Mary: The Hebrew or Egyptian word for Mary is “bitter.” Mary, the classic New Testament name, topped girls' names until the mid-20th century.
Emily: Emily, Emilia, and Amelia have a Latin origin meaning “industrious” or “rival.” Since 1880, Emily has been one of America's most common names.
Deirdre: Due to Irish legend's sad tone, this powerful Celtic name sometimes has “of the sorrows” appended. The name means “sorrowful.” Don't blame a baby with a future!
Persephone: The Greek legendary daughter of Zeus and Demeter, the harvest queen, is Persephone. No problem, although this name implies “bringer of death.” Why not?
Sloane: Sloane, a lovely gender-neutral name, is popular for females. Its Irish origins tragically indicate “raider.” Please don't raid.
Acantha: Apollo adored Acantha, a nymph. Parents may have discovered that this Greek name means “thorn” or “prickle,” making it unpopular. Passing on the prickly.
Aphra: Many Roman saints were named Aphra, which was originally an African woman's name. Afra is another spelling. Its Hebrew name means “dust.”