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Our Favorite Uncommon (but not Unusual) Girl Names

IMG_3577_Facetune_08-10-2019-14-43-46If you’re new here, let me fill you in on my 4th pregnancy. Like the three children before, we did not find out the baby’s gender early. We like to wait until the baby is born to see if we’re adding another girl or boy to our family. We LOVE the surprise!! However, I know it’s not for everyone.

That being said, we always have to have boy names and girl names ready to go. Our boy name, Jude, was determined very early on in my pregnancy. We have three other children: Luke, Eden and Adam. All biblical names, all 4-letter names, all gender specific names… so Jude just seemed like a natural fit for us. Luckily, we had another boy because our girl name… well, we were never 100%. Oddly enough, we were both CONVINCED we were having a girl, but we just could not decide on a name.

In fact, while I was in labor our L&D nurse was even googling baby girl names for us. We really loved Diana, and probably would have gone with that name, but we also could have been very easily persuaded to chose something else.

I asked you all (on Instagram) for baby girl name suggestions and you all delivered! Many of your name suggestions were trendy, which was something we were trying to avoid. We also didn’t want a name in the Top 50 on popularity charts, or something that was quickly rising. We also didn’t want something so unique people were confused by it, or have difficulty pronouncing or spelling it: like Shanisty. I love my name, but 30 some years of having to explain it, correct people who mispronounce or misspell it gets realllllly old… please consider that, parents!

The final requirement in choosing a girl name was everyone in our family had to agree and love the name. It was really important to us to include the children in the decision process. Eden was a VERY hard critic. She shot down every single name we suggested, and came up with her own. She loved Alice, Ally, and Emerson…all great names, but we didn’t feel they were a right fit for us.

Luke was second hardest to please and didn’t hold back his feelings at all. Being the numbers guy he is, he even gave them rankings. One of our names got a 00. Sorry, Liv. He told me it wasn’t a real name, of course we want the baby to “live” and it was ridiculous to even consider it.

Adam was the last one to voice his opinion, and while he didn’t really say much on his feelings, we wanted something he was able to pronounce and enjoyed saying.

The kids chose the name Diana while watching The Little Mermaid. If you recall the scene where Prince Eric takes Ariel on the boat (Kiss the Girl) he’s trying to guess her name. His first guess is Diana. The kids heard it and told me immediately that’s what their baby sister should be named!

So, what were our other girl names?

Here is our list, in no particular order along with name meanings, our thoughts and popularity ranking.

Hopefully, these will help you in your baby name journey!

  • Hattie:
    Popularity Rank: #459
    Meaning: “Ruler, power”. Hattie is a diminutive of Harriet.
    My thoughts: I loved this name. However, I didn’t like it was a nickname. I wanted something more formal for her first name, but was not a fan of Harriet or Henrietta.

    Jeff’s thoughts: Jeff’s favorite girl name is Hadassah. It’s Queen Esther’s given name in the Bible. I never liked Hadassah (which means Myrtle Tree), but I liked Haddie or Hattie.

  • Elizabeth:
    Popularity Rank: #13 (super popular!)
    Meaning: “pledged to God”. Elizabeth, one of the premiere classic girls’ names and most popular Hebrew names for girls, is now just outside the Top 10, having been replaced in 2014 by the rising Charlotte.
    My Thoughts: I like the history of Elizabeth. I liked how classic of a name it was, I did not like a single nickname for it, however. The only nickname I liked was “Liv”, which was a bit of stretch… but Luke shot “Liv” down saying it wasn’t a real name.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: He was never a huge fan of this name, period.

  • Savannah:
    Popularity Rank: #45
    Meaning: “flat, tropical flatland”. Savannah would have been Adam’s name if he was a girl!
    My Thoughts: Savannah is a gorgeous name and I really like the nickname Vannah. My only hesitation with Savannah was how popular it was becoming, especially in the south.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: Jeff always loved Savannah, as it also symbolized a period in our married life when we lived there with Luke and Eden.

  • Naomi:
    Popularity Rank: #64
    Meaning: “pleasantness” Naomi was once a primarily Jewish name from the Old Testament that referenced the mother-in-law of Ruth.
    My Thoughts: Naomi was my first choice for a really long time, until I read somewhere that it spelled “I Moan” backwards. Jeff always thought I was nuts for taking that to heart, but I thought when kids figured that out, she would be teased. Sorry, Naomi’s out there… I still love your name!

    Jeff’s Thoughts: He likes the name, and I think he would have been okay if we chose it.

  • Mary:
    Popularity Rank: #126
    Meaning: “bitter” Mary was my grandmother’s name. We really liked it paired with the name Ellis.
    My Thoughts: Mary had a really long run as the #1 name in the U.S. however, it’s not heard of much today. It’s a biblical name, but we didn’t love the meaning.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: A plain name.

  • Bridget:
    Popularity Ranking: #718
    Meaning: “strength” One of the earliest Irish names for girls to immigrate to the USA, Bridget, the most familiar form of the name of the Celtic goddess of wisdom.
    My Thoughts: I love this name, I love that it’s uncommon today, I loved the nickname “Bridge” … I was a huge fan. Also, I really love Brigitte Bardot who’s style was tops!

    Jeff’s Thoughts: He didn’t love the name. Moving on.

  • Sloane:
    Popularity Ranking: #181
    Meaning: “raider” Also is an Irish name.
    My Thoughts: I love Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and will forever associate this name with Sloane Peterson, not a bad thing! However, I did not love that it was a gender neutral name. Also, I noticed there is a brand of toilets named “Sloan” ……..

    Jeff’s Thoughts: This was his favorite name! He made a really strong push for this to be our top girl name. Which kind of surprised me!

  • Sadie:
    Popularity Ranking: #87
    Meaning: “Princess” Sadie is a nickname for Sarah.
    My Thoughts: I loved this name a lot, but I was afraid it was becoming too popular!

    Jeff’s Thoughts: This name and Sloane were his absolute favorites from our list. Sadie was for sure a top contender for us.

  • Vivian:
    Popularity Ranking: #96
    Meaning: “Life” I really liked the name Vivian or Vivien after the classic actress Vivien Leigh. 

    My Thoughts: I was a fan of this name, but I realized there were quite a lot of them in my kids school. Much like Eleanor and Evelyn, this old time name is making a big comeback.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: Not one of his favorites, so he never really had much to say about this one.

  • Tara:
    Popularity Ranking: unranked
    Meaning: “rocky hill” 

    My Thoughts: This was one of my favorite names for many reasons. It isn’t super popular, it’s easy to pronounce, it’s 4 letters, it’s Irish… not that that really mattered that much, but it’s kind of cool with the last name Ireland.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: Was not even a contender for him.

  • Audrey:
    Popularity Ranking: #46
    Meaning: “noble strength”. Love this name for Audrey Hepburn.My Thoughts: I have always loved this name, I remember liking it even as a child.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: He said it was just okay, so it was pretty low on our list.

  • Elsa:
    Popularity Ranking: 888
    Meaning: “pledged to God”.
    My Thoughts: FROZEN. While it’s a beautiful name and it really would go well with our daughter Eden, I just don’t think anyone would ever be able to let it go from the Frozen association.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: not an avid Frozen watcher, so he loved the name. He didn’t think anyone would associate it with Queen Elsa from Frozen, but with Frozen 3 coming out this fall… I’m not sure how it won’t be forever Frozen in Arendelle.

  • Elin:
    Popularity Ranking: Unranked
    Meaning: “light” Made slightly mainstream by Elin Woods, Tiger’s ex-wife.
    My Thoughts: I liked this name in the beginning, but I was afraid it would be mispronounced. I also thought it was way too similar sounding to Eden.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: He loved it. This name was his suggestion and he didn’t think it would cause any kind of a conflict. I wasn’t on board though.

  • Jane:
    Popularity Ranking: #291
    Meaning: “God is gracious”. We considered this name while at the hospital when I was in labor! We thought it more for a middle name, but I also loved the idea of using Jane as a first name.
    My Thoughts: simple, beautiful and underused.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: simple, but perhaps a little too plain.

  • Miriam:  Popularity Ranking: #708 Meaning: Bitter

    My Thoughts: I loved that it was biblical and not super common. I wasn’t a fan of the meaning, and I didn’t love Miri or Mira for nicknames.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: at this point he was so sick of me throwing out name suggestions I think he agreed with everything, ha!

  • Abigail:  Popularity Ranking: #15 Meaning: “the father’s joy”

    My Thoughts: I absolutely loved Abby Ireland. But I felt like everyone and their sister was named Abby.

    Jeff’s Thoughts: Abigail was one of the strongest women in the Bible, but the name is way too overused.

So there you have it. Our grand list of girl names that we’ll (likely) never use!

  1. What was your favorite name from this list?
  2. What are some names you loved but were never able to use?

Comment below and let me know!

 

10 Comments

  1. Ali
    October 8, 2019 / 9:07 pm

    Bridget was my top contender for our daughter Abigail, but husband did not like. Good thing you didn’t choose Vivian or Sloane … lots of little girls running around right now with those names 🤷🏼‍♀️ I also LOVED the names Farrah and Ariel (for obvious reasons) 😍 I’m surprised Aurora didn’t make the cut!

    • Shanisty
      Author
      October 9, 2019 / 8:36 am

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE Bridget!!! I was so sad Jeff wasn’t on board. we loved Abigail too. hahaha. Aurora is pretty, but dang it’s a mouthful. <3

  2. Jane Beasley
    October 8, 2019 / 9:07 pm

    I liked all your name ideas! My name is Jane Ellis. My daughter-in-law is Mary Elizabeth and granddaughter is Elizabeth Jane! (I’m a close friend of Jessica Rosner’s precious mother.) Love your blog!

    • Shanisty
      Author
      October 9, 2019 / 8:35 am

      Beautiful name you have! Jane and Ellis were two of our choices! I’m a huge fan of classic names. I’m so happy you follow along here… love Jessica so much, miss her dearly.

  3. Natalie Rumpff
    October 8, 2019 / 11:10 pm

    I’d say from your list my favorites would have to be Sadie and Savannah I think they sound like beautiful names and go great with Ireland. I love how all of.your names are Biblical and how you guys involved the kids in the naming process. You are blessed with a gorgeous loving family. I really enjoy all of your posts and pics. Ett ln

    • Shanisty
      Author
      October 9, 2019 / 8:34 am

      Thank you Natalie!! It’s funny how name themes come to be. I don’t think we ever really intended on the Biblical theme or 4 letters… but after Luke and Eden it just made sense! Thanks for following along, we have a lot of fun here

  4. Anita Fields
    October 9, 2019 / 11:28 am

    My favorite was Savannah

    • Shanisty
      Author
      October 10, 2019 / 9:49 am

      Love Savannah too!

  5. Kelly
    October 14, 2019 / 10:58 am

    You know I’m a sucker for a solid irish name, so I love Bridget! I love Sloan, and I do love the classic Mary. Sadly out of fear for how we could handle more kids, we will never get to use our beloved Molly:) And my new fave: Fiona. When the boys were 3 months old and I went back to work, I feared an untimely pregnancy would happen and I would get pregnant too soon. With 3 children under 3 I was soooo tired and I wasn’t able to do traditional birth control, so I made Mark get a vasectomy. All these years later, I’m not sure I’m sad about not having a 4th ( or could you imagine, another set of twins:)) or just sad I let fear get the best of me.

    • Shanisty
      Author
      November 6, 2019 / 7:57 pm

      I wish you’d have a 4th!!! You have such beautiful children!!! One day I really do hope we can meet up 🙂 xx

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