12 Modern Romantic Names for Your Little Sweetheart

Mar 21st 2016

Today, Romeo and Juliet don’t have to work hard to find each other - they’re at the highest ranking they’ve ever been on the US Top 1000. With other love-ly names like Valentina and Tristan on the rise, one might say modern namers have been struck by Cupid’s arrow! Here are some more modern (and unique) romantic name options for your little love.

Amyas. Also spelled Amias, this handsome, ethereal name comes from the Latin for “beloved”. And despite its low popularity, the name fits in well with popular boys’ names like Elias, Atticus, or Moses. Historically, Amyas has been used in the UK a few times, but its uncommon sound and darling meaning make it stand out in a crowd.

Philo. Boy’s names ending in O have been on the rise for the last decade - from Leo to Milo to Theo, namers love the O-pen ended options. Philo would suit this trend perfectly! Another name meaning “love”, Philo speaks to classic names like Phillip - to please conservative tastes - or academic subjects like philosophy - to please intellectual tastes.

Corwin. With last names like Cooper, Parker, and Carson feeling worn, why not look at Corwin? The hard-C beginning is tempered by the soft -win ending, which is a nice balance. Corwin means “heart’s friend”, relating directly to the romantic theme, but I think Corwin also sounds like a heroic name: courageous and winning! Bonus points for animal lovers - Jeff Corwin of Animal Planet is a passionate conservationist, and a great namesake.

Liev. An anagram of the popular Levi, Liev has gained notoriety in the United States through X-Men actor Schreiber. Its solid single-syllable sound helps it fit in with the current trend of short boys’ names like Max and Luke, but the vibe is somehow lighter and more appealing. Perhaps Liev’s closeness to “love” has something to do with it? The name also means “heart”.

Adonis. It wasn’t too long ago that Romeo was thought of as overly romantic, but in today’s world of uncommon naming, everything out is in again! Adonis, like Amyas, fits in with other popular boys’ names, but its robust melody and confident connotation help to individualize the name. Uber-masculine and handsome, Adonis means “lord”, and lends itself to the vintage nickname Don.

Didier. It wouldn’t be a true romantic list without a few French options! Didier reminds one of springtime in Paris, but it’s not quite as recognizable as Pierre or Jean-Claude. Didier will also have a unique sound to English listeners, but it isn’t impossible to pronounce. The name means “desired one”, and any long-awaited baby would wear the name with pride.

Ceri. Pronounced “Seh-REE”, this name features on 30 Rock as the beautiful secretary at NBC, from the French cerise, for “cherry”. Pronounced “Keh-REE”, this name is a diminutive of Ceridwen, a Welsh name meaning “beautiful as a poem”. Either pronunciation is lovely and feminine, and the name is short enough to be a nickname but solid enough to feel complete. Ceri, of course, recalls the delicate nickname “Cherie”, and it really is oh so dear.

Esme. While this name certainly isn’t overused, it still hasn’t quite reached the popularity of sister name Amy. To that I say, why not? It’s similar to adorable Emma and Esther, and the meaning - related to both “beloved” and “emerald” - is pretty and striking. Plenty of heroine Esme’s feature throughout literature, from Salinger to Snicket. Of course, the lilt of French adds an air of romantic intrigue to this gorgeous name.

Dove. With names like Fox and Bear coming into the spotlight, Dove could easily join the menagerie. The bird inspires thoughts of peace and love, and the sound of Dove is as soft as fluttering wings. Not sure if Dove is strong enough? Similar names Dawn and Wren have done well, and Dove even ranked in the top 1000 at the beginning of the twentieth century!

Seraphina. Ardent, fiery Seraphina more than merits a place on this list! Melodic and feminine, this name is surprisingly underused despite its similarities to other Latin favorites Isabella and Serena. The name originally refers to an order of angels, but it’s less expected than Angela or Angelique. Of course, the four-syllable cadence helps Seraphina’s staying power, and the name just brims with passion.

Zelia. Zealous Zelia is fun, fresh, and full of possibility. The name has the popular -lia ending, but it’s distinctive from most other names out there (Cecilia being the closest, I think). The spirit of Zelia is reminiscent of young love and happiness, but the name also fits in with vintage and retro trends. This energetic find is still rarely used, but it won’t be long before Zelia’s energy sweeps up the popularity charts.

Mireille. This light and fluffy French name just exudes positivity and love - like “miracle” meets “hooray!” It seems to have almost an excess of letters, but on paper they give the name necessary substance. Mireille offers a variety of accessible nicknames, from Mira to Ellie (for English speakers), but any little Mireille in the US will be one of a kind.


March 21, 2016 9:15 PM

Once again, the information on these "list" posts is not always entirely accurate.  Liev is a Russian name--the i stands for a glide.  It is a "lion" name and is Leo Tolstoy's Russian name (note: this name is often transliterated as Lev without the glide, but Liev is the more accurate transliteration).  There is also a Modern Hebrew name transliterated as Lev and pronounced without a glide.  That is the "heart" name.  Point being, Liev Schrieber's name is not an example of what you are talking about.  Lev Grossman, author of the Magicians series, would be a better example.

March 22, 2016 6:32 AM

I agree with Miriam on the inaccurracy of the meanings of the names.

Liev can mean "love" when interpreted as a Low German or Dutch name, but in this case it is feminine (it's die Liebe in German).

Corwin cannot mean "heart friend", that's whishful thinking and blatantly wrong. It is derived from the Latin word corvus meaning "raven". Another serious etymology derives it (as a surname) from Old French cordoan "leather".

BTW, the name Dove would sound very strange in Germany, because it sounds like doof meaining "stupid, dumb"



March 22, 2016 11:12 AM

And Dov is a Hebrew name from the word for bear.  It is often part of a double-barrel Dov Ber ('bear bear' rather like naming a child Bruno Orson).  Jonah and Jemima are two names that derive from the Hebrew word for dove.

By JayF
April 4, 2016 12:38 PM

Mireille! That was the name of the female character in the French videos we watched in French class over 20 years ago. I loved that name. :)

April 5, 2016 12:56 PM

My youngest daughter's name is Mareille. Pronounced the same way.