For the 'different, not weird' baby namer

The next generation of word names

on May 2, 2018

The 1970s gave us Dawn and Heather, the 80s Amber and Crystal, and Destiny begin to rise in the 90s, with Serenity and Trinity close behind.  Today, many of these names have begun to feel dated, and parents are flocking to vintage picks like Ruby and Lily instead.  But, there are plenty of lovely word names that haven’t quite reached the mainstream success of beloved classics like Grace yet.  I’ve previously posted some of my favorite noun names, and I thought it was time to expand on that list. Here, I’ve gathered what I believe to be some of the most wearable word names lying outside the top 100, and often far outside mainstream popularity.  I’m focusing on girls’ names here, but many of these would easily work as unisex choices.

Freesia– This lovely floral name seems like a logical step from trendy Freya, but for some reason is super rare! It was given to fewer than 5 girls in 2016!

Auburn– Audrey and Aubrey are popular, and “-N” endings are trendy, so why not Auburn?  It was only given to 40 babies in 2016.

Tansy– A cute, unique flower name that both fits in and stands out among the likes of (Mc)Kenzie, Tenley, and Daisy.

Reed- This simple but attractive nature name ranks #351 for boys, but could easily follow Reese across the gender line, and was given to 38 girls in 2016.

Maile- This Hawaiian nature name is pronounced similarly to Miley has all the makings of a trendy moniker, and could appeal to a wide variety of stylistic preferences. Only 23 girls received it in 2016.

Indigo– While I’m not a fan and wouldn’t personally call this one wearable, I had to mention it because its elements are so on trend.  The gender-neutral sound, “O” ending, and nickname Indy/Indie make it a perfect up-and-coming word name.  It missed the top 1000 in 2016, given to only 118 girls and 44 boys, but could be on the upswing.

Cadence– Cadence is on the downswing after suddenly soaring into view in the early 2000s. It’s a pretty name with a pretty meaning but shares the spotlight with spelling variants like Kaydence.  It peaked at #199 in 2007 and now sits well outside the top 100 at #376.  It might be grouped in with the Kayla/Kaylee/Katelyn clan in a world saturated with Kay- names, but I feel Cadence could be worth a second look.

Liberty– I’m not a huge fan of virtue names but I feel Liberty is one of the most wearable, with a few cute vintage nickname options.  Felicity and unisex Justice are other nice options in this category.

Olivine- This pretty green mineral doubles as a more elegant update to the trendy, vintage Olive!  It’s very rare (given to only 10 girls in 2016) but would be unlikely to encounter pronunciation issues.


Honorable Mention: Merit, Laurel, Sorrel, Camellia, Eve, Joy, Mercy, Ember, Senna, Poppy, Penny, Sage, Haven, Rowan, Magnolia, Calla, Rue, Mesa (many of these were discussed in a previous post).

BONUS NAME: Kyrielle! Kyrielle is a bit of a cheat because it’s not included in some English dictionaries (it’s technically French), but isn’t it gorgeous?  And it has a nice meaning too: it’s a form of French rhyming poetry.

Obviously this is just a small sampling of the word names out there!  Share your favorite word names in the comments!!


One response to “The next generation of word names

  1. I love the name Kyrielle! In fact, I just uploaded a ‘Kyrielle’ (the form of poetry) onto my blog. I’ve linked it below. Hope you like it!

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