Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rocky

This name comes from our list of names ending with the letters "-ky". If you saw that article, you know that this is a very limited club of names, but there are definitely some cool choices. One of the coolest options from the list is Rocky.



Rocky is given as a full name, but it is also treated as more of a nickname. It could be considered a diminutive of the name Rocco which is a Germanic name from the element hrok which means "rest". Rocco is the patron saint of the sick.

However, as you may know, Rocky is not so much a saint as a famous fictional boxer. The Rocky franchise of movies starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky began in 1976 and is possibly the most well-known association with this name. Another association comes from the old cartoons "The Bullwinkle Show" and "Rocky and His Friends" both of which aired in the 1960s. These featured a flying squirrel named Rocky and his moose pal experiencing a variety of adventures. Interestingly, Rocky was short for "Rocket", which would definitely be a bold choice for a baby name today.

As a baby name in the US, Rocky appeared on the charts in 1913. In 1942, it entered the Top 1000 chart and had a great year in 1957 with its record-high 911 births for a single year. It had its ups and downs but has mostly remained within the Top 1000 except for the years 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2008-2012. Nowadays, Rocky still lingers in the #900s as a viable option for usage on a modern boy. There have even been a handful of female Rockys, including 6 in 2015, but mostly given between 1949-1984. Do you know anyone named Rocky?

If not, perhaps it would be an appealing choice for your child. If so, here are some ideas for middle names and sibling names for Rocky if you were to use it:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Ada, Dolly, Frankie, Laurel, Minnie, Robin, Vona
Brothers: Daryl, Jack, Jett, Lou, Mickey, Russell, Val

Middle Name Ideas:
Rocky Allen
Rocky Carter
Rocky James
Rocky Lucas
Rocky Oliver
Rocky William

As a Middle Name:
Alvin Rocky
Donald Rocky
George Rocky
Laurence Rocky
Max Rocky
Vince Rocky

These may be a bit unconventional and over-the-top, but they work if you strictly remain in the same tough, nicknamey vein as Rocky. What would YOU pair with Rocky?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Names Ending With The Letters"-ky"


We've covered nearly half the alphabet already. Sure, there are some letters that just won't fit into this category, so we have skipped a few of them. But here we are, arriving at letter K for a compilation of "-ky" names!

How many can you name off the top of your head? Luckily, you don't have to since I did the legwork for you! I even went so far as to include names ending with "-kie" since the choices were slim for "-ky" names.  Enjoy:


Girls:

  • Becky  
  • Jacky
  • Lucky
  • Nicky
  • Pinky
  • Ricky
  • Sky
  • Suky
  • Vicky

  • Beckie
  • Cookie
  • Frankie
  • Jackie
  • Lockie
  • Markie
  • Mickie
  • Nickie
  • Pinkie
  • Rickie
  • Rivkie
  • Saskie
  • Sookie
  • Sukie
  • Vickie

Boys:  

  • Chucky
  • Dicky
  • Franky
  • Jacky
  • Ky
  • Melky
  • Nicky
  • Ricky
  • Rocky
  • Sky
  • Starsky

  • Dickie
  • Frankie
  • Mackie
  • Mickie
  • Nickie
  • Rickie
Can you think of any that I missed? Would you use any of these?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Barely Used Girl Names: Marcella, Calista & Isadora [Part Six]

Let's explore another ten female names that are more on the unusual side. If you are tired of the same popular names that you hear on every 4th child you meet, here are ideas that are much less common these days. Some may have been common in the past, but for this current generation of babies being born, they're not as frequently used.


The information below comes from the US Social Security Administration's 2015 list of the most commonly registered names. The first number listed is the number of births for the year, followed by the ranking number when compared to all other names. It's possible that one or more of these names could suddenly gain more usage from one year to the next. Which name do you think has the best chance of gaining a small popularity boost in 2016, if any?

Marcella (170 births - #1,380 in 2015) This is the feminine form of Marcellus which is a Roman family name, a diminutive of Marcus. That was most likely derived from the Roman god Mars who is the god of war. Marcella has been used in the US since records began in 1880. It was common enough to rank in the Top 1000 until the 2000s. It officially dropped off the list in 2003 but still receives nearly 200 births a year.  Could it rise again?

Calista (169 births - #1,385) This comes from the male name Callistus, derived from the Greek Kallistos meaning "most beautiful". In the US, Calista appeared on the charts in 1894 but it remained extremely rare for decades. It wasn't until the year 1998 that the name got a major boost. It landed on the charts at #697 after previously ranking way down at #2830. 1999 was the biggest year with 490 births and a high rank of #519. Just as fast as it appeared, Calista left again by 2005. Will she ever return?

Isadora (169 births - #1,386) This is a variant of Isidora, which incidentally is the much less popular spelling in the US. They come from the male Isidore from the Greek Isidoros meaning "gift of Isis", referring to the Egyptian goddess of the sky and nature. Isadora was used in the US since 1880 but briefly disappeared from use altogether from 1958-1968. The name hasn't ranked in the Top 1000 but it has gained births per year.

Darcy (167 births - #1,394) This is the name of a well-known male literary character, or rather, it's his surname. It originally comes from the Norman French d'Arcy which refers to someone who came from Arcy in France. This name has been rather unisex over the years, but is still used more often for females. It ranked within the Top 1000 from 1949 to 1994. Could it be stylish again in the future?

Pamela (166 births - #1,402) This name may have been intended to mean "all sweetness" from the Greek "pan" and "meli". It was invented in the 16th century by the poet Sir Philip Sidney in his poem "Arcadia". Pamela was first steadily used in the 1910s for females, (even popping up for males from 1941-1993) and it landed in the Top 1000 by 1925. In 1943, it was in the Top 100 for girls, ranking as high as #10 in 1953 with over 25,000 births for the year. It declined again over the next two decades, leaving the Top 100 in 1984 and it was out of the Top 1000 by 2012. Is Pamela now firmly in grandma-name territory or could it return?

Tesla (166 births - #1,403) This name is most likely used in honor of the inventor Nikola Tesla who was the first to harness and control electricity. This name first popped up on the US charts for girls in 1985, and in 2009 for boys. It has never ranked within the Top 1000 for either gender. Could Tesla gain popularity, especially since it's also the name of a high-end vehicle?

Carissa (163 births - #1,412) Carissa is a form of Charissa which comes from Charis and Chares, Greek names meaning "grace" or "kindness". Carissa appeared in 1949 for girls in the US, and entered the Top 1000 in 1970. It ranked the highest in 1992 at #239. It left the Top 1000 again in 2013. Will Carissa return to the top?

Legacy (163 births - #1,415) This name means what it seems. From the English word "legacy," it refers to "something inherited from a predecessor". It comes from the Old French legacie, the Medieval Latin legatia. As a name in the US, this could be become an interesting unisex name. It popped up for girls first in 1994, and boys in 2008. While it has never ranked, it is doing well for girls and could continue to climb.

Nadine (162 births - #1,424) Nadine is a French form of Nadia or Nadya, diminutives of Nadezhda, a Slavic name meaning "hope". This name has been around since 1887 and has ranked rather well for decades. It received 1,013 births in 1958. However, it left the Top 1000 in 2002. Will Nadine make a comeback?

Salem (162 births - #1,425) Salem comes from the Biblical Hebrew shalém meaning "complete". This is a place name, most notoriously that of Salem Massachusetts where the Salem witch trials infamously took place in 1692. As a name in the US, though, it was first used in 1912 for boys.  It wasn't until 1976 that it was used for girls, however it has never been common for either gender.

Are there any names on this list that you'd consider for your daughter? Share some first and middle name combinations!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Barely Used Boy Names: Idris, Wiley & Boaz [Part Six]


Welcome to Part Six of our Barely Used Boy Names series!! This list has some interesting and unsual options for you.

Idris (138 births - #1286)  Idris possibly means "interpreter" in Arabic and it is the name of an ancient prophet in the Qur'an, typically equated with the biblical Enoch. Idris is also a Welsh name meaning "ardent lord". This name ranked at #280 in England and Wales recently, as well as #447 in France. It gained usage in the US for males in 1971 and has slowly been gaining births per year but it has yet to reach the Top 1000.

Sheldon (137 births - #1294) There are several locations in England called Sheldon. It generally means "valley with steep sides" and was both a place name and a surname before it was ever a given name. In the US, Sheldon has been given to boys on record since 1881. It has also been used infrequently for girls from 1931 to 2002. For boys, it gained entry to the Top 1000 in the early 1900s, earning as many births per year as 608 in 1992. It dipped back down below the Top 1000 again in 2009, 2011 and has stayed below since 2013. Could it rise again?

Lucius (136 births - #1299) Lucius comes from the Latin lux meaning "light" and was a Roman praenomen. The name belonged to several important Romans and three popes. It wasn't regularly used by Christians until after the Renaissance. Here in the US, people have given their son the name since records began in 1880. It even ranked in the Top 1000 until 1960. It's dipped down to double-digit births per year but is back on the rise again. Could it rejoin the Top 1000?

Pierson (134 births - #1310) Pierson seems to be related to Piers which is a medieval form of Peter taken from the Old French Pierre. Pierson (along with Pearson and Peirson) were typically used as surnames. As a given name, Pierson is rare. It first popped up in the US with a handful of births in 1912 but it didn't catch on until it finally gained regular yearly usage in the 1980s. It remains nowhere near the Top 1000 but its climbing!

Atreyu  (133 births - #1314) Atreyu is a literary name created by German author Michael Ende and originally spelled Atréju.  It was the name of the hero in his 1979 fantasy novel "Die unendliche Geschichte" which is "The Neverending Story" in English.  It's said to mean "son of all" in the book's fictional language since the orphaned character was raised by a village. In the US, the name popped up in the mid-1980s but despite gaining usage over the years, it has never been in the Top 1000. Will it ever get there or is the name too unusual?

Jarvis (133 births - #1318)  Jarvis comes from a surname that was taken from the male French name Gervais, which came from the German Gervasius partially meaning "spear". If you look for the Marvel comic book meaning, you'll find that Tony Stark's AI computer J.A.R.V.I.S stands for "Just A Rather Very Intelligent System". The name Jarvis has been in use in the US since 1882 and even ranked in the Top 1000 between the 1950s and 2006. It's declined in popularity now, but could it make a comeback?

Wiley (133 births - #1321) Wiley comes from a surname derived from am Old English place name meaning "temple clearing". It can also be used in reference to the word "wily" and given originally as a nickname to a person who was, well, wily. This name has actually been given to boys since 1880 in the US, ranking within the Top 1000 until 1974. Could it come back on the charts again soon? It's also been given to a handful of girls in recent years.

Boaz (132 births - #1325) Boaz is a Biblical Hebrew name meaning "swiftness".  It was never a popular one, though. Boaz first popped up on the US charts in 1965 but it's never been near the Top 1000. In 2015, it received the most births it has ever had in a single year. Will it catch on soon?

Forest (132 births - #1326)  Forest is the less-popular spelling of Forrest. Both names come from an English surname that refers to an actual forest. Both of the spellings have been in use in the US since 1880. Forest ranked in and out of the Top 1000 through the 1960s and 1980s, and it ranked again in the early 1990s, but since then it's declined. However, its starting to trend upward again. Would you use Forest or Forrest?

Francesco (131 births - #1338) Francesco is the Italian form of the Late Latin Franciscus which means "Frenchman." While Francisco has always been well-used, the spelling Francesco is rarely used. It only gained usage in 1906, but it managed to rank in the Top 1000 from 1967-200, save a few years. Now it has fallen off the charts. Is Francisco just a superior spelling?

What do you think of this list? Would you use any of these names?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Unusual But Real Names from Colonial America

Ah yes, the Puritans. They were around when America was just gaining an origin story. People tend to have Colonial America on their mind around Thanksgiving time. They like to discuss the Puritans and the Pilgrims, so why not take another look at some of the interesting names they used to use.

The Art of Naming has covered Colonial Names several times. Not only the virtuous names like Hope, Grace and Faith, but also the more uncommon choices like Charity, Prudence, Prosper and Resolved. We also looked at names drawn from the bible like Lydia and Levi since these were common then and now.

Today, we're going to look at a list of names that most people would agree are unusual and rather unpractical for use today.  There's no need to explain these since they're quite straight forward, but yes, these were actually given to people as names back in the day.  Are there any that strike you as a guilty pleasure?

Abuse-not
Acts-Apostles
Aid-on-high
Be-courteous
Be-strong
Be-thankful
Die-well
Divine-authority
Do-good
Do-right
Do-well
Faith-my-joy
Fare-well
Fear-the-Lord
Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith
Fly-Fornication
Free-gift
Free-grace
From-above
Give-thanks
God-reward
Good-gift
Hate-bad
Hate-evil
Hate-ill
Have-mercy
Help-on-high
Hope-for
If-Christ-had-not-died-for- thee-thou-hadst-been-damned
Jesus-Christ-came- into-the-world- to-save
Job-raked-out-of-the-ashes
Joy-again
Joy-in-sorrow
Learn-wisdom
Live-well
Make-peace
More-fruit
More-trial
Much-mercy
No-merit
Praise-God
Safe-deliverance
Safe-on-high
Search-the-scriptures
Seek-wisdom
Sin-deny
Small-hope
Sorry-for-sin
Stand-fast-on-high
The-Lord-is-near
The-peace-of-God
Weep-not
What-God-will
Zeal-for-the-Lord
Zeal-of-the-Land

What a list! Thoughts?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dorothy

Taken from our article about names ending with the letters "-hy", we found the name Dorothy.



Dorothy is a form of Dorothea which comes from the Late Greek name Δωροθεος (Dorotheos) meaning "gift of God".  Dorotheos is pulled from the Greek words δωρον (doron) meaning "gift" and θεος (theos) meaning "god".

Interestingly, the names Theodora and Theodore (and their variants) also come from theos and doron, but their direct Greek origin name (Theodoros) is a little different: Θεοδωρος. However, all of these names do share a meaning.

Perhaps the most well-known Dorothy comes from literature and film. In 1900, an author by the name of L. Frank Baum published a little fantasy novel called "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" featuring a young girl named Dorothy as the main character. Portrayed by actress Judy Garland in the 1939 film, Dorothy has become a classic and iconic character in pop culture.

You don't meet all that many "young Dorothys" these days. However, that could be changing in the next decade or two since this name is starting to trend upward. That would make this name a vintage choice that would fit in with the 100 year rule.

Dorothy was huge in the 1920s. She climbed the charts quickly back then, joining the Top 100 in 1890, the Top 10 in 1904 and ranking at #2 from 1920-1927. Just as quickly, though, she left the Top 10 by 1940 and the Top 100 by 1962. She didn't rank within the Top 1000 for most of the 2000s, but the tide is turning in her favor now. She's back on the charts at #714 as of 2015 with 395 births.

Since it has almost been 100 years since her first heyday, do you think Dorothy will regain popularity as a "fresh-sounding" name again through the 2020s-2030s?

Use it now and you'll be ahead of the trend! If this is a name you're considering for a daughter, here are some ideas for middle names and sibling names:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Abigail, Beverly, Ellen, Marjorie, Nancy, Ruth, Sylvia, Violet
Brothers: Arnold, Franklin, Henry, Howard, Leonard, Russell, Warren

Middle Name Ideas:
Dorothy Arlene
Dorothy Christine
Dorothy Hazel
Dorothy Mavis
Dorothy Valentina

As a Middle Name:
Amelia Dorothy
Faye Dorothy
Miriam Dorothy
Susannah Dorothy
Tessa Dorothy

I kept the styles similar to Dorothy, but there are plenty of more modern names that could also work. What would you pair with Dorothy?  Do you know anyone with this name? If so, how old are they?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Names Ending with the Letters "-hy"



This series takes a closer look at a very limited set of names. If you're searching for a particular sound or spelling at the end of the name, this series may be for you. We've already considered names ending with -ay, -by, -cy, -dy, -ey, -fy, and -gy. All of these posts can be found here.  

The only names that I could find ending with "-iy" are Andriy, Arkadiy, Arseniy, Bryliy, Dmitriy and Yuriy. I didn't find them common enough or appealing enough to earn their own post. We'll skip ahead to "-hy" names since there's a few more options available.

Girls:

Abernathy
Amadahy
Cathy
Dorothy
Dorthy
Kathy
Marthy
Murphy
Ruthy
Sophy
Stephy

Boys:

Adahy
Joshy
Malachy
Murphy
Timothy

Would you ever use one of these? Which is your favorite?

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