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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    From your list I love:
    Vera - not many little girls have this name! It's so cute and ages very well! Definitely a good choice!
    Greta - I adore this name, it's definitely different and as with Vera, not many little girls have this name. It's very feminine, I don't understand why more people don't use this name.
    Lily - This will forever be an absolutely lovely name! I can't stand Lillian, so Lily is really brilliant and so adorable! Maybe to give it a unique twist spell it differently: Lillie, Lilly, Lilli, Lillee
    Eliza - This is such a cute name and I don't think it's a boring name at all!
    Frances - Frannie is one of my favorite nicknames and I feel that more people should use Frances!


    All of these names have a unique factor and a beauty to them that I love, and I hope you love at least one of these names as well!
    //Mary-Kathryn / Twenty-One / Student / Captivated by Names //

    “I read in a play once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.” - L.M. Montgomery

  2. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    I love many of your names, especially Alice, Beatrice, FRANCES, and Greta

  3. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by dovah View Post
    Something literary or historical, but with flair. Something foreign, perhaps, but that won't scare our meddling southern family.
    I read this a second time and realized I missed the instructions. So, taking those into consideration:

    Amelia (Earhart)
    Arden (As You Like It)
    Aurora (Terms of Endearment)
    Catherine (the Great)
    Charlotte (A Room with a View)
    Cordelia (King Lear)
    Daisy (The Great Gatsby)
    Elizabeth (I & II)
    Elinor (Sense & Sensibility)
    Estelle (Great Expectations)
    Harper (nod to Harper Lee)
    Harriet (Harriet the Spy) + Beecher Stowe + Tubman
    Isolde (Tristan & Isolde)
    Juliet (Romeo & Juliet)
    Lydia (Pride & Prejudice)
    Ophelia (Hamlet)
    Pearl (S. Buck)
    Penelope (The Odyssey)
    Portia (The Merchant of Venice)
    Rosalind (As You Like It)
    Scout (To Kill A Mockingbird)
    Simone (de Beauvoir)
    Virginia (nod to Virginia Wolf)
    Willa (Cather)

  4. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Is the meddling Southern family religious? I feel like in that situation you could get away with Renata or Raphaela, which are probably more exotic than they're used to, but with some solid religious background to the name that might excuse it for them if they happen to be devout. And both names have some historical street cred, if that's what you're looking for.

    Or just cut the family out of the discussion. When i was pregnant, I only discussed names on the Internet. I knew that my family would hate the options that I was kicking around, so I was really strict about not saying anything to them until my daughter was actually out in the world.
    Mom to the delightful Be@trix He1en Luci11e (2011)

    Loving Margaret (nn Maisie), Louisa (nn Lulu), and Frederick (nn Fritz) for future children.

  5. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    I've bolded suggestions for you.

    Lily - a little demure, a little soft, but lovely all the same. Consider Livia: historical credentials include Empress Livia, wife and, more importantly, advisor of Emperor Augustus, mother of Emperor Tiberius.
    Grace - Hmm, very bland. I don't know about literary or historical, but there are much more daring, innovative virtue names out there, like Verity, Valor and Virtue itself.
    Mary - Also a classic, but not very spunky. Miriam was another Biblical figure, prophetess and sister of Moses who ensured his safety as he floated down the river, and watched as the Pharaoh's daughter adopted him. She is considered one of the Bible's feminists and strong women.
    Alice - Alice is lovely; conjures up images of Alice in Wonderland. Safe, maybe, but lovely all the same.
    Clara - isn't my favorite name, but there's always Clarissa, better known as Clara Barton, a pioneer American teacher and founder of the Red Cross.
    Vivian - Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to fly in space (most people incorrectly believe Sally Ride to be the first woman in space: she was the first woman from the USA. Tereshkova came 20 years before her).
    Hazel - the similar Harriet has credentials like Tubman and Beecher Stowe, the latter both historical and literary.
    Eliza - Beth, the second half of Eliza's original Elizabeth, was the nickname of the kindest and most beloved sister in Little Women. Elizabeth boasts some famous females as well; a few queens, saints, empresses, and heroines of certain Jane Austen novels.
    Jane - simple, but exceptionally well-grounded both in history and literature. There's Jane Austen of romance, Lady Jane Grey of royalty, Jane Goodall of science, Jane the daughter of Wendy Darling (Peter Pan), Jane Addams, the activist and Nobel Prize winner, Jane Eyre, the first name of Miss Marple, and Jane Morris/Burden (a Raphaelite beauty adored by painters; she is the model for the gorgeous Rossetti painting "Proserpine", also known as "Persephone"). There's also the classic Joan: strong bearers include Joan of Arc, as well as the alleged Pope Joan, sole female in papal history.
    Vera - Verona is the romantic setting of Romeo and Juliet; similar, but decidedly more exotic and romantic.
    Gwendolyn - Gwendolyn Brooks is a poet laureate, Gwendolyn is also a character in Wilde favorite The Importance of Being Earnest. Queen Guinevere was the wife of King Arthur, and lover of Lancelot.
    Helena - Helena is lovely, but Helen is more profound in history and literature; there's Helen Keller, and legendary beauty Helen of Troy, considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world.
    Greta - I personally don't find Greta a very attractive name, but Gerda was the heroine of Andersen fairytale The Snow Queen; not royalty, but an ordinary girl, who treks across frosty terrain, befriends thieves, outwits monsters, and finally defeats the vicious Snow Queen in order to save her friend, Kai. Probably the most badass fairytale heroine to date.
    Matilda - there's the Roald Dahl heroine, of which you probably know. Empress Matilda was England's first female ruler.
    Beatrice - Beatrice was the spunky heroine of Much Ado About Nothing. Beatrice Portinari was Dante's muse. Beatrix, a slightly spunkier choice, is most familiar as the children's author Beatrix Potter, but also as the recent Queen of the Netherlands. Beatrix Jones Farrand was a female landscaper, the only female charter in the American Society of Landscape Architects.
    Ellen - Eleanor would be a better choice; there's activist and first lady Roosevelt, as well as powerful duchess and queen of the Middle Ages (the most wealthy and powerful woman of her time; also a patron of literature) Eleanor of Aquitaine. Elinor Dashwood is a character in Austen's Sense and Sensibility, Eleonora is one of Poe's short stories, and Elanor appears in The Lord of the Rings.
    Frances - Florence Nightingale pioneered modern nursing and was a prominent British activist. The beautiful Italian city has witness many important events in history (it was the center of medieval trade), and is famous for its Renaissance (considered the birthplace of the Renaissance) art, architecture and monuments. Florence Bascom was an important female scientist, the first female in geology, and was admitted to Johns Hopkins University when women were still prohibited; she was taught behind a screen so as not to "disturb the male students."
    Susan - This name sounds stiff and old-fashioned to me, though it does have its place in history. Susan Helms was an astronaut, Susan B. Anthony a feminist (there's a coin minted in her honor), Susan Schaeffer the author, Susan Polger a famous chess-player and Susan Oliver, an actress and aviatrix.

    Other names to consider:
    Marie - Antoinette, the famous Austrian-turn-French royal, inspired artists everywhere. Known not only for "let them eat cake," but also for her last words: she apologized to her executioner for stepping on his foot as she ascended to the guillotine. Marie Curie was a prominent female scientist.
    Catherine - Catherine the Great, Catherine of Aragon and Catherine I are all famous and strong-willed queens. There's a Catherine in Farwell to Arms and a Bennet sister in Pride and Prejudice. St. Catherine was a patron of women in education, literate and an accomplished writer, she was attacked for her knowledge and intelligently defended herself, also an expert healer.
    Ruth: Benedict (prominent anthropologist), Ginsburg (Supreme Court Justice), Rendell (crime fiction writer), and Biblical figure.
    Adam Amedeo Avi Connor Dmitri Enjolras Leo Milo Ronan
    Artemis Cicely Elisabeth Evangeline Mirabelle Ophelia Rosalie Titania

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