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I'm Looking for a Baby Name that Pops!

We have a daughter named Poppy and are having another girl. We're looking for a name that's equally as spunky, young, and unique. I had Luna and Nova picked out, but found out that both are on track to become very popular. What other unique names might fit? The middle name will be June or Ruby, but I don't like those as firsts; they sound dated.

–Seeking a Sister Name

Trying to ride the line between "unique and fresh" and "too popular" is very difficult. Names are unpredictable, and can suddenly rise and fall without a lot of warning. Plus, what sounds young and spunky to you may also appeal to lots of other parents.

What we can do is look at trends and see what’s happening. You’re correct that both Luna and Nova have spiked upward recently, while June and Ruby (for comparison) peaked a century ago—although both are rising again today.

Poppy only recently cracked the top 1000 names in the U.S., even though it's part of a stylish group of flower/nature names. But it is very popular in the U.K., so maybe that's where you should turn to find Poppy’s sister's name. In particular, check out this list of "hot British girls' names that Americans haven't discovered," including spunky choices like Frankie, Libby, Maisie and unique picks such as Orla, Esme, Seren, and Zara.

Or there’s this list of cool word names nobody's using, which could give you the daring feeling you're looking for—while also complementing Poppy's word-name vibe.

But you might also keep Luna and Nova on your list. "Popular" today isn't what it once was; popular names are just not given in the same sheer numbers that they used to be. Nova is still outside the top 100, and similar-sounding Noa and Nola are deep down in the top 1000. Luna cousins Lula, Una, and Oona are also outside the top 1000. Lara, Lina, Lyra, Sky, and Briar all ranked below Poppy in 2016. Whatever you pick, know that future popularity doesn't take away from all the attributes that make your baby's name special.


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September 18, 2017 8:53 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think Luna & Nova would both be lovely, and I really wouldn't worry about popularity. It's just not an issue the way it used to be, and that is particularly true for names not in the top 10-20.

Since you like June, but find it too dated, I wonder if Juniper would appeal. It certainly freshens things up a bit, and Juniper strikes me as similar to Poppy in terms of spunkiness.

September 18, 2017 2:30 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like Juniper! Also like:


September 18, 2017 3:56 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know a little Juniper who goes by Juno, which would sound cute with Poppy!

September 18, 2017 6:05 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Perhaps Luna and Nova feel dated to you because they're a different genre as in celestial instead of terrestrial. I would think Stella sure feels like it's on the same page as Poppy and sounds familiar and feminine in the same way so that's one to consider! ...If you're thinking botanical I understand why you'd want something that stands out too (if one girl is a showy flower and the other is Ferne, for example, it's a bit of a set up). Ones perhaps are spunky well enough are Rosie, Stella, Goldie, Serena, or Gemma!

September 18, 2017 6:21 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I wonder if you'd like Scarlet or Scout? They hit that spunky note in my mind.
Scarlet June or maybe Joan

Poppy and Scarlet

Scout Ruby

Poppy and Scout

Juno would be lovely too!

Best of luck to you!

September 19, 2017 8:27 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

What about Piper and Paige? They are both peppy, and a bit more popular. They are words, but lack the "Earthly" connection others have noted.

(They are gaining in popularity, which you may consider a drawback.)

September 20, 2017 11:12 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)


October 6, 2017 6:51 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Beatrix, Lola, Ivy, Lottie, Portia, Willa, Zadie, Prim, Calla, Izzie,

October 28, 2017 8:59 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

How about Tatum? Familiar but still unusual. I feel like it goes well with Poppy that has the two P sounds since Tatum has two T sounds. Also pops like Poppy!

Other names that Poppy made me think of is Ember (but it’s also rising in popularity) or Aspen. Both are short, crisp and bright names! I’m trying to think of non-noun names in case you don’t want a theme, but finding it hard to think of names (aside from Tatum). Would a name like Lindy or Britton or Bridget or Heidi or Arden or Berkeley work?

Otherwise Juniper that the above commenter suggested is a good choice too!

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