History and story books are filled with people chasing luck and fortune in their own lives. From picking four-leaf clovers to collecting heads-up pennies, there are lots of ways to gather some of that luck, so it's no surprise that many parents look to bestow fortune on their precious babies as well. Of all the so-called “attribute names” (such as Faith, Hope, and Grace), what better gift than good fortune and prosperity?
Whether parents want to go symbolic and adorn their little one with a popular sign of luck or get deep into their Latin roots for a less obvious dedication, there are lots of ways to pick a name that will ensure a son or daughter brings a little luck and fortune with them wherever they go.
A name with this meaning would be especially significant for a special rainbow baby after experiencing a loss, as it represents a positive outlook and uplifting future. What a sweet dedication to a joyful occasion one of these names would be. Gracing a new baby with a name of fortune would be a healing and optimistic experience for everyone.
Now none of these names are guaranteed to make any kid a lotto winner or more likely to receive an oversized check from Publisher’s Clearinghouse. However, they are lovely names with beautiful meanings like “blessed” or “fortunate”. Everyone needs a little luck on their side once in awhile, and these adorable names will serve as cute monikers as well as good luck charms.
Prepare to see a lot more little boys named Felix at the playground. With its old-school panache balanced with modern, hipster appeal, this is a name with bounds of potential. Thanks to the old-is-new trend of baby names recently, this fun name with a fortuitous meaning is making a comeback.
Meaning “happy” or “fortunate” in Latin, Felix can be found throughout history, religion, and literature. Four popes and sixty-seven saints have the name, making it a Catholic favorite. Additionally, Felix in the Bible is a Roman official of Judea. It also shows up in George Eliot’s esteemed novel Felix Holt, Thomas Mann’s Confessions of Felix Krull, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle.
If you need a more contemporary reference, the name Felix has appeared on characters in movies such as Maid of Honor and television shows such as Orphan Black and Battlestar Galactica.
Felix has definitely turned out to be pretty lucky for Hugh Grant, Gillian Anderson, Elizabeth Banks, and Mark Ladwig—all notable celebrities who have chosen the name for their own sons.
Though more commonly seen throughout history as a masculine name, Prosper could be just as perfect for a little girl with its lovely meaning and background. From the Latin name Prosperus, meaning “fortunate”, Puritans used it as one of the common “attribute names” along with Grace, Faith, and Hope.
St. Prosper of Aquitaine was a fifth century theologian and supporter of St. Augustine. The novel The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff stars a character named Prosper, as does The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. William Shakespeare used the Italian version Prospero in his play The Tempest.
The name has never quite caught on with Americans after its days with Puritans, and doesn’t even rank in the top 1000 most popular names here, but it has the potential to be a wonderful name for parents who want something unique. A more modern version of the classic attribute names, and a great unisex name, there is no reason why we shouldn’t see some lucky little Prospers running around.
This one is pretty on the nose and will tell everyone who meets your little one that she is one lucky girl. However it avoids sounding flaky thanks to its historical roots and ancient history. Often seen as a Spanish version of the name Fortune, which was popular in the Roman Empire, the name sounds lovely and elegant. If you wanted a shorter option, a nickname could be Tuni.
The Roman goddess of luck and fortune, Fortuna is immortalized in statues, amulets, and paintings created throughout history. She was often accompanied by a cornucopia to represent her influence on the harvest, making her very important in Roman denizen’s everyday lives.
If you are a child of the 80s you might recognize the name Mommy Fortuna, the evil witch in the animated film The Last Unicorn. More recently, the name was used as a character in K.A. Barker’s The Book of Days: The Lady Fortuna.
One of the most quintessential auspicious signs, finding a penny on the ground is a time-honored tradition. Just as classic is the name Penny, with its retro-is-new-again feeling.
The pop culture references abound, including places in music, television, and literature. Of course there is the Beatles song “Penny Lane”, surely driving many parents to fall in love with the name. Penny Pingleton is a character in the musical Hairspray, and more recently the television show The Big Bang Theory includes a main character named Penny. Justine Avery included a Penny in her short novel The End.
If you look at Penny’s popularity in the US over the last decades, it seems that the entire population embraced it and then canned it together. A pretty unpopular name until the late 1930s, the name shot straight up to its peak of number 86 in 1963.
From there it had a rocky descent downward, almost out of the top 1000, until it started to pop back up in 2013. Now it ranks at number 754, steadily making its way back into American parents’ hearts.
Often spelled Hilla or Hilah, this name means “lucky or confident person” in Israeli and “halo” in Hebrew. What an adorable meaning for your lucky little angel to grow into.
We should be keeping this adorable girl's name a secret, because with its old-fashioned charm and popular two-syllable structure ending in “a” it could become insanely popular along with its cohorts Eva, Ava, and Mila. For some reason, however, it has gotten left in the dust in America, not even breaking the US top 1000 on the most popular baby names chart.
However its popularity in Israel has grown steadily over the last few years. Now Hila is sitting pretty in the top 20 names for girls there. At least they see the gorgeous potential in the lovely little name.
With a name this short and sweet a nickname isn’t even necessary, but Hil or Hils are both cute options.
This modern-sounding boys name means “fortunate, blessed, happy one”, which is perfect if you really want to load on the lucky meanings. It fell out of favor with American parents in 1895, but made a remarkable resurgence a full one hundred years later in the late 1990s—a pretty amazing feat for a name.
Currently it is ranked as the 85th most popular name in the US, as well as the 72nd most popular name in New Zealand.
Asher is also a great choice for parents who want a biblically inspired name without taking the more common options, such as Noah, Luke, John, or Matthew. Asher was one of Jacob’s twelve sons who lent his name to the tribes of Israel—quite a namesake to live up to.
Lois Lowry’s classic novel entitled The Giver has a character named Asher, as does Chaim Potok’s My Name is Asher Lev.
An enchanting sign of good luck, the four-leaf clover serves as a lovely inspiration for this fresh name. Clover is a fun spin on the more common flora-inspired names such as Rose or Daisy. It sounds cheerful, young, and sunny without some of the flakiness that can be perceived with object-associated names.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few examples of the name clover, such as Clover Kelly, granddaughter of novelist Roald Dahl, and Kadence Clover, daughter of skateboarder Tony Hawk. Some authors have even chosen the name to appear in their work, too, such as Clover the rabbit in Watership Down and Clover the horse in Animal Farm.
Clover might still be just a little too hippy-dippy for most parents though, considering it doesn’t appear on the top 1000 most popular names used in the US. It is still a cute name that will surely bring luck to any little girl it graces.
Your son will be too cool from the very start with an edgy name like Hazard. Close to the name Chance, but still seen as the more dangerous option, this name carries personality by the ton. This name is anything but buttoned up and boring.
Meaning “chance” or “luck”, it has a French origin but sounds modern. You probably aren’t running into many little Hazards in preschools but, like many awesome names, that doesn’t mean anything. In 2010 the name ranked at number 7,656 on the popularity charts in America, so there are at least that many brave parents out there willing to take a chance on this rebellious-sounding name.
With a name like this, you just might be asking for some not-so-hysterical jokes when your little baby reaches toddlerhood. But if you ask us, it will be worth it when he gets to revel in the coolness of his name later in life.
“There is nobleness in the name of Edmund,” according to Jane Austen in Mansfield Park, which is befitting of the sophisticated, classic name. “Had my name been Edmund,” poet John Keats lamented, “I would have been more fortunate.”
Meaning “fortunate protector” the name Edmund is a timeless name with a storied history and famous namesakes. Multiple kings of England have carried the name Edmund, as well as authors and poets. Edmund Spenser was an English poet, and Edmund P. Murray was an American novelist and journalist.
Not only does the name have real-life inspiration, but also some notable characters in literature such as The Count of Monte Cristo, King Lear, Mansfield Park, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Once a very popular name, its appeal wore off on American parents in the 1950s. It is still a classic name that could make a lucky little boy stand out among his peers.
Any little boy would be lucky to have such a strong and distinctive name. Meaning “blessed” this more unique alternative to Benjamin is sturdy, stoic, and masculine. Although it is not a popular name in either England or the US, Benedict is still a topnotch name with a refined history. And who doesn’t love a little Benny or Betto? Those are some adorable nicknames.
In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare used the variation Benedick for a character. Trenton Lee Stewart’s novel The Mysterious Benedict Society features the name as well. The most famous contemporary namesake is probably Benedict Cumberbatch, the English actor who has become quite the beloved figure in America as well.
However, there was also Saint Benedict of Nursia, the Italian patron of Europe and students. Of course, Benedict is also the name of quite a few popes, the latest being Pope Benedict XVI—perfect for those parents who want to set an incredibly high bar for their own sons.
Meaning “bearer of good news” what could make for a luckier and lovelier name for a little girl? The name Evangeline conjures images of romance and sophistication, but it isn’t too buttoned-up or stuffy. It manages to sound both glamorous and modest, thanks to its religious overtones—quite the mix.
The popular name Eva would serve as a perfect nickname, but we like Evangeline just as it is. Thanks to actress Evangeline Lilly, the name is now enjoying a bit of resurgence. Currently sitting at number 261 in the US, Evangeline is appealing to modern parents looking for classic and timeless names that they won’t grow tired of.
The name has a beautiful and literary history as well, being first introduced to English speakers by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his epic poem Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie. More recently the name has been used in the films The Princess and the Frog and Nanny McPhee.
When you are looking for a name that brings luck, what could be luckier than wishing a child strength and health—which is exactly what Valerie means. A variation of French name Valeria, the all-American-as-apple-pie sounding form Valerie most recently peaked at number sixty on the popularity charts in the 1960s. However, it is still holding firm on the top end of the chart at number 171.
A strong name that recalls association with the word “valor”, Valerie is at once feminine and solid, perfect for that strong-willed little girl in your life. Some famously named Valeries include American actresses Valerie Bertinelli and Valerie Cruz. Country singer and songwriter and wife of Johnny Cash, June Carter, was actually named Valerie.
On the big screen Amanda Seyfried played Little Read Riding Hood in a 2011 version in which the title character’s name was Valerie. If you are looking for more musical inspiration, the name is the title of songs written by The Monkees, Amy Winehouse, The Weeknd, and Steve Winwood, so you will never run out of songs to sing to her in the middle of the night.
With such whimsical nicknames such as Gwynny, Gwyn, and Winnie, this is a name that should come back into rotation. However, American parents have never been overly fond of the name and it has skimmed the bottom of the popularity charts for as long as it has been recorded, only taking a slight upturn in 2011 (still remaining outside the top 700).
Meaning “blessed, happy”, the name Gwyneth sounds youthful and verdant. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has brought a sense of easygoing glamour to the name in recent years, but there have a few others such as English actresses Gwyneth Strong and Gwyneth Powell.
One seemingly unlucky attribute of this name, however, might be the propensity for others to mispronounce or misspell it, confusing it with Gwenyth. While you might be spending a lot of time explaining that it is Gwyn like “win”, it is still a beautiful and sophisticated name.
Ok, so this one might be a bit of a stretch, but it is just such a cute and modern name that it had to make its way to the list. Maddox means “son of Madoc” and Madoc means “fortunate” or “benefactor’s son”. Being the son of a fortunate dad or the grandson of a benefactor can’t be a bad thing, right?
While neither of these names are likely to cause confusion at the playground or require you to always include your kid’s last initial on his lunchbox, Maddox has hung on to spots in the top 300 since 2005. Currently it is enjoying an all-time high in the US at number 146, partially thanks to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s son born in 2003 who brought the name into the limelight.
Whether you choose Madoc or the slightly more common Maddox, both of these names are fresh and masculine.
If you want a happy-go-lucky little girl, then the youthful name Felicity might be a perfect inspiration. Meaning “good fortune, happy” this joyful name is feminine and upbeat. A lovely combination of timeless and contemporary, it is also flexible sounding just as appropriate for a pig-tailed toddler or a professional woman.
Actresses Felicity Huffman and Felicity Kendall have brought the name to the forefront. However Felicity’s most popular namesake would probably be Felicity Porter, the main character of the hugely popular television show Felicity.
As a direct response to the television show’s quirky and lovable character, Felicity’s popularity peaked in 1999, only one year after the show began. It has had a bumpy road since then, moving up and down the chart, but now it is ranked as the 360th most popular name and seems to be on its way even higher. Perhaps parents are seeing what a felicitous choice Felicity can be.
Not just for Ace Ventura fans or those who hang out in the L.A. Valley, this name has Spanish influence and lots of potential. A shortened version of Buenaventura, meaning, “have a good trip” or “good luck” in Spanish, Ventura does an excellent job of standing alone as a lovely, feminine name.
It is undoubtedly a beautiful name, but it has never been very popular among parents in the US. But that shouldn’t really matter. So what if Ventura peaked in popularity at number 1,862 in 1908? Your lucky daughter will be one of a kind and deserves a unique name to fit. This is a perfect name for those looking for something rare and modern sounding, but still with its own roots and heritage.
Other than the aforementioned movie character Ace Ventura and the popular street Ventura Boulevard, there aren’t many namesakes for the name. Don’t let that deter you, though; let your daughter make Ventura a name all her own.
A cricket may seem like an odd animal to inspire your baby’s name, but the humble little insect has long been seen as a sign of good luck in some African and Asian cultures. It is associated with plentiful harvests, and many cultures even see killing one as bad luck.
Although it is not a common name by any means, there are some notable examples of the name. Actress Busy Phillips chose the name Cricket Pearl for her daughter, which proves that growing up with a unique name can prove to be something you want to pass on. Crickett Rumley, using an alternative spelling, is a young adult fiction author, and Cricket Leigh is a voice actress.
Often seen more as a nickname than a standalone name of its own, Cricket has a certain fun, free-spirited feeling about it. However, it could prove to be a little too unique once your little Cricket encounters classroom bullies who compare her too closely to the insect.
This might be the perfect name for your daughter if you are looking for something misleadingly sweet with a strong heritage. Meaning “prosperous in war”, Edith mixes softness with strength in all the best ways. One of the oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon names, Edith is a classic wrapped in a modern bow.
Once a common and popular name in the late nineteenth century, even ranking in the top 30, Edith has seen a few highs and lows with more contemporary parents. Currently making a slow but steady comeback with other old-fashioned names, it comes in number 526 in the US. It is rising even more quickly in England, where it ranks 122nd. Sweden really loves the name, pulling it in at number 36.
Edith has a rich history of namesakes as well, including two American First Ladies: Edith Wilson and Edith Roosevelt. William the Conqueror’s wife was also named Edith. Writer Edith Wharton is also a fine example of the name’s legacy. More contemporary instances of the name include Edith “Edie” Falco and Edith “Edie” Sedgwick, both American actresses who take advantage of the same great nickname.
Due to its popularity in the late nineteenth century, there are many novels from that time that include Edith in their list of characters, one of which is Louisa May Alcott’s novel The Inheritance.
After some dusting off, Beatrice is in the process of a comeback after hiding away for close to an entire century. It is no wonder that more parents are seeing the charm in this name that means “she who brings happiness”. What could be luckier than leaving a trail of joy wherever you go?
For some the name Beatrice might conjure images of little old grannies in rocking chairs, but soon it just might more common among cooing babies than the gray-haired set. After topping out at number 37 on the 1910 popularity charts in America, Beatrice’s fame tanked, almost slipping out of the top 1000 altogether in 2001.
However, as those classic names have come back so has Beatrice. While not a frontrunner, it holds number 565th and is steadily creeping up.
With an adorable nickname like Bea, many famous parents have chosen the name for their own daughters, including the Duke and Duchess of York Prince Andrew and Fergie. Paul McCartney (along with wife Heather Mills) and Bryce Dallas Howard also chose the name for their daughters in 2003 and 2012 respectively.
Meaning “wealth, fortune” your little Otto would share his name with four kings of Germany, the founder of the Holy Roman Emperor (Otto the Great), a king of Greece, and a German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. The name sure seemed to bring them some luck in the way of wealth and fortune, so it might be worth considering.
The name has a solid background in the sciences too, including multiple Nobel Prize winners such as chemist Otto Wallach, physician Otto Fritz Meyerhof, biochemist Otto Heinrich Warburg, and physicist Otto Stern.
The recently popular Leviathan series of books by Scott Westerfeld includes a character named Otto Klopp, and of course there is the bus driver on The Simpsons named Otto Man (but try not to hold that against the name).
A strong German name with trendy two-syllable structure, Otto is ready for its comeback. After a steady decline since the late 1800s, is quickly gaining traction and ranks at number 543 in America—and we only expect to see it rise higher and higher.
Meaning “rich friend”, all the kids at the playground will be clamoring to be Edwin’s next playdate and hope he spreads his luck around. Although it can sound buttoned-up and serious to some, a playful little Edwin would fit right in amongst the other old-fashioned names that we are seeing now.
Classic and cute, Edwin is a little less familiar than Edward but holds its own in the charm department. With lot of equally attractive nickname options, including Ted, Ned, and Eddy, Edwin is versatile and dependable.
If astronomy is your thing, there are a few notable Edwins involved in space exploration, including famed Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the American astronaut. His friend and fellow astronaut Frank Borman named his own son Edwin in his honor. Edwin Powell Hubble was an American astronomer and lends his name to the Hubble Telescope.
Other Edwins include the lead singer of Arcade Fire, Edwin Butler, and Edwin McCain, American singer and songwriter.
Darius sounds edgy and modern, but it actually has a storied history behind it. Meaning “kingly” or “to possess good”, the name is sure to bring a little royal luck with it.
Coming from Persian roots, it should be no surprise that three ancient kings of Persia held this masculine and stout name. The most notable of them was Darius the Great, a king who is known for expanding the Achaemenid Empire.
More contemporary examples of the name include a whole slew of football players, such as Darius Butler, Darius, Reynaud, Darius Fleming, and Darius Boyd. If sports and war aren’t your thing, there is also Darius Rucker, singer of the band Hootie and the Blowfish.
The feminine form of Darius is Daria, an equally strong name with just enough softness. However, neither of these names have ever caught on with parents. Darius ranks at number 501, so while you may meet another little Darius at some point, the playground won’t be overflowing with them.
Otis is an adorable name with loads of personality. It means “wealthy” so some see it as an old name with upscale appeal, and others relate to the more down-to-earth trendiness of it, but it is a charmer for sure. We can thank American singer Otis Redding for lending his touch of coolness to it, as well as fellow musicians Otis Rush, blues guitarist, and Otis Spann, blues pianist.
The name seems to have a hearty following in Hollywood, including Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis who named their son Otis Alexander in 2014. There is also Otis Tobias, son of actor Tobey Maguire, who was born in 2009.
Probably the most notable and memorable Otis walks on four legs: the dog of the duo in the film The Adventures of Milo and Otis. This lends a certain nod to whimsy and nostalgia to parents who grew up with the iconic Disney movie.
Meaning “fortunate” in Arabic, this feminine name has a unique pronunciation: zah-EE-dah. Depending on your patience with questions, this may or may not be a dealbreaker for you, considering the likelihood of misspelling is high with this one. However, it is a beautiful name with an exotic and earthy feel, so it might just be worth it.
As lovely as this name is, it barely registers on the American popularity charts over the years, falling out of the top 1000 altogether in modern times. If you are looking for a name that will not have a problem with over popularity, this just might be a great option for your little girl. She will for sure be one of a kind in her preschool (no writing an extra initial on all of her stuff for you!).
Giving your daughter such as distinctive name can be great for those who embrace it, but for kids who are shy or soft-spoken, this can lead to lots of anxiety when asked to repeat their name three times at every new introduction. Although this name is intended to bring fortune, choose it with care.
Winifred is a vintage name of Welsh origin that comes with delightful nicknames such as Winnie and Freddie. Meaning “blessed peacemaking” she will bring luck to everyone she meets.
Popular in the US until the 1920s, the name took a steady turn downward on the charts and is now outside the top 1000. The fabled Welsh saint named Winifred was a strong woman who became the source of many legendary stories where she came back to life after being decapitated. Other, less violent, namesakes also include English novelist Winifred Margaret and actress Winifred Westover.
Bringing with it some whimsy, many characters in movies and television use the name. D.W. from the Arthur series of books and television shows is actually named Dora Winifred. Winifred Banks is the politically active mother in Mary Poppins. The leader of the three bewitching sisters in the Halloween favorite movie Hocus Pocus is named Winifred, and Winnie Foster is the heroine of Tuck Everlasting.