Sunday, June 30, 2013

Real Names from Real Babies

I recently got the idea to browse through hospital birth announcements to see what kind of interesting names are actually being used on real babies. It was harder to find this information than I thought. I found a list of a few hospitals in California that I pulled this information from. Apparently newspapers don't publish names anymore (or if they do, I couldn't find anything online.)

But anyway, the following photo contains all of the names that I hand-picked from the long lists. The lists included births from April-June 2013. These names all made the cut for either being interesting (whether that's good or bad) or being something I found attractive and different from the norm. Yes, they are all mixed together so you can form your own opinions! :)

Which names do you like the most? Which are just terrible? Let me know!


More names of real babies can be found using the links below:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Girl Name of the Week: Adelaide

The Girl Name of the Week is Adelaide. I chose this name off of my latest blog post "Old-Fashioned, Vintage Girl Names."


The name Adelaide has been around since the SSA began recording names in 1880. It comes from the German "Adalheidis" which is composed of the elements "adal" meaning "Noble" and "heid" meaning "kind, sort, type."  Some variations that stem from the same root word as Adelaide are Alicia, Alice, Heidi, Alix, Alise and Allison. Diminutives include Ada, Addie, Addy, and Della.

The name Adelaide was borne in the 10th century by Saint Adelaide, the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great. She was known as "a marvel of beauty and goodness."

In the 19th century, the name became common in Britain due to the popularity of the German-born wife of Britain's King William IV, "Good Queen Adelaide." The city of Adelaide, Australia was named in 1836 after her.  So this name not only means "noble" but it has two historical figures who were widely regarded as "good."

Let's look at the numbers! Before the name's modern spike in popularity, the year with the most number of births was 1917 with 537 births which ranked the name at #268 on the Top 1000 chart of its time.  Adelaide has only had two popularity spikes, the first starting around 1912 and lasting until it declined in the mid 1920s.
Source
From the 1950's to the 1990's, Adelaide was rarely used. It ranged from 9-70 births a year, but spent a lot of time in the 20-30 range.   However, starting just before the year 2000, Adelaide shot up the charts! In 2005, it landed in the top 1000 (#901) for the first time since 1948. In 2013, there was a record-high 1,007 babies born which ranks the name at a modern peak of #321.

The name Adelaida mirrors the stats of Adelaide very closely during the latter half of the 20th century. In 2013, it still remains greatly undiscovered with only 37 births, ranking the name at #3968. I'd recommend this lovely alternate over the fast-climbing name Adelaide. The Spanish pronunciation of Ah-dehl-lie-dah is beautiful!

I suspect that Adelaide name will continue gaining popularity. The nickname Addy has been extremely popular and now Adelaide offers it along with a classy sense of uniqueness.

What do you think of Adelaide? Would you ever consider the lovely Spanish variant Adelaida? Or perhaps one of the other variants that I listed that come from the same German root?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Caroline, Daphne, Evangeline, Lydia, Sophia, Victoria
Brothers: Andrew, Benjamin, Daniel, Jasper, Oliver, William

Middle Name Ideas:
Adelaide Grace
Adelaide Sylvia
Adelaide Delphina
Adelaide Louise
Adelaide Eve

As a Middle Name:
Lily Adelaide
Matilda Adelaide
Katrina Adelaide
Elsie Adelaide
Zelda Adelaide

Share your thoughts on this name in the comments below!

First published: 6/28/13
Revised: 12/25/14

Old-Fashioned, Vintage Girl Names

Are you trying to find the perfect baby name that has history and class? Many parents find themselves looking to the past. Names that were hot for our grandmothers and great-grandmothers are now turning the corner and becoming fresh and new again despite being classified as "old lady" or "old fashioned" names before.

Perhaps the perfect name for your daughter is on the list below! Take a look and see if you find any that you like. They are all wonderful options. Check out the "Naming Services" tab above if you'd like more information about a certain name or if you'd like an outsider's opinion on which you should go with! I can help you narrow down your choices statistically!  Enjoy!

Ada
Adelaide
Adeline
Agatha
Alice
Alma
Amabel
Anna
Antonia
Augusta
Beatrice
Catherine
Cecily
Celia
Clara
Cora
Cordelia
Dorothea
Edith
Eleanor
Eloise
Elsa
Esther
Etta
Evelyn
Flora
Florence
Frances
Francesca
Georgia
Harriet
Hazel
Helena
Henrietta
Ida
Imogen
Iris
Ivy
Josephine
Lavinia
Leonora
Louise
Lucille
Mabel
Mae
Matilda
Maude
Mercy
Millicent
Miriam
Myrtle
Olive
Pearl
Penelope
Priscilla
Rosemary
Ruby
Ruth
Sophia
Tessa
Theodora
Violet
Vivian
Wilhelmina
Winifred

Some of these are obviously more popular today than others. What do you think of the list? Are there any more names that you'd like me to add?  Don't forget to check out the list of Old-Fashioned, Vintage Boy Names too!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Boy Name of the Week: Edmund

The Boy Name of the Week is Edmund! It was recently featured on my list of old-fashioned, vintage boy names. Edmund is a cool and classic choice that would be handsome on a little guy today.

It is a sophisticated English name meaning "fortunate protector." I like the spelling Edmund more, but there is also the French form Edmond. I do like the Irish variation Eamon as well.


Not very many names have a popular, historical quote written about them, but Edmund does. In Jane Austen's book "Mansfield Park," the character Fanny says "There is nobleness in the name of Edmund. It is a name of heroism and renown; of kings, princes, and knights; and seems to breathe the spirit of chivalry and warm affections."  And the poet John Keats once said, "Had my name been Edmund, I would have been more fortunate." I would say that is a mighty fine testament to the name!

If you're considering naming your little prince Edmund, you may want to know more about its statistics! As far as ranking goes, this name was ranked the highest in 1914 at #130 on the US Top 1000 chart. In that year, 792 babies were born with the name. However, there are several years that have more births but a lower ranking.

I like to gage popularity more by the number of births than the rank. From 1916 to 1926, Edmund was at its  peak! It averaged just over 1000 births each year.

Source
Since then, Edmund was steadily used for 500-600 babies per year until usage declined in the late 1960s. Since the 70s, there has been a steady average of 120-250 births per year or so. Aside from decent numbers in the 1920s, this name has never been all that popular. In 2012, there were only 133 Edmunds born, ranking the name at #1295.  It hasn't been in the Top 1000 since it ranked #924 in 1997.

Do you think this is a name that deserves to be revived or is it just too old-fashioned? With the recent popularity of similar-name Edward, I would like to see more little Eddies on the playground.  What do you think?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Abigail, Celia, Lucy, Margaret, Sophia, Violet
Brothers: Bennett, David, Joseph, Maximilian, Nicholas, Zachary

Middle Name Ideas:
Edmund Wilder
Edmund Clark
Edmund Ray
Edmund Vincent
Edmund Quinn

As a Middle Name:
Ryan Edmund
Tyler Edmund
Cole Edmund
Daniel Edmund
Blake Edmund

Old-fashioned, Vintage Boy Names

Today, the new trend is to find old-fashioned, grandma-era names for girls. Many names that were previously thought of as fusty and unusable are now very popular today. What about grandpa names?

Does the popularity of old-fashioned boy names compare to that of the girls? Boys have always had more classic and traditional names at the top of the charts. Names like Michael, William and John have always been popular. Do you think any of the following names might make a comeback if they aren't already?

Abraham
Alfred
Alvin
Amos
Arnold
Arthur
Asa
August
Barnaby
Calvin
Cecil
Clarence
Chester
Clyde
Dewey
Edmund
Edwin
Emmett
Ernest
Eugene
Franklin
Frederick
George
Gilbert
Gus
Harold
Henry
Herbert
Homer
Howard
Humphrey
Irving
Isaac
Isaiah
Jasper
Julius
Leopold
Lester
Lionel
Lloyd
Louis
Martin
Marvin
Maurice
Melvin
Milton
Montgomery
Murray
Nathaniel
Norman
Oscar
Orville
Otto
Percy
Philip
Raymond
Roman
Samuel
Sebastian
Silas
Stanley
Thaddeus
Theodore
Tobias
Vernon
Virgil
Walter
Wendell
Winston
Willard

Which of these names do you like best for a modern boy?  Do you have any that should be added to the list?  Don't forget to check out the list of Old-Fashioned, Vintage Girl Names too!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Royal Baby Name Odds! What's Your Guess?

Image: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
Soon, England will have a brand new heir to the throne. Prince William and Kate Middleton are expecting a royal offspring soon and bets are flying as to the gender and the name. A bookmaking firm in the UK are even taking bets on what the child's future profession might be and what their hair color would be. (Click here to view all the odds.)

Some people are beginning to wonder if these bookmakers know something that we don't. William and Kate have stated that they do not know the gender of the child and are not going to find out until it is born, but the bookmakers have the odds set at 2-7 for a little princess, and only 11-2 for a prince. This may be based on a slip-up from Kate where she very nearly said "my daughter."

The girl name with the best odds is Alexandra at 5-2. This seems to be the most popular choice all around and it happens to have been my first choice before I ever saw the odds. Queen Alexandra sounds beautiful to me!

In second place is Charlotte with 4/1 odds, which is the middle name of Kate's sister Philippa "Pippa" Middleton.  Charlotte is also a feminization of Charles, who is William's father. This name has become a popular choice to bet on recently, as odds have changed from 12-1 to 4-1.

Elizabeth, the name of William's grandmother and the reigning Queen of England, is ranked at 5/1 odds. However, I have doubts that they would want to purposefully place another Queen Elizabeth back on the throne so soon.  Personally, I would go for a different name to avoid confusion ("which Queen Elizabeth?") even though they do sometimes choose an entirely different name to be known as.

Diana is ranked in 4th place with the odds of 6/1. While Diana is the name of Prince William's late mother, this is not a historically royal name (it has no royal antecedents.) Also, since the accession rules have changed, William and Kate's firstborn will be the heir no matter the gender. With lingering mixed-feelings about Diana's inharmonious history, it truly does not have a good chance of first name usage. However, I would bet on Diana being one of the child's multiple middle names.

More odds include Victoria (7-1), Mary (10-1), Eleanor (12-1), Alice (14-1), Anne, Frances, Grace and Sophia (20-1) for girls.

For boys, the number one name on the bookmaker's radar is George which ranks at 12-1. George is my top pick for a boy. It is a handsome and strong regal name, the name of Queen Elizabeth's grandfather.

Next would be Charles (William's father's name) ranking in at 25/1 along with James, John, Louis and Phillip (the name of Queen Elizabeth's husband, William's grandfather.) These top boy contenders are very handsome and have a solid history. I would be happy seeing any of them used, but I have to say that I don't think Charles will be chosen as a first name. It just seems a bit too soon to have another Charles since the current Prince Charles is first in line to the throne.

Other boy names that I'd like to see used include Albert, Alfred, Arthur and Frederick.

What do you think?  Place your bets on the first name, and just for fun, throw in some middle names that you'd like to see used!

My bets:  Alexandra and George.

Alexandra Charlotte Diana Grace or Alexandra Diana Elizabeth Mary

George Arthur William Philip or George Albert Charles Louis

That was extremely difficult to decide upon. I even looked at all of the immediate relatives' names to see which names haven't been used very frequently and which have.  However, if they don't go with the most traditional and obvious choices that the family always seems to use, I'd love to see something slightly more unexpected like Alexandra Eleanor Diana Margaret or Alexandra Isabella Matilda Jane. And for boys: George Frederick Albert Thomas or George Oliver Michael Rupert.

Okay, I'll stop there. This is way too much fun! (I should have been royal!)   Of course, it is not up to me! We shall wait and see what they choose!  Place your bets!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The True Top 50 Names - Very Important for Expecting Parents!

This amazingly informative list was originally put together by Kelli at NameFreak!  I cannot take the credit, but I had to share. I think it is very important that expecting parents have access to this sort of thing.

She called it the "Playground Analysis," which is a great way to describe it! When you are out and about and you hear a child's name, you have no idea how it is spelled.

Let's say you are currently pregnant with your first boy and you are in love with the name Jackson. It honors your husband, your husband's father and grandfather, your late brother Jack, and it is your mother's maiden name too. It seems perfect!!  But popularity does concern you. According to the SSA's Top 1000 chart, Jackson ranks at #22. That is a bit too high for your usual liking, but Jackson is so perfect for your family that you commit to using it anyway and announce it to your family and friends!

However, you're on the playground one day with your three year old and you start noticing many children named Jackson. Suddenly, Jackson is everywhere and it really bothers you.  "But it's only at #22, it can't be that bad. It must be a coincidence, right?"

Well, there is more to it than that.

When you combine all of the different spellings, Jackson, Jaxon, Jaxson and Jaxen, your absolute favorite name in the world isn't ranked at the tolerable #22, it is actually ranked as the #2 most popular name in the US!

What now? Do you go ahead with it anyway?

This is the type of thing that I think is super important for parents to know! The SSA only accounts for popularity by individual spelling, but in a world of "unique spellings" (read: misspellings), you cannot be sure how popular your favorite names really are.  Take Aiden, for instance. The SSA has it ranked at #10 but with all the different spellings, it is truly the most popular name in the country! Would that make you think twice about naming your son Aiden?

Some people are not concerned with popularity and would rather have their child fit in as one of 7 Aidens in a classroom than stand out with an odd name.  However, others are horrified by the thought!  No matter where you fall with your concern, here is a list that compiles all the spellings together.

Some names to make a note of are Aiden, Jackson, Kayden, Caleb, Brayden, Nicholas, Cameron, Connor, Dominic and Colton. I apologize if I make you completely reassess your name list because of this.

This is the truest Top 50 that you can possibly find according to 2012 records.  The listed name is the SSA's spelling. The number in parenthesis is the SSA's ranking, followed by all the possible variations that alter the stats. Remember, these are listed by combining all the options together and re-ranking them.

Boy Names

1. Aiden (10) – Aaden, Adan, Aden, Aidan, Aidyn, Aydan, Ayden, Aydin
2. Jackson (22) – Jaxen, Jaxson, Jaxon
3. Jayden (7) – Jaden, Jadon, Jaeden, Jaiden, Jaidyn, Jaydon
4. Jacob (1) – Jakob, Jaycob
5. Mason (2) – Maison, Masen, Mayson
6. Ethan (3)
7. Noah (4)
8. William (5)
9. Liam (6)
10. Michael (8) – Micheal
11. Kayden (99) – Caden, Caiden, Cayden, Kaden, Kaeden, Kaiden
12. Alexander (9) – Alexzander
13. Matthew (12) – Mathew)
14. Elijah (13) – Alijah
15. Daniel (11)
16. James (14)
17. Anthony (15)
18. Caleb (32) – Kaleb
19. Benjamin (16)
20. Christopher (23) – Cristopher, Kristopher
21. Joshua (17)
22. Andrew (18)
23. David (19)
24. Joseph (20)
25. Logan (21)
26. Lucas (27) – Lukas
27. Christian (33) – Cristian, Kristian
28. Landon (34) – Landen, Landyn
**All of the variants of "Max" would fit right here when calculated based on nickname. (See below)**
29. Gabriel (24)
30. Brayden (39) – Braden, Bradyn, Braeden, Braiden, Braydon
31. Samuel (25)
32. Jonathan (35) – Johnathan, Johnathon, Jonathon
33. John (28) – Jon
34. Ryan (26)
35. Dylan (31) – Dillon
36. Nicholas (49) – Nicolas, Nickolas, Nikolas
37. Isaac (30) – Issac
38. Nathan (29)
39. Carter (36) – Karter
40. Cameron (54) – Camren, Camron, Camryn, Kameron, Kamron, Kamryn
41. Connor (59) – Conner, Conor, Konner, Konnor
42. Isaiah (42) – Isiah, Izaiah, Izayah
43. Luke (37)
44. Owen (38)
45. Gavin (40) – Gavyn
46. Dominic (70) – Dominick, Dominik, Dominique
47. Jordan (48) – Jorden, Jordyn
48. Wyatt (41)
49. Colton (65) – Colten, Kolten, Kolton
50. Henry (43)

Notable changes to the girl's list include Zoey. When combined with Zoe and Zoie, this name jumps from #20 to a true #7. More popular than you thought, huh? Another big change is Madelyn. You may think that this name is finally losing its steam, but when you add all the other spellings, Madelyn is no longer #67, it is actually #13.  Same thing with names like Layla, Hailey, Riley, Aaliyah, Kaylee, Arianna, Kaitlin, Adalyn and Elena among others. These girl names really move around a lot, so take a good look at the list below! You may find yourself reevaluating your favorite names. (Sorry about that!)

Girl Names

1. Sophia (1) – Sofia
2. Isabella (3) – Isabela, Izabella
3. Emma (2)
4. Olivia (4) – Alivia, Alyvia
5. Ava (5) – Avah
6. Emily (6) – Emely, Emilee, Emilie, Emmalee
7. Zoey (20) – Zoe, Zoie
8. Chloe (11) – Khloe
9. Madison (9) – Maddison, Madisyn, Madyson
10. Aubrey (15) – Aubree, Aubri, Aubrie
11. Abigail (7) – Abbigail
12. Mia (8) – Miah
13. Madelyn (67) – Madalyn, Madalynn, Madeleine, Madeline, Madelynn, Madilyn, Madilynn
14. Lily (16) – Lillie, Lilly
15. Layla (31) – Laila, Lailah, Laylah, Leila, Leyla
16. Hailey (32) – Hailee, Haley, Haylee, Hayleigh, Hayley, Haylie
17. Addison (14) – Addisyn, Addyson
18. Riley (47) – Rylee, Ryleigh, Rylie
19. Elizabeth (10) – Elisabeth
20. Natalie (17) – Natalee, Nataly, Nathalie, Nathaly
21. Aaliyah (36) – Aleah, Aleigha, Alia, Aliya, Aliyah
22. Avery (13) – Averi, Averie
23. Kaylee (34) – Caylee, Kailee, Kailey, Kayleigh, Kaylie
24. Arianna (49) – Ariana, Aryana, Aryanna
25. Ella (12)
26. Brooklyn (29) – Brooklynn
27. Amelia (23) – Emelia, Emilia
28. Allison (38) – Alison, Alisson, Allyson, Alyson
29. Hannah (22) – Hana, Hanna
30. Kaitlyn (118) – Caitlin, Caitlyn, Kaitlin, Kaitlynn, Katelyn, Katelynn
31. Mackenzie (71) – Makenzie, Mckenzie
32. Kylie (59) – Kiley, Kylee, Kyleigh
33. Peyton (53) – Paityn, Payton
34. Lillian (25) – Lilian
35. Evelyn (27) – Evalyn, Evelynn
36. Leah (33) – Lea, Leia, Lia
37. Charlotte (19)
38. Sarah (43) – Sara
39. Grace (21)
40. Harper (24)
41. Katherine (64) – Catherine, Kathryn
42. Gabriella (37) – Gabriela
43. Anna (35) – Ana
44. Samantha (26)
45. Alyssa (44) – Alisa, Alissa, Elisa, Elissa
46. Brianna (51) – Breanna, Briana, Bryanna
47. Victoria (28)
48. Makayla (69) – Mckayla, Michaela, Mikaela, Mikayla
49. Adalyn (198) – Adalynn, Addilyn, Adeline, Adelyn, Adelynn
50. Elena (139) – Alaina, Alayna, Elaina

What do you think? Did I just break your heart or does it not bother you at all? Let me know!


[EDIT]: Someone asked me where Max would fit on the list when all of the variants that use the nickname "Max" were added together. Since Max IS a name and could very well be on the above list, I obliged. Here's my work:

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
Maxten: 9 births

Add that up, you get 11,483 "Maxs" born in 2012.

To fit it into the list, I figured out how many births there were in 2012 for each name until I found the right range.

#28: Landon: 9,296 + Landen 1,461 + Landin 141 + Landyn 825 = 11,723 births
Maxs: 11,483 births (including variants)
#29: Gabriel: 11,442 births (no obvious alternate spellings)

So if Max was used as the nickname for all of the names listed above, Max would be the #29 most popular name since you don't know if they are JUST Max or if they're a Maximiliano.

However, there are many other nicknames that would affect this ranking if they were also added in. (Think of all the Maddy's and Ellie's there are!)   This new info isn't concrete but based solely on the criteria above.

Perhaps I'll make a "Popular Nicknames List!"

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Name of the Day: Verity

In light of my most recent list of names, today's Name of the Day is a feminine virtue name: Verity.

This name is Latin meaning "truth." If you know some Latin-based languages, you would recognize the root of the word. Verdad in Spanish, Vrai or Vérité in French, Vero or Verità in Italian, etc, which are also sometimes used as names. Or you could always straight-up go with the name "True" if you wanted. However, of all these, I think Verity has the prettiest sound, especially if you live in an English-speaking country. (If you have Latin roots, by all means, use one of the options above.)


The name Verity is one of the virtue names that originated with the Puritans in the 17th century. They put such value and importance on the meaning of names that they began giving these virtue words as names. Other popular ones are Grace, Hope, Joy and Faith. However, I like to find the more unusual ones. While Verity currently ranks at #360 in England/Wales, it is rarely used these days in the US.

In 2012, there were 51 girls given the name Verity, which ranked the name at #3232 on the popularity charts. If you recall, the names aren't recorded unless there are at least 5 births per year. Therefore, the first recorded usage of the name Verity did not occur until 1966 when 6 baby girls were born. After that, it wasn't used again until 1973. From 1973 to 2006, the name was barely used, (an average of 10 babies per year.)

But then in 2007, popularity increased to 41 babies from 19 the year before. However, 2012 is indeed the year that has seen the most usage and it also has the highest ranking in modern history. (Makes you wonder how many Puritans were given this name back in the day, huh?)
Source
If you're curious about the modern day usage, there have only been 582 baby girls ever named Verity in the recorded US history of names. If you use Verity, the chances of your daughter having a unique name are very good! Yet it is not hard to pronounce or unfamiliar! Score!

What do you think of this virtue name? Would you use it in the first name spot or the middle name spot?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Amabel, Evangeline Felicity, Grace, Hope, Lavinia, Primrose, Temperance
Brothers: Alistair, Honor, Joshua, Merritt, Miles, Peregrine, Vincent, Will

Middle Name Ideas:
Verity Anne
Verity Evelyn
Verity Lucille
Verity Katherine
Verity Jane

As a Middle Name:
Olivia Verity
Amelia Verity
Sarah Verity
Abigail Verity
Mabel Verity

Friday, June 21, 2013

Virtue Names

Virtue names are usually accredited to the Puritans for their earliest, most-frequent usage. However, names that had powerful and important meanings were also popular with Ancient Greeks and Romans. Around 1590, the Puritan movement developed as a sect of the Church of England. They began using the names of saints and martyrs instead of virtue names by order of the Catholic Church.

Then the Puritans fled to America to escape religious persecution. It was then that they freely used their virtue names, as well as phrase names and scriptural names such as "Fight the good fight of Faith" as a name. While these long phrase names didn't catch on, many of the virtue names did and are still in use today. Here is a list of both popular and not-so-popular virtue names for boys and girls:

Girls: 

Amity
Charity
Clarity
Clemency
Comfort
Constance
Faith
Felicity
Fidelity
Grace
Honor
Hope
Joy
Mercy
Merritt
Modesty
Patience
Prudence
Remember
Sage
Serenity
Sincere
Sincerity
Temperance
Tranquility
Unity
Verity

Boys: 

Able
Anchor
Bravery
Bright
Calm
Chance
Constantine
Hardy
Free
Freedom
Harbor
Increase
Justice
Loyal
Lucky
Merit
Noble
Pax
Prosper
Revere
Sage
Sincere
Tranquil
True
Valor
Vigor
Worth
Zen

Can you think of any good ones that I missed?

Name of the Day: Everett

Today's Name of the Day is the boy name Everett. This is an English variation of the German name Eberhard meaning "brave as a wild boar."


This is a name that is quickly climbing back up the popularity charts. If you go by rank alone, Everett was at its peak in 1906 with a ranking of #81. In 2012 it ranked at #214 which is up from #534 in 2005.

If you go by the number of babies born each year, there are two notable peaks in usage. The first is in 1912 when the name shot up with 424 births more than the previous year. Then it really spiked, averaging 1,500 or more babies every year from 1914 until the early 1930s.

Then it started to decline until it started gaining momentum again in the mid 2000s. Its new highest peak is in 2012 when there were 1,724 boys named Everett.

Source
This name has cute nickname options such as Ever or Rhett. I believe Everett's rise in popularity in the past few years is because of similar trendy girl names Eva and Ava and their variants. Many parents view the crisp V sound as stylish. However, there were 21 girls given the name Everett in 2012.

As for the history of the name Everett, it came from the English surname Everard which was introduced to England by the Normans. Everard has Germanic elements to it such as "eber" meaning wild boar, and  "hard" meaning brave or hardy. This name has rarely been used since medieval times, but Everett is clearly gaining popularity in the modern world.

What do you think of the name Everett? Is it on your list or do you prefer similar name Emmett instead?

Sibling Name Ideas: 
Sisters: Audrey, Caroline, Ella, Harper, Olivia, Ruth
Brothers: Asher, Blake, Griffin, Nathan, Owen, Sawyer

Middle Name Ideas:
Everett Carter
Everett James
Everett Lucas
Everett August
Everett Paul

As a Middle Name:
John Everett
Henry Everett
Braden Everett
Zane Everett

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Liquid Names and Raindrop Names

There are so many different classifications of names. Of course you know about the most obvious ones like Classic names or "Yoonik" (Misspelled) Names. What are some of the newish classifications or trends? Here are two that I've heard about recently:

Liquid Names

These names were first classified over on The Baby Name Wizard by blogger Laura Wattenberg. She defined these as names that flow smoothly. Many, if not most of these names have every sound drawn out (long vowels) they don't require much mouth movement such as Aliya or Eliana. These names tend to have three or more syllables and there are fewer consonant sounds than syllables. Letters allowed to be used in this trend include L, R, N, Y and H.  Some examples:

Aaliyah
Arianna
Liliana
Alaina
Eliana
Aria
Elena
Aurora
Alana
Aniyah
Ariel
Alina
Elaina
Liana
Anaya

Is this a trend that you like or is it just too smooth? Some people like more crunch to their names.

Raindrop Names 

In addition to these liquid names are what Laura coined "raindrop names" that are also smooth with the same type of sounds, but they are shorter. In fact, they pack two or more syllables into four or fewer letters. Included in this trend are the letters M, L, N, R and Y.

Examples of names like these are Liam and Mia which both cracked the top 10 last year. Mila, Leo, Eli and Ayla are popular as well as Arya, Noah, Mira and Nora. Do you see the pattern? These types of names are huge right now.  In the past, a great example that was highly used is the name Mary.

Raindrop Girls:

Amy
Anna
Anya
Aria
Arya
Ayla
Ella
Emma
Erin
Isla
Lana
Leah
Lena
Lia
Lila
Lily
Lola
Luna
Lyla
Mara
Mary
Maya
Mia
Mila
Mya
Nina
Nola
Nora
Nyla
Rina
Yael

Raindrop Boys:

Alan
Ali
Amir
Ari
Arlo
Elam
Eli
Ian
Leo
Leon
Liam
Milo
Noah
Noam
Noel
Omar
Owen
Raul
Rory
Ryan

What do you think of Liquid Names and Raindrop Names? Do you like one trend more than the other? Let me know!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Name of the Day: Helena

Today's Name of the Day is Helena. This name is the Latin form of the name Helen, which has a ton of history. Most notably, there is Helen of Troy who was the daughter of Zeus and Leda in Greek mythology. She was kidnapped by Paris and was the cause of the great Trojan War. And a more modern example was Helen Keller who overcame being blind and deaf.

While Helen is a strong name, I prefer the girlier Helena. I like to pronounce it Hel-AY-na as opposed to Hel-EN-ah, but both are pretty!


This Latin name means "bright, shining one" which is a lovely meaning. Helena was used for two characters in Shakespeare's works, one in "All's Well That Ends Well" and one in "A Midsummer's Night Dream."  Another Helena was a 4th-century saint who was the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine.

The name Helena translates well around the world. In 2012, it ranked at #560 in the US, #328 in England/Wales, #194 in France and #243 in the Netherlands. It is even more popular in Austria (#30), Croatia (#35) Poland (#45) and Belgium (#55).

As for Helena's history in the US, it has always been in the Top 1000, except for 1992 when it dipped down to #1008. It has been a fairly consistent name. It's largest popularity spikes occurred in 1918 with 488 babies born, and 2006 with 595 babies born.

Source
Still, if you consider the 200-500 or so babies born every year named Helena, this name is not very popular when compared to names that spike up to 10,000+ births a year.

I would say this is is a very lovely, classic choice that is both familiar but not overly used. What do you think of Helena? How do you pronounce it? Do you prefer Helen or Ellen instead?  Let me know below!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Catherine, Esther, Freya, Isabella, Lucille, Sophia
Brothers: Arthur, Daniel, Edward, James, Michael, Thomas

Middle Name Ideas:
Helena Simone
Helena Juliet
Helena Eve
Helena Mabel
Helena Jane

As a Middle Name:
Natalie Helena
Lucy Helena
Violet Helena
June Helena
Alice Helena

Monday, June 17, 2013

Name of the Day: Frederick

Today's blog post analyzed the name Elizabeth, so I thought I would go a bit more "classic" than usual with the "Name of the Day.'  I chose the handsome Frederick.



German meaning "peaceful ruler," Frederick is one of those old-fashioned, classic names that nearly disappeared for a while; (how many Freds do you know?)  Today, some parents are liking its solid history and classic charm and are reviving it!

Of course it hasn't really disappeared. Frederick has comfortably been hanging out in the 300-500 range of the US Top 1000 chart for the past couple decades! It was last in the top 100 in 1957.

Its largest popularity spikes occurred around 1914 and again around 1946. It was most popular in 1951 with a total of 4,982 baby boys born with the name Frederick.  It was even rarely but consistently used for girls between 1908 and 1993! Since the male popularity spikes, the name has fallen back down to respectable levels. In 2012, there were 482 babies born, which ranked Frederick at #536 on the US Top 1000 chart for boys. 


What sort of history does this name have? A very extensive one! I can't list everyone named Frederick. There are many ancient emperors and kings who held the name. Click here to view a wikipedia list of all the famous Fredericks.

The most notable Fredericks are Frederick the Great who was the King of Prussia (1712-1786), Frederick Douglass who was an escaped slave turned abolitionist (1818-1891),  and of course actor/singer Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz 1899-1987).

I had this article prepped up and then a while later I came across this article from Nameberry that was interesting. It interviews a man named Frederick and he gives his thoughts on his name and his nickname Fred. 

What do you think of the name Frederick. Would you call him Freddie/Freddy or Fred?  Would you go with another nickname like Red, Fritz, or Rick? Or perhaps Derick/Erick which are derived from the spelling? Maybe good ol' Frederick is perfect is its entirety!   Let me know your thoughts below!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alexandra, Elizabeth, Helena, Matilda, Victoria
Brothers: Alexander, Finnegan, Matthew, Nicholas, Theodore

Middle Name Ideas:
Frederick James
Frederick Arthur
Frederick George
Frederick Mason
Frederick Dean

As a Middle Name:
Owen Frederick
Evan Frederick
Jacob Frederick
Aaron Frederick
Oliver Frederick

Why is Elizabeth Perpetually Popular?

Baby Profile by Vera Kratochvil
When pondering classic and even regal names, there is one that almost always comes to mind: Elizabeth. This perpetually popular name surely has a good reason for remaining as such! But what is that reason? Beyond its elegance and beauty, Elizabeth tends to flow very well with many names. This is one of the reasons that it has remained within the Top 30 every single year since 1880.

But why does it pair so well? Elizabeth is used for both a first and middle name. People love Elizabeth as a first name because of how versatile the nicknames are, ranging from Ellie to Liz to Betsy to Beth, and many many more in between.

In this instance, we shall investigate why Elizabeth works so well as a middle name. Many people clump it in with all the other "filler" or "connector" middle names that simply fill an empty spot between the first and last names, such as Anne, Grace, Marie, Claire, etc. However, many argue that Elizabeth doesn't deserve to be classified as such. Rather, despite its popularity, it is somewhat one-of-a-kind.

1.) It starts with a vowel, which is appealing, but the "L" tends to get most of the sound emphasis which allows Elizabeth to flow with names that end with a vowel.

2.) The overall stress of the full name is put on the second syllable which helps to connect it to the first with a beautiful flow.

3.) The four-syllable length of Elizabeth makes it long-but-not-too-long. In many cases, four syllables is the perfect length to differentiate it from the first name before introducing you to the last name. For example, Clara Elizabeth Miller tends to roll off the tongue slightly better than a shorter middle name like Clara Leigh Miller. One might hear it incorrectly as "Claralee or Claraly." Whereas Elizabeth makes a bold but graceful stance in its own place.

4.) The name ends with a consonant sound that isn't often heard in other names. (How many can you think of that end with -th?)  Most first names used today end with -a, -e, -n, -r or -y, which pair perfectly with the different beginning AND ending of Elizabeth.

Much of Elizabeth's success is undoubtedly due to the reasons listed above. The combination of them makes this name very versatile yet unique.

If you are looking for other options instead of Elizabeth, you'd do well to examine other four-syllable names with the stress on the second syllable. Most of these will also flow very beautifully with almost any first name.Test out your favorite first names with the names below as the middle name, and then try it with Elizabeth. Which do you prefer?

Amelia
Aurelia
Bidelia
Calliope
Camellia
Cecelia
Cordelia
Evangeline
Eulalia
Hermione
Hortensia
Ignacia
Leticia
Magnolia
Natalia
Octavia
Olivia
Ophelia
Penelope
Persephone
Valencia
Veronica
Victoria
Zenobia

If you notice, the majority of these names end with A. If you refer back to my fourth point above, many feminine first names seem to end with A as well. While some parents find the rhyming to be cute, most will agree that Sarah Octavia, for example, is too much A sound. Whereas Sadie Octavia sounds much better. However, because of Elizabeth's different ending, Sarah Elizabeth and Sadie Elizabeth both work.

If you are interested in using one of the names listed above, one way to avoid the repetitious endings (like Sarah Octavia) is to end the first and middle names with different vowel sounds. For example, Stella Calliope or Lily Veronica.

Also, ending the first name with a consonant helps, like Piper Cordelia or Caitlin Amelia.  Or use a middle name that ends in a consonant-sound like Evangeline. Sophia Evangeline or Hadley Evangeline work very well!

It is clearly all up to interpretation and personal taste. Even different accents may throw this theory off. But there has to be a reason why Elizabeth has remained so consistently used over the past 132 recorded years. Elizabeth has never ranked higher than #26, and even then there were upwards of 10,000 babies who bore the name.

Very few other names in history have stats like this.

Do you like the name Elizabeth or would you opt for one of the other options instead?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Name of the Day: Alexandrina

Today's featured name is 11-letters and 5-syllables long. Perhaps that explains why it is rarely used in the US.  Did you know that Alexandrina was the real first name of Queen Victoria who went by her middle name?


While many parents would opt for Alexa or Alexandra, there is something special about Alexandrina. It has a more exotic flair than her sister-names, and would be a beautiful middle name to pair with a short first name. Ivy Alexandrina or Claire Alexandrina are lovely. As a first name, Alexandrina Eve.

As a plus, it is truly a rare name today, but it is so familiar to the ears because of all the other Alex names.

It was first used in 1914, 1915, 1920 and 1921 by a total of 23 girls.  After that, there were 5 born in 1935, 6 in 1961, and then it started getting more regular usage in 1975. However, it only sees an average of 5 births per year. Most recently, there were 9 girls named Alexandrina in 2013, which means this name ranks at #10,965. That is far from being the #1 name in the country, but many could be drawn to it because of that. According to records, only 246 girls have ever been named Alexandrina. Talk about rare! Just check out the chart!
A bit underwhelming, huh? (Source)
Alexandrina is a distinctive choice! It is the Greek variation of Alexandra and also means "Defending Men."  Because of its royal namesake, some people have been speculating it as an option if Prince William and Kate Middleton have a girl. It is also a great alternative to the more common royal names that get used today.

What do you think of this long, beautiful name? Are 5 syllables just too much or would you consider it?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Emmeline, Francesca, Georgiana, Louisa, Victoria
Brothers: Christopher, Frederick, Leopold, Theodore, William

Middle Name Ideas:
Alexandrina Eve
Alexandrina Ivy
Alexandrina Blythe
Alexandrina Maeve

As a Middle Name:
Isla Alexandrina
Jade Alexandrina
Lily Alexandrina
Zara Alexandrina

Share your thoughts on this name in the comment section below!

First published: 6/15/13
Revised: 12/25/14

Friday, June 14, 2013

Name of the Day: Desmond

Today's Name of the Day is Desmond, one of my favorite Irish names.


Yes, it is originally an Irish surname, but I can't help but love it for a boy's first name. It is bold but sophisticated. With the possible nicknames Des/Dez or Desi/Dezi, this name is starting to gain popularity in the US.

Desmond first appeared on 8 US birth certificates in 1904. It slowly picked up steam every year after that with its largest naming spike in 1992 when 1,067 boys were born, ranking it at #264 on the Top 1000 chart. As of 2012, there were 920 baby boy Desmonds born, putting the name at a rank of #339.

There have also been a handful of girls named Desmond almost every year since 1975. However, usage began slowing down in the 2000s, ending its female usage in 2007.

Source
Desmond comes from an Irish surname which was derived from Deas-mhumhain meaning "South Munster", originally indicating a person who came from that region in Ireland. Therefore, Desmond means "one from South Munster."

A Few Famous Desmonds:
  • Desmond Bishop - American football player
  • Desmond Bryant - American football player
  • Desmond Dekker - Jamaican musician (The Beatles' song "Ob-la-Di, Ob,La-Da" was said to be written about this Desmond.)
  • Desmond Harrington - American actor who plays "Detective Joseph Quinn" on "Dexter"
  • Desmond Howard - former American football player
  • Desmond Morris - English zoologist
  • Desmond Tutu - South African activist
  • and many others, including some with the last name Desmond.

My Favorite Desmond's are from Pop Culture:
  • Desmond David Hume- character from TV series LOST
  • Desmond Miles - Assassin's Creed protagonist

While I personally love this name, what do you think of this name for a baby boy? Let me know in the comments below!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Adele, Aurelia, Elodie, Hazel, Margot, Madeleine, Rosalie, Vivian
Brothers: Beckett, Callum, Donovan, Ewan, Finnegan, Kellan, Rafferty, Teague

Middle Name Ideas: 
Desmond Grant
Desmond Marcus
Desmond Ellis
Desmond Evander
Desmond Arthur

As a Middle Name:
Asher Desmond
Arlo Desmond
Henry Desmond
Milo Desmond
Quincy Desmond

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Name(s) of the Day: Melisande/Millicent

Today, you get a 2-for-1 special for the Name(s) of the Day.

I've recently had a new-found fascination with the name Millicent but it just feels a bit too old-fashioned and stiff for me to personally consider using. I decided to look at variations of it and fell in love with the French Melisande, which I would use in a heartbeat if I could get hubby on-board since he speaks French and I'm learning it.


When I went to look up the popularity stats on these names that I hear quite frequently on naming forums, I was surprised to see how little-used and extremely rare Melisande is in the US.

Check this out! The data pool that I use doesn't record a name for the year if there were not at least 5 births. So perhaps there have been 1-4 births here and there all along, but according to this data, there were 5 girls named Melisande in 2005 (ranked #18226), 6 in 1972, 5 in 1960, 5 in 1947 and that is all! A total of 21 little girls named Melisande in the US EVER! How much more unique could you get?

Yet the name sounds familiar as if you should know a Melisande or two. Millicent, however, has been steadily popular since the SSA began ranking names in 1880. There was a peak of 249 girls named Millicent in 1927 (which is its highest chart ranking of #435) and it has never reached that many since then. In 2012, there were 71 baby Millicents which ranked the name at #2539.

Source
Both names are rarely heard of today and would be refreshing and adorable! Millicent could go by Millie, and Melisande could be Mellie or Sandy or even Lissy or Andy if you go by spelling instead of sound. (Remember, it has a French pronunciation which roughly sounds like "mehl-ee-sahnd.) See the popularity of Melisande in France here.

Both names mean "Strong" or "Industrious". Melisande is French and Millicent is German. Melisande was used by Maurice Maeterlinck in his play 'Pelléas et Mélisande' (1893). The play was later adapted by Claude Debussy into an opera (1902).

What do you think of these non-ranking names? Too old-fashioned, or perfectly unique and beautiful?

Sibling Name Ideas for Melisande:
Sisters: Amandine, Anneliese, Clementine, Genevieve, Lucinda, Romilly
Brothers: Clement, Frances, Marcel, Phineas, Roman, Tobias

Middle Name Ideas:
Melisande Joie
Melisande Colette
Melisande Ramona
Melisande Kate
Melisande Elise

As a Middle Name:
Ivy Melisande
Anna Melisande
Juliet Melisande
Lily Melisande

Sibling Name Ideas for Millicent:
Sisters: Amelia, Elizabeth, Francesca, Lucille, Mabel, Philippa
Brothers: Benjamin, Elliott, Finnegan, Oliver, Robert, William

Middle Name Ideas:
Millicent Claire
Millicent Eve
Millicent Josephine
Millicent Lorraine
Millicent Grace

As a Middle Name:
Eve Millicent
Lucy Millicent
Nora Millicent
Rachel Millicent

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Name of the Day: Basil

Today's Name of the Day might raise your eyebrows at first. The Greek boy name Basil means "Regal" or "King" and is a quirky choice!

The most famous bearer of this name is Basil Rathbone who portrayed the very British Sherlock Holmes in 1939. And of course, many of you probably already thought of the basil herb. It is usually pronounced Baz-uhl rather than Bays-uhl like the herb.


Let's try to see it from a different perspective than the above:

From the Greek name Βασιλειος (Basileios) which was derived from βασιλευς (basileus) meaning "king".  There were many Byzantine Empire rulers named Basil, as well as some Eastern Orthodox saints. Saint Basil the Great was a 4th century bishop who helped to found the early Christian church. Basil is rich in history.

Despite its past-bearers, this name is definitely unique today. It has been used very steadily since 1880. It was most popular from 1912-1969. It fell off the Top 1000 chart in 1970 and hasn't ranked since! However, in 2012, it ranked at #2709 with 44 boys named Basil, and 20 girls! (Although there have only been a total of 69 girls EVER named Basil. It saw usage starting in 2006, with the exception of 12 named in the early 1900s.)


Today, Basil has been classified as a very fun name because of the manic Basil Fawlty from the British TV comedy classic "Fawlty Towers." There is also a Disney movie called "Basil of Baker Street" which stars "the Sherlock Holmes of the Mouse World."

If you still aren't sold, that's fine. I think this is an interesting name. It is on my guilty pleasures list so I can't blame any of you for not immediately using it for a son. However, there are other variations of the name that are interesting like the Russian Vassily or Vaska, the Ancient Greek Basilius, the French Basile, the Italian Basillo or the Polish Bazyli.

What do you think of Basil? Do you get the same unique and quirky, yet old-fashioned vibe that I get? Do you think it will ever be popular again, or is it too fusty?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Beatrix, Celeste, Daphne, Eleanor, Lilac, Octavia, Sabina
Brothers: Dexter, Edward, Gideon, Luca, Otto, Rafferty, Tobias

Middle Name Ideas:
Basil Sebastian
Basil Edmund
Basil Augustus
Basil Hayes
Basil Owen

As a Middle Name:
Phillip Basil
William Basil
Leonard Basil
Ethan Basil
Samuel Basil

Softer-Sounding Boy Names

Another new naming trend that is gaining popularity this year is softer-sounding boys names. Many of these names contain the "sh" sound.

Here are some of our favorites:
Asher
Bishop
Cashel
Cassius
Dashiell
Elisha
Fisher
Hamish
Joshua
Marshall
Misha
Nash
Parish
Sasha
Shawn
Shai
Shane
Shepherd
Sheridan
Sherwood
Shiloh
Tavish

We particularly like the short but handsome nicknames/names such as Ash, Cash, Dash and Nash.  What is your favorite full name for the nickname Cash? Cashel, Cassius, Cassian, or just plain Cash?

Can you think of any other names that might fit this trend? Do you like the trend? Let me know below!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Name of the Day: Isadora

Today's Name of the Day sounds like it should be popular but it actually is not.  For those parents who love the name Isabella but hate its popularity, have you ever considered the name Isadora?


This name has always been around but it hasn't been on the Top 1000 chart since 1900 when it ranked in at #992.  The highest rank Isadora has ever received is #654 in 1882, however that only accounted for a total of 9 births.

Last year, 2012, there were 148 little Isadora's born. The name just fell shy of ranking, coming in at #1497 which is the highest it has ranked since 1915.  In fact, Isadora wasn't used at all from 1958-1968.
Source
So why does this name hardly get any attention when cousin-name Isabella is mega-popular? Perhaps parents just prefer the "Bella" nickname to that of a possible little "Dora." Or perhaps pop-culture influence really is strong, (i.e. Bella Swan vs Dora the Explorer.) Putting that aside, Isadora is a beautiful and unique name that sounds like it should be popular even though it isn't. (Win/Win?)

But, like Isabella who didn't rank at all on the Top 1000 chart from 1948-1990, Isadora has major potential to become something huge if parents are interested in "different but familiar." Isadora is Latin, meaning "gift of Isis" and has international appeal. It has been used in many languages such as Serbian, Macedonian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, English and Ancient Greek.

Isis was the Egyptian goddess of fertility and birth. The rest of the name comes from the Greek word δωρον (doron) meaning "gift." Male counterpart Isidore was historically popular with Jews who used it as an Americanized version of names like Isaac, Israel and Isaiah.

A famous bearer was the American dancer Isadora Duncan (1877-1927).

With more and more babies being named Isadora, do you think it will gain popularity? Would you use it as an alternative to Isabella? And do you like possible nicknames Issy, Isa or Dora?

Let me know the answers to these burning questions!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Arabella, Calliope, Delphina, Evangeline, Junia, Magnolia, Seraphina
Brothers: Amadeus, Benjamin, Felix, Jasper, Leopold, Phillip, Vincent

Middle Name Ideas:
Isadora Violet
Isadora Claire
Isadora Ruth
Isadora Colette
Isadora Jane

As a Middle Name:
Katherine Isadora
Maeve Isadora
Sloane Isadora
Lark Isadora
Hadley Isadora