Opinions on these recently unearthed classical names

I’ve been collecting some seldom-used names with Greek/[name_m]Roman[/name_m]/saintly vibes to them. Some are familiar, some are definitely not, but I’d love opinions on their general attractiveness, usability, and compatibility with my existing children’s names. (Mandatory disclaimer: not expecting).

[name_f]Allaire[/name_f]: medieval [name_m]French[/name_m] form of [name_f]Hilaria[/name_f]

Cyprienne: feminine form of [name_m]Cyprian[/name_m]

Cyprine: even rare feminine form of [name_m]Cyprian[/name_m]

[name_f]Cyra[/name_f]: prn SIGH-ra, likely a feminine form of [name_m]Cyrus[/name_m]

[name_f]Domitille[/name_f]: [name_m]French[/name_m] form of [name_f]Domitilla[/name_f], pronounced to rhyme with eel (this is a very snobby name in [name_f]France[/name_f] right now)

[name_f]Honora[/name_f] (pronounced ah-KNOW-ra)

[name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] (rhymes with “kill a”; [name_m]Roman[/name_m] name meaning ‘light’)

Lysandra: feminine of [name_m]Lysandros[/name_m]/[name_m]Lysander[/name_m]; the name of a genus of butterflies, and meaning “freeing man”

[name_f]Marina[/name_f]: an epithet of [name_f]Aphrodite[/name_f], meaning of course “of the sea,” and a popular place to store boats

Myrrine: prn mur-een-eh, related to myrrh, and the name of an [name_f]Amazonian[/name_f] queen

[name_f]Nereida[/name_f]: related to [name_m]Nereus[/name_m], the sea god, and his nereids (mermaids): prn ner-AY-da, and somewhat popular in the Spanish-speaking world

[name_f]Phaedra[/name_f]: “shining, bright;” horrible mythological namesake, but relatively commonly used in Greece

Philonella: a feminine dimunitive of [name_m]Philo[/name_m], and an early [name_m]Christian[/name_m] doctor-saint who tried to stamp out magic and superstition from medicine while treating the poor for free (you can see why this appeals to me)

[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]/[name_f]Silvana[/name_f]: related to [name_m]Silvanus[/name_m], the woodland god, which was whitewashed by numerous early [name_m]Christian[/name_m] saints, but still retains its woodsy feeling

I like:


[name_f]Allaire[/name_f]: love it. This is pretty and intriguing, but she’ll have to deal with misspelling and mispronunciation issues forever.
Cyprienne: Somehow I’m familiar with [name_m]Cyprian[/name_m] but not this. Nms.
Cyprine: see above.
[name_f]Cyra[/name_f]: I think I like it, but there are better names out there. It’s quite pretty, but your [name_f]Cassia[/name_f] is a lot prettier, imo.
Domittile: nnnooppe. Doesn’t bring the best imagery.
[name_f]Honora[/name_f]: I like it.
[name_f]Lucilla[/name_f]: Of course I know [name_f]Lucille[/name_f] and [name_f]Lucia[/name_f], so how come I never consider [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] before? O.o [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] is uncommon but familiar at the same time. Very nice.
Lysandra: love it.
[name_f]Marina[/name_f]: love, love, love [name_f]Marina[/name_f].
Myrinne: eh. This is okay, but I prefer [name_f]Marina[/name_f].
[name_f]Nereida[/name_f]: dislike. I just can’t imagine a human girl with this name, I think about the nereids only.
[name_f]Phaedra[/name_f]: love it.
Philonella: what an awesome connection! I want to like this name, but I just can’t. ._.
[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]/[name_f]Silvana[/name_f]: I adore [name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]. I think it sounds great next to [name_u]Antoine[/name_u] and [name_f]Cassia[/name_f].

[name_f]Marina[/name_f] and [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] will definitely work.

Lysandra and [name_f]Cyra[/name_f] have always been favourites of mine! I think they are similar enough to [name_f]Alexandra[/name_f] and [name_f]Kyra[/name_f] to work.

I pronounce [name_f]Honora[/name_f] like uh-[name_f]Nora[/name_f] (or [name_f]Annora[/name_f]), but I like uh-NO-ra too.

[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f] / [name_f]Silvana[/name_f] would work, being similar to [name_f]Sylvia[/name_f].

@[name_f]Amber[/name_f] you’re right-- that’s exactly how [name_f]Honora[/name_f] is pronounced. Your guide is much better than mine.

Thanks all very much for the opinions! I think I agree re: what’s realistic and what isn’t.

Does [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] sound wispy?

I don’t think [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] sounds wispy. No more than [name_f]Lucille[/name_f], [name_f]Lucy[/name_f] or [name_f]Lucia[/name_f], anyway. Maybe [name_f]Lucila[/name_f], if pronounced loo-SEE-la, would take off the short i sound?

I think these are completely usable:

[name_f]Cyra[/name_f] - but might be mistaken for [name_f]Ciara[/name_f]/[name_f]Kira[/name_f]/[name_f]Kiera[/name_f]/whatever
[name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] - but yes, it does sound very wispy to me
[name_f]Silvana[/name_f] - I prefer this spelling

I’m less certain about these:

[name_f]Allaire[/name_f] - This could technically go on the usable list, but to me it just sounds like a cosmetics line.
Cyprienne - Not sure how wearable this actually is?
Cyprine - Same issue as Cyprienne, and the -ine ending is kind of grandma-ish to me
[name_f]Domitille[/name_f] - …sounds like a high class stripper to me, honestly
Lysandra - all I see is [name_f]Sandra[/name_f]
Myrrine - great middle name material
[name_f]Nereida[/name_f] - same as Myrrine
Philonella - lovely namesake but seems a bit too frilly and Puritan as a first name

[name_f]Allaire[/name_f]: I like this name, though it has a little too much gender ambiguity for my own personal taste, maybe because it remains me of the [name_m]French[/name_m] boys’ name [name_m]Alain[/name_m]. It does have that vain of medieval francophonie that, say, [name_f]Yvaine[/name_f] does, and I adore that vibe.

Cyprienne: sounds like a kind of gem or fruit.

Cyprine: ditto. Maybe it’s because I think of the gem Citrine?

[name_f]Cyra[/name_f]: nms, but it does have that [name_m]Roman[/name_m] lady vibe à la [name_f]Portia[/name_f].

[name_f]Domitille[/name_f]: nms. Makes me think of “domicile” though I know it’s not pronounced the same way.

[name_f]Honora[/name_f]: pretty, but heavy on the virtue. Then again, the [name_f]Annora[/name_f] spelling looks a little princessy.

[name_f]Lucilla[/name_f]: sounds like an icy Visigoth queen. In a good way.

Lysandra: too reminiscent of [name_m]Lysander[/name_m] as in that-one-character-from-Midsummer’s-no-one-cares-about.

[name_f]Marina[/name_f]: everyone named [name_f]Marina[/name_f] I know is very pretty. Can’t get over the “mar” meaning bitter, though.

Myrrine: I like the backstory and association, but to most it’s probably just a yooneek spelling of [name_f]Marina[/name_f].

[name_f]Nereida[/name_f]: dislike the sound.

[name_f]Phaedra[/name_f]: could not get over the mythological namesake.

Philonella: whimsical, but nms.

[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]/[name_f]Silvana[/name_f]: I read a terrible fantasy novel with a [name_f]Silvana[/name_f] and that’s the only association I have.

I like [name_f]Cyra[/name_f] but I would never use it.

I think

are beautiful and totally usable. I think [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] is too saccharine for my taste.

I like [name_f]Silvana[/name_f] and [name_f]Marina[/name_f]. [name_f]Silvana[/name_f] sounds more old-fashioned and [name_f]Marina[/name_f] sounds more fresh/modern, but both give off a mystical/fantasy feel.

[name_f]Allaire[/name_f]: It’s pretty, but a little insubstantial. It feels like it’s missing something. I think it would make a great middle.

Cyprienne: I’me not a fan of [name_m]Cyprian[/name_m], but I like this. I think I prefer Cyprine, though.

Cyprine: I like this a lot. I’ve never heard it before, but it feels familiar. [name_u]Unique[/name_u], yet easy to spell and pronounce. Although it might be misheard as “supreme”?

[name_f]Cyra[/name_f]: I like this one a lot too. I think it’s one of the more wearable names on your list.

[name_f]Domitille[/name_f]: I kind of hate this. I don’t really have a great reason, just a pretty strong negative reaction.

[name_f]Honora[/name_f]: I think this is a great name. It works really well with [name_u]Antoine[/name_u] and [name_f]Cassia[/name_f]. It’s beautiful and strong. I’ve always pronounced it like ON ur ah.

[name_f]Lucilla[/name_f]: i don’t love it, but it’s nice.

Lysandra: not my favorite. I don’t like [name_m]Lysander[/name_m] either, though.

[name_f]Marina[/name_f]: All boats to me.

Myrrine: nope.

[name_f]Nereida[/name_f]: I think this is beautiful. If you live somewhere with a large Hispanic population, it might not be super unique.

[name_f]Phaedra[/name_f]: I like it and I think it fits well with A and C.

Philonella: a bit much for everyday wear, but if you aren’t opposed to nicknames, it would be a stunning long form for [name_f]Nell[/name_f].

[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]/[name_f]Silvana[/name_f]: I just don’t like these names. I like the woodsy meaning, but the sound is just too precious. I do like [name_f]Silvie[/name_f], though. I know someone named [name_f]Sylvia[/name_f] whose nickname is [name_m]Sly[/name_m], which I kind of love.

ooh I love this list! Especially [name_f]Allaire[/name_f], [name_f]Cyra[/name_f], [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f], Lysandra, Myrrine, [name_f]Phaedra[/name_f] and especially [name_f]Silvana[/name_f], I’m so ecited someone has it on their list, I always adored that name when I were younger but sadly it was a sort of 80’s craze name here, considered as somewhat lowerclass and connected to a TV personality but since it probably doesn’t have those connections in the U.S. I’m so happy to see someone from there loving it!
[name_f]Nereida[/name_f] is too much the wod “nereid” for me but do you like [name_f]Nerea[/name_f]? It’s a very similarly sounding Basque name and one of my favorite names. There’s also [name_f]Nerida[/name_f] and [name_f]Nerine[/name_f].
Cyprienne, [name_f]Domitille[/name_f] and Philonella sound a little too far-fetched to me to be used as first names… maybe you like [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] instead of Philonella? It’s just a little better known.

I like


[name_f]Honora[/name_f], [name_f]Marina[/name_f], [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f], [name_f]Phaedra[/name_f], and [name_f]Silvana[/name_f]/[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f] are definitely useable, [name_f]IMO[/name_f], and [name_f]Honora[/name_f] and [name_f]Marina[/name_f] are my favorites with your sibset. Maybe [name_f]Cyra[/name_f], too, but I think most people would see it as a creative respelling of the more popular [name_f]Kyra[/name_f]/[name_f]Kira[/name_f]/[name_f]Ciara[/name_f] at first glance, which makes me hesitate.

Borderline names are Lysandra, Philonella, and [name_f]Allaire[/name_f]. They’re unusual names, but it helps that they’re so similar to other more familiar names: Lysandra is similar to [name_f]Alexandra[/name_f] and [name_f]Cassandra[/name_f], Philonella is similar to [name_f]Philomena[/name_f] and [name_f]Fenella[/name_f], [name_f]Allaire[/name_f] is similar to [name_u]Adair[/name_u]. They’re probably a bit much upfront, but would be perfectly fine in the middle. (Plus, the similarity of Lysandra to [name_f]Cassandra[/name_f] might cause a some confusion since you already have a [name_f]Cassia[/name_f].)

I’d say Cyprienne and [name_f]Nereida[/name_f] are also borderline, but less usable just because there really aren’t any other names that sound like them than I can think of at the top of my head. I would use them in the middle if I loved them, but probably not as a first. (And I don’t think they fit well with [name_u]Antoine[/name_u] and [name_f]Cassia[/name_f] anyway.)

[name_f]Domitille[/name_f] and Myrrine just aren’t very attractive in my opinion, and would be a spelling/pronunciation nightmare in the States. I do think you can use almost anything in the middle if you really love them, but you have better names on this list. (Also, I agree with @bibliophile that Domitille reminds me too much of the word “domicile”.)

As for Cyprine, I’m not sure how I feel about her because I have a strong association to a villain in a show I used to watch when I was younger ([name_u]Sailor[/name_u] [name_f]Moon[/name_f]). Since she’s the only association I have with the name, it feels a lot like naming your daughter [name_f]Bellatrix[/name_f] to me. (I think Cyprienne is prettier than Cyprine anyway.)

[name_f]Allaire[/name_f] - I actually really like this one. I love A name. This is very pretty, and feminine.

Cyprienne - dislike this sorry. It really is far far too out there.

Cyprine - I like this a little more than the one above, but am put off by y in the second spot.

[name_f]Cyra[/name_f] - despite what I said above, I [name_u]LOVE[/name_u] -yra names! I cant believe I havent thought of this one before!

[name_f]Domitille[/name_f] - really hate it…the [name_m]Dom[/name_m] part is simply too masculine.

[name_f]Honora[/name_f] - I’ve always read this as -On-or-ree-uh. I dont like it either way

[name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] - Its okay. Not that unusual though.

Lysandra - its not terrible, but it does just make me think of [name_m]Lysander[/name_m]

[name_f]Marina[/name_f] - gorgeous! This to me is a completely normal, usable name.

Myrrine - I would rather see it written [name_f]Marine[/name_f].

[name_f]Nereida[/name_f] - I really like this. I also have a think for N names (and mermaids, by per chance) I would like to see a slightly better spelling though. Not sure how that would be!

[name_f]Phaedra[/name_f] - I’ve liked this name for while! Its very feminine

Philonella - dislike. The [name_u]Phil[/name_u]- part puts me off

[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]/[name_f]Silvana[/name_f] - love the [name_f]Silvana[/name_f] spelling. I think I heard of someone with this name once

[name_f]Allaire[/name_f]: I like this, but the spelling seems overly complicated - I think I prefer [name_f]Alair[/name_f].
Cyprienne: I strongly prefer Cyprine!
Cyprine: So pretty. I have no other way to describe it, it’s just feminine and dainty and pretty to me.
[name_f]Cyra[/name_f]: Eh. It makes me think of the word Siren, which is sort of a weird, off-putting association? Women dragging sailors to their watery deaths and all.
[name_f]Domitille[/name_f]: I actually really like the sound of this and unlike [name_u]Dominique[/name_u], it doesn’t give me that ‘dominatrix’ vibe. But I love clunky [name_m]French[/name_m] names, they’re one of my GPs.
[name_f]Honora[/name_f]: [name_u]Love[/name_u]. No idea why [name_f]Jessica[/name_f] [name_f]Alba[/name_f] picked [name_f]Honor[/name_f] over [name_f]Honora[/name_f], when [name_f]Honora[/name_f] is so much prettier!
[name_f]Lucilla[/name_f]: So it’s “Loo-sill-uh”? I want to pronounce it like [name_f]Lucia[/name_f] (Loo-see-uh), which I like better, but I do like [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] better than [name_f]Lucille[/name_f].
Lysandra: I do like this, but I wonder if people would mistake it for [name_f]Alessandra[/name_f]/[name_f]Alexandra[/name_f] when hearing it?
[name_f]Marina[/name_f]: Very pretty, more down-to-earth than some of the other names on this list.
Myrrine: I’d go with [name_f]Marina[/name_f] to get the same pronunciation without all the spelling problems, honestly.
[name_f]Nereida[/name_f]: I’m surprised I got the pronunciation on the first try! I think it’s pretty. Probably spelling issues though.
[name_f]Phaedra[/name_f]: Meh. This is a “trying too hard” name for me tbh.
Philonella: So is it “Fie-lo-nell-uh” (fie rhyming with pie) or “Fill-oh-nell-uh”? I want to like it because of the connection for you but I think it would be a better MN than a FN.
[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]/[name_f]Silvana[/name_f]: I prefer [name_f]Sylvia[/name_f]/[name_f]Silvia[/name_f].

Thanks everyone!

@amber for some reason I find [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] more elegant than [name_f]Lucila[/name_f], and I prefer the short -i- pronunciation.

@maple: I think you’re right re: the in/out list. [name_f]Domitille[/name_f] right now is a very hot, snobby name in [name_f]France[/name_f]-- rarely given, it’s a mark of “look what exquisite ancient taste I have,” kind of like [name_m]Ptolemy[/name_m] or [name_m]Tarquin[/name_m] in the UK. It really does look like ‘domicile.’ :slight_smile:

@bilbiophile: you hit the nail on the head re: [name_f]Allaire[/name_f]-- I love the medieval francophone vibe, too. Cyprine does sound like citrine, you’re right (and supreme as rosey pointed out). It just seemed so spicy-sweet to me (cypresses and all). I also am pretty sure I would never be able to actually pull the trigger on [name_f]Phaedra[/name_f] for the namesake reasons, too.

@smithe: thanks! [name_f]Cyra[/name_f] is a strong little gem of a name.

@natalie: I am worrying, too, about [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] being a little too insubstantial for my tastes. Thanks for your thoughts.

@moondreams: [name_f]Marina[/name_f] and [name_f]Silvana[/name_f], forest and sea. Hard to choose. Can’t use both. One is a place for boats, one will be constantly misheard as [name_f]Sylvia[/name_f].

@roseymaam: I’m glad you liked [name_f]Honora[/name_f]. I am trying to road-test it and have been very pleased to see that everyone thinks it’s so usable. [name_m]Sly[/name_m] is very cute for [name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]! You’re about the only person who appreciated [name_f]Nereida[/name_f], thanks!

@melusina: thank you. Are in [name_u]Brazil[/name_u], by chance? Or somewhere Spanish speaking? Curious where this awful downmarket [name_f]Silvana[/name_f] is from. I do liek [name_f]Nereida[/name_f] more than the other similar-sounding names ([name_f]Nerida[/name_f] is an Australian name for a water lily or something, and [name_f]Nerea[/name_f] is an unrelated Basque name with no classical connection).

@misslis thank you! you have good taste. :slight_smile:

@meg: thanks so much for your detailed thoughts. I know we have similar criteria in name selection so I’m so glad you weighed in. I like [name_f]Honora[/name_f], [name_f]Marina[/name_f] and [name_f]Sylvana[/name_f] the best as stand-alones, but theoretical baby’s surname has Na- as its first syllable, so I am hesitating on the names ending with -na. It’s not insurmountable of course. Your phonetic analysis on the ‘borderline’ names makes a great deal of sense. I think Myrrine really won’t work. And I had no idea there was anyone called Cyprine in anime; it’s an ultra-obscure [name_m]French[/name_m] feminine form of [name_m]Cyprian[/name_m], and was given to <20 children ever.

@carysmarie: I think you’re right, Marina is the most popular and familiar name on the list. I’m glad I introduced you to Cyra. Allaire is very pretty, isn’t it?

@greyer: thank you! Alair is more streamlined, but I thought Allaire looked more feminine (both were used as a unisex name in medieval France). I would never have put Cyra and siren together, but now I’m thinking ambulances. definitely the downfall of Lysandra is being confused with much more common names like Alexandra. Agree re: Honor! Philonella would probably be better in the middle. I want to like it more than I do, just because of the namesake. I like Sylvia, but I am trying to avoid another -ia name with Cassia.

[name_f]Allaire[/name_f]: beautiful. It goes really well with [name_f]Cassia[/name_f]. It reminds me a little bit of [name_m]Alistair[/name_m], though.

Cyprienne: it just feels too literal to me, like an actual woman from [name_m]Cyprus[/name_m]. That being said, it would be a cool middle.

Cyprine: this is pretty, I like it, but I don’t like the soft ‘c’ name and a hard ‘c’ name like [name_f]Cassia[/name_f] in the same sibset. Maybe that’s just me.

[name_f]Cyra[/name_f]: I like it, but more for a middle.

[name_f]Domitille[/name_f]: love it! I’m just not sure it flows with [name_f]Cassia[/name_f] and [name_u]Antoine[/name_u], which have a bit more delicacy.

[name_f]Honora[/name_f]: Flows well, and it’s very wearable. Wonderful meaning.

[name_f]Lucilla[/name_f]: Same comments as [name_f]Honora[/name_f].

Lysandra: I like it, and it flows, but would likely get the nn [name_f]Sandra[/name_f].

[name_f]Marina[/name_f]: beautiful, flows perfectly… but is it a little too common?

Myrrine: unfortunately, GOT has a city named Mereen, pronounced the same.

[name_f]Nereida[/name_f]: such a great name, but I don’t think it flows that well.

[name_f]Phaedra[/name_f]: this is a lovely name, but again it lacks the delicacy of [name_f]Cassia[/name_f] and [name_u]Antoine[/name_u].

Philonella: I like this!

[name_f]Sylvana[/name_f]/[name_f]Silvana[/name_f]: It doesn’t flow as well as some of the others.

  1. [name_f]Honora[/name_f]
  2. [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f]
  3. [name_f]Marina[/name_f]
  4. [name_f]Allaire[/name_f]
  5. [name_f]Domitille[/name_f]
  6. Philonella
  7. Lysandra
  8. Cyprine
  9. [name_f]Phaedra[/name_f]

ooh, I love rankings, thank you for doing that! And I think your comments are very insightful.

A consensus seems to be emerging: favorite names are [name_f]Honora[/name_f] and [name_f]Marina[/name_f], with [name_f]Sylvana[/name_f] and [name_f]Lucilla[/name_f] perhaps following. [name_f]Marina[/name_f] might be too familiar next to the other children’s names? And there is the literal marina problem.