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Steampunk Baby Names

The steampunk movement has been inspired by literature and cinema, blending futuristic themes with 19th century Victorian style. Think alternate history meets science fiction entwined with elements of steam power and clockwork. Here is a list of baby names incorporating this unique style.
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SilasHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "wood, forest"
  • Description:

    Silas is based on the name Silvanus, and the two are used interchangeably in the Bible. In the New Testament, St. Silas was a leading member of the early Christian community who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey. Sylvanus was the Roman god of trees and his name was originally bestowed on people who lived in wooded areas or who worked with wood.

GenevieveHeart

  • Origin:

    English from French
  • Meaning:

    "tribe woman"
  • Description:

    Genevieve is derived from the Germanic medieval name Genovefa, or Kenowefa, which consists of the elements kuni, meaning “kin”, and wefa, meaning “woman.” The medieval saint Genevieve, patroness of Paris, defended the city against Attila the Hun through her rational thinking, courage and prayer.

ClaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "bright, clear"
  • Description:

    Long relegated to an Olde World backwater, the European-flavored Clara has been speeding up the charts on sleeker sister Claire's coattails for the past few decades. Now, many would say the vintage chic Clara is the more stylish of the two names. Actor Ewan McGregor was an early celebrity adopter of the name for one of his daughters.

CyrusHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "sun"
  • Description:

    Very popular in the Iranian community, this name of the founder of the Persian Empire has had a more down-home, corncob pipe-smoking image for most Americans in the past, but this has begun to change.

ArabellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "yielding to prayer"
  • Description:

    Arabella was used as a given name beginning in the 12th century with the birth of Arabella de Leuchars, granddaughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland. It is derived from the Latin orabilis, from which Arabella gets its meaning. Some scholars tie Arabella to Amabel, claiming that the former developed as a variation of the latter in Scotland, much like the name Annabel.
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ClementineHeart

  • Origin:

    French feminine version of Clement, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "mild, merciful"
  • Description:

    Clementine is a Nameberry favorite that has finally broken back into the US Top 1000 after more than half a century off the list. Still, its style value may mean there are more Clementines than you might guess in your neighborhood—it may be a name that raises Mom's eyebrows, but it won't surprise your friends.

LyraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "lyre"
  • Description:

    Lyra is a constellation name taken from the lyre of Orpheus. It contains the star Vega and thus could make a melodic choice for a parent interested in music, astronomy, or mythology. It has more depth and history than Lyric, is more unusual than Lila (which it rhymes with). It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2015.

AmbroseHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "immortal"
  • Description:

    A favorite of British novelists including Evelyn Waugh and P. G. Wodehouse, Ambrose has an air of blooming well-being and upper-class erudition. It comes from the same Greek root as 'ambrosia', the food of the gods, said to confer immortality.

ScarlettHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "scarlet, red"
  • Description:

    Scarlett originated as an occupation surname, designating a person who sold scarlet, a luxury wool cloth produced in Medieval Europe. The word is thought to derive from the Arabic siklāt, referring to silks dyed with kermes. The fanciest, favorited color was scarlet red.

EmmelineHeart

  • Origin:

    Old French form of archaic German Amal
  • Meaning:

    "work"
  • Description:

    Emmeline is an Emma relative and Emily cousin that is destined for greater use in the wake of the megapopularity of those two names. A recommended Nameberry fave, Emmeline hopped onto the US Top 1000 in 2014 for the first time ever. While it is genuinely an old name, it was rarely used a century ago; only 17 baby girls were named Emmeline in 1915, the same number as were named Ernie!
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MaxwellHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish
  • Meaning:

    "great stream"
  • Description:

    A happy medium between the weighty Maximilian and the laid-back Max, Maxwell is one of the most classic and attractive Scottish names. Early influences on the name's revival include Maxwell Smart of the television show, and then movie, Get Smart, and the Beatles song about Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

OctaviaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "eighth"
  • Description:

    Octavia began as the Latin, then Victorian name for an eighth child. While there aren't many eighth children anymore, this ancient Roman name has real possibilities as a substitute for the overused Olivia; recommended for its combination of classical and musical overtones. It was chosen for his daughter by Kevin Sorbo.

EmersonHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "son of Emery"
  • Description:

    Emerson is a dignified, somewhat serious name associated with transcendental thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson. Much more popular now for girls since Desperate Housewife Teri Hatcher used it for her daughter, it is definitely still a viable boys name.

HarrisonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Harry"
  • Description:

    Harrison, a name made viable by Harrison Ford, is increasingly popular with parents who want an H name that's more formal than Harry or Hank but doesn't veer into the stiff Huntington-Harrington territory.

MinervaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "of the mind, intellect"
  • Description:

    Minerva is the long-neglected name of the Roman goddess of wisdom and invention, the arts and martial strength, one of the mythology names for girls that might appeal to adventurous feminist parents.
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AugustusHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "great, magnificent"
  • Description:

    Parents are beginning to look at imposing, somewhat fusty-sounding names like this one with fresh eyes: they definitely make a strong statement.

RayHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Raymond
  • Meaning:

    "wise protector"
  • Description:

    Ray, still and forever, is one of the all-time hippest boys' names, with its jazzy Ray Charles biopic overtones. It's one of the coolest middle names), but works perfectly fine as a first.

LaviniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, from ancient place name Lavinium
  • Description:

    Lavinia is a charmingly prim and proper Victorian-sounding name which actually dates back to classical mythology, where it was the name of the wife of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who was considered the mother of the Roman people.

AramintaHeart

  • Origin:

    Invented hybrid name from Arabella and Aminta
  • Description:

    Araminta is an enchanting eighteenth-century invention familiar in Britain and just beginning to be discovered here. It was used in 1693 by William Congreve in his comedy The Old Bachelor, and in 1705 by the versatile Sir John Vanbrugh, architect of Blenheim Palace as well as a playwright, for his comedy The Confederacy.

MaggieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Margaret
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Maggie is a cute, earthy short form that has been in style for several decades now, still sometimes used as an independent name by such parents as Jon Stewart. First used in Scotland, it got a large bump in popularity via the 1971 Rod Stewart hit song "Maggie May." Today's Maggie might just as well be short for a more adventurous name such as Magdalena or Magnolia as for the classic Margaret.

    Maggie Gyllenhaal was born Margaret.

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AgathaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "good woman"
  • Description:

    Agatha until recently summoned up visions of martyred saints, mauve silk dresses, and high lace collars, but now that some dauntless excavators have begun to resurrect it, we're sure more will follow their lead. Actor Thomas Gibson used it for his daughter in 2004.

JulesHeart

  • Origin:

    French form of Latin Julius
  • Meaning:

    "youthful; soft, downy"
  • Description:

    Though Jules hasn't been on the US popularity list in fifty years, it is a current hit in its native France—where it's currently Number 10—and we can definitely see it making a comeback here, being far more romantic than, say, Jim.

JeremiahHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "appointed by God"
  • Description:

    Jeremiah is a solid Old Testament prophet name that has gradually taken the place of the now dated Jeremy, Gerard and Gerald, joining other currently popular biblical 'iah' names like Josiah and Isaiah. In the Bible Jeremiah is a famous prophet whose story is recorded in the book named after him.

BartholomewHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "son of the furrow"
  • Description:

    Bartholomew is an apostle's name that's been out of favor for centuries but might appeal again to the parent in search of an old but rare choice. The challenge could be to avoid the Simpson-ish nickname. That character, by the way, has the full name of Bartholomew JoJo Simpson, and creator Matt Groening came up with Bart as an--uh oh--anagram for brat. Two old alternate nicknames are Barty and Tolly.

EulaliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sweetly speaking"
  • Description:

    Eulalia is a melodious name with a southern drawl, thanks to those lilting double Ls.
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IvanHeart

  • Origin:

    Russian variation of John
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Though some might find it a bit heavy-booted, Ivan is one of the few Russian boys' names to become fully accepted into the American naming pool.

AletheaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "truth"
  • Description:

    Alethea, the name of the Greek goddess of truth, came into fashion in England in the 16th century, in tandem with the virtue names. Alethea may find new favor now as one of the goddess names stylish for baby girls.

ByronHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "barn for cows"
  • Description:

    For centuries, this name had a romantic, windswept image due to its strong connection to the poet Lord Byron, who inspired its use as a first name. It is one of those surprise names that's appeared on the Top 1000 every year since 1880.

GwendolynHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Gwendolen, Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "white ring"
  • Description:

    One spelling variation that's more popular than the original, this somewhat old-fashioned name might be in honor of poet Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer prize for poetry, or may be a way to get to the modern short form Gwen.

OswaldHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "divine power"
  • Description:

    Despite the success of so many O-starting boys names--Oliver, Owen, Otis, Oscar--Oswald has not yet shown any signs of resurrection, though he does have the animating nicknames Ozzie/Ozzy and Oz. The name has some literary cred--in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare's King Lear and a novel by H. G.Wells--and there was early cartoon character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
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TheodosiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "giving to God"
  • Description:

    This feminine form of Theodosius has long been buried deep in the attic, but might be a good discovery for the parent who wants to move beyond Theodora. Vice President Aaron Burr named a daughter Theodosia ("Dear Theodosia" is a song in the smash musical Hamilton), and it was the birth name of silent screen vamp Theda Bara. Theodosia actually appeared on the US popularity lists in the 1880s and 90s.

CeceliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "blind"
  • Description:

    Cecelia, with this spelling, got some recent attention as the name of Jim and Pam's baby on The Office -- and also the name of actress Jenna Fischer's newborn niece. A spelling variation of Cecilia that has a gently old-fashioned feel and several appealing short forms, including Celia, Celie, and, as on the TV show, Cece. Three times as many babies are given the Cecilia spelling as get the Cecelia one, though if you plan on calling your daughter Cece or Celia, Cecelia may feel like the more logical spelling.

LucindaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Lucia
  • Meaning:

    "light"
  • Description:

    Lucinda, an elaboration of Lucia created by Cervantes for his 1605 novel Don Quixote, is a pleasingly pretty alternative to Lucy. It was subsequently used by Moliere in his play The Doctor in Spite of Himself' (1666). More in tune with the times than Linda, Belinda and Melinda, it could be used to honor someone with one of those dated names.

JessamineHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Persian
  • Meaning:

    "jasmine"
  • Description:

    Jessamine, a charming name occasionally heard in England, is just beginning to be appreciated in the U.S. as a possible successor to all the Jess names of the past. It's also spelled Jessamyn, as in Quaker novelist Jessamyn West, author of Friendly Persuasion--who started life with Jessamyn as her middle name.

ViolettaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "purple"
  • Description:

    Violetta is a more vibrantly colored, feminissima form of Violet. It is the name of the heroine of the Verdi opera La Traviata--in fact Violetta was the original title of the work.
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AlexiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Alexandria
  • Meaning:

    "defending men"
  • Description:

    This diminutive, similar to Alex or Alexis, has been yo-yoing in popularity since the turn of the 21st century.

NemoHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "nobody"
  • Description:

    One of the best known early Nemos was the captain in Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, while the more familiar modern one is the animated little orange fish in the Disney movie. Unusual name well worth considering. By the way, there is also a Shakespearean Nemo and one in Dickens's Bleak House. An enchanting early comic strip by Winsor McCay was called Little Nemo.

BertramHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "bright raven"
  • Description:

    Old Norman name last current in the 1930s, and firmly in our 'so far out it will always be out' category – despite its appearance as a Hogwarts student in Harry Potter. This is the full first name of P.G. Wodehouse's inimitable Bertie Wooster.

SophroniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "sensible, prudent"
  • Description:

    A name some people first encountered in the old children's book series The Five Little Peppers, in which Sophronia, the youngest of the Peppers is nicknamed Phronsie.`It was also used by Dickens in two of his novels: The Old Curiosity Shop and Our Mutual Friend.

ArtemusHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "gift of Artemis"
  • Description:

    Variant of Artemas
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DerynHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "bird"
  • Description:

    This 1950s Welsh bird name sounds less dated than our fifties Robin.

SocratesHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek philosopher; uncertain derivation
  • Description:

    Quite common in traditional Greek families, but for others, we think Plato might be easier to handle.

LangdonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "long hill"
  • Description:

    Classy-sounding surname name usually bypassed in favor of the simpler Landon.
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CleoraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "glory"
  • Description:

    Cleora is a now-extinct name (there were no babies named Cleora recorded in the U.S. in 2012) that achieved some standing in the early 20th century thanks to the craze for all things Egypt-related. A range of Cleopatra diminutives, including Cleo, Cleora, Cleona, and Cleola, made the Top 1000 then as the ancient tombs were opened in Egypt.

PartheniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "chaste maiden"
  • Description:

    Parthenia may be a bit unwieldy, but does conjure up majestic images of the Parthenon.

CorneliousHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Cornelius
  • Meaning:

    "horn"
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