Unusual Antiques for Girls

Well, I'm going in for my gender-determining ultrasound this week or next week. Before I do, I'm going to play with girl's names, because if my track record (4 boys) means anything...I won't get to after I find out.

I'm trying to find "the perfect" classy classic. Names in the running include:


Question Mark Names:

Names I Like but are Awfully Popular:

Names I like but can't use for whatever reason:

Does anything pop out at anybody? Are there any names that you think belong on my list? Which ones do you like?


August 12, 2013 12:48 PM

What a great list of names, I really like all of them.  However, with the exception of Ophelia I don't think I'd call any of them unusual.  Some may be less popular than others, but I think they all fit pretty well with current trends.

If popularity is a concern, you may want to look at the different spellings of Elinor/Eleanor/etc.  Combined, it may be higher than you would like.

You might also want to consider the trajectory of Violet.  It is currently #89 and has been rising fast over the last several years (it barely ranked in the top 1000 in 1998).  I don't know what your persoal cut off for "popular" is, but it's been rising by about 20'ish places a year for the last couple of years.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it in the 50's or 60's when this year's stats are released.

My personal favorites from your list are Amelia, Clara & Violet.

Some others you might like, Cordelia, Geneva, Molly, Stella, Sylvia, Nora & Helen.

August 12, 2013 1:41 PM

Oh, I'm not looking for rare or exotic names, just unusual, probably not top 100. All of my boys have names in the top 100, but I think boy names are less mercurial, a name that's fairly-but-not-super-common will hover around the same area for a long time. Girls, now...they shoot up and down so fast that it's really hard to make a good pick that's not going to sound passe in ten years.


I wasn't aware that Violet had gone up so far... my area is full of Rylees and Kaylees and Haylees with a subset of Avas, Lilys, and Hannahs... I forgot to look outside at other data. :/

Cordelia is an interesting thought... 

By mk
August 12, 2013 4:02 PM

Genevieve is one of my top 5 favorite names, so that is the one I prefer from your list. I've heard of quite a few baby Penelopes lately, so if "popular" is a concern for you then that may not be the best option. Same with Elinor.

I also love the name Cecilia. So that is my second choice from your list. Amelia and Ophelia are also lovely. It's too bad you can't use Lydia.

August 12, 2013 7:07 PM

I love Clara!  I've also always like Ophelia buon have never heard it used.  I also like Amelia.  

Livia maybe an alternative to Lydia, and you can use Liv as a name.  

August 12, 2013 11:41 PM

I simply adore the name Clara, and always have. I'm curious - what pronunciation do you prefer for Clara? Would you want the first syllable rhyme more closely with "Clah" or "Claire"? 

Regardless, this is a lovely list of names!

August 13, 2013 12:37 AM

I love how Ewan MacGregor pronounces Clara!  How he says it!  Lol

August 13, 2013 8:37 AM


I also like Clara best. So sweet, classic, and beautiful!

Have you ever thought of Cecily? Not quite as formal as Cecilia, yet a name with history that is absolutely charming!

August 13, 2013 9:55 AM

Ooh, I had not thought of Cecily. I'm thinking now.

August 13, 2013 1:03 PM

From your initial list, I like Clara and Elinor/Eleanor very much; from your Question Mark list, I like Ivy and Elena (Eleni?). Some of my personal "go to" names include: Adelaide, Arabella, Berengaria, Clementine, Deirdre, Esmeralda, Magdalene/Magdalena, Samantha, Tamara, Veronica. Good luck!

August 13, 2013 1:19 PM

This is one of the hardest posts, I think to answer, because you don't have a SINGLE name on your list that I don't like. In fact, ALL of them have been on my list at some point in our baby name deliberations. I don't know if I can help you too much! Before we settled on Maeve Cordelia for our baby girl due in December, the two names we had in the running were Clara Penelope and Violet Maeve. Since our baby girl is due in December, my husband has made me PROMISE not to talk baby names for baby #3 until we get pregnant again, BUT I am currently keeping a list of all the girls names I'm going to pitch and on that list, I have: 

Amelia, nickname Millie
Cecily, nickname Celia
Clara, nickname Clare
Eleanor, nickname Nora
Genevieve, nicknames Gena, Evie or Viv
Henrietta, nicknames Hattie or Etta
Josephine, nickname Joss
Violet, nickname Vi

Penelope - middle name only
Wren - middle name only
Elise - middle name only

And here are names that I LOVE, but have been ruled out because of family: 

August 13, 2013 2:00 PM

I love so many of the names you've listed: Amelia was my mother-in-law's name and is my stepdaughter's name, so it has very special meaning in our family; Lydia was a very close friend that I lost too soon; Helen is my name and Elena is the Spanish version of Helen.

However, one name that is one of my very favorites that isn't mentioned is Evelyn.  My daughter, Andrea, had a friend named Evelyn and her nickname was Evyn.  From the moment I met this young girl, I fell in love with her name - so classic, yet so fresh.  Give it a try!

August 13, 2013 3:23 PM

My daughter had a class with a little girl named Evan and it was adorable on her.  I always thought it was just a little too much of a boy's name for me to ever consider it, but I like how you get to Evyn with Evelyn here.

August 13, 2013 3:40 PM

You can also get Evan from Evangeline. :-)

August 13, 2013 3:40 PM

Clara is my favorite! Alice is old and very feminine. In my opinion Estelle and Ophelia are not pretty names!! Have you thought about Isla? It is pronounced (eye la) I think Isla is very pretty and girlie!!!

August 13, 2013 5:30 PM

I had many of the same names on my list for DD born 4 months ago. We eventually settled on Celia and love it - if you are looking for a classic name that also sounds classy now, it's up there. It ranks high-ish on the top name lists from 100 years ago, so it has that antique sound, but it also has older Shakespearean roots. It sounds feminine but not as frilly as Cecilia. The only problem with Celia so far has been people hearing it as Cecilia. And unless something funky is going on this year, it doesn't seem to be rising, unlike Violet, Penelope & Nora (at least in our neck of the Northwest.) Cora is nice, but seems suddenly hot like Nora, too. Good luck and have fun!

August 13, 2013 6:26 PM

My first daughter's name is Clara, which I wanted because I also love names like Emma and Sophia, but they have become so popular! Since naming my daughter, I have met quite a number of little Clara's, so the name is also becoming popular.  I love Elinor, and I absolutely LOVE the sound of the names Celia and Cecilia, except that their meanings are not necessarily really great (I knew a family who changed their 1-year-old's name from Cecilia to something else because they found a meaning for the name that they didn't like - I think I still would have kept the name, because it's beautiful, but you want to be aware of these things). Ivy is really pretty also. 

I think popularity changes so quickly that you can't always guess what will be popular - and I've heard that the 'most popular' names today aren't used as frequently as the 'most popular' from 20-30 years ago, because people are just using a greater variety of names.  

Good luck!!

August 13, 2013 11:49 PM

Good point about considering what a name means! Celia actually has different roots from Cecilia - Celia is related to the Latin word for heaven or sky, while I believe Cecilia has association with St Cecilia (patron saint of musicians & perhaps blind?) Neither association sounds bad to me, but I can see how some folks might not be wild about blindness. My dad once started belting out Simon & Garfunkel's song "Cecilia," which has some mildly saucy lyrics, but I think that's a generational association likely to fade with time!



August 13, 2013 8:22 PM

I love your taste. I have both a Clara and Eleanor (we chose this spelling as it is the most common, but I love that yours is like Sense and Sensiblity). I like that they aren't terribly common but no one thinks I've given my kids fusty, grandma names (though a lady in WalMart one time made a crusty face at "Eleanor")

I think Violet is maybe too popular if you think Amelia is too popular.

I'm curious as to your boys names. We just had a boy and vascilated between James and Wesley, but picked Wesley because we hated all the nicknames for James.

August 13, 2013 8:30 PM

I have a grown son named -- and called -- James, no nickname. We did call him Jamie when he was young and occasionally Jay, but by the time he was in 4th grade, he announced that he wanted to be called only James.

And I have a grandson James, 10, who has never been called anything else, although a couple of times recently he's mentioned that he would like to be called Jay...but then he forgets about that.

So I really think James can be called James these days, no nickname necessary. :)


August 14, 2013 1:02 PM

We have an Alex@nder, a Nath@niel, a G@briel and a Ch@rles. Our last name is very short, so I chose longer names to try and balance it. (I love the name James - one of our boys has it as a middle name, where I think it performs excellently.)

And Elinor Dashwood is absolutely one reason I prefer that spelling. :)

August 14, 2013 1:07 PM

Ok, so we have an Alex@nder, are planning on a Nath@niel, and I love G@briel. Our Alex@nder's middle name is James. May I ask what middles are for your boys?

August 14, 2013 1:12 PM

Gregory, David, James, and Elmer, respectively. I feel like I have to explain Elmer...he's named in honor of a much-loved, not-long-deceased relative. 


(I tell people that 30 or 40 years from now Elmer is going to be fashionable again, and his kids are going to be naming their kids after him, to the surprise of everyone older than themselves. No one believes me.) :) 

August 14, 2013 1:43 PM

I like family names for middle names. I want to work Milton into a middle name, but hubby just won't do it (having had Herschel for his middle name, he hates "old" names.).

August 13, 2013 8:26 PM

I LOVE Elena, so that's the one that "pops out" at me. Elena certainly meets your criteria of "classy classic".

Best wishes and I hope you'll let us know what the ultra-sound shows. I'm glad you're enjoying thinking of a name for a little girl -- and I hope you get to use it.



August 13, 2013 10:48 PM

I really like Elinor, and it's nicknames.  Ellie, El, and Norrie are all cute, and if you have a girl with older brothers, Eli might even fit her personality!  Good luck with your ultrasound and choosing your little one's name!

August 14, 2013 9:46 AM

There's also Celeste (or Celestine), Vivian, Susanna, Ivy, Aurelia, Beatrix, Adelaide. Not sure if those have been mentioned yet. Maybe some of those appeal to you. They are my faves :)


Good luck!

August 19, 2013 12:08 PM

Looks like we've settled on Genevieve Eli@na - I'm floored, I thought for SURE my husband would think Genevieve was "too fancy" or something, but he loved it.

Now to wait till the end of the week and see if we get to USE the lovely, lovely name we've chosen. 

August 20, 2013 3:35 AM

Lovely! Good luck for your scan - hope he or she is healthy and cooperative.