Coco, Willow & Marlo: Girls Names Ending With O

by appellationmountain on January 11, 2013

Girls Names Ending With O

Looking for a girls’ name with an unconventional sound?  Want something feminine, but frills-free?  Here’s a possibility: choose one of the many girls names ending with O.

At first glance, girls names ending with O are too modern for many parents, too risky.  Juno was the poster child for teenage pregnancy and Coco is only appropriate for fashion icons in their prime, right?

Maybe not.

Cleo had a good run in the Top 1000.  Theo and Leo have a history of use for girls, probably for parents seeking feminine forms of Theodore and Leonard.

Mini names like Jo and Flo are possibilities, too.  And there are many Japanese feminine girls names ending with o: Fumiko, Kiyoko, Yoshiko.

But this is the golden age for parents considering girls names ending with o.  They’re more accepted, and more plentiful, than ever before.

Read on for a long list of possibilities.

Girls Names Ending With O: Borrowed from Myth

Greek and Roman myth is are among the richest sources for ends-with-O names.  Some of the stories are better than others, but they all share one common trait – you can’t call them nouveau.

CallistoCalista Flockhart put her name on the map, but the ends-with-o version is valid for girls, too.  It means “most beautiful.”  Kallisto was a Greek nymph who caught the eye of Zeus and ended up as a constellation.

Cleo - Sometimes short for Cleopatra, the name of more than one queen of Egypt.  Cleopatra VII was the famous one, she of the kohl eyes and Hollywood biopic.

Clio – A cousin to Cleo, Clio was the Greek muse of history.  It’s said that she introduced the alphabet to Greece.  Like Cleo, the name comes from the word kleos - glory.

Echo – She met a tragic end thanks to a jealous Hera, but Echo’s sound is quite current.  A short-lived Joss Whedon series gave this name to its heroine.

Io – Two letters and still two syllables?  For a tiny name, Io packs a mighty punch.  She’s another nymph changed into a creature after Zeus fell for her, and she’s also the name of a moon of Jupiter.

Juno – Among the most wearable of the bunch, thanks to her similarity to June and Juniper, Juno is the Roman name for the queen of the gods, Jupiter’s consort.

Hero – Yes, this name can be a lot to live up to.  But Hero appears in both Greek myth – she’s Leander’s beloved – and Shakespeare, where she one of the central figures in Much Ado About Nothing.  English popstar-turned-presenter Myleene Klass gave the name to her younger daughter in 2011.

Leto – You might not recognize her name, but her twins are famous:  Apollo and Artemis.  The similar Leta or Leda is another mythical figure.  I’m tempted to respell it Lido, but then that’s a deck on a cruise ship.

Imported Girls Names Ending With O

A few names from other cultures end with O.

Consuelo – Consuelo Vanderbilt was an American railroad heiress who married into the upper echelons of the English aristocracy.  Her Spanish name came from her Cuban godmother.  The name peaked in the 1920s.  Today it is part-import, part-virtue name – Consuelo means consolation and refers to a title of the Virgin Mary.

Isabeau – Can you import a name from medieval France?  Let’s say yes, because Isabeau really deserves more attention.  An all-but-lost form of Isabelle, she may not end with the letter O, but -eau makes the same sound.

Socorro – A cousin to Consuelo, Socorro means help in Spanish.  She saw some use in the 1920s, but today she’s nearly unknown in the US.  She’d be an unconventional way to get to Coco.

Innovative Girls Names Ending With O

Looking for something truly daring?  This is the list for you.

Cadeau - The French word for gift, and a different take on Kate and company.

Cielo – It’s a new entrant in the name ‘verse, the Spanish and Italian word for the sky – and heaven.  In Spanish, it takes an s sound; in Italian, it is a ch.  Just like Sky, this one is gender neutral, but works well for a daughter.

Coco – It’s not entirely clear where Gabrielle Chanel picked up her nickname, but it stuck – and is increasingly seen as a wearable choice for girls.

Lilo – She’s the BFF of adorable alien Stitch in the Disney flick-turned-series.  She’s also Hawaiian, and in her native language, Lilo means lost.  Lilo has never caught on – possibly because Lindsay Lohan is sometimes referred to as Lilo in the press.  Lilou has been stylish in France in recent years, but she ends with a lu sound.

Marlo – Rock star blogger Heather Armstrong has a daughter named Marlo.  So does comedian Rob Corddry.  Born Margaret and nicknamed Margo, the name morphed into Marlo when she was still a child – and it stuck.  This name is catching on, but the surname spellings are more popular – see the category below!

Rio – Duran Duran sang “her name is Rio and she dances on the sand” back in 1982.  It’s the Spanish word for river.  Just like River makes for a nicely gender neutral nature name, Rio works for a son or a daughter.

Valo – This one is almost certainly on the map thanks to name blogs.  The Finnish word for light, Valo brings to mind the words valor and valiant.  It’s a cheerful possibility for either gender.

Girls Names Ending With O from Nouns and Place Names

Nature names and place names headline this category.  Borrowing from the dictionary and the atlas surfaces some intriguing options.

Indigo – We think of blue as a color for boys, but Indigo feels like an interesting possibility for either gender, especially in the age of Blue Ivy.

Meadow – This gentle nature name was worn by television mobster Tony Soprano’s daughter a few years back.  It continues to be a possibility for for parents seeking a feminine but frills-free choice.

Shiloh – A Neil Diamond song, a fictional dog, and a Civil War battlefield = a stylish name for either gender.  Thanks to the Jolie-Pitt crew, it is certainly wearable for a daughter.

Willow – The second of the girls names ending with O boosted by Joss Whedon, Willow went from fictional teenage witch sidekick to Will and Jada’s daughter.  Today she’s just outside the US Top 200, a thoroughly mainstream option.

Vero – A beach in Florida and a fresh spin on Vera.

Surnames Girls Names Ending With O

Surname names are a big category these days, and many attractive options end with O.

Bardot - There was a brief flurry of media attention when television star David Boreanaz announced the arrival of his daughter, Bardot Vita.  But he and wife Jaime changed her name to Bella Vita Bardot shortly after her birth.  Nonetheless, the French fashion icon and actress Brigitte Bardot could make an interesting namesake.

Garbo – I think Bardot could work, but Garbo?  Maybe in the middle spot.  Legendary Swedish actress Greta Garbo gives her surname plenty of old Hollywood glam.

Harlow – Starbaby-turned-starlet Nicole Richie gave this name to her daughter in 2008, inspired by yet another Hollywood star, Jean Harlow.  Richie must have liked the name quite a bit – not only did she give it to her daughter, she called her first accessory line House of Harlow 1960.

Kahlo – Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is a fascinating figure, and her last name could make a great artistic first name for a daughter.

Marlow, Marlowe – Right as parents started considering Marlo as an independent given name, Marlow and Marlowe started to pop, too.  Buoyed by Harlow Madden, the e-version of the surname spelling has been used by Sienna Miller as well as Jason Schwartzman.  Now Kings of Leon  drummer Caleb Followill has given the name Violet Marlowe to a daughter.

Traditional Girls Names Ending With O

It’s a tiny category, but there are at least two valid traditional possibilities, both girls names ending with o – though they’re both diminutives.

Caro – A short form for Caroline, Caro is a sparky spin on Cara.  But she doesn’t quite stand on her own … yet.

Margo - The French Margot is a traditional short form of Margaret, making this the grandmama of girls names ending with o.  She’s a vintage pick with a lot of style.

Would you use one of these girls names ending with O for a daughter?  Are there any that should be on this list?

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