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Old and Overused Girl Names with a Modern Twist

If you know anything about me, it’s that I love baby names! Don’t worry, I’m not having a baby right now. I just think names are so fun! There’s something special about a name: your full name and nickname(s) change the way others perceive you, and I love hearing the meaning of names. A lot of the time the meanings fit their owners well!

I love hearing what people are naming their children. As an author, it’s extra fun because I get to try out names on characters! There are a few titles, however, I think could use a reboot. The original names on this list are older names slowly falling off the Top 100 list’s favor. That, or they are becoming very popular and some parents are trying to find a more unique version. I’m not saying that the original names are bad…It’s just fun to put a modern and unusual spin on them!

Whatever your reason for browsing this list is, I hope you enjoy these names!


Eleanor -> Norie

The name Nora for a girl has had a major spike in popularity lately. In 1910, it was the 281st most popular name but jumped to the 30th spot in 2018. Personally, I think it’s adorable! But if you’re not a fan of this variation of the classy Eleanor, try Norie. Norie means light and Eleanor means bright, shining one. It’s Irish and is the perfect spunky-sweet name for your little girl!


Sophia -> Sookie

If you’re a fan of Gilmore Girls, you know this name belongs to bubbly and kind chef Sookie! Sookie (you can also spell it Sukey, Sukie, or Sookey) means –– and is the perfect title for a sweet girl, meaning 'rose' or 'lily.' Sophias might be a dime-a-dozen these days, but a Sookie will set her apart from the rest.


Ava -> Aven/Avie

Sure, the name Ava has charm, but it also made it into the top 5 baby girl names in 2018. What does that mean? Well, choose the name if you truly love it, but there’s a pretty good chance of your daughter being called Ava M. or Ava P. at school. The name Aven means 'fair radiance.' Aven with the moniker Avie sounds similar, but is delightfully one-of-a-kind!


Olivia -> Via

I noticed this nickname while reading the sensation Wonder. I’ve heard Liv and Livvy plenty but barely Via! Olivia is another name that made it into the top 5 girl names of 2018 (LINK). While Olivia is more common, it also makes a safe name. A backup plan with a modern pet name is the perfect combination!


Isabella -> Isa

Isabella has been rising in popularity over the past years partially due to the number of nicknames you can use for it. Isa (pronounced I-zah) is one of my faves! It means 'strong-willed' and is of Persian origin. It’s short ’n sweet and has a load of personality!


Caroline -> Carney

As if I don’t talk enough about the series, I got this name from the Betsy-Tacy books! One of Betsy’s high school friends is pleasant and fun-loving Carney. The name Caroline’s been around for a while, but I guarantee no one will have this captivating name!


Rose -> Saffron

Rose has been around forever which means, while a sophisticated choice, some parents are looking for a rarer flower name. If you’re looking for an golden pick with a cute nickname, try Saffron! The name is pretty much as exotic as it gets, as the orange-yellow flavoring is high in demand! I love the nickname Saffy as well. The name is interesting without being hard to spell and has hordes of spunk and grace.


Elizabeth -> Birdie

Elizabeth is the fifth most popular female name of all time! It goes without saying that a lot of nicknames have been created for Elizas. Birdie is one of the harder to explain ones, but that still makes it one delightful name! While it does air on the more unusual side, Birdie has a bit of old-world charm that will stop people in their tracks.


Elizabeth -> Zaby

This just proves that there are more nicknames for Elizabeth than Beth and Lizzie! Zaby is a touch zanier. More and more current parents are looking for unique names, due to social media branding and just a chance to stand out fro the crowd. Unfortunately, parents occasionally regret their unusual choices later. A solid selection like Elizabeth combined with the lively Zaby creates a sure-fire name!


Meredith -> Merry

You’ll notice more and more how much I draw name inspiration from books, and Merry is no exception! I found this one (no spoilers!) from the third book in The Glittering Court series: The Emerald Sea. Meredith isn’t a bad name, but it’s not exactly topping the charts right now. Merry is a nickname meaning 'joyous' that brings new life to Meredith! Mary might be the classic spelling, but Merry has the cheer and the charm.


Agnes -> Nessie

I apologize to anyone who likes this name, but I’ve never liked Agnes. I just always picture a cranky old lady. Yet one moniker I think is adorable is Nessie, which means 'pure!' (It’s pronounced ness like mess with an ie.) It sounds like a classic name with just enough modern frills.


Cosette -> Cosy

I think this next name is so darling! Cosette is a beautiful French name meaning _. Musical fans will remember that this Fantine’s daughter’s name in Les Miserables! Cosette sings the lilting ‘Castle on a Cloud’ that tugged on our heartstrings. While I think the name Cosette is lovely and feminine, I particularly like the nickname Cosy. It’s endearing and certainly noteworthy!


Victoria -> Ria

For our last name, I have Victoria. Though not incredibly popular today, Victoria has been around for decades and has been proved regal through the test of time. While Vicky and Tori are common nicknames for this queenly title, no one’s really rushing to name their daughter those names anymore. But I can foresee Ria making a comeback! Ria is short and tropical. This name is the perfect match for an adventurous and light-hearted girl!


I hope you enjoyed this list of girl names with a twist! Let me know down in the comments if you’d like to see more baby name posts. Ciao!


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