Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Boy Name of the Week: Felix

The Boy's Name of the Week is the bold and playful Felix.  Beyond "Felix the Cat," this is a Latin name that means "happy and fortunate".

Felix has been the name of four popes and a whopping 67 saints! A biblical Felix was the governor of Judea who imprisoned Saint Paul.  In Ancient Roman times, General Sulla adopted the name Felix because he felt as though the gods blessed him with luck and fortune.


Felix has been all over various literature and films, too many to list. There are also many modern day examples and a couple celebrity babies.

If you zoom out and look internationally, the name Felix is very diverse! It works well in Spanish, German, Austrian, Russian and Polish. It is also quite popular in England/Wales, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Here in the U.S., it is definitely picking up steam!

It ranked at #316 in 2012 when 1,025 boys were born. There were even 15 female births, but Felix comes across as an all-boy name to me, despite it occasionally being used on girls since 1917.

Felix peaked in 1918, declined in usage, and then was moderately used through the 50s and 60s.  Usage increased again around 1990 and Felix hit its modern peak in 2011.   Since 1880, it has been above #394 on the Top 1000 chart, but yet it feels so very under-the-radar still.
Source
I think this name has potential to continue climbing the charts. It is a simple name with one possible spelling and it is unique but antique enough to be familiar. The fact that it is Latin and has such a wonderful meaning will boost the name in parents' eyes, and that X on the end gives it a stylish vibe.

What do you think of the name Felix? Is it on your list?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Audrey, Beatrice, Fiona, Ivy, Lorelei, Ramona, Sophia
Brothers: Dexter, Elliott, Jasper, Julian, Maxwell, Oliver, Xavier

Middle Name Ideas:
Felix Alexander
Felix John
Felix Nathaniel
Felix Oliver

As a Middle Name:
Milo Felix
Oscar Felix
Charles Felix
Brody Felix
Henry Felix

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cool Names for Boys

If you are in need of a baby name and you don't really know how to narrow down your style and choose something, perhaps what you need is to find a "cool name" that would impress your friends and give your child that unique edge.

You're in luck! This is a list of "cool names for boys."  Of course, everyone's opinion differs, but you may just find what you're looking for here:
He's definitely an Ace or Cruz
Ace
August
Ash
Axel
Bay
Beau
Beckett
Blaze
Booker
Boone
Breccan
Calix
Calloway
Cashel
Chance
Chase
Cliff
Colt
Cormac
Crispin
Cruz
Damian
Dash
Dashiell
Decimus
Denim
Diesel
Donovan
Draven
Felix
Fergus
Finn
Gunner
Gus
Guthrie
Harley
Homer
Hudson
Humphrey
Hunter
Inigo
Ivo
Jackson
Jagger
Jax
Jett
Justice
King
Knute
Leonidas
Lorcan
Maddox
Matteo
Maximus
Neo
Nico
Orion
Ozias
Pierce
Pilot
Ranger
Ransom
Rowan
Ryder
Ryker
Sargent
Sayer
Steele
Stone
Storm
Taj
Talon
West
Wilder
Wolf
Wyatt
Zane
Zebulon
Which of these is your favorite? Can you think of any to add? Click Here for the Cool Girls Names list!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Predicting Trends: The 100 Year Rule

They say that it takes 100 years for names to come back into fashion. They aren't wrong.

When you think about all of the names that are currently at the top of the charts (or rising quickly) how many of them were previously considered "Grandma" names?


Perhaps these names are now being used to honor those grandparents. Or maybe those names now belong to the great-grandparents of current baby-namers and aren't well-known or thought of as old. Just like fashion trends, names have a way of coming back around and seeming fresh again. The 100 year rule is real!

To prove that, here are some names that saw popularity spikes in the 1915-1925 range. These same names have begun gaining popularity since 2010 (and sometimes earlier because of those parents ahead of the trend.)

We can only assume that these names will continue to climb our modern day charts and hit their peaks around the 100-years-later mark and then decline again.

Name: (Year with most births) #ranking in 2012

Names that spiked around 1920 that are also spiking in popularity today:
Adeline (1918) #239
Clara (1918)  #136
Eleanor (1920)  #135
Genevieve (1918) #228
Hazel (1918)  #175
Josephine (1918) #160
Lillian (1920) #25
Lola (1919) #231
Ruby (1920) #106
Sophie (1917) #52
Violet (1920) #89
Vivian (1920)  #141

Keep in mind that these names have not had any popularity spikes between then and now.

Here are some names that also had their spike around 1920 but haven't yet spiked today. These names are slowly inching upward per the 100 year rule. If you use one of these now, you'll be ahead of any possible spikes in the near future and I think they're coming.

Name: (Year with most births) #ranking in 2012

Names that spiked around 1920 and are climbing the charts today:
Adele (1918)  #536
Beatrice (1921)  #691
Edith (1918)  #762
Elsie (1918) #397
Estelle (1915)  #950
June (1925) #435
Leona  (1918)  #914
Lucille (1919)  #394
Mabel (1915) #1051
Mae (1918)  #750
Viola (1918)  #1408

What do you think of these two lists? Would you use any of these names and be part of the trend? Or does this information make you immediately avoid these names so that your daughter doesn't have a popular name in the coming years?  Let me know!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Girl Name of the Week: Antonia

The Girl's Name of the Week is a beautiful choice that often gets overlooked: Antonia.

Antonia is the feminine form of the Roman family name "Antonius" from which the male names Antony, Anthony, Antonio, etc also come. All of these names unfortunately do not have a known meaning.

The Art of Naming - names meaning flower - names with unknown meaning - uncommon names for girls


In the 17th century, names like this were confused for having origins from the Greek word "Anthos" which means "flower" and resulted in the letter "h" being adding to names like Anthony.

Some websites will claim meanings for these names, but none have been proven to be true. I have seen meanings listed for Antonia such as "priceless," "beautiful," or "praiseworthy." If you wish to use one of these meanings for your daughter, that is fine with me, just remember they haven't been proven as the true meaning based on the root name Antonius, which has an unknown meaning.

Antonia and its variant forms such as Antoinette and Antonella, among others, have strong roots in history. A popular example was the Queen of France Marie Antoinette (born Maria Antonia.) There were also many women in Roman Antiquity named Antonia.

In 2007, Antonia took a nose-dive off the US Top 1000 chart. It had a strong popularity spike in 1996 with 669 babies born and then it immediately declined in usage afterward. There were only 219 baby girl Antonias born in 2012. Confusingly, there were also 6 males given this name.
Antonia historically saw decent usage in the 1920's and again in the 1950's before its big spike in 1996. If you are looking for a solid name with plenty of history without a ton of current popularity, Antonia is a great option! It ranked at #1122 in 2012.

Revision: As of 2016, Antonia ranks at #993 with 264 births for the year.

What do you think of this name? Do you prefer one of the variants instead?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Eva, Gloria, Louisa, Margaret, Michaela, Sophia
Brothers: Andrew, David, Joseph, Manuel, Rafael, Simon

Middle Name Ideas:
Antonia Elise
Antonia Kate
Antonia Jane
Antonia Guadalupe
Antonia Margarita
Antonia Penelope

As a Middle Name:
Evelyn Antonia
Maria Antonia
Willow Antonia
Josephine Antonia
Sara Antonia

What would you pair with Antonia?

Original post: 7/26/13
Revised: 5/14/17

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ancient Names for Girls

Like the Ancient Boy Name post, here are some lovely and unique ancient name options for girls! Many of them are Latin but there is a mixture of origins and eras in this list. Which of these do you think deserve to be used for a modern girl?

Abelia                        
Aeliana
Albia
Aliana
Amabel
Amica
Annia
Antonia
Aphra
Aquilia
Aries
Argentia
Arria
Atarah
Athalia
Aurelia
Avita
Basilia
Beata
Bellatrix
Caesarea
Calvina
Campana
Candida
Cassia
Cecilia
Claudia
Clemencia
Columba
Constantina
Cornelia
Crispina
Cyra
Dahlia
Damaris
Damiane
Decima
Delicia
Dominica
Donata
Drusilla
Dulcina
Elizabella
Elysia
Fabia
Fannia
Fausta
Faustina
Felicia
Fidella
Flavia
Florentina
Fortunata
Francesca
Gaia
Galla
Gaynor
Gwenore
Hilaria
Honoria
Horatia
Imogene
Isolde
Jennet
Jonet

Jovia
Julia
Junia
Juno
Justina
Laelia
Laurentia
Lavinia
Ligeia
Livia
Lucia
Lucilla
Lucretia
Mahala
Marciana
Marilla
Mattea
Maxima
Melisent
Meriall
Mila
Minerva
Mucia
Nerilla
Nicasia
Nova
Octavia
Paccia
Palantina
Perpetua
Persis
Phillida
Pisces
Placidia
Prima
Prisca
Priscilla
Quintia
Regina
Rosalba
Rufina
Sabina
Septima
Sergia
Seraphina
Severina
Sibyl
Sidonia
Silvia
Tanaquil
Tauria
Tertia
Titiana
Tullia
Turia
Urbana
Ursa
Valentina
Valeria
Varinia
Venecia
Verina
Viviana
Zelina

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Prince of Cambridge Has A Name!

The name of the Prince of Cambridge, the third in line to the throne of England, has finally been announced!



What do you think of this Royal Baby Name? Is it fitting for a future King?  I think it is extremely strong and handsome. Perfect for this little Prince.  George was pretty much a sure thing and everyone was betting on it. Alexander is my own son's middle name and one of my very favorites. It wasn't on anyone's radar as an option. Louis is one of Prince William's middle names!

Here's the breakdown of what each of the names mean and who else has worn these names in the Royal Family:

George is a Greek name meaning "Farmer." The fact that they chose it is probably meant to reflect the humbleness of a farmer so that the Prince can always be down-to-earth and a more compassionate ruler. It is a strong name that is both royal and saintly. It was worn by the King of Britain for 116 years straight!  Most notably, George directly honors the most recent King George VI who was Queen Elizabeth's father. His full name was Albert "Bertie" Frederick Arthur George and he died in 1952. George is also one of the middle names of Grandpa Charles, the Prince of Wales.

Alexander is a Greek name meaning "Defender of Man" and puts a huge responsibility on this little prince already. In addition to giving him the humility and meekness of a farmer, he is meant to defend those around him with honor. This may be a nod to Queen Victoria whose real first name was Alexandrina.  And of course, the baby's Great-Grandmother, HRH Queen Elizabeth's middle name is Alexandra. There haven't been any King Alexanders in England.

Louis is a German and French name meaning "Renowned Warrior" which is another big meaning for a little prince. He is meant to be strong and brave and, combined with the other two meanings, protect his people. There was one King Louis who lived from 1187-1226 and had 13 children! Otherwise, this name is more frequently used in the middle name spot.  Prince William has this as a middle name and so does his uncle Prince Edward.

George Alexander Louis in his mother's arms.
Via The British Monarchy's Facebook

What do you think of this royal name for our new little prince? Did you guess correctly? Do you like it?

Boy Name of the Week: Benedict

The Boy Name of the Week is the strong and bold Benedict. I prefer this choice over the more-common Benjamin and Bennett.


Benedict is a Latin name meaning "blessed." It is also the name of Saint Benedict, an Italian Monk who formed the Benedictine Order in the 6th century. Additionally, a whopping sixteen popes have worn the name. Benedict hit England in the 12th century and became insanely popular.

The alternate spelling, Benedick, probably won't fly for a modern baby but it was used for a character in the Shakespeare piece Much Ado About Nothing.

Of course there will always be that link to the infamous traitor Benedict Arnold, but he died in 1801 so I'm willing to look past that now, are you?

To switch gears, a modern day Benedict is a new rising star. The British stage, film and TV actor named Benedict Cumberbatch is gaining popularity in the States now.

Let's look at the popularity stats of Benedict. It recently ranked at #420 in England/Wales, but the US has not flocked to this name yet. Its highest naming spike occurred in 1918 when 163 boys were given the name. It leveled out with minimal usage until another spike occurred in 2005 with 157 births which coincides with Pope Benedict taking over. However, usage has once again declined with a mere 86 baby Benedicts born in 2012 for a ranking of #1736.
Source
But you know what? I would say this is a gem of a name! It is familiar yet rarely used. It has "Ben" as a great, simple nickname for those wanting to tone down the in-your-face strength of Benedict.  It is clearly very handsome too! I'd recommend this name for parents who are a bit bold and want to find something unique without resorting to odd spellings. Benny or Benno are cute alternates to the nickname Ben. You might even be able to get away with Ned since it's in the spelling and even Eddy. ;)

I'd pair Benedict with something short, sweet and traditional like James, John or Lucas. The only possible issue with the name is the teasing potential of "you've been a dick" or anything along those lines. If that bothers you and you still love the name, something like James Benedict would be so insanely handsome and it would tuck Benedict safely into the middle name spot to avoid complications.  What do you think of this moniker?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alexandra, Clementine, Katharine, Josephine, Magnolia, Ophelia, Seraphina
Brothers: Alexander, Augustus, Julius, Leopold, Maximus, Nathaniel, Octavius

Middle Name Ideas:
Benedict James
Benedict Lucas
Benedict Constantine
Benedict August
Benedict Joseph

As a Middle Name:
James Benedict
Xavier Benedict
Leo Benedict
Henry Benedict
Max Benedict

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Prince Has Left The Building!


We got our first glimpse of the Prince of Cambridge! The proud parents Prince William and his wife Catherine briefly spoke with reporters today when they left the hospital.

They said that the baby is quite heavy and definitely has a strong pair of lungs on him. William changed the baby's first nappy and this whole experience has been very emotional for them. He also said that they are just now having a chance to be with him and get to know him so they haven't been able to pin down the perfect name yet.

Having a child of my own, I can relate to the whirlwind of events that come with childbirth. However, when you add in all of the media surrounding the hospital, the fact that you are royal, and the pressure of being charged with naming the future King of England, I cannot blame them for wanting to take a bit more time deciding on the name. After all, naming any child is a huge responsibility that should be taken very seriously. When you're naming royalty, it is that much more important.


Congratulations again to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We had just a brief glimpse at the small child but he looked adorable already. William joked that the baby has all of his mother's looks to which Catherine sweetly disagreed with a laugh.

Hopefully we will soon be able to see a few baby photos and learn what name they've chosen! All in good time!

Ancient Names for Boys

I have an interest in ancient names. Here are some interesting choices for a boy. Most of them are of Latin origin and some are older than others but it will give you plenty of choices for naming inspiration! Many of them are very big names and would do better in a middle name spot. But for the bolder parents, they do make for a strong and handsome first name! I have a Maximus, myself!  Which of these is your favorite?


Aeneas                        
Amadeus
Andreas
Antonius
Antony
Apollo
Atticus
Augustus
Aurelius
Benedict
Brutus
Caesar
Caius
Cassius
Cato
Celestine
Cicero
Claudius
Constantine
Cornelius
Cosmo
Cyrus
Dante
Decimus
Demetrius
Dominic
Eliseo
Felix
Flavius
Gaius
Hadrian
Helladius
Hercules
Horace
Horatio
Hyroniemus
Ibis
Ignatius
Jarlath
Jerome
Josephus
Julius
Junius

Juno
Jupiter
Justus
Lazarus
Leonitus
Leopold
Lucius
Magnus
Marcellus
Marcus
Marius
Maximus
Mercury
Miles
Nero
Octavian
Octavius
Paul
Peregrine
Philo
Primus
Quentin
Quintus
Remus
Romanus
Romulus
Rufus
Seneca
Septimus
Severus
Silas
Solaris
Stephanus
Tarquin
Tertius
Thelonius
Theon
Thor
Tiberius
Titus
Ulysses
Urban
Vitalis

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Royal Baby is Finally Here!

This was as clear as the image could get.
Have you heard? We have a new future King of England! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just welcomed a son into the world!

The media has been abuzz about them since they announced their pregnancy months ago! And in the past few weeks, speculation on the gender and the name of the baby has skyrocketed. There were even bookies in England taking bets on what name would ultimately be chosen. (I wonder who scored big and who lost!)

I watched on a live news stream as the official correspondent left the hospital, entered the gates at Buckingham Palace and placed the official birth announcement on a golden easel.  The document said:

"Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4.24pm."

The baby is already being hailed as the Prince of Cambridge. He was born today, July 22nd in the  St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London. He weighed in at 8 lbs and 6 oz. A healthy start for new royalty! I'm sure all of England is rejoicing!

Media is swarming!
The Duke of Cambridge was present for the birth and the mother and child are doing well! She will remain in the hospital overnight but they should be announcing the baby's name very soon!

The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and other family members have indeed been informed and are delighted with the news.

A royal announcement was made by an official in a red uniform with a scroll. He started by saying "Hear ye Hear ye" and revealed that it is indeed a son and ended with "Long live the Queen!" It was all very official and exciting. The media outside the palace cheered!

Later, the doctor left the building and shouted "It is a beautiful baby boy!" as he passed by.

I will update you again when the name is revealed!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Girl Name of the Week: Magnolia

Since I posted a list of tree and flower names for girls, I thought I would pick my favorite from the bunch for the Girl Name of the Week! I chose the lovely Magnolia.


This is a Latin flower name that gained a sweet, "Southern Belle" image from a character in the iconic novel and musical Showboat by Edna Ferber. If you've never heard of it, don't feel bad. The novel was written in 1926 and the musical was on Broadway in 1927. However there were three films produced since then.

The Magnolia flower was originally named in 1703 after a French botanist named Pierre Magnol who lived from 1638-1715 and contributed much to the way flowers are classified today.

Isn't she lovely?
In modern times, Magnolia as a name has come along on the latest wave of botanical names for girls. She began gaining more popularity around 2006. However, Magnolia has not cracked the Top 1000 chart since 1940. In 2012, Magnolia ranked in at #1123 with 218 births which is a fair amount considering she ranked at #493 in 1905 with just 47 births. (Oh how times have changed in the naming world!)

The highest popularity peak, besides 2012, occurred in 1921 when there were 150 baby girls named Magnolia. Random fact: apparently the only year that there weren't at least 5 births since 1880 was my birth year, 1987. Strange! I should have been named Magnolia just to possibly add to the stats! And also because it is beautiful and I love it!

Source
The first time I heard this name on someone was when I was watching the show Hart of Dixie and saw a blonde, southern belle teen named Magnolia Breeland. Because of this, I'm inclined to want to pair Magnolia with Breanne or Brielle or Brynn. (Also, her sister's name is Lemon!)

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Caroline, Daphne, Georgia, Jessica, Michaela, Seraphina
Brothers: Alexander, Benjamin, Jonathan, Maxwell, Theodore, Xavier

Middle Name Ideas:
Magnolia Claire
Magnolia Eve
Magnolia Vivienne

As a Middle Name:
Katherine Magnolia
Jane Magnolia
Alice Magnolia

I'd avoid other flower names like Rose or Lily for a sister or as a middle name. Cute nicknames include Maggie, Noa, Nollie, Nola and Lia.

What would you pair it with? What do you think of this lovely botanical name? Do you prefer another? Let me know!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Flower and Tree Names for Girls



There is nothing more beautiful than mother nature. Where names are concerned, flowers and trees are specifically wonderful for little girls.

Drawing inspiration from the beauty around us, I've compiled this list of flower and tree names that would be darling on a modern girl. They bring to mind such lovely images of petals and leaves.

If you're looking for a beautiful name, look no further! There are some classics in here such as Rose and Holly but there's also plenty of unusual and unique choices that you're sure to love! Which of these do you like best?


Acacia
Alyssum
Amaryllis
Amarantha
Apple
Ash
Aspen
Aster
Aven
Azalea
Blossom
Bluebell
Bryony
Calla                                  
Calantha
Camellia
Chrysantha
Chrysanthemum
Clematis
Clover
Daffodil
Dahlia
Daisy
Delphine
Eirlys
Fern
Fleur
Flora
Forsythia
Gardenia
Garland
Hazel
Heather
Holly
Hyacinth
Ianthe
Ilara
Iolanthe
Iris
Ivy
Jacinta
Jasmine
Jonquil
Juniper
Kamilah
Kennedia
Laurel
Lavender
Leilani
Lemon
Lilac
Lily
Linnea
Lotus
Magnolia
Marguerite
Marigold
Marjoram
Myrtle
Olive
Orchid
Pansy
Peony
Petal
Petunia
Poppy
Posey
Primrose
Rose
Saffron
Senna
Tulip
Veronica
Violet
Willow
Wisteria
Zahara
Zinnia

For even more baby name ideas, take a look at this list of Nature Names for both boys and girls!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Boy Name of the Week: Chandler

The Boy Name of the Week is one of my favorite occupational names and I chose it in honor of yesterday's name list. It is derived from an Old French name that took form as a Middle English occupational name meaning "candlestick maker" or "candle seller."  Have you guessed? Yes, its Chandler. A chandler was the head of the chandlery in medieval households, responsible for wax, candles, and soap.

The Art of Naming - Old French Middle English occupational name meaning candle maker - friends


There are some parents who will give this name to their daughter but it is more popular for boys. The most popular example in recent memory is funny-man Chandler Bing on the TV show Friends which aired from 1994-2004. However, despite fitting right in with the "-er" trend and the occupational name trend, Chandler has lost its popularity since 2004. In fact, the most usage this name has seen was indeed during the airing of that show. It more than doubled between 1994 and 1995, (from 704 births to 1,856). Its highest peak occurred in 1999 with 2,394 births and a ranking of #151.

But lets back up a bit. Chandler first appeared on American baby boys in 1900 with 5 births. It took 62 years for the name to hit the girl market with 10 female births in 1962. Yet, before Friends even aired, the girl-Chandlers increased from 90 births in 1991 to 437 births in 1992 with its highest peak of 744 births occurring in 1995.

The name has declined in usage for boys over the past decade, but it has actually increased for girls. In 2016, male Chandlers ranked at #466 with 650 births, whereas the females made a leap onto the Top 1000 chart, returning for the first time since 2002 for a rank of #995 and 264 births. It is almost time for this name to be fresh again.

What do you think of this name and do you prefer it on a boy or a girl?  Here are some ideas for sibling names and middle names:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Avery, Delaney, Jessica, Matilda, Savannah, Willow
Brothers: Carter, Ethan, Harrison, Landon, Lincoln, Taylor,

Middle Name Ideas (Boy): 
Chandler Michael
Chandler Ellis
Chandler Adrian
Chandler Scott

Middle Name Ideas (Girl):
Chandler Isabelle
Chandler Lillian
Chandler Elise
Chandler Sophia

Which gender do you prefer for the name Chandler? What middle name would you pair with it?

Revised: 5/18/17

Monday, July 15, 2013

Occupational Names

Knight's Helmet by George Hodan
Perhaps Knight is your favorite name?

Long ago, people were known by their occupations. You'd have Joe the Blacksmith or Mary the Tailor. After a while, these job titles became their surnames and you'd have Joe Smith and Mary Taylor.

In modern times, these "occupational names" that were sometimes initially a surname have become a trend and are used as first names. Most of these are better on boys, but there are a few that can be used on a girl or on both genders equally.

I'll list them out and let you choose which gender you'd prefer:



Abbott            
Anchor
Archer
Bacchus
Bailey
Baird
Baker
Bandit
Banner
Barber
Barker
Baxter
Bekker
Bender
Berger
Bishop
Booker
Bowman
Brenner
Brewer
Brewster
Butler
Cantrell
Carbry
Carpenter
Carrin
Carter
Carver
Cater
Century
Chafer
Chaffer
Challender
Chamberlain
Chambers
Chandler
Chaplin
Chapman
Chaucer
Cherrier
Clark
Coldren
Coleman
Collier
Conner
Cooper
Cotter
Currier
Dancer
Deacon
Dexter
Draper
Dyer
Drummer
Falconer          
Falkner
Farmer
Fearson
Fifer
Fisher
Fiske
Fletcher
Forester
Foster
Fowler
Fuller
Gage
Gardener
Glover
Granger
Harper
Hayward
Hooper
Hunter
Jagger
Jeter
Kantor
Kellogg
Kiefer
King
Knight
Lander
Lanier
Lister
Lorimer
Marshall
Mason
Mercer
Miller
Miner
Nader
Naylor
Page
Paget
Paige
Painter
Palmer
Parker
Parson
Pilot
Piper
Plummer
Poet
Porter
Potter
Proctor
Provost
Purcell
Ranger
Redman
Reeve
Rocker
Roper
Ryder
Sadler
Sargent
Sailor
Sawyer
Sayer
Scully
Sexton
Shepherd
Shields
Singer
Skinner
Slater
Skipper
Smith
Snyder
Spencer
Stonier
Steele
Stewart
Tabor
Tanner
Taverner
Taylor
Thatcher
Tiller
Tillman
Todd
Toller
Tolliver
Trapp
Travers
Trinder
Trotter
Tucker
Turner
Tyler
Voss
Walker
Waller
Ward
Warner
Wayne
Weaver
Webb
Webster
Wheeler
Whistler
Woodward
Wright
While some of these are nice and are regularly used, some of these are a bit too out there and aren't recommended. But alas, I provide the options! It is up to you!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Girl Name of the Week: Liesel

In honor of the post from yesterday regarding your favorite classic girl's name, I thought I'd choose a variant of the poll winner, Elizabeth.

If you are familiar with this name, you'll know that it has so many variants, diminutives and foreign versions, even whole names like Isabella and Lillian come from Elizabeth.  I searched high and low for an interesting choice and came up with Liesel.


Liesel is a German Diminutive of Elisabeth (which is obviously an alternate spelling of Elizabeth.) Pronounced LEE-zel.  It is also spelled Liesl.  Elizabeth is a Hebrew name meaning "Pledged to God." For Liesel, I only seemed to find the meanings "God is my Oath" or "My God is a Vow." You get the idea.

I saw Liesel appear all over baby name forums a couple years ago and it has seemed to completely fall off the radar once again. If you don't like it as a given name, it would make for a spunky nickname for Elizabeth that is probably not used very often.

As a given name, Liesel first hit the charts in 1954 with only 5 births. It wasn't heard from again until 1963, but it has been regularly used since then. However, the most births in a single year was in 2008 with just 33 baby girls born.  You know you have a unique name when only 32 other girls in the country also have it in your birth year.

In 2012, only 19 babies received this name, proving that it is indeed very obscure. It ranked at #6713.  Liesel might even do well to honor grandma Lisa by offering a more updated sound. Lisa also comes from Elisabeth.

Source
Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Annabel, Gretel, Heidi, Lauren, Millicent, Renee

Brothers: Archer, Brenton, Calvin, Grant, Lance, Wilson

Middle Name Ideas:
Liesel Ramona
Liesel Evangeline
Liesel Grace
Liesel Minerva

As a Middle Name:
Catherine Liesel
Harriet Liesel
Penelope Liesel
Sabrina Liesel

It seems to flow better as a first name.  But whether you're looking for a rare given name or a spunky nickname for one of the most-used names in history, Liesel is it!  What do you think?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Result of "Favorite Classic Girls Name" Poll


If you've seen the polls on the right side of my blog, you may have noticed that two of them have closed. I'd like to report the results of one of the polls now!

This poll asked the question: "What is your favorite classic girls name?"  I provided the following options:

Elizabeth - 14 votes (34%)
Alexandra -  8 votes (19%)
Anna      -  8 votes (19%)
Katherine -  6 votes (14%)
Victoria -   5 votes (12%)

Elizabeth was the clear winner of the poll! I wrote a blog article about the name Elizabeth asking why it has been a perpetually popular name since 1880. It appears to still have the winning-edge over its contemporaries!  Elizabeth has a rich history, a timeless style and a multitude of nickname options! It is a Hebrew name meaning "pledged to God," and is ranked at #10 on the US Top 1000 names chart.

Alexandra and Anna tied for 2nd place.  Alexandra is my favorite of the bunch. It is a strong but elegant Greek name meaning "Defender of the People."  With many nickname possibilities, this name remains popular at #76.

The name Anna is short and sweet. On its own, it is a Hebrew name meaning "Grace," but it is also considered a Greek or Latin version of the name Hannah. Anna has an exotic appeal that works internationally. It is currently ranked at #35.

Katherine placed next on the poll rankings and is one of the oldest and most diverse names! It is equally powerful and feminine with a royal and saintly edge. Katherine has many spellings, short forms and nicknames which makes it very adaptable to the name bearer. It is Greek meaning "pure," and is currently ranked at #64. This name is my second favorite on the list.

Lastly, Victoria! Queen Victoria's name was responsible for classifying an entire era that epitomizes gentility and refinement. It is Latin meaning "victory," and is currently ranked at #28. I would personally like this name better if I didn't dislike the nickname "Vicky" so much. Perhaps that is one reason this classic name ranked last on the poll.

Which did you vote for? What are your favorite nicknames for each name?  Let me know in the comments below and check out the results of the Classic Boy Name poll from Monday's post!  Stay tuned for tomorrow's Girl Name of the Week! I'll be using a diminutive of one of the names above!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Boy Name of the Week: Ewan

The Boy Name of the Week is the Scottish form of a Gaelic name: Ewan. It is pronounced YOO-un.

It comes from the Gaelic name Eoghan. There were several legendary Irish figures with the name Eoghan, which possibly means "born from the yew tree" in Irish. Some say it may be derived from Eugene which comes from Greek words meaning "well born."  I've also seen some sites say that Ewan means "Youth" but I'm not sure where they got that information from.


So while I can't seem to get a clear picture on what it really means, it is still a very handsome name. Ewan can also be spelled Euan, Ewen, Ewyn or even Ouen, depending on where you live.  Sometimes it is said to be a variation of names like John, Owen, Evan, Hugh and again Eugene. Owen is actually the Welsh spelling of the name, also spelled Owain.

If you do more research on Eoghan, you'll see that it also has various spellings and that its true meaning is heavily debated.  The encyclopedia of Irish Names (1981, 1990) disputes any connection with Eugene and derives the name from Old Irish: EĆ³gan meaning "born of the yew". So I think I'll go with that!

As you can see, Ewan has plenty of possible roots and brother-names.  What I think makes it so special is its unique sound, spelling and the fact that it isn't super popular. Sure, you've heard of the Scottish Actor Ewan McGregor, but how many others do you know? I can't say I've met one.

You may need to click the image to see it better.  Source
Let's look at the stats! This name wasn't heard of in the US until 1972. It did not catch on at all until 1997. The most usage that Ewan has received was in 2006 when there were 148 babies born. That wasn't enough for the name to crack the Top 1000 though.

In 2012, there were 140 baby Ewans born, ranking the name at #1245. Compare that to the 7,851 baby boys named Evan (#47), and the 8,630 baby boys named Owen (#38).

I like Ewan for how under-the-radar it still is.  What do you think of it?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Ainsley, Caitlin, Clara, Fiona, Isla, Maeve, Rosalie, Siobhan
Brothers: Aiden, Callum, Finn, Gavin, Kellan, Lachlan, Ronan, Teague

Middle Name Ideas: 
Ewan Bryant
Ewan Cashel
Ewan Dempsey
Ewan Flannerry
Ewan Malone
Ewan Rafferty
Ewan Reilly

Monday, July 8, 2013

Result of "Favorite Classic Boys Name" Poll


If you've noticed the polls that are located on the right side of this blog, you'll see that the two on the bottom have closed. I have the results of the boy poll here!  I will feature the girl's poll on Thursday.

I asked the question: "Which of these classic boy names do you prefer?" These were the options:

Alexander - 14 votes (35%)
William - 8 votes (20%)
James -  8 votes (20%)
John -  5 votes (12%)
Charles - 4 votes (10%)

Looking back on this, I would have probably preferred to remove one of them and include Arthur or Frederick. Nonetheless, you guys voted and the clear winner was Alexander.

Alexander is a Greek name meaning "Defender of the People," and it is also my favorite on this list. It is the name I chose for my son's middle name. It ranked at #9 on the 2012 US Top 1000 Names chart! It is a noble name with many nicknames and variations such as Alex, Lex, Xander/Zander and even the exotic Sasha.

There was a two-way tie for second place, William and James.  William is a royal name, currently used by Prince William. This is a classic name that has endured over the years. It currently sits at #5! It is both conservative and contemporary with the cute, popular nickname Liam (which ranked #6 on its own.) Despite Liam, there will continue to be Wills and Bills and Billys. William is an English name meaning "resolute protection."

James is considered the English variation of Jacob, but it is also known as a Hebrew name meaning "supplanter." This name has also endured time and remains as popular and stylish as ever! It ranks at #14 and is beloved by many for its extensive history and cute nicknames like Jimmy and Jamie. There are also many interesting foreign variations of the name from Jacques to Hamish to Seamus.

John is a solid classic that stood at the top of the list for decades. In fact, before the SSA began compiling data in 1880, John was the most popular name for nearly 400 years! While it ranked at #28 last year, many parents view it was overused, opting for Jack or another international variation such as Jean, Sean, Ian, Evan or Ewan. The ones that use John today seem to use it to honor a relative rather than using it for stylistic reasons. It is at its lowest point ever right now. It is a Hebrew name meaning "God is gracious," and despite its drop in popularity, I imagine it will always be in the Top 100.

Lastly, Charles only got 4 votes. The name dates back to Charles the Great or the emperor Charlemagne. It is an elegant royal name that is currently in usage by Prince Charles, son of Queen Elizabeth and first in line to the throne of England. It has also been the name of Kings in France, Spain, Portugal and Hungary. It ranks at #62 in the US and is a French name meaning "free man." It seems many parents prefer the nickname Charlie as a given name.

Which of these names did you vote for? What are your favorite nicknames for each? Let me know in the comments below!  And stay tuned for the results of the girl's name poll! It will post on Thursday!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

10 Ancient Names that Deserve Usage Today

Minerva

Many vintage names are coming back into style today but there are also plenty of ancient gems out there that very few people are considering. It begs the question, what makes certain names desirable and others not?  Here are 10 perfectly viable names with history and beauty that are being virtually ignored for modern babies:

Aveline
This name originated as a French surname that was introduced by the Norman French to the British. It became very rare after the Middle Ages. I found it listed as a surname for some famous people dating back as early as 1656. Unlike most surnames, this one is actually very feminine and would be beautiful on a girl. It follows the popular Ava trend and is similar to all the other -line names.  It has very rare usage in the US (the first record being in 1923) and it ranked at #3678 in 2013 with 41 births. Unlike some of the other Av- names, this is not associate with birds. Aveline is said to come from "Avila," a town in Spain, which means "desired." Another source says it comes from the Ancient Roman place "Avella" which means "Hazelnut." Perhaps in this case, you can choose which meaning you like better since neither are marked as the official meaning.

Isolde
A name that frequently gets tossed around naming forums but is rarely used in the US. There were only 9 births in 2013 which ranks the name at #11264; this is down from 22 births in 2012. A romantic and tragic name, Isolde brings to mind the Arthurian legends of the Irish Princess and her lover Knight Tristan. This story made the name very popular during the Middle Ages (also spelled Iseult.) It regained some popularity from Richard Wagner's opera "Tristan und Isolde" in 1865. However there are no US births on record until 1971, then not again until 1997. Its been used regularly but rarely since 2006.

Junia
With the spunky Juno being tossed around (but still rarely used) and the lovely June coming back, I'd like to explore another rare option: Junia. Ranking at #4655 with 30 births in 2013, this Ancient Roman name could be hot again! With a Biblical twist, Junia is also debated to possibly be a female apostle who was complimented by Paul in the 1st century (some argue the name was used for a man.)  The name Junia first ranked at #981 in 1883 (with 5 births) and has been used sporadically  over the years with a vintage peak of 16 births in 1922. It took a hiatus through the 60s and 70s and has seen a slight increase in usage since 2004.

I've featured this name before and it remains one of my favorites. It has been used every year since 1880 but it averages only 20-40 births a year with a peak of 93 births in both 1920 and 1921. Perhaps parents aren't loving it because of its unknown meaning. However, she was a Shakespearean character in Titus Andronicus. Lavinia was also the wife of the Trojan hero Aeneas and was considered to be the mother of the Roman people according to Roman legends. The town of Lavinium, Italy was named after her. For those of you that like a name with history or a name that comes from ancient legends, this is a very ancient name that sounds beautiful and classy. It was also the middle name of the beloved Old Hollywood starlet Ava Gardner. There were only 70 girls born with this name in 2013, with a ranking of #2534.

Minerva
This is another Ancient Latin name that has long been neglected. It means"intellect." This name's most notable namesake is the Roman Goddess of wisdom, invention and war. She is said to be the equivalent of the Greek Goddess Athena. Minerva is also associated with arts, music, poetry, medicine and crafts which would be an excellent choice for artistic, adventurous parents. This name has been used since the Renaissance. It peaked in popularity around 1915-1920 and again around 1955-1960 so it is due for a spike in modern usage. It only ranked at #3417 with 46 births in 2013.

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Amadeus
This Latin boy's name is most famously known as the middle name of the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. "Amadeus" was also the title of a Peter Shaffer play which became an award-winning film in 1984. The name Amadeus means "Lover of God" and is a unique but familiar pick. It has only been used as a recorded first-name since 1985, probably as a response to the film. Its peak usage occurred last year in 2013 with only 53 babies born. That ranks the name at #2351. Amadeus definitely deserves some love!

Constantine
Another Latin name that could use more usage! With the similar girl name Constance having such success, its a wonder why Constantine is rarely heard! A derivative of Constans, meaning "steadfast" or "constant", a famous bearer of the name was Constantine the Great (272-337) who was the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity. He famously moved the capital of the empire from Rome to Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople after himself. It is now Istanbul in modern times. Perhaps the long length of Constantine and the lack of good nicknames (Connie? Stan? Tino?) is enough to keep the name from gaining popularity. However, it was given to 95 babies in 2013 for a rank of #1602. It's been regularly used since 1906, with its first US appearances in 1885. I happen to love this name in the middle name spot!

Leopold
This name tends to get associated with the "Leo" names meaning "Lion" like Leon and Leonardo, but Leopold does not come from the same meaning. It is derived from the Germanic elements "leud" meaning "people" and "bald" meaning "bold." Some sites say that it means "Brave People." Bold or Brave, this aristocratic name was used by Queen Victoria to honor her favorite uncle King Leopold of Belgium. This name was common among German royalty as well. Leopold was also a 12th-century Saint in Austria, who is now considered the patron of that country. In literature, Leopold Bloom is the main character in James Joyce's novel "Ulysses" (1920). Leopold has been steadily used every year since 1880 but for few babies per year. It hit a peak of 79 births in 1916. In 2013, only 64 little Leopolds were born, ranking the name at #2090. I prefer the nickname "Leo" to come from Leopold.

Marcellus
This is a Roman family name that originates from the more popular "Marcus." All these Mar- variations stem from the name of the Roman god "Mars" who was the god of war, equivalent to the Greek Ares. Marcellus is a Latin name meaning "Young Warrior" and has been used by two popes along with the famous Marcus Claudius Marcellus. With other ancient Roman names like Maximus, Augustus, Julius and Titus gaining popularity, I could see Marcellus fitting right in with the nickname Marc. The name has had very little usage per year, but has been on the record since 1880. Its first usage peak was in 1971 when 121 babies were born. Next, the 90's saw elevated numbers like 107 and 117 and 109 births. Marcellus has stayed in the 90-110 range, falling to just 80 births in 2013. That ranks the name at #1792.

Romulus
I would love to see a little Romulus with the nickname Romy. Like Marcellus, this name would fit right in with all the other Latin "-us" names that are gaining popularity. While I love the sound of this name, I do have to warn parents about its most obvious namesake. Romulus was one of the original Romans. His name means "citizen of Rome" in Latin. He and his twin brother, Remus, founded Rome. However, according to legend, Romulus killed his brother and created the city in his own image. His name is later changed to Quinnius.  Another notable namesake is found in the Star Trek series as the home planet of the Romulan race. Despite the legendary Romulus, a few parents have found this name appealing over the years. It was first recorded as being used in the US in 1922 with just 6 births. There have only been a total of 225 boys named Romulus in the US. In 2013, only 7 boys received this strong, bold choice

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What do you think of these rare names? Do you think it is the strong associations that they have in history that keeps parents from using them? Or have they simply not caught on as a popular choice yet? Yes, they are not in the normal rotation of names, but I don't see why they should remain obscure and unloved.  

Tell me: why do you think some names are overused and some remain forever obscure? Is our society just not ready for the more unusual but historic choices? Which one is your favorite?

This article also appears on Nameberry.