Happy Names Are Here Again!

Jun 26th 2018

There’s a reason newborns are referred to as “bundles of joy” - the optimism and hope that come with new life are universal feelings that transcend language and culture. When naming such blessings, many parents want to find a way to express that glee in an accessible but unique way - but how?

These fifteen names vary in their histories and styles, but all of them embody the feeling of happiness. Whether virtuous, botanical, retro, or modern, you’re sure to find a joyful name that suits your taste.

Image: Flickr/thetejon

Joy. This word name is short, sweet, and upbeat, ideal for parents who want an unadulterated expression of happiness in their child’s name. Joy’s use as a name began in the seventeenth century, but modern audiences will be drawn to its friendly and chic style.

Bonnie. From the Scottish word for “pretty,” itself derived from the French bon, Bonnie is a bright and shining choice. From Gone With the Wind to Bonnie and Clyde, pop culture connections abound for this energetic choice, making it accessible yet memorable.

Maisie. While Maisie originally developed as a nickname for Margaret, it’s now standing out as a lovely name in its own right - thanks especially to Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams. The name is particularly popular in the UK, but US namers will also enjoy Maisie’s spirit and sass.

Lark. An historic symbol of the dawn, the lark is also associated with the positive idioms “on a lark,” referring to carefree fun, and “happy as a lark,” inspired by its pleasant song. All of these links contribute to Lark’s image as a cheerful, animated choice with the potential to soar.

Poppy. Another favorite in the UK, Poppy is a charming floral option that may appeal to fans of Lily, Violet, or Scarlett. The name has gotten quite a bit of celebrity attention in recent years, but Poppy has just enough charisma and flair to keep from being a flash in the pan.

Dulcie. It’s derived from the Latin dulcis, meaning “sweet,” and its popularity in the nineteenth century gives the name a beautiful vintage vibe. While the Spanish variant Dulce has a number of fans in the US, delightful Dulcie still ranks just outside the top 1000 - perfect for parents who want an uncommon name.

Felicity. This virtue name exudes optimism and elegance, thanks to its lilting melody and Puritanical roots. Over the past few decades, Felicity gained attention due to namesakes in the toy and television industries, making the name familiar but not too trendy.

Clover. If your name style is botanical but not flowery - think Hazel, Sage, or Olive - pretty Clover might be right up your alley. The plant has long been associated with luck and prosperity, and the name feels fresh and unexpected.

Belle. Though Isabelle and Annabelle are well-used, old-fashioned Belle has become more appealing for its simplicity and meaning - it’s the French word for “beautiful.” One popular association is the bookish Disney princess, but Belle is versatile enough to work for all kinds of personalities.

Mercy. The dust is shaking off historically Puritan names, with today’s parents appreciating the inspiration found in virtuous names like Mercy. A literary favorite, Mercy combines compassion and strength in one graceful package.

Blythe. Originally a surname meaning “cheerful,” Blythe has become an amiable, feminine choice ideal for an intrepid namer. Some of Blythe’s familiarity comes from its actress namesakes, yet this gorgeous name remains under the radar for most Anglophone communities.

Daisy. Calling to mind summer days and colorful meadows, Daisy balances classic vibes and modern attitudes. The name offers something for everyone, from links to the natural world to literary and historical namesakes to a pleasant yet vibrant sound.

Clementine. Although it’s bound to spark choruses of “Oh my darlin’, Clementine,” the name is too enchanting to remove from consideration. Cute Clementine comes from the Latin clemens, meaning “merciful,” and it was fairly popular at the turn of the century, too.

Amity. Another virtue name, Amity fits in aurally with playground favorites like Emily or Serenity, while maintaining its own warm personality. It’s an often-used place name in the United States, as well as a potential honorific for a familial Amy or Amanda.

Sunny. Once just an adorable vintage nickname, Sunny jumped back onto the popularity charts this year - perhaps the series A Series of Unfortunate Events is to blame? Radiant in form and style, Sunny is a name that’s sure to bring a smile to your face.


June 26, 2018 5:28 PM

How about Leticia, from the Latin word for happiness?

June 27, 2018 11:22 AM

Excellent addition! Alaia, Asher, and Beatrice could also fit this category.