Posts Tagged With: Ella

Weekend Post: The World Beyond Ella Pt.II

 

Kala and Tarzan, from dvdizzy.com

As previously mentioned, I’m not a big fan of the name Ella, but I do find myself fond of several similar names to her. A few weeks ago, I wrote Pt.I of this series which discussed names similar to Ella, in that they too began with the letters El. It therefore seems apt to devote Pt.II of this series to names which end -la, as Ella does.

But this could get a little complicated since many -la names are also -ella names. Think Gabriella, Arabella and so forth, so I’ve resolved this by excluding all such from this list for fear of clutter. It’s not exactly the perfect solution, but frees me up to devote more time to other -la names worthy of attention. This is by no means a complete list, rather a selection of familiar and less-familiar names which end in -la, you may also query as to whether some could truly be alternatives to Ella, but that isn’t really the aim of this post. The aim is to explore names with similar characteristics to Ella, which are of the following do have:

Alaula – Hawaiian name meaning either sunset glow or light of the dawn.

Beulah – Biblical name meaning married. There’s a similar looking name, Betula, which comes from Latin and means birch.

Calendula – A botanical name for the English marigold.

Casmilla – A variant of the name Camilla. There’s also the name Milla, which is a short form of the latter name.

Carla/Carola – Both originally derive from the name Charles, which means man.

Delilah – Biblical name means delicate, weak and thin.

Embla – A name from Norse Mythology, where Embla was the name of the first human female, formed from an elm tree.

Fionnuala – Irish name meaning white shoulder. Variations include Fionnghuala, Finnguala, Finuall and, sigh, Fenella. She also shortens to Nuala, noo-la.

Iola – Likely to be a variation of the name Iole, which is a Greek name meaning violet. The name Viola is worth a mention here, too, alongside the Romanian name Viorel which also means violet.

Kala – Hawaiian version of Sarah, and a Sanskrit name meaning art form, virtue. Also the name of Tarzan’s mother in the Disney film.

Kamala – Sanskrit name meaning lotus.

Lila – She means play in Sanskrit, but may also be taken as a variation of either Leila or Lily. Lila is also the German word for purple. Slightly similar, but not entirely ending -la is the name Lillai, which is a Romani name meaning spring and summer.

Lola – Spanish pet-form of the name Dolores, which means sorrows.

Nahla – Arabic name meaning either drink or bee.

Orla – Also spelt Órlaith. She’s an Irish name meaning golden ruler – I sometimes see the meaning is altered to golden princess.

Perla – Italian form of the name Pearl

Petula – An elaboration of the name Petal, notably seen on British singer Petula Clark.

Thekla – Contracted form of the name Theoclea, which means God’s glory.

Theophila – Feminine form of the name Theophilus, which means friend of God.

Tuathla – Old Irish name meaning ruler of the people. Sometimes seen anglicised to Tuala.

Tula – Sanskrit name meaning balance, scales and likeness.

Twyla – Of uncertain origins, but she has been linked to the name Étoile and Twilight as possibly being an offshoot of either of them. Also spelt Twila.

Ursula – Latin name meaning bear.

Vela – The name of a constellation, originally part of Argo Navis which was later divided into three pieces, creating Vela, Carina and Puppis.

Willa – Feminine form of the name William.

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Weekend Post: The World Beyond Ella Pt.I

from storytellersguide.com.au

In truth, I’ve been a bit rubbish of late when it comes to posting on time. There’s a good reason for that, which is that I’m finally getting around to slugging through the old stuff, tagging and categorising them as I go.

Either way, today we’re shifting attention to a name I’ve never particularly loved: Ella. I know I could potential be upsetting some with my stance on Ella,  since she ranked at #18 in 2010 in England&Wales – so clearly some people must love her. Indeed, she’s taken the international market by storm. Consider these numbers:

  • US: #13
  • Canada: #2
  • Australia (New South Wales): #9
  • Belgium: #19
  • Croatia: #74
  • Denmark: #29
  • France: #229
  • Ireland: #11
  • Netherlands: #127
  • N. Ireland: #18
  • Norway: #16
  • Scotland: #34
  • Slovenia: #86
  • Sweden: #6
Clearly, quite a few girls are being given the name Ella. However, I’ve been think about names which have similar features to Ella of late, and indeed just how much I like these similar names compared to my relative dis-interest in the name Ella. This list of names is rather expansive, so we’re turning this into a two-parter. So, we’re going to start at the start of Ella, with El- names. Some of these could indeed shorten to Ella should the need take you.

Eleanor/ Elena

The name Eleanor is also in the Top 100, but she’s falling. Since 2000 she’s fallen 36 places in England&Wales, falling 5 places between 2009 and 2010. One thing to mention is that I do know several Eleanors my age, and all of them go by Ellie instead. The slight alternative spelling of Elena is at #192 – and I know just one girl names Elena who simply goes by Elena.

Other variants of the name Eleanor which also start with an El- include: Eleonore, Elinor, Eleanora, Eleanoora – and I personally have an Eleanoe sitting in my family tree.

Elsinore

I recently spied that Abby over at Appellation Mountains has covered the rather interesting looking name Elsinore back in Feb 2011. She rather looks to me as a smoosh between Eleanor and Elsie, but there’s more to her than that. In Denmark there is a city called Helsingør, which is known in English as Elsinore. It’s thanks to Shakespeare that we know about the place too – Elsinore Castle is the setting for his play Hamlet, although the Castle itself is actually called Kronborg.

Elora/Eliora

Similar sounding to Eleanor, and I think rather pretty in sound. Currently Elora is ranking higher than Eliora – with Elora being given to 16 girls in 2010 compared with just 3 being given the name Eliora.

Elaine

Often referred to as a baby-boomer name, and often referred to as the French form of Helen. Another thing to note as well is that the Welsh word for fawn is elain. In 2010 she ranked at #1731, with 16 of them born – but she peaked in 1954 at #18.

Elmira

I’ve been reading French literature again, this time Tartuffe by the French playwright Molière. This name appeared in the play, and it’s a slight variant of the Spanish name Edelmira, which itself derives from the male Germanic name Adelmar which means famed noble. It’s also worth noting that in the Slavic region, the element mir means peace – and in Sanskrit Mira means sea, ocean.

Elowen/Elestren

Cornish for Elm and Iris, respectively. Both culled from Elea‘s wonderful post on Cornish names.

Elianthe

Recently mentioned by Rowan on her blog concerning rare female Dutch names.

Eluned

The name of a 5th-century Saint, and most sources I’ve seen agree that she comes from the Welsh word, eilun, which means idol or image.

Elouan

Technically speaking, this is a male French name, which is rather in vogue at the moment in France. It’s the name of an obscure saint, who is more often seen referred to in Cornwall as Elvan, Elwen or even Elven – in Cornish elven means spark.

Eloise

Eloise likely evolved from the Germanic name Helewidis, which came from the elements heil, meaning healthy, and wid, meaning wide. That said, some do link the name to the Greek helios, which means sun. Either way, it’s unlikely she shares origins with the similar-sounding name Louise – despite many now respelling the name as Elouise, which is more than you may think: Elouise ranked at #773 in 2010; Ellouise was at #1257. Eloise herself is pretty popular – she’s entered and fallen out of the Top 100 twice in the past decade. Currently, she ranks at #109.

Eleri

I recently noticed this name on a list of Ren’s. It’s the name of a Welsh river (also known as Leri), and isn’t pronounced the same as Ellery is, with the stress on the middle, not first, syllable. There’s a Welsh radio/TV presenter named Eleri Siôn, who currently works for BBC Radio Cymru.

Elfie/Elfin

Anna reported last year on a boy named Elfin, whilst I personally mentioned the names of Rosemary Ferguson’s children – which included her daughter Elfie. There’s a similar German name, Alwin, which means elf friend – deriving from the Germanic elements alfa meaning elf and win, meaning friend. As an English word, Elfin is an adjective used to describe a person who is small and delicate – and quite often is used to refer to facial features.

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Name Spot of the Week: Game Show Blitz

Simmy (l) and James (r), from James May's Man Lab, from tinypic.com

I found myself humming Little April Shower from Bambi earlier on today, and that got me thinking: April or Avril? Or maybe even Aprella? There were four voice actors for Bambi in his film, of which the ones for baby, young and adolescent Bambi were called Bobby, Donnie and Hardie.

I’ve rediscovered the TV channel Challenge this week, and have been busy gobbling up up the classic game show reruns. Earlier on today I caught an episode of Family Fortunes featuring a family of elderly ladies named Joan, Dorothy, Enid, Margaret and Ella. To the modern eye, Ella looks almost out-of-place, but in fairness Ella was at #97 in 1904.

Classic Who Wants To Be A Millionaire threw up an Ingram – who went on to win the top prize. He has a son called Isaac ‘Zac’, whilst the player beforehand used his friend Olaf for Phone A Friend.

Million Pound Drop also restarted up again this week – huzzah! Akbar and Lynne won 25k, whilst Craig and Seve won 100k. Seve was half-spanish and he reminds me of the man called Simmy who turned up in James May’s Man Lab series from a few weeks ago. I can only speculate that Simmy is short for Simon. Back to Million Pound Drop and there was also a pair called Jono and Liam, and another pairing called Kenneth and Whitney who went out on their first question.

I’ve also started to get into this series of Masterchef: The Professionals, whilst includes a male named Perry – and another one named Ash. Speaking of Ash, 3-letter names rock, and I’m not just saying that because Lou fits this category. I’m also saying this because I couldn’t help but notice a buzz developing around these names of late, especially over at Elea’s little corner of the internet. They’re certainly more intriguing than Ann or Rob, and the collection mentioned over the past week by my peers is nothing short of fascinating:

Roa, from Eponymia’s post on Names From Jordan.

Zed and Ovo, from Bewitching Names’ post of Names From Cirque du Soleil

Ada and Azo from Baby Names From Yesteryear’s post on Lord Byron.

Bell, Pax, Paz, Eir, Joy, Gil, Lux, Luz, Ora, Ori, Uri, Nur and Xue from British Baby Names’ Advent Calendar series.

Icy and Ivy from Midwinter Names’ post on Wintery Names.

Ava and Jem from Waltzing More Than Matilda’s post on Names From Stories on Midwives

Asa and Roy from Names 4 Real’s most recent post of Birth Annoucements.

Zeb and Zef from Appellation Mountain’s post on Z- Names for Lads.

Dot from Nook of Names post on Rune Names.

Wim and Kit from Marginamia’s post on Names from The Glow.

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Sibset of the Week: The Edmondsons

Jennifer Saunders, from frenchandsaunders.com

I’m a huge fan of comedy. Can’t get enough of it. The world of comedy is mostly dominated by males, especially in the stand-up arena. with females few and far between. There are some great female comics out there, though: Victoria Wood; Shappi Khorsandi; Sue Perkins; Dawn French; Lucy Porter; Sandi Toksvig. If you’ve time to spare, we have covered Shappi’s name before in our previous bumper post on names from comedy (a follow-up is on my to-do list). This week’s mother is another comedy queen, she’s Jennifer Saunders, best known as one half of the French&Saunders comedy duo, and for our international readers she voiced the Fairy Godmother in the Shrek films. Specifically the second one. Both she and Dawn French also had voice roles in Coraline.

In 2005, there was a poll to find the funniest women in Britain, for which Saunders was awarded fourth place. The Top Ten reads as such:

  1. Victoria Wood
  2. Dawn French
  3. Jo Brand
  4. Jennifer Saunders
  5. Julie Walters
  6. Joyce Grenfell
  7. Hattie Jacques
  8. Joanna Lumley
  9. Maureen Lipman
  10. Kathy Burke

Personally, I feel the list would have rather changed by now, especially given the success of Miranda Hart in recent years. Hattie Jacques was a stage name for Josephine Edwina Jaques, whilst Kathy is indeed short for Katherine Lucy Bridget, and Jo short for Josephine. It seems almost chance that two of the top ten would be named Josephine, which perhaps makes her a good option if you want a name related to British comedy. Miranda being another good example as there’s also Miranda Richardson, who famously played Queenie in Blackadder. Half of the list is also taken up by five different J- names, too (not including Hattie). If I ever were to use a name inspired by my love of comedy, I’d likely use Polly or Connie, as in Connie Booth who starred as the maid Polly in Fawlty Towers.

But back to Jennifer Saunders, who with husband Adrian Edmondson, welcomed three daughters towards the end of the 80s decade:

Eleanor Rose ‘Ella’

Beatrice Louise ‘Beattie’

Freya Domenica

Tellingly, both Freya and Eleanor are in the 2010 Top 100, with Beatrice well poised at #116 to join them in the coming years. They also seemed to use pretty standard middle names until they came to their last child, when they used Domenica. I keep wanting to say the name, as in, the Dominican Republic, being the worldly person that I am. I’m fascinating by their choice of the name.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Straining Bookshelfs

The Thief Lord cover, from amazon.com

One of the best places to root around for names inspirations is books. The fictional world is where anything goes really – I once read a book named Storm’s Child where the main characters were called Rail (male) and Moa (female). Whilst I never got into Garth Nix’s main successes, I did love his book Shade’s Children – where the main characters were called Drum (male), Gold-Eye (male), Ninde (female) and Ella. Eoin Colfer once wrote a book called Supernaturalist, with characters Cosmo, Stefan and Mona. I digress, I read too much as a mid-teen and now my bookshelfs strain under the weight of all the books I own.

Since both Abby and Elea have both covered names of fictional characters this week in their own ways, I’m instead going to bring you inspiration from the names of the author’s which I read back when every waking moment of my life curled up with a book, along with the name of one of my favourite titles by them and some names from said title:

Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher DeadJackson)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is his full name, and I’m in awe of the mix of styles he’s been bestowed. I’ve met two young Zeph’s recently – one was a Zephyr and twin of Asher, whilst the other was a Zephaniah.TV’s Julia Bradbury welcomed a son named Zephyr earlier on this year in August.

The name Benjamin is of Hebrew origins and means son of the south/right hand, whilst Zephaniah is also of Hebrew origins and means Yahweh has hidden. For the sake of completion, Zephyr means west wind, whilst Asher means happy or blessed.

And a quick breakdown of each name’s popularity in 2010 in England&Wales:

Benjamin Zephaniah Zephyr Asher
Rank 22 1407 3332 364
Births 3005 17 5 112

Blue Balliett (Chasing VermeerPetra and Calder)

Balliett purposefully chose unusually names, believing that’s exactly what would appeal to her readers. When I initially read Chasing Vermeer about 3 years ago I didn’t like the name Petra all that much, but she’s grown on me. She’s the female form of Peter, which means rock, although the character was named with reference to the ancient city of Petra and as part of family naming tradition.

Now, for some hard data from the 2010 data for England&Wales. Blue doesn’t rank for girls (the author is female), but does for the boys:

Blue Calder Petra
Rank 1801 n/a 1472
Births 12 n/a 20

Cornelia Funke (The Thief LordProsper, Boniface ‘Bo’, Scipio, Esther and Ida)

I adore the name Prosper, and it’s from this book that my love for him was first sparked. I acknowledge that Funke’s other work, the Inkheart trilogy, is better known, but this one has a special place in my heart.

As for the name of the author, first we must note that the author is German, and then note the name is the female form of the Latin name Cornelius. The name comes from the Latin element cornu, which means horn. 4 girls were named Cornelia in 2010 in England&Wales, putting it at #4688. On the flip side, 6 lads were named Cornelius last year, and thus at a ranking of #2941. And for the names of her characters I mentioned above? (The ranking for Bo is the male ranking)

Prosper Boniface Scipio
Rank n/a n/a n/a
Birth n/a n/a n/a
Esther Ida Bo
Rank 156 878 1483
Birth 334 40 16

Cressida Cowell (How To Speak DragoneseHiccup, Fishlegs and Camicazi)

I know that I’m probably too old for Cowell’s books these days, but I am still eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Hiccup franchise next month (the film adaption of the first book dissolved me into tears-the only film to ever do so). I love the name Cressida, and she’s the medieval form of another name I love: Chryseis and also means gold. In Greek legend, Chryseis was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. Since Hiccup and friends don’t rank, but Cressida does at #4688, with 4 births – same as Cornelia.

Enid Blyton (The Mystery of the Burnt CottageFrederick ‘Fatty’, Margaret ‘Daisy’, Lawrence ‘Larry’, Philip ‘Pip’ and Elizabeth ‘Bets’)

Enid is almost synonymous nowadays with the author, and the name comes from Welsh and means either soul or life. As an author, she chose rather classic names, all of which are not as popular nowadays as they were back when the books were first published, the one mentioned above came out in 1943:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
Rank 2104 95 355
Births 12 688 117
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
Rank 296 505 49
Births 152 80 1356

Compare the rankings of 2010 with that of 1934 when  all six names were in the Top 100:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
1934 68 24 72
2010 2104 95 355
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
1934 56 1 14
2010 296 505 49

Malorie Blackman (Noughts & CrossesPersephone ‘Sephy, Jasmine and Meggie)

The Noughts&Crosses trilogy was the one which first introduced me to the name Persephone, although I wasn’t sure of the pronunciation until I watched the television show Firefly. My copy of the first book is also signed by the author, Malorie Blackman, which I won, rather than stood in a line for.

The name Malorie is a variant spelling of Mallory, a name that comes from Norman French and means unfortunate. Rather makes me think of the CBBC show Trapped, where the contestants are known as unfortunates. Persephone’s meaning is not established, although she has been linked to Greek words which means murder or to destroy, whilst Meggie is a short form of Margaret and Jasmine is a lovely botanical name. They rank, as such:

Malorie Mallory Persephone
Rank n/a 4688 3156
Births n/a 4 7
Jasmine Meggie
Rank 41 5707
Births 1466 3

Tamora Pierce (The Magic In The WeavingSandrilene ‘Sandry’, Trisana ‘Tris’, Daja, Briar (male) and Lark)

I actually took this book out of my local library by mistake more than anything, but found myself reading it anyway. Whilst a little difficult to follow to begin with, I loved it enough to read all it’s sequels. This is the first real occasion I came across the name Briar, since I was never really shown Sleeping Beauty as a child, and I actually like it. The character himself chose the name, wanting something botanical, yet masculine. I think he achieved that, since I’ve often misread the name as Bear.

As for the name of the author, Tamora, she’s a variant spelling of the name Tamara, which is a variant of the name Tamar, which means palm tree in Hebrew. Predictably, none of the names have really made an impact in the popularity data for England&Wales (the data for Briar is the female one, since there is no male ranking):

Tamora Tamara Sandry Lark
Rank n/a 458 n/a 5707
Births n/a 90 n/a 3
Trisana Daja Briar
Rank n/a n/a 5707
Births n/a n/a 3

Tom Becker (DarksideCarnegie, Vendetta and Marianne)

I listed him because of his surname, rather than his first name. Becket is a nouveau name getting some attention right now, and I think I like Becker a tad more. He’s a German surname and variant of another surname, Becke, which means baker. The Carnegie Award is given out annually to a single children’s book which has impressed, and named after Andrew Carnegie.

Out of all the names, only Marianne ranks in the England&Wales data – at #946 with 36 uses.

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Tired of Ella?

For the past few years, Ella has ranked highly on the name charts. Here are some alternatives for those of you who wish for something a little different:

If you like the El- beginning:

Eleanor. Once classed as a timeless name, now falling down the name charts. Fast. Means bright, shining one.

Elena. An alternate spelling of Eleanor. Likely to have a better chance of rising, seeing as many people favour the unconventional spellings at the moment. It’s the spanish version of Helen. # 195 in 2009.

Elaine. French variation of Helen. # 767 in 2009. The alternate spelling Elaina is much more ‘in’ right now (#462).

Elora. Variation of Eliora.

Eliora. Means ‘ the Lord is my Light’. Melodic in sound, due to abundance of vowels. Does not rank.

Elise. Means ‘pledged to God’. Also a variation of Elizabeth. #211 in 2009. Alternate spelling Elyse is also climbing the name charts.

Eloisa/Eloise/ Heloise. Means healthy/wide. # 917 in 2009. Popular for French girls.

Eliza. Means ‘pledged to God’. Variation of Elizabeth. #278 in 2009.

Elsie. Popular back at the start of the 20th century. Thus, if we remember names have a 100-year cycle, this name is due to come back into fashion. Currently #679. Another variation of Elizabeth, via it’s scottish form of Elspeth.

Elle. French for ‘she’. In 2009 rose to #442 from #493.

Elizabeth. Considered to be a ‘timeless’ name. Has a rich history of bearers, such at the two Queens of England. Popular throughout the centuries, currently ranks at #11. Popular for middle names, and often seen in sibsets alongside Victoria, another Queen of England. The variant ‘Elisabeth’ is currently sat at #554.

Names with the ‘elle’ ending:

Marielle. Dutch and French diminuative of Mary. Means bitter. Does not rank in the top 1000. Variation of Mariella does not rank either.

Gabrielle. French, feminine form of Gabriel. #96 in 2009, fell out of the Top 70 this year. Variation of Gabriella still ranks highly (#33)

Danielle. Hebrew, feminine variant of Daniel. #170 in 2009. The ‘Daniella’ version ranks lower at #306.

Brielle. Surging in popularity. Jumped 93 places to #245 in 2009. A contestant for the replacement of Ella no doubt. The variation of Briella does not rank, however.

Michelle. Feminine form of Michael. Favourite during the 70s (when it peaked at #4). It’s now in steep decline, perhaps one could say it is the ‘Ella’ of the 70s. It recently dropped out of the top 100, however, it is tipped for a revival thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama. Currently ranks #104. A reason for it’s decline could be due to parents preferring Michael’s other feminine form – Michaela, or one of it’s many alternate spellings, such as Mikayla.

Isabelle. This spelling ranks at #100. Considered this decades ‘Elizabeth’. Surprisingly, Isabel ranks lower at #110. Both names are on the rise though. Isabella ranks at #1, and did not even ranks in the top 1000 in the 1980s. This means it could fall out of favour in the coming decade, much like Jennifer and Michelle.

Isobelle. German variation. This spelling does not rank. Neither doee Isobel. Isobella does not rank either.

Belle . French for beautiful. Does not rank. Bella ranks at #58 in 2009, jumping up by 64 places. This is thought to have been caused by Twilight.

Sabelle. This is a variation of the popular Isabel. It does not rank. Could also be a variation of Sable. The variation of Sabella does not rank.

Estelle. French version of ‘Stella’. Does not rank. Variants are Estella and Estrella. The latter is the only one to rank – #414. It is popular amongst the hispanic community.

NOTE: -ella names are very much the fashion at the moment, so these names are all poised to rise in the coming few years.

Names that end ‘-ella’ and not covered in the above section:

Stella. Latin meaning ‘Star’. #126 at the moment, may rise even higher. It jumped 58 places in 2009.

Luella. Combination of Louise and Ella. Variant spelling is Louella. Neither Luella nor Louella rank, making them unusual compared to Ella.

Names with the ‘el’ sound:

Belinda. Spanish origin, means ‘serpent. In Babylonian mythology she was the goddess of Heaven and earth. Currently #826. The variant of Melinda has dropped out of favour in recent years and so does not rank.

Kelly. Irish name, means ‘war’. Was a male name in the 60s, now it is very much a female one. It ranks at #260. Nowadays overlooked in favour of other irish names such as ‘Kennedy’. Another irish name, Keeley (most often spelt Kiely in Ireland) means ‘slender’ and does not rank. The similar name Kaylee ranks at #26.

Kelsey. Means ‘island’. Was popular at the same time as Chelsea. Now the name of your average teen. Kelsey ranks at #210. Chelsea ranks at #231. The name Chelsea originates from the borough of London, has begun to fall down the name chart.

Stellina. Variation of Stella. Does not rank.

Esteley. Variation of Estella. Does not rank.

Melanie. Of Greek origin. Means ‘black or dark’. Currently ranks at #93. Was popular due to ‘Gone with the wind’, but has begun to fall down the name charts.

Melina. Of Greek origin meaning ‘quince yellow’. Some see it as a fresh alternative to Melissa. Melina has moved up from #510 to #456 in the past year. Melissa means ‘bee’ and ranks at #137. Another variant, Melita, is greek meaning ‘honey’. But is also the name of a coffee filter. It does not rank.

Helen/ Helena. Helen is greek, and it means ‘bright, shining one’. It ranks at #389. This name has been unfashionable for decades, so is due for a comeback. The alternative of Helena ranks at #575, and was a name favoured by Shakespeare. Another alternative is Ellen, which is falling down as Ella and co. rise. It currently ranks at #700. Eleni is a common name in Greece, that could also be considered.

Mella. This name is a variant of Melanie. The variant of Mela is Hindi and means ‘religious service’.

Pamela. Invented in the 16th Century by poet, Sir Philip Sidney. Ranks at #845. Poised for a revival?

Amelia. Variation of Emily, means ‘energetic’. Currently stands at #55. The french version, Amelie, is at #675.

Names that end ‘-la’

Carla. The version Karla is rising due to the trend towards ‘k’ names (currently #295), this spelling is falling though. It is the feminine variant of Carl, and currently stands at #665. The variant of Charla is does not rank and the variant of Clara is at #199 and means ‘bright’. Other variants are Sharla and Starla. Neither rank.

Nuala. Irish name, pronounced NOO-la, it means ‘white shoulders’, officially a shortened version of Fionnuala. It does not rank.

Kayla. Arabic and Hebrew origins. Means ‘laurel, crown’. Recently fallen out of the top 30 to #35

Delilah. Hebrew and Arabic in origin. Rising quickly and currently stands at #191. Appeared in the Bible story of Samson and Delilah.

Talulla/ Tallulah. Talulla is the Irish version of this name. The names mean ‘lady of abundance’. Starting to become popular, currently does not rank for either listed spelling.

Michaela. Feminine version of Michael, more popular than Michelle. Means ‘who is like God’. Ranks at #370. Variant spellings are popular. Very popular in the 90s.

Beulah. Popular at the beginning of the 20th century, and has yet to make a comeback. Or Hebrew origin and means ‘married’. Does not rank.

Kala. Has origins in both Hindi and Hawaiian. In Hindi it means ‘art form or virtue’, in Hawaiian it is their version of Sarah. It does not rank.

Lila. German word for ‘purple’. Arabic for ‘lilac’. Ranks at #168. Starting to become popular once more. Variants are Lilah (#366), Leila (Persian meaning ‘dark beauty, night’, #238), Layla (Popular alternate spelling of Leila, #45), Lyla (Shot up 72 spots to #152), Lilac (Colour, does not rank), Lola (Spanish diminuative of Dolores,’lady of sorrows’, #221), Lilia (Latin origin, means ‘Lily’, #916), Lolita (Story by Nakobov has kept this name from becoming popular, likely to start ranking soon though.)and Kalila (Arabic, means ‘beloved’, does not rank.)

Wildcards:

Elspeth. Scottish form of Elizabeth.

Elpis . Means “hope” in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.

Twyla. Variant of Twila. Could become popular when parents search for a name connected to ‘Twilight’. Twila means ‘woman with a double thread’.

Dalella. Variation of Daniella.

Belladonna. Italian name that means ‘beautiful woman’. Also the name of the poisonous plant that appears in Romeo and Juliet.

Belia. Spanish variation of Bella.

Elisheba. Original Hebrew form of Elizabeth. Alternative is Elisheva. Another is Elisha, which is Hebrew and means ‘God is my Salvation’, ranks at #709. Other spelling variants at Alysha (does not rank), Alisha (#765) and Eilisha (does not rank and derives from Eilish, the irish version of Elizabeth).

Elyssa. Variation of Alyssa (Means ‘noble’, ranks at #19), Elysia (Mythical home of the blessed, Does not rank)and Alice (Also means ‘noble’, ranks at #258). There is also the variation of Alicia, which ranks at #207.

Bellona. Derives from Latin and means ‘to fight’.

Laurel. Latin name, meaning ‘Laurel tree’. Alternative of Laura.

Teyla. Created for a Sci-Fi show, alternate spelling of Taylor.

Other similar names:

Lisa. Popular in the late sixties, early seventies, also recorded as used on males. Derived from Elizabeth. Ranks at #686. It was #4 in 1970.

Esther. Persian meaning ‘star’. Ranks at #267, was in the top 50 100 years ago, but is rarely used today. It is tipped for a comeback though.

Louisa. Hardly heard of variant of Louis. Means ‘renowned warrior’. It’s hispanic version is Luisa, which is common in the Hispanic community.

Kiely. Common Irish spelling of Keeley. Regularly used as a surname.

Swansea. Has a similar sound to Chelsea. Name of a Welsh city.

EDIT: Here is what the lovely people of Yahoo! answers had to say: Y!A

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