Every mom knows the significance of a baby's name, this is why they spend lots of time pondering the name that will be just right for their perfect babies. There may be lots of favorites but only one can win and so we sentimentally check names off our list until we believe we have found the one.
But what's a mom to do when her preferred first name doesn't go so well with her peculiar last name? Like with the last name Fair, for example, moms who go ahead to name their daughters their favorite name 'Snow' when her last name will be 'Fair' are only asking for trouble for their little ones.
From flower names to strong and classy ones, we have gone ahead to find names that work well with most surnames. And we've tested them against some of the most challenging last names we have found like Fair, Cornish, Dooley...
To make these names more appealing, we only picked those that are pretty and still relevant (we don't want our little babies bearing outdated names from the 80s now do we). Which name would you have guessed would make the list? Let's find out if your guess is right.
You've just got to love the name Maya. With Maya, we find innocence, and beauty, and carefreeness all tied up together in a single bundle.
The name Maya is relatively modern in terms of usage in the English-speaking world – but she has a whole host of ancient etymologies from which to choose.
With meanings all over the place, Greek mythology recognises her as the legendary Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus (guy has a lot of lovers and kids!).. In Hindu philosophy, Māyā means "illusion" and in the Nepali language, "Maya" means "love". And to the Romans, Maia/Maya was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama's half-sister bears the name Maya Soetoro-Ng, who knew?
Although I had been hearing Bella for a while, I first fell in love with the name when I spied Bella Swan, female protagonist of the Twilight series. Now if you've watched the series you know exactly what I'm talking about, nothing like a Kristen Stewart working her charismatic magic to bring a character (and a name to life). But Bella is not on this name simply because I loved Stewart's fake name in the twilight series, it here because you can forgive anything if it's beautiful. Case in point; adding 'beautiful' to 'poo' for example, makes it sound much better, cute even.
Short form of Isabella (a beautiful name on it's own) and other names ending in bella, it is also associated with the Italian word bella meaning "beautiful". But I've got to warn you, a name like that means almost everyone's daughter, niece (and maybe nephew) will be bearing it. You knew there was a catch
There's just something about single syllable names we can't get enough of. As if a name starting with 'Z' for a change isn't quite enough, Zoe just had to pack cuteness, and simplicity all in one package, and you will literally hug yourself for the meaning of this name; life.
Zoe is the only 'Z' name in nameberry's list of names girls love having, and it shouldn't be a surprise, I would love having a name like zoe too. If pairing Zoe with a name like Porphyrogenita (Byzantine empress ca. 978 - 1050) and getting away with it doesn't do it for you, I don't know what will. To further stress the point, there's a Zoe Birkett, British singer, Zoe Cassavetes; Greek director, screenwriter and actress, Zoi Dimoschaki, Greek freestyle swimmer, Zoe Dumitrescu-Bușulenga, Romanian literary historian, Zoe Karbonopsina, Byzantine empress, and loads more of Zoes bearing weird last names but still sounds great.
Now you've got to love this one. Like Claire, Blair has this elegant, gracely flair to it. An English-language name of Scottish Gaelic origin and normally a surname, it is derived from any of the numerous places in Scotland named Blair. These place names are derived from the Scottish Gaelic blàr, meaning "plain" and "field". Blair is generally a masculine name in Scotland, although it is more popular in North America, where it is also a feminine name.
To prove its versatility, there's already a Blair Chenoweth, beauty queen, Blair Horn, Blair Hull, Imani; African-American activist, Joscelyne, Australian composer, songwriter and co-host of Mighty Car Mods, Kiel; American football player... And if Blair sounds good with MacKichan, as in the English musician (and it does), your little girl would be proud to wear it with any other surname.
Lily is arguably the most popular flower name ever, and the reason for this is partly due to its versatility with last names, and its many irresistible attributes: a cool elegance, graceful charm, and a lovely sound. A symbol of purity and innocence. We already knew I would be biased about this one, didn't we?
Lily is a favorite among celebrity parents, Chris O'Donnell, Kate Beckinsale, Greg Kinnear, Fred Savage, Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis all named their daughters Lily. This array of last names is already proof that Lily is the name of choice where other names simply can't hold their own.
Lily is also an authors' favorite, some notable examples being Lily Bart, the main character of Edith Wharton's House of Mirth, Lily Owens in The Secret Life of Bees, and our favorite, both mother and daughter of Harry Potter.
As the short form for Maria, or even Victoria, or simply as the spanish baby girl name meaning River, this name is one of the cutest and simplest baby names you'll ever get to hear. Cute enough to even make you cry.
Like the river, Ria speaks of calm, beauty, elegance, and a rich peacefulness that is usually associated with nature. Imagine pairing Ria with simple last names like Beckers, Hall, or Mckenzie and it works just fine. However, Ria even does pretty well (much better than a lot of baby names can) with complex almost ridiculous last names like in Ria Atayde, Filipina actress, Ria Brieffies, Dutch singer, Ria Keburia, Georgian fashion designer, or even Ria Schiffner (born 1996), German ice dancer, and it still holds its grace and charm.
You knew Scarlett was a winner even before you started reading this list. Why? Because everyone today names their beautiful baby girl Scarlett (and they don't all have cute last names).
It gained popularity due to the character Scarlett O'Hara in Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel Gone with the Wind and the film adaptation. The name was the 17th most popular name given to baby girls in the England and Wales in 2013 and the 30th most popular name given to baby girls in the United States in 2014.
Scarlett is red, and strong, and fierce, and if everyone is naming their baby girl Scarlett (again not all of them have the cutest last names; think Johansson, Keegan, and Moffatt) then Scarlett has won it's place on this list simply by winning over our hearts.
Just saying this name makes my heart melt. Jade speaks of beauty and elegance and a little bit of naivety, it's like the most beautiful woman in the room who doesn't know she's beautiful. And it's just that innocence that makes Jade so attractive.
But, Jade is not on this list simply because it's the single most beautiful baby girl name that will make your heart melt. It is here because no other name can make you get away with a last name like 'Barbosa' (the brazillian gymnast anyone?). And if Barbosa didn't do it for you, what about 'Edmistone' (Australian swimmer) or 'Goody' (former Big Brother housemate)? Villalon? Thirlwall? These are all last names of people who bear the name Jade and we are certain that they'll leave you knowing that Jade is just right for your baby girl even if your last name is 'Candlepoo' or something of the sort.
Whether this beautiful name, perfect for only the most joyful beautiful little girls is from Scottish or English origin, one thing is sure, there's never been a happier baby than Harper, because she plays a magical harp all her days.
Now Harper may not actually be very musical in reality but the surname, turned male given name, turned crossover given name for girls (!) certainly is musical. And one thing about music is that it's good to almost every ear.
This is why a girl child called Harper can get away with even the worst last names. Some of the most ridiculous last names we've seen that sound not so ridiculous because of the first name Harper include Harper Twelvetrees (WTF!), Harper Cooley, Harper Pease, and Harper LeBel, and they all sound great.
Like Jade, Pearl is the epitome of understated elegance. Pearl is the daughter of great price, her mother's only treasure.
While Pearl is quite the old soul, it has refused to go out of fashion. It was among the 50 most popular names for girls born in the United States between 1880 and 1911, remained among the top 100 most popular names for girls between 1911 and 1926 and remained among the top 500 most popular names for girls in the United States until 1960. It was last ranked among the top 1,000 names for girls born in the United States in 1986 before it returned to the top 1,000 in 2007, when it was ranked at No. 993. It rose to No. 814 by 2011 and was given to 327 American girls born in that year.
Now we don't have a thing against animal based names but when a name get away with the last name Buck, you just have to give it up for it.
My daughter was born in May so I think May is choke full of beauty, In other words, I may be a little biased about this one (but I'll try real hard not to be).
May is an English girl given name. It is derived from the name of the month, which comes from Maia, the name of a Roman fertility goddess.The name May is also used as a pet form of Mary and Margaret. May is also another name of the hawthorn flower.
May is a sweet old-fashioned name that hasn't been on the national charts in several decades, but is definitely sounding fresh and springlike. Actresses Emily Morton and Madeline Stowe named their daughters May. Also, former girlfriend of musician John Lennon, May Fung Yee Pang, was a May.
You may have already guessed that Lynne would definitely make the cut. Being arguably the most popular middle name doesn't make Lynne any less suitable as a first name. In fact, you should try using it as a first name to make her standout from the other Lynnes.
The U.S. only recorded ninety girls given the first name Lynne in 2013. Some famous Lynnes with not so great last names include, Lynne Featherstone, British politician, Lynn Flewelling, American fantasy novelist, Lynn Redgrave, English actress, and Lynn Whitfield, American actress.
Even the most judgmental of people will forgive any last name no matter how ridiculous it sounds when it is paired with a first name like Skylar. Case in point, Skylar Diggins-Smith, American professional basketball player, and Skylar Stecker, American singer-songwriter and actress
The name Skylar is an Anglicized spelling of the surname and given name Schuylar. Schuylar was introduced into America as a surname by 17th century Dutch settlers arriving in New York. By the 19th century, in honor of members of New York's prominent Schuyler family such as Philip Schuyler, the surname had entered use as a given name; for example, Schuyler Colfax (1823–1885), the 17th Vice President of the United States.
The spelling Skylar came into fashion as a feminine given name in the United States during the 1980s. As of 2007, the spelling Skylar was the 171st most common name for girls.
A Latin baby name, Tiffany is the new Mary. In Latin the meaning of the name Tiffany is: Manifestation of God. In the Middle Ages, this name was sometimes given to girls born on Twelfth night.
As an English form of the Greek Theophania. It was formerly often given to children born on the feast of Theophania, that is, Epiphany. the festival commemorating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus. I was blown away after reading the brief description of the history behind the name "Tiffany". We know it was cute, just didn't know it was magical.
Almost all Tiffanys we could find have ridiculous last names and they get away with it. Bolling, American actress and singer, Tiffany Montgomery, birth name of Ryan Starr, American singer and actress, Tiffany Sessions.
A common female given name in English-speaking countries, it is the Scottish form of Jane (and is sometimes pronounced that way), or the French name meaning 'God is Gracious', or as we've come to know it in America, 'Gift of God'. It is sometimes spelled Jeaine, and is the equivalent of Johanna, Joanna, Joanne, Jeanne, Jana, and Joan.
One syllable names are famous for their versatility and that is why we've chosen to include Jean. It may be old and out of fashion but when a name still sounds good with a last name like 'Shrimpton' (English model and actress), or Coulthard (Canadian Composer), or Passanante (American television screenwriter), we just have to give it an award.
Jean may sound old and out of fashion but pair it up with middle names like Aubrey, or Estelle and you are good to go.
Now this one is a favorite. With a name like Laurel, your baby girl is a precious prize! The laurel tree from which the name comes from is symbolic of honor and victory, The tree is an evergreen and fragrant plant with dark green, shiny leaves. I particularly like Laurel because of Laurel Lance, a character from Arrow; the TV series, the funny thing is I don't like the character, or the actress (she's just too beautiful).
Laurel also relates back to the laurel wreath signifying success and peace in ancient Rome and has been the unlikely name of two DC Comics superheroes—Laurel Kent and Laurel Gand, aka Andromeda.
One great thing about the name is that even it's bearers endorse it. Often in Baby Names Wizard you'll find a couple (sometimes a few) negative replies under "Personal Experiences with this name" especially with popular names. As one Laurel puts it, "if you are attracted to flower names but don't want your daughter to sound too dainty, this is a nice choice".
The mother of all baby girl names (and all living things, humans at least). Eve is easily a winner with not so great last names. When you see Eve do great as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (American queer theorist), you know it's just the name for your beautiful baby girl even if your last name is a random mix of letters.
Eve, the oldest name in the Book, is now coming back into style, having the virtues of simplicity and purity, yet with more strength and resonance than other single-syllable names like Ann. British actor Clive Owen chose Eve for his daughter, as did Jessica Capshaw.
While Eve is compromised by its similarity to trendy sisters Ava, Eva, Avery, Evelyn, Evie, ad infinitum, it still has them all beat with its streamlined classic style.
We know no one wants to call their baby girl Hillary anymore because lots of high power women already bear it, like Hillary Clinton. But when you are left with only few options to choose from, Hillary can't fail.
Hilary or Hillary is both a first name and a last name. Actually, for girls, it is a crossover name. The name is derived from the Latin hilarius meaning "cheerful", from hilaris, "cheerful, merry" which comes from the Greek ἱλαρός (hilaros), "cheerful, merry", which in turn comes from ἵλαος (hilaos), "propitious, gracious".
To prove our point, there's a Hilary Bonner (WTF), British writer and that should just about convince you.
Paige is a given name for males and females. It is of Latin origin (Byzantine "Págius" young boy helper/mate of young nobles, from "padius" young boy, derived from Greek "Paidion" child) and its meaning is "young helper" or "young child". A page in medieval households was usually a young boy whose service was the first step in his training as a knight. Use may possibly indicate an ancestor who was a page.
In modern times Paige has become a given name, generally given to girls living in North America since the middle of the 20th century, but also occasionally to boys.
Paige is more name, and less word than the occupational Page. Paige is also sleek and sophisticated a la Brooke and Blair and has been in or around the Top 100 since 1990, reaching as high as Number 47 in 2003, when there was a very popular television show, Trading Spaces, hosted by the energetic Paige Davis.
Claire is definitely a classic, there's one word for it; posh. There's no understated elegance in this one. It's beauty, grace, and charm is very evident even at first contact.
The name Claire is a Latin baby name. In Latin the meaning of the name Claire is: From the feminine form of the Latin adjective 'clarus' meaning bright or clear - what did I just say about evident at first contact. Also distinguished. Famous bearer: Twelfth century St Clare (or Clara) of Assisi founded the Poor Clares order of nuns, so Claire is brave and self-sacrificing.
It probably doesn't help any that Outlanders' Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser (a most memorable female character) is a talented, witty, and extremely beautiful redhead (ok I made that part up). As a name, Claire is frail yet strong and that's all you need to know.
I have a weakness for crossover baby names. It's like female names that become male names bring out a sweet, sensitive side in men, and male names turned female names bring out the brave, strong side in women.
Taylor is quickly rising in popularity as a girl name. Someone once said Taylor stands for True, Amiable, Youthful, Lovely, Open-minded, Radiant. Now that person as you might have already guessed is a Taylor but she couldn't be too far from the truth, Taylor Swift the pop singer is proving.
However, not every Taylor gets to bear the last name as commanding as the pop star's but it doesn't mean their names do not sound nice. Taylor has been able to turn weird last names like Dooley, and Crichton into totally adorable names.
Abby has been a long time favorite it's almost surprising that all my children don't bear a form of it. The original owner of this name is beautiful, strong, and the only King's wife in biblical history revered for her wisdom as much as, or even more than for her beauty. Plus your baby daddy is totally going to love the meaning of this one; 'father's joy' (particularly why I refused to give it to any of my kids).
The most famous bearers of the name Abby recorded have quite interesting last names we were puzzled to find. For example, Abbie Cornish the Australian actress, and Abi Titmuss the British actress. While those last names are sure to raise an eyebrow, pairing them up with Abby as a first name nicely covers things up.
Tori is actually the short form of the powerful name Victoria which means 'winner' or 'conqueror' and is of English origin. However, Tori also has a Japanese meaning, bird. Notable Tori's are Tori Spelling, Tori Kelly (Meena in the animated movie 'Sing') among others. The beautiful girl name is gradually replacing the regal classic Victoria and has shown great versatility when paired with unthinkable last names.
What can Tori do? Tori goes well with not so great last names like Alamaze, American singer, Bowie, American long jumper, Busshi, Japanese sculptor of Chinese ancestry active around 600 AD, Carrington, Greek-American writer, Fixx, American hip-hop performer and producer, Haring-Smith, American academic administrator, president of Washington & Jefferson College, Kudo, Japanese musician, composer and potter, Murden, American rower, explorer and adventurer, and Polk (born 1983), American long jumper, to name a few.
Mel is a pretty popular name. With celebrities the likes of Mel Gibson, actor. Mel Blanc, Warner Bros. voiceover artist (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck). and Mel Brooks, actor/director bearing it. Mel could be used as a short form for Melanie, Melvyn, Melina, Melinda, Melissa, Melody, Melitta, or Melville (for girls), or Melvin, and Melchior (for boys), or as a standalone name, people even use it as a last name nowadays. While Mel is currently sitting at #924 in the U.S., it is not surprising that it is rising very quickly through the ranks.
These Mel combinations with a variety of last names (some of them very weird) prove that Mel is just the name to settle for when in doubt. Mel Giedroyc (born 1968), British TV presenter and comedian, Mel Kaye, archetypical "real programmer" in programming folklore, Mel Lastman (born 1933), Canadian businessman and politician, Mel Lisboa (born 1982), Brazilian actress, Mel Ott (1909–58), American baseball player, Mel Peachey (born 1980), British television host, Mel Stuessy (1901–80), American football player, Mel Tiangco (born 1955), Filipino journalist, host, news caster, Mel Whinnen (born 1942), former Australian rules footballer...
Gwen is a Welsh name meaning "white, holy, pure, blessed". Simply, Gwen is the perfect embodiment of purity and simplicity. It can be a shortened form of Gwenhwÿfar (Guinevere) as seen in Merlin, or Gwendolyn as in Gwen Stefani, or even Gwenyth.
The name Gwen is currently ranked #762 in the U.S., which means that while your baby girl will not share the same name with every other girl she passes on the street, the name is not so unique that people will have to ask a 2nd time.
While the most popular Gwen of our time is Singer, and Songwriter Gwen Stefani who we could argue has a great last name, Gwen has shown great versatility in use with other not so great surnames like with Gwen Plumb (1912–2002), Australian performer, Gwen Raverat (1885–1957), English wood engraving artist, and Gwen Shamblin, American author.