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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Nigella

Number of Babies Named Nigella

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Nigella

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?


More Never-Ranked Plants Names – Disa, Linnaea, Nigella, Vanda

Here are some more flower and plant names to add to last year’s list of botanical names that have never been in the SSA’s top 1,000. The names below are genus names specifically.

  • Calluna – The sole species is the national flower of Norway.
  • Celosia – Also known as cockscombs. The word “celosia” comes from the Greek word kelos, “burned,” which refers to the flame-like flower heads.
  • Disa – A genus of in the orchid family named for Disa, the heroine of a Swedish legendary saga.
  • Kalmia – A genus of evergreen shrubs.
  • Kerria – A genus native to Asia that was named for Scottish plant collector William Kerr.
  • Laelia – A genus in the orchid family.
  • Linnaea – The sole species is the twinflower.
  • Lunaria – The Latin word means “moon-like,” because of the shape of the seed pods. Commonly called the money plant.
  • Nandina – The sole species is an evergreen shrub native to Asia.
  • Neea – Commonly called saltwood.
  • Nigella – A genus in the buttercup family with distinctive, threadlike leaves.
  • Nyssa – Genus of the tupelo tree.
  • Primula – Includes the primrose.
  • Serissa – The sole species is one of the most common types of bonsai tree.
  • Vanda – A genus in the orchid family.

Which of the above do you like best?