I have had the same aesthetic since I was a little kid. I want an old stone cottage, covered in vines and wildflowers. I want enamel colanders filled with fresh berries glistening on my countertops, I want a pie cooling at the edge of the window, I want calico sheets on my two little girls’ beds. I want cottagecore and I want it now. Like a golden goose egg! Like an Instagram influencer trying to get you to buy allergy medicine.
OK, maybe not the latter. Look, cottagecore is a thing now. It “embraces a
simpler, sustainable existence that is more harmonious with nature.” It is nostalgic and romantic. Words like lovely and darling come to mind. It’s a lot of vintage and a lot of traditional, mixed with the sepia filters on Instagram. It’s a whole vibe, and honestly, I love it. And I can see why more and more parents are turning to cottagecore baby names. Both of my little girls have old-fashioned names — Alice and Lucy — and they feel both perfect for the tiny babies they are and the grown women they will one day be. Did I dream of dressing them in vintage dresses and bonnets, nestling them into a Silvercross pram as I trundled them down the cobblestones of a tiny English village? (Where maybe I would fall in love with a detective because TV has told me those villages are full of murders.)
Yes. Of course I did. And I still do!
So if you also have some cottagecore running through your veins, if you imagine ruffled bassinets and flower wallpaper and a tea kettle that whistles as you nurse your baby to sleep for her mid-morning nap, then my friend, feast your eyes on these baby names. May they be everything your peasant-dress-wearing heart desires.
Fleur literally means “flower” in French. It doesn’t get much more cottagecore than that. I expect a photo of this sweet baby in a white, ruffled gown, tucked into a field of wildflowers.
Agatha is a baby name I suggested to my husband and he visibly recoiled and went, “UGHHHHH. No.” Hear me out: Agatha is cottagecore at its finest. It brings to mind Agatha Christie, one of her paperbacks in your hand as a fire roars in your tiny stone cottage fireplace. It just feels rich with history, but still sweet and quaint. And I’m sorry, Aggie is a very cute nickname. For an added bonus, the name Agatha means “good woman.”
Edward! Oh this name is just lovely. It gives lots of monarchy vibes, but also just sounds like a sweet little boy name as he rides his vintage bicycle down the gravel path to your home. It’s a traditional English name that means “wealthy guardian,” and the nicknames are endless. Eddie feels extra modern, but Ward has an old-timey feel.
I mean. Come on. Rosie had to be on here. Even if you go with the more formal Rose, this name conjures up all the loveliness of a vintage garden. Dress up her nursery with some cream-colored wallpaper dotted with faded roses, and make sure she has lots of sweet crib sheets and blankets patterned with the flower for the ultimate #cottagecore.
Eloise feels like a precocious name for a child thanks to the children’s book series, but it’s also just a delightful little #cottagecore name. It, for some reason, means “healthy, wide” but I just feel lightness with it.
Combine Briar Rose for a name that sounds both like an English garden and also the name of Sleeping Beauty. Briar technically
does mean “a thorny patch” but like, isn’t that just life? A beautiful thorny patch?
Peter is my personal favorite for if my husband and I ever have a baby boy, and I think it’s just darling. It reminds me of the Chronicles of Narnia, but in the ultimate cottagecore move, it reminds me of Beatrix Potter’s
The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Doesn’t get much more vintage English garden that that, does it? Peter also means “rock” which is pretty #cottagecore, too.
Oh, Eleanor. It gives both American vibes (a la Eleanor Roosevelt) and English vibes (a la The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby”), so it’s a sweet mix of cottagecore feels. It also has a bit of ~mystery~ around it, as the name is a variation of the French name Alienor, which has an unknown meaning. Oooh.
Henry. Do I need to say anything else? Tons of English monarchy vibes, and the name literally means “estate ruler.” It’s gotten pretty popular over the years — it’s currently number nine on the top 10 baby names of 2020 in the U.S. — but it has a sweetness to it, and just feels super cottagecore.
Alfred is a very sweet, very formal and traditional name. But the nickname Alfie is so #cottagecore, it hurts.
Daisy just brings to mind a sweet little stone cottage in the woods. Like Miss Honey’s house in
Matilda, right? The nature vibes are very cute, but so is the shortness and simplicity of the name. It goes well with a ton of last names, too.
Speaking of Matilda, why not give your baby the actual name of everyone’s favorite bookworm? Tilly or Tilda are the cutest nicknames ever for this baby name, and it actually has a super bad*ss meaning: battle-mighty.
I mean… if you’re going to put a flower crown on a baby girl, why not name her Poppy? It’s so sweet and has a brightness to it. I feel like it works as a spunky little girl name, and a very docile newborn moniker.
Georgie Porgie is the nickname you must use for a little baby boy named George if you want to score all the cottagecore points. OK, it also has a lot of royal vibes, so if you want to call him Prince George forever, I’ll allow it. But the name actually means “farmer,” which also feels very cottagecore.
Anne, Annie, Ann — however you want to spell or differentiate this name is fine. It’s just so darn sweet, but has a grown-up feel to it, too. It means “grace,” which is just darling, too. And if you tell everyone you named her after the patron saint of cottagecore, Anne of Green Gables, then even better.
So botanical and full of nature vibes, Alder can mean both “alder tree” and “old.” It’s a perfect unisex name, and the -er ending feels a bit old fashioned and traditional.
I don’t know why, but Mary just feels so simple and perfect to me. Of course, there are a million literary and biblical references to Mary, but it’s considered a fairly unique name by today’s standards. It means “drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved” which makes me think of a storm, crashing waves up on the shore. Peak cottagecore.
Robin! It brings both Winnie-the-Pooh vibes — thanks to Christopher Robin — and also just pure, beautiful nature vibes. It’s a lovely unisex name, and whether you like it for its connection to a pretty bird in your yard or everyone’s favorite bear-handler in his perfect knee-high socks, it’s a good choice.
Benjamin also has major English garden/Beatrix Potter vibes. Ben, Benji, Benny — so many options for cute little boy nicknames.
Willow. I want to say it both in a reference to “Use the wand, Willow!” and Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s best friend. Either way, it’s a cottagecore nickname for its connection to nature and the feeling of a calm summer day, sitting under a tree with a picnic. Do it for the ‘gram.
Freddie is just darling. You can go with Frederick if you want, but Freddie feels super cottagecore to me. Just enough tradition meets “cute little guy” to give you all the feels. The name also means “peaceful ruler.”
Oh, Fern. Clearly you have to decorate her nursery in a Charlotte’s Web theme, and if you don’t say, “Salutations!” the first moment you see her sweet face, then you’re not as cottagecore as I thought.
Birdie has become fairly popular with celebrities and Instagram influencers alike, but it really is just a cute, fun name for a little girl. I also think spelling it with a -y instead of -ie is nice.
Leif is like a comfortable sigh in baby name form. It’s Scandinavian and means “heir,” which feels super royal, but it also gives off some nature vibes like leaf. I think it’s both strong and vulnerable, and it would also look perfect as one of those giant wooden name plaques over their — brass? painted yellow? wicker and pale wood? — crib.
If you’re not saying daily, “Olive, olive you,” then what are you even doing? It feels a bit ethereal but, for some reason, a bit mysterious, too. I just love it.
Jakkarin Chatrungrueangchai / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
More nature vibes! All of the Thoreau feels! Give them to us! River is so cute, and is a great unisex name for your little cottagecore babe.
James has become mega popular, and Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds turned it into a unisex name. It makes me think of Elizabeth James in the Lindsay Lohan
Parent Trap, and if that’s not #cottagecore, I don’t want to talk about it.
Bea and Trixie are both super cute names for Beatrice — and it sounds a lot like our girl Beatrix Potter. For extra cottagecore feels, clock the meaning of the name: “she who brings happiness, blessed.” I mean. Come on.
This is another name on this list that is steadily becoming popular, and can also be spelled a few different ways, including Margaux. The French vibes are
trés cottagecore, and it’s also just a sweet, effervescent kind of name.
Frances! After our girl Frances Hodgson Burnett of course, the author of
The Secret Garden. I’m sorry, could we be anymore cottagecore here? You could also spell it as Francis, and Franny is the cutest little nickname.
Huck! If this doesn’t conjure images of a little boy in overalls, barefoot, getting ready to sail across the great Mississippi… wait. OK, scratch some of that, but Huck is a little treasure chest of a name. It feels like he’s got some secrets, and also that he will pick all the random weeds for you as a bouquet. (Huckleberry is also very cute.)
Ivy feels super modern to me, but the touch on nature can’t be ignored here. I also think Ivie is a sweet way to spell the moniker, which should give you lots of creeping vines over a cottage feels.
OK, hear me out. (I know my husband is reading this and rolling his eyes.) Beryl is an old school English name, but it literally means “sea-green jewel.” Does it get much more luxurious than that? It feels a little rough, a little wild, and a whole lot of pretty.
I put this name on the list because A) it’s gorgeous, B) it’s clearly cottagecore, and C) it can have the nickname Dottie, which is just *chef’s kiss.* Dorothy also means “gift of God” which is very meaningful and gives me chills.
Chronicles of Narnia is suddenly in your brain, then you get me. Edmund is one of the four Pevensie children in the series, and if you remember him and the Turkish delight, you’re right on track. In a very sweet move, the name also means “fortunate protector” which just feels right for your little baby Edmund.
Another one of the children from
Chronicles of Narnia, Susan isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be, but I think it’s time we bring it back. The name means “lily,” so it has both a nature feel, and also a weathered, vintage feel.
Katherine in all of its spellings is lovely, but I prefer the K version. Kat, Kate, and Kit are some of my favorite nicknames for this one, and it just makes me think of a little girl in a white lace dress, her knees dirty from running around and picking flowers. The sweetest part of this name? Katherine means “lovely.”