Saturday, August 31, 2013

3 Girl Names: Similar Sound, Different Popularity

I love questions about popularity. I am always wondering if parents choose names because of how popular (or unpopular) they are. And with that, do they also avoid certain names because they're popular or unheard of?

The above poll focused on names that start with Isa-.  It is no secret that Isabella was the #1 name in 2009 and 2010 after seeming to come out of nowhere suddenly in the early 2000s. In fact, Isabella was rather obscure, not even on the top 1000 chart, between 1949 and 1990.

I didn't think to include Isabelle on the poll, but she's not nearly as popular as Isabella. That -a ending makes all the difference.  Isabelle ranked at #126 in 2012, while Isabella is #3.  Alternatively, Isabel ranked right behind Isabelle at #134. I wonder how many of you would have voted for Isabelle or Isabel.

What about other options that don't have a bell chained to it?

The lovely Isadora is my personal favorite. I would use this over Isabella any day! And the rare and unique Isabeau was the third option on the poll.

These three names have differing popularity on actual babies, but on The Art of Naming, there was one clear winner. Here are the poll results:

Isadora:  20 votes  (51%)
Isabella: 14 votes  (35%)
Isabeau:  5 votes (12%)

This tells me that most of you would prefer to be right in the middle of the popularity scale. Here is where the names ranked in 2012:

Isabella ranked at #3
Isadora ranked at #1497
Isabeau ranked at #10664

Isabella is the latinate (Spanish and Italian) version of Isabel which is the Medieval Occitan form of Elizabeth. This name works very well internationally, but the major draw to the name was influenced by the character in Twilight. The Bella nickname suddenly swept America as one of the most desirable. It means "pledged to God".

Isadora comes from Isidora which is the female form of the male name Isidore.  Isadora comes from Greek elements meaning "Gift of Isis".  As you can see above, Isadora is not even close to ranking in the US Top 1000. It wasn't used at all from 1958-1968, but it has been around since the 1880s, even ranking at a high of #654 in 1882. But that ranking only accounted for 9 births. I get the feeling this name will continue to slowly gain more usage over the next few years. There was a record 148 babies born last year with this name.  Read more about this name here.

Isabeau has only been used in the US since 1987.  There were only 10 girls given this name in 2012. The only information that I can find on this name says that it is an Old French variant of Isabel. A famous bearer of this name was the wife of the French King Charles VI, Isabeau of Bavaria (1385-1422) also known as Isabeau de Bavière.  Since Isabeau comes from Isabel, it also means "pledged to God" and would be an excellent alternative on the opposite end of the popularity spectrum. I sense that this may also gain a bit more usage in the near future, but I can't imagine it hitting the Top 1000 any time soon, if ever.

Which of these names do you like best?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fan-Chosen Girl Name of the Week: Eir

Our "Fan of the Week" Kiira chose a super cool girl's name straight out of Norse Mythology. Love it! The name is Eir.


Eir was a Norse goddess of healing and medicine. The name means "mercy" or "protection, help" in Old Norse. If you're wondering how it is pronounced, you can listen to it here.  To my ear, this Icelandic pronunciation almost sounds like "ayvf."  I've also heard it said sort of like "air" on a character in the video game "Guild Wars 2," Eir Stegalkin.

No matter how you may pronounce it, this name is rare. And I mean RARE. Upon researching the number of births that Eir has had in the US, well, the results came back "No matches were found."

Aha! Nobody in the States has ever used this name. Well, at least not the minimum requisite of 5 babies per year in order to be recorded.

Despite these statistics, there's actually quite a bit of information on the name on Wikipedia, which mentions poetry and prose. Read it if you'd like!

What about the popularity of the name in other countries? The earliest this name has been traced back to is 1917 in Norway.  The most recent information I could find on the number of births per year with the name Eir was in 2009 and it goes like this:

Norway: 80 females as a first name
Norway: 130 females if counting both the first and middle names.
Sweden: 7 females as a first name
Sweden: 30 females, including middle names.
Sweden: 3 males had it as a middle name.
Denmark: 5 female first names
Finland: 5 female and 5 male middle names.

In Finland, records show that there have been less than 25 males and less than 25 females who have ever had the name since 1899. Interesting!

Eir is definitely a rare name all around. While I love the idea of it, I'm pretty sure it won't work very well on a modern American child, but only because of pronunciation issues. It is definitely cool and unique otherwise.

However, another form of Eir that is potentially used in Norway and Sweden is Eira. You can hear the pronunciation of it here. It is a little easier to say and I think its slightly prettier because of the fashionable -a ending. It sounds like "eye-ir-ah" to me but with some rolling of the sounds that I'm not sure how to describe in written word. Just go listen to it! :)

What do you think of this "buried treasure" of a name? Do you have any guilty pleasure names that you totally love but will probably never use? I think Eir is on my list now.

Thanks again, Kiira!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Aoife, Axelia,  Catriona, Dahlia, Dagmar, Elin, Freya, Hanne, Karena, Linnea, Maren, Ottilia, Sigrid, Sorena

Brothers: Alder, Auren, Connall, Dyre, Gael, Hans, Johannes, Knute, Leif, Nils, Ragnar, Sorren, Thane, Viggo

Saturday, August 24, 2013

5 Em- Names And Their Popularity


See that poll above? I asked you what I thought was a very difficult question, but surprisingly, the answer was a very easy choice to make.

The clear-cut favorite Em- name on The Art of Naming is Emmeline. In fact, just turn the poll upside-down to put the names in the correct order! Here are the official results:

Emmeline: 19 votes  (45%)
Emerald: 7 votes (16%)
Emilia:  6 votes (14%)
Emily:  5 votes (11%)
Emma:  5 votes (11%)

This was a Popularity Question. I wanted to know how many people would prefer sticking to something popular like Emma or Emily, and how many people would opt for the bolder, rarer choices like Emerald and Emmeline, with Emilia tucked safely in the middle.

Emmeline is destined to be popular in the coming years and its because of the popularity of Emma and Emily, as well as the popular -line names like Caroline and Madeline. Parents love the Em- but want to be unique, so Emmeline is a great choice!  It is a French name that comes from German elements that mean "work."  It ranked just outside of the US Top 1000 in 2012 at #1078.  For now, it is a rare gem but don't be surprised if it hits the Top 1000 next year and continues climbing upward!  Click here to read even more about this lovely choice.

The name Emerald does indeed come from the word for the green precious stone, which is the birthstone of May. The emerald supposedly imparts love to the bearer, which can only make the name that much more desirable. In 2012, there were 145 baby girls and 6 baby boys born with this name. The girls ranked in at #1518 in the US.

Emilia has been gaining popularity for decades and has finally crossed the 1000 births-per-year milestone with 1,207 girls born in 2012. It ranks in at #268 in the US; both of these statistics are record-highs. Emilia is the feminine form of the Roman Family name Aemilius  which was derived from Latin "aemulus" meaning "rival".

Like Emilia, Emily comes from the same Roman Family name and has the same meaning. It was brought to England in the 18th century. It was thought to come from the German Amelia, since Princess Amelia Sophia (1711-1786) was called Emily, but the two names are unrelated. Emily was always moderately used, but began its ascent to the baby-name throne in the 1970s, hitting the #1 spot in 1996. It was finally usupred by Emma in 2008 and has been sitting comfortably at #6 for the past 4 years.

Emma is not as popular as Emily in modern times. It was only the #1 name in the US for 2008. However, Emma wins the popularity contest around the turn of the century. It ranked in the top 10 from 1880-1897 and had its own baby-boom around 1920. It lost a bit of steam from the 50s to the mid-80s, but definitely gained momentum again by the 90s. The 2000s and the 2010s continue to produce thousands of baby Emmas and I don't see it slowing down anytime soon. I happen to love the name! However, Emma is not related to Emily. It is originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element "ermen" meaning "whole" or "universal".

Which did you vote for? If popularity was not an issue, which name would you choose based on sound and meaning alone?  Emma is my ultimate favorite, but because of popularity, I would choose Emmeline instead.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mom-To-Mom: What Would You Name This Child?


Hello Moms and Name-Enthusiasts! Here is another baby-naming dilemma that could use a bit more input!  The mom-to-be is looking for the following:
  • Girl name beginning with either W, P or Q. 
  • Feminine but does NOT begin or end with a vowel.
  • Avoid the Top 100 names.
  • Longer first name with a one syllable middle name.
  • Middle name cannot start with an A.
  • The last name is also one syllable.
Right now, the priority is to find a name that ends with a consonant sound that mom and dad can agree on. Their naming styles seems to differ. He likes common and classic whereas she is a bit more adventurous.  They have two children with somewhat classic names, but she is not concerned at all about finding a name to "match".

Liked names:
Quinn
Gwen
Willow (despite vowel ending)
Pippa  (despite vowel ending)
Whitney

What other names would you suggest? I've sent plenty of options and am waiting for another reply once she has a chance to talk with her husband but I thought I'd open this up to all of you name-lovers and see what ideas we can compile for her!

Thanks!

P.S. If you have a baby naming dilemma too, check out this page.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fan-Chosen Boy Name of the Week: Kinnon

Our first "Fan of the Week" contest winner was a woman named Kiira who chose two interesting European names! I will feature the girl's name next Thursday.



The boy's name is Kinnon. It is a Scottish name that originated as a Gaelic surname. It comes from the name Mac Fhionghuin which means "son of the descendant of the well born".  The source was a bit confusing, but I believe it was first recorded in 728 a.d. as Mac Fhionghuin.

Over time, the name has had many different spellings. One of the first recorded spellings of this family name was on a man named Lachlann Makfingane in 1409. After that came Fingonivs, and it evolved to M'Fynwyn around 1490, Makfingoun in 1560, and then Kynnane in 1587. The spelling McKynnoun was around in 1621, McKinin came in 1680, and by 1781 it was typically spelled MacKinnon. Other variations include McKinnon, MacKinning, MacInnon, MacKinnen and MacFingon.

As a baby name, it is said to mean "fair born". Interestingly, there was only one baby born in Scotland in 2012 with the name Kinnon.

In the US, Kinnon is virtually unheard of! There have only been 7 babies on record who were given the name and they were all born in 1996. Keep in mind that the record covers 1880-2012.

If you are looking for a truly unique name, try Kinnon! It works well as an alternative to similar-sounding names like Keenan or Keegan (although those two are Irish and Kinnon is Scottish.)

What do you think of this rare name? I love that its not only rare in the US but it's rare in Scotland where it originates!  Thanks again, Kiira, for suggesting the name!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Ailsa, Caitir, Elspeth, Finlay, Fiona, Isla, Lorna, Mackenzie, Moira, Paisley, Rhona, Sheena
Brothers: Alistair, Brody, Calder, Callum, Duncan, Ewan, Finley, Kenneth, Lachlan, Macaulay, Malcolm, Ramsey, Stuart

Middle Name Ideas:
Kinnon Ross
Kinnon Alasdair
Kinnon Eideard
Kinnon Fionnlagh
Kinnon Ellis

As a Middle Name:
Frasier Kinnon
Douglas Kinnon
James Kinnon
Taggart Kinnon
Roy Kinnon

Friday, August 16, 2013

Name of the Week: Rowan

In honor of Monday's post about names that are considered unisex, I thought I'd choose my favorite of the bunch. I'm not personally a fan of unisex names, I prefer to keep things gender-specific and obvious, however, I do like Rowan and cannot decide which gender I like it better for. What do you think?


The name Rowan comes from an Irish surname. It is an Anglicized form of Ó Ruadháin which means"descendent of Ruadhán".  Sometimes this name is associated with the rowan tree which has red berries. It is also said to mean "little redhead".  This name is said to have been used for both genders since the middle ages, most commonly in Scotland and Ireland.

In 2012, this name ranked #301 for boys with 1,138 births. On the girl side, there were 678 births which ranks the name at #455 in 2012. It isn't quite a 50-50 split, but it is more evenly distributed than some of the other names that are considered unisex.  Additionally, there were 234 baby boys who spell it Rowen instead of Rowan, and the 97 female Rowens.

Source
Overall, Rowan first appeared in the states as a male name. It dates back to 1916 for boys, and it wasn't used for girls until 7 births in 1942 and then more regularly in 1975 after that.

The most famous Rowan is Mr. Atkinson who is well-known for his persona Mr. Bean. There is also Brooke Shields' daughter who is named Rowan.

I would pair Rowan with very gender-specific middle names like:  Rowan Isabelle or Rowan Alexander.  Which gender do you prefer this name on? Do you know any little Rowans?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Unisex: Alexis, Avery, Charlie, Dakota, Emerson, Finley, Hayden, Marlowe, Riley, River, Sawyer, Skyler, Taylor
Sisters: Caitlin, Fiona, Matilda, Laurel, Olivia, Sarah, Willow
Brothers: Aiden, Ethan, Dylan, Lucas, Mason, Nolan, Xavier

Middle Name Ideas (Boys): 
Rowan Alexander
Rowan Isaiah
Rowan Nicholas
Rowan Matthew
Rowan Oliver

Middle Name Ideas (Girls):
Rowan Isabelle
Rowan Grace
Rowan Elizabeth
Rowan Alexandra
Rowan Sophia

As a Middle Name (Boys):
Daniel Rowan
Anthony Rowan
Chase Rowan
Elliott Rowan
Thomas Rowan

As a Middle Name (Girls):
Scarlett Rowan
Violet Rowan
Juliet Rowan
Cassandra Rowan
Michaela Rowan

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

World-Wide Wednesday: Japanese Names

Inochi (Life)

Once a month, I will venture into international waters and find "exotic" and "foreign" names that are common in that particular native land.  For this first installment of "World-Wide Wednesday" where I find interesting name choices from around the world, I thought I'd focus on Japanese names.

Authentic Japanese names can be so wonderful! Its a shame that some Japanese immigrants to the US feel the need to "Americanize" their name, or choose a boring, English name like Jerry or Lee.  However, there are many that keep the name their parents gave them.

I read that it is traditional to have a big celebratory feast for the infant on its "Oshichiya" or its seventh day of life. They hang on the wall a very special "Shodo," or name plaque, that has the child's name inscribed in Japanese characters on very special paper.

Clearly, they take baby-naming very seriously! How many of us even had a celebratory feast when we were born, or when our children were born?

Meaning in names is very important. The Japanese use kanji characters that will mean things like "to soar," "great," and "big" for boys; and girls will receive characters meaning "beauty," "love," and "flower" among others.

In the past, it was very common and traditional for girls to have the kanji character "ko" meaning "a child" on the end of their names. Some of Japan's recent female royals were named Michiko, Kiko and Masako. However, this naming trend is almost completely gone now.

Many baby girls are receiving names that end with "ka" or "na" now instead of "ko".  Names like Haruka, Hina, Honoka, Ayaka, Yuuna, Momoka and Haruna. Western-sounding names have been trendy too, as well as shorter names like Hina, Yui and Miyu.

Another trend for girl names is to use Hiragana characters instead of kanji because it is softer and offers popular names like Sakura, Kokoro, Hikari and Hinata. There is a greater naming diversity in Japan today.

For boys, many of them receive endings like -to, -ki, and -ta. Popular names include Haruto, Yuuki, Souta, Kaito and Haruki.

Japanese names can be so diverse because you could ultimately choose from thousands of kanji characters and mix and match them to create a name.

Here are the 50 most popular Japanese boy's names in 2012:

1. Haruto
2. Yuto
3. Sota
4. Yuki
5. Hayato
6. Haruki
7. Ryusei
8. Koki
9. Sora
10. Sosuke, Riku
12. Soma
13. Ryota, Rui
14. Kaito, Haru
17. Kota, Yusei
19. Yuito
20. Yuma, Ren
22. Takumi, Minato
24. Eita, Shota
26. Daiki, Hiroto
28. Kosei, Takeru, Hinata
31. Toma, Manato, Ryuki, Rikuto
35. Aoto, Ibuki, Tatsuki, Haruma, Yamato, Ryuto
41. Taisei, Yuta
43. Itsuki, Soshi, Taiga
46. Kosuke, Shoma, Yushin, Ryuga, Ryo, Rento


And these are the 50 most popular Japanese girl's names in 2012:

1. Yui
2. Rio
3. Yuna
4. Hina
5. Koharu, Hinata
7. Mei
8. Mio
9. Saki
10. Miyu
11. Kokona
12. Haruka
13. Rin
14. Akari, Yuna
16. Honoka, Momoka
18. Aoi, Ichika, Sakura
21. Himari, Yume
23. Airi, Sara, Nanami
26. Ayaka, Yuka
28. Riko
29. Noa, Mao, Yua
32. Ayane, Hiyori, Misaki, Yuzuki, Rina
37. Sana, Ria, Ruka
40. Kanon, Kaho, Hana
43. Karin, Risa
45. Shiori, Fuka, Rino
48. Anna, Natsuki, Nana, Reina

Click here for a longer list of names that are popular in Japan for both genders.

Whether you have any Japanese blood or not, which of these names do you like best?

Note: If I have gotten any information wrong, please let me  know. I did some research, but I'm not Japanese, nor have I ever been to Japan. No offense intended. Just naming fascination! Thank you.

Source | Source | Source | Source

Monday, August 12, 2013

Unisex Names and Their Boy/Girl Ratios

Here is a list of names that are considered unisex today. I am only including those that have a good amount of births for both genders.  There are some names that have a couple hundred births for a boy and several thousand births for a girl (or vice versa). That's pretty much a landslide so I'm not including them. To be included, the names have to have at least a 90/10 split.

Name:  Percentage of use per gender (Boy/Girl) in 2012. (Example: 77% of all babies named Alexis in 2012 are female.)

Alexis (23/77)
Angel  (83/16)
Avery (19/81)
Casey  (61/39)
Charlie (59/41)
Dakota (48/52)
Devon (89/11)
Drew (84/16)
Elliott (84/16)
Ellis (65/35)
Emerson (39/61)
Emery (20/80)
Finley (34/66)
Harley (33/67)
Haven (18/82)
Hayden (69/31)
Jordan (85/15)
Jules (49/51)
Justice (46/54)
Kai  (87/13)
Kendall (12/88)
London (87/13)
Marlowe  (12/88)
Morgan (89/11)
Parker (84/16)
Payton (17/83)
Peyton (32/68)
Phoenix (61/39)
Quinn (32/68)
Reese (16/84)
Remy (54/46)
Riley (37/63)
Rio (66/34)
River (64/36)
Rory (69/31)
Rowan (63/37)
Sage (34/66)
Sawyer (83/17)
Scout (33/67)
Sky (24/76)
Skyler (41/59)
Skylar (12/88)
Taylor (15/85)
Teagan (20/80)
Toby  (79/21)
Valentine (47/53)
Zion (81/19)

These names were for the year 2012. For an updated list, take a look at this article:

Boy to Girl Ratios of Unisex Names in 2013


Can you think of any other names that might fall in this category?

I was surprised to see that there were more-females-than-males named Justice, Finley, Harley, and Taylor. In fact, only 15% of all Taylors are boys now. I thought it was a bit more even.  I was also a bit surprised that Charlie was 59/41. I figured most would be named Charlotte (or the like) and be nicknamed Charlie; I didn't expect so many females with Charlie as a given name.

Did any of these ratios surprise you?  Might you change your mind about using any of these names now that you see the ratio? Let me know in the comment section below!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

5 Rarely Used Greek Boy Names!


Once again, a couple of the polls on the side of the blog have ended and the results are in!

Apollo 17 votes (34%)
Calix 15 votes (30%)
Isidore 7 votes (14%)
Achilles 6 votes (12%
Erasmus 4 votes (8%)

You voted! The winner of the poll was Apollo!

Apollo is a Greek mythology name. He was the son of Zeus and the god of medicine, music and poetry. Modern associations include NASA's Apollo program that landed humans on the moon; the historic Apollo Theatre in New York that launched the careers of many famous musicians.  Apollo ranked within the Top 1000 for the very first time at #993 in 2012! This name has only ranked in the US since 1965.

Calix is a handsome and rare choice. Some think of it as the male form of Calixta/Calista. It is a Greek name meaning "Very Handsome" but some associate it with a Chalice in Latin. It has only been used in the US since 2002. There were 46 boys given the name in 2012, but it only ranks at #2619.

Isidore was a common name in ancient Greece and is held by several saints. The name means "Gift of Isis" and was readily used by Jews in Spain. St. Isidore of Seville worked as an encyclopedist and helped to pass down much of our knowledge about medieval times. This name was most popular from 1912-1924. Since then, usage has nearly stopped. Only 5 boys bore this name in 2012.

Achilles was a great warrior in Greek legend and one of the stars of Homer's Illiad which featured the Greek war against the Trojans. He was famously killed by an arrow to the heel, (now called the Achilles tendon) as it was his only weak spot. Because of this, the name possibly means "pain" but the true meaning is unclear. Achilles is used more in Europe than in the states. It's been used ocassionally since 1912, and had a small boost in 2005. There were 146 boys born in 2012 with this name, ranking at #1209.

Erasmus is a very rare name but it shouldn't be. It is Greek for "beloved, desired" which is very attractive! Perhaps its the two S's in the name that makes it difficult to say. Saint Erasmus was also known as Saint Elmo. And Charles Darwin's grandfather was named Erasmus. This name briefly ranked in the US from 1880-1882. It wasn't used again until 1913-1926, 1942, 1970, 1972, 2000, and 2010-2011. There have only been 105 Erasmus' born in the US since 1880.

I'd like to see Erasmus and Isidore have more usage for modern boys. Which do you like?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Girl Name of the Week: Vienna

In honor of yesterday's post about "place names," I've chosen to feature Vienna for the Girl Name of the Week.

Of course, Vienna is the capital of Austria, and it is also its largest city with 2.4 million people within the metropolitan area.  The city is known as "The City of Music" because there have been more famous composers living there than anywhere else. It has also been called "The City of Dreams" because it was the home of Sigmund Freud, a famous psycho-analyst.


The Italian name Vienna comes from the German name "Wien" which is thought to be derived from the Roman "vindobona" which comes from the Celtic word "windo-" meaning "white or fair."
Some claim that it comes from "Vedunia" which means "forest stream." As you can see, the exact origin and meaning is a bit hazy.

Every source I looked at seemed to have its own meaning and origin for Vienna, for instance, one site says that it is "Latin" meaning "from wine country".

Vienna was used in the US in 1882 for 5 baby girls, and it wasn't heard from again until 1899. Its usage remained in the single and double digits until 2007 when there were 107 births for the year.  Now, in 2012 there were 214 births which puts Vienna at #1141.

Source
No, Vienna has never cracked the top 1000, but she is rising slowly. Perhaps parents are using Vienna as an alternative to the more-popular, similar-sounding Sienna.

Do you think Vienna will appear on the top 1000 chart some time soon or do you think it will remain somewhat obscure?  I could see it being more popular if it weren't for "Vienna sausages" tainting the beauty of this place name. What do you think?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Adelaide, Bethany, Geneva, Mila, Savannah, Sierra, Victoria
Brothers: Austin, Daniel, Henry, Kellan, Lincoln, Scott, William

Middle Name Ideas:
Vienna Grace
Vienna Penelope
Vienna Sage
Vienna Louise
Vienna Meredith

As a Middle Name:
Elizabeth Vienna
Harper Vienna
Madison Vienna
Lily Vienna
Pearl Vienna

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Place Names for Boys and Girls



This awesome photo was borrowed from this awesome blog.
I do not normally recommend place names unless you've personally been to that place and it holds sentimental value for you, or your family hails from there.

That being said, here is a long list of places around the world that could work as a first name. Boy and Girl options are mixed together.

Please keep in mind that some places are nicer than others and some places have strong history associated with it.

Do your research carefully before you commit to using any of these names.

Abilene
Adelaide
Africa
Alabama
Alamo
Albany
Andorra
Aquitaine
Arabia
Aragon
Argentina
Aspen
Asia
Assisi
Atlanta
Austin
Austria
Avalon
Baja
Berlin
Bimini
Bolivia
Boston
Brasilia
Brazil
Bristol
Brooklyn
Bronx
Cairo
Calais
Caledonia
Camden
Carolina
Caspian
Catalina
Cathay
Cayman
Ceylon
Charleston
Charlotte
Chelsea
Cheyenne
China
Cluny
Colombia
Corsica
Cuba
Cyprus
Dakota
Dallas
Danube

Delphi
Denver
Devon
Dominica
Dover
Dublin
Eden
Elba
England
Everest
Florence
France
Galway
Geneva
Genoa
Georgia
Glasgow
Guernsey
Harlem
Havana
Holland
Houston
Hudson
Iberia
India
Indiana
Indio
Ireland
Israel
Italia
Jakarta
Jamaica
Java
Jersey
Jordan
Kenya
Kingston
Kyoto
London
Louisiana
Lourdes
Madison
Majorca
Malta
Manila
Montana
Marbella
Memphis
Miami
Morocco
Nairobi

Nevis
Nile
Odessa
Olympia
Oslo
Palermo
Palma
Panama
Paris
Persia
Peru
Philippine
Portland
Quebec
Quintana
Quito
Raleigh
Reno
Rio
Roma
Romany
Russia
Sahara
Salem
Samara
Samoa
Santiago
Savannah
Senegal
Sevilla
Sicily
Siena
Sierra
Sonoma
Sonora
Sydney
Tahiti
Tangier
Trenton
Trinidad
Umbria
Valencia
Venezia
Venice
Verona
Vienna
Virginia
York
Zealand  
Which name is your favorite? Are there any I should add?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Boy Name of the Week: Orion

The Boy Name of the Week has both mythical and celestial associations to it.

Orion is the name of a constellation of stars. Most visible to the naked eye is a line of three stars that form Orion's belt. The constellation was named after a legendary Greek hunter who is said to have been killed by a scorpion that was sent by Gaia.  However, here are many different tales about Orion and his origins in mythology.


The name Orion does not have a known meaning, but could be related to the Greek ‘οριον' (horion) which means "boundary" or "limit".

Orion has ranked in the US since 1880 but it was extremely rare and hardly used until it began gaining a bit of momentum in the 70s. It landed on the top 1000 chart for the first time in 1991 at #995 then fell back off for two years.

Starting in 1994, this name has been on an upward trajectory!  In 2012, there were 673 baby boys named Orion which ranked the name at #419. There were also 21 female births in 2012. There has been a handful of girls given this name since 1991 (and 5 random births in 1917) but this is an overwhelmingly male name.

Source
This name is categorized with nature names and celestial names as well as mythological names. I'm featuring it as my favorite name from yesterday's Nature Names post.

I would probably pair Orion with a traditional name like Orion James or Matthew Orion since it is a bold choice. What do you think of this name?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Athena, Aurora, Cassandra, Iris, Jasmine, Raven, Soleil, Xanthe

Brothers: Anthony, August, Griffin, Jared, Lennon, Oliver, Soren, Talon

Middle Name Ideas:
Orion James
Orion Carter
Orion Lucas
Orion Lee

As a Middle Name:
Matthew Orion
Dominic Orion
Andrew Orion
Blake Orion

Monday, August 5, 2013

Nature Names For Boys and Girls

Snow? Rose? Winter?
Photo taken by me.
I previously featured girl names that are inspired by flowers and trees. I thought I would find even more options for both genders that come from nature.

Included on this list are baby names that are inspired by flowers, trees, fruit, water, weather, the earth and even animals! There is a great variety here and you're sure to find one that you love!

Nature names have increased in popularity lately as parents look for bold, unconventional name options. Which of these cool options is your favorite? Did I miss any?
Amber
Apple
Aqua
Arbor
Ash
Aspen
Avis
Azalea
Basil
Bay
Beach
Berry
Birch
Blossom
Briar
Brook
Calla
Canyon
Cedar
Cerise
Cherry
Citron
Clay
Clementine
Cliff
Clover
Cobalt
Coral
Crane
Cricket
Dahlia
Daisy
Delta
Dove
Dune
Elm
Emerald
Falcon
Feather
Fern
Field
Fjord
Flint
Flora
Forest
Fox
Gardener
Garland
Garnet
Glen
Grove
Harbor
Hawk
Huckleberry
Iris
Isle
Ivy
Jade
Jasmine
Jasper
Jet
Juniper
Lake
Lark
Laurel
Lemon
Lily
Linden
Luna
Magnolia
Mango
Maple
Marigold
Meadow
Mercury
Mesa
Mica
Nova
Oak
Ocean
Onyx
Opal
Oriole
Orion
Pearl
Pepper
Peridot
Petunia
Pike
Pine
Plum
Poppy
Prairie
Primrose
Quarry
Quartz
Quill
Rain
Reed
Ridge
River
Robin
Rose
Ruby
Saffron
Sage
Sapphire
Shale
Skye
Slate
Snow
Sparrow
Spring
Spruce
Star
Stone
Tide
Topaz
Vale
Valley
Venus
Willow
Wolf
Wren
Yarrow
Zinc

Friday, August 2, 2013

Girl Name of the Week: Sybil

In honor of my post featuring "cool girl names," the Girl's Name of the Week is a lovely Greek name that means "prophetess".  With the recent popularity of the TV show Downton Abbey, the name of the Crawley's youngest daughter has been on the minds' of American parents.  Sybil was nearly forgotten until now, but it doesn't appear to be climbing back up the charts just yet.


Sybil was not originally a name, but an ancient Greek word for a woman who claimed the ability to foresee that which most people could not. These prophetesses were thought to have divine knowledge and were revered. Despite its origins as a word, the name itself its uniquely beautiful.

It can also be spelled Sibyl or Cybill, and there are many international variations such as Sibylla or Sybille.  This spelling, Sybil, has been around since the middle ages where it saw common usage among Christians.  It was later taken to England by the Normans but became extremely rare after the Protestant Reformation. It wasn't until Benjamin Disraeli wrote a novel titled "Sybil" in 1845 that the name saw a revival through the Victorian era.


This name peaked in usage in 1921 when 541 baby girls were born. Since then, the name has declined greatly and fell off of the Top 1000 chart in 1967. In 2012, there were only 16 babies given this name, ranking it at #7706.

 Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey had the middle name Cora after her mother.  Sybil Coraline? Sybil Caroline? Her sisters are named Mary and Edith.

Do you think Sybil has the potential to regain some popularity? Or do you think its strong meaning makes parents shy of using it? Do you like the name?  Let me know in the comments section below!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alessia, Cora, Delaney, Edith, Imogen, Pearl, Rebecca
Brothers: Alfred, Clive, Isaiah, Joshua, Marcus, Peter, Warren

Middle Name Ideas:
Sybil Alessandra
Sybil Caroline
Sybil Ophelia
Sybil Minerva
Sybil Coraline

As a Middle Name:
Alexandra Sybil
Catherine Sybil
Josephine Sybil
Rosalie Sybil
Victoria Sybil

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cool Names for Girls

Finding the perfect name can be a struggle. After all, you want to find something that is pleasing to the ear. Perhaps what you need is to find a "cool name" that would impress your friends and give your child that unique edge.

This is a list of "cool names for girls."  Of course, everyone's opinion differs, but you may just find what you're looking for here:
Maisie? Sabra?

Albany
Amabel
Ambrosia
Annora
Anouk
Asia
Augustina
Austen
Branwen
Caia
Celestia
Cerys
Cicely
Clementina
Clio
Corinne
Cornelia
Delaney
Domenica
Electra
Eleonora
Elspeth
Federica
Finola
Fleur
Guinivere
Henrietta
Honora
Ione
Isadora
Isolde
Jacinta
Katerina
Lark
Lenore
Leonie
Lilou
Lola
Lucienne
Lux
Mabel
Maisie
Mireille
November
Olive
Olympia
Ondine
Paz
Philomena
Phoebe
Pippa
Rafaella
Sabra
Saffron
Sasha
Saskia
Snow
Sybil
Tansy
Tempest
Trudy
True
Valentine
Willa
Xaviere
Zandra
Do you like any of these? Can you think of any to add? Click Here to view the Cool Boy Names List!

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