Overlooked Girls' Names with Fashionable Endings

Mar 29th 2018

Seven names with a "bel" ending, from Annabelle to Mabel, rank among the top thousand names for American girls. Does that exhaust all the possibilities? Not by a long shot. A host of "bels"—and other popular name endings—are waiting to be discovered among the name choices of past generations.

The name statistics of the 1880s-1920s feature hundreds of names with fashionable suffixes. I searched for currently rare girls' names ending in -belle/-bel, -ora and -ia, discarding options that stepped too far outside current fashion bounds. (Sorry, Vernabelle. And an extra-double sorry to Splendora, a one-hit wonder of 1923.)

The 49 options below include some throwbacks, some curiosities, and a few names so modern-sounding that it's surprising we don't see them more often. Among them, you may find a fresh alternative to a popular favorite. Annabelle and Alexandria, get ready to meet Evabelle and Arcadia.

-BELLE/BEL NAMES
Claribel
Christabel
Corabelle
Emmabelle
Evabelle
Idabelle
Laurabel
Lenabelle
Lolabelle
Marabelle
Norabelle
Rosabel
Sarabelle
Willabelle
Ysobel

-ORA NAMES
Eudora
Evora
Honora
Ilora
Izora
Medora
Nellora
Theora
Thora
Valora
Viora
Zenora

-IA NAMES
Apollonia
Arcadia
Audria
Delphia
Dulcia
Elodia
Euphemia
Evia
Flavia
Honoria
Iolia
Junia
Leocadia
Mahalia
Oralia
Ottilia
Romelia
Rosaria
Sophronia
Velia
Vinia
Willia

 

Comments

1
March 30, 2018 2:23 PM

I would be rather excited to meet a Splendora, though I think that artificial sweetener has possibly ruined that one.

2
March 30, 2018 6:39 PM

Very surprised to not see Delia! It's definitely a rarity, and my favorite ♥️ We plan to use it as a nickname for Cordelia, but I love it on its own too. 

3
March 30, 2018 6:41 PM

Also, Mirabelle would be great for this list! And Elizabel. 

4
March 31, 2018 5:43 PM

If we combine modern Americans love of -bel names and their love of reviving of Biblical names also loved by Puritans (Abigail, Hannah, Ethan, Caleb, and so on), why not...Mehitabel! A number of my ancestors were named that, and I think it could be time for a comeback!

 

5
April 1, 2018 4:33 AM

I was also going to mention the formerly popular Amabel (lovable). Apparently Mabel started out as a diminutive of Amabel! Nowadays, I think people are afraid it would be confused with Annabelle, and that's probably why it dropped out of favour.

6
April 2, 2018 1:04 AM

Valerie, most name researchers agree that Annabel arose (mostly in Scotland) in the Middle Ages from a misreading or mishearing of Amabel.