The -er suffix has always been popular for boy names, in part because it’s such a common one in occupational surname names like Cooper and Hunter. But for girls—not so much. Of course Jennifer was the behemoth of the 70s and 80s, and borrowed-from-the-boys Harper is now No. 10 on the girl list. And, yes, Esther is a biblical classic, and Heather and Amber have had their moments in the sun. But there is now a whole group of fresher er-ending girls’ names that are coming onto the horizon.
Here are Nameberry’s picks of the 12 best:
Aster: This flower name is one of the newer blooms in the garden, already appreciated on Nameberry to the point where it’s reached No. 431. Related to the Greek word for star, Aster is the birth month for September, symbolizing daintiness, love and magic, and would make a pretty name for a girl born this month.
Clover: Another attractive botanical name beginning to pop up increasingly on the namescape, with more energy and verve than standby perennial blooms like Rose and Lily–and also associated with the luck of the four-leaf clover. It’s been chosen by several celebs, including Breckin Meyer, and by Natasha Gregson Wagner who used it to honor her late mother Natalie Wood’s iconic film Inside Daisy Clover. Clover is another Nameberry fave, at No. 334.
Easter: You don’t have to be expecting around the holiday to consider this name: It appeared on the Top 1000 list a century ago and remained there up through 1942—though it would make an ideally appropriate choice for a spring babe. It derives from the name of the German spring goddess Eostre and could make a cool holiday playmate for a Noel or Noelle.
Ember: Ember has risen to replace the once glowing Amber. It entered the Top 1000 in 2009 and has now moved rapidly up 564 places to No. 320. And we just heard of a starbaby Ember born this week! It’s definitely one to watch!
Ever: An unusual simple yet meaningful word name with an evocative, timeless meaning. Ever could also be a shortening of currently popular names like Everly, Everett and Everest. Milla Jovovich used it for her daughter and it made an appearance on Gossip Girl.
Greer: Even though this is the only one-syllable name in the group, the sophisticated Scottish Greer rates inclusion via its -er ending. Red-haired Golden Age Hollywood star Greer Garson (born Eileen–Greer was her mother’s maiden name) lends it a glamorous aura. Alternately, Brooke Shields spells her daughter’s name Grier.
Juniper: Juniper has started jumping onto lots of name lists—it’s a fresh and fragrant nature name that has climbed more than 500 places since 2012 to No. 352. It’s the full name of children’s book fave Junie P. Jones and starred in the animated series The Life and Times of Juniper Lee.
Lavender: This soft, delicate, nostalgic color and aromatic flower name is beginning to join other purpley cousins Violet, Lilac and Mauve, especially among adventurous namers intrigued by the Harry Potter character Lavender Brown or Matilda’s best friend. Lavender ranks at No. 503 on Nameberry.
Piper: Perky Piper is probably the hottest name on the list, ranking at No. 67 in the United States and also around the Top 50 in Australia and New Zealand. It entered the U.S. list in 1999, just a year after it co-starred on the TV show Charmed. Samantha Bee is one of several celebrity parents of a Piper.
Silver: This shimmery unisex name—it’s more female to me as I knew a lovely little girl named Silver, though its single Social Security ranking in the 1890s was on the boys’ side–has a very different, sleeker appeal from cousin Goldie. Would make a sparkly middle.
Vesper: Though first heard in the James Bond movie Casino Royale via the sexy Eva Green character Vesper Lynd, the name has a much more spiritual aura as the Latin word used for evening religious services. Already used by a couple of celebs, Vesper is sure to reach wider popularity.
Winter: If Spring, Autumn and Summer feel a little dated, there’s a snowy freshness to Winter. A couple of celebrities have used it, including Gretchen Mol and media mogul Sean Parker, and it has made a few media appearances as well. Winter entered the U.S. popularity list in 1978, and now ranks at No. 506.
And then there’s also September, October, November and December.
Original story by Linda Rosenkrantz for Nameberry.