These 3-letter baby names are short, sweet, and subtle

Marie Stambe
Marie Stambe
Marie is an emerging writer who loves all things content creation. From her Italian heritage to her deep-rooted passions (fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and fun), Marie harnesses the power of personal experiences to write stories that are #relatable and easy to digest. Because who has the time?
Created on May 21, 2024 · 4 mins read

Choosing the perfect baby name is a struggle that all parents-to-be have to face eventually. Whether you’ve had your names picked out since your teens, have been pressured to keep certain names 'in the family', or are entering the final stages of your pregnancy and still have absolutely no clue what name to go with.


The good news is – the possibilities are limitless. 

In 2024, there are people out there naming their children the most ‘unique’ (correction: bizarre) names. If celebrities can name their children things such as “apple” (Gwenyth Paltrow’s daughter) and “mint” (Romee Strijd’s daughter), then surely you can look around your kitchen and choose a random produce item to spin into a catchy name.

Or maybe that’s not your style (no judgment here). Maybe you’re more of a traditionalist with a love of subtlety and modernity. If so, we’ve got you covered.

My own Italian roots have raised me in a circle of the same handful of names, like ‘Giuseppe’ and ‘Maria’ – it’s like we’re tapped in a name vortex. There’s a way to still honour tradition, just with a more subtle finish. 

‘Giuseppe’ can become ‘Joe’, and ‘Maria’ is given new life with ‘Ria’. It’s the perfect blend of uniqueness and familiarity, guaranteed to elicit a smile from i genitori, while still asserting your own creative freedom. 

So here are our top picks on adorable three-letter baby names, categorised for your convenience. 

Doing it old-school


Ada – Of German origin, meaning “noble” or “nobility”.

Ana – A variant of Anna, originating from Hebrew, meaning “grace”.

Ben – Short for Benjamin, of Hebrew origin, meaning “son of the right hand”.

Gus – Short for Augustus or Angus, of Latin or Celtic origin respectively, meaning “great” or “majestic”.

Gia – Short for Gianna or Giovanna, Italian variants of Jane or Joan, meaning “God is gracious” or “grace of God”.

Mae – Of English origin, derived from the month of May, symbolising springtime and renewal.

Max – Short for Maximilian, of Latin origin, meaning “greatest”.

Ned – Short for Edward or Edmund, of Old English origin, meaning “wealthy guardian”.

Nic – Short for Nicholas, of Greek origin, meaning “victory of the people”.

Roy – Of French origin, meaning “kingly” or “royal”.

Sam – Short for Samuel or Samantha, of Hebrew origin, meaning “heard by God”.

Leo – Of Latin origin, meaning “lion”.


If you’re feeling posh


Ava – Of German origin, meaning “bird” or “life”.

Bea – Short for Beatrice or Beatrix, of Latin origin, meaning “voyager” or “blessed”.

Eve – Of Hebrew origin, meaning “life” or “living”.

Lea – Variant of Leah, of Hebrew origin, meaning “weary” or “mistress”.

Lou – Short for Louise or Louis, of French and German origin respectively, meaning “renowned warrior”.

Val – Short for Valerie or Valentine, of Latin origin, meaning “strong” or “healthy”.

Zoe – Of Greek origin, meaning “life”.


For the happy hippies


Rio – Of Spanish and Portuguese origin, meaning “river”.

Ria – Of Indian origin, meaning “singer” or “melody”.

Taj – Of Persian origin, meaning “crown” or “jewel”.

Zen – Of Japanese origin, meaning “meditation” or “enlightenment”.

Poe – Of English origin, possibly derived from the word “poe”, meaning “peacock” or “proud”.

Joy – Of English origin, meaning “happiness” or “delight”.

May – Of English origin, derived from the month of May.

Isa – Short for Isabel or Isaiah, of Hebrew origin, meaning “God is my salvation”.

Noe – Short for Noah, of Hebrew origin, meaning “rest” or “comfort”.

Nature-inspired names


Ash – Of English origin, referring to the ash tree or ashes.

Ivy – Of English origin, referring to the climbing plant.

Kai – Of Hawaiian and Japanese origin, meaning “sea” or “ocean”.

Kat – Short for Katherine or Katrina, of Greek origin, meaning “pure”.

Sky – Of English origin, referring to the sky or heavens.

Wrapping it up


As they grow and blossom, your child’s name will mold to their personality, becoming a special part of their identity. So whether it’s a vintage gem, a posh delight, a boho wonder, or a nature-inspired marvel, your child will undoubtedly make it their own. Because their name is just the beginning of their big, exciting story.

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