But other old-fashioned girl names (such as Gladys, Blanche, Doris, Alberta and Myrtle) have not managed to make a comeback.
Why have certain names made a comeback? Why have others been left behind?
One word: flow. Modern parents like names that flow. When we look at lists of old-fashioned baby names, we're more likely to prefer Emma to Edna, Ava to Agnes, Sophia to Sybil and Hannah to Hester. Flow involves several things, but I think the two biggest factors are these:
- A high ratio of vowels. Lots of vowels -- audible vowels, not silent vowels -- makes for mellifluousness. Extra points when a name starts with a vowel and/or ends with a vowel.
- The right type and arrangement of consonants. Specifically, I'm talking about consonants that aren't "hard," (i.e. plosives like T, P and K) and that aren't clustered together (as in the name Gretchen). Both of these disrupt the flow of air, necessarily affecting the flow of the name.
Here are some stylishly sonorous old-fashioned names for you--names with many vowels, "soft" consonants (like L and N), and few consonant clusters overall.
- Adelina, Alice, Althea, Amalia, Annabella, Arabella, Aurelia, Aurora
- Celestine, Celia
- Delia, Dorothea, Dorothy
- Ella, Eloise, Emeline, Eugenia, Evelina, Evie, Eula
- Helena, Heloise
- Imogene, Ina, Iola, Ione, Isadora, Iva
- Lavinia, Lela, Leona, Lina, Lula, Lilla, Louisa, Lucy, Lydia
- Marcella, Millie, Mina, Minnie, Molly, Mona
- Nelle, Nellie, Neva, Nola, Nova
- Odessa, Ophelia, Oralia
- Paulina, Philomena, Priscilla
- Ramona, Roma, Romana, Rosalia, Rosella, Rowena
- Sabina, Sally, Seraphina, Sonia, Sophronia, Sylvia
- Theresa, Twila
- Una, Ursula
- Vera, Viola
- Wilhelmina, Willa, Winnie, Winona
|10,000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names|
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