Judging by the US SSA list, "Au" names for girls have never been hotter. Whether you're a fan of the stylish Audrey, the warm Aubrey, the classical Aurelia or the natural Autumn, chances are there's an Au name on most people's favourites list.
My personal pick would be Audra. Simple, streamlined, lyrical and feminine, there's plenty to like about Audra. Plus it starts and ends with the ever popular letter "A", often a winning combination in a girls name.
Pronounced aw-drah, it is most commonly cited to be derived from the much more popular Audrey, an Old English name meaning 'noble strength'. Audra is also a Lithuanian name meaning 'storm'. This makes Audra both a virtue name and a nature name, without being a too obvious example of either. It also has the name day of the 23rd of March in Latvia, so would be great for a girl born on that date.
Audra is used a lot less than current favourites Audrey and Aubrey. In 2012 these two ranked #41 and #15 respectively in the U.S., and both also appeared on a small number of baby boys. That doesn't include their many spelling variations, which means there are more children named Audrey and Aubrey than these numbers suggest. Conversely, Audra was ranked #1285, and while it has been given to boys in the past it has been a number of years since any male Audra's have been born in the U.S. So Audra is a good option if you love the sound of the other two but want a rarer option that is less likely to leave your girl mistaken for a boy.
In past years, Audra was at it's peak popularity in 1966 when it shot to #283 from position #1110, thanks largely to the character Audra Barkley played by Linda Evans in TV show 'The Big Valley'. So it may be considered a "mum" name by some. But there are plenty of other famous (and younger) women sporting this name too, such as:
|Linda Evans as |
- American tennis player Audra Cohen
- 2012 Australian 'Masterchef' finalist Audra Morrice
- Lithuanian sprinter and politician Audra Dagelyte
- American actress and Playboy model Audra Lynn
- 'Private Practice' actress and singer Audra McDonald
- American singer/songwriter Audra Mae; and
- American politician Audra Strickland
There's also an Arizona based band called Audra.
The lack of nickname options for Audra may be one of less attractive things about this name. There aren't many, and with some people's accents "odd" may be the word that most readily springs to mind. But I do kind of like the fun options Audi (pron OW-di) or Audie (pron ORR-di). Ra-ra could also be cute, or even Goldie (as the chemical symbol for gold is au). Then again, the fact that it is harder to get a nickname from Audra may be what appeals to some about this name, as not everyone wants to have a nickname for their child.
But perhaps one of my favourite things about Audra is the following quote I've seen online, that "It's like velvet on the tongue". It may seem like a slightly strange description, but it seems to sum up this pretty, understated and poetic name well. Alluring Audra would be a winner for any little girl.