The fast-rising P girl names club just keeps on growing. There’s Penelope, of course. Surnames like Parker, Peyton, and Presley. Two separate television series boosted Piper; the same is true for Phoebe. We borrowed Paloma and Paola from other languages. Phoenix comes straight from the map, but probably owes more to the mythical creature. Poppy is the newest member of this elite sorority.
But chances are Poppy won’t be last!
Here are a dozen fresh P girl names, many already on the rise.
P Girl Names: Peridot
Number of births in 2017: fewer than five
We’re naming kids Hunter and Olive. Emerald entered the US Top 1000 this year. And speaking of Emerald, Ruby and Pearl are popular, too. So how ’bout Peridot? It’s a green gemstone, spanning both categories. One possible challenge: it can be pronounced with a -dot or a -doe. But that doubles the potential nicknames, plus the obvious Peri.
I’ve yet to write about Peridot, but please check back and I’ll update when I do.
P Girl Names: Persephone
Number of births in 2017: 222
Elaborate Greek mythological name Penelope has bounded up the charts, along with other e-ending names like Zoe. So it stands to reason that Persephone would attract more attention – and it has! But this name remains rare. Another reason for Persephone’s powerful appeal? The mythological character is the harbinger of the seasons, bringing forth spring when she returns from the underworld, and leaving winter once she departs.
P Girl Names: Philippa
Number of births in 2017: 70
Call Philip an underused classic for boys, a name with as much history as Alexander, every bit as regal as William or Henry. That puts Philippa in the same category as Josephine or Victoria. Except if Philip feels underused, Philippa is positively abandoned – at least on this side of the Atlantic. It’s never cracked the US Top 1000. But it’s the given name of Pippa Middleton Matthews, sister to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. And that – plus that pleasing letter P – puts Philippa on the list of possibilities.
P Girl Names: Pippa
Number of births in 2017: 113
If Philippa has potential, Pippa is catching on! Not only is it the name of the future queen’s stylish sister, but it succeeds for other reasons, too. There’s a quirky charm to Pippa, but it’s also short and complete, just like chart-toppers Ava and Emma. Again, it’s never cracked the US Top 1000. But it could be short for Philippa, or possibly even Penelope.
I’ve yet to write about Pippa, but check back and I’ll update when I do.
P Girl Names: Plum
Number of births in 2017: fewer than five
We don’t name our daughters Apricot or Rutabaga, but a handful of edible names transition from the grocery store to the nursery nicely. There’s Olive and Sage and Clementine. Maybe Plum, too. Why this one? It fits with short, single-syllable word names like Wren and True. It’s a color, as well as a fruit. Plum also refers to something excellent – think of the phrase pulled out a plum. That edges this even deeper into name territory, and writer-socialite Victoria “Plum” Sykes takes it over the finish line.
I’ve yet to write about Plum, but check back and I’ll update when I do.
P Girl Names: Poet
Number of births in 2017: 9, plus 5 boys
Quick – what does the surname Carter mean? Do you know any Masons – not a kid named Mason, but someone who works as one? We like our last names a little bit obscure, not likely to appear on our tax forms as an occupation. Poet falls somewhere in between; it’s possible to a be published poet; even a poet laureate. But it’s not quite in the same category as butcher, baker, and candlestick maker. If you like your names creative and literary, then Poet has tremendous appeal.
I’ve yet to write about Poet, but check back and I’ll update when I do.
P Girl Names: Polly
Number of births in 2017: 43
Molly and Polly evolved as nicknames of that long-time favorite, Mary. But while Molly has fared well – even out-ranking Mary in recent years – Polly has slid towards obscurity. The name has storybook appeal aplenty. (Think Polly put the kettle on, we’ll all have tea …”) And it seems right at home with names like Ellie and Sadie, and, of course, Millie and Molly. But so far, it’s almost never-heard. Could that signal an opportunity?
P Girl Names: Posey
Number of births in 2017: 31
Posey falls somewhere between flower name and literary term. Spelled poesy, it refers to a bit of poetry. Posy is a bouquet of flowers, because the Victorians would express their feelings by the meanings attached to the flowers they gave. And Posie might be yet another spelling. But it’s Posey that is currently most popular, with 31 births in 2017, compared to 8 for Posie, 6 for Posy, and fewer than five for Poesy. Still, it can be a nickname for Josephine, or simply a pan-botanical pick. I think it fits right in with so many ecovintage girl names we’re currently loving.
P Girl Names: Prairie
Number of births in 2017: 24
If Prairie makes you think of the Sesame Street character, I get it. But this name feels more like a gentle nature name. Or maybe it’s a strong, principled name, a nod to the many pioneer families that settled places like Montana and Wisconsin. If you’re a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, it might even seem like a nod to that beloved book and television series, set in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and elsewhere in the Midwest. Despite being rare, I think it’s quite wearable – after all, Meadow is in the US Top 1000.
P Girl Names: Primrose
Number of births in 2017: 56
Rose names abound, but most of them begin with Rose. Primrose feels a little different. Not only is Rose at the end, but it’s actually a different plant. It flowers early in the spring, hence the name – prima, or first. While a handful of girls received the name over the years, it’s gained in use since The Hunger Games debuted in 2008. Suzanne Collins’ bestselling dystopian novel-turned-movie series featured a heroine named
P Girl Names: Priya
Number of births in 2017: 141
Priya means beloved. That puts it in the same category as Carys and Davina. Sound-wise, it’s downright pretty. And while the name comes from Hindu legend, it’s accessible, compared to many a mythological possibility. (Clytemnestra or Cliodhna don’t wear quite as easily.) But while names like Maya and Leyla claim Eastern roots as well as Western ones, Priya belongs to the Indian subcontinent, and might be best reserved as a heritage choice.
I’ve yet to write about Priya, but check back and I’ll update when I do.
P Girl Names: Promise
Number of births in 2017: 239
We love virtue names, from traditional picks like Grace to more novel ones like Serenity. Promise falls somewhere in between. It sounds sweetly old-fashioned, and indeed, a handful of women and men have answered to the name over the years. but it was quite rare until recently. Still, Promise works nicely today. It’s an unambiguous virtue, and a vague one, too; while Temperance or Patience might seem like a dare, Promise always applies.
I’ve yet to write about Promise, but check back and I’ll update when I do.
Those are my picks for the most promising P girl names of the moment. Would you consider any of these for a daughter? What would you add to the list?