Last week was a good week for girls’ baby names, and there were some great birth announcements for boys too. The late Christopher Reeve is now a grandfather. Daughter Alexandra Reeve and husband Garren Givens named their son Christopher Russel, after both grandfathers. Actors Tiffani Thiessen and Brady Smith welcomed Holt Fisher, a little brother for Harper Renn.
But it was word baby names that made headlines last week – some of them were surprising, and most of them were for girls.
BJ’s Restaurant is celebrating a healthier menu by offering a $10,000 gift card to the first parents to name their baby Quinoa. Yes, Quinoa. The American restaurant chain is requiring a birth certificate as proof, and it has to be the child’s first name, not the middle.
Believe it or not, the restaurant isn’t the first to imagine Quinoa could be used as a name. If you’ve been following My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter on Pinterest, you know all about fictional Quinoa and her BFFs, Chevron, Salinger, Paraffin, Schwinn, Harbinger. Some of those names are outlandish. Others are coming soon to a birth announcement near you.
Other word baby names for girls work even better. Some are graceful and vintage, while some are energetic and all new. Inspiration can come from anywhere: the map, the natural world, music, colors, the calendar, gemstones and precious metals and yes, the kitchen pantry too.
Let’s take a look at nine of the more interesting word names for girls in the news last week.
1. Marigold – Writer Tara Wood welcomed baby number seven and chose a lovely, vintage botanical name for her newest daughter, Marigold Alice. It’s rich with meaning for the Wood family, but also feels perfectly on-trend in 2015. Even without the adorable toddler character of Downton Abbey fame, it’s easy to imagine parents moving beyond Lily and Iris to discover Marigold.
2. Ginger – Vintage Ginger has it all. The name is colorful, edible, and possesses all the grace of legendary dancer Ginger Rogers. Names for Real recently featured Ginger in a birth announcement round-up. It’s a surprise, because Ginger is at her lowest rate of use since the 1930s. And yet, Ginger splits the difference between Genevieve and Harper. I think this one could wear beautifully today.
3. Fern – I’m so excited they used Fern! The family now includes daughter Eliza Fern. Fern feels gentle and literary, thanks to Charlotte’s Web. Her name appeared in the June birth announcements. Plenty of the other new arrivals had nature-inspired middles, too.
4. Holiday – While we’re looking at the most recent babyberry report, did you notice the arrival of a baby Holiday? Holiday is as much a surname as Hadley, less dramatic than Easter, and not quite as mainstream as Noelle. Actor Harold Perrineau has daughters named Aurora, Wynter, and Holiday.
5. Silver – Names for Real spotted colorful, precious Silver in a recent birth announcement. Like Ginger, Silver shares that stylish –r ending. Thirty-five girls were given the name in 2014 – not Harper or even Piper, but still not completely unknown.
6. Trulee – Here’s a question about word names: do you spell it exactly like the word, or tweak it to make it more “name-like?” I’ve heard both perspectives. Trulee appears in a Names for Real round-up. I’m partial to Truly, which is also the most popular spelling, beating out both Trulee and the as-seen-on-Sister-Wives Truely.
7. Ariah – Tamera Mowry and husband Adam Housely went for a word name with a subtle respelling. The couple added the letter “h” to the musical Aria. Between Game of Thrones and Pretty Little Liars, this name has gotten a lot of attention in recent years.
8. Tennessee – First Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth gave this meaningful place name to a son. Now there’s a berry birth announcement for a girl called Tennessee. With London and Brooklyn so stylish, could Tennessee be the next big place name?
9. Alaska – This week’s most surprising baby name choice comes from Russian-born supermodel Anne V. Anne and Adam Cahan named their daughter Alaska. It’s a bold and unconventional place name possibility, but it’s not truly unique. 46 girls were named Alaska in 2014 — a new high.
What do you think of word names? Share if there are any on your shortlist in the comments below!
This post was originally published on Nameberry by Abby Sandel.