The term has been around since the early twentieth century, referring to young women of exceptional good looks and style. Clara Bow was an It Girl, and so was Edie Sedgwick. Jennifer Lawrence is among the most recent women dubbed an It Girl.
But how about the -et Girl? Some of the most stylish feminine names of the moment end with the -et sound.
Or maybe that should be -ette girl, because plenty of these names can be gussied up with the français -ette instead of the sparer -et. And some are French through-and-through, and look best with the -ette ending.
If you’re drawn to tailored, gender neutral picks like Hadley and Sloane, but also find the feminissa frills of Alessandra and Louisa appealing, girl names ending in et offer an appealing approach – stylish and feminine, but with a tailored, unexpected ending, too.
-et Girls in the US Top 100
They’re the leaders of the pack, the most popular of the group. P.S. If the name appears in blue, click it to read the complete Baby Name of the Day post for that name!
Scarlett – From Gone With the Wind to Ms. Johansson – speaking of It Girls – there are plenty of reasons that this colorful name has cracked the US Top 100. Scarlet and Scarlette are seen, too, but the -ett ending is undeniably tops.
Violet – Another favorite -et ender, boosted by her botanical and color associations, and, of course, by Downton Abbey’s delightfully acid-tongue Dowager Duchess.
Margaret – Yes, she’s an -et name – though I nearly overlooked her when compiling this list! And that’s Margaret’s strength – she’s an overlooked classic, rarer than you’d expect.
Juliet, Juliette – Add them together, and Juliet/te is a pretty popular name – Juliet ranked #234 in 2013, and Juliette charted at #298. They’re both gaining, too, just like Annabelle and Annabel.
More Familiar Girls Names Ending in et
Many of these names have had a good run in the past, but aren’t in vogue in 2014. Some of them could be ripe for revival, while others are likely to remain in fashion limbo. P.S. If the name appears in blue, click it to read the complete Baby Name of the Day post for that name!
Annette – A Baby Boomer name, thanks in part to the most famous Mouseketeer, the late Annette Funicello. (Were she and Hayley Mills the first of the super-wholesme Disney It Girls?) But Annette is also a French diminutive form of the classic Anne, so chances are that she’ll be back.
Antoinette – Sofia Coppola’s 2006 movie showed us a different side of Marie Antoinette. But much as I love the movie, Antoinette feels slightly out-of-step nowadays. Antonia and Antonella, yes – but I’m not so sure about this elaborate, early twentieth-century favorite.
Bernadette – Ah, but Bernadette fascinates me – despite sharing many of Antoinette’s shortcomings! She’s saintly and, thanks to The Big Bang Theory, brainy, too. Bernadette actually peaked in the 1940s, putting this name solidly in grandma territory. With possible nicknames Bebe and Bette, I think this one might be a quirky, hipsterish candidate for revival.
Bridget – I’m surprised every time I look at the stats on this one – ranked a mere #523, and falling fast! Meanwhile, next generation Irish heritage picks like Maeve are climbing. Bridget, Bridgette, Brigitte, or any other variant of this international appellation seem like possibilities that are falling under the radar.
Claudette – Colbert! If silver screen names like Ava and Audrey are all the rage, why not the lovely Claudette Colbert? If you’ve ever seen her star alongside Clark Gable in It Happened One Night, you’d instantly under the appeal of this rare name – given to just six girls in 2013.
Cosette – From the pages of Les Mis to Broadway and the big screen, Cosette probably has origins in an affectionate nickname, rather than a given name. But if Colette and Cosima are possibilities, why not Cosette?
Danette – When -et girls are in vogue, parents tend to feminize masculine names with the -et/-ette endings. I prefer Daniela to Danette and Georgia to Georgette. But there are so many of these floating around in the US Top 1000 that they deserve a mention here.
Harriet – Here’s a vintage -et girl that works. A feminine form of Henry less frilly than Henriette, Harriet feels sensible and grounded. Then again, it is nickname Hattie that is really rising fast in 2013.
Isabette – There’s Elizabeth and Isabella and the Italian Elisabetta. Isabette is a rare one, but she’s a possibility in our age of Isobel and Eliza.
Janet – Janet is stuck in fashion limbo – yes, there’s the silver screen’s Janet Leigh, so lovely and so doomed in Psycho. But there’s also Janet Jackson and Three’s Company roommate Janet, which puts her a little north of mom name territory nowadays – the name actually peaked in the 1940s. So for now, she’s Aunt Janet, but this feminine form of John will surely sound fresh again – right after Joanna makes her comeback.
Jeanette – The French Jeanette must have been the height of glamour in the 1930s. Today she feels dated – maybe even more so than Janet and Annette, if only because we’re so into Jane instead of Jean and Jeanne.
Mariette – A frilly French diminutive of Marie, it was the name of Catherine Zeta-Jones’ character from The Darling Buds of May. The story was that Mariette’s dad wanted to name her Marie Antoinette, but decided it was a bit much – so they smooshed it together and came up with this instead.
Nanette – No, No, Nanette became a Broadway hit in the roaring 20s. Nanette was the It Girl of the musical romp, and it was a good choice – nicely ahead of the fashion curve, popularized by the musical and a pair of big screen adaptations. Today Nanette feels vintage – and, possibly thanks to fashion designer Nanette Lepore – not quite so dated. Or maybe she’s just so quirky she reads hipster instead of passé.
Nicolette – An elaboration of 1980s favorite Nicole, Desperate Housewives’ Nicollette Sheridan has kept her name in the spotlight. In fact, Sheridan probably boosted this one from obscurity to wider use – the name’s peak coincides with her star turn as Paige on Knot’s Landing in the 90s. Today, Nicolette is as wearable as any of the Nic- names for girls, which is to say she’s a little dated … but will certainly make a comeback.
Odette – Odette has graced the lists of hipster baby names in recent weeks, and she has that cooler-than-you vibe. The name of the white swan in Swan Lake as well as a heroine of the French Resistance during World War II, Odette is authentically French and honestly artistic. A daring name, but perfectly wearable in our age of -et names.
Paulette – This one is a little more common than Danette, but another example of the -ette as feminizer trend. Paulina feels more wearable in 2014, but you’ll hear Paulette, as in Ziegfield Girl-turned-Hollywood actress Paulette Goddard. She was born Marion Pauline.
Suzette – French and frilly, and reminiscent of Crêpe Suzette – a recipe calling for liqueur and a lighter – it is hard to imagine this name catching on again in 2014. Other Susan names – like Susannah and maybe even Susan – feel more wearable right now.
Yvette – Also spelled Ivette, she’s as authentically French as Odette, but has more of a mid-century vibe.
Word Names for -et Girls
They’re daring, even daffy. But some of them could wear well in 2014’s anything-goes naming environment. P.S. If the name appears in blue, click it to read the complete Baby Name of the Day post for that name!
Cricket – A preppy nickname name, Cricket was stuck in the 1980s, wearing pearls and Patagonia with Muffy until just recently. Now that Busy Phillips has a daughter called Cricket – little sister to Birdie – this name might feel like a wearable celeb choice. Surprising, yes – but so was Willow not so long ago …
Garnet – A sparkling gemstone name, one that comes in many colors – but we often think of it as dark red. Shades of Scarlett, right? In fact, the name comes from a pomegranate. It has more use than you might expect, for boys and girls. Today she’s rare, but undeniably a possible -et Girl.
Kismet – Kismet would make a bold name, but then again, Destiny has been a Top 100 choice for girls in recent years. It means fate, from the Arabic qismah.
Linnet – Avian names are huge, and Linnet could fit right in with Lark and Wren – a small songbird. Of course, Linnet also feels like a respelling of Lynette, which is less like a modern noun name and more along the lines of Annette and Jeanette.
Poet – Literally literary names are a trendlet, with kids answering to Story and Legend and Fable, too. Why not Poet? Soleil Moon Frye has a daughter named Poet Sienna Rose – and son called Lyric.
Velvet – Enid Bagnold gave the name to a young heroine in her 1935 novel National Velvet. In 1944, a very young Elizabeth Taylor rose to stardom in the role. But it wasn’t until the television adaptation in the 1960s that Velvet had a moment of popularity as a girls’ name, appearing in the US Top 1000 from 1961 through 1964.
Girl Names Ending in et: Rarities
If Kismet and Velvet aren’t out-there enough for you, here are some more girl names ending with et, all of which are rare, rare, rare. P.S. If the name appears in blue, click it to read the complete Baby Name of the Day post for that name!
Aderet – Oh, how I love the look of Aderet. It’s definitely a Hebrew name, but I’ve seen the meaning given as cape, crown, and glorious.
Alette – An uncommon form of Adelaide, Alette feels light and airy.
Ayelet – Another Hebrew name, this one sounds a little bit like “I yell it” and means gazelle. But there’s a celestial aspect to Ayelet, too. The morning star is also known as the “gazelle of the dawn.”
Evolet – A name invented for stone age fantasy flick 10,000 BC, Evolet is “the love” spelled backwards, minus the h. It isn’t the most conventional source of name inspiration, but we’re mad for Evie names nowadays, so why not?
Lunette – While we’re stargazing, how about Lunette? Some connect her to the Arthurian Eluned, but with Luna in vogue, she’d read like a spin on the lunar name.
Maret – Maret is a contracted form of Margaret, also spelled Marit, and heard in Scandinavia and the Baltic states. She’s rare in the US, never cracking the Top 1000. She feels spare and modern, but carries all the history of the regal, saintly Margaret.
Miette – A sweet name, a spin on the super-popular Mia, but also a French word meaning crumb. It’s used as a term of affection, and there’s a lively debate about whether Miette is too cutesy and dismissive to be used as a child’s name. Think of her as a form of Mia, though, and there’s less of a concern.
Yamilet – In Spanish, the Arabic Jamila – beautiful – becomes Yamila. And Yamilet – as well as Yamileth – are variant forms in use in Latin America.
What do you think of girl names ending in et? Do you prefer ette? Are there any names missing from this list?