Usable, But Uncommon One Syllable Names for Girls

  1. Bea
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Beatrice
    • Meaning:

      "she who brings happiness"
    • Description:

      Bea is a former old lady name that's cute again as a short form -- and is now beginning to stand on its own. Bee is a variation that, like Bea, can work as a diminutive for any name that starts with the letter B, or in the middle. Bea actually stood alone on the popularity lists for four years at the beginning of the twentieth century--and it could happen again.
  2. Belle
    • Origin:

      Short form of Isabelle or French
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful"
    • Description:

      Belle has nothing but positive associations, from "belle of the ball" to "Southern belle" to the heroine of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. As if this weren't enough good things, Belle is also one of the most familiar and usable names that mean beautiful. Though it has been overshadowed by the Twilight-influenced Bella and longer forms like Isabella and Annabella, Belle has its own Southern charm and would make a pretty choice as a first or middle name.
  3. Blair
    • Origin:

      Scottish
    • Meaning:

      "dweller on the plain"
    • Description:

      In the USA, Blair is gaining momentum, rising quickly for the last 10 years and likely to continue to climb. In England and Wales, where Blair has political connotations – calling to mind former prime minister Tony Blair – it is much less common, although it is in use for boys in its native Scotland.
  4. Bliss
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Description:

      A sweet, uplifting and still fairly uncommon modern virtue name. Its single syllable makes it especially good as a middle name, but it would also make a big impact in the first spot.
  5. Bray
    • Britt
      • Origin:

        Swedish, contracted form of Birgit
      • Meaning:

        "high goddess"
      • Description:

        Brisk but rather brittle. Britt Eklund was a Bond Girl in the 1974 The Man with the Golden Gun. Britt is a contracted form of Birgit, but be aware that it does come with the strong possibility of being confused with Bret/Brett—or as a shortening of Brittany.
    • Drew
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of Andrew
      • Meaning:

        "strong and manly"
      • Description:

        Drew is an elegant formerly male-only alternative to Andy that joined the stylishly upscale Paige-Brooke-Blair sorority, thanks largely to Drew Barrymore. Barrymore comes by her first name legitimately: it was the maiden name of her paternal great-grandmother, Georgiana 'Georgie' Drew Barrymore, one of many esteemed actors in her family history.
    • Faye
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "fairy"
      • Description:

        Does Fay really need that e at the end? We vote no, but modern parents disagree: The Faye spelling was used for nearly 300 girls in 2014, vaulting the name back onto the Top 1000 after a 35-year absence, nearly ten times as many babies as received the Fay spelling.
    • Fern
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "plant name"
      • 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.
    • Fleur
      • Origin:

        French
      • Meaning:

        "flower"
      • 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.
    • Greer
      • Origin:

        Scottish, contraction of surname Gregor; Latin
      • Meaning:

        "alert, watchful"
      • 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.
    • Jules
      • Origin:

        Latin; Greek
      • Meaning:

        "youthful; soft, downy"
      • Description:

        TV personality Jules Asner made this middle-aged male name suddenly seem young and fresh and female, after having been an off-the radar-nickname for Julia and Julie. Author and wife of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver spells her name Jools, and we've also seen Joolz.
    • Kay
      • Origin:

        English, diminutive of Katherine
      • Description:

        Kay, a cigarette-smoking, nightclubbing name of the 1930's, could be ready for a comeback along with cousins May/Mae and Ray/Rae.
    • Kit
      • Origin:

        English, diminutive of Katherine
      • Meaning:

        "pure"
      • 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.
    • Lane
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "a small roadway or path"
      • Description:

        Lane is a unisex name equally accessible to boys and girls. As a common surname, Lane is attached to such celebrities as Diane and Nathan.
    • Lark
      • Origin:

        English bird name
      • Description:

        Lark is getting some new and well-deserved attention as a post-Robin and Raven bird name. Although it was first recorded as a name in the 1830's, it has never appeared on the Social Security list.
    • Liv
      • Origin:

        Norse
      • Meaning:

        "life"
      • 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.
    • Scout
      • Origin:

        Word name
      • Description:

        Scout, a character nickname from To Kill a Mockingbird (her real name was Jean Louise), became a real-life possibility when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used it for their now grown middle daughter, followed by Tom Berenger a few years later. A unisex choice that is growing in popularity for both genders -- but given to girls about four times more often than to boys -- it was picked by skater Tai Babilonia for her son and Kerri Walsh for her daughter Scout Margery.
    • Shaw
      • Origin:

        English
      • Meaning:

        "lives by the thicket"
      • Description:

        Shaw is a streamlined and more modern-sounding Shawn, with many notable surname namesakes.
    • Shea
      • Origin:

        Irish
      • Meaning:

        "the stately, dauntless one"
      • Description:

        The short but solid Irish surname Shea works for both genders; Kevin James has a daughter named Shea. Shay is another possible spelling.