Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The 10 Best Colonial Names For Modern Boys and Girls

Recently, I was looking over the post I made last year regarding Colonial names. Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I thought I'd cover colonial names a bit more.

Colonial names are full of history and laced with virtues and biblical associations. Sometimes these names are even comprised of long phrases.

You probably won't see many boys named Comfort or girls named Modesty today, and something like The-Peace-of-God or Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith probably won't work well for official documents. This led me to wonder what the most usable, wearable names that were favored in early America might be.

With much thought, scrutiny and consideration, I narrowed it down to my top 5 boy names and top 5 girl names that date back to the colonial era but can still sound fresh and usable today.

Girls:

Charlotte
The lovely Charlotte is the French, feminine form of the name Charles which is typically listed as meaning "free man".  Modern parents love this name so much that it now ranks at #11 in 2013. If that is too popular for you, there are plenty of other forms of the name from Lottie to Charlize to Carolina to Karla. This name dates back to England in the 16th century as well as the colonial times here in America but Charlotte is definitely usable today, too!
Middle Name Ideas: Charlotte Abigail, Charlotte Grace, Charlotte Louise, Charlotte Ruby

Eleanor
This name dates back to Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the wife of King Louis VII of France in the 12th century. Eleanor became popular in England during the Middle Ages before it was carried to Colonial America. While there are plenty of diminutives and other similar forms of the name, Eleanor itself ranks at #106 in 2013 and has been climbing steadily. It may land in the Top 100 soon which means it is definitely very wearable.
Middle Name Ideas: Eleanor Alexis, Eleanor Juliet, Eleanor Rose, Eleanor Sophia

Hannah
Hannah gained use in Europe after the Protestant Reformation and the Puritans took it with them to Colonial America. This is one of the many biblical names that gained favor in that time period. It is a Hebrew name meaning "favour" or "grace". It is related to Ann, Anne and Anna which were also used in those days. In modern times, Hannah's popularity peak happened in 2000, reaching as high as #2 in the US. She's declining now but was still ranked at #23 in 2013.
Middle Name Ideas: Hannah Catherine, Hannah Josephine, Hannah Lily, Hannah Violet

Lydia
Another biblical favorite, the Greek name Lydia actually refers to a region in Asia Minor called Lydia. Like Hannah, this name has been in use since the Protestant Reformation. In the US, Lydia had small peaks of usage around 1916 and in the 1950s, but it is at its highest ranks today. With over 3200 baby girls given the name in 2013, it ranks at #96!
Middle Name Ideas: Lydia Annabelle, Lydia Harper, Lydia Madeline, Lydia Scarlett

Susanna
Susanna is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Shoshannah. It is said that it means either Lily or Rose in Hebrew and possibly Lotus in Egyptian. Susanna was used in the Middle Ages and was common after the Protestant Reformation in Europe but mostly as Susan.  These days, neither Susanna nor Susannah rank within the US Top 1000.  Susanna ranked well until it fell out of the Top 1000 in 1998. Despite the low rank, Susanna is a lovely name that deserves more modern day usage.
Middle Name Ideas: Susanna Elise, Susanna Hazel, Susanna Ivy, Susanna Willow

Boys:

Amos
Post-Reformation, Amos was very popular among the Puritans. Meaning "carried" in Hebrew, this is an Old Testament name that has been regularly used in the US at least since records began in 1880. It did well around 1920 but declined afterward. Currently, the name is on the rise again! It ranked at #778 in 2013.  With the newly trendy S-ending for boy names, Amos should fit right in.
Middle Name Ideas: Amos Clark, Amos Joseph, Amos Michael, Amos William

Cyrus
This name has a long ancient history. It is possibly the Greek form of a Persian name meaning "far sighted" or "young" but it is also associated with another Greek name meaning "lord". Most notably, it was the name of several Persian kings, including Cyrus the Great of the Old Testament.  It was well-used by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation. In the modern US, Cyrus has been ranking in the #400-500 range for the past decade, ranking #436 in 2013. It is a cool, handsome choice that would work well on a boy today.
Middle Name Ideas: Cyrus Alexander, Cyrus James, Cyrus Oliver, Cyrus Quentin

Elias
A form of Elijah, the biblical Elias was used in the Greek New Testament, therefore making it popular among Puritans in Colonial America. There were many similar names beginning with El- that were used in those days, but this one in particular is already gaining popularity in the modern US. It has been on an upward path since the 1980s, ranking at a high of #113 in 2013.
Middle Name Ideas: Elias Frederick, Elias Henry, Elias Julian, Elias Nathaniel

Levi
Another name that popped up after the Reformation, Levi is a biblical favorite meaning "attached" in Hebrew. This name ranks fairly well in many countries including #2 in the Netherlands and #23 in New Zealand. In the US, Levi has been climbing straight up the charts! In 2013, it hit a record-high #50 with over 7,300 births. With biblical history and the flair of the coveted letter V, Levi is definitely wearable today.
Middle Name Ideas: Levi Anthony, Levi Emerson, Levi Jackson, Levi Warren

Silas
Silas is the short form of Silvanus, which in Latin refers to "wood" or "forest". This is another biblical name that popped up Post-Reformation among Puritans in Colonial America. Today, Silas is quite favored in the baby name community. The numbers agree: Silas has been climbing straight up the chart since around 2000. It currently ranks at #116 and will probably keep going up!
Middle Name Ideas: Silas Adrian, Silas Damien, Silas Jasper, Silas Porter

Which of the above names do you like best? Vote for your favorite below:


Do you like any other names favored by the Puritans? Share your thoughts in the comments below!  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Get To Know!: Meagan from TulipByAnyName

Welcome to my new segment "Get To Know!"  Recently, I've had the opportunity to meet a few fellow name bloggers and I decided it'd be lovely to let you get to know them too. The naming community is such a wonderful place! If you truly love names, it never hurts to follow more bloggers to get your daily name fix. 

Today, I had the honor of interviewing Meagan from TulipByAnyName.  She is most known for her work discussing interesting names on her YouTube channel. She is also one of the seven Name Sisters who run a great YouTube channel collectively. 

Beyond videos, Meagan also has a successful blog and Instagram account that revolves around names. Most recently, she's become a new contributor to Nameberry's Berry Juice Blog, too! She is involved in lots of exciting name-related projects! Let's take a moment to learn more about her own personal name tastes and experiences with names:

1. What are your first and middle names?
My name is Meagan Elizabeth.

2. Do you like them or would you ever want to change them?
I really like my name.  It's not what I would have picked for myself, but I can't imagine being called anything else. I feel very connected to my middle name, Elizabeth.  It's one of my favorite names and a name that I would consider using.

3. If you had to change your name, what would you choose?
I love this question! My taste in names and my style tends to be a bit old-fashioned.  I think the name Rose would suit me.  I also really love the name Cordelia, so I'd rename myself Rose Cordelia.

4. When did you first become interested in names?
My first name memory was around age 3 or 4 when I renamed my cabbage patch doll.  He came with an adoption certificate and the name Otto, but I renamed him Murphy.  I have no idea where I got the name Murphy from!  All throughout elementary school I was naming and renaming dolls, stuffed animals, and inanimate objects.  As a teenager my interest in names progressed to looking up name meanings and making endless name lists.

5. What were some of the first names you remember loving? Do you still like them today?
My favorite girls names growing up were Samantha, Elizabeth, Stacey, Caroline, Hope, and Emmeline.  Stacey is the only one I've fallen out of love with.  I still love and would consider using Emmeline and Elizabeth.

For boys I loved Jeffrey, Patrick, Benjamin, Brayden, Dylan, Connor, Joshua, and James.  I think they're all nice names. I can't see myself using Jeffrey or Brayden.  I still really love Benjamin and James.

6. Tell us about your presence in the naming community. Where are your sites and what do you try to accomplish with them?
A few years ago I realized there were other name enthusiasts on the web. I started connecting with others through forums, which evolved into creating a YouTube channel about names. I really enjoy making videos and of course talking about names!  I created a blog as an extension of my YouTube channel, as well as an Instagram account @tulipbyanyname.  I truly enjoy learning about names and sharing my passion with others. 

7. What is your favorite girl name in the Top 100? Top 1000?
Top 100 -  Lillian #26
Top 1000 - Matilda #645

8. What is your favorite boy name in the Top 100? Top 1000?
Top 100 - Luke #34
Top 1000 - Bennett #194

9. What is your favorite first and middle combo for a girl?
Emmeline Elizabeth - nickname "Emmie". I've loved Emmeline since I was 12, and Elizabeth is a family name.

10. What is your favorite first and middle combo for a boy?
Lucas Gabriel - I'd call him Luke.

11. What are your favorite obscure/guilty pleasure names?
I've really loved the name Lavender lately! I think it would make a fun, unexpected middle name.  I also enjoy Avonlea, Everard, Frost, Wednesday, Winslet, Wolfram, and Forest. I'm not the bravest namer, but I do think these are the kind of names that would make great middle names!

12. If you had to name twins right now, what would you choose?
If it were solely up to me -
Girl/Girl - Emmeline Elizabeth & Lydia Genevieve
Girl/Boy - Lillian Victoria & Everett Reid
Boy/Boy - Lucas Gabriel & Oliver Jude

13. Are there any names or naming trends that you dislike?
I'm not too fond of creative spellings.  My name isn't spelled the most common way, so I don't mind a subtle change, I just don't like when a name is unrecognizable.  Place names with creative spellings are one of my naming pet peeves.

14. Who is your favorite name blogger?
Tough question! If I had to pick, I really admire Abby Sandel (Appellation Mountain). She puts so much research, thought, and heart into her articles.

15. What advice would you give to expecting parents who are looking for a name?
I think the most important thing is to pick a name YOU love! Many people will have an opinion, but ultimately it's your choice.  I think it's helpful to say the name out loud with your surname.  Also, reflect on if the name is one you or your partner would have liked to have been named.  There are so many names I adore, but wouldn't actually want to have been named.  My one big piece of advice comes back to following your heart and using a name you love!

I hope you enjoyed this interview and that you'll take a look at Meagan's sites! 

You can check out my interview over on Meagan's site here.  


Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gabriella Pearl - (Birth Announcements!)

This compilation of birth announcements came from a couple hospitals in Indiana, USA. This batch seems to be rather conservative and traditional. There aren't any wacky or odd names that stand out. If you could only name your child one of these names, which would you choose?

Girls: 

Abigail Rae
Adlee Dawn
Alisa Ray
Allison Renae
Alyssa Gale
Anna Jean
Annabelle Rose
Aria Marie
Athena Lee
Autumn Lynn
Avery Kay
Bailey Alexis
Breanna Lee
Cassandra Marie
Cora Mae
Daisy Faith
Delaney Carol-Sue
Emory Louise
Evelynn Jane
Gabriella Pearl
Gracie LouAnn
Hadley Caroline
Harper Rayne
Kiara Rose
Layla Lyda-Jean
Leyla Brianne Irene
Madison Faith
Maisie Claiborne
Mila Jean
Molly Suzanne
Rebekah Joy Hadessah
Reece Addison
Saria Jane
Savannah Nadine
Skylar Rose Mae
Sophia Fern
Sydney Amara
Zoey Kiana-Marie

Boys:
Benjamin Scott
Bryan Manuel
Bryce Andrew
Caleb Duane
Christopher Scott
Cooper Andrew
Cruz Michael
David Samuel
Elijah Lewis
Elijah Michael
Ezekiel Paul Christopher
Grant Keith
Jacob Donald
Jack Arnett Jiovanni
Jaxon Dane
Jett Robert
Jordan Michael Alexander
Joseph Lee
Judah Christopher
Kolton John
Kyler Edward
Landon Nathanel
Lincoln Jaye Owen
Luke Tyler
Matthew Francis
Micheal Anthony
Mikah Joseph
Nathaniel Joseph
Owen Jean
Wyatt Christopher
Wyatt Lee
Xavier Mikail

Let me know which of these you like most in the comment section below! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Savannah

To complement Tuesday's post regarding the best V names for girls, and last week's post about the best V names for boys, I chose to feature the feminine name Savannah which contains the letter V.


Savannah isn't just a city in the state of Georgia, USA. It comes from an English word that indicates a large, grassy plain. Originally, Savannah comes from a Taino (Native American) word zabana. Variants of the name include Zavanna and Savanna. It's a place name and a nature name.

Savannah gained usage as a baby name in the 19th century. It has also been on record in the US every year since 1880 but its usage was very minimal until it suddenly boomed in the 1980s. This increase in births-per-year is most likely a result of the 1982 movie "Savannah Smiles".

There were only 43 births in 1981, 118 in 1982 and in 1983, there were 434 Savannahs born. That means the name went from ranking in the 1100s to being #466 in just one year. The year 2000 had a record-high amount of Savannahs born. There was 7,097 of them for a ranking of #37!

Since then, the name has declined a bit in popularity. As of 2013, it still ranks at #37 but that only accounts for 5,192 births.

This name is very cute yet classy. It has a elegant vibe to it but it is also a nature name that gives you the image of a grassy plain. It is both sweet and strong and great for a baby, a teen and a woman.

Right now, Savannah feels as though it is a bit underrated. It isn't high on the popularity radar in the active online baby naming community even though it ranks #37 in the country. It ranks down at #207 on Nameberry, which is based on pageviews on their site. It is being used well but at the same time, it isn't being overly talked about which makes it ideal. Even though Savannah is technically popular, it would still be refreshing to hear on a baby today.

What do you think of this name and its cute nicknames like Savy, Sanna, Van, and Vanna? What middle names would you pair with it? What would you name her siblings? Here are a few ideas:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Brooke, Gabrielle, Heather, Lucy, Madison, Mckenzie, Sydney
Brothers: Arlo, Dallas, Jacob, Levi, Oliver, Seth, Travis

Middle Name Ideas:
Savannah Alexis
Savannah Isobel
Savannah Jade
Savannah Lorraine
Savannah Paige

As a Middle Name:
Bailey Savannah
Chloe Savannah
Harper Savannah
Morgan Savannah
Riley Savannah

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Aveline, Liv & Violet: The Best V Names for Girls



The letter V has a certain appeal to it that has been captivating modern parents, especially the Av- and Ev- names. This is a compilation of the best girl names that contain the letter V. It may seem long, but trust me, I narrowed it down quite a bit. There just happens to be a lot of lovely name options with a V in them! Which of these do you like best?

Alivia                
Alva
Ava
Avabelle
Avah
Avalee
Avalie
Avalina
Avaline
Avalon
Avalyn
Avalynn
Avani
Avari
Avaya
Ave
Avelaine
Avelina
Aveline
Aven
Averie
Averil
Averley
Avery
Avia
Aviana
Avianna
Avie
Avielle
Avigail
Avila
Avis
Aviva
Avonlea
Avra
Avrielle
Avril

Belva
Bev
Beverley
Beverly
Bevin

Chava
Chavela
Chevaune
Chevelle
Chevonne
Clavel
Clove
Clover

Dava
Davalyn
Daveigh
Daveney
Davette
Davia
Daviana
Davida
Davina
Devan
Devanie
Devany
Devanya
Deven
Devere
Devereaux
Devin
Devina
Devlyn
Devon
Devona
Devony
Devora
Devra
Dove

Elva
Elvera
Elvia
Elvina
Elvira
Eva
Evadne
Evalie
Evalina
Evaline
Evalyn
Evan
Evandra
Evangelia
Evangelica
Evangelina
Evangeline
Evania
Evanna
Evanne
Evanora
Evanthe
Evanthia
Evany
Eve
Evelia
Evelien
Evelina
Eveline              
Evelyn
Ever
Everest
Everild
Everly
Evette
Evgenia
Evia
Eviana
Evianna
Evie
Evienne
Evolet
Evonne
Evony
Evora
Evy
Evyenia

Flavia

Gavriela
Gavriella
Geneva
Genevie
Genevieve
Genevra
Genoveva
Geovana
Giavanna
Ginevra
Giovanna
Giverny
Godelieve
Godiva
Guinevere
Gwenevere

Havana
Havannah
Haven
Havilah
Heaven
Heavenly

Isavella
Iva
Ivaleine
Ivana
Ivani
Ivanka
Ivanna
Ivelisse
Ivette
Ivona
Ivonne
Ivory
Ivy

Javiera
Jenavieve
Jeneva
Jenevieve
Jovana
Jovie
Jovienne

Keavy
Keeva
Keva
Kiva

Lavender
Lavera
Laverna
Laverne
Lavina
Lavinah
Lavinia
Lavonda
Lavonne
Leven
Levina
Lieve
Liv
Livana
Live
Livia
Liviana
Livianna
Livienne
Livvy
Louvenia
Lovetta
Lovette
Lovina
Lovisa
Ludovica
Luvenia
Luvia
Luvianna
Luvinia

Madeleva
Maeva
Maeve
Mava                
Maven
Mavis
Mavra
Méav
Megève
Minerva
Morven
Myava

Natavia
Natividad
Nava
Naveena
Navy
Neva
Nevada
Nevaeh
Neve
Nevena
Nieva
Nieve
Nieves
Nineveh
Nívea
Nova
Novalee
Novalie
Novara
Novella
November
Novia

Octavia
Octaviana
Oliva
Olive
Olivera
Olivette
Olivia
Oliviana
Olivié
Olivienne
Olivina
Olivine
Ottavia
Ovelle

Parvana
Parvati
Pavla
Petrova
Pravina
Primavera
Primeveire

Raven
Ravenna
Raviva
Reeva
Reeve
Reva
Reveka
Revel
Reverie
Riva
River
Rivers
Riviera
Rivka
Rivkah
Rosalva

Savana
Savanna
Savannah
Savera
Savina
Sevanne
Seven
Severa
Severena
Severina
Sévérine
Sevi
Sevilla
Sevina
Shavon
Shavonne
Silvana
Silver
Silvia
Silviana
Sivan
Stevie
Sunniva
Svetlana
Sylvana
Sylvette
Sylvia
Sylvie

Tavi
Tavia
Tavie
Tavora
Teva
Tova
Tovah
Treva
Truvy
Tuva

Vada
Vaida
Val
Valarie
Valda
Valdine
Vale
Valencia
Valentia
Valentina
Valentine
Valera
Valeria
Valerie
Valery
Valia
Valkyrie
Vandra
Vanessa
Vanna
Vannie
Vanora
Vella
Velvet
Venetia
Venus
Vera
Verily
Verity
Verona
Veronica
Veronique
Vesper
Vespera
Via
Vianna
Vianne
Vicenta
Victoire
Victoria
Victoriana
Victorina
Victorine
Vida
Vienna
Vienne
Vierra
Vincenza
Vinia
Vinnie
Viola
Violet
Violeta
Violetta
Violette
Viona
Virginia
Virginie
Vita
Vitória
Vittoria
Viva
Vivaldi
Viveca
Vivetta
Vivia
Vivian
Viviana
Viviane
Vivianna
Vivianne
Vivica
Vivien
Vivienna
Vivienne
Viviette
Vlada
Vladimira
Vrai

Waiva
Wava
Waverley
Waverly
Wineva

Xavianna
Xaviera

Yeva
Yvaine
Yvana
Yvette
Yvie
Yvonna
Yvonne

Zahava
Zayva
Zinovia
Ziva
Don't forget to check out last week's list of The Best V Names for Boys too!

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