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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Oh, I love this thread already. Apologies if any of these were mentioned -- I'm working with a very, very slow connection.

    Girls names

    Ramona: The heroines of children's books are having a moment, what with Alice, Eloise, and Matilda leaping up the charts. Ramona has the same literary pedigree and spunky, vintage feel. Rae and Ray are becoming popular in the middle spot and would make a great short form of this wonderful, underused name.
    Linnea: Lydia is in the a Top 100, while lovely Linnea isn't on the charts at all. Lovely and literary, Linnea is a true undiscovered gem.
    Nova: I find myself recommending Nova all the time, which speaks to her versatility. Nova could be the sister of uber-popular Isabelle or ultra-obscure Thisbe. The association with astronomy gives this sleek pick an air of mystery, and the meaning, "new", is simply perfect.
    Viveca: 'V'-heavy names like Vivian, Violet, Evelyn, and Eve are all the rage. Why not the elegant and far more distinctive Viveca?
    Nina: Nina is a total sweet-spot pick. She's consummately international, cute for a little girl and sophisticated on a grown woman, easy to say and spell, yet consistently underused. Nina has never cracked the Top 100, despite her steady history of use.
    Dahlia: Okay, I'm cheating. But how could I not mention Dahlia? Botanicals are huge right now, but Dahlia remains under the radar. With Delilah growing in popularity and sister antique flower names Lily and Violet in the Top 100, Dahlia is absolutely perfect for the parent who wants a name that's on-trend without being trendy.

    Runners up: Lavinia, Virginia, Mavis, Francesca, Phaedra, Ivy, Averil, Geneva, Aisling, Briony, Mercy, Clio, and Madigan.

    Boys names

    Reuben: A handsome biblical name, the perfect alternative to overused Benjamin and fast-falling Robert and Richard. Rue was a Nameberry hit after The Hunger Games; why not affable, wearable Reuben?
    Tobias: By rights, Tobias should be a Nameberry favorite. It's a classic name with a whiff of British aristocracy and the wonderful, Western-inflected nickname Toby. I can't understand why this one doesn't get more love.
    Gareth: Strong yet romantic, Gareth is the name of a knight of the Round Table. This would make a wonderful heritage choice, far more distinctive than Gavin.
    Calder: Surnames are trendy, and Calder is, in my opinion, one of the very best. An artistic and sophisticated alternative to Hunter, Archer, and the rest, with the great vintage nn Cal.
    Blaise: Another wonderful, on-trend name languishing in obscurity. Blaise is a saint and a philosopher; he feels at once mythic and totally modern.

    Runners up: Ivan, Matthias, Luther, Dorian, Flynn, Quillan, Eamon, Cashel, Conrad, Eliam, Donovan, and Zeke.

    Unisex names

    Vega: Vega is a star - literally. I adore astronomy names, and Vega is doubtless one of the very coolest. V's are hot, as are surnames. Vega is a sleek, cross-cultural winner.
    Carmen: Yes, it's more popular for girls, but with Carter and Cameron feeling passe, I could see the historically unisex Carmen gaining favor for boys as well. I love this name on either gender.
    Hollis: Hollis doesn't chart for boys or girls, but it's a smart, sharp, sophisticated choice on both. Hollis splits the difference between a botanical (Holly) and a place name (Holland), and it's a surname. Why don't I see Hollis more often?
    Arden: Shakespeare's Forest of Arden is a pastoral utopia, making Arden an intelligent nature name with connotations of wonder and escape. It starts with an 'A', always a favorable point, and has the popular '-en' ending. Archer is huge; why not Arden?
    Sage: Sage charts for boys and girls, and though it's more often heard on girls, it's still relatively rare on either. Sage is a botanical with substance; it does double duty as a word name, meaning 'wisdom'. Sage has all the makings of a Nameberry darling, but I don't see it nearly as often as I'd expect.

    Runners up: Bellamy, Cyan, Flannery, Noel/Noelle, and Sailor.

    I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's lists!
    Simon, Eloise/Louise, Faye, Judah, Thea, Felix, Iris, Cordelia, Roscoe, Lydia, Jasper, Phaedra, Adrian, Lucinda, Jane, Conrad, Wallace, Finnegan, Sylvie, Charlie, Dashiell, Juniper, Atlas, Matilda, Julian, Alice, Marlowe, Octavia, Jack, Marigold, Archer, Gabriel, Persephone, Raphael, Dov

    Just a grad student, dreaming ahead...

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