Lilac's Under the Radar

  1. Acacia
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "thorny"
    • Description:

      Acacia is an attractive, rarely used Greek flower name enhanced by its popular beginning-and-ending-with 'a'-construct, and is gradually beginning to catch on as a new member of the stylish girl names starting with A.
  2. Amabel
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "lovable"
    • Description:

      Amabel is an older name than Annabel and a lot more distinctive. Amabel was a very common name in the twelfth and thirteen centuries, then was revived during the nineteenth century British fad for medieval names.
  3. Ailey
    • Amantha
      • Benno
        • Origin:

          German
        • Meaning:

          "bear"
        • Description:

          Benno is a cool name in its own right -- there was a tenth century Saint Benno -- though it is also used as a lively nickname for Benjamin. Saint Benno of Meissen is the patron saint of anglers and weavers and, strangely enough, alliteration.
      • Benson
        • Origin:

          English
        • Meaning:

          "son of Ben"
        • Description:

          Benson has outgrown its long association with a wisecracking TV butler. Parents may see it as an alternate route to nickname Ben, very different in image than the biblical Benjamin. Benson also carries the patronymic theme made popular by Jackson, Harrison, and Jefferson. More recently, Olivia Benson of Law and Order: SVU has reclaimed this as a surname. On a less salubrious note, Benson is still connected to the cigarette brand Benson and Hedges.
      • Bowie
        • Origin:

          Scottish
        • Meaning:

          "blond"
        • Description:

          Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn put this name in play as a first name, but David Bowie (born with the considerably less marketable moniker of David Robert Jones) dyed it blond and gave it charisma. He changed his surname in 1965 to avoid confusion with the then popular Davy Jones of The Monkees, and especially since his death, his admirers have seen it as an increasingly viable baby name namesake.
      • Bron
        • Origin:

          Polish diminutive of Bronislaw
        • Description:

          Crisply appealing.
      • Bellamy
        • Grayden
          • Hollis
            • Origin:

              English
            • Meaning:

              "dweller at the holly trees"
            • Description:

              Hollis is a surname-name used quietly for both genders. At last count, it was given to over 200 baby boys and 160 baby girls in the US. Now a Top 1000 name for boys, it could well break into the charts for girls too in the coming years.
          • Hayla
            • Jaret
              • Jessa
                • Origin:

                  Short form of Jessica
                • Description:

                  Once rare, this streamlined form of Jessica has been boosted by two very different television figures: the Jemima Kirke character on HBO series Girls, and reality television daughter Jessa Duggar.
              • Kira
                • Origin:

                  Russian feminine variation of Cyrus
                • Meaning:

                  "throne"
                • Description:

                  Though such cognates of Kira as Keira, Kyra, and Ciara are evermore popular throughout Europe and in the U.S., this Cyrus relative has a different root. Variations include Keera, Kiera, Kierra, Kirah, Kiri, Kiria, Kiriah, Kiro, Kirra, Kirrah, Kirri, Kirya, and Kyra.
              • Lorcan
                • Origin:

                  Irish
                • Meaning:

                  "little, fierce"
                • Description:

                  Lorcan is a name rich in Irish history as belonging to several kings, including the grandfather of the most famous high king of Ireland, Brian Boru. Lorcan O'Toole, known in English as Laurence O'Toole, is the patron saint of Dublin, so it's not too surprising that Irish-born actor Peter O'Toole named his son Lorcan.
              • Loyal
                • Origin:

                  English
                • Meaning:

                  "faithful, loyal"
                • Description:

                  Loyal is one of the few virtue names suitable for boys, an honorable and principled Boy Scout-esque appellation with a surprisingly long and distinguished history.
              • Maguire
                • Origin:

                  Irish
                • Meaning:

                  "son of the beige one"
                • Description:

                  Although Maguire is such a prominent Irish surname —it ranks in the Top 40 in the Emerald Isle —this lively and cheerful family name has rarely been used as a first, unlike more familiar examples like Ryan, Riley and Reagan. The powerful and distinguished Maguire clan was known for their courage, leadership and resilience. The name's many notable associations include the unionizing Pennsylvania coal miners known as the Molly Maguires, actor Tobey Maguire and Dixie Chick Martie Maguire. Other spellings are McGuire and McGwire; two other handsome Irish surnames to consider are Malone and Magee.
              • Malone
                • Origin:

                  Irish
                • Meaning:

                  "a devotee of Saint John"
                • Description:

                  Classic Irish surname with a lot of character and some interesting associations: the title character of a Samuel Beckett novel and basketball great Karl Malone. Malone is a popular name for baby boys in France.
              • Maris
                • Origin:

                  Latin
                • Meaning:

                  "of the sea"
                • Description:

                  Maris is an unusual and appealing name that has never appeared in the U.S. Top 1000, overshadowed by its twentieth century elaboration, Marisa/Marissa. It derives from the phrase "Stella Maris," star of the sea, one of the many epithets of the Virgin Mary, and became familiar via the unseen (but unliked) character of sitcom Frasier's ex-sister-in-law.