15 Baby Names for Girls That Come From Love

little girl valentine's dayIf there's one thing we've learned in the last few decades, it's that sound matters when it comes to baby names. In the list of important factors in today's naming landscape, sound often trumps all -- over family traditions, meaning, and even cultural associations. Today's favorite names for girls roll off the tongue with airy femininity.

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Just in time for Valentine's Day, we think that the word "love" has a perfectly appealing sound too. That's why we're inspired to find names with flowing vowels surrounding consonants like "L" and "V." Whether they are longer or short-but-sweet names, they each have a softness that makes us swoon.

  1. Alva: It's a bit sad that Alva is known mostly as Thomas Edison's middle name. While it was once given to boys as well as girls, this Scandinavian choice feels decidedly feminine to our ear.

  2. Amara: Amara is a beautiful name that found its way on this list because of its similarity to the word "amor" (we had to cheat just a little). In the Nigerian language Igbo, Amara means grace, making this a near-virtue name with a proud heritage today. It's a bit no-nonsense, but Alva is also a darling name straight from one of today's favorite decades for names -- the 1890s.

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  3. Ava: You can find this beautiful choice across the globe, worn by girls in Europe, Australia, and North America. It may be short, but it has loads of appeal, and it makes a perfect little palindrome. As the number five girls' name in the US, it's not unique, but Ava is truly well-loved.

  4. Clove: Clove may be a spice name, but it's far from the popularity of more established choices like Ginger and Sage. Its use in The Hunger Games series has given Clove more attention while solidifying its quirkiness. No matter how you view it, Clove is seriously charming and simple, and it has "love" built right in.

  5. Dove: A nature name that conjures up peace, Dove is also just one letter away from love. It may be far out of the top 1,000, but parents do tend to like this simple, sweet name for the middle spot. 

  6. Evelyn: Most people wouldn't have guessed that Evelyn would be a top 20 name today, but looking at the trends, this one has had an almost predictable rise to the top over the last 30 years. No matter what, Evelyn will always feel stylishly vintage, thanks to its popularity in the 1910s and 20s.

  7. Lavinia: Lavinia is a flowing, gorgeous Victorian choice that just begs us to dot its "i"s with tiny hearts. This name is besties with Olivia but has experienced none of her success. And Lavinia has a surprising history with namesakes from Roman mythology, Shakespeare, and even Downton Abbey. For those turned off by the nickname Vinnie, Linnie is another possibility.

  8. Love: Sometimes the most obvious choice is the best. Love has immediate meaning, and it's simple, beautiful, and pretty to look at as well as to say. Love is rare for a first name, but parents have favored it for the middle spot, à la Jennifer Love Hewitt.

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  9. Maeve: A powerful name taken from the pages of Irish mythology, Maeve has crossed the Atlantic and is having a moment here in the US. It's unusual but in the top 500 and rising with some momentum. Maeve is both a simple and spirited one-syllable choice (pronounced MAYV) that's rich in heritage and full of fashion. 

  10. Nova: A bright, rising star of a name full of sparkle and modern sensibilities, Nova is going to catch on quick. It only recently appeared in the girls' top 1,000, and at last check, it sits at 529. We love its sound, meaning, and how it feels like a twist on names like Norah and Noelle.

  11. Olive: Rearrange the letters in this name and you can spell "I love". It's a Victorian favorite that sounds perfectly old-fashioned and pretty, without being frilly. And we have nothing but positive associations with olives, as a staple in Mediterranean cooking or an olive branch that symbolizes peace. Drew Barrymore would agree, who chose Olive for her first daughter, born in 2012.

  12. Sylvie: This sweet form of Sylvia is surprisingly out of the top 1,000, while Sylvia is starting to make waves in the US once again. Its charming sound and French stylings make Sylvie a graceful, alluring choice.

  13. Valentina: Google this first name and you'll see the most famous women to wear it come from a variety of countries across the globe: Italy, the Ukraine, Argentina, and Russia. Aside from having the v-and-l factor we're looking for, its connotations are especially appropriate this time of year. It's a beautiful name that's doing very well in the US, aiming for the top 100 soon. Chosen by actress Salma Hayek as well as Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima for their daughters.

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  14. Valeria: This name feels like it's part Valentine, part exotic foreign land. It shares roots with Valentina and is another top pick in places like Russia, Spain, and Latin America. Here in the US, Valeria hit a peak in 2009, but it's still in the top 200s today.

  15. Viola: This violet-colored floral name blooms with old-fashioned charm. It's rare but packed with theatrical and artistic qualities, thanks to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, as well as Shakespeare in Love and actress Viola Davis.

This article originally appeared on Baby Name Wizard.

Which is your favorite love-inspired baby name?

For more great baby name ideas, visit Baby Name Wizard.

 

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