Low down on low

Gary Barlow, from onepakistan.com

As a word, low is rather negative; I wrote an essay today linking low self-esteem with high conformity rates. However, I am starting to explore names ending with -low, and there are plenty of interesting names to consider.

First off is Willow, probably the most popular name in this class; in 2010, she jointly ranked at #112 with Eve. The name Willow derives from the Old English word welig. Willow is also a nature name, the name of a tree which belongs to the Salix genus. The Wind in the Willows is a classic children’s book, written by Kenneth Grahame and first published in 1908. I’ve also seen an increased interest in the phonetically similar name Willa, which is the female form of the name William.

Another female name which has been on the receiving end of much interest recently is Harlow, following it’s use by Nicole Richie and Joel Madden for their daughter, Harlow Winter Kate in 2008. A famous namesake aside from this is the actress Jean Harlow, who was born Harlean Harlow Carpenter. For her, Harlow was her mother’s maiden name. The name Harlow derives from Old English and means either rocky hill or army hill.

There are several other -arlow names to consider:

  • Barlow. The surname of Gary Barlow, famed singer-songwriter in the UK and member of Take That. Means either barley hill or barley clearing.
  • Darlow. Means secret love, and has been covered by lovely Nook.
  • Farlow. Means fearne mound, and again, covered by lovely Nook.
  • Marlow. Heather Armstrong of Dooce has a daughter named Marlo. The name means remnants of a lake.

Speaking of bloggers, Rubyellen of Cakies welcomed a little girl she named Glow in September 2011. Another word name is Hallow, first spotted in July 2011 by Elisabeth over at You Can’t Call It ‘It’!

I personally love the name Winslow, and my local news bulletin has two regular reporters working for them with the surnames Pentelow and Shardlow. Aside from these, there are several other surname-esque -low names out there:

  • Brownlow. Means brown hill. Mr Brownlow is a character in Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Oliver Twist.
  • Henlow. Means hen hill.
  • Huntlow. Means wolf hunt.
  • Kellow. With Kelly having experienced popularity, this name certainly seems a plausible choice.
  • Parslow. Means cross the water.

Finally, we’re ending with a few more suggestions, courtesy of Marginamia’s fantastic list of O names:

  • Billow
  • Cello
  • Cielo
  • Fallow
  • Flow
  • Gallo
  • Kahlo
  • Laylo
  • Valo/ Vallo
Categories: O Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Low down on low

  1. Strange child that I was, I loved watching the 1948 version of Rattigan’s Winslow Boy.

    I also rather like Wilmslow, and we often have to drive past Stanlow on the M56, though given the fact it’s a rather smelly oil-refinery, I’m not sure I’d be tempted to use it as a name.

    Another one for your pot is Chellow — Chellow Deane was a local beauty spot near where I grew up (a rare thing in Bradford!). Identical sounding Cello’s quite groovy too, I reckon :D.


  2. magicbabynames

    Also from a surname, but with the ‘low’ at the front. What do you think of Lowell?


    • Lowell certainly sounds pretty – I was about to say that doesn’t one of SJP’s daughter’s have the name Lowell, but alas the name she actually used was Elwell.


  3. These names are surely having a great surgence now, courtesy no doubt of Willow.

    Tallow is one I’ve seen used in Australia a few times, surprised nobody else seems to know of it. I’ve only ever seen it on boys. It’s a nice “candle” name.

    I’m not recommending it, but people are free to use Mallow, like the plant … it’s kind of like Marlowe and Mallory. For that matter, nobody is stopping you from using Mellow.


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