One-Syllable Middle Names for Girls
There's a reason one-syllable middle names for girls such as Ann and Lynn have been used to the point of cliché. These middle names don't distract from the dazzle of the first name and serve as a calm, quiet bridge between the two stars of the show.
The one-syllable middle names on this list transcend the basics like, nowadays, Rose and Grace. They could also work well as first names.
Along with Rose and Grace, other one-syllable girl names in the US Top 500 include Jade, Faith, Paige, June, Kate, Sage, Eve, and Wren. Short, unexpected names are becoming more common for middle names, such as Bliss, Dove, Poe, and Vale.
Here, some fresh ideas for short middle names for your daughter.
Meaning:"she who intoxicates"
Description:Maeve appears in Irish mythology in two forms, one as the powerful Queen of Connacht, the other as the queen of the fairies. Maeve of Connacht was a warrior queen, famous for starting a war in attempt to steal her ex-husband’s stud bull. Other spellings are Meabh, Medb and Meadhbh, which are connected to mead, a honey-based wine that was produced in many ancient cultures.
Description:Wren, a lilting songbird name, could be the next Robin. It makes a particularly pleasing middle name choice, as does her newly discovered cousin Lark. Wren entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2012 and is among the new wave of popular English names for girls.
Origin:Diminutive of Mary or Margaret
Meaning:"bitter or pearl"
Description:Mae is derived from May, the month name that was chosen for its connection to Maia, the Roman goddess of growth and motherhood. Mae can be used as a nickname for the names Mary and Margaret — actress Mae West was born Mary. Alternate spellings include May, Mei, and Maye. The May spelling makes it more of a month name, while Mae makes it an antique nickname name. Both can stand on their own, as seen by Hilary Duff's choice of Mae as her daughter's first name.
Origin:English, virtue name
Description:Grace is derived from gratia, the Latin word for "grace." It existed as Gracia in the Middle Ages but was not in common use until the Puritans adopted it along with other Christian attribute names in the sixteenth century. It was used as a virtue name, in reference to divine grace — the love and kindness of God.
Origin:Herb name; Latin
Description:Sage is an evocatively fragrant herbal name that also connotes wisdom, giving it a double advantage. It entered the Top 1000 at about the same time for both genders in the early 1990s, but it has pulled ahead for the girls. Toni Collette named her daughter Sage Florence.
Meaning:"descendent of Conn"
Description:Quinn is the Anglicized version of the Irish patronymic surname Ó Cuinn, meaning "descendent of Conn." Conn has two possible derivations—the Old Irish cond, meaning "intellect," or cenn, meaning "chief." One of the most notable Quinn clans was from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.
Description:Sloane is a sleek, sophisticated surname name that has gradually morphed over to the girls' side. Sloane is definitely a name that's going to continue to rise. Spelled without the final "e," Sloan joined Sloane in the Top 1000 for the first time in 2011.
Description:Blythe originated as a nickname for an upbeat person, coming from the Old English word bliðe, meaning "merry" or "cheerful." Today the homophone blithe shares the same meaning. Blythe was eventually adapted to a surname before it became a feminine given name.
Origin:Latin, month named for goddess Juno
Description:June, a sweetly old-fashioned month name derived from the goddess Juno, was long locked in a time capsule with June Allyson (born Ella) and June Cleaver, but is rising again especially as a middle name.
Meaning:"dweller on the plain"
Description:In the USA, Blair is gaining momentum. In England and Wales, Blair is incredibly unpopular for girls, sitting well outside the Top 2000.
Description:Eve, the oldest name in the Book, is now coming back into style, having the virtues of simplicity and purity, yet with more strength and resonance than other single-syllable names like Ann. British actor Clive Owen chose Eve for his daughter, as did Jessica Capshaw.
Meaning:"stone of the side"
Description:As cool as the precious green stone said to transmit wisdom, clarity, justice, courage, and modesty, Jade has been rising in popularity since Mick and Bianca Jagger chose it for their daughter in 1971. Jade is one of the top names in France. Superchef Giada de Laurentiis chose it as the English translation of her own first name. Jade manages to strike the golden mean as one of the familiar-yet-unusual girl names starting with J.
Origin:Botanical names or word name
Description:Rue has gone from Golden Girls actress to Hunger Games heroine. This botanical name is also a coincidental double word name, meaning "regret" in English and "street in" French. Despite these unfortunate secondary meanings, Rue has real potential to be one of the most popular new middle names for girls.
Origin:Latin gem name
Description:Pearl, like Ruby, has begun to be polished up for a new generation of fashionable children after a century of jewelry box storage. The birthstone for the month of June, Pearl could also make a fresher middle name alternative to the overused Rose. Cool couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their daughter Pearl Minnie, followed by Jack Osbourne, and several celebs have put it in the middle spot, as in Busy Philipps's Cricket Pearl, Jake Owen's Olive Pearl and Caleb Followill's Dixie Pearl .
Description:Ruth, with its air of calm and compassion, was the third most popular name in the 1890s, remaining in the Top 10 through the 1920s. It's still in use today as some parents tiring of Rachel and Rebecca are giving Ruth a second thought. Some see such Old Testament girls’ names as Ruth and Esther rising on the heels of boy equivalents Abel and Moses.
Description:Combine the charming heroine of the movie Legally Blonde with supermodel Elle Macpherson and the trend toward all names beginning with "el"—Ellie, Ella, Eleanor—and you have one hit name.
Description:Brooke has long projected an aura of sleek sophistication, and can also be seen as a stylish water name.
Description:Can a name as virtuous as Hope be cool and trendy? Strangely enough -- yes. But though this optimistic Puritan favorite is experiencing substantial popularity, Hope is too pure and elegant to be corrupted, a lovely classic that deserves all the attention it's getting.
Description:Of all the botanicals, Fern has been one of the slowest to move back from the front parlor into the nursery, despite the appealing girl character in the children's classic Charlotte's Web. Fern was most popular from the turn of the last century through the 1940s, reaching a high of #152 in 1916. We can certainly see her rejoining the long list of popular greenery names.
Origin:English, occupational name
Meaning:"page to a lord"
Description:Paige is more name, and less word than the occupational Page. Paige is also sleek and sophisticated a la Brooke and Blair and reached as high as Number 47 in 2003, when there was a very popular television show, Trading Spaces, hosted by the energetic Paige Davis.
Description:Fleur is a generic, delicate flower name that emigrated into the English-speaking world when John Galsworthy bestowed it on one of the Forsytes in his celebrated saga. More recently, there was Fleur Delacour, a French witch and the Beauxbatons champion for the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter.
Origin:English, diminutive of Katherine
Description:Kate, in the headlines via Catherine Middleton, has been as pervasive as Kathy was in the 1950s and 1960s, both as a nickname for Katherine and Kaitlyn and as a strong, classic stand-alone name. Kate has an image that's independent, smart, and energetic, recalling Kate Hepburn, the heroine of The Taming of the Shrew/Kiss Me Kate, and contemporary Kates Winslet, Hudson, Moss, Spade and Beckinsale. Cate Blanchette has helped popularize that spelling of the name.
Description:The fame of actress and Aerosmith daughter Liv Tyler helped to infuse life into this short but solid Scandinavian name that was chosen for her daughter by Julianne Moore.
Description:This name of a character played by Kirsten Dunst in the movie Virgin Suicides, originally a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, is gaining attention, also thanks to the heroine Lux, Lady of Luminosity in the League of Legends games. Luz is the Spanish version.
Description:Faith is one of the most straightforward of the virtue names popularized by the Puritans in the seventeenth century, many parents still choosing it as an indicator of their religious conviction. Faith peaked in 2002 at Number 48.
Origin:Diminutive of Gwendolen/Gwendolyn
Description:While Gwen may have originated as a short form of Gwendolen and Gwendolyn, these days it frequently stands on its own. Rocker Gwen Stefani has given it a shot of cool, and parents are choosing it as a standalone more and more often—Gwen hopped back onto the US Top 1000 in 2013 after an absence of over 30 years. Gwen could also be short for Guinevere.
Description:Reign is one of a new, ahem, kingdom of word names that suggest a high-born child, joining Royal, Lorde, Titan, Saint, King, Princess, and Noble. We predicted this kind of defining name to be the Number 1 baby name trend of 2015...two weeks before Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick named their third child, a boy, Reign. Reign is as appropriate for girls as for boys. The female version is often spelled Rain -- or Raine or Rayne -- though that makes is more nature and less royal word name. Reign entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2016.
Description:The e-addition takes the name from slightly hippie-ish nature name to the place name of a picturesque island off the coast of Scotland, and for baby namers it's by far the more popular spelling.
Origin:French variation of English Ann and Hebrew Hannah
Description:The name of the sainted mother of the Virgin Mary was among the top girls’ names for centuries, in both the original English Ann spelling and the French Anne. Both left the Top 100 around 1970 but Anne is still among the most classic names for girls, although others are more likely to choose the original Hannah, the Anna variation, or even Annabel or Annabella.
Description:Love is best left as a middle name, as in Jennifer Love Hewitt. Love alternatives that carry a similar romantic sentiment, and may work better as first names, include Juliet and Valentina.
Description:This appealing multi-cultural name, pronounced KYE, is beginning to be used for girls as well as boys. Among its many derivations and meanings: "sea" in Hawaiian, "forgiveness" in Japanese, "willow tree" in Navajo, "food" in Maori, and "earth" in Scandinavian. For girls, it debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2010.
Origin:English, diminutive of Theresa
Description:With its solid Thomas Hardy background, Tess has a lot more substance, strength, and style than most single-syllable names, with an efficient yet relaxed image.
Origin:Animal name or diminutive of Beatrice
Meaning:"she who brings happiness"
Description:We've seen Beatrice and Beatrix climb in popularity, along with traditional nickname Bea. And now there's Bee, giving it a buzzy nature world spin, plus a tie to popular late night TV''s Samantha Bee, not to mention Aunt Bee on the old The Andy Griffith Show TV show. Bee can theoretically be short for any girl names starting with B.
Meaning:"dove, a bird"
Description:One of the new bird names, like Lark and Wren, this one's associated with the billing and cooing sounds of love. Soft and gentle, Dove also has the admirable association with peace.
Origin:English bird name
Description:Lark is getting some new and well-deserved attention as a post-Robin and Raven bird name. Although it was first recorded as a name in the 1830's, it has never appeared on the Social Security list.
Origin:Variation of Matilda
Description:Maude, also spelled Maud, is a lacy, mauve-tinted name that was wildly popular a hundred years ago, but has been rarely heard in the past fifty. Some stylish parents are starting to choose it again, especially as a middle.
Maud's early popularity was influenced by the Tennyson poem that included the oft-quoted line, "Come into the garden, Maude." Then, in the 1970's, along came the sitcom Maude, featuring the vociferous and opinionated character Maude Finlay, putting a very different spin on the name. But enough decades have now passed for the name to have settled back into its soft, sweet pastel image.
Description:Blue suddenly came into the spotlight, as the unusual color name chosen by Beyonce and Jay-Z for their baby girl Blue Ivy. Blue is also a starbaby middle name du jour, used for both sexes in different spellings and forms, from John Travolta and Kelly Preston's Ella Bleu to Alicia Silverstone's Bear Blu. Dave 'The Edge' Evans named his daughter Blue Angel back in 1989.
Origin:Short form of Louise
Description:Lou is usually a short form of Louise, Louisa, or Lucy in English-speaking countries, when Lou is used for girls at all. But in France and Germany, it's a fashionable choice all on its own, sure to gain even more widespread style credibility since Heidi Klum and Seal chose it for their daughter.
Description:Bryn is an up-and-coming gentle, yet substantial, Welsh name that would also be effective in the middle spot. In Wales it's a traditional boys' name, but it's far more popular for girls now in the US.
Origin:English variation of Johanna
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:Joan was the perfect name choice for one of the leading characters on Mad Men, being a quintessential girls' name of the period. A Top 10 name in the 30s, a Top 50 name from the 40s through the early 60s, it was the fifth most popular name in the country for three years running and ranks as one of the most common names for girls in the 20th century. But alas, Joan hasn't even appeared in the Top 1000 for a dozen years, and these days it's primarily associated with Joans of the generation of Joan Crawford, Joan Collins and Joan Rivers--just a few of the noted Joans whose ranks also include the singers Joan Sutherland, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading and Joan Jett. But it's possible that modern parents who are reviving Jane might move on to Joan, inspired by Joan Hollaway Harris.
Origin:Irish, from Brid, Brigh, Brigid
Meaning:"strength or exalted one"
Description:A short, breezy name with a sophisticated yet upbeat image, that doesn't betray its Irish roots. Bree first came to notice here in 1971 via the complex prostitute character in the movie Klute, which earned Jane Fonda an Oscar. More recently, it was tied to the character of Bree Van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives.
Origin:Scottish, contraction of surname Gregor; Latin
Description:This attractive Scottish surname choice, has a certain amount of glamour thanks to feisty British-born red-haired forties Academy Award winner Greer Garson, who was born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson--Greer was her Irish mother's maiden name). Greer was chosen much more recently by Kelsey Grammer for his daughter and by Brooke Shields in the Grier form. As a surname, it's associated with feminist writer/activist Germaine Greer.
Origin:English word name
Description:There's definitely a cold front of names for winter babies moving in, with Summer, Spring and Autumn giving way to Winter--plus North, January, Frost--and Snow. This name feels brisk, fresh, pure, evocative -- and magical. A haunting middle name choice.
Origin:Diminutive of Judith or variation of Judah
Description:Jude may be a rising boys' name, thanks to Jude Law, but it's also a new way to spin Judy or Judith as well as a name that's long been used quietly for girls as well as boys. Alexis Stewart, daughter of Martha, named her daughter Jude and Jessica Lange plays Sister Jude on American Horror Story.
Description:Fay, also spelled Faye, who had been napping quietly since the 1930's, has, like cousins May/Mae and Ray/Rae, sat up and started rubbing her eyes, ready for a mini-comeback, especially as a middle name. In 2014, Faye hopped back onto the US Top 1000, though Fay is used much more quietly as a first name.
Description:Jinx, a James Bond heroine name has an ominous meaning but kinetic energy. In the film "Die Another Day," the actual first name of the character played by Halle Berry is Giacinta.
Description:The name of one of the most powerful Marvel superheroes — and the first major black female comic book heroine — is certainly a big one to live up to! Portrayed in the live-action X-Men movies first by Halle Berry and then by Alexandra Shipp, Storm is a mutant descended from a long line of African witch-priestesses, who can bend the weather and atmosphere to her will.
Description:Wynn is an attractive unisex Welsh name, especially worth considering as a winning middle name.
Description:Pronounced LOOSE, this name that refers to the Virgin Mary—"Our Lady of Light"—is one of the most widely used Spanish name for girls. Its sleekness and stylish final z gives it a modern appeal, like sister name Lux. Nicknames and variations include Chitta, Lucecita, Lucelida, Lucelita, Lucha, Lucida, Lucila, Lusa, and Luzana.