You may have a family obligation to honor someone with a name that seems either dated or unusable in the year 2014. Or you might like the biblical Esther or the literary character, Lorna Doone, but wonder whether either of those names will be a good fit for the baby daughter you are expecting in 2014.
Those are reasonable concerns, particularly because Pamela Redmond Satron and Aela Mass of Nameberry are trying convince expectant parents that out of date, rarely used names are “stylish.” (I find it comical that a little-used “flapper “name, like Zelda, or the name that launched the”Victorian Era” could possibly be called “stylish” in 2014.) Stylish names are names that are rapidly growing in popularity, because trendy people are flocking to them like mindless herds of sheep.
So I’ve created this list of alternatives to 11 old-fashioned or ancient girl’s names that may come across to you as out of date and unstylish. If you’re wondering, many of the alternative names have the same root (hence the same meaning) as the names in question. And some are simply “name-book neighbors” that are likely to be more pleasant for you and your child to live with–if you are worried about picking a name likely to subject your daughter to embarrassment or teasing (or worse)
Esther Biblical Namesake: Queen Esther was crowned by Ahasuerus, King of the Persian Empire during biblical times, and is said to have helped liberate Persian Jews and gain rights for them–according to Jewish tradition.
Instead of Esther and French form Estelle, consider Estee or Stella.
Lorna Fictional Namesake: Lorna Doone was the protagonist of a romantic historical novel of the same name, written by Richard Blackmore and published in 1869.
Instead of Lorna, consider Laura, Laurel, Lauren or Lori.
Louisa Namesake: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) was a popular American novelist whose most famous work was Little Women, published in 1868.
Instead of Louisa, consider: Eloise, Louise, Lois, Lola, Lolo or Luisa.
Lucille Namesake: Lucille Ball (1911-1989) one of the most popular female comics, Ball teamed up with husband Desi Arnaz to star in “I Love Lucy” from 1951-1957.
Instead of Lucille, consider Luci, Lucie, Lucy or Lucia,
Millicent Namesakes: Millicent Garrett (1847-1929) a British suffragist and early feminist. Millicent Fenwick (1910-1992) a 1974-1992) a Republican congresswoman from New Jersey with moderate views on civil rights.
Instead of Millicent, consider Amelia or Mila.
Sybil Namesame: Sybils were oracles who relayed messages from the gods, according to Greek mythology.
Instead of Sybil, consider Cybele, Cybelle or Cybill
Tanith Namesake: Tanith was the goddess of love according to Phoenician mythology.
Instead of Tanith, consider Tania or Tanya.
Twyla Namesake Twyla Tharp (born 1941) formed her own dance company and toured with them from 1971 to1988. Her choreographed dance pieces are performed by the leading modern dance and ballet companies and in popular movies and Broadway shows. Although Twyla’s career is “now” her name is an old tailoring term. It means “woven of double thread.”
Instead of Twyla, consider Tyler or Tyra.
Willa Namesake: Willa Cather (1873-1947)
Instead of Willa, consider Willow or Winona
Victoria Namesake: Queen Victoria (1819-1901) ruled for 63 years, longer than any other British monarch during a period known as the Victorian era. It was famous as a period of industrial, scientific and cultural change and the expansion of the British empire.
Instead of Victoria, consider Tori, Tory, Torrey, Vicki or Vicky.
Zelda Namesake: Zelda Fitzgerald (1900-1948) A southern belle born in Birmingham Alabama became a major celebrity when her husband Scott Fitzgeralds’ book This Side of Paradise became a bestseller in 1920. He called her “the first flapper.” The name Zelda means “grey woman warrior.”
Instead of Zelda, consider Grey