Sep 20th 2008

Here are a dozen girls' names.  Can you spot any patterns in the list?


Go with the obvious: half of the names on the list start with L.  You're looking at the top dozen names in Austria, just one of the many countries infatuated with the lovely letter L.  Lena and Leonie are particularly hot in German-speaking areas; Lea is huge in France and Quebec; Lucia is the top name in Spain, with Lucy and Lucie soaring elsewhere; Laura is a favorite just about everywhere (good taste, world!)  Take any short name that starts with an L and ends with a vowel, and you're sure to be in style.

Regular readers of this blog may be experiencing a little deja vu right about now.  Yes, you've heard something like this before.  The same pattern came up in my discussion of rising names I've taken off my "Why Not?" list.  Names like Luna and Lila were rare in the U.S. just a few years back, but are suddenly in contention.  The global figures suggest that's not just a fluke.  L is the world's hottest letter for girls' names, and the U.S. is just hitching a ride on that bandwagon.


p.s. to those of you who've asked me about that mysterious little "login" button...no, it doesn't do anything quite yet, but stay tuned!



By Tara (not verified)
September 25, 2008 5:57 AM

I just named my little daughter Laura, and here I was thinking that I was ahead of the resurgence of that name! Oh dear, I am right up there with everyone else Hehe.


By Laney (not verified)
September 25, 2008 6:04 AM

Laura/Lara has been on the top 10 list now for years and years in many European countries like Germany, Austria, Spain, etc.

By Laney (not verified)
September 25, 2008 6:07 AM

Oh and I think there was a past discussion about "Derek". It is one of my least favorite boy names of all times. It just sounds like an a**hole. A jerky name, kind of pompus and whiney at the same time like "Lance" or "Pearce".

Lance and Derek, ugh.

By Laney (not verified)
September 25, 2008 6:08 AM

pompous pompous pompous I mean, lame typo.

By ET (not verified)
September 25, 2008 6:09 AM

Just because I was bored I counted all the L's on my facebook friends. I have:

1 Lara
10 Laura's
3 Lauren's
1 Lessa
1 Libby
1 Liz
1 Lizzie
1 Lucy
1 Lydia
1 Lynne

The youngest being Lucy at 13, and the oldest being Lynne who is in mid/late 20s.

For boys there is:


with one of each.

By Kelly (not verified)
September 25, 2008 9:02 AM

lizpenn: With regards to Milo, I don't think that name is likely to become female-dominated. And if a boy's name you like does end up that way, I don't think that you should let that factor deter you from using it (from your example I would not have a problem with using Avery for a boy; I'd even consider using a name like Shannon as such). By the way, this message is from a guy named Kelly who likes his name!

By C & C's Mom - and now B! (not verified)
September 25, 2008 11:42 AM

ET - funny about L's on facebook - you made me want to count them as well. From my friend list (all over age 30):

Layth (male)
Lisa (2)

By anouk (not verified)
September 25, 2008 11:48 AM

urgent help required from all baby name wizards. I have a baby girl due tomorrow and no name. Not even a list.

Problem is that i picked claudia a million years ago but my niece (born 5 weeks ago) has just been called that....

Sooooo my husband has put together a short list and i am just not feeling anything...


help much appreciated.

By Opal (not verified)
September 25, 2008 12:17 PM


Since we're all talking L names, what about Lydia? It's 3 syllables like Claudia, and ends in theh -dia, if that's a sound/look you like. Nadia might work as well.

Or, if you like Cl names, what about Claire, Clara or Clarissa? There's also Clarice, though that might be a little to "Silence of the Lambs" for ya.

Good luck!

By Opal (not verified)
September 25, 2008 12:18 PM

err, to >>> too

By Aybee (not verified)
September 25, 2008 12:27 PM

What about Audrey for that 'aud' sound?

I think a good "L" option is Lucia.

Maybe also:

Best of luck!

By Valerie (not verified)
September 25, 2008 12:35 PM

My facebook L friends:
Laura x 2
(ages 18-45)

Only one male: Laren (aged 50+)!

anouk: I love the names on your list. Are you looking to narrow them down or for others like them?
If the latter, how about:

Clara (yes, I know I keep suggesting it. I just think it's wonderful!)

By J&H's mom (not verified)
September 25, 2008 12:44 PM


Ouch! What a terrible coincidence!
Fwiw, I love all the names on your current list. The issue is coming up with something that has the same sophistication of Claudia. I think all you current choices do, but some have gotten so popular that they don't seem quite as cosmopolitan, if that makes sense.
I think Thea and Matilda would be my top picks, and I also like the suggestion of Lydia.
Here are a few more:
Ondine (on-deen-I got this from "Top Design." I don't know anything about it, but I think it's very pretty, and it reminds me of Claudia)!

Danielle-Did you already rule out Audrey?

By J&H's mom (not verified)
September 25, 2008 12:59 PM

Just a few more


By Guest (not verified)
September 25, 2008 1:38 PM

Toddler names alert from Seattle - kids aged 11 mos. to 2 years


A.J. (for Andrew, Jr.)

What do you make of these?

By RobynT (not verified)
September 25, 2008 1:45 PM

Miriam: There is an essay about American Girl called "Making Babies the American Girl Way" by Terri Kapsalis. It appears in the book _Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices_ edited by Maria Fernandez, Faith Wilding, and Michelle Wright. The article talks about having the ability to choose the features of your baby and I think connects it to women choosing donors at sperm banks--sort of what we want our babies to be I think.

Guest: That list of boys names sounds very boy band to me. Not sure why... hip and light I guess. The girls names sound much weightier in comparison.

A.J. (for Andrew, Jr.)

By ajaz (not verified)
September 25, 2008 2:28 PM

Referring to what Laney said about the name Derek: If you've ever seen the teen show (I think on Disney Channel) Life With Derek, it matches her description pretty well. Derek on the show is a pompous jerk.

By Trish (not verified)
September 25, 2008 2:35 PM

>>I think there was a past discussion about "Derek". It is one of my least favorite boy names of all times. It just sounds like an a**hole. A jerky name, kind of pompus and whiney at the same time like "Lance" or "Pearce".
Laney, LOL! I wonder if we knew the same boy. I had a huge crush in HS on a boy named Dereck. Then I *met* him, and BLECH. Spoiled the name completely.
I did name my son Eric though, it's completely different and reminds me not-at-all of the boy I stalked through the halls.

I don't have access to Facebook at work (sigh), but on my phone (organized by first names), my most popular letters are J (14), L (12) and A (11).

By J&H's mom (not verified)
September 25, 2008 2:36 PM


I think they're in keeping with national trends.
My sister lives in Seattle (we're an hour south), and I have noticed that Seattle hipsters seem to tilt slightly more to the new and trendy side than hipsters nationally-at least from what I can glean from other posters.
I actually like all the names on both lists, except I've reached my saturation point on Sophia.
Laura's post on Jillian a while back was certainly timely.
All of a sudden, I know of four!

By Opal (not verified)
September 25, 2008 2:41 PM

Top 5 first name first letters in my email addy book, in order (most, though not all in the 30-40 y/o age range) are: S, C, J, A, L.

By another amy (not verified)
September 25, 2008 3:17 PM


is your friend/niece (i can't remember) a fan of the Fancy Nancy books? Nancy's doll is named Mirabelle. My nearly 4 year old has been naming dolls Mirabelle recently. She renames her dolls pretty much constantly.

By Jennifer (not verified)
September 25, 2008 7:17 PM


To me, Claudia was quite different from your posted list. I like the regal, Latin feel of it. Maybe you're searching for something similar? I'd suggest

Miranda (not classically Latin, but lovely)

N.B. "Ondine" is a water sprite from old fairy tales (forget which poem); the name comes from the French/Latin word for 'wave.' It's also a Curse-- Ondine's Curse-- in medicine, a fatal disorder where patients stop breathing in their sleep. This comes from the fairy tale-- Ondine had a mortal lover who, after she found out was unfaithful to her, demanded that "every waking breath would belong to me." He would die by respiratory arrest if he fell asleep. He did.

By Miriam (not verified)
September 25, 2008 7:21 PM

Of possible interest--

One of the poker dudes has asked his fellow dudes for advice in naming an about to be born son. The names under consideration are Eli, Henry, and Samuel. These names mostly reflect the wife's taste, and the daddy-to-be dude isn't too thrilled with them. The fellow dudes chime in. A few of the responses are serious and provide a window into young men's naming strategies/tastes, but many of them are silly and obnoxious, and beyond immature to infantile. Most of the respondents are in their teens and early twenties (many are too young to gamble or drink legally, but they do so anyway), and they feel the need to show off how clever they are(n't) in front of their peers. (This poker site has many forums, some of which are targeted to sensible adults, but this particular forum has banned the older and wiser and is populated by the dumb and dumber.) Nonetheless what the dudes have to say when they are being halfway serious or better reflects the kind of input young fathers and soon-to-be fathers have in choosing their offspring's names.


You have been warned! :-)

By Miriam (not verified)
September 25, 2008 7:33 PM

re alternatives to Claudia--

other Roman alternatives--Cornelia, Livia, Julia. Valeria

I noticed that Matilda was on the husband's list. A combo of Claudia and Matilda (Mathilde) would be Clothilde which I always liked and which is used with enough frequency in Acadiana as to be a bit of a stereotype. It is, I believe, very rare in the rest of the country, although since Chloe is now popular perhaps people will pick up on Clothilde as an alternative.

By Miriam (not verified)
September 25, 2008 8:03 PM

I know, too much from me, BUT I just found crackerjack the poker dude's first thread on trying to find a name for his baby. This one has rather more serious suggestions than today's thread, but more amazingly it also has a link to this site and the name voyager (post #72).


By J&H's mom (not verified)
September 25, 2008 8:51 PM


Definitely fun in small doses! Reminded me a lot of racking my brains for names only to have dh toss out some dismissive wisecrack, along the lines of "I knew a ______ once, and he was a jerk." or "Why don't we just call him 'kick me.'"

Or, he'd be really enthusiastic about something, and then later say, "Wait. I thought you were joking about that one."

Jennifer-Thanks for the info. on Ondine.
Maybe not the best namesake....still pretty, though!

By Cathy (not verified)
September 25, 2008 11:07 PM

J&H's mom - had to laugh at your comments about your dh and how he responded to your name suggestions. Oh, have I ever been there! I seriously thought our child would never be named! All he kept saying was "what about Bob?" And he was serious, too, despite the fact that he has an Uncle Bob & 2 cousins named Bob (all with his surname). And the names he thought were "so out there," it was comical - some of them were more common than Robert is now, but because he didn't grow up with the names, I swear he thought I was just putting letters together and creating names.

Your husband's "kick me" comment is almost verbatim what my dh said one night. MEN!

By hyz (not verified)
September 25, 2008 11:15 PM

Finally got through the last couple days of comments, and oh, J&H's mom, that made me laugh. "Why don't we just call him 'kick me.'" And the false enthusiasm. lol. Husbands make naming hard. My DH absolutely refuses to talk about names anymore, at least until we're expecting again.

Anouk, I like the Cecilia suggestion to replace Claudia--they have a very similar feel to me. I love Cecily and Valeria, too. But maybe we'd be more helpful if we knew what you love about Claudia.

And off topic, but remember when we were discussing children named Messiah? Well, I was touring a local elementary school this weekend, and saw a cubby labeled Messiah, right between the likes of Julia and Ben! I'm still totally shocked by this. Other interesting names from my cubby snooping--Rio, Avalon, and some of my favorites, Laurel and Rosalea (although I prefer Rosalie). The only repeat name I noticed was Leo.

By Melodie (not verified)
September 26, 2008 4:43 PM

Long time lurker, first time poster - I had to jump in on this topic, as I am the parent of a toddler Lorene (named after a beloved great-grandmother). We have gotten mostly negative reactions to her name - or people assume her name is Lauren. The only people who seem to like her name are my 13 year old daughter and her friends. Their absolute favorite names for potential future children, by the way, are Leslie and Frederick.

Anyhow, I definitely think L is a real trend - on my online toddler playgroup there are many children named Lucas, Lily, Lucy or Liam. One of our favorite nicknames for Lorene is Lolo incidentally (this was mentioned as a nickname in one of the previous comments).

My older children's names are Jared, Molly and Patrick. Which brings me to something I've been wondering as I've read this blog - what about the sibling sets of parents who have remarried and then added to their family? Jared and Molly were from my first marriage - both have popular names that I just plain liked. I remarried years later and had the two younger children - both of whom were born when I was in my 30's and both of whom are named after great-grandparents (first names and middle names). I just wonder if other remarried parents have chosen a different style for subsequent babies? (Or maybe it is just me!)

By Maddie (not verified)
September 30, 2008 3:43 PM

Very interesting! L names made up 5.6% of the top 250 US girl names in 2007. For more name stats, see my blog -- http://namestats.wordpress.com

By David (not verified)
September 30, 2008 3:44 PM

We're thinking of naming our daughter Sara Ines Schultz. But should the middle name end with an S or a Z? And what about an accent mark over the E?

By Guest (not verified)
September 30, 2008 8:14 PM

Try this L-L-L-lovely name


Isn't it pretty?

By Junie (not verified)
October 1, 2008 1:54 AM

Of the American Girl names, Kirsten, Elizabeth, Nellie, Ruthie, Josefina, and Kit seem accurate to me.

Addy and Molly are maybes. I believe (but am not sure) that during the '30s and '40s, Molly was heavily stereotyped as a Jewish matron's name, so it doesn't exactly strike me as something that a white-bread suburban Christian family would name their daughter during that period. That demographic seemed to call their girls plain old Mary.

Kaya and Samantha, definitely not.

Felicity sounds plausible, but I'm not sure how often it was actually used in Colonial Virginia. I would associate it more with Puritan New England (or Canada, but that's just because of the LM Montgomery character).

By N. Amanda (not verified)
October 5, 2008 6:45 PM

@ajaz... eep! i think that may have been what I named my American girl doll too (my name is Nicole Amanda, and I know I called my doll Amanda - not sure if her middle name was Nicole, but since I can't remember another middle name for her, I think that might have been it) weird coincidence. ^_^

By Laurie (not verified)
October 9, 2008 9:19 AM

I had a very hard time deciding on a name for my daughter who I adopted last year at age 4 from China. At the last minute I named her Lenora May.

Yes, I have had a bit of namer's remorse but this article is quite affirming! I've actually had people twist up their noses at her name right in front of me....including one mom with a daughter named Liliana. (not to my taste).

So for the first year home I continued to call hre by her Chinese pet name and then when starting kindergarten she decided to be called Lenora. And I'm starting to really like it after wondering why I didn't pick one of the names I was so close to using!


By Guest (not verified)
October 14, 2008 1:15 PM

I've been reading through all the names mentioned here, but haven't seen a Kayleigh. Most spell it kaylee. I liked the longer spelling (it is her full first name, middle being Ann, with 2 sibs girl Ashley Lynn and boy Kevin James). If I have any more girls, I do like Esme or even (get ready) Renesmee. It's different. Also Katelyn. My DH absolutely refused Arabella Paige. My mom and I thought it was cute. Everyone else thought it was an old fashioned name like Lily,I didn't think so for either one. I knew of a girl when I was younger named Tangie. Never to this day have I heard it again. It's very different but likeable.

By SuperGrandma (not verified)
October 21, 2008 10:10 PM

Another pattern in the original name list is they all end in a vowel sound. I've always been fond of L-L-L-lovely's first listed name Lena because it means "illustrious". At least that's what a site called Baby Names and Meanings. Help for When You Are Pregnant for Sure! says for its Hebrew origin.

October 25, 2008 10:17 PM

I've got twin girls who are three. One is named Linden and the other is named Hollyn. I still wonder if Hollyn should have been "Lauren". I love the sound of it but when I was pregnant, I started to see it everywhere. Not just as girls' names but in lower-end stores as clothing lines etc. So, it sort of seemed like a wanna-be preppy name to me after a while. I still wonder is we made the right choice.

October 25, 2008 11:58 PM

My daughter is named Sadie as well. I would have never thought that I would have named a baby girl Sadie. We had Mason picked out for a girl and Tate for a boy. We didn't know her gender until she was born. People actually sent flowers to the hospital for Mommy and Baby Mason. My husband had a huge sign on his office door(made by his co-workers) welcoming "Baby Mason" complete with her birth wieght and length.
But, I decided against Mason as soon as I looked at her. I didn't know what her name was, I just knew it wasn't Mason.
She was ten days old (the hospital kept calling and asking us to come in and fill out the B.C. with her name). Finally, when I saw it on a baby name web-site, I realized that her name was Sadie; I know it sounds crazy. I went immediately and asked my husband what he thought (expecting a thumbs down). To my suprise he said, "Sadie, yes, that is her name".
Sadie is now 5 and she is the love of our lives (along with her 3 year old twin sisters Linden & Hollyn).

By Bailey Suezette (not verified)
October 29, 2008 8:27 PM

Hey Y'all!

Im new..and i tumbled upon this webstie!

I see alot of yall are using names that satrt with "L".

But i have always loved the Name Amelial Grace and Suzann Monica!

And i think my name is very unique!

Its Bailey Suezette.
(And i go by both names)

By Fabregas (not verified)
December 16, 2009 6:24 AM

Fabregas is one of the best players out there! His performance at the Liverpool match a few days ago really highlighted his passion for Arsenal. I heard he yelled at the team, "You are not fit enough to be wearing those Arsenal shirts". I suppose he really got mad at the team but the outcome was that Arsenal won!

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