"Bell" Epoque

Jan 16th 2014

In 2012, I identified Bella as one of the hot combining names of this generation -- a name that parents love to mix and match with other sounds to build new names. Traditional choices like Isabella and Annabella were just the tip of the iceberg. Creative combos like Elizabella and Bellarose were springing up by the dozen.

In the two years since I wrote that, the bell- creativity has only grown. Last year, 146 different "bell" names were chosen for at least five newborn American girls. I wanted to find a way to present that amazing flowering of style around a single sound.

While this site is known for data visualization and statistical analysis, this time I've decided to put aside graphs and summaries. Nothing can tell the tale of these names better than the names themselves. Below are all 146 names. Remember that these aren't isolated examples; each name represents a minimum of five babies born last year alone. 

Aarabella   Bellamie   Isobella   Lisabella
Abella   Bellamy   Isobelle   Lizabella
Adabella   Bellanie   Issabella   Lizabelle
Adabelle   Bellany   Issabelle   Lunabella
Aerabella   Bellarae   Iszabella   Lunabelle
Airabella   Bellarose   Itzabella   Mabelle
Amabella   Bellatrix   Izabell   Maebelle
Amabelle   Belle   Izabella   Marabella
Anabell   Bellina   Izabellah   Marabelle
Anabella   Bellissa   Izabelle   Marbella
Anabelle   Cabella   Izahbella   Mariabella
Annabell   Cambelle   Izebella   Maribell
Annabella   Campbell   Izibella   Maribella
Annabelle   Carabella   Izsabella   Maribelle
Annabellee   Christabella   Izybella   Marybell
Annabellelee   Christabelle   Izzabell   Marybella
Annebelle   Clarabella   Izzabella   Maybelle
Annibella   Clarabelle   Izzabelle   Maybelline
Annibelle   Corabella   Izzibella   Miabella
Arabella   Corabelle   Jazabelle   Miaisabella
Arabellah   Cristabella   Jazzabella   Mirabell
Arabelle   Elisabella   Jessabelle   Mirabella
Arbella   Elizabella   Jezabell   Mirabelle
Ariabella   Elizabelle   Jezabella   Rosabella
Aribella   Emmabelle   Jezabelle   Rosabelle
Aribelle   Erabella   Jezebelle   Rosebella
Arrabella   Esabella   Kabella   Sabella
Arybella   Ezabella   Kampbell   Sarabella
Avabella   Giabella   Kimbella   Sebella
Ayrabella   Hannabella   Kristabella   Sophiaisabelle
Bell   Isabell   Kristabelle   Sybella
Bella   Isabella   Krystabella   Ysabella
Belladonna   Isabellah   Kymbella   Ysabelle
Bellagrace   Isabellamarie   Labella   Yzabella
Bellah   Isabellarose   Labelle   Zabella
Bellaluna   Isabelle   Leabella    
Bellamarie   Isbella   Lilybelle    


January 16, 2014 12:40 PM

Why oh why would you name your daughter a name highly associated with a poison and a porn star?! I get that it basically means "beautiful woman", but....

January 16, 2014 5:30 PM

Some of those are just baffling.

Jazzabella? and all those variations of Jezebel? Really?

January 16, 2014 5:25 PM

I have a two and a half year old grand niece named Isobel, named after her great grandmother.

The name isn't in your list so I guess that is not a popular form!

January 16, 2014 6:25 PM

The -bel names are not on the list, so Isabel, Isobel, Christabel, Jezebel, etc. are not included.

January 16, 2014 10:24 PM

I can't get over Sophiaisabelle.  That's crazy. 

January 17, 2014 4:55 AM

Lauren Audrey, the SSA data strips spaces and punctuation, like hyphens. I'd be willing to bet that the Sophiaisabelles are actually all Sophia-Isabelles or Sophia Isabelle.

January 17, 2014 9:47 AM

Elizabeth T. wrote: "The -bel names are not on the list, so Isabel, Isobel, Christabel, Jezebel, etc. are not included."

Thanks, Elizabeth! Yes, there are 43 more names with "bel," no second L. They include Jazabel, Crisbel and Yarisbel along with many more conventional choices. One reason I left them off this list is that they also include more unstressed "bel" syllables -- e.g. Ebelyn & Ebelin -- which seems like a different story. (Probably Ebelyn reflects the Spanish pronunciation of v?)

January 17, 2014 1:24 PM

Yes, I imagine that Ebelyn is just a creative spelling of Evelyn among Spanish-speaking parents. The 'b' and the 'v' are pronounced identically in Spanish. I once knew a Bibiana and there is a girl in my son's school named Kimverli.

January 17, 2014 1:57 PM

I have a two and a half year old grand niece named Isobel, named after her great grandmother.

January 21, 2014 2:56 PM

Surprised that Trixibelle didn't make the list!

January 22, 2014 10:54 AM

At least there wasn't a Bellabelle.  

January 25, 2014 11:23 PM

I'm just glad Tinker Bell did not show up! We have Tink in her own movie series, "Twilight" Bella (technically an Isabella), and "Harry Potter" Bellatrix all ringing that "bell" sound in popular culture and probably other examples I'm not thinking of.

February 11, 2014 8:14 PM

This post makes me think of the chapter in the book Freakonomics about how uneducated people name their children. My stomach turned reading these names. Those poor babies!

May 26, 2014 3:54 AM


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