Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Girls Names from Literature

Source
The term "literature" covers a grand spectrum of novels. Most of these names come from the classic masterpieces that have touched the hearts of readers for decades. While I cannot possibly list every name of every character in every book ever written, this is definitely a pretty good list to start with if you're in need of a literary moniker.

Below this list, I have handpicked my favorites that I think would be darling for a modern day girl. Then I went one step further and paired them with a couple middle name ideas and listed a few potential sibling name ideas to help you decide if you'd truly want to consider adding said names to your short-list. After all, that's the whole point of a list like this: to help you find the perfect name for your child!

If you'd like to join in the fun, please feel free to choose your favorite names from the list and share a few middle name options that would make you fall in love with the name as a whole. And do tell if you already have any of these on your shortlist!
                      Alabama
Alhambra
Alia
Alma
Amaryllis
Amoret
Arabella
Aravis
Ariadne
Atalanta
Aurora
Bathsheba
Bella
Bennington                  
Blue
Brett
Briana
Briony
Calixta
Calliope
Catalina
Catriona
Charity
Charmian
Clarice
Clarissa
Clea
Clelia
Cordelia
Cosette
Cressida
Dahlia
Daisy
Denver
Desdemona
Domenica
Ellis
Eloise
Emma
Esme
Evangeline
Fancy
Faunia
Feather
Fig
Fleur
Ginevra
Guinevere
Hana
Haydée
Hermione
Hester
Honora
Honoria
Hyacinth
Isadora
Isolde
Jacy
Jadine
Juliet
Juniper
Juno
Kiki
Kinsey
Lavinia
Lolita
Lucinda
Lux
Maisie
Malta
Mamie
Marigold
Marin
Matilda
Melanctha
Mercy
Narcissa
Nenna
Nerissa
Ninetta
Niobe
Octavia
Orleanna
Pansy
Pecola
Petal
Peyton
Pilar
Pleasant
Portia
Prairie
Precious
Rain
Ramona
Remarkable
Romola
Rosamond
Sai
Scarlett
Scout
Serafina
Sethe
Sheba
Sidda
Snow Flower
Sugar
Sula
Sweeney
Sylvie
Tamora
Tamsin
Temple
Thea
Thisbe
Undine
Velvet
Verena
Vida
Viola
Viviette
Zenobia
Zora
Zuleika
As a side-note, I'm not very well-read so I wouldn't know if any of these names belong to dastardly and despicable characters or not. Please do your own research before fully committing to a name. It is always a good idea to know who your child's main "namesakes" are and what the general opinion is of said characters.  If I had a bit more time in my daily life I would love to research these thoroughly but that may lead to hours and hours of Wikipedia page hopping. You know how it is. It would end up being faster to read each novel individually. ;)  At the moment, I am simply choosing these names because I think they are beautiful in sound.

Don't forget to check out the list of Boy Names from Literature too!

My Top Ten Favorites:

Sunday, December 29, 2013

From Juliet to Julius: The Popularity of 5 Jul- Names

In the naming world, sometimes you will find names that all begin with the same few letters. This can sometimes make it difficult to choose between them. For example, I asked which of these Jul- names you would sooner use and the results are in!


The options include two boys names: the popular Julian and the strong, Roman Julius. For girls, I limited it to sweet Julia, romantic Juliet and exotic Juliana.

Every single one of these names comes from the same root. They come from the Roman family name ioulos which is from the Greek ιουλος meaning "downy-bearded" which implies youthfulness. The patriarch name is Iulius from which Julius was born. Following Julius's lead came Iulia and Iulianus.

The Ancient Roman Iulia inspired many of the feminine names including Julia, Julitta, Yuliya, Jools, Juliet, Juliette, Julie, Juliska, Giulia, Giulietta, Julinha, and Yulia. Names like  Juliana, Julijana, Liana, Leanna, Gillian, Jill, and Uliana came from the Ancient Roman Iuliana which came from the male Iulianus.

The boy names all sprang from Iulianus and include favorites such as Julian, Julius, Jules and Julio. There's also the Italian Giuliano and Giulio, the Russian Yulian, Yuliy and Yuli, the rare English name Jolyon, the Polish Juliusz and Julek, and any other variant or diminutive you can think of!


Here is how the names ranked in popularity on The Art of Naming's poll:
  1. Juliet  29 Votes (38%)
  2. Julian  24 Votes (32%)
  3. Juliana 11 Votes (14%)
  4. Julia    8 Votes (10%)
  5. Julius   3 Votes (4%)
In the U.S. these names are all ranked within the Top 1000 names. Here is how they measured up in 2012:
  • Julian #53 with 7,336 births
  • Julia #65 with 3,844 births
  • Juliana #147 with 2,201 births
  • Juliet #253 with 1,267 births
  • Julius #331 with 940 births
Which of these Jul- names is your favorite? I personally love Juliet the most! I would also use Julius over Julian for a boy. What do you think?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Atticus

The name Atticus may have been one of the very first Roman names to begin making mainstream waves. It has that ancient feel to it but because of the fatherly fictional character Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus also feels very noble and heroic. In fact, Atticus Finch was voted in 2003 as the "Greatest Hero of American film" by the American Film Institute. Finch was iconically played by actor Gregory Peck in the 1962 film adaptation of the novel.


The name Atticus is Latin meaning "Man of Attica" or "From Attica". Attica is the region that surrounds Athens in Greece. While it describes a Greek area, the name was adopted by one particular Roman man who spent much of his life studying in Athens. He loved the culture so much that he gave himself the nickname Atticus since he considered himself a man from Attica. His name was Titus Pomponius Atticus (112/109 BC – 35/32 BC). He was an ancient Roman littérateur, philosopher and correspondent with Cicero.

There was also a philosopher named Atticus (c. 175), an Archbishop Atticus of Constantinople (406-425), a Greek rhetorician named Herodes Atticus (c. 101-177) and a Christian martyr named Atticus who died in the year 310.  More recently, there is an English musican named Atticus Ross, an American actor named Atticus Shaffer, and an alternative rock back called Atticus.

This name has really skyrocketed in popularity in the past couple decades. The name was first used in pop-culture in 1960 and 1962 as mentioned above and yet, surprisingly, it did not influence any births! Aside from 5 births in 1881, and 5 more in 1912, the name Atticus was not used in the US until 1969 with 7 births.
Source
It gained regular usage in the late 1980s but it wasn't until the early 2000s that it gained momentum. It cracked into the Top 1000 in 2004 which coincides with the "Greatest Hero" award of 2003 for Atticus Finch. Since then the name has steadily gained popularity. As of 2012 it ranks at #410 with 703 births! I suspect that it will only continue climbing higher up the charts!

If you are considering this name for your son, I would encourage you to use it! Its most popular association was considered to be a very noble man, even a hero!  The name sounds classy, intelligent, strong, determined and confident.  It is known but not yet overly popular. It's a winner!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Athena, Cassandra, Clementine, Harper, Hazel, Imogen, Matilda, Sabrina
Brothers: August, Ezra, Finnegan, Jasper, Maxwell, Oliver, Sebastian, Silas

Middle Name Ideas:
Atticus Dean
Atticus Gage
Atticus Isaiah
Atticus Joel
Atticus Jude
Atticus Rex
Atticus Xavier

As a Middle Name:
George Atticus
James Atticus
Liam Atticus
Miles Atticus
Victor Atticus
William Atticus

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Boys Names from Literature

Source
I have seen many parents on baby name forums who have a great appreciation for classic literature, so much so that they are determined to use the names of their favorite characters in their child's name.  I admire their devotion and envy their knowledge of these characters.

Of course, the term "literature" covers a grand spectrum of novels. Most of these names come from the classic masterpieces that have touched the hearts of readers for decades. While I cannot possibly list every name of every character in every book ever written, this is definitely a pretty good list to start with if you're in need of a literary moniker.

Below this list, I have handpicked my favorites that I think would be very handsome for a modern day boy. Then I went one step further and paired them with a couple middle name ideas and listed a few potential sibling name ideas to help you decide if you'd truly want to consider adding said names to your short-list. After all, that's the whole point of a list like this: to help you find the perfect name for your child!

Please feel free to join in on the fun and choose your favorite names from the list! You can share them in the comments below! Let me know which middle name options you would pair with your favorites! Also, if there are any names that are not on this list that you think deserve to be, list them in the comments and I'll surely add them in!  Enjoy!
Ahab
Amory
Aramis
Archer
Ashley
Athos
Atticus
Auric
Axel
Barley
Barnaby
Beale
Benvolio
Brick
Brom
Buck
Caliban
Caspar
Cato
Chance
Cleon
Cody
Colin
Corin
Crow
Cullen
Darcy
D'Artagnan
Darl
David
Don
Dorian
Dunstan
Edward
Edmund
Falmouth
Fenno
Fitzwilliam
George
Gogol
Guitar
Gulliver
Heathcliff
Henry
Hieronymous
Holden
Huckleberry
Ichabod
Ishmael
Japhy
Jarvis
Jasper
Jay
Jean
Jolyon
Jude
Jupiter
Kaddish
Kafka
Laird
Lemuel
Lennie
Loch
Macon
Magnus
Marius
Melchior
Milo
Mingus
Misha
Odysseus
Orlando
Orno
Oskar
Phineas
Praxis
Porthos
Quebec
Quillen
Quintus
Rhett
Riley
Robert
Rodion
Romeo
Rufus
Samson
Santiago
Sawyer
Sebastian
Seneca
Septimus
Sherlock
Silas
Taft
Telemachus
Tristan
Tristram
Utah
Valentino
Victor
Vivaldo
Watson
Wolf
Yancey
Zooey
Keep in mind that since I'm not incredibly well-read, I do not know how dastardly, devious and despicable some of these characters could be. Always do your own research on a name before you commit to it, even if it isn't linked to literature. Make sure that all popular namesakes are those that you can live with. You and your child might be asked if the name came from this book or that TV show or whatever for the rest of your child's life. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, just something to consider!

Don't forget to check out the list of Girl Names from Literature too!

My Top 10 Favorites:

1. Archer

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Amelia, Avalon, Fable, Ivy, Lyric, Marion, Sonnet, Willow
Brothers: August, Beckett, Fletcher, Griffin, Harrison, Kellan, Mason, Parker

Middle Name Ideas:
Archer Declan
Archer James
Archer Reilly
Archer Sebastian
Archer William

2. Barnaby

Sibling Name Ideas: 
Sisters: Audrey, Caroline, Elizabeth, Hannah, Jemima, Josephine, Matilda, Winifred
Brothers: Atticus, Chester, Edward, Frederick, Matthew, Oliver, Tobias, William

Middle Name Ideas:
Barnaby August
Barnaby Damian
Barnaby James
Barnaby Michael
Barnaby Theodore

3. Corin

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alice, Claire, Edith, Lilah, Molly, Olivia, Piper, Violet
Brothers: Asher, Ethan, Gavin, Holden, Liam, Noah, Owen, Wyatt

Middle Name Ideas:
Corin Alexander
Corin James
Corin Nathaniel
Corin Robert
Corin Wesley

4. Heathcliff

Sibling Name Ideas: 
Sisters: Adelaide, Beatrice, (Avoid Catherine), Cordelia, Harriet, Josephine, Lorraine, Michaela, Ramona
Brothers: Alistair, Barnaby, Caldwell, Hendrick, Jameson, Nathaniel, Theodore, Wiloughby

Middle Name Ideas:
Heathcliff Andrew
Heathcliff Charles
Heathcliff Elliot
Heathcliff Orion
Heathcliff Thomas

5. Jarvis

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alma, Delaney, Elaina, Leila, Matilda, Olive, Sadie, Thea
Brothers: Alaric, Damian, Felix, Giles, Leo, Miles, Sebastian, Xavier

Middle Name Ideas:
Jarvis Anthony
Jarvis Haythem
Jarvis Indigo
Jarvis Oliver
Jarvis Theron

6. Marius

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Athena, Cassia, Freya, Katharine, Lucinda, Romilly, Sophia, Theodora 
Brothers: Antony, Cassius, David, George, Lucian, Magnus, Soren, Tybalt

Middle Name Ideas:
Marius Achilles
Marius Anthony
Marius Elliott
Marius Orion
Marius Xavier

7. Phineas 

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Althea, Eden, Esther, Hazel, Madeleine, Phoebe, Simone, Xaviere
Brothers: Atticus, Elijah, Gideon, Malachai, Nathaniel, Oliver, Quincy, Thaddeus

Middle Name Ideas:
Phineas Alexander
Phineas Isaiah
Phineas Logan
Phineas Rafferty
Phineas Vincent

8. Rhett 

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aveline, Caroline, Daphne, Fiona, Grace, Leila, Philippa, Rowan, (Avoid Scarlett)
Brothers: Arlo, Crosby, Finnegan, Heath, Jack, Noah, Tristan, Vincent

Middle Name Ideas:
Rhett Donnelly
Rhett Julian
Rhett Leopold
Rhett Peregrine
Rhett Wilder

9. Silas 

Sibling Name Ideas: 
Sisters: Aria, Eve, Gisele, Helena, Jessica, Mila, Piper, Ruth
Brothers: Abram, Conrad, Daniel, Gideon, Jasper, Levi, Philip, Wesley

Middle Name Ideas:
Silas Archibald
Silas Damian
Silas Everett
Silas Jonathan
Silas Octavian

10. Tristram

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Astrid, Cressida, Elisabet, Imogen, Lavinia, Milena, Seraphina, Vivienne 
Brothers: Adler, Conrad, Julius, Leopold, Marius, Quillan, Rasmus, Viggo

Middle Name Ideas:
Tristram August
Tristram Benedict
Tristram Eamon
Tristram Henley
Tristram Wilder

That's my Top 10!! Which names are your favorites?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Juniper

The name Juniper is most notably a type of evergreen shrub in the cypress family whose berries are used to flavor gin. This name joins the ranks of other tree names such as Acacia, Hazel and Willow. However, it triples as a nature name, a place name and a saint name. Saint Juniper, or Brother Juniper, was called "the renowned jester of the Lord" and was one of the followers of St. Francis of Assisi. He died in 1258.


This name is ultimately derived from the Latin word iuniperus or juniperus which is a combination of the word junio which means "young" and parere which means "to produce". These put together equal "youth producing" or evergreen. Beyond this, Juniper could also be a derivation of the Welsh name Guinevere. Click here for even more information about this possible connection.

This name has become more than just a guilty pleasure as evidenced by the way it has skyrocketed up the charts in the past five years.  Juniper first gained usage in the US in 1969 thanks to a hit song called "Jennifer Juniper" by Donovan. After that, it was occasionally used until 1985 when it took a hiatus until 1992. Between 2007 and 2008, this name got a boost in popularity. The name joined the Top 1000 for the first time in 2011 at #953.  In 2012, there were 296 girls given the name Juniper which ranked it at an impressive #883.  There were also 5 boys given the name in 2012 but this name is overwhelmingly female.

Source
The name Juniper has a very earthy, hippy vibe behind it that can bring a smile to your face. With the adorable nicknames June, Junie or Juno, this name is a unique and spunky choice for a modern girl.

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alice, Hadley, Hazel, Romilly, Violet, Willow
Brothers: Arthur, August, Everett, Jasper, Julius, Oliver

Middle Name Ideas:
Juniper Evelyn
Juniper Isabelle
Juniper Olivia
Juniper Victoria

As a Middle Name:
Audrey Juniper
Leila Juniper
Molly Juniper
Reese Juniper

What would you pair with Juniper? What do you think of this fast-rising name?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Unusual and Quirky Middle Names for Girls!

Modern parents today seem to love taking liberties with their daughters' names more than their sons'.

You will see girls with creative names more often than boys which is why this list of unusual and quirky middle names for girls is longer than the boys list from last week. There just seem to be so many more options for girls!

Here is a list of interesting choices that you may find appealing for a spunky middle name, or maybe even a bold and different first name.

Which of these are your favorites? Keep reading to view my Top 10 below.
     Aberdeen          
Alaska
Alezae
Allifair
Amaranth
Amaryllis
Amaya
Amethyst
Amoret
Artemis
Arwen
Avalon
Avis
Avonlea
Bardot
Bellamy
Belphoebe
Bette
Bijou
Blanche
Blossom
Bluebell
Blythe
Briar
Briony
Burgundy
Calantha
Calypso
Cambria
Canary
Carlisle
Cascade
Caspienne
Ceridwen
Cerise
Cerys
Charis
Charm
Cherry
Cheryth
Circe
Claret
Cloud
Clover
Coral
Coralie
Coraline
Cordelia
Cosima
Day
Dove
Dusk
Ember                
Emerald
Eris
Essence
Eulalie
Evergreen
Eyre
Fable
Feather
Fern
Frostine
Geneva
Glow
Guinevere
Hallow
Heather
Honeybee
Hypatia
Indigo
Ioana
Isabeau
Isabelline
Iris
Ivory
Jada
Jessamine
Jessamyn
Jewel
Juniper
Juno
Kestrel
Kismet
Lavender
Leda
Lilac
Lilikoi
Lux
Lyonesse
Maeve
Mahogany
Maiden
Maisie
Mandolin
Maple
Matisse
Meadow
Muse
Neri
Nightingale
Ondine
Ottilie
Peridot
Petal
Phaedra
Plum
Poet
Poppy
Primrose
Prospera
Raven
Remember
Resonate
Reverie
Romilly
Rowena
Sable
Saffron
Sansa
Savvy
Seawillow
Snow
Solace
Soleil
Sonnet
Spring
Starling
Strawberry
Story
Sula
Sunset
Sunshine
Swan
Symphony
Synnove
Tempany
Tempest
Temperance
Temple
Thisbe
Thistle
Tigerlily
Tilda
Tressa
Valentine
Velvet
Vesper
Villette
Waterlily
Wendy
Whisper
Windy
Windsor
Wintress
Zorah
My Top 10 Favorites:

1. Bellamy

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Avalon, Camille, Delaney, Madigan, Odessa, Skylar, Tallulah, Violet
Brothers: Breccan, Drake, Elliott, Finnian, Landon, Peregrine, Quincy, Tobiah

Middle Name Ideas:
Bellamy Eve
Bellamy Grace
Bellamy Lane
Bellamy Pearl

As a Middle Name:
Charlotte Bellamy 
Fiona Bellamy
Morgan Bellamy
Sarah Bellamy

2. Caspienne

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Acacia, Calliope, Celeste, Emilia, Isis, Martina, Sabine, Zinnia
Brothers: Atticus, Broderick, Denver, Heathcliff, Jasper, Olivier, Phoenix, Zephyr

Middle Name Ideas:
Caspienne Alexis
Caspienne Everly
Caspienne Paige
Caspienne Rose

As a Middle Name:
Ava Caspienne
Julia Caspienne
Mara Caspienne
Tabitha Caspienne

3. Eulalie

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Adele, Beatrice, Caroline, Fabienne, Hazel, Lorelei, Tallulah, Viola
Brothers: Amadeus, Beckett, Dashiell, Hadrian, Lincoln, Othello, Stellan, Vincent

Middle Name Ideas:
Eulalie Catherine
Eulalie Francesca
Eulalie Minerva
Eulalie Sage

As a Middle Name:
Bridget Eulalie
Jane Eulalie
Portia Eulalie
Wren Eulalie

4. Fable

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Astoria, Cadence, Harmony, Lyrica, Meadow, Poet, Reverie, Sonnet
Brothers: Archer, Arrow, Chance, Declan, Maverick, Ronan, Seven, Wilder

Middle Name Ideas:
Fable Elizabeth
Fable Katherine
Fable Primrose
Fable Victoria

As a Middle Name:
Alexa Fable
June Fable
Olivia Fable
Ramona Fable

5. Iris

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aurelia, Cordelia, Esme, Junia, Leila, Rowena, Sybil, Xenia
Brothers: Alistair, Cyprian, Hadrian, Leander, Orion, Tobias, Theron, Tristram

Middle Name Ideas:
Iris Claire
Iris Evangeline
Iris Hesperia
Iris Penelope

As a Middle Name:
Cornelia Iris
Juliet Iris
Madeline Iris
Sophia Iris

6. Juno

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Anthea, Cressida, Diana, Helena, Isla, Mabel, Phoebe, Vesperina
Brothers: Auberon, Cassius, Jovian, Lucian, Marius, Milo, Orion, Silas

Middle Name Ideas:
Juno Alexandra
Juno Estelle
Juno Morgana
Juno Rebecca

As a Middle Name:
Adeline Juno
Everly Juno
Lavinia Juno
Seraphina Juno

7. Romilly

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Arabella, Beatrix, Carlotta, Isadora, Lydia, Mirabel, Philippa, Xanthe
Brothers: August, Conrad, Evander, Felix, Lysander, Octavius, Soren, Thaddeus

Middle Name Ideas:
Romilly Camille
Romilly Kate
Romilly Juliet
Romilly Violet

As a Middle Name:
Avis Romilly
Isla Romilly
Luna Romilly
Piper Romilly

8. Sable

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Amara, Briar, Dagmar, Elowen, Harlow, Maisie, Ophelia, Tawny
Brothers: Bowen, Crispin, Gage, Nico, Quincy, Rowan, Sebastian, Tallon 

Middle Name Ideas:
Sable Ireland
Sable Josephine
Sable Madeleine
Sable Penelope

As a Middle Name:
Amelia Sable
Keeley Sable
Lola Sable
Odelia Sable

9. Tigerlily

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Auburn, Coralie, Dahlia, Hyacinth, Melusine, Orchid, Plum, Zinnia
Brothers: Clifton, Hawthorne, Lionel, Maverick, November, Sebastian, Wiloughby, Wolfgang 

Middle Name Ideas:
Tigerlily Anne
Tigerlily Eve
Tigerlily Jane
Tigerlily Rae

As a Middle Name:
Ava Tigerlily
Kate Tigerlily
Piper Tigerlily
Zoey Tigerlily

10. Wintress

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Amethyst, Bluebell, Hyacinth, Narcissa, Peridot, Sapphire, Tempest, Wisteria
Brothers: Cobalt, Cordovan, Fletcher, Frost, Horatio, Sorrell, Sterling, Thackeray

Middle Name Ideas:
Wintress Edeline
Wintress Isabel
Wintress Mabel
Wintress Sophia

As a Middle Name:
Aurora Wintress
Estella Wintress
Leia Wintress
Rosalina Wintress

Which names do you like best and what would you pair with them?

Modified on 1/10/15

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Caspian

As a name, Caspian is relatively new. It is most notably the name of a sea between Europe and Asia that is considered the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth. It is said that it was this body of water that inspired the name of the other notable Caspian: Prince Caspian of the children's book series The Chronicles of Narnia written by C.S. Lewis in the 1950's. Prince Caspian first appeared in the fourth book of the popular series as the rightful King of Narnia.


The Caspian Sea has a complicated name history itself including a number of different names and spellings in a variety of languages in the surrounding countries. But it is said to have been named for the city of Qazvin which was named for the ancient Cas tribe, or the Caspian people.

The origin of the name comes in direct relation to the Sea which is situated between Iran and Russia. Caspian is mostly just considered a place name with an unknown meaning and origin since it borders so many countries. However, the Romans referred to the people from which the name originally came as the Caspii so perhaps it could fall in the Latin category?

It is also said that the Caspii originated from a region of the Caucasus and that their name may mean "white". However there is also an association with the biblical name Cush which is an Ethiopian word meaning "dark-faced" or "swarthy". Since this is not yet fully established as a baby name, none of this type of information is clear and accurate. Take from it what you will.

Beyond these two namesakes, the romantic and cutting-edge Caspian does not have a lot of experience as a baby name. Actress Neve Campbell used it for her son in 2012 along with 54 other parents which ranks it at #2312, but this name has only been in use in the US since 1998. Right now it is at its highest popularity point ever but I expect it to continue climbing the charts.

Caspian is cool, unique, familiar and romantic! I've seen it floating around the baby naming community lately. It has even graced my own shortlist. It is similar to Casper without the ghostly reference and falls in line with all the other -ian names, like Cassian, that are gaining popularity. What do you think of it?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aria, Bronwen, Celeste, Emmeline, Junia, Lavinia, Seraphina, Xanthe
Brothers: Atticus, Cosmo, Evander, Hadrian, Lucian, Orion, Tristram, Zephan

Middle Name Ideas:
Caspian August
Caspian James
Caspian Oberon
Caspian Vincent

As a Middle Name:
Alistair Caspian
Henry Caspian
Julius Caspian
Timothy Caspian

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Unusual and Quirky Middle Names for Boys!

All of us have a "guilty pleasure" list of baby names. Most of us aren't brave enough to actually use those types of names in the first name spot, but some of us are willing to slip them into the middle!

After all, middle names are rarely used or known to other people in day to day life. That gives us a great excuse to throw something exciting into the middle for our own enjoyment. Here is a list of some wonderfully quirky middle name ideas for baby boys!

Which of these might you actually consider? Keep reading for my Top 10 at the bottom of the list!
Boy:           

Alasdair  
Auburn
Badger
Bay
Baylor
Bloom
Calcedon
Caradoc
Caspian
Cirrus
Cloud
Clove
Cobalt
Copper
Cordovan
Cove
Cyprian
Danger
Dante
Dashiell
Davey
Django
Dodge
Equinox
Escher
Falcon
Fate
Finch
Forest
Fox
Frost
Garneau
Hale
Harvey
Hawk
Hawthorn
Heath
Indiana


Kite
Knight
Loxley
Malachite      
Marduc
Maverick
Mayhem
Melchior
Merlin
Midnight
Milan
Monroe
Northern
Oleander
Orchard
Oriole
Orion
Orpheus
Pegasus
Rainier
Reeve
Rio
Robin
Rocket
Rousseau
Rune
Samhain
Samoset
Sincere
Stellan
Sterling
Tanner
Theron
Thunder
Vega
Venture
Wiloughby
Zeus
Unisex:

Ash
Bayou
Cameo
Caraway
Cloud
Crescent
Crimson
Fifer
Garnet
Kit
Linden
March
Marvel
Quenby
Quill
Rain
Ramsey
River
Rowan
Sage
Seven
Shadow
Silver
Sparrow
Tatum
Weaver
Zenon
Don't forget to check out the list of Unusual and Quirky Girl Names too!

The following names are my personal favorites from the above list! I added some potential sibling name ideas as well as possible middle names that could be used!

1. Alasdair

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Araminta, Calixta, Cordelia, Elspeth, Fiona, Isla, Lorna, Rowena
Brothers: Callum, Duncan, Ewan, Keaton, Lachlan, Malcolm, Ramsey, Taggart

Middle Name Ideas:
Alasdair Campbell
Alasdair Mackenzie
Alasdair Ross
Alasdair Stewart

As a Middle Name:
Calder Alasdair
Douglas Alasdair
Fergus Alasdair
Kelvin Alasdair

2. Cobalt

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Avery, Cassia, Claire, Hazel, Ruby, Scarlett, Sienna, Violet
Brothers: Aleron, Blake, Flint, Greyson, Jasper, Jett, Sterling, Tobiah

Middle Name Ideas:
Cobalt Andrew
Cobalt James
Cobalt Lee
Cobalt Xavier

As a Middle Name:
Alex Cobalt
Lucas Cobalt
Mason Cobalt
Oliver Cobalt

3. Frost

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Blaire, Clara, Gemma, Jade, Lilac, Snow, Sonnet, Winter
Brothers: Auden, Cole, Emerson, Keats, Larkin, Moore, Nash, Wyatt

Middle Name Ideas:
Frost Alexander
Frost Calloway
Frost Donovan
Frost Oliver

As a Middle Name:
Blake Frost
Jackson Frost
Rowan Frost
Xavier Frost

4. Heath

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Audrey, Bethany, Carys, Hailey, Rowan, Stella, Tessa, Willow
Brothers: Blaze, Cashel, Dashiell, Grant, Jagger, Miles, Sayer, Weston

Middle Name Ideas:
Heath Andrew
Heath Connor
Heath Jacob
Heath Logan

As a Middle Name:
Derek Heath
Gabriel Heath
Jackson Heath
Michael Heath

5. Knight

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alexandra, Diana, Harper, Ophelia, Paige, Poet, Piper, Wren
Brothers: Archer, Brewer, Clark, Ford, Gage, Mason, Sawyer, Tolliver

Middle Name Ideas:
Knight Edward
Knight Harrison
Knight Nathaniel
Knight Xavier

As a Middle Name:
Henry Knight
Jonathan Knight
Orion Knight
William Knight

6. Marvel

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Avalon, Fable, Genesis, Harper, Lyric, Poet, Sonnet, Story
Brothers: Bodhi, Cash, Dax, Jett, Nash, Orion, Quinn, Wyatt

Middle Name Ideas:
Marvel August
Marvel Draven
Marvel James
Marvel Theodore

As a Middle Name:
Anthony Marvel
Breccan Marvel
Felix Marvel
Ryan Marvel

7. Orion

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aurora, Cassandra, Hazel, Iris, Juniper, Portia, Rosetta, Solange
Brothers: Atlas, Beckett, Caspian, Desmond, Magnus, Phineas, Stellan, Thaddeus

Middle Name Ideas:
Orion Bennett
Orion Knox
Orion Quinn
Orion Rafferty

As a Middle Name:
Griffin Orion
Jack Orion
Spencer Orion
Vincent Orion

8. Quenby

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alma, Dagny, Eloise, Fiona, Margot, Molly, Phoebe, Ramona
Brothers: Angus, Dante, Eamon, Fox, Miller, Patton, Ragnor, Tobias

Middle Name Ideas:
Quenby Drake
Quenby Nicholas
Quenby Oliver
Quenby Thomas

As a Middle Name:
Arthur Quenby
Hector Quenby
Matthew Quenby
Parker Quenby

9. Stellan

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Adeline, Camille, Harlow, Isla, Maisie, Simone, Tessa, Vienna
Brothers: Adler, Blaine, Dempsey, Frost, Howell, Kiernan, Orion, Troy

Middle Name Ideas:
Stellan Colt
Stellan Harley
Stellan Pierce
Stellan Wilder

As a Middle Name:
Cole Stellan
Eli Stellan
Maxwell Stellan
Tyler Stellan

10. Theron

Sisters: Aubrey, Clara, Fallon, Iris, Marina, Olive, Rhiannon, Willow
Brothers: Ambrose, Bennett, Heath, Leander, Oberon, Roman, Silas, Zander

Middle Name Ideas:
Theron Alaric
Theron Elijah
Theron Maximus
Theron William

As a Middle Name:
Cade Theron
George Theron
Lucas Theron
Quincy Theron

What is your favorite quirky name and what would you pair with it?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What is Your Favorite Max Name?


I asked another popularity question recently. "Which Max name is your favorite?"  Then I listed them from the most-popular to the least. 74 votes were cast and there were three top names.

Maxwell    24 Votes (32%)
Max       17 Votes (22%)
Maximus    15 Votes (20%)
Maxim      8 Votes (10%)
Maximilian   5 Votes (6%)
Maxton      4 Votes (5%)
Maximo      1 Vote  (1%)

32 percent of you name-artists prefer the name Maxwell and 22 percent would rather go with just plain ol' Max. 20 percent, myself included, voted for the cool Latin Maximus, and 10 percent chose to drop the -us and go with Maxim. The very-long Maximilian only received 6 percent of the vote while the made-up-sounding Maxton had 5%. Bring up the rear was the Spanish Maximo with a single vote.

Let's learn more about these names. Do they all have the same root or do they differ?

Maxwell is actually related to the Scandinavian name Magnus. It comes from a Scottish surname that means "Mack's stream" from the name Mack which is a short form of Magnus combined with the Old English "wella" which means stream.  It was most popular in the US in 2000, ranking at #113 with 3,364 births.  In 2012, there were 3,187 boys born (and 8 girls) which ranked the boy's name at #116.

Max is most known as a short-form of Maximilian (which came from the roman family name Maximilianus which came from the Latin Maximus meaning "greatest) but obviously it can be short for any of the above names, or stand on its own. Max was rather popular from 1914-1938 before it slightly declined in usage. It increased again around 1987 and has been on the up-and-up since then. Its highest rank was in 2011 at #96 with 3,946 births. It fell to #105 last year. Max ranks very well in other countries too.

Maximus is the name I chose for my own son.  It is a Roman family name that is derived from the Latin Maximus meaning "Greatest". There was a Saint Maximus in 7th century Constantinople who was a monk and theologian.  Maximus ranked at #206 in 2012 with 1,835 boys born. It first appeared on the chart in 1997 and gained popularity after the 2000 movie "Gladiator" came out. It had 11 births in 1999, 188 in 2000 and 892 in 2001. Maximus seems to be the root name for many of these other variants.

Maxim is a variant of the Russian Maksim which comes from Maximus. Maxim ranked at #683 in 2012 with 344 births. This name is also popular in England/Wales, Belgium and the Netherlands. I think it is a cute name on its own, or as a nickname for Maximus or Maximilian. Too bad there is a racy magazine with the name that somewhat taints the awesomeness of the name Maxim.

Maximilian, again, comes from the Roman name Maximilianus which comes from Maximus. There was a 3rd century saint and martyr with the name. In the 15th century, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III blended together the names of generals Fabius Maximus and Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus to get Maximilian for his son. In the US, Maximilian ranks at #464 with 582 births in 2012. When it is spelled with two L's, it ranks at #1279 with 136 births.

Maxton doesn't seem to have a solid history that I can find information on. It reminds me of a modern-sounding name like Paxton, even though Paxton does have a history behind it. No doubt parents wanted the nickname Max but were not a fan of the other long-forms. There were 5 Maxtons born in 1927 and 1953; it wasn't used again until 1985. It ranked at #884 in 2012 with 235 births.

Maximo is a name that I originally considered before falling for Maximus. It is the Spanish form of Maximus pronounced MAHK-see-mo.  There were 5 births in 1903 and then it gained regular usage in 1914. It first entered the top 1000 chart in 2002 at #933. In 2012, it ranked at #920 with 222 births. It is more popular than it has been in the past but it is still fairly unused. A handsome alternative to more-popular Spanish boy names that end with -o.

Additionally, here are the number of births in 2012 for Max and all of the longer formal names that could lead to Max as a nickname:

Max Variants on Record:

Max: 3,663 born in 2012.
Maxwell: 3,187 born.
Maximus: 1,835 born
Maximiliano: 975 born.
Maximilian: 582 born
Maxim: 344 born
Maxton: 235 born
Maximo: 222 births
Maksim: 161 births (Maks = Max in sound)
Maximillian: 136 births
Maxon: 66 births
Maxson: 44 births
Maximos: 24 births
Maxen: 22 births
Maxten: 9 births

Add that up, you get 11,505 "Maxs" born in 2012.

Which is your favorite Max name? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mara

The name Mara seems to come from a few different possible origins. Firstly, Mara is a Hebrew name that means "bitter". It was taken by Naomi in the Old Testament at Ruth 1:20.  Since it does mean "bitter" or "sorrow", she took it as an expression of her grief after her husband and sons died.


As another possibility, Mara is the Hungarian variant of Maria and the Croatian and Serbian variant of Marija.  Of course Maria is the Latin form of the Greek Μαρια which comes from the Hebrew  מִרְיָם or Mary.  Marija also comes from Maria.  The name Mary comes from the Hebrew name  מִרְיָם  or Miryam which does not have a known meaning. Theories include "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness" and "wished for child." However! There is a possibility that Mary comes from an Egyptian name that is partly derived from mry which means "beloved," or mr which means "love".

Whew! Sorry about all of that technical jargon. The point is, even though this name potentially means "bitter", Mary and Maria are notably two of the most-used feminine names in history. None of the parents over the years seemed to mind that it means "bitter" so I don't think parents today will care either.

Mara is a beautiful name: she is short and sassy, sweet and bold.  She's also related to a ton of other M names that come in various languages like Miriam, Mariska, Marilyn, Molly, Marielle, Mia, Moira, Maureen, and Marianne.

As for popularity, Mara is sitting in the sweet spot between common and unusual. She ranks at #800 in the US. Mara first appeared in the US in 1892 when it was used for 6 baby girls. It was not on record again until 1911 when it gained regular usage. The birth count hit triple digits in 1951, peaking at 441 births in 1990 (#539).  Mara has consistently been in the Top 1000 since 1950.

Source
Famous Maras include 3 actresses: Mara Wilson, Kate Mara and Rooney Mara. There is also a fashion designer named Mara Hoffman.   On the mythological side, Mara (or Marzanna) is the Slavic goddess of winter, death and harvest.  Mara is also a goddess in Latvian myths.

What do you think of this name? Do you prefer a different variation of Mary?

Sibling Name Ideas: 
Sisters: Abigail, Anna, Clara, Elena, Hannah, Leah, Naomi, Ruth, Vera
Brothers: Asher, Eli, Henry, Ian,  Jonah, Liam, Nathan, Noah, Sean

Middle Name Ideas: 
Mara Abilene
Mara Elizabeth
Mara Genevieve
Mara Josephine
Mara June

As a Middle Name:
Anneliese Mara
Eleanor Mara
Lillian Mara
Lorelei Mara
Violet Mara

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Best Four-Letter Names For Girls!

I have seen many families with a 4-letter name theme for their children. Others just like names that are short and sweet without nickname possibilities. Whatever your reason is for wanting a 4-letter name, you've come to the right place!

Here are 300 of the best 4-letter names for girls that I could find! I'm sure there are many more but I hand-selected these ones to represent The Art of Naming's favorites!  Which of these do you like?

Abby
Abra
Addy
Aida
Aila
Aine
Alba
Alix
Ally
Alma
Alva
Anna
Anne
Anya
Aria
Aris
Arya
Asha
Asta
Aura
Avia
Avis
Avra
Ayla
Azul

Bess
Beth
Bree
Bria
Brie
Bryn

Cady
Caia
Cait
Cali
Cami
Cara
Cass
Cate
Cecy
Clea
Cleo
Clio
Cora
Cori
Cyra

Daci
Dana
Dara
Dawn
Deja
Demi
Desi
Dina
Dora

Edda
Eden
Edie
Edna
Effy
Eila
Eira
Elba
Elia
Elin
Ella
Elle
Elsa
Elsy
Elva
Emma
Emme
Emmy              
Enid
Enna
Enya
Erie
Erin
Esme
Esta
Etta
Eula
Evan
Evia
Evie
Eyre

Fawn
Faye
Fern

Gaia
Gail
Geri
Gina
Gray
Gwen
Gwyn

Hena
Hera
Hope

Ibis
Idra
Ilsa
Ines
Inez
Inga
Iola
Ione
Iris
Irma
Isis
Isla
Isra

Jacy
Jada
Jade
Jael
Jana
Jane
Jean
Jeri
Jess
Jill
Joan
Jody
Joss
Judy
July
June
Juno

Kacy
Kady
Kaia
Kali
Kara
Kari
Kate
Katy
Kaye
Kiva
Klea
Kora
Kris
Kyla
Kyra

Lacy
Lana
Lane
Lara
Lark
Leah
Leia

Lena
Leta
Lexi
Lila
Lily
Lina
Lisa
Lois
Lola
Lori
Lucy
Lulu
Luna
Lupe
Luxe
Lyla
Lynn
Lyra

Macy
Maia
Mara
Mary
Maud
Maya
Medb
Mika
Mila
Mina
Mira
Mona
Moon
Mora
Myah
Myla
Myra

Nala
Nara
Nava
Naya
Nell
Neva
Neve
Nika
Niki
Nina
Nola
Nona
Noor
Nora
Nova
Nyla

Oana
Odie
Olia
Oona
Opal
Orla

Page
Peri
Plum
Poet
Posy
Pria
Prim
Prue

Rain
Raya
Reba
Remi
Remy
Rhea
Rian
Risa
Rita
Roma
Romy
Rory
Rosa
Rose
Roxy
Ruby
Ruth

Sade
Sage
Sana
Sara
Sela
Sera
Shae
Shay
Shea
Siri
Skye
Sose
Star
Suki
Suri
Susy
Suze
Suzy
Sean

Tacy
Taja
Tali
Tara
Tavi
Taya
Teri
Tess
Thea
Tina
Toni
Tori
True
Tyra

Ulla

Veda
Vega
Vela
Vera
Vida
Vita
Viva
Vivi
Vola
Vrai

Wren

Xena
Xoey

Yael
Yara
Ylva
Ynez
Yoko
Yume
Yvie

Zana
Zara
Zaya
Zela
Zena
Zion
Ziva
Zoey
Zola
Zoya
Zula
Zura
Zuzu
Don't forget to take a look at the list of The Very Best Four-Letter Boy's Names too!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Remy

The four-letter name of the week is one that is being revived for both boys and girls. It has a modern feel to it and is certainly attractive on both genders, however I prefer it for a boy.

Rémy is a French name that comes from the Latin name Remigius which was derived from the Latin remigis meaning "oarsman".  It was also the name of a fifth century saint.


This name, when said in its French form, is pronounced ray-MEE. However you can get by with just REM-ee in the US, especially without the accent mark over the e. Another variant is Rémi or Remi. The Italians, Portuguese and Spanish prefer the name Remigio.

The name appears on French alcoholic beverages: Rémy Cointreau is the company and they have a brandy called Rémy Martin.

In pop culture, there is a band called Remy Zero; and the main character in the film Ratatouille is named Remy. There are also a few geographical locations with this name. As for famous namesakes who have Remy as a first name or a surname, the list is far too long for this blog. Take a look here if you want to view it.

Statistically, the name breaks down like this for the year 2012:
Remy (Boy): #891 with 233 births
Remy (Girl): #1237 with 195 births
Remi (Boy): #2074 with 66 births
Remi (Girl): #1036 with 242 births

So according to this data, it is fair to say that the Remy spelling is more commonly used for boys, while Remi is a bit more feminine. However, it is clearly very unisex overall.

Boy Remy and Boy Remi were used in the US well before either girl spelling.  Remy was first used on 6 boys in 1914 and Remi followed the next year with 8 births. Females began receiving these names much later. Remi appeared on the record for girls in 1963 with 5 births and Remy followed the next year, also with 5 births. At least these names seem to travel together!

It wasn't until the late 70s and early 80s that these 4 names were regularly used every year, and it is only in the past decade that they've gained a boost in usage. Despite this, none of the spellings have ever been in the Top 1000 except for Boy Remy who cracked the barrier in 2009. Girl Remi may be next!

I favor Remy for a boy over all of these. While I love the French spelling and pronunciation, I can't help but like the Americanized REM-ee a little bit more.  However, for Francophones, I definitely recommend Rémy paired with a French middle name.  Which spelling do you prefer for which gender and which pronunciation do you like best?


Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Amelie, Benoite, Claire, Eloise, Helene, Jovie, Lydia, Nadine, Odette, Sophie, Vivienne
Brothers: Armand, Bastien, Dashiell, Eben, Finn, Jasper, Lucien, Pascal, Rupert, Soren, Thierry

Middle Name Ideas (Boy):
Remy Alexandre
Remy Benoit
Remy Gervais
Remy Laurent
Remy Olivier
Remy Sebastien

Middle Name Ideas (Girl):
Remy Alaina
Remy Beatrice
Remy Diane
Remy Isabelle
Remy Nicolette
Remy Simone

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Very Best Four-Letter Boy's Names


Four-letter boy names are in a class of their own! They have to be strong, bold and handsome all within a very short amount of space.


It is important that these names pack a punch! Here are 460 of the very best four-letter names for boys! Which is your favorite?

Abel        
Adam
Adan  
Adin
Ajax  
Alai
Alan
Aldo
Alec
Alek
Alex  
Ames
Amir  
Amos
Andy
Aram
Arch
Ardo
Ares
Aric
Arik
Aris
Arlo
Arne
Aron
Arvo      
Aviv
Axel  
Aziz

Bard
Bart
Bear
Beau
Beck
Bert
Biel
Bill
Bing  
Birk
Blue
Boaz
Bode
Bolt
Bond
Boyd
Brad
Bram
Bran
Bret
Brit  
Bryn
Buck
Burn
Burt
 
Cade
Cael
Cage
Cain
Caio
Cale
Cane
Carl
Cary
Case
Cash
Cato
Celt
Chad
Chaz
Chet
Chip
Cian
Ciel
Clay  
Cobb
Coby
Cody
Coen
Cole
Colt
Cory
Crew
Cris
Cruz
Curt
Cyan
   
Dale
Daly
Dana
Dane
Dash  
Dave
Davy  
Dean  
Dell
Deon  
Dion
Dior
Dirk
Doak      
Doug
Drew
Duke

Earl
Eben
Eddy
Eden
Edge
Edin
Eion
Elam
Elan
Elio
Elis
Eliu
Elmo  
Eloy  
Emet
Emil
Emir  
Emry
Enos
Enzo
Eoin  
Eric
Erik
Eron
Eros
Esau
Euan
Evan  
Ewan
Ewen
Ezio
Ezra
 
Fife
Finn
Ford
Fran
Fred
Frey
Fynn

Gabe
Gael
Gage
Gale  
Gary
Gene
Gian
Gibb
Gino
Glen
Gray
Greg
Grey  
Hale        
Hank
Hans  
Hawk
Herb
Hiro
Holt
Hoyt
Huck
Huey
Hugh
Hugo
Hume
Hunt
Hyde  

Iago
Idan  
Iggy
Igor
Iker
Ilan
Iman
Ingo
Iolo        
Ivan
Iven
Iver
Ives
Ivey
Ivor
Iwan
Izzy

Jace
Jack
Jaco
Jago
Jair
Jake
Jame
Jase
Jeff
Jehu
Jens
Jere
Jess
Jett    
Joab
João  
Joby  
Joel
Joey
John
Jory
José
Josh
Joss
Jove
Jovi
Juan
Judd
Jude  

Kace
Kade  
Kael  
Kage
Kale
Kane
Karl  
Kash
Kato  
Kean
Keir  
Kent  
Kerr
Khai
Khan
Kian
Kiel
Kiev  
King
Kirk
Kirt
Knox
Knut
Kobe
Koby
Koda
Kody
Koen
Kole  
Kory
Kris
Kurt  
Kyle

Ladd
Lael
Lake
Lane
Lann
Lars    
Leif
Leon
Leto
Levi
Liam
Liev
Link  
Loïc  
Loki
Lowe
Luca
Ludo
Luis
Luiz
Luka
Luke
Lyle
Lynn
Lyon
Lyre

Mace
Mack
Maël
Maik
Mako
Måns
Marc
Mark  
Mars
Máté
Matt
Mick  
Mike  
Milo
Mitt
Mose
Moss
Myer

Nash
Nate
Neal
Neil
Neon
Nero
Nick
Nico
Niko
Nils
Nino
Noah
Noam
Noel
Nyle
Obed
Odin
Odis
Olaf
Olan
Olav
Oleg
Olen
Olin  
Olmo
Omar  
Omni
Omri  
Onyx
Opus  
Orin
Oris    
Otis  
Otto
Owen

Paco  
Paul
Penn  
Pete
Petr
Phil
Piet
Pike
Pius
Polk  

Qais
Quin

Rael
Rafe  
Ralf  
Raul  
Reed
Reef  
Reid  
Rémi
Rémy
Rene
Reno  
Rhys  
Rich
Rick
Rico
Roan
Robb
Roby
Rock
Roel
Roen
Rohn
Rolf  
Rome
Rook
Rory
Ross
Roux
Rudy    
Russ
Ryan  

Saul
Scot
Sean
Seth
Shad
Shai
Shaw
Shay
Shea
Shia
Shon  
Sian  
Skip  
Stan  
Sven  

Tadj
Taft
Tahj
Taig
Taio
Tait
Tate    
Teal
Thad  
Theo
Thor
Tino
Tito
Toby
Todd
Tony  
Tory
Tosh
Tove  
Trey
Troy
Tuck  

Umar
Unai
Utah  

Vash    
Vern
Vian
Vine
Vinh
Vito

Wade
Wael  
Walt
Ward  
Webb
West
Will
Witt  
Wolf    
Wynn

Xabi
Xyan

Yael  
Yale
Yann
York  
Yule
Yuri
Yvan
Yves
Yvon

Zach
Zack
Zaid
Zain
Zale
Zane
Zayd
Zayn
Zeal  
Zeke  
Zeno  
Zeus
Ziad
Zion
Zuma    
If you're looking for short boy names in particular, you might also like this post about One-Syllable Boy Names.  Don't forget to check out the list of 4-letter Girl Names too!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Freya

The Girl's Name of the Week also comes from my Australian research. The name is currently ranked at #130 in Australia and gaining popularity! The lovely name is Freya.


Freya is a Nordic name meaning "a noble woman". The Norse goddess of love, beauty and fertility was named Freya.  However, this is not the usual spelling in Sweden and Denmark. In those countries, it is spelled Freja and in Norway it is Frøja, but Freya is the common spelling of the goddess's name in English.

This moniker has been rather popular in the UK for quite a while! It ranks at #16 in Scotland, #19 in England and Wales, #53 in Northern Ireland and #61 in the Republic of Ireland. In Victoria, Australia, Freya is currently ranked at #130.

As for the United States, this name was first seen in 1931 on 5 baby girls.  It wasn't until 1939 that it saw more regular usage, however many years had single digit births or none at all. Finally in 2007 the name hit the triple digit mark with 109 babies born. Freya's high-peak was 205 births in 2011 for a ranking of #1175. Last year, the name declined slightly with 180 births and a ranking of #1301.



Clearly the States have not caught on to the beauty of this name like the UK and Australia have. While I would like to see it gain a bit more popularity, I do like to keep some names obscure as well. I feel like this name is in the sweet-spot between obscurity and familiarity.

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Astrid, Carys, Dagny, Elsa, Imogen, Ingrid, Jeneve, Kirsi, Maren, Sigrid, Thora
Brothers: Axel, Connor, Eric, Gunnar, Harry, Jacob, Knute, Leif, Ragnar, Soren, Thurston

Middle Name Ideas:
Freya Josephine
Freya Elise
Freya Scarlett
Freya Brigit
Freya Dagmar
Freya Elin
Freya Hanne
Freya Maren

As a Middle Name:
Halle Freya
Kiersten Freya
Signe Freya
Catherine Freya
Annabelle Freya
Natalie Freya

What do you think of this lovely name and what would you pair with it? Let me know!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

World-Wide Wednesday: Australian Names

Featured Australian Names:
Rafferty &  Freya
For this month's World-Wide Wednesday, I thought I'd explore a land that is more similar to the US than the previously featured countries. I'm talking about "the land down under."

In my research, I couldn't find any information about specific baby naming customs or traditions, but the continent definitely has some regulations in place.  Obviously, like most places, obscene or offensive names or words cannot be used. A name may not be exceedingly long to where it becomes impractical, nor can it contain special characters or punctuation.

Any name that resembles an official rank or title like Lord, Lady, Princess, Queen, Father, Sir, Admiral or Doctor are not allowed, but one that slipped through the cracks is Duke. Click here for a bit more information on other naming laws and regulations throughout Australia.

Like the US and other English-speaking countries, Aussie children traditionally are given their father's last name, however some parents opt for a hyphenated combination of both their last names.  If the parents are not married, the child will be given the mother's surname unless both parents agree to using the father's. Occasionally, the mother's maiden name will become the middle name.

What makes some Australian given names unique is their own distinctive blend of cultures, including some influence from indigenous languages. The native Australian Aborigines are said to have as many as 27 language families within Australia and a few nearby islands that  offer some rare phonetic sounds. These names not only sound unique to the American ear, but they also have specific meanings that have more of a nature feel to them than we're use to seeing.

A few examples include:
Arika - G - "A Waterlily"
Burnum - B - "A great warrior"
Camira - G - "Of the wind"
Dheran - B - "A gully"
Elouera - G - "From the pleasant place"
Gelar - B - " A brother"
Habya - G - "A stone"
Jerara - B - "Falling water"
Kirra - G - "A leaf"
Lowan - B - "A mallee fowl"
Mayrah - G - "Spring, or the wind"
Nambur - B - A tea-tree"
Orana - G - "The moon"
Pindan - B - "A desert"
Tarana - G - "A large waterhole"
Warrun - B - "The sky"
Yara - G - "A seagull"

Click here for a large list of Aboriginal baby names. 

As for non-Aboriginal names, there are many Aussie favorites that are also popular in the US and the UK. This is what Australia's Top 20 looked like in 2012 when all of the various spellings were combined:
1. Charlotte
2. Ruby
3. Lily/Lilly
4. Olivia
5. Chloe
6. Sophie
7. Emily
8. Mia
9. Amelia
10. Ava
11. Isabella
12. Sophia/Sofia
13. Ella
14. Grace
15. Sienna
16. Maddison/Madison
17. Zoe
18. Matilda
19. Emma
20. Isla

1. Jack
2. William
3. Noah
4. Ethan
5. Oliver
6. Thomas
7. Lucas
8. James
9. Cooper
10. Jackson/Jaxon
11. Lachlan
12. Liam
13. Joshua
14. Jacob
15. Samuel
16. Alexander
17. Mason
18. Max
19. Benjamin
20. Charlie
Check out Waltzing More Than Matilda's excellent comparison of popular Australian names and how they rank in the US.  Here is a snippet from that article that highlights names that are rarely used in the US but are popular in Australia!:

#AustraliaRank  NAME -  US DATA

#97 Ebony – 93 births (last charted 2005)
#45 Imogen – 111 births (never charted)
#64 Indiana – 33 births (last charted in 1893)
?     Milla – 135 births (never charted)
#57 Poppy – 171 births (never charted)
#77 Tahlia – 108 births (never charted)

#57 Angus – 83 births (last charted 1948)
#46 Archie – 93 births (last charted 1988)
#75 Bailey – 121 births (last charted 2009, Top 100 for girls)
#85 Darcy – 9 births (last charted for boys 1970, more common for girls)
#72 Hamish – 15 births (never charted)
#10 Lachlan – 183 births (never charted)
#56 Nate – 101 births (never charted)
#90 Zac – 73 births (never charted)

The owner of the blog "Waltzing More Than Matilda," Anna Otto, shared with me some names that stood out to her:  "Tahlia is popular here, and Banjo, Allira and Tasman are rising and fashionable." She mentions even more names in this article that include Allegra, Bridie, Freya, Kirrily and Zali for girls; as well as Bede, Digby, Fergus, Quade and Rafferty for boys.

It goes to show that the two countries share a liking for many of the same names but there are also some vast differences when it comes to popularity.  From Aboriginal names to rare-in-the-US choices like Imogen and Lachlan, Australia has some great baby names!

I don't know about you, but I'm always fascinated by other countries. Which of the above names would you like to see gain some popularity in the States?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rafferty

Today I'm featuring my favorite boy name that I took from my upcoming World-Wide Wednesday post that features names from Australia!  This name is also used in other English-speaking nations but it is extremely rare in the US! The name is Rafferty.


I can't help but love it. I think it is adorable, and yet, it really doesn't have your typical "American" feel. I love that Australians like it though! Over there, it is ranked at #292 with a total of 17 births for the year in Victoria. It is actually an Irish surname that originates from Ó Raifeartaigh which came from  O’Raithbheartaigh. It means "Abundance" or "Prosperity Wielder".

It is still very much used as a surname today. Thanks to the rough sound of Rafferty, it works better on a boy than on a girl as a first name. Some surnames could go either way, but this one has a boyish vibe to it. In fact, the term "Raffish" means "unconventional and slightly disreputable, especially in an attractive manner."  It makes me think of a badboy with shades and motorcycle that all the girls are crazy about; or a rough-and-tumble toddler playing in the mud. It has a certain charm to it as well.

However, despite the meaning of raffish and the fact that it might make you think of riff raff, Rafferty does have a great meaning. I would say it is rather upbeat and edgy, a cool option for a boy. However, most of America has not fallen in love with this name yet. Jude Law's son was born in 1996 which gives this name a bit of star power, but (assuming he was born in the US, which I'm not totally sure about) he was one of a kind for his year since there are no boys on record with the name Rafferty in 1996. (The official records require at least 5 babies to be born for the year before it is recorded.) Perhaps he was the only one! Perhaps there were 4 total. We don't know.


The name first appeared on records in 1989, 1990 and 1992. Not again until 1998 and then 2002, all with 5 births per year. By 2004, the name gained some regular usage. There was a record-high of 13 births in 2005, 2006 and 2008.  Last year, there were only 6 boys named Rafferty. I think this is a name that deserves much more usage than just 6 per year, don't you think?

So that's it! A total of 114 Raffertys in recorded American baby-name history. However we know of at least one more born in '96. :)  Do you know any little Raffertys?

There were 2 born in Scotland in 2012, ranking it at #1106.  There were 106 born in England and Wales in 2011, ranking it at #378. I could not find any information in Ireland. If you know how often Rafferty is used as a first name in Ireland, please let me know. I'd like to know if it is seen as a surname only or if it is actually used as a given name.

 In Australia, I already mentioned that the name is ranked at #292 but I'm told by Australian Baby-Name Expert, Anna Otto, that names starting with Raf- are "currently quite big" in Australia. Rafferty in particular  honors iconic Australian screen legend “Chips” Rafferty. Because of his fame, the name Rafferty has become a favorite celebrity baby name.

I think something short and sweet would be great in the middle name spot, especially if it also has an Irish background. Raff or Rafe are both great nicknames, or even RJ if you used a J middle name!  What would you pair it with? What do you think of it?  Let me know!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Ashling, Bridgit, Ciara, Freya, Genevieve, Iris, Keeva, Maeve, Saoirse, Willow
Brothers: Atticus, Cashel, Digby, Emory, Flynn, Gilroy, Jarvis, Ossian, Pruitt, Sebastien

Middle Name Ideas:
Rafferty Aden
Rafferty Cormac
Rafferty Herne
Rafferty Malone
Rafferty Quade
Rafferty Sullivan

As a Middle Name:
Brennan Rafferty
Donnel Rafferty
Keegan Rafferty
Logan Rafferty
Tavis Rafferty
Seamus Rafferty

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Amandine

This week's name theme is food-inspired. I have previously featured two of the names that are on the list: Basil and Clementine. I thought I would choose one that is less obviously food-related and more wearable as a name: Amandine.

Did you know that Amandine is a culinary term that refers to almonds that are used as garnish? It is sometimes misspelled as almondine in cookbooks in the US.  Did you also know that Amandine is the French form of the feminine name Amanda? Makes sense, right?


This lovely French diminutive means "much-loved" and is a wonderfully unique twist on the previously-popular and somewhat-dated name Amanda. On that note, it would also do well to honor a relative named Amanda but still give the child a modern and unique choice.

The French word for almond is amande. If you pronounce Amandine the way the French do, it would be a-mawn-DEEN. This name recently ranked at #87 in France and is occasionally used in Belgium. However, it is exceedingly rare in the US.

Actor John Malkovich named his daughter Amandine in 1990 which may have caused the very first record of the name being used in the US: there were 6 births in 1991. After that, there were 6 girls born with the name in 1996, 5 in 1999, 34 between 2002 and 2008. There were 5 born in 2013 with this name for a ranking of #16,594. (Of course the records require at least 5 births for the year so there could have been a few more Amandines born in between then that were not recorded.)

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alessia, Beatrice, Camille, Eugenie, Juliette, Melisande, Nicolette, Rafaella, Vivienne
Brothers: Alexandre, Basil, Bastien, Florian, Jourdain, Lawrence, Mathieu, Olivier, Percival

Middle Name Ideas:
Amandine Belle
Amandine Colette
Amandine Elise
Amandine Faye
Amandine Giselle
Amandine Matilde
Amandine Noelle

Middle Name to Avoid:
Amandine Joie (essentially Almond Joy, a candy bar.)

As a Middle Name:
Claire Amandine
Isabelle Amandine
Natalie Amandine
Sophie Amandine

What middle name would you pair with Amandine? Do you have any more suggestions for a good sibling name? Let me know in the comment section!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fruit and Spice and Everything Nice!: Food-Inspired Baby Names

When Gwyneth Paltrow named her baby girl Apple in 2004, many people had an opinion about it. To this day it is used as an example of "weird" and "awful" celebrity baby names.  But she isn't the only one who has used food names for their children. Just last year alone Hollywood has had at least 3 foody additions to the list: Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman named their daughter Olive,  Barry Watson named a daughter Clover Clementyne, and Jason Bateman named his little girl Maple.

Why is it that Apple is mocked but Olive and Clementine and Maple are not? Is Apple really that strange? I think I was one of the minority that secretly thought Apple was freakin' adorable! And Gwyneth gets to say she is the apple of her eye. Win!

If you're among those who are fond of food names, here is a list of the most wearable options.  Which of these might you actually consider adding to your short list? Which do you think should never be used?

Almond
Amandine
Anise
Apple
Banana
Barley
Basil
Berry
Cayenne
Cerise
Chai
Cherry
Cinnamon
Citron
Clementine
Clove
Coriander
Crispin
Fennel
Ginger
Honey
Huckleberry
Kale
Lemon
Maize
Maple
Mango
Mirabelle
Olive
Peaches
Pepper
Plum
Quince
Rosemary
Saffron
Sage
Yarrow

If you do have a craving for any of these names, what would you pair with it? Are you bold enough to use one of these in the first name spot or would you safely tuck it away in the middle?  Post your pairings in the comment section!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cordovan

After compiling a list of color names that could potentially be used as baby names, the color Cordovan caught my eye. After searching in various baby name databases, I've found that this has never been used as a name in the U.S. I was struck by Cordovan because of its similarities to names like Sullivan and Donovan and Cor- names like Cordell, Corbeau, Cormac or Corbett. Cordovan sounds like it should be a trendy, modern name.


Cordovan is a Spanish name meaning "native of Cordova" which refers to a city in Spain called Cordoba. It was there that seventh century Visigoths began production of "shell cordovan leather." In this case, cordovan describes the color of the leather. It was first used as the name of a color in 1925 in English.  As a color, Cordovan is a rich burgundy color, or a dark shade of wine. If you'd like to see what color it is, the Hex number is #893F45.

As for popularity, it has never been used on a child in the US since it began keeping record in 1880. I managed to find Cordovan used as a surname in many death indexes and marriage records after a simple search. I also found one woman named Cordovan Denise R. from North Carolina. I wasn't able to track down any birth records in other countries.

Since Cordovan has a strong association with leather, it has a masculine image behind it. Cute nicknames could include Cory, Cord, Cordy, Cordo or Van. What would you pair with this fantastic color name? What do you think of it?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Brielle, Capri, Claret, Esme, Finlay, Hazel, Olive, Raven, Saffron, Scarlett, Wisteria
Brothers: Adler, Beckett, Cashel, Fletcher, Griffin, Jasper, MacAllister, Roan, Sterling, Zaffre

Middle Name Ideas:
Cordovan Blake
Cordovan James
Cordovan Lee
Cordovan Tate

As a Middle Name:
Andrew Cordovan
David Cordovan
James Cordovan
Parker Cordovan

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Color Me Named: 106 Baby Names from Colors

You've heard of color names like gray and scarlet, sure, but have you heard of options like these?

Which color name is your favorite for a potential baby name? Let me know if I missed any! 

Also, feel free to combine your favorite from the list below and post it as a first and middle name combination in the comments! I'd love to know what sort of names you'd pair with these colors! :)
  • Amaranth
  • Amber
  • Amethyst
  • Aqua
  • Ash
  • Auburn
  • Aureolin
  • Azure
  • Beige
  • Blue
  • Brick
  • Brown
  • Burgundy
  • Cadet
  • Capri
  • Carmine
  • Celeste
  • Cerise
  • Cerulean
  • Chamois
  • Cherry
  • Citrine
  • Citron
  • Claret
  • Cobalt
  • Cocoa
  • Copper
  • Coral
  • Cordovan
  • Crimson
  • Cyan
  • Dove
  • Ebony
  • Ecru
  • Emerald
  • Fawn
  • Fuchsia
  • Ginger
  • Granite
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Greige
  • Hazel
  • Henna
  • Hyacinth
  • Indigo
  • Iris
  • Isabelline
  • Ivory
  • Jade
  • Jasmine
  • Jasper
  • Jet
  • Lavender
  • Lilac
  • Magenta
  • Magnolia
  • Mahogany
  • Maize
  • Marigold
  • Mauve
  • Moss
  • Olive
  • Orchid
  • Peach
  • Pearl
  • Peridot
  • Plum
  • Poppy
  • Rackley
  • Rajah
  • Raven
  • Red
  • Regalia
  • Roan
  • Rose
  • Ruby
  • Rufous
  • Russet
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Sapphire
  • Scarlet
  • Sepia
  • Sienna
  • Silver
  • Slate
  • Steel
  • Sterling
  • Tangerine
  • Tawny
  • Teal
  • Thistle
  • Topaz
  • Tulip
  • Turquoise
  • Tuscan
  • Tuscany
  • Umber
  • Vermilion
  • Veronica
  • Violet
  • Viridian
  • Wisteria
  • Xanthene
  • Zaffre
  • Zinc
I like Kate Amaranth, Tawny Josephine, James Cobalt, and Sterling Alexander.  What about you?

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