Unique Middle Names for Girls
Unique middle names for girls appeal to even more conservative parents, who may look for an unusual middle name to set their little Emma or Elizabeth apart. These middle names may be unusual first names or can also be nature, word, or surname names.
Many of the most popular middle names — such as Elizabeth, Rose, and Marie — are single-syllable or stress the second syllable, which flows well with almost any first name. Names including Anouk, Jubilee, Marias, and Shalom follow this pattern as well.
When sifting through unique name choices for the middle, try to find one with personal meaning. The names here are ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.
Origin:French from Greek
Meaning:"of Delphi; womb"
Description:Delphine is a sleek, chic French name with two nature associations — the dolphin and the delphinium, a bluebell-like flower, a well as a link to the ancient city of Delphi, which the Greeks believed to be the womb of the earth. All of these derive from the Greek word delphus "womb".
Origin:French, short form of Nicole, feminine variation of Nicholas, Greek
Meaning:"people of victory"
Description:Like the French author with whom the name is most closely associated, Colette is a chic and charming name that is being rediscovered. After disappearing for nearly 30 years, Colette rejoined the Top 1000 in 2012 at Number 659 and has continued to rise since then.
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.
Description:An attractive French word name known here via former child TV star Soleil Moon Frye, aka Punky Brewster. It started to be lightly used in the U.S. in the 1920s and is now attracting some attention as both a sunny nature and an international word name. It's currently in the Nameberry Top 500.
Meaning:"island of apples"
Description:Avalon, an island paradise of Celtic myth and Arthurian legend--it was where King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds-- and also the colorful capital of the California island of Catalina-- makes a heavenly first name. Actress Rena Sofer and British musician Julian Cope used it for their daughters.
Description:This unusual Greek flower and color name has gained considerable recent attention via actress Ione Skye, who is the daughter of sixties folksinger Donovan.
Meaning:"a thorny patch"
Description:Fairy-tale memories of Sleeping Beauty inspire some parents—such as Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen—to call their daughters Briar Rose. But Briar plus a different middle name might work even better. It's one of the newly popular nature-word names, charting in the US for the first time in 2015 for both genders.
Description:Lumi may be a rare girls' name in the USA and England, but it comes in the Top 50 in Finland, where it means snow. Given the popularity of Winter, Holly, Ivy and many other wintery-christmassy names, we think that short and spunky Lumi definitely has potential for greater usage outside its home country as one of the more unusual names for Christmas babies.
Origin:English and French diminutive of Matilda, German
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.
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.
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.
Origin:Day name, English from Latin
Meaning:"day of the Sun"
Description:Sunday is among the most usable of the day names, with its sunny opening syllable, initially made famous when Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban chose it for their daughter. Although it had been widely written that Kidman and Urban named their baby after art patron Sunday Reed, Kidman was quoted saying that was a myth, they just liked the name.
Origin:English, diminutive of Katherine
Description:Kit is a crisp, old-time British-accented unisex nickname that sounds fresh and modern today. Kitty is another so-retro-it's-cool nickname.
Origin:Dutch and French variation of Anna
Description:Anouk, made famous by French actress Anouk Aimée, is a singular name with a lovely sound and a Bohemian feel. Anouk Aimée was born as Francoise, but adopted the first name of the character she played in her debut film.
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.
Description:No, the pronunciation--ro-SHEEN--isn't immediately obvious to the non-Gaelic viewer, but the sound of this shiny Irish version of Rose is pretty enough to make it worth considering. Very popular in its native Ireland, it's one of many Irish girl names finding a wider audience. Earlier generations Anglicized at as Rosaleen, but we stay stick to the original.
Meaning:"region offering peace and contentment"
Description:Arcadia, a name for an unspoiled paradise, makes an attractive secular alternative to Nevaeh or Eden. For parents who want an unusual name with a friendlier nickname, Arcadia has the advantage of cute Cady.
Description:Indigo is one of the most appealing and evocative of the new generation of color names. Color names have joined flower and jewel names -- in a big way -- and Indigo, a deep blue-purple dye from plants native to India, is particularly striking for both girls and boys. Indigo is the name of a character in the Ntozake Shange novel Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, and was used for his daughter by Lou Diamond Phillips.
Description:Infinitely preferable to the tease-inspiring English version of the word.
Description:Among a small shower of rain-related names, this pure version can have a cool, refreshing image.