Before 2017 the thought of how many syllables are in a name was never of interest to me. But now that I am growing a little human, it's something I'm finding myself mulling over a lot.
And I've found, actually, that I'm pretty fond of two-syllable names! For the record, a syllable is a single vowel sound. When you hear a name spoken out loud, the number of vowel sounds will indicate how many syllables that word has.
Choosing names is fun, but it can also be hard work. (Hats off to those of you who have had it sussed from day one, or even before.)
When you're choosing a two-syllable name, speak it out loud - a lot - and see if it flows with your surname. Something to take into consideration is that two-syllable names have a tendency not to flow all that well with surnames that also have two-syllables. Though of course there are always exceptions.
All the names that you will find listed here have been very carefully selected, and you will see plenty of eclectic choices that will, I hope, spark something in you and make it onto your own list for your little one.
The beautiful English name Mya is a variant of the hugely popular baby girl's name choice Mia. I have to admit that I actually much prefer this spelling, and it's found a place on mine and my partner's 'If It's A Girl' list. From what I understand, it's actually a new coinage of a name which dates back to Ancient Egypt.
I have recently become enamored with Welsh names, and absolutely adore the Welsh version - Mair, Mairwen and Mari - all of which sound like they have just been picked up from a book of fairy tales.
Pronounced MY-uh, Mya is currently ranked as the 168th most popular name in the US for girls and 134 in England and Wales.
One well known Mya would be the American musician and actress Mya Harrison, whose music has earned her worldwide success.
Carmen is, I think, one of the most calming names I know. It's soft and gentle, yet strong in its own, special way. Spanish in origin, it's influenced by the Latin word camen which means 'song.' In Spain they pronounce it KAR-me, and in England you'll find that it's pronounced KAHR-man.
It isn't massively popular in the US, though it has made it into the top 1000 at 402. It's a much more common choice in Galicia however, where it's ranked at 16.
One Carmen you might be familiar with is Estonian supermodel Carmen Kass who has worked with the likes of Gucci, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent. Aside from loving the calm nature of this name, I also like how uncommon it is and I love the fact it can also mean 'charm' or 'incantation.'
My affection for this name waxes and wanes, but right now, I'm back in love with it. I think it's because I haven't heard it being used everywhere I turn for a while!
Spanish in origin, Lola has, for a long time now, been a common choice in the UK where it's ranked as the 42nd most popular name for girls. In the US it's ranked at 234 and in Spain, its land of origin, it's the 26th most popular name for girls.
It has, I believe, one of the best meanings behind it that you could hope for - 'strong woman.' Not would someone would think on first encountering this name! Interestingly, the daughter of Annie Lennox is called Lola and it's also Madonna's daughter Lourdes' nickname. You might also recognise it from the film Run Lola Run.
As the years go by, so grows my love for this elegant English name! Amber originates from the English word amber which denotes the stunning gemstone formed from fossil resin, and with that extra special orange-yellow colour. I always envisage someone called Amber as being empathic, generous and brilliantly creative.
It actually only began to be used as a given name in the late 19th century, and astonishingly, only became popular after the publication of Kathleen Winsor's 1944 novel 'Forever Amber.'
In the US, Amber is ranked at 374 though it's significantly more popular in the UK where it comes in at 55.
A number of famous woman called Amber include American actress Amber Heard, actress Amber Benson (you'll know her best as Tara from Buffy), and British entrepreneur Amber Atherton.
I think I first really noticed and took interest in the name Hanna when I saw the Action/Adventure film of the same name, starring Saoirse Ronan as Hanna, a girl raised in the wilderness of Finland.
I've always thought Hannah was a bit - please excuse me if your name is Hannah - boring, but the spelling Hanna has some oomph to it which I love! It also feels stronger and more unique.
There are several potential countries of origin of Hanna including Sweden, Germany and Finland. Though I wouldn't be too concerned, as it is just an alternative way of spelling the name Hannah. In the States it's ranked at 529 and in England and Wales, it comes in at 141. Interestingly, it's the number 1 name for girls in Hungary!
I don't know about you, but I haven't met many Kaylas in my life. It's something of a surprise, considering quite how popular this name has become. It ranks at 129 in the US and 263 in England and Wales.
Pronounced KAY-la, this English name is apparently a form of the name Katherine and means 'pure.' I have also read that in Arabic, Kayla means 'wise child.' The name peaked in popularity in the 80's after the first appearance of character Kayla Brady in 1982. I read about one mom who was watching the show when she was in hospital to give birth...and decided there and then the call her daughter Kayla.
Another way that you could spell this special name is Cayla, but I have to say I find myself preferring Kayla, it's delicate, pretty and different. Apparently people called Kayla are agreeable, confident and have much to offer.
The name Audrey has never been one of my favourite choices, but it's a variant of Aubrey...well, that's a totally different story! I absolutely love it. Isn't it just amazing how changing one letter can totally transform a name?
Pronounced AW-bree, Aubrey is the Norman French form of the Germanic name Alberich. It was common as a masculine name in England during the Middle Ages, and saw a revival in the 19th Century.
Thanks to Bread's 1972 song Aubrey, it has, since then, been frequently giving to girls. The fact it is so closely related to Audrey probably also has something to do with its popularity.
In the US it is much more popular than I imagined it would be, and is ranked as the 25th most popular name for girls. In England and Wales, it comes in at 382.
The name Nora has, for as long as I can remember, had a place in my heart. This short form of the name Eleanor is Irish in origin and was famously used by Henrik Ibsen for the character Nora Helmer in his 1879 play 'A Doll's House.'
I'm led to believe that in Irish, Nora means 'daisy.' Some people argue and say that it's actually Greek in origin and means 'light,' while others say it comes from the Spanish word noria which means 'water fountain' and the meaning of the name is 'fountain of purity.'
Nora was really popular from the 1800's until the 1900's, though it started to fall in popularity by 1910. In the year 2000 it started to see a revival and made it onto the top 1000 list.
The name Zara has, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, always intrigued me. In England, it started to catch people's attention when, in 1981 Princess Anne gave the name to her daughter.
I have always thought that it has stood out among all the more traditional names that we see used by the Royal Family such as Harry, William, Elizabeth and Charlotte. While it doesn't really have that 'Royal Family ring' to it, that doesn't stop it from being something special!
It's a pretty popular choice in England and Wales and is ranked at 68. In the US you will find it on the top 1000 list at 318. One thing that would put me off using it is its association with the clothing store Zara. I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it.
Oh my goodness, if I could count the ways I love this name...you would be here all day! Taken from an Old French name which was derived from the Latin word stella which translates to 'star,' Estelle is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favourites on this list.
It was a rare choice in the English-speaking world in the Middle Ages, but it witnessed a revival in the 19th century. This may have had something to do with the character Estella Havisham in Charles Dickens' 1860 novel 'Great Expectations.'
Pronounced es-TEL in English and ES-TEL in French (I prefer the French pronunciation), Estelle only just makes it into the top 1000 in the US and is ranked at 837. In Belgium, they love it though, and it comes in at 84. Sadly in the UK it doesn't get a place in the top 1000.
The spelling Zoey has always seemed that bit more interesting than Zoe. Pronounced ZO-ee, it's unique, spunky and a whole load of fun! They really like it in the US where it's ranked at 26.
Some people complain that it 'looks too carried on and long,' but I think the addition of the 'y' makes it that bit more memorable. When I think of someone called Zoey, I think of a sweet, quirky character with a big heart and heap loads of happiness to share around.
In Greek, Zoey means 'life,' and while it might not be as uncommon as many parents hope for, I don't think you could ask for a better meaning than life. I would like to think that if I called my daughter Zoey, knowing the meaning behind her name would encourage her to live her life to the fullest every day.
Another favourite on the list is Lucille. (Damn, those French know how to work names!) The French form of Lucilla is surprisingly not ranked in its country of origin. Though in the US it can be found on the top 1000 list at 284. (I'm glad that it's being used somewhere!)
In French, you would pronounce it LUY-SEEL and in English, loo-SEEL. One of the funniest and most ridiculous things that I've read about this name is that it reminds someone too much of Lucifer! I never, in a million years, would have thought about that 'connection' had I not seen it in a comment box!
Someone else said commented that it sounds 'pretentious' and 'impractical' which is almost as silly! It's feminine. It's elegant. It's extremely memorable. And it can carry with it the most adorable nicknames such as Luce and Luci.
I don't know where the inspiration came from to include Maple on this list, but it just popped into my head and I thought, 'you know what? that would actually make for a gorgeous girls name.' Simply meaning 'maple' in English, it is derived from the Old English mapulder which means 'maple tree.'
Fascinatingly, as a given name, it has been occasionally found in use from the late 1600's onwards, for both men and women. (And actually thinking about it, it is a name that I would consider for a little boy too.) Though nowadays, if you heard it used - which I, admittedly, never have - you'll find it's almost exclusively used for females.
If you are a lover of poetry, you might recognise it from Robert Frost's poem entitled 'Maple' in which there's a young girl who goes by the name.
I dislike the name Jackson, but LOVE the name Jaxon, even though it's pronounced the same way - JAK-san! This masculine name - which means 'son of Jack' is currently quite the popular choice in US where it's ranked at 41. In England and Wales too where it's ranked at 51.
I think that, like me, you'll find yourself falling for the cute and quirky nickname Jax. If you had a set of twins, you could do as leananshae on BehindTheName.com recommended, and call them Jasmine and Jackson, and they could go by the nicknames Jazz and Jax!
Though if you happened to have two girls, you could still call one of them Jaxon, as many people argue that it works just as well as a feminine name as it does as a masculine one. And hey, it's 2018 (almost) people!
There is something really different about the name Ezra. It has an aura about it of specialness, or so I've always thought. Meaning 'help' in Hebrew, Ezra has been used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation.
One of the 'hippest' young bearers of the name today is Ezra Miller, best known for his role as Kevin in the British/American psychological thriller drama filled We Need To Talk About Kevin, adapted from Lionel Shriver's astonishing book of the same title. Another Ezra you may be familiar with is the late American poet Ezra Pound.
It's a popular choice in the US, ranking at 85 and it's gaining in popularity in England and Wales too, where it comes in at 91. Potential gorgeous names for twins could be Ezra and Ira.
Not a name I would personally choose for my little boy (and it's because I can't get Felix the Cat out of my head!) but it's still a strong, handsome, masculine choice. Ancient Roman in origin, Felix means 'lucky' or 'successful.' Though I have also read that it means 'happy.'
While Felix is a name that has been used in England since the Middle Ages, it has proved to be a more popular choice in continental Europe.
Pronounced FEE-liks in English, it's ranked as the 247th most popular name for boys in the US and the 99th most popular name for boys in England and Wales. They love the name in Denmark too, where it comes in at 20. Though if you live in Sweden, you might want to think it over, as Felix is the name of a food company, known for everything from pickled gherkins to freezer meals!
The name Evan is Welsh in origin and is actually an anglicized form of Lefan which is a form of John. It's hugely popular in the US right now, and sits at 69. It's also a trendy choice in England and Wales, where it's ranked at 121.
It's very much a unisex name, and two of its most famous bearers at this moment in time are actors Evan Rachel Wood and Evan Peters. It's a simple yet strong sounding name, which is, I think, extremely memorable and almost impossible to mispronounce.
Some people think it sounds 'a bit dull' but I would have to disagree. In my opinion, there is an element of intrigue about it. It is cute for a little one, perfect for a teenager and ideal for an adult.
One of my favourite boy choices, Micah originates from the Old Testament. While it was occasionally used by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation, it wasn't actually common until the end of the 20th Century.
If I were to meet someone called Micah, I'd want to sit them down and question them until their ears became sore! I don't know why this name fills me with the curiosity that it does, though it may have something to do with it sounding creative and a little bohemian. I can see it working just as well on a newborn baby as I can see it on a fully grown adult.
It's a more popular choice in the US than I thought it would be, and comes in at 115. In England and Wales its ranked at 261.
Currently talking to my partner about potentially adding this gorgeous Swedish name to our list. Pronounced SUU-ren, it's actually made it into the top 1000 in the US which I find quite surprising...though saying that the US does have a lot of Swedish immigrants. It comes in the rankings at 567. They also like it in France where it's ranked as the 350th most popular name for boys.
One of the most well-known bearers of the name Sören would have to be Søren Kierkegaard, a 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. If you are familiar with the Charlie and Lola books and TV show, you will probably remember that Lola's imaginary friend is called Soren.
Admittedly, it makes more sense to give your child this name if you live in a Nordic country, primarily because of the spelling, though if you are really besotted with it, go for it!
While this name is cute beyond words, it's also a name that your son would be able to grow into more than comfortably. Scottish in origin, Rory is pronounced RAWR-ee. In the US it's ranked at 387 whereas in England and Wales it comes in at 80. And in Scotland, it's country of origin, you'll find that it's the 25th most popular name for boys.
I'm really not all that surprised that it's so popular. It has a perfect balance of softness and strength about it, and there's no way you're going to forget someone called Rory. It's also wonderfully easy to spell and almost impossible to pronounce wrong.
While I am usually all for names being unisex, this is one name that I think the boys should have to themselves.
Whenever I have met a Lucas, they have always been so remarkably intelligent, friendly and always wanting to help people feel safe and comfortable. I was pleased to see that it's a popular choice in the US where it's ranked at 14 and also in England and Wales, where you will find it situated on the list at 27.
Again, it's one of those names that I think has that good balance of strong and soft. It's masculine but nowhere near overly so. Lucas is the oldest form of the name Luke, and it's most likely that its origin in Biblical. I've read that it means 'light.'
English singer Aled Jones (famed for singing the seasonal favourite Walking In The Air, from the beautiful Christmas film The Snowman) named his son Lucas Gabriel (light, angel) which is a stunning combination.
The names Frank and Frances have never really appealed to me, but Frankie has something about it that sets it apart from the crowd. Pronounced FRANGK-ee, it only just makes it into the US top 1000 names at 955. It's a much more popular choice in England where it makes it onto the list at 63.
If the name Frank happens to run in your family - there are a lot of Granddads called Frank - and you would like to honour your relatives, Frankie could be the perfect choice, especially if you find yourself not 'loving' the name Frank.
Frankie is very much a unisex name (in the US in 2016 it was given to 282 girls) so if you happen to have a little girl and can't stop thinking about it, opt for it!
It was only in 2015 that I heard the name Linus for the first time. (It's the name of my Swedish partner's brother.) While it's a very popular name in Sweden and in Germany, it isn't ranked in the US or in England and Wales. I see this as a good thing!
Pronounced LEE-nus in Sweden, you might remember it being used in the Peanuts series. Linus is the boy who is always dragging a blanket around with him. While some people worry that if they call their child Linus he will forever be asked where his blanket is, I should say that we're nearly in 2018 folks. Kids would need to get themselves on Google to find out about Peanuts...most likely!
One commenter on BehindTheName.com said that for a little boy 'it's adorable,' and for a man, it 'sounds dashing.' I have to agree.
Hugo originates from Greek and means 'thinker' or 'philosopher', and can also be pronounced in several different ways. I happen to love to Spanish pronunciation of OO-go best of all and the German pronunciation HOO-go is also something I adore. In English, you'll find it pronounced HYOO-go.
It's ranked as the 430th most popular name in the US. In England and Wales it comes in at 50 and in Spain it's ranked at number one. Can't say I'm surprised! It's sophisticated, proper, strong and timeless. It also rolls of the tongue amazingly well.
There are haters of this name though. Someone said that the name Hugo sounds like somebody having an asthma attack, while another person said that, if you say it fast enough, it sounds like you're saying 'you go.'
The last name on the list is one I'm warming to. From an English surname meaning 'stoneworker,' Mason is massively popular in the US where it's ranked at number 4! In England and Wales you'll find it on at the list at 34, though I would not be surprised if it makes its way to below double figures in 2018.
There is a trend of giving this name to girls, though once again, I think that this is one that should be reserved for the boys. Simply because, yes, it does sound masculine and handsome, and to imagine it working on a girl is quite difficult. Many people don't like the nickname Mace, but I love it, and so does my friend who has given it to his charming three year old son.
Sources: BehindTheName, BabyCenter.com, NameBerry.com, SheKnows.com
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