Names That Mean Love
Meaning:"beloved of the Lord"
Description:Jedidiah, an Old Testament name with a touch of Gunsmoke-era western panache, is right in line to be revived along with the other biblical -iah names.
Description:Common in Wales, this name was introduced to America when Welsh-born Catherine Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas chose it for their daughter in 2003. It didn't come into use in Wales until the late nineteenth century. It's currently Number 367 in England and Wales.
Description:Erasmus has long retained the image of the bearded and bespectacled Dutch philosopher, but could be one that the audacious baby namer just might dare to dust off.
Description:A literary name created by J. R. R. Tolkien for a Lord of the Rings noblewoman of Rohan. Properly spelled with an accent over the first E – Éowyn – it would make an interesting choice for literature lovers or fans of names like Elowen and Evelyn.
Description:Priya originated in India as a name derived from the Sanskrit word for “beloved.” In India, where names are often given based on one’s birthday and horoscope, Priya is traditionally given to girls born in August. Priya is used in Hindu mythology as the name of a daughter of King Daksha—known for fathering 146 daughters.
Meaning:"lover of strength"
Description:Philomena is an earthy Greek name now used in various Latin countries. While it has felt simply clunky for many years, it's starting -- along with such sister names as Wilhelmina and Frederica -- to sound so clunky it's cool.
Origin:Greek, feminine variation of Philip
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:Philippa is a prime example of a boy's name adapted for girls that was common as crumpets in Cornwall, but rarely heard stateside, never having appeared in the Top 1000. That was before the advent of royal sister-in-law Philippa Middleton, who goes by the lively nickname Pippa.
Origin:Yiddish variation of Lev
Description:Liev Schreiber's birth name is Isaac Liev, Liev after his mother's favorite Russia author, Leo Tolstoy. Though Liev is increasing in popularity in the secular world thanks to the actor, it originated as a Yiddish diminutive.
Description:Hart could be the hero of a romantic novel, but on the other hand, it's short, straightforward, and strong sounding. The most famous bearer of the name was tragic poet Hart (born Harold) Crane, but it also has musical cred via Lorenz Hart, of the classic Rodgers & Hart songwriting duo and a literary tie to playwright Moss Hart.
Origin:Hebrew, Arabic, Iranian
Meaning:"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"
Description:As Mary falls further out of favor, her variations become more appealing, whether you're honoring an ancestral Mary or Marie or Miriam or simply love the tradition of the name.
Meaning:"dear little one"
Description:Carina is a pretty feminissima name whose fall from popularity may be speeded by similarity to (hurricane name) Katrina.
Description:Didier is kind of a Desiree for boy--a lively, confident name that's widely used in France and has definite possibilities here. It's the name of an early French saint.
Description:Like its better known cousin Jedidiah, Jebediah is one of those four-syllable Old Testament names that is being shorn of its long white-bearded image, with the help of its modern-sounding Jeb nickname.
Origin:English, diminutive of Philip
Meaning:"lover of horses"
Description:The original Pip was the main character in Great Expectations (full name Philip Pirrip). Cute for a tike, maybe too cute for an adult.
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.
Meaning:"I love you"
Description:A name rarely heard outside the Latino community, but it was popular enough in the early 2000s to crack the Top 200. Since then, it's lost ground.
Description:"Return of the Jedi": strongly linked to the complex "Star Wars" character, Obi Wan Kenobi.
Description:Dua is one of those names made famous by a single celebrity: British-Albanian model-singer Dua Lipa. It's simple, modern, appealing, and may find a wider audience thanks to its attractive namesake.
Origin:Finnish and Scandinavian variation of Erasmus
Description:Form of ancient name newly popular in Eastern Europe. Virtually unknown in the U.S. but with its philosophical roots and uplifting meaning, seems prime for use. The Rasmus is a Finnish rock band
Description:A Scottish favorite that could make it here thanks to its similarity to the word divine. It's the most popular of several feminizations of David used in Scotland, including Davida, Davinia and Davidina, which have less of a chance in the U.S. It reentered the US Top 1000 for the first time in two decades in 2016.