Monday, January 21, 2013

Some Very F"ine" Names

Actress Maxine Elliott in 1901 via Wikipedia

With the huge rise in the name Max and all Max names for boys, as well as the sudden popularity of Maxwell as a girl's name (two celebrities using the name for their daughters = popularity), I have been wondering why Maxine is being overlooked. I guess it's considered "old", but I feel it's ready for a comeback. Maybe I'm a little smitten by it as it is my grandmother's name. In any case, all of this thinking made me look at other "-ine" names.

Whether it's pronounced eye-n or ee-n or inn, the suffix "-ine" has been common for girls names throughout the years. It either feminizes a boy name (Maxine), turns a girl name into a variant or diminutive (Adeline), or makes a name for itself (Katherine). The "-yn" ending can be included in this grouping, but for this blog post I chose to only look at names ending in "-ine."

In 1880, there were 32 names in the Top 1000 with the "-ine" suffix: Catherine #31, Josephine #50, Katherine #53, and Caroline #75 were in the Top 100 and the rest were (in their rank order) Pauline, Christine, Katharine, Adeline, Catharine, Angeline, Adaline, Madeline, Kathrine, Clementine, Ernestine, Emmaline, Cathrine, Celestine, Aline, Emeline, Josiephine, Adline, Corine, Geraldine, Augustine, Claudine, Evaline, Hermine, Wilhelmine, Albertine, Corrine, and Delphine.

In 2011, there were only 14 names in the Top 1000 names with the "-ine" suffix: Katherine #61, Jasmine #74, Madeline #85, and Caroline #87 were in the Top 100 and the rest were (in their rank order) Caroline, Josephine, Jacqueline, Evangeline, Adeline, Jazmine, Christine, Angeline, Jaqueline, and Geraldine.

And, just because, I took a look at halfway between those two years. In 1945, there were 43 names in the Top 1000 with the "-ine" suffix: Catherine #50, Geraldine #56, Christine #62, Jacqueline #63, and Katherine #82 were in the Top 100 and the rest were (in their rank order) Josephine, Pauline, Maxine, Caroline, Madeline, Ernestine, Francine, Nadine, Earnestine, Earline, Bernadine, Katharine, Jeannine, Kristine, Corrine, Jeanine, Arline, Corine, Adeline, Angeline, Celestine, Gearldine, Justine, Claudine, Florine, Evangeline, Aline, Jeraldine, Pearline, Janine, Catharine, Lorine, Delphine, Charline, Clementine, Maurine, Kathrine, and Jacquline.

Here is a compiled list of names ending in "-ine." This is by no means a complete list. :)

Adeline - diminutive of Adele
Albertine - feminine form of Albert
Alexandrine - elaborated form of Alexandra
Alexine - variant of Alexandra
Aline - diminutive of Adeline, variant of Eileen
Ambrosine - feminine form of Ambrose
Angeline - diminutive of Angela
Arline - original name
Arthurine - feminine form of Arthur
Augustine - feminine form of Augustinus
Azurine - variant of Azure
Bernardine - feminine form of Bernard
Bettine - diminutive of Elizabeth
Carine - French form of Carina
Carmeline - diminutive of Carmel
Caroline - feminine form of Carolus
Celestine - English form of Caelestinus
Celine - feminine for of Caelinus or diminutive of Marceline
Charline - feminine diminutive of Charles
Christine - French form of Christina
Claudine - feminine form of Claudius
Clementine - feminine form of Clement
Coraline - variant of Coral
Corine - variant of Corinne
Delphine - French form of Delphina
Earline - feminine form of Earl
Edeline - variant of Adelaide
Elbertine - variant of Alberta
Emmeline - variant of Emma
Ernestine - feminine form of Ernest
Evangeline - original name
Eveline - variant of Evelina
Florentine - French form of Florentina
Florine - feminine form of Florinus
Francine - diminutive of Francois
Geraldine - feminine form of Gerald
Gilbertine - feminine form of Gilbert
Hermine - feminine form of Herman
Jacqueline - feminine form of Jacques
Jasmine - original name
Jaxine - variant of Jacinta
Jeannine - diminutive of Jeanne
Jessamine - variant of Jasmine
Joceline - feminine form of Joscelin
Joline - variant of Jolene
Josephine - feminine form of Joseph
Justine - feminine form of Justin
Katherine - original name
Katrine - Danish and Norwegian form of Katherine
Lexine - diminutive of Alexandra
Lorine - variant of Laura
Lusine - variant of Lucinda
Madeline - English form of Magdalene
Marline - variant of Madeline or Marlene
Maurine - variant of Maureen
Maxine - feminine form of Max
Nadine - French elaborated form of Nadia
Noeline - variant of Noelle
Pameline - variant of Pamela
Pascaline - feminine form of Pascal
Pauline - feminine form of Paulinus, variant of Paula
Pearline - variant of Pearl
Rosaline - variant of Rosalind
Sabine - French and German form of Sabina
Sandrine - variant of Alexandra and Sandra
Seraphine - French form of Seraphina
Thomasine - feminine form of Thomas, variant of Thomasina
Tourmaline - original name
Valentine - variant of Valentina
Victorine - feminine form of Victorinus
Wilhelmine - feminine form of Wilhelm
Zoeline - variant of Zoe
Zurine - derived from Basque zuri "white"

My one gripe with names that end in "-ine" is pronunciation. One does not know how to pronounce the name until the parent or name-holder says it. Not that there isn't a "common" pronunciation (I don't think I've ever heard Maxine pronounced any other way than "Max-een"), but there is always apprehension due to people's differing preferences. All that to say, most names that end in "-ine" are girl names and have quite a feminine appeal. The numbers mentioned above could present the view that these names are decreasing in popularity of late, but you also have to keep in mind that I only looked at the Top 1000 and there were MANY more names given in 2011 than there were in 1800 and 1945. You can not go wrong naming your daughter a sweet, ending in "-ine" name.

Do you have a favorite "-ine" name?

Thank you to Behind The Name and Think Baby Names for most of the above information.



  1. Many of these names are lovely; others seem very fusty or overly contrived.

    I love Clementine, Coraline, Emmeline, Evangeline, Jessamine, and Sabine.

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  3. A name I love is the French version of Jasmine, it is spelled with ine too: Jessamine, nickname Jessa

  4. I like Evangeline. My birth name has the 'ine' ending but I never liked it so I changed it!


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