Monday, July 9

2011 Rarities: Part Six, the girls

golden raspberries by laliseuse, via Flickr

Here's one half of the last installment of 2011 Rarities. There were too many great finds to fit in one post, so the boys section will be up soon. Enjoy!

Aberdeen — this Scottish place name comes from a Gaelic element meaning "confluence of rivers" paired with deen, which refers to the rivers Don and Dee. I think the sounds here are really interesting for a girls' name, and the potential nicknames Abby and Berdy are pretty sweet
Afifah  love the happy sounds in this one. From Arabic male name Afif, meaning "chaste"
Amaranta  the striking Italian and Spanish variant form of Amarantha, which is a flower name referring to the amaranth genus of herbs. The word itself comes from Greek elements meaning "unfading flower"
Aviance  I'm thinking this is a Beyonce-esque "French-ish" name used for its similarity to popular Ava. It's also the name of a beauty brand sold in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East
Bhoomi  another fun one. Bhoomi means "earth" in Prakrit and is also the name of a Bengali "urban folk" band. Urban folk? Must look into that immediately
Bryony — it was a surprise to see Bryony was used only 5 times in the US last year. It's more popular in the UK (used 67 times in England & Wales in 2010) and is the name of a flowering vine used in herbal medicine, from the Greek bryo, meaning "to swell"
Devery  saw this one in Part Three of this series, used 8 times for boys 
Evienne  one of the names given by writers to the "Lady of the Lake" of Arthurian legend. Her other names include Nimue, Viviane, Niniane, Nivian and Nyneve  all so pretty!
Future  not for everyone, right? I, however, dig it
Jeremia  a form of Jeremiah, a traditionally male Hebrew name meaning "Yahweh has uplifted"
Kerala — the name of an Indian state on the Malabar coast. The word means "hill country"
Lianet — also found as Liannet or Lianette, this seems to be a smushing of elements Lia and the suffix "-net/-nette," used in Spanish-speaking countries (model Liannet Borrego is from Cuba). I like its fresh, light sound
Malone  a surname meaning "descendant of St. John," this, weirdly, ranks highly in France (as a boy name), probably for its similarity to Malo, a Breton name meaning "shining hostage." Its use for girls seems odd to me, but it's along the lines of other long-O surnames like Monroe, Harlow and Marlow, so I guess it could jump on the trendwagon
Minelly — along the lines of Lianet, a name smush using sounds popular in Spanish-speaking places. I wonder if the similarity to Minelli is intentional or unintentional
Navieen  probably a variant of Navin or Naveen, a masculine Indian name meaning "new." I think the sounds work nicely on a girl
Nebula  yes, please. Call her Nebby?
Omolara, Omolola, Omotola  the "Omo-" prefix (meaning "child") is typical of names of the Yoruba people of West Africa. I love the look and sound and the idea that a prefix can be paired with so many potential endings — wouldn't it be interesting if English names were like that? Omolola is my favorite of these 3 
Oneida  the (mispronounced, English) name of a Native American tribe, meaning "people of the standing stone." Whether or not you think its gauche to use it as a modern girls' name (especially if you aren't of Oneida descent) I think the name itself is lovely
Poetry — we've seen Poet and Story used, why not Poetry?
Rand  5 really dedicated Objectivist parents? 
Selby  an English surname from Old Norse elements meaning "willow farm"
Theda  a short form of Theodora, meaning "gift of god." Actress Theda Bara is the most popular namesake  her birth name, Theodosia Burr Goodman, is pretty great too
Vennela  a Telugu (a language spoken in primarily in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh) word meaning "moonlight"
Wells — super preppy-rific choice. Though it rings masculine, I prefer it on a girl


  1. My great grandmother's name was M3tt@ Oneida, I've always thought it was a lovely name but unfortunately I think it is probably unusable in this day and age. Not only a Native American tribe, which does seem gauche, it is also a large silverware manufacturer.

  2. I like Aberdeen for a boy. Great lists btw!

  3. Bryony is a personal favourite of mine, she's gorgeous.

  4. I've been somewhat intrigued with Nebula for a while now. I love the nickname option of Ebba, another name I find intriguing.

  5. Aberdeen is a city in Maryland, home of the Cal Ripken Museum. It feels too weirdly local to see as a place name, or an exotic name. Yes, I had to create a login for your website just to say that! :)

    Lianet is my favorite -- I need to add that one to my list! Evienne is also gorgeous given the history (thought at first I thought it was a creative take on Evian, as in the water). I also like Amaranta and Kerala.

  6. Rand is on my list for a boys name, not because of Ayn Rand but because of Robert Jordan's character Rand al'Thor in his Wheel of Time series. But that was just my first introduction to the name, I love it for its simple and strong feel.

    Bryony has been on my radar since the movie Atonement. I love the rhythm of this name, definitely underused in the US.

    My mom actually considered naming me Malone, it is a family surname. My g-grandma's maiden (i think).

  7. I've loved Aberdeen for a long time. It feels very lively and hopeful and fresh.
    Nyneve - love that
    Thank you for introducing me to Lianet/Lianette. Gorgeous.
    I've also always liked Oneida - because of the people and silverware, actually. I don't understand why anyone would think it bad taste to use the name of Native American tribes for a child's name. If Gaul, Angle, or Viking sounded good, I'd consider them. They just aren't as appealing. But Dacia, Lydia, Maya? all great.
    Actually, Ayn Rand is not what I think of when I see Rand. I think of the atlas (Rand McNally).
    I like Wells, but for a boy, and possibly better spelled Welles.


Names are all opinion -- share yours.