If you haven't picked up on it yet, I have an acute preference for E names - it comes with having the excellent name Emily. But there are other reasons - my boyfriend's name is Ethan, my father is Edwin, and my sister's middle name is Elise. I associate E names with wonderful people, and I'm always on the lookout for new options!
Americans today also prefer E names more than they have in the past - whereas there were 175 different E names recorded in 1880, there are a whopping 1,495 today. In the top 100, seven E names rank for each gender. In this post, I'm going to focus on E names outside of the top 1000 that are a bit more offbeat.
Earhart - This cool surname honors aviatrix Amelia Earhart, and comes from the German for "honor" and "bravery." Hart would be a cool nickname, too!
Edwige - Common in francophone communities, Edwige (pronounced "Ed-WEEJ") is the French form of Hedwig. It's a quirky yet sophisticated choice for a little girl.
Eglantine - Another French name, this time botanical. Eglantine is totally unique, but it sounds much too much like "eggplant" to work in the United States.
Eilis - This Irish variation of Elizabeth is pronounced "EYE-lish" - pretty, stylish, and a fabulous heritage choice. Recently, the Saoirse Ronan film Brooklyn featured the name.
Ekaterina - A surprising number of Russian athlete-namesakes have brought this feminine name to global audiences, and it has the classy nickname of Katya.
Electra - This electric name from Greek mythology has also been made popular by the Marvel character. Still, Electra is more and more usable in an expanding name landscape.
Elodie - With Melody, Eloise, and Melanie in the top 300, it seems surprising that ethereal Elodie hasn't taken off. Perhaps its rise across the pond will one day extend to the States.
Emerald - Ruby and Pearl are usable - why not Emerald? Its shimmering green energy, plethora of nicknames, and royal vibe are all appealing reasons to give Emerald a look.
Emmanuelle - An elaborate, sensual choice, Emmanuelle could be a lovely alternative to Evangeline or Eliana. The name comes from Hebrew for "God is with us."
Enid - Unlike Ethel, Enid has transcended its dusty image and become a clunky-yet-cool vintage option. The Arthurian tale of Geraint and Enid adds an air of romance as well.
Eowyn - An invention of Tolkien, Eowyn appears in the Lord of the Rings series. All kinds of parents have been eyeing this name of late, thanks to its friendliness and closeness to Owen.
Etta - Ella, Eva, and Elsa are back in the game, and Etta could be next. It would work well as an honorific for a family member whose name ends in "ette", like Annette, Colette, or Yvette.
Eugenia - Eugenia hasn't ranked in the US since 1984, but this Greek name for "well-born" has a bit more dignity than its masculine form. Plenty of namesakes add historical credibility, too.
Euphemia - The originator of vintage nickname Effie, Euphemia means "fair speech." This name is regal and memorable, if a bit stuffy.
Eamon - Though it's pronounced "AY-mon," American speakers are bound to say "EE-mon." Luckily, both variations of this understated Irish name are attractive!
Eladio - Melodic and alluring, Eladio is the Spanish form of a Greek name meaning "Greek" - a unique heritage choice, perhaps? It was also featured on Breaking Bad.
Eleazar - This Biblical name meaning "God helps" would make a creative alternative to Elijah or Elias, plus it has the cool Z-factor.
Ellington - A refined honor name, and just in time for Black History Month! Ellington is a sterling long-form choice with great diminutive options - Ellie, Eli, and Tony, for instance.
Emrys - A warm, Welsh name, Emrys is unusual but friendly and familiar. It's a variant of Ambrose, and is rising for both boys and girls in the US.
Erasmus - The fifteenth-century Christian humanist was known for his writings on society and theology. Though he's widely recognized today, Erasmus' name has only been used sporadically.
Esai - A form of Isaiah, this rare name is more common to Spanish speakers. Still, Esai could cross cultures with its simple sound and attractive meaning - "gift."
Etienne - This French classic is sophisticated and debonair, a stylish alternative to Ethan. It's actually a form of Stephen, and could be used as an honorific as well.
Evander - Once associated with a singular boxer, Evander could rise on its own merits. It has a background in Greek mythology, and sounds like a combination of popular Evan and Xander.
Everest - With McKinley and Denali gaining traction, Everest isn't too far off. It may seem unconquerable, but close ties with Everett help it feel usable.
Ewan - Actor MacGregor has inspired quite a few American parents to pick this cute Scottish choice, but it's never reached the heights of Evan or Owen.
Ezio - Meaning "eagle," this nature name has quite a bit of Italian flair. It's also an uncommon choice next to Ezra, at least in the US - in France, Ezio is in the top 400.
Tell me your favorite E names in the comments!