American Names · Opinions

Rare Names in the 11-20 Range, Plus Commentary (Girls)

A lot of people seemed to enjoy my posts about ultra-rare names in the 5-10 range of uses.  So, how about the names in the 11-20 range?  These are only slightly more popular, and are still so rare or eccentric that you might consider them more for character names than people.  And remember, these were actual names from the U.S. data set for 2014.

20: Aixa, Athalia, Atlas, Bahar, Elisabetta, Hero, Lucina, Matea, Scottie, Solveig, Thora, Vashti

19: Adelheid, Azure, Carmina, Celestine, Christabella, Favour, Gertrude, Infinity, Ioanna, Isidora, Katharina, Mathilde, Maybelline, Miroslava, Oksana, Saskia, Sparkle, Stacia, Tamsin, Unity, Zeta

18: Altair, Belladonna, Camry, Cecile, Charmaine, Cleopatra, Eleonore, Enza, Freja, Gaelle, Galaxy, Gracia, Ione, Lilo, Malory, Margeaux, Montgomery, Sagan, Trudy, Vincenza, Wilma, Zenovia, Zephaniah

17: Adabelle, Augustina, Calypso, Cayenne, Clarisse, Despina, Honora, Kassia, Kestrel, Osiris, Patsy, Rhythm, Sonnet, Svetlana, Trinidad

16: Basil, Bethania, Caoimhe, Dominica, Ellanora, Konstantina, Nadezhda, Safari, Sibyl, Sigrid, Tasha

15: Aibhlinn, Aissata, Alys, Amazing, Aphrodite, Ares (?!), Asenath, Bina, Davida, Edythe, Elinore, Enid, Enola, Giulietta, Grier, Harriett, Julienne, Katherina, Kindle, Maude, Moana, Modesty, Myrna, Reverie, Roseline, Sable, Talula, Vella, Velvet, Whisper

14: Adama, Adelita, Aeliana, Agata, Allure, Ameliana, Apollonia, Aradhana, Astoria, Aurelie, Ayaan, Beryl, Carlisle, Clea, Clementina, Eliane, Epiphany, Flavia, Hebe, Kitty, Klea, Lucrezia, Lunabelle, Meg, Nerissa, Nettie, Nyx, Padme, Pemberley, Rowena, Roxi, Zillah

13: Adelind, Adriane, Amarilis, Astra, Athaliah, Azula, Catriona, Celestia, Cherie, Claudette, Corabelle, Electra, Elsbeth, Ernestina, Jerusha, Lorenza, Lunabella, Maelys, Nuala, Rubina, Sinead, Thessaly, Velma, Winnifred

12: Arabel, Arcadia, Athanasia, Aureliana, Cassiopeia, Ebba, Eponine, Eudora, Giordana, Io, Jessamine, Jocabed, Kaiulani, Leda, Letizia, Liat, Lura, Lyssa, Mahealani, Nereida, Sansa, Xaviera, Yoyo

11: Abcde (!!!), Alabama, Americus, Bessie, Bethsaida, Bettina, Beulah, Bruna, Caoilainn, Christabelle, Eibhlin, Hannelore, Jochebed, Posy, Providence, Purity, Rosalba, Sian


  • Abcde – yes, that’s first five letters of the Latin alphabet.  I think it’s supposed to be  pronounced “Ab-si-dee” – which actually sounds kind of pretty, but still, why does this name even exist?  Thankfully, usage seems to be declining.  For further reading on Abcde, check out this article by Nancy Man.  For extra amusement, read the (sometimes trollish) comments. 
  • Hero – I’m sure some of these are named for the word, but keep in mind this is also a real girls’ name from Greek Mythology and Shakespeare.  For some reason, though, I keep thinking of sandwiches. 
  • Belladonna – Beautiful name, unfortunately poison.  But hey, nobody intervenes until it’s Cyanide!  This name makes me think of Bellatrix Lestrange…not sure which is more dangerous.     
  • Ares was immediately after Aphrodite in the list.  Wait – why is Ares on the girls’ list?! 
  • Pemberley – Last I checked, there hasn’t been a new Pride and Prejudice in TV or cinema.  So, why did the name of Darcy’s *house* only show up in 2013, and why is it rising?
  • Padme – Surprised I haven’t seen Amidala.  Have encountered Marajade within the data, though.  
  • I would expect Gertrude to experience much higher usage, considering how trendy old-fashioned names are right now.  Ditto regarding Enola and Rowena.  Maybe we’ll see higher usage when the 2015 data arrives in a couple weeks.
  • Epiphany – Jokes aside, I’m not sure whether I prefer this or Epiphania.
  • Apollonia – “Maunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday…”
  • Basil – considering that Basil is traditionally masculine, and is pretty rare now as a male name, I can only assume that female Basils are so named because it’s a plant, ergo, nature name. 
  • Yoyo – I have a hard time believing that 12 girls would be named after Yo-Yo Ma in a single year, but you never know. 
  • Infinity – I wonder if the parents are fans of Toy Story. 
  • Zephaniah – a good example of the fairly common practice of bestowing masculine Bible names on girls because Mariah made similar-sounding names “feminine” to people.  Note, Mariah is actually a variation on Maria
  • Sagan – I’d bet they’re all named after Carl Sagan. 
  • Camry – Born in the family Toyota?  You might think I’m joking, but a few years ago a family gave their daughter the middle name Camryn for that reason. 
  • Alabama – “Oh Susannah!”
  • Kindle – Fire or books?  Maybe both…?
  • Zeta – Eta, Theta…
  • Velvet – does anyone even wear that stuff anymore? 
  • Whisper – the new Cherish!
  • Osiris – seeing this and Ares on the girls’ list really annoys me.  I don’t recall either deity having female personifications…why name a daughter after a Greek god of war when there’s a Greek goddess of war (Athena)?  People should put more thought into naming their children than just how a name sounds or looks.  
  • Atlas – similarly with Osiris and Ares, except Atlas wasn’t a god.  Fun fact, Atlas is a top 1000 boys’ name now!  Which probably explains why Atlas showed up on the girls’ list; if a name becomes popular for one sex, it will be bestowed on the other.
  • My personal favorites: Providence, Cassiopeia, Lucina, Scottie, Edythe, Gertrude, Belladonna (I admit, total guilty pleasure), Modesty, Athanasia, Kaiulani, Enola, Flavia, Hebe, Aureliana, Eudora, Jessamine, Cleopatra, Adelheid, Sigrid, Caoimhe, Honora, Electra, Zillah, Adabelle, Bethsaida, Apollonia

What do you think of these? 

One thought on “Rare Names in the 11-20 Range, Plus Commentary (Girls)

  1. For some reason I can’t see Basil as a feminine name, even if it is a nature name. Maybe it’s because I’ve never seen it as a female name before. Sometimes it takes time to see a name in a different light. As for Atlas, I much prefer it as a male name. Ditto for Osiris and Ares. However, I can see Aries as a unisex name. Interesting how one letter can make a difference.

    I like Altaira as a female name.

    As for the names, I like Nerissa, Electra, Kitty, Lyssa, Apollonia, Belladonna, Aphrodite. One of my favorite crime shows is True Crime with Aphrodite Jones, an American reporter and author. Just goes to show that names aren’t destiny.

    Liked by 1 person

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