Friday, August 5, 2011

O Girl! Beyond Harlow, Marlo, Willow, and Shiloh

 Arrow scarf by Wikstenmade. I love everything Jenny Gordy does:  her blog, her fabrics, the silhouettes (and every detail, really) of her garments, this scarf.  And? and it's name! (photo courtesy of her blog, and taken by Lena Corwin)

Stunning bag by Me & Arrow. and it's name!  (photo courtesy of Me & Arrow.)

Who doesn't love this haircut on the lovely Mia Farrow? oh my, and those adorable freckles! 

India Hicks with her Domino(photo courtesy of her website). What a stunning portrait. I'm crushing on her name, and her father's middle name--Nightingale (which I've toyed with using to honor my own mother, as a sort of homage to her middle name, Gail).

Elle as Cleo. I'm sold on this girl and her acting chops.

      I have made no secret of my love of names that end in -o (or the -o sound) for little girls.  I don't find them to be at all masculine or even terribly unisex sounding. I found my youngest daughter's name by looking specifically for names and words (in many languages) that end in -o.  

Some of these are a bit surname-ish but pretty, none the less. The surname trend gets a bad wrap, and I understand why, but just "Is it pretty?"  I think with all of the following names we can safely answer, "Yes!"  

My current favorites: 
Valo -- of course. 

Arrow -- so pretty to say.

Echo -- love the meaning, the story, the sound.

Clotho -- this is the Greek equivalent of my oldest daughter's name, Nona.

Hallow -- looking for a new faith name? you found it! 

Billow -- love this nature name. 

Yarrow --this is one special plant name


Farrow -- such a beautiful sound to utter, and I love the color it represents. there is the pesky relation to pigs, but who in the world knows that?  


and the rest of the lovelies: 

Bow -- as in bow and arrow or the musical bow.


Meno -- Plato's book, itself. the character might not make a great namesake

Belissimo -- a beautiful middle. We use Bella, so why not?




Vallo -- this spelling means 'fortress'.



Meadow -- I never watched the Sopranos, myself, and I think fewer and fewer people will have this association, especially people our children's ages. I remember getting teased at school (gasp! and I'm fine),when I was four, for "shooting J.R."   Yes, from the show Dallas. Kristen shot J.R.  It's a faint memory, and only with me still because I freakishly remember everything, not because it had any impact. you have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?  Exactly. 

Soprano -- ditto above

Brio -- does the toy company bother you? 


Kahlo --surname, but after a very cool female pretty.

Clio -- I will never tire of it. 

Domino --nn Dom or Mino

Sappho -- I guess some are bothered by her story, but why? Are we really still there? please say no. beautiful name and connections!

Juno -- I wouldn't let the popularity of the movie character deter you. This is your daughter's generation, not yours. Only cinephiles know movies 15-25 years older than they are, so even if it is related to the film for them, it'll be cool points for kiddO and her vintage film name. Not to mention her goddess relation.



Avo -- I had an Aunt Avo (long a), and it was her given name. We seriously considered this one. Fantastic alternative to Ava.


Margot -- I'll have a butterscotch sunday, I guess.

Yoko -- for the musicians

Nico -- ditto



Doro -- fantastic nn for Dorothy or Dorothea.

Gallo -- wine connection? Someday I will tell the story of how this became a name for me. It involves Joanna Newsom, but it's not for today. 

Laylo -- my beautiful musician friend's name. and yes, she'll be profiled. 

Rocio -- 'dew'. so pretty.

Umeko -- love the Plum association, obviously.

Coco -- I don't care if this is getting more used; it's lovely and a great nn for so many other lovely names: Cosima, Cosette, Colette


Flow or Flo -- as a nn for Florence or Flora, or just on it's own


Ro -- nn for Romilly, Romilda, Rimona('pomegranite'),Ramona, Rowan, Romance, or Rosamond.

Did I leave anything out, you guys? Do you have any favorites?  I can't wait to hear from you all! 


  1. Valo for a girl is so cool. I live in Finland and have been considering it for a boy, but like it on a girl now as well.
    Other faves from your list: Arrow, Echo, Io, Juno, Isabeau and Hero.

  2. Äiti, thanks for your comment! I'm dying to know, because my own daughter is named Valo, are children there wearing this word name? Mostly boys? Or is it kind of untapped, still? I think it sounds so feminine, but even more so with a super feminine middle or two! Please use it! It really does wear well!

  3. I haven't met any Valos, but I think it's mainly a boy's name here, but rarely used as far as I can tell. I'm not native and have only been here just over a year though.

  4. Meno has been sitting on the back burner for me since I researched the book last year. I think it'd make a quirky name, and the same goes for Hero, but I'd more likely use the former name since Hero is a bold choice.

    Really nice list, lot's of food for thought.

  5. Thank you for your comment, merdenoms! I think Meno is a fabulous choice. The character *in* the book is a bit tricky, but the book, itself is full of such beautiful ideas, which make wonderful namesakes!

  6. How do you pronounce Valo? It's such a pretty name! What kind of reactions do you get from people when you introduce your daughter?

  7. E., Thank you!
    her name is pronounced Val (as in Valentine) - O (hard o, as in Milo).

    We get mixed reactions, honestly. We assumed to be a simple, easy name to say, but people have a harder time than we thought they would. Some people ask us to say it again and then smile. some shyly nod, look at the ground and then just don't call her by name b/c I think they don't know how to say it, or were too shy to say "I'm sorry, what's that name again?" A lot of folks weren't keen on an -o ending name for a little girl. I'd say it's 50/50 as to whether or not people seem to like it. Oh well, such are a lot of names, and we love it!

  8. I like a lot of these oh's! And I like the arrow purse.... I love how you started out with a few pictures to introduce this post. Thank you for sharing *. **. *

  9. Ah! Fantastic list! I too adore -o names on little girls, and I don't think that an -o ending necessarily means it's a masculine name, not at all! My favourites are Arrow, Echo, Calypso, Hallow, Sparrow, Meadow, Kahlo, Domino, Juno and Nico, and I do really like your Valo as well, I think it would be super-cute as a nickname for Valerie or Valentina/Valentine. Beautiful meaning!
    I'm going to do a thing I often do and list kids I know with these names, and their siblings. I think it's more fun for me than anyone reading this, but oh well :)

    Indigo (I know both a girl and a boy with this name, the girl is an only child but the boy has 2 brothers, Kazell and Boonie (short oo, as in 'look'), and a sister, Ember)
    Cielo (again, a boy! Sisters Eva and Palmira and brothers Orlando and Joaquin)
    Snow (girl, no siblings)
    Meadow (as a middle name for Etian (Etty-ARN)- which I absolutely love- brother Jasper. The parents later changed Etian's first name to Hazel)
    Clio (I read an article aaaages ago (I think I was literally about 11 when I read it) by a woman who was writing about her experiences in South America, I think it was, with her two young daughters, and their names, Clio and Fernanda, always stuck with me!)
    Domino (boy, middle name Royal (so badass!))
    Margot (my aunt, middle name Stephanie)
    Neko (pronounced the same as Nico, I believe (NEE-ko), middle name Jane and big sister Ruby May)
    Coco (X 3; the first has a twin sister, Phoenix; the second has two brothers, Tor and Odin; and the third has a sister, Hetty)

    I also know girls named (and this may be kinda boring for you 'cause I know you read my comment on You Can't Call It "It" where I listed pretty much the exact same names haha) Marlow, Hanako, Elcamino "Momo", Myrto (MEER-toe), Kellyco, Martineau, Willow, Echo, Milou (almost..).

    I've always thought Rococo, Sirocco (which is a desert wind) and Camino (which means 'road', 'path' or 'way' in Spanish) would all be pretty cool on a little girl. And I heard Lito (LEE-toe) on the daughter of a model (I think her name is Kylie Bax) and thought that was fantastic :)

    Ok I'm done!

  10. Oh man, Jessie May! Thank you for such a fantastic comment. So fun! Good grief, you are a well-spring of awesome names on real people! I love Meadow (and Hazel) Etian. Domino Royal? that is mighty badass. so neat!

  11. I love Yarrow. I saw a birth announcement for a baby girl named Yarrow in Utah about a year and a half ago. I have loved the name ever since.

  12. Hello!
    Great post - i feel like if there was one thought that has been constant in my whole life, and might be 'my happy place' is to think of perfect (to me) name combinations. I think about them Especially when breastfeeding (ha!). My daughter's full name is Coco Annie Ester Cotter.
    I LOVE the name Coco (and my mother rationalizes it too much probably) for many reasons, but I think I like it most because it is currant to my generation's trend to wanting to name our kids something 'different', but also because it is also on trend, fashion-wise, because it references a vintage era (the bold Ms. Coco Chanel) as well. I think a lot about if we'll have another baby and what their names would be to live well with Coco's name :) I like Coco and James - for a girl. I love all of your o-ending girl names, but not sure if any could go together in one family ?
    I also have a good friend my age (30) whose name is Echo. She is the perfect Echo! (Her kids, Zinnia Gladys and newborn Dorian Rain) Great names.

  13. Thank you, Sebastian. I love Yarrow so much, too. We really considered it for number two.

    Marissa, thank you! I'm so happy you found us, and I adore your daughter's name! Coco is an eternal favorite of mine and my husband's... so many positive associations in just about every direction. Zinnia Gladys is right up my alley, too. I was just singing the praises of Gladys. If Alice is so beloved, why not Gladys; I mean it has 'glad' right in it!

  14. So glad I came across this!! We are 99.9% sure about naming our girl due in 2.5 months Arrow! I received alot of online bashing, "that's not name", "that's a boys name", "why would you do that with already having a Hunter?" It's very refreshing to come across something positive with using Arrow for a girl. It may be just the right time too! I could totally see Arrow as becoming a popular girls name in the next 5yrs. thanks so much! :-)

  15. A fabulous list & a fabulous site! For a number of reasons, my husband & I are still ruminating on "just the perfect" name for our little girl (who I'm ashamed to say will be four months old tomorrow). I am so fortunate to have come across Marginamia whilst browsing on the internet for inspiration. What is supposed to be a wonderful experience, has turned into an arduous task. This site exudes warmth, creativity, imagination & calmness. It's a lovely place to visit. Juno is a bold choice for us, we have been contemplating it for the past fortnight. My husband is Chinese whilst I am Caucasian. It sits well with our surname. I shall return to this site in search of an equally appealing middle name. Rhythm & sound are of utmost importance. Meaning then comes into play. Our surname is one syllable beginning with W. If any readers have suggestions it would be greatly appreciated!

  16. I've been missing your posts, Kristen. I hope you and yours are well! Just revisiting these great O names and thought I'd add a couple of my favorites, the Finnish names Kielo (lily of the valley) and Sisko (sister).

    1. Thanks, eBirdie. I've been missing you all and this place, too. All is well; i'm just busy with a new chapter of life, homeschooling my girls (it's more intense these days as we progress into the grades). I have stuff to share and then just don't find the time to share it... but i would love to get back soon! Love these Finnish beauties!!! Thanks for sharing. xo

  17. I recently discovered your blog, and I'm already a great fan of your name posts! Another beautiful name that ends in "o" is Tariro, if it hasn't been mentioned already. I believe it means "hope" in Shona and is from Zimbabwe.

    Since you were interested in knowing about how the name Valo is used in Finnish, according to Finnish Wikipedia there were, in 2009, 472 men named Valo and 20 women, making it more of a boy's name in Finland (I'm Swedish and not a native Finnish speaker, but my grandmothers on both sides are Finnish so I know a little). Valo is also used as a surname in Finland.