You’re right - I pretty much only comment on the Girl’s Names threads nowadays - I think I’m better at that then boy’s names…
[name]Aurora[/name] - I think [name]Aurora[/name] is great, and I like the mythological connections and the meaning of the name. It has a lovely, ethereal quality that makes it seem very soft and feminine, yet those R’s anchor the name and give it presence. My only objection to [name]Aurora[/name] is that it can become a bit of a tongue twister with those repeated R’s, especially for a young child.
[name]Amandine[/name] - I think this is a cool name, especially if you ever wanted to honor an [name]Amanda[/name], but it does have a bit of a pretentious feel to it. Or, maybe I just don’t find it particularly accessible because I’m an American. I think it is pretty, and it definitely has a subtle feminine flair that really appeals to me, but I don’t know that I would want to risk it. Could you save it for a middle name?
[name]Amaryllis[/name] - Oh, goodness. Yes, I agree with you, this is definitely too far out there for a first name in my opinion. And, I say that from the perspective of someone who has met a woman named [name]Hyacinth[/name] (I think that’s a bit much, too.). It’s not a name I’d want to have to explain all the time, myself, so I wouldn’t personally bestow it on a child. It’s a fun way to get [name]Mary[/name] into a name, though! Again, I’d save [name]Amaryllis[/name] for a middle name, because it could really add some extra spunk and punch to a classic, a la [name]Dorothy[/name] [name]Amaryllis[/name]…
[name]Camille[/name] - Such a pretty, underused name! I don’t like [name]Cam[/name] or [name]Cammie[/name], but [name]Camille[/name] is short enough that you don’t need a nickname, necessarily. This name is elegant, sophisticated, and feminine yet it maintains a sense of playfulness and fun. The subtle French undertones give the name an added boost of glamor, too. I think it’s a winner!
[name]Cassia[/name] - Oh, I’ve been wanting someone to use this for ages! It’s so spunky, fresh, and playful, and I think it would be perfect for a little girl or a grown woman. I say it with the three syllable ([name]CASS[/name]-ee-ah) pronunciation instead of the two syllable one ([name]CASH[/name]-uh), and I don’t even mind the [name]Cassie[/name] nickname, though some might see that as dated. The name is oozing with feminine flair and the “cinnamon” meaning is too good to be true, right? Perfect name.
[name]Daphne[/name] - [name]Daphne[/name] is a great understated mythological name, but it always reminds me of [name]Daphne[/name] from Scooby Doo. Blame that on my little cousin who is basically obsessed with Scooby Doo, okay? Now, I think [name]Daphne[/name] is fun and elegant, but it sounds a little 1950s to me and I’m not sure I’d like being called [name]Daphne[/name], myself. I think it could be an interesting middle name, but I’m not sure I’d use it out front.
[name]Flora[/name] - This is a great way to use a flower name without using a flower name, so to speak. It’s also a great way to honor a [name]Florence[/name] without using a dated, grandma name (sorry to anybody named [name]Florence[/name] out there!). It’s soft and feminine in an almost ethereal, light way, yet it isn’t so light as to not be taken seriously. I think it is elegant and beautiful, and it would pair nicely with some of your other names, as in [name]Flora[/name] [name]Gwendolen[/name] or [name]Flora[/name] [name]Genevieve[/name].
[name]Genevieve[/name] - [name]Lovely[/name] French name with so much romantic flair and feminine charm! I say it with the American - English? - pronunciation, but I think any way you say this is just lovely. I’ve only personally met one, but I see this name climbing the charts, especially in the US. It’s got everything you want in a name - flair, style, elegance, and spunky character! Plus, as of right now, it’s unique enough that you won’t meet another one in every play group. I think in a while it could be poised to take over for the current French favorite, [name]Madeleine[/name] (or [name]Madeline[/name], [name]Madelyn[/name], [name]Madelaine[/name], etc.)…
[name]Gwendolen[/name] - You know this is one of my personal favorites, partly because it sounds so elegant and soft while still being so strong and partly because of the fun and classic [name]Gwen[/name] nickname. But the kicker for me is always a good literary connection, and this name has that! [name]Gwendolen[/name] [name]Fairfax[/name] in [name]Oscar[/name] Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being [name]Earnest[/name]’ is just such fun - she’s snarky and perky and almost a character you love to hate, in a good way. Not only does [name]Oscar[/name] have a way with words, he’s got a way with names. [name]Cecily[/name] (Cardew) is another favorite of mine! I personally don’t think you can go wrong with this name, and just as [name]Flora[/name] [name]Gwendolen[/name] sounds divine, [name]Gwendolen[/name] [name]Flora[/name] is just as lovely!
[name]Isadora[/name] - I’m not a [name]Dora[/name] fan, and the only form of [name]Isabella[/name] I like is [name]Isabel[/name]. I like that this takes you away from the traditional [name]Isabella[/name] when that name is just astronomically popular, but I feel like we’ve made a baby step instead of a giant leap. Now, NB says that [name]Dora[/name] is poised to make a breakthrough, but I’m not sure how that can happen when ‘[name]Dora[/name] the [name]Explorer[/name]’ is still so popular. Parents in the 1990s weren’t naming their kids [name]Barney[/name], so I am wary of those who name their children [name]Dora[/name] today. Also, this is just a lot of name - it makes me think of some mythical woman sitting behind a crystal ball or something.
[name]Nola[/name] - [name]Nola[/name] is so much more elegant and fun than [name]Nora[/name] for me, even though the rest of NB seems to fawn over [name]Nora[/name] (sorry, [name]Nora[/name] lovers!). However, I don’t think it has enough substance to stand alone as a first name; it’s better suited for a nickname in my opinion, or maybe a middle name if you don’t like something like [name]Finola[/name].
[name]Olympia[/name] - Oh, yes, ditto [name]Amaryllis[/name]. In fact, I think I’d rather use [name]Amaryllis[/name] than [name]Olympia[/name]! [name]Olympia[/name] reminds me of Mount [name]Olympus[/name] and The Olympic Games, and I just feel like it isn’t accessible for Americans or Brits, or anyone but maybe someone Greek, perhaps. And, if you thought [name]Amandine[/name] was pretentious, this feels even more pretentious to me. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I just don’t have a good feel about this one for you…
[name]Penelope[/name] - I think [name]Penelope[/name] is just widely popular on NB, and rightly so, because it’s a fabulous, spunky, whimsical name with so much character! In fact, I just adore it. You’ve got so many nicknames in [name]Pen[/name], [name]Penny[/name], [name]Poppy[/name], [name]Nell[/name], and even [name]Posey[/name], and the name in full just screams understated elegance. This is a great pick, for sure. I know it might be getting more attention in [name]Britain[/name], but I don’t see it soaring up the charts in the same way that feminine classics, vintage favorites, and florals will be.
[name]Valentina[/name] - I think it can be usable without Spanish or Russian heritage, but it seems like a lot of name for a little girl. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like girls in Spanish and Russian families are generally given long names, so [name]Valentina[/name] wouldn’t be out of place, but with more English favorites like [name]Charlotte[/name], [name]Lily[/name], and [name]Emma[/name], [name]Valentina[/name] feels like a bit much. It’s such a pretty, elegant name though, conveying such strength and sophistication, that I don’t want to tell you to kick it off the list. Let it steep, and maybe you’ll come to some conclusion on it. If not a first name, it would make a stunning middle name - just don’t use it for a February baby!
Okay, hopefully this was helpful. My favorites off your list are [name]Gwendolen[/name], [name]Penelope[/name], [name]Camille[/name], [name]Cassia[/name], [name]Genevieve[/name], and [name]Flora[/name], but [name]Valentina[/name] is so beautiful, too. Let me know if I can do any more for you! Good luck!