There’s definitely a place for short, funky baby names — and for good reason. They’re fun and trendy, especially among celebrities, who honestly seem to have some of the weirdest name tastes out there. But it’s also true that classy and sophisticated (read: long and fancy) names will never go out of style. Especially if your last name is Smith — or if you just want something you can shorten into a sweet nickname.
For baby names that will stand the test of time and look real good in a cursive signature — or preceding the letters MD, PhD, and/or Esq. — we’ve got just the list for you, below.
Long and elegant baby names pair great with a shorter last name; they sound like they really belong together. If you have a two-syllable last name, you can balance it out with a one-syllable middle, and vice-versa. But, of course, there’s no real reason to avoid a long first name if you also have a long last name — just look at the ever-cool Benedict Cumberbatch. Still, many parents choose shorter first names if their last is long to save their child some spelling/writing time.
Even though you love a longer baby name, will your daughter love that you named her Cordelia when she gets to be a schoolgirl? Maybe, maybe not, but fortunately almost all of the names listed below have an easy-to-create nickname lurking within its string of letters. Cordelia, for example, may want to be known as Cora, Corrie, Delia or even Dolly when she gets bigger. Your son Constantine, who may have be known as Connie if he were born a few decades ago, may prefer to go by Andy, Stan, Tanner or Connor.
It’s a smart idea to have a ready-made nickname backup just in case your child isn’t totally wild about the name you choose. On the other hand, she may love nothing more than growing up with a fancy name that’s a little different from those of her peers.
Here are some of our favorites — maybe they’ll find their way to your baby name list.
Long & elegant names for baby boys
Long & elegant names for baby girls
A version of this article was originally published in July 2013. This article was updated July 20, 2020.
Want more inspiration? These weird celebrity baby names never fail.
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