When I first entered the world of naming, my favorite names were the "pretty ones" - Juliana, Isabella, Alexandria, Cecilia. Feminine picks with a bunch of syllables and vowels, rolling off the tongue and conjuring images of princesses. While my tastes have evolved and changed, I still adore finding rare choices that fit this criteria!
Here are some uncommon names (below the top 800) with beauty and embellishment. Tell me your favorites in the comments!
Cordelia - Shakespearean and noble, this choice is beloved in the literary world - from novels to poems to plays, Cordelia's leap off the page.
Isadora - Occasionally used in the early twentieth century, glamorous Isadora still flies under the modern radar. Connections can be made to the dancer Duncan, and the daughter of musician Bjork.
Theodosia - Now that Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit musical Hamilton has brought dazzling Theodosia into the spotlight, it's bound to soar in the next few years.
Philomena - A phenomenal choice, Philomena means "lover of strength." It's a substantial pick perfect for a passionate (and compassionate) little girl.
Novella - Part genre, part diminutive, Novella is much more than the sum of its parts. It comes from the Italian for "new," and it's a lovely alternative to Nova.
Georgiana - A thoroughly British name, Georgiana's appear in Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Princess Diana's family tree.
Mirabelle - Both adorable and sophisticated, Mirabelle is a French import that could usurp Annabelle or Gabrielle. Nicknames Mira or Miri are also delightful.
Araminta - Invented in the seventeenth century for a literary character, Araminta has remained recorded but relatively rare. It was the birth name of Harriet Tubman.
Calliope - The goddess of epic poetry and eloquence, Calliope is commanding and exquisite. It comes from the Greek for "beautiful voice," fantastic for a musical family.
Seraphina - Seraphina has a lot going for it - the etymological connection to Angelina and Michaela, the sound similarities to Samantha and Savannah, and the built-in nickname, Sera.
Fiammetta - Romantic and spirited, Fiammetta is a fabulous Italian choice with history in Boccaccio's Decameron and Machiavelli's The Prince.
Celestine - A heavenly choice (wouldn't Celestine and Seraphine make an excellent sibset?), this is name is a pretty alternative to Celeste or Evangeline.
Euphemia - You probably know this name via its nickname, Effie, but the long form of this Greek choice is far more attractive. Mia would be an accessible modern nickname.
Aurembiaix - Positively decadent, this Aragonese choice comes from a medieval aristocrat. It's pronounced "or-EM-bee-ay," and it's embellishment may be bordering on inaccessibility.