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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Petra

Number of Babies Named Petra

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Petra

Baby Name Needed for Ethan’s Little Sister

A reader named Kathy is expecting a baby girl in December. She’d like some help coming up with a name. She writes:

I have a 25 month old named Ethan. I have loved that name but am sad to see it’s become so popular. I would like suggestions for a feminine, unique girl name if you have some.

Kathy does like the name Ava, but feels it’s too popular to use.

She also mentions that the baby will be of German/Irish extraction and have a 2-syllable surname that starts with an h (think Hofler).

Ethan and Ava are short, simple, traditional names. But they both happen to be very popular right now. So I looked for girl names that have a similar profile, but that aren’t quite as popular (i.e. none are top 20).

Alice
Amy
Anna
Clara
Cora
Elsa
Gemma
Heidi
Ivy
Laura
Leah
Lucy
Lydia
Marie
Mary
Naomi
Paula
Ruth
Sarah
Susan

Now, Kathy did use the word “unique” in her e-mail. None of the above names could be described as unique. In fact, I don’t think any baby name is unique in a literal sense. But here are some names that weren’t popular enough to make the top 1,000 in 2009.

Anja
Audra
Flora
Jill
Judy
Marla
Petra
Sonja

Which of these names do you like best with Ethan? What other names would you suggest to Kathy?


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 Baby #4

A reader named Lynn has three children named Aidan Michael, Sophie Alice and August Gabriel. She’s expecting her fourth baby in late September. She’s already picked out a boy name (Jude), but would like some help coming up with a girl name.

What is she looking for? “We love old names. We love names that aren’t duplicated in every classroom.” Right now, the top contenders are Lucy, Daisy and Celia.

She also notes that, when she chose Aidan for her eldest, the name wasn’t yet trendy. “It was an old-fashioned Irish saint! Now you seriously can’t swing a cat in our town without hitting a (non-Irish) Aidan.”

Here are a few girl names I think Lynn might like:

Cecile/Cecilia
Celeste
Clara
Coral
Corinne
Delia
Della
Edith
Eliza
Esther
Flora
Frances
Greta
Harriet
Helen
Irene
Josephine (Josie)
Louise/Louisa
Lucia
Margaret (Maggie)
Maura
Molly
Mona
Myra
Nicola
Norma
Opal
Orla
Pauline
Petra
Rhea
Rhona
Rosie
Theda
Thora
Vera

Some of the names in yesterday’s post on girl names that go with Edie might also work for Lynn’s family. (In fact, I used several again in this post.)

Which of the above do you like best with Aidan, Sophie and August? What other names would you suggest to Lynn?

Baby Name Needed – Name for Linden and Everett’s Sibling

Britta her husband Morgan live in Sweden. They’re expecting their third baby in a couple of months and would like some help choosing a name.

They already have two sons, Linden and Everett, so they’d like the baby’s first name to be similar in style to these. Britta also mentions:

We definitely want a more English/American first name while the middle name should be more Scandinavian. The name should also be pronounced similarly both in Swedish and in English.

The baby’s surname will sound like Bergstrand.

So far, for boy names, they’re considering Amos. Here are some other names I thought they might like:

Carl/Karl
Casper/Kasper
Conrad/Konrad
Felix
Frank
Gabriel
Glenn
Grant
Grover
Harris
Henry
Herman
Linus
Nelson
Nolan
Norris
Oliver
Oscar/Oskar
Otis
Philip
Reuben/Ruben
Roland
Sidney
Simon
Tobias
Victor/Viktor
Vincent

For girl names, Morgan likes Rowyn and Rowena. Britta doesn’t care for names that end with a vowel-sound, though. So how about:

Agnes
Alice
Beatrice
Charlotte
Clara/Klara
Edith
Florence/Flora
Frida
Greta
Harriet
Henrietta
Josephine
Madeleine
Marion
Nora
Pauline
Petra
Ramona
Rosa
Roselle
Sabine
Selma
Susanne
Sylvia
Therese
Ursula
Viola

(It was hard to avoid vowel endings altogether, but I did try!)

As for middles: Linden’s middle name is Anders, and Everett’s middle name is André, so my first instinct was to suggest they continue the pattern with something like Andrea or Andreas.

Other than that, I have a hard time coming up with middles when there’s no first name in place. I personally like Astrid, Gustav, Inger, Johan, Olga, Sören…but how well these work will depend a lot upon the sound/rhythm of the first name.

Do you like any of the above names with Linden and Everett? What others would you suggest to Britta and her husband?

Update – The baby is here! Scroll down to see what name Britta and Morgan chose.

Baby Name Needed – Name for Harvey’s Sibling

A reader named Kim has a son named Harvey James. She’s expecting her second baby (gender unknown) this fall. The baby’s last name will be similar to Landsberg.

She and her husband like different types of names, so let’s tackle one gender at a time.

For a girl, I like (stodgy?) old fashioned names like Matilda, Agatha, and Wilhelmina, and he likes more common names like Kate and Anna.

I looked for girl names that have an old-fashioned feel, but a contemporary look/sound (i.e. shorter, simpler, more melodic than Matilda, Agatha, Wilhelmina). Here’s what I came up with:

Ada
Alice
Beatrix
Bettina
Celeste
Celia
Charlotte
Clara
Cora
Delia
Edith
Eliza
Flora
Frida/Frieda
Georgia
Greta
Jane
Leona
Louisa
Lucy
Lydia
Martha
Mina
Nina
Nora
Petra
Phoebe
Rose
Rowena
Sabina
Sylvia
Vita
Willa

Now boys:

For a boy, I love the more classical / romantic Oliver and Frederick, but my husband likes the more (stalwart? masculine? mainstream?) Connor and Owen.

Finding middle-ground male names was a bit trickier, but I think most of the names below fit the bill. (I also sprinkled in a few random others that I happen to like with Harvey.)

Bennett
Charles
Clancy
Conrad
Desmond
Dominic
Duncan
Edgar
Emil
Emmett
Evan
Everett
Felix
Garrett
Gavin
Graham
Grant
Jasper
Leo/Leonard
Luther
Malcolm
Maxwell
Morris
Nathan
Nolan
Oscar
Sebastian
Simon
Stanley
Stuart
Theo/Theodore
Travis
Walter

Which of the names above do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Kim and her husband?

Update – The baby has arrived! Scroll down to see what name Kim chose.

Baby Names Needed – Girl Names for Adopted Twins

A reader named Zoe is adopting twin girls and needs help choosing their names:

What I like are classic names that are NOT common. I also like names that are not easily given nicknames, as I want my daughters to use their full, formal names.

Her top two picks (first & middle) are currently Veronica Sophia and Lydia Nicole. (Sophia and Nicole are both family names.) She also likes Sabrina, Amelia, Vanessa, Cecilia, AnnaSophia, and similar names.

Personally, I love Zoe’s current favorites and think she should stick with them. :) But, just in case, here are some other classic, not-too-common, hard-to-shorten girl names she might like:

Antonia
Camilla
Celeste
Celia
Clara
Cora
Edith
Eugenia
Felice
Harriet
Helena
Lucia
Margot
Marina
Miriam
Monica
Petra
Phoebe
Portia
Priscilla
Ramona
Rhoda
Sylvia
Thalia
Verona

What other suggestions would you offer Zoe?