Saturday, April 7, 2012


Flora is a girl's name lurking just outside the U.S. top 1000, with 173 girls born in 2015 - a noticeable increase from 90 in 2006. It was last on the charts in 1972, but her heyday was in 1920. It seems F- names in general are not very popular.

Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and spring, has a Latin name meaning "flower," and its spelling is one letter away from "floral," making it undeniably feminine and flowery, yet it can be considered more womanly than girlish with its vintage charm, and a name that truly ages well. Flora doesn't make you think of vain pretty-girls who wear floral prints, it somehow makes you think of a traditional, nurturing woman who is kind. Also, what better name for a springtime baby?

I'm not a big fan of nicknames for Flora, which usually include Flo, Flor, Florry and Flossie, so I suggest getting creative. Not all nicknames have to be a shortened version of the full name. Her nickname could very well be Flower or Fleur. Famous namesakes include Flora Tristan, a socialist/writer/feminist, and Flora MacDonald, a Scottish folk hero, and a Spanish saint of 851 whose name day is November 24.

There are plenty of variations on this name, including Floria, last seen in 2006 on 6 baby girls, an odd pop-up since it was last seen in 1989 on just 5 girls. It was used since at least 1898 but never on more than 37 babies in a year. Floriana is the frillier version, only seen in 2002 on 6, 2006 on 5, 2011 on 6 and 2012 on 5 baby girls. Florina falls somewhere between the previous two spellings, used more regularly but never on more than 12 girls in a year. There are a few more unusual options, including Florabelle and Florella, which haven't seen light since the 1940's.


  1. This is one of my favorites. But with Nora and Cora becoming more popular, it is surprising Flora isn't more popular.

    I feel F is more popular, but more in sound, than appearance (ph) and often in the middle of names. Sophia and Josephine come to mind. For F at the beginning, I think of the growing popularity of Fiona. Felicity made huge popularity leaps in 2011. Philippa gets a lot of attention, but still hasn't broken the top 1000. I think we will see more F and Ph names in the future.

  2. I agree. I think Freya will break out on to the charts next year. I always smile to think how well liked Felicity and Fiona are.