Unique Names Starting With G
Meaning:"white shadow, white wave"
Description:Guinevere was the name of the beautiful but ill-fated queen of Camelot, for so many years eclipsed by its modern Cornish form Jennifer. Today, Guinevere could be a cool possibility for adventurous parents intrigued by this richly evocative and romantic choice.
Origin:Diminutive of Augustus, Angus, Gustave, Augustin, Augusten, Augustine, August
Description:Gus is a homey grandpa nickname name that can work as a short form for any of the above or stand on its own as a cutting-edge replacement for Max and Jake--though it was off the Top 1000 from 1978 until 2016, when it squeaked in at Number 999.
Description:The name of the Greek mythological earth goddess and universal mother; actress Emma Thompson stated that she was attracted by its ecological element, so other "green" parents may want to follow her lead.
Description:The patron saint of comedians and dancers (also known as St Vitus) has a name that is both the ultimate everyman, and has a hint of British aristocracy. In the States, Guy was most popular in the 1950s. Now he hovers steadily below the Top 1000, in the sweet spot of familiar but not overused. With the meteoric rise of Kai, Guy may have potential with parents looking for a more classic name with a similar sound.
Origin:Color name, also diminutive of Grayson
Description:The girls have Violet and Scarlet and Ruby and Rose, but for the boys there's a much more limited palette of color names. Gray (or Grey), is one exception, which could make for a soft and evocative--if slightly somber-- choice, especially in the middle. Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney recently named their son Leo Grey.
Origin:Anglicized form of Yiddish Golde or Golda
Description:More Sadie than Sadie, this old canasta player--somewhat modernized and energized by Goldie Hawn--looks like it could be making a comeback. It was recently chosen for her daughter by Ione Skye and Ben Lee, as well as by shoemeister Steve Madden.
Description:Like high-kicking amies Coco and Fifi, Gigi has a lot of Gallic spunk but lacks substance. Was chosen for her daughter by designer Cynthia Rowley. While some parents might fashionably use Gigi on its own, we'd recommend lengthening it on the birth certificate to something like Georgiana or Gabrielle.
Description:Considered ultra debonair in the silent-movie era, Gilbert then went through a nerdy phase, a la Gilbert Gottfried. Now though, like Albert and Alfred and Walter and Frank, it could be in for a style revival.
Meaning:"strength of a spear"
Description:Could cute nickname Gertie, remembered as cute five-year-old Drew Barrymore in E.T., revive the long shunned Gertrude?
Origin:Scottish, contraction of surname Gregor; Latin
Description:This attractive Scottish surname choice, has a certain amount of glamour thanks to feisty British-born red-haired forties Academy Award winner Greer Garson, who was born Eileen Evelyn Greer Garson--Greer was her Irish mother's maiden name). Greer was chosen much more recently by Kelsey Grammer for his daughter and by Brooke Shields in the Grier form. As a surname, it's associated with feminist writer/activist Germaine Greer.
Origin:Feminine variation of Julian
Description:Gillian is a name that was in common usage in Great Britain until the 1970s, when it dropped out of the Top 100 and is yet to return. Until recently, it had not crossed the Atlantic in significant numbers, except in the short form Jill.
Description:Many will associate this name with Galen of Pergamon, the second-century physician considered to be the founding father of medicine. A more recent reference is Star Wars character Galen Erso. The name still projects a gentle, scholarly image, while sharing sounds with more popular names like Aiden and Nathan. Bonus: it's also an anagram of Angel.
Origin:German surname and literary name
Description:Gatsby is one of the most famous literary surnames, borne by the titular character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. The book's Jay Gatsby gussied up his surname from Gatz, whose meaning is given variously as left-handed, cat, God, and person from Gat. As a first name, it's got a lot of energy and that great literary pedigree.
Description:Stately Gaius (pronounced GUY-us) was in the name of many ancient Romans, including Julius Caesar. Little-used before the year 2000, it now feels like a fresh possibility in the revival of Latin boys' names like Atticus and Cassius. Caius and derivatives like Caio come from the same root. You could also see Gaius as a male version of the earth-goddess name Gaia.
Origin:English, feminine variation of George
Description:Now more popular than Georgiana in Britain, this elegant Dickens. Jane Austen name deserves attention. Most American parents prefer Georgia to Georgina or any other feminization of George.
Description:Because of Gwyneth Paltrow, this has almost become a one-person name, but not in the prohibitive there's-only-one-Oprah sense. Also seen as Gwenyth and Gweneth, this mellifluous appellation is definitely becoming more and more appreciated by American parents-- enough to land it on this year's Top 1000.
Origin:English, feminine variation of George
Description:Long a popular upper-crust form in England, where it's pronounced George-ee-AH-na, Georgiana has been been neglected here. But with Georgia growing more popular and the general fashion for elaborate feminine names, Georgiana might have room to grow.
Origin:German and French, feminine variation of Gerald
Meaning:"ruler with the spear"
Description:Though twin brother Gerald is still in baby name limbo, Geraldine is in line to follow the path of Josephine to imminent revival—even though Gerry is not as spunky a nickname as Josie.
Description:Originally a unisex nickname for a redhead -- red hair is called "ginger" in Britain -- or for the name Virginia, Ginger perennially wears pink gingham and spike heels.
Origin:Swiss place-name or French
Description:Unlike its somewhat formal Swiss city namesake, this is a lively and appealing place-name that also has a real history as a female name.
Origin:Possibly a form or Claudia or Welsh
Description:Hard as it might be to believe, Gladys was the Harper of 1900, emerging almost out of nowhere to take the naming world by storm. It became a favorite among parents — and writers of romantic Edwardian novels, seen as alluring and unusual. One impetus was the 1870 Ouida novel Puck, whose heroine was the idealized beauty, Gladys Gerant.
Meaning:"lives near a grove of trees"
Description:Forget the furry blue Muppet, forget corpulent President Cleveland (not too difficult), and consider this name anew. We think it's spunky, a little funky, and well worth a second look.
Description:A classic Welsh name, softer than Griffin and friendlier to spell than Gruffudd - that hasn't had as much love as it deserves elsewhere. Namesakes range from medieval kings to the philanthropist Griffith J. Griffith, who left land to the city of Los Angeles. It's great in full, but Griff is cool too.
Meaning:"aware of emptiness"
Description:Goku is the name of the protagonist of the popular "Dragon Ball" manga series, which was turned into a live action film. The character of Goku is reportedly based on Sun Wukong, the hero of the Chinese legend Journey to the West.
Origin:German, diminutive of Margarethe
Description:Like Greta, Gretchen is a German Margaret diminutive that has become an American quasi-classic, though not much used today, having dropped off the list in 2009. She was at her high point in the 1970s, making it into the top 200.
Origin:Italian variation of Guinevere
Meaning:"white shadow, white wave"
Description:A lovely alternative for the Jennifer-lover.
Origin:English and Irish from German
Description:Gerard is currently in style limbo, after reaching peak popularity in the 1950s. With its strong meaning and gentle sound, it may be back in a generation or two. But for now, a boy called Gerard will likely be the only one in his class...unless you live in Catalonia, where it was recently in the Top 10.
Description:Giada is a fresh spin on Jade, which has been quietly and stylishly used in English-speaking countries for several years now. Popular cook Giada De Laurentiis made this a possibility, then semi-subtly self-referenced when she named her daughter Jade.
Description:Glenn appealed to a lot of post-World War II parents for its cool, leafy image, also calling up the Big Band sounds of Glenn Miller and the calm, composed image of actor Glenn Ford, whose name at birth was the Welsh Gwyllyn. It could possible be in line for a comeback in the more nature-evoking spelling of Glen, as used by Glen Campbell, or possibly even the Welsh Glyn.
Description:One of those names that most Americans find just too too tea-sippingly British to consider; its meaning has led to occasional use for Capricorn boys.
Meaning:"staff of the Goths"
Description:Gray-bearded name heard primarily in Sweden and Germany.
Origin:English occupational name
Meaning:"worker of the granary"
Description:If you're seeking a solid last-name-first occupational name with a warm, friendly sound, one that's not overused, this could be it.
Meaning:"God is my fortune"
Description:A lesser-known archangel, but the name is probably best known today on comedian Gadiel Del Orte. Thanks to him, and the trend for biblical-sounding names, Gadiel has been rising in recent years.
Origin:Diminutive of Eugene, Greek
Description:Like Ray, a formerly funky nickname name that is newly cool; used for comedian Amy Schumer's son.
Description:Gulliver is an obscure Gaelic surname known almost solely through its literary Travels until actor Gary Oldman used it for his son, instantly transforming it into a lively option. British actors Damian Lewis, of Homeland, and Helen McCrory also have a son named Gulliver.
Description:When it's spelled with two dots over the 'u' in German, Gunther is pronounced GUWN-ter, but it has a much softer sound when the 'h' is voiced by English-speakers, as it was, for example, for the name of a character in Friends.
Description:Gypsy, long associated with the intellectual stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and the musical that was made about her life, was used by Drea de Matteo and Shooter Jennings as the middle name of their daughter Alabama. Be aware, however, that the word gypsy is now considered an ethnic slur when used for the Romani, or Roma, people.
Description:Gareth, the name of a modest and brave knight in King Arthur's court, makes a sensitive, gently appealing choice, used more in its native Wales than anywhere else.
Description:Grey is the more common spelling in Britain and Australia. This color name has a softness and ambiguity which makes it equally lovely for a boy or a girl.
Origin:English, diminutive of Virginia, American place-name and Latin
Description:Ginny was more common before Jenny and its myriad variants came along.
Origin:Hebrew, short form of Abigail
Meaning:"my father rejoices"
Description:Gail was a mid-twentieth century favorite, which has been far surpassed by its original form, Abigail and nickname Abby. Spelling variations include Gale and Gayle, the latter represented by TV journalist and Oprah bestie Gayle King. Gail was most popular in the 1950s, when it was in the Top 40, and could rise again, possibly as a middle.
Description:Pronounced zheel, it's a dashing conquistador; as gill, it's the nice and slightly boring guy down the street.
Description:Godfrey was very popular in the Middle Ages, but today you're more likely to hear it as a surname than a first name. It has a solid, old-man charm, but a couple of possible deal-breakers: the first syllable being God, and no obvious nickname. Goff, maybe? For a different feel, we also like the Italian artist's version Giotto.
Origin:Scottish form of Gregory
Meaning:"vigilant, a watchman"
Description:Two prominent literary namesakes make Gregor a somewhat risky choice. On the highbrow side, there's Gregor Samsa, the Kafka character who woke up one day to find himself turned into a cockroach. And then there's Gregor Clegane, one of the most feared and purely evil characters in the world of Game of Thrones.
Origin:Anglo-Saxon from French
Meaning:"pledge of peace"
Description:In the US, this spelling is less common than mid-century favorite Jeffrey, and it has faded from popularity faster. This more British spelling is the usual form for historical figures like Geoffrey Chaucer and the Welsh historian Geoffrey of Monmouth, and as such it may feel more rooted and enduring.
Description:Godric is one of the unique baby names that has found more exposure since J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter universe came into our lives. Godric Gryffindor is an important historical figure in the series. In real life, Godric was a name popular in middle England, with many saints and sheriffs of the 11th century bearing the name. Godric, like other old English names Arthur, Edwin and Oswald, has potential to make a comeback as an easily-recognizable but creative choice for parents looking for names that are unique without being too challenging.
Description:Guido was very popular in Renaissance Italy, with many namesakes including painter Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro) and mathematician Guido Fubini. Guy Fawkes, of gunpowder plot fame, sometimes used this version. Nowadays it's unfairly overlooked, but in the current trend for snappy international names ending in -o, this cultured gem deserves more use.
Description:This color name, spelled either Gray or Grey is rapidly catching on. Actress Jenny von Oy recently called her daughter Gray Audrey.
Origin:Variation of Gwendolen, Welsh
Description:The Gwendoline form may introduce pronunciation confusion -- does that last syllable rhyme with wine or win or when? We vote Gwendolen as not only the most proper but the clearest spelling, followed by Gwendolyn, with Gwendoline a distant third.