How popular is the baby name Gillian in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Gillian and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Gillian.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Gillian

Number of Babies Named Gillian

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Gillian

Baby Name Needed for the Sibling of Adele

Here’s an e-mail I got from a reader named Sara:

I’m expecting baby #2 in spring. Our daughter’s name is Adele. We’re not finding out the gender, so would like options for boys and girls names that go well with Adele. For girls, I’m liking Elise, Caroline, Winifred and Celia as examples. For boys, Foster, Joseph and Thomas come to mind. Welcome all suggestions! Thanks!

Winifred! I was excited to see that one.

Here are some other possibilities:

Boy names

Frederick
Henry
Hugh
Julian
Louis
Mark
Martin
Nathan
Oliver
Philip
Robert
Peter
Simon
Walter
William

Girl names

Beatrice
Camille
Claire
Corinne
Eugenie
Gillian
Iris
Johanna
Louise
Lucia
Marion
Naomi
Nicole
Rose
Thea

Which of the above do you like best with Adele? What other names would you suggest to Sara?


Baby Name Needed for the Sister of Copeland

A reader named Lisa is expecting her second daughter a couple of weeks and needs some name assistance. Her first daughter is Copeland Rhine. Lisa’s main predicament is this:

[H]ow do I find a strong unique vintage name for this second precious girlie that will not wilt next to a strong name like Copeland Rhine?

And here are some other questions and points Lisa brought up:

  • “Our goal is not to have their names competing for placement but complimenting each other.”
  • “We do not want to be boxed in on unisex or surname first names.”
  • “I have been gravitating towards Sojourner Bliss or Sojourner Mercy (Sophie for short) but that is all I have and my husband is not sold on it nor on a stronger masculine name.”
  • “My husband really loves Evangeline yet he is not wanting to use it because it is becoming so popular. We both love the idea of Evie as a nickname.”
  • “I really want to honor three people in my family but all three would not wish their name on anyone: Leona, Gertrude and Lorraine. Are there any derived names that I could use?” [Other family names she mentioned are Cornelia, Josephine, Ester, Rosemary, Carmelita, Trinia (Trijntje), Johannes, Sophia, Evelientje, Alice (called Ollie), Francis, Felicia and Blanche.]

The baby’s surname will be a 2-syllable name that starts with D and also includes a z-sound. It’s somewhat similar to De Souza.

So the challenge is to find “strong unique vintage” names that work with Copeland, but that won’t lock Lisa’s family into surnames or unisex names. And to try to get a family connection in there as well.

I think Evangeline is a great idea, actually. It’s strong, vintage, and neither a surname nor a unisex name. And both Lisa and her husband like the nickname Evie. Seems like the only thing holding them back is the popularity.

Yes, Evangeline has become slightly popular recently. It’s been back in the top 1,000 since 2006. But let’s put that into context. Over 2,000,000 baby girls were born last year, and only 735 of them were named Evangeline. That’s a very small percentage. (But if it’s really that bothersome, there’s always Evangelina, which is still well out of the top 1,000.)

I’m not a big fan of Sojourner. It’s strong, and unique, and not a surname…but it’s not feminine, and it’s not what I’d call vintage, even if Sojourner Truth was a well-known 19th-century woman. I’d worry about teasing, especially with a noun-middle like Bliss or Mercy. And I think naming a third child (of either gender) after Copeland and Sojourner would be tricky.

Sophie seems like it would be an awkward nickname for Sojourner. It’s so different from Sojourner that it strikes me as more of a cover-name than a nickname–as if Sojourner were just too strong or strange to work as an everyday name.

Leona, Gertrude and Lorraine…the most interesting way I could think of to combine them was to look for names that feature their first letters (L, G, L) such as Nigella, Allegra and Gillian.

Here are a few other name ideas that came to mind:

Acacia
Adelaide
Amandine
Anais
Anneliese
Antonia
Aquila
Artemis
Astrid
Augusta
Aurelia
Aurora
Damaris
Delphina
Demetria
Freya
Ginevra
Harriet
Honora
Imogen
Ione
Isadora
Leocadia
Lucasta
Lucretia
Melosa
Merit
Mehetabel
Minerva
Morgana
Muriel
Nelle
Penelope
Petra
Sophronia
Sunniva
Theodosia/Theda
Thora
Venetia
Vera

Some are related to the family names Lisa mentioned (e.g. Adelaide/Alice, Sophronia/Sophia).

Which of the above names do you like best for the sister of Copeland? What other names would you suggest to Lisa?

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Saylor’s Sister

A reader named Michelle has a son named Saylor Dorian. She’s expecting a baby girl in May and would like some name suggestions. She says:

We originally picked shiloh for a girl but we aren’t liking how popular it’s getting [due to a celebrity finding it first..grrr] we want a unique name that’s still ‘easy on the ears’ as in easy to get used to. I try to stay away from the too feminine popular vowel names like ava, bella, etc… though we like them we don’t want a trendy name like piper, stella, etc…

We are currently tossing around names like vega, remy…. though what i loved about shiloh was that O ending.. but we are open to whatever.

First let’s try to come up some more o-endings. How about:

Callisto
Calypso
Clio
Flo (Flora/Florence)
Jo (Josie/Josephine)
Juno
Leo (Leona)
Margot
Marlow
Meadow
Mo (Maureen)
Willow

And here are some other names that came to mind:

Audra
Briar
Darcy
Dylan
Emery
Fiona
Gillian
Greer
Heidi
Ione
Jaya
Lotus
Lyra
Mina
Morgan
Nadia
Naomi
Nova
Phoebe
Rory
Tess
Violet
Vita
Zillah

Which of the above do you like best for Saylor’s sister? What other girl names would you suggest to Michelle?

Baby Name Needed – Middle Name for Leah

A reader named Nita is having a baby girl. The baby’s first name will be Leah, and Nita is looking for middle name suggestions that work with Leah. She writes:

We want it to start with a consonant and end in a consonant. Since the first name is pretty short, we’d like the middle name to be three or four syllables long. And please, not floral names. (And no names that sound like Beatrice/Beatrix, Margaret or Ursula.)

I think French names are a smart place to start, as many French names are fairly long and begin and end with consonant sounds.

Benjamine
Bernadette
Bernardine
Caroline
Celestine
Dominique
Felicienne
Gabrielle
Geraldine
Henriette
Josephine
Julienne
Juliette
Madeleine
Marcelline
Marianne
Micheline
Nicolette
Nicoline
Pascaline
Raphaelle
Sebastienne
Veronique
Victorine

Here are some other possibilities:

Christabel
Claribel
Dolores
Gillian
Guinevere
Gwendolen
Harriet
Jennifer
Maribel
Marisol
Marybeth
Marylouise
Mehetabel
Meredith
Millicent
Miriam
Rosalind
Rosamund
Vivian
Winifred

Which of the above do you like best with Leah? What other middle names can you come up with for Nita?

Baby Name Needed – Traditional Name for Baby Girl

A reader named Liz is expecting a baby girl and she’d like some help coming up with a name. Here are some details:

  • Liz likes “traditional names that are not the type of name the person wearing it will be teased for,” such as Amalia, Charlotte, Sofia and Louisa/Louise.
  • Liz’s husband like “names that sound cute for a little kid but good for an adult,” such as Grace, Beatrice and Nathalie. (Liz doesn’t care for Beatrice/Beatrix, though.)

So far, Louise/Louisa is the only name both Liz and her husband can agree on.

Here are some other names that I thought might work:

Adele
Alice
Althea
Caroline
Celia
Claire
Clarice
Coralie
Emmeline
Genevieve
Felice
Gillian
Greta
Helena
Irene
Isabelle
Johanna
Josephine
Lavinia
Leona
Lucy
Lydia
Madeleine
Margaret
Mary
Naomi
Nicole
Pauline
Patrice
Philippa
Rosalie
Sabina
Susannah
Sylvia
Thea
Theresa

No name is immune to teasing, but I did bump Harriet, which is dangerously close to “hairy.”

What other names would you suggest to Liz?

Spelling Tip for Creative Baby Names – Hard G vs. Soft G

Gordana Gehlhausen was a contestant on Project Runway this season. Before the season began, I assumed her first name would be pronounced with a hard G, like Gordon. I was wrong. She pronounces her name with a soft G. I wonder how many other people also got it wrong?

Typically, when the letter G is followed by E, I or Y, it’s soft. Otherwise, it’s hard. Gentle and giant have soft G’s, while gargoyle and gurgle have hard G’s.

The rule can also be applied to names. Geoffrey and Gillian have soft G’s; Gavin, Goldie and Gus have hard G’s. (Exceptions like Gertrude and Gideon do exist.)

If you want to personalize a name that features the letter G, or substitute a G for a J, pay close attention to the vowels that follow. Taking an E out of George turns the name into a geological formation. Forcing a G into James gives you Games. (And playing Games with baby names is usually not a good idea.)

Tropical Cyclone Names – Abdul, Fletcher, Timba, Vongfong

Hurricane Bill didn’t make landfall last weekend, and Tropical Storm Danny probably won’t have much impact this weekend. It’s been a rather uneventful storm season for New England thus far.

So let’s spice things up with a selection of tropical cyclone names from areas other than the humdrum Atlantic Ocean:

  • Australian Region: Bruce, Fletcher, Gillian, Hamish, Jasmine, Kirrily, Lam, Narelle, Olwyn, Tiffany
  • Central North Pacific: Akoni, Ele, Halola, Iolana, Keoni, Maka, Niala, Oliwa, Ulana, Walaka
  • Eastern North Pacific: Aletta, Blas, Fausto, Isis, Jova, Kiko, Orlene, Paine, Sergio, Wiley
  • Fiji Region: Atu, Beni, Cilla, Funa, Lusi, Nute, Tui, Vaianu, Zita, Zuman
  • Northern Indian Ocean: Baazu, Fanoos, Hudhud, Khai Muk, Mukda, Nargis, Ockhi, Pyarr, Titli, Vaali
  • Papua New Guinea Region: Abdul, Epi, Guba, Gule, Igo, Kamit, Matere, Rowe, Taka, Upia
  • Philippine Region: Basyang, Butchoy, Dencio, Igme, Ineng, Lawin, Ompong, Quiel, Siony, Yoyoy
  • Southwest Indian Ocean: Boloetse, Fame, Humba, Jaya, Olipa, Pindile, Timba, Wilby, Xylo, Zoelle
  • Western North Pacific: Ewiniar, Hagibis, Krovanh, Mindulle, Nock-ten, Phanfone, Songda, Vongfong, Wutip, Yutu

Did you catch Kirrily up there in the Australian group? I’m really curious about that one. It’s a female name, but not listed in any of the name references I own. The Maori langauge doesn’t include an L-sound, so that’s not it. Perhaps it’s just Kira/Kiri + Lee. If you know anything about the name Kirrily, please comment!

Source: Tropical Cyclone Names – National Hurricane Center

UPDATE, 11/2013: The name of the typhoon that just hit the Philippines, Haiyan, means “petrel” in Chinese. A petrel is a seabird. (People in the Philippines are calling the storm “Yolanda,” though.)