Elegance - a useable virtue name?

Hello all,

I spent a fair amount of time today thinking about virtue names. I stumbled across the word Elegance and it struck me as having potential to make a rather unusual but wearable girls name: lovely meaning with the easy go to nickname of [name]Ellie[/name] if she wants to blend in.

What are your thoughts on a girl named Elegance?

[name]Dahlia[/name] x

Maybe as middlename because middlename can be anything, but not as firstname.

To be perfectly honest, my mind would sooner lump Elegance in with little girls named [name]Precious[/name] or [name]Princess[/name] than with the virtue names, and that’s not a good thing.

I wouldn’t use it even as a middle name.

I’m gonna be the black sheep, because I like it! A lot. As a middle name, but it reminds me of [name]Constance[/name].

Only as a middle name if you really love it.

I hadn’t considered it before, but I like the image it gives me. I would use it. I love odd names and [name]Ellie[/name] would be a perfectly normal nn.

I don’t care for it at all, I’m afraid. Partly because it doesn’t actually seem like a “virtue” name to me – I mean, elegance is nice, but it is not precisely a characteristic of a virtuous person – so yeah, I’d put it more in the category of “trying unsuccessfully to sound classy,” like [name]Chanel[/name] or [name]Lexus[/name].

I am not a fan of virtue names (with a few exceptions) mostly because I imagine the name being worn by a woman who doesn’t embody the virtue…it just feels like tempting fate to me! They all either sound like a woman from colonial times or a stripper to me most of the time as well.

I agree. I would HATE it if my name (even middle) was Elegance. [name]Just[/name] because I’ve always been a tomboy. What really bothers me with this name is that it has nothing to do with real qualities but with appearance. Not everyone wants to be elegant.

This for me. And I really like virtue names. [name]Amity[/name], [name]Verity[/name], [name]Faith[/name], [name]Prudence[/name]… those are virtues.

Elegance sounds like a spin on Beauty, and possibly interesting in the context of a modern retelling of a fairy tale, so I guess it depends on whether you’re talking about a character or a real child. I would use it for a character.

Not usable, even in the middle spot imo. Sorry!

[name]How[/name] do you know if she will be an elegant woman? In fact what if she turns out to be the exact opposite of Elegance? What if the girl is born with a disability or decides to be a criminal? Can you imagine the irony she will wear every day when people learn of her ‘name’. And what if she turns out to be ugly? Not everyone is ‘beautiful’ to the expectations of society, so I say a big NO to Elegance out of respect for the child.

Wow, that one sparked a lot of strong opinions…! I don’t see the related to [name]Princess[/name] type things. I would consider Elegance to be a virtue but apparently you don’t all agree! [name]Just[/name] a response to that, I don’t see Elegance as a purely physical beauty thing. I know some people who aren’t conventionally beautiful (yes sko, including people with disabilities) who have elegance in their personality and the way they approach life. I’d pair it alongside names like [name]Prudence[/name], [name]Verity[/name], [name]Patience[/name], [name]Grace[/name], [name]Faith[/name] etc. - isn’t it basically the same? You could get a inpatient demanding [name]Patience[/name], a [name]Verity[/name] who lies all the time, a clumsy [name]Grace[/name] or a [name]Faith[/name] that doesn’t believe etc. So why is Elegance a big no and the others accepted loved?

I feel I should probably add that I’m not naming a child, I’ve had all my babies… I was just challenging the perceptions of names.

[name]Just[/name] reread some comments and I was wondering how you define the word “elegance”? From the comments a lot of you seem to define it as a description of someone with shallow skin deep beauty more concerned with themselves and their outwards appearance than anything else - is that right? (not judging just want to understand!)

I’d define Elegance as a reserved intelligent grace in the way of approaching situations/problems. I’d also consider it to describe someone who was straight forward to be around - not at all 2 faced with a strong but restrained inner beauty.


Graceful, yes, and aesthetically pleasing. Straightforward, no. Very straightforward honest people are often blunt or brusque, the opposite of being elegant. Not that elegance is bad, but I don’t associate it with off-the-cuff truth, only poised responses and carefully weighted replies - which can be true or lies.

Elegance also is tied up with perception of wealth. It’s often used as a contrast with rustic, or humble, or earthy. Tying up a perception of beauty/grace with facets of wealth creates an image divorced from the traditional virtues, at least for me. The others aren’t class-based, [name]Faith[/name] or [name]Prudence[/name] or whatever can be found at every level. Elegance has images of finishing school and polished silver. And, because of that, the luxury-label social climbing air that some people noted, that ties it to [name]Chanel[/name] et.al.

[name]Just[/name] my two cents.

Interesting how one word can be interpreted so differently by different people isn’t it! I can definitely see something as being both rustic and elegant at the same time and I’d definitely pair humble and elegant together as well… I’m wondering if the class-based impression comes from it being unusual and not heard very often as a name… Whereas [name]Faith[/name], [name]Prudence[/name] etc. are commonly heard and hence more accepted? So, what you are really saying is you find it pretentious?

I do think that elegance is a virtue that has little to do with looks…I associate it with grace, the way a woman carries herself, confidence, a bit of good-breeding/manners…I was surprised by the responses that said a girl named Elegance who isn’t beautiful or who has a disability couldn’t carry the name as it would be cruel or ironic! I personally don’t think the name would suit anyone very well and I dislike almost all virtue names, but I do think this is a virtue name- to me it is almost identical in meaning to [name]Grace[/name]!

To me it’s not much different than Beauty, which can certainly be a non-surface, “beauty inside” kind of thing, or [name]Precious[/name] which can of course have levels of meaning from the very commercial and materialistic to the very high-minded.

All three don’t strike me as terribly usable, outside of fiction. I see them being very difficult to carry off in real life. I don’t know that I find them pretentious, as such. I find them… naive? I’d privately wonder if the parent doesn’t speak English natively, or was very, very young.

I don’t know that it’s just the uncommoness. I do like some rather uncommon names. And other word names, as well. I’ll have to think about why I had such a visceral reaction, thank you for making such an interesting thread.

A lot of people have responded to this very diplomatically, but I’m afraid to put it bluntly, Elegance sounds like a stripper name. Of course elegance is a wonderful quality or virtue for a person to have, but as a name, it seems too much like layering the quality on from the outside, which is kind of the antithesis of elegance.

Of course, it’s entirely feasible that many people considered the original virtue names such as [name]Faith[/name] and [name]Prudence[/name] the same way, thinking it was kind of tacky (or whatever the 17th century term for tacky was) to call your child [name]Prudence[/name] when really you should just teach them to be prudent.

I also have to say I’m not crazy about what seems to be the trend for choosing an unusual name like Elegance and then watering it down to a ubiquitous nickname like [name]Ellie[/name]. If you want to go unusual, then stand behind your choice! [name]Ellie[/name] is an adorable name but the world is now officially saturated with Ellies, short for [name]Eleanor[/name], [name]Ella[/name], [name]Elena[/name], [name]Eliora[/name], and yes, even probably Elegance.