Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Interesting Word Names for Boys



Have you ever met someone whose name is also a word? I knew a man named Grant who didn't seem to flinch when someone used the word grant in a sentence. It's interesting that there can be such a difference in our minds between hearing the word and hearing the name.

Do you know anyone who has one of the following word names? Can you think of more that weren't listed below?


  • Angel             
  • Archer
  • Arrow
  • Atlas
  • Bishop
  • Blue
  • Brave
  • Chance
  • Christian
  • Clay
  • Colbalt
  • Drew
  • Ever
  • Free
  • Gene
  • Grant
  • Harbor
  • Hunter
  • Justice
  • King
  • Lance
  • Mark
  • Maverick
  • Max

  • Miles
  • Noble
  • Oak
  • Ocean
  • Pace
  • Page
  • Parker
  • Patriot
  • Prince
  • Ranger
  • Ray
  • River
  • Roman
  • Seven
  • Sterling
  • True
  • Vale
  • Valor
  • Van
  • Victor
  • Viridian
  • West
  • Wilder
  • Woody
Which is your favorite word name? Have you used any of these for your child? Do you plan to?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Luna

Taken straight from our list of The Very Best L Names for Boys and Girls is the lovely name Luna.


While Luna is usually listed as either Italian, Spanish or both, it originates as a Latin name meaning "the moon". According to the ancient Roman mythology, the goddess Luna was considered the divine embodiment of the moon and was often portrayed as driving a white chariot through the sky. Her Greek counterpart is the goddess Selene.

As a baby name in the US, Luna dates back to the start of our modern records in the year 1880. Luna has been used on and off over the years, encountering a bit of a dry spell in the mid-60s. It was never popular until recently when it joined the Top 1000 names in 2003. It has been steadily rising on the popularity chart since then. 2,314 baby girls were given the name in 2014 for a ranking of #143. At this rate, it should continue to rise in popularity.

Luna is short and sweet. It carries beautiful imagery with it as it evokes peaceful vibes synonymous with the night sky. It works very well on Spanish and Italian girls but it is popular enough now to work on anyone without raising eyebrows.

Since it is relatively short, it best pairs with a longer-looking middle name, even if they might have the same amount of syllables. For more ideas of how to pair this name, view my suggestions for potential sibling names and middle names below:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aurora, Cara, Maia, Molly, Sadie, Stella, Violet
Brothers: Asher, Damian, Jack, Marius, Paul, Ruben, Xavier

Middle Name Ideas:
Luna Charlotte
Luna Delphine
Luna Mirabelle
Luna Penelope
Luna Tamsin

As a Middle Name:
Abigail Luna
Eleanor Luna
Marjorie Luna
Persephone Luna
Rafaela Luna

What do you think of the names I suggested? What would you pair with Luna? My favorite guilty pleasure pairing is Luna Sapphire for the image of a big blue moon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Very Best L Names for Boys and Girls

The letter L is a very important letter. It can not only be found within many of today's most popular names, but it also has plenty of great options as a starting letter.

Are you a fan of L? If so, you may just love this list! I have compiled 25 of the very best L names for girls and the 25 for boys!

However, just like all the other articles like this, the names are listed alphabetically. I did not rank them from best to worst or favorite to least favorite.

These are simply 50 of the best L names that I could find that I think would suit a modern American child.  While there are plenty of other L names out there, these are the ones that I liked the most.

What are your favorite names on the list below?

  1. Lacey                       
  2. Lana
  3. Lara
  4. Lauren
  5. Lavinia
  6. Layla
  7. Leah
  8. Leigh
  9. Leila
  10. Leonora
  11. Leticia
  12. Lilah
  13. Liliana
  14. Lily
  15. Lindsay
  16. Linnea
  17. Liv
  18. Lola
  19. London
  20. Lorelei
  21. Louise
  22. Lucy
  23. Luna
  24. Lydia
  25. Lyric
  1. Lachlan
  2. Lance
  3. Landon
  4. Lawrence
  5. Leander
  6. Lee
  7. Leif
  8. Leland
  9. Lennon
  10. Leo
  11. Leonardo
  12. Leonidas
  13. Leopold
  14. Leroy
  15. Levi
  16. Lewis
  17. Liam
  18. Liev
  19. Lincoln
  20. Linus
  21. Logan
  22. Lorcan
  23. Lorenzo
  24. Louis
  25. Lucas
Did I choose your favorites or did I miss a few that you think should be included?  Share your Top 50 in the comments if you'd like! Or feel free to browse the links below to view the best names starting with other letters.

<-- The Very Best K Names for Boys and Girls ||| The Very Best M Names for Boys and Girls -->

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Uncommon Alternatives to the Top 10 Girls' Names

As you may know, here in the US the Social Security Administration tallies up the names of all the babies born within a year and reveals which names were most popular. While there are clearly thousands of parents who are happy using popular names, there are also parents who would rather avoid them.

For those parents who may secretly like the sound of the top names but hate their popularity, I've created a list of alternative options to the Top 10 names for girls.

The names may be similar in sound, syllables, initial letter, meaning, origin or a combination of those. None of the alternate names below rank on the SSA's Top 1000 most popular names chart in 2014.

1, Emma ---> Amabel
The rare medieval name Amabel maintains a sound similar to Emma at the start of the name but it also offers the trendy "bel" sound at the end. It does all of this while still being an unusual name and a cool alternative to the popular Emma.  I can never believe that this lovely precursor to Annabelle can remain so unused. Amabel was only given to 5 baby girls in 2014 which is as opposite in popularity as you can get compared to the #1 name Emma.  Other options: Alma, Jemma, Amelina, Esme 

2. Olivia ---> Octavia
These two names can easily be alternatives for each other sound-wise. They both start with O  and end with -via.  As far as nicknames go, these are also easily swapped: Liv and Tave or Livia and Tavia. If Olivia is too popular for you, try the always rare yet very familiar Octavia.  It was only given to 69 baby girls in 2014 which is very low compared to Olivia's nearly 20,000 births. Other options: Olympia, Vianna, Ophelia, Alba

3. Sophia ---> Seraphina 
Seraphina is a great alternative to Sophia in terms of sound. Just like Amabel and Octavia above, Seraphina is a name that feels like it should have plenty of usage but it just doesn't. Except for 6 recorded births in 1916, Seraphina has only been around recently. It is gaining a bit of usage but still only received 175 births in 2014. It is pretty and unusual which is a great contrast to the popular Sophia.  Other options: Sonya, Sophronia, Delphina, Sapphira

4. Isabella ---> Isadora 
Instead of focusing on finding an alternate name that shares the "bella" sound, I thought we'd focus on the beautiful "Isa" sound instead. The best option, of course, is the rare Isadora. Isadora has been around in the US since 1880 with regular usage except for a brief hiatus from 1958-1968. It's gained some momentum since then, receiving 167 births in 2014 but it is still far from ranking in the Top 1000.  Other options: Bellamy, Isabeau, Elizabella, Sable

5. Ava ---> Aviva
This interesting Hebrew name means "spring" and feels like a very refreshing alternative to the popular Ava. It maintains the same letters and sounds but adds a syllable which gives it a unique and cool vibe.  Aviva has been around since 1935 in the US but it has never been popular. With 94 births in 2014, this rare gem is an excellent choice! Other options: Aveline, Maeva, Evadne, Geneva

6. Mia ---> Pia
There aren't very many names that start or end with -mia. Finding a decent sound-alike name wasn't easy until I dropped the letter M and found rhyming name Pia. It is a Late Roman name that comes from the male name Pius and has actually been around in the US since 1908. In 2014, there were 71 girls given the name. It would be a lovely and unique alternative to Mia. Other options: Melia, Noemia, Mina, Magnolia

7. Emily ---> Romilly 
If you're searching for something that sounds like Emily but is the opposite when it comes to popularity, Romilly is the name for you. With the ending of both names being identical, you really only exchange the E for the Ro but you get a very unique name. How unique? Well, Romilly has only been used in the US since 2013 for a total of 12 babies on record ever being given the name. Other options: Kirrily, Milani, Camellia, Amberly

8. Abigail ---> Abilene
Abigail may be popular but it has a unique sound all to itself. There are no other names that offer "gail" that I could find and only a handful of names starting with "Abi-". One solution is to find a less common biblical girls' name, another is to find something that simply sounds similar. In this case, you get a two for one deal with the rare, Hebrew name Abilene. Used briefly in the New Testament, Abilene means "grass" and has only been regularly used in the US since 1987. It was given to 48 girls in 2014. Other options: Gaia, Aberdeen, Fabiana, Esther

9. Madison ---> Madigan
If you're a fan of the nickname Maddie, Madison and Madeline aren't the only options. An unusual and interesting option is Madigan. It is very similar in sound to Madison but it isn't nearly as popular. It has been used in the US since 1992 with a high peak of 67 births in 2002. Now in 2014, it was only given to 15 girls. It's a cool, spunky alternative to the popular Madison.  Other options: Madelief, Madelena, Maude, Matilde

10. Charlotte ---> Harriet
The regal name Charlotte may rank at number 10 in 2014 but it seems posed to climb even higher, possibly even hitting number one in the coming years. Harriet has been around since 1880 with a real heyday during the '20s and '30s. It left the Top 1000 in 1971 and has been uncommon ever since. In the past two years, 127 girls were given the name Harriet which would be a lovely alternative name to Charlotte.  Other options: Arlette, Charlize, Liesel, Lottie

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What do you think of my uncommon alternatives to these popular girl names?  Don't forget to check out the alternate names I chose for boys too!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Uncommon Alternatives to the Top 10 Boys' Names

As you may know, here in the US the Social Security Administration tallies up the names of all the babies born within a year and reveals which names were most popular. While there are clearly thousands of parents who are happy using popular names, there are also parents who would rather avoid them.

For those parents who may secretly like the sound of the top names but hate their popularity, I've created a list of alternative options to the Top 10 names for boys. The names may be similar in sound, syllables, initial letter, meaning, origin or a combination of those. None of the alternate names below rank on the SSA's Top 1000 most popular names chart in 2014.

1. Noah ---> Nahum
Nahum is the best alternative to Noah because it is also a biblical Hebrew name and it has a similar meaning. Noah means "rest, comfort" and Nahum means "comforter". It starts with the same letter, has the same number of syllables and they're both very vowel heavy. While Noah ranked at #1, Nahum sits nicely at #2076. Perfectly suitable to take Noah's place!  Other options: Noam, Enoch, Jonah, Nolan

2. Liam ---> Calum
Calum is a fun choice because it has the same ending sound as Liam and they both have Celtic roots with Liam being Irish and Calum being Scottish. Calum is a form of Columba, a Latin, saintly name meaning "dove". While Calum ranks down at #2452 last year, it does have a slightly more popular brother, Callum, that ranks at #729. Both are still much less popular than Liam at #2!  Other options: Alec, Leeland, Noam, Willem

3. Mason ---> Pierson
Mason is an occupational surname that refers to a stoneworker. What better alternative than a surname name referring to a rock? Pierson comes from the medieval name Piers which is a variant of Peter. Both of these names end with -son and they both come from Old French roots. It's cool and unusual and the perfect uncommon alternative since it ranked way down at #1301 in 2014. Other options: Cason, Colson, Stetson, Thatcher

4. Jacob ---> Javan
Jacob was the #1 name for many years only to begin its descent in 2013 when Noah took over. Javan has never even cracked the Top 1000, receiving only 52 births in 2014. Both 5-letter J-names are Hebrew but clearly have opposite popularities which makes Javan an interesting alternative to Jacob. Other options: Coby, Israel, Jaime, Séamus

5. William ---> Bertram
This was a tough choice. In the end, Bertram has similar, appealing qualities to William. Both names are derived from Germanic elements and both end with -am. While William has Will, Bertram has Bert. While Bert isn't as fashionable as Will at the moment, there's potential for it to come back and rank as well as it did in the 1920s. With barely 7 births last year, I find Bertram a handsome and truly rare alternative. Other options: Alaric, Edmund, Luther, Wilson

6. Ethan ---> Japheth
These two names take us from a popular biblical name to a rare one. Ethan may rank at #6 now but it wasn't always popular. It wasn't even regularly used in the US until 1911. Ethan gradually increased in usage through the 1970s until it exploded onto the scene in 1989 and zoomed up the charts, ranking as high as #2 in 2009 and 2010. Japheth was unheard of until 1970 and has slowly gained a handful of usage today with 43 births in 2014. Could it follow Ethan's pattern and someday be discovered in a big way?  Other options: Eben, Lathan, Ephraim, Irah

7. Michael ---> Micaiah
These two biblical names sound similar enough to swap and still keep everyone happy. Michael has been hugely popular for a very long time. There are Mikes everywhere. However, Micaiah  is relatively obscure. It has only been in use in the US since 1973. 2014 was its best year yet with 133 male births and a rank of #1311. There were also 41 female births.  Other options: Melchoir, Mischa, Mitchell, Malcolm

8. Alexander --->  Lysander
Alexander is a big, strong Greek name that has been used very well all around the world. Lysander is also a Greek name but it has a more tame and whimsical feel to it. Both end with "ander" which makes the rare Lysander a good alternative to the popular Alexander. It only had 43 male births in 2014 for a low, low ranking of #2764. Are you sold yet? Other options: Evander, Ferdinand, Constantine, Augustus

9. James ---> Ramsey
Without featuring a variant of James or a translation in another language, I wanted to find something uncommon that sounded similar. This one was very tough, especially since we also featured James' twin brother Jacob earlier. I settled on Ramsey. They have a similar sound  because of the "am" and "s" that should satisfy that quota, and they also have a potentially cool, bad boy vibe in common. Ramsey only had 93 births in 2014 for a ranking of #1649.  Other options: Hayes, Ellis, Hamish, Thiago

10. Daniel ---> Dashiell
These two names sound very similar to each other. Dashiell would work very well as an alternative choice for those who love Daniel but cannot use it. Daniel has always ranked well in the US but Dashiell has only been used in the US since 1979. It has never ranked in the Top 1000 and had only 123 births in 2014.  If you're looking for unusual, Dashiell is it! Other options: Adriel, Uriel, Dane, Niall

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What do you think of my choices? Would you choose different alternative names for any of these?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

From Amaranth to Violet: A Look at Names of the Rainbow


Colors are everywhere: some vibrant, some pastel. Things would be dreary if we suddenly removed color from our lives. Some might even go the extra step to ensure that their surroundings are always colorful and lively by painting the walls in their home or dressing in only the hottest pinks or brightest yellows. Plenty of parents already opt for nature names so why not extend your love for colors to baby naming, too?

I've previously posted a list of color names on The Art of Naming, but they were not broken down according to the major base colors. I decided to take a look at the rainbow and categorize some of the more interesting name possibilities under the closest related parent color. The following list was the result:

Red:

Amaranth
Carmine
Cerise
Crimson
Magenta
Red
Rose
Ruby
Scarlet

The last three on the red list are probably the most popular with Rose leading the pack, however Scarlett is more popular than Scarlet. Would you use one of the more unusual reds like Amaranth or Carmine?

Orange:

Amber
Coral
Peach
Rusty
Sienna
Tawny

While Rusty and Tawny are rarely used, Amber was huge in the '80s and Sienna peaked in 2007. Peach doesn't have any recorded usage.

Yellow:

Goldie
Jasmine
Jonquil
Lemon
Maize
Marigold
Mikado
Saffron

Many of these are rather unusual. The most popular by far is Jasmine which ranks at #100 in 2014!

Green:

Emerald
Fern
Forest
Hunter
Jade
Kelly
Laurel
Myrtle
Olive
Pine

Green names are fun, especially the more playful ones like Kelly which only came about because of the Irish surname's association with Ireland and the color green. And then there's Hunter green which was the color of choice for hunters back in the 19th century. The others are very nature related.

Blue:

Aqua
Azure
Blue
Cobalt
Cyan
Navy
Sapphire
Sky
Zaffre

Most of these blues are pretty obscure as names. Sky (g) is most popular at #740 in 2014.  If you’re looking for something related to a shade of blue that is a little more “namey” and a little less unusual, try Alice, Carolina, Celeste, Maya and Tiffany.  

Indigo & Violet:

Amethyst
Indigo
Iris
Lavender
Mauve
Orchid
Plum
Thistle
Violet
Wisteria

Violet is a true vintage name and has come back in style after being popular in 1920. (Check out the 100 year rule!) Iris is also ranking well these days! The others would make beautiful and quirky middle names!
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What's your favorite color? Do your favorite baby names correspond to your favorite color? Would you choose one of the names above and if so, which do you like best? Can you think of any I missed? Share your colorful thoughts in the comments below!  [Source]

Friday, June 19, 2015

Kai

Today's featured name comes from the list of The Very Best K Names for Boys and Girls. This one actually happens to be unisex these days but it will be mainly presented for males in this article, (hence the blue below).


The Kai that I'm most familiar with is the Hawaiian name that means "sea". This is the one being featured here.  Other possible meanings for this name include "forgiveness" in Japanese, "food" in Maori and "willow tree" in Navajo.

Kai is also considered a diminutive for names like Gerhard, Nicolaas, Cornelis and Gaius/Caius. It is also a feminine variant of Kaja which comes from Katarina.

Internationally, Kai ranks well! It is actually doing better in other countries for boys than it is in the US. However, we're the only country that has a ranking for this name as a feminine one.

This is how Kai ranked in the US:
Boy: 2,387 births (#177)
Girl: 262 births (#1000)

This means the name's unisex ratio is 90% boy / 10% girl based on the births for 2014.

In England/Wales, Kai recently ranked at #64 for boys. Canada (BC) ranked it at #36; it was #69 in Australia, #85 in Ireland, #65 in Northern Ireland, #55 in Scotland, and #121 in the Netherlands. These are the most recent rankings I found so they may vary a bit today.

The name Kaia is a feminine form of Kai that's also ranking well at #551 in the US.

What do you think of the name Kai? It is short and sweet and definitely carries that Hawaiian vibe which gives the name warmth and an exotic feel. It is handsome and cool, bold but not unusual. Are you considering it?  If so, here are a few ideas for sibling names and middle names for Kai:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aria, Kamilah, Leilani, Milana, Noa, Sienna, Zoey
Brothers: Arlo, Finnian, Jude, Milo, Orion, River, Silas

Middle Name Ideas:
Kai Elliott
Kai Hawthorn
Kai Julian
Kai Sebastian
Kai Thackeray
Kai Valentine

As a Middle Name:
Evander Kai
Lachlan Kai
Nathaniel Kai
Remington Kai
Samuel Kai
William Kai

Unless you're Hawaiian, it is probably going to be difficult to find a middle name that will share Kai's origin. I wouldn't worry about that. The above names simply sound nice and flow well with Kai. What would you pair with Kai?

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