Winter Olympics Baby Names–Part 1, The Girls

posted by: tararyaz View all posts by this author

By Tara Ryazansky

The roster of US athletes hoping to compete in the Olympic games is a name list as diverse as the nation itself.  Here I have curated a list of some girl names that feel like winners for a 2014 baby.

Petra– As in Petra Acker, college student and speed skater.  This feminization of Peter is from the Greek word for “rock” or “stone”.  I’ve always thought that Petra sounds elegant and sophisticated, yet wearable for a little one.

Lolo– Like the track star turned bobsledder, Lolo Jones (born, Lori).  Lolo is a diminutive of Caroline, but I could see it working for plenty of other names including favorites like Charlotte and Eloise.  More playful and friendly than Lola, maybe Lolo will pick up speed as a nickname in the years to come.Summer– As in Summer Britcher of women’s singles luge.  This sunny name brings the Summer Olympics, and perhaps swimmer, Summer Sanders, to mind more than ice and snow.  Its bright, golden quality is appealing.

Annelies– This name calls Anne Frank to mind, it was her first name.  But it’s also the name of US Biathlon team member Annelies Cook.  This spelling feels more traditional and less on-the-radar then Annalise.  It also feels more streamlined then Annaliese.  It might just be my favorite spelling of the name.

Sugar– Born Sugar Raeshelle-Faye Chelsea Todd, Sugar had plenty of back-up names to chose from if she found her given name too sweet.  I’m glad the US speed skater stuck with Sugar though.  She’s a great reference point when people try to argue that a woman can’t be successful if her name is too cutesy.

Lana– As in short track speed skater Lana Gehring.  Ranked 442, I think the name Lana could jump substantially in the next few years.  It’s a simple but sultry choice that’s easy to spell and say.  It brings to mind vintage beauty Lana Turner and modern beauty Lana del Rey.  Who doesn’t love those lilting L names?

Kimber-As in Kimber Gabryszak of the Skeleton National Team.  This variant of Kimberly is fairly new in usage, but feels familiar because it shares sounds with names like Amber, Ember & Kimba.

Meryl– As in figure skater Meryl Davis.  Of course Meryl Streep comes to mind, but I think that cheerful but sleek Meryl can stand outside of the association.  If you like the sound, but find the connection to Streep is too strong, consider Merle.

Ellery-As in US Snowboarder Ellery Hollingsworth.  This unisex name feels like a modern pick for parents looking for a way to get to Elle, Ellie or Ella.  If one of the more vintage routes feel too dusty, Ellery might work for you.

Maia– As in figure skater Maia Shibutani.  Pretty and simple, the Maya spelling is far more popular than sweet Maia.  I think that they are equally nice.

Darian– US Ski Team member Darian Stevens makes the name feel brisk and cool.  This unisex choice is jaunty and modern on a girl, but kind of falls flat as a boy name for me.

Ida– As in Ida Sargent of the US Ski Team.  With the mass appeal of Ava and Eva and increasing interest in Ada, I often wonder why Ida hasn’t taken off in the same way.  I especially like the softer Ee-duh pronunciation.

Josephine– Josephine Pucci, the Team US Hockey Defenseman who played for Harvard, is a great namesake for a 2014 baby.  The name has a strong, proud ring to it and a nice long list of potential nicknames that would be fun to pick from.

Faye– As in Faye Gulini, US Snowboarder.  This name manages to be vintage, ethereal and minimalist all at once.  I think it could entice all kinds of name-seekers as long as they aren’t put off by names that are a mere single syllable.

Do these names deserve a gold, silver or bronze metal?  What do you think?  Share your opinions in the comments below.  I would love to hear your top 3 picks.  And feel free to add a list of favorites from another country’s team.


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About the author


Tara Ryazansky is a freelance writer who has a fashion background. She has worked for Jane Magazine, Teen Vogue, Interview Magazine and Find her in the Nameberry forums under Tararyaz.
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16 Responses to “Winter Olympics Baby Names–Part 1, The Girls”

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mill1020 Says:

January 23rd, 2014 at 11:50 pm

I love Petra and Lana. I also love Meryl but I think it’s due to having a cousin Meryl who was named after Streep. Sugar is a tough one to wear.

tararyaz Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 8:13 am

Petra & Lana are my a few of my favorites on the list as well. I also adore Ida & Faye.

Saracita00 Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 10:00 am

My favorite here is Faye. Sometimes less is more, and a lot of the one-syllable ladies’ names are exactly that! I’m rather surprised that I like Kimber, and Petra is pretty cool. Vintage honors to Josephine and Ida (though I thought it was pronounced eye-da and prefer it that way).

Giinkies Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 10:23 am

Faye is growing on me. I like that it means fairy.

katybug Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 11:08 am

Petra, Lana, Ida and Josephine are my favorites too! Annelies is growing on me a lot as well. You might get some spelling challenges, but knowing that it’s the traditional Dutch spelling makes up for it. And what an amazing namesake in Anne Frank!

katybug Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 11:14 am

And Faye is also lovely!

niteowl13 Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Gold – Faye, Silver – Lana, Bronze – Ellery
I love the old Hollywood feel of Faye and Lana.
Ellery was used for boys back in the day, but the “elle” part is too feminine and it ends in Y.

tararyaz Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Full disclosure: Ida is my own daughter’s middle! She’s named for her great grandmother, who was from Eastern Europe where the name pronounced Ee-duh, so that’s how we say her middle. Here in the US it’s Eye-duh all the way and I think it’s sweet that way too.

tararyaz Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

I love that Faye is getting so much love!

orphanedhanyou Says:

January 24th, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Annelies does not place – Anne Lies 🙁

but thats not as bad as legally naming a person Sugar

KateMP91 Says:

January 25th, 2014 at 12:40 am

1) Josephine (classic)
2) Annelies (feels made up to me, but with these kinds of namesakes, how could it not be legit?)
3) Meryl (with the rise of Marlo, I can sorta see this one gaining popularity)

As for Darian, which I love, I had never previously thought of it as a girl name, or even unisex, for that matter. It feels all boy, to me…and very classy. I like it, but not for a girl.

tararyaz Says:

January 25th, 2014 at 8:57 am

I see the “Anne lies” thing in Annelies too, but it’s still my favorite spelling cause to me it feels streamlined in appearance & traditional.

litysmama Says:

January 25th, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Love Josephine and Annelies! I could definitely see myself using either of these.

tararyaz Says:

January 26th, 2014 at 12:17 am

I think Josephine & Annalies would make perfect sisters!

Heathhark Says:

January 26th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

After we name our babies, (3, soon to be 4) I use one of the “runner up” names from our list as the name for a special stuffed animal that is brought home from the hospital with them….usually named many days later. My daughter Greta has a Petra Pig stuffed animal. Omgosh….long story but love the name Petra. Very simple and somewhat exotic. Also love Josephine for endless adorable nickname reasons.

tararyaz Says:

January 26th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

What a sweet tradition @heathhark. Greta & Petra have the same gorgeous/sophisticated/exotic but down-to-earth quality. Love them both!

@katemp91 I never saw the similarities between Marlo & Meryl, but they are so alike. Maybe Meryl will take off?

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