Origin:English or Latin
Meaning:"from the north; or, the pattern"
Description:Invented for Bellini's opera, Norma had some star quality in the silent-screen and Marilyn Monroe days, but at this point it's a graying grandma in baby name limbo.
Description:When given the French pronunciation (ay-LAN), has a great deal of esprit and élan.
Description:If you're a lover of the beach and sea, and want a name that relates to the largest body of water, there are several variations you could consider.
Origin:Latin, botanical name
Description:An unusual name related to the willow family.
Origin:French variation of Susan
Description:Suzanne became popular along with Susan but has just dropped out of the Top 1,000. Wait a generation (or two) in the US, though in France Suzanne is once again tres chic.
Description:A name from medieval romance with an endearingly clunky sound, à la Sherlock. The most famous modern wearer was twentieth-century psychologist/sexologist Havelock (born Henry) Ellis.
Origin:English, German, Norse, Danish tree name
Description:Strong, straight, and leafy, one of the new tree names used mostly as middles.
Origin:Russian; Yiddish; Arabic
Meaning:"easygoing; rose; leader"
Description:Known in America via the wife of Soviet head Mikhail Gorbachev; a possibility for parents of Eastern-European descent wanting to move beyond Natasha and Nadia or for parents from the Middle East looking for a name that works in both cultures.
Meaning:"a river and water goddess"
Description:Anahita is the name of the water goddess who rules, among other things, fertility and wisdom. Associated with Venue, Anahita is a stylish Iranian name for girls.
Description:Fig was the unlikely name of a beautiful character in Curtis Sittenfeld's Man of My Dreams. Better bets: Plum, Quince, or even Apple. Still, you might consider Fig as an unusual nickname for any more formal F-starting name, from Frances to Fiona.
Origin:Flower name, from French
Description:The bright yellow weed lends itself to a creative baby name, although we don't recommend the nickname Dandy.
Origin:Variation of Lillian or Liliana
Meaning:"lily, a flower"
Description:While Lillian is the English version of this elaborated flower name and Liliana is the authentic Spanish or Portuguese spelling that's pronounced the same, Lilliana is a hybrid spelling that doesn't exactly have its own cultural origin but that can be considered perfectly proper nonetheless. However you configure it, it's a lovely name and if it looks more appealing to you with three L's versus two, go for it.
Meaning:"rose; burning bush"
Description:This masculine floral name literally means “burning bush”, and is the Bulgarian word for the dittany plant. The name derives from the highly volatile oils produced by the plant, which can actually catch fire in hot weather. A notable bearer of the Bulgarian-form of the name is Rosen Plevneliev, a former President of Bulgaria.
Meaning:"deep ocean, sea"
Description:This Maori name, often heard in New Zealand, is an attractive, evocative choice for lovers of the ocean made famous – perhaps too famous – by the Disney heroine. Moana was also an alternate name for the heroine Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth. Moana may also be a color name for a deep ocean blue ("lanu moana").
Description:Related to blackberry plants and colloquially to any thorny shrub, Bramble also has history as an English surname.
Description:Modern surfer boy. Just don't call him Reefer.
Description:Carmel is a biblical place-name heard much more frequently in Ireland than in the U.S. and is considered a particularly Catholic name. It is given in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is the name of a mountain ridge on the Mediterranean near Haifa in Israel, mentioned in the Old Testament, famous for its lush vegetation and said to have been often visited by Mary and the Infant Christ.
Description:Ilana is a name with seemingly endless variations, well used in Israel, sometimes chosen for little girls born on the holiday of TuB'Shevat, the New Year of the Trees.
Origin:Portuguese place name
Description:Evora is a city in Portugal known for its magnificent Roman aged ruins. It is occasionally seen as a female name, evoking some of the mystique of this region.