, dutiful, honest, and, like every Disney heroine, beautiful. It’s not entirely made up, either: a quick search told me Kida is Native American–Kiowan to be specific–and means “raising away the darkness” (which, in addition to being lovely, also fits the character very well!).

*It’s her nickname in the movie, but I don’t think her full name, Kidagakash, would attract as many people!

Fourthseason Says:

January 26th, 2014 at 2:17 am

@ I will praise, I think the babysitter books when I hear the name of Claudia.


Are all good examples of names whether they be first or middle names.. need to some love!

hanbow Says:

January 26th, 2014 at 10:07 am

Halcyon- Beautiful sound, lovely nicknames and just a darling name all round.
Harbour- Love noun names and this is unique yet has a modern twist with sister “Harper”.
Adair- This forgotten gem is strong with plentiful nns and simplistically wonderful in the middle or first name spot.

Aligator_xxx Says:

January 26th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Bethany. Maybe it’s a little bit dated, but the Biblical connection and the classic feel make me wonder why I don’t hear it more often. Easy to spell, easy to pronounce, feminine but not too frilly, nickname options…I think it’s ready to be used.

Volleybalqueen Says:

January 26th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Benedict, I have never met a single one but have fallen in love with it! It is completely ignored and it even has a normal nickname to go by! Ben, Benny, etc! It is adorable and I’d love to see a new baby with it.

Victoria is underused I think, I live in the Midwest so I have never seen a Victoria in my area. I have in the south and I completely adored it. It has such cute nicknames also! Vicki, RORY, Tori, Toria, etc

mikey19867 Says:

January 27th, 2014 at 9:39 am

Please I need help which sounds better and as a whole name stacylyn or stacielyn I know this is about something else this blog but I am putting myself out there please help thanks and God bless

sarahdoodle Says:

January 27th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

Tabitha: quirky but intelligent (at least in my opinion) and under loved with a bit of a “cat name” stigma. And of course there’s the adorable nickname option of Tabs.
Faustina: I probably wouldn’t use it as a first name, just a middle, but it reminds me of Seraphina and Veronica, and has such a great namesake in St. Faustina
Ruth: short, straightforward, sweet and smart (and maybe sometimes even a tie bit sassy?)

Lysander: historic, nerdy-but-cool, and a more unique alternative to Xander

arabella77 Says:

January 28th, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Creed or Creede is a name that I utterly adore. It’s unusual, but easy to say. It’s short and masculine and has such a strong meaning. It’s a name that suits a boy, a teen, and a man with equal ease. I would love to see more Creeds in the world!

I second Vera. I know a little girl who has this middle name, her first being Chloe. It’s an adorable combination, modern and popular with such an underused, classic middle. I think Vera is a great first name as well.

I also think Phillip is a great name that could use a serious revival.

kitchi1 Says:

May 30th, 2014 at 7:28 pm

I think word names should be accepted more. Everyone is using and has been using names like Hope, Grace, Summer, etc, so why not Lucky, Wonder, and Charm? I love word names, but I don’t think I would use them since everyone seems to shoot them down. I love Lucky, though! My mother would totally make fun of me if I went with it, though.

I also think names with spellings from a different origin should be accepted. Viktorija is not a “yooneek” spelling of Victoria, it’s the Russian variation, if I remember correctly. Same with Anastasija. For the most part, I like it when they are spelt CORRECTLY, but from a different origin. Then they are not “yooneek”, but they still have a cool spelling and some history behind it, too. Also there’s many more Victorias than Viktorijas here!

Another would be old names like Ethel, Gladys, Beulah, and Gertrude. Everyone hates these names…WHY? I don’t get it! Beulah has that fashionable ending sound like Tallulah, Ethel is similar to Hazel and Mabel which are rising in popularity, and I just don’t understand everyone’s hate for Gladys and Gertrude. Gladys is my favorite name!

Lastly, Dee Dee. I love that name! I don’t see why people dislike it so much. I also don’t see why people are against other repeating names.

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