Friday, May 30, 2014

Celebrating One Year at The Art of Naming!

It was one year ago today that I started The Art of Naming. Before I launched it, I was very actively searching for the perfect name for potential future siblings for my son. For years before that I was obsessed with baby names. I spent plenty of free time on forums and polls giving suggestions and advice to everyone that was seeking it. I couldn't tell you how many dozens of name lists I've made over the years.  It came to a point where I needed to concentrate my obsession and The Art of Naming was born!

Now writing blogs and answering questions is more like a part-time hobby to keep me busy while the baby naps. I enjoy coming up with new names to discuss with all of you. I wouldn't post this actively if it weren't for all of you who are there to read my thoughts. I can only hope that I've been able to help some of you to find the perfect name! I want to thank you all for visiting and for interacting with me on my various social media pages. Thanks also to the rest of the baby naming community for being so nice and occasionally sharing my posts with their own readers.

It has been a great year and since I'm currently expecting baby #2, I'm already prepping blogs for you through the rest of this year! Don't worry, even though I'll be busier at home, I will still have plenty of blog posts for you to enjoy for as long as you continue to visit!

Love,

Kara @ The Art of Naming


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Penelope Hazel - (Birth Announcements!)

These names are taken from real babies who were featured in recent hospital announcements. These are all first and middle names; no last names were included.  Which of these do you like? Are there any that you dislike? If you had to pick one to use, which would it be?

Girls:
Alivia Noel
Americus Marie
Amira Denise
Annabelle Grace
Anniesse Marie
Avianna Carmen
Belize Madeline
Caroline Daye
Chloe Lynn
Claire Danielle
Colbi Alisa
Elizabeth Renee
Ella Mae
Emily Cathrynne
Jacelyn Beth
Kysen Alayah
Liliana Sophia
Lillian Abigail
Lily Marie Michelle
Mackenzie Brooke
Madison Elaine
Natalie Rose
O'Laina Sophia
Olivia Faye
Payton Mae
Penelope Hazel
Reagan Leigh
Samantha Mae
Sana'a Geneva Louise
Vada Monroe

Boys:
Aaron Anthony
Aiden Russell
Andrew Charles
Bradley Alexander
Braxton Cole
Brylen Josiah
Caleb James
Cody Allen
Daelyn Jacovi
Damien Alexander
Easton Alexander
Elijah Cole
Elliott Sebastian
Ethan Paul
Garrett Lewis
Henry Theron
Hunter Ray
Hutchinson Taylor
Iker Andres
Jace Carter
Jackson Monroe
John-Brooks Hall
Jaxson King
Kaleb Nicholas
Kingston Isaiah
Lawson James
Luke Browning
Maddox Alexander
Malachi O'Bryant
Matthew Thomas
William Grady

Twins:
Willow Storm & Pailyn Elizabeth (girls)
Jaime Isaiah (boy) & Rayven Alessandria (girl)
Jason Abel & Tyler Curt (boys)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Colette

To round out our week of examining French baby names and customs, here is one of my favorite choices for a girl! You voted for Colette on the poll that I had on the sidebar of the blog and she won with 40% of the vote!



Colette is the short form of Nicolette which comes from Nicole, the French feminine form of the masculine name Nicholas. All of these related names (and believe me, it is a huge family tree) come from the Ancient Greek name Nikolaos. They all mean "victory of the people" from the Greek words nike meaning "victory" and laos which refers to "people".  There are many names that come from this tree but let's focus on our lovely French name of the week, Colette.

Famous namesakes include Saint Colette from 15th century France. She was a nun who was known for giving her money to the poor. There was also a French author known as Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954). There are several more that are listed on Nameberry if you'd like to view them.

As a name, Colette first appeared on American babies in 1892.  It wasn't until 1906 that the name gained regular yearly usage and by the mid-1940s, she began climbing up the charts. Her biggest popularity peak was side by side with many other -ette names in 1966 with 594 births for the year and a ranking of #372.

In 1987 she completely fell off the Top 1000 chart and it wasn't until 2012 that she made a reappearance. Jumping from #1040 in 2011 to #659 in 2012 is quite a big deal, even if it only accounted for 424 births. Now in 2013 with 456 births, she's up to #608! This means that she's climbed 432 ranks in just 3 years!  If she continues climbing at that pace, we could expect to see more of her in the near future!

With this new-found momentum in the popularity game, Colette is a proving to be refreshing to modern parents' ears today! This name is a lovely French option that can also work very well on non-French baby girls. It is a bit fresher today than Nicole and not as long as Nicolette, but Colette is still unique enough to bea great under-the-radar choice! Nicknames could include Coco, Coli, Cole, Lette, Lettie & Ette. Can you think of more?

Below are some names that I'd personally pair with Colette. What would you use? Feel free to share them with us in the comment section below or on Facebook!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Camille, Elodie, Frances, Genevieve, Madeleine, Natalie, Teresa
Brothers: Alexandre, Damien, Joseph, Michael, Olivier, Patrick, Vincent

Middle Name Ideas:
Colette Adelaide
Colette Gabrielle
Colette Johanna
Colette Renee

As a Middle Name:
Aubrey Colette
Harper Colette
Olivia Colette
Rosalie Colette

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

World-Wide Wednesday: French Baby Names

Featured French Names:
Olivier & Colette
This month's edition of World-Wide Wednesday will focus on French baby names.  The French were originally very limited in what names they could use for a child because France was very strict as far as which names were and were not allowed.

Traditionally, babies were only allowed to be named after
Roman Catholic saints . Sometimes a child acquired the name of the saint who's National Saint Day fell on the day they were born. Today, that practice is not commonly used anymore, however most French people are still given the name of a saint or a version of a name of a saint. The Saint's Day associated with their name is then celebrated throughout their life as a second birthday.

The most common saint names that were used include Jacques (James), Jean (John), Michel (Michael), Pierre (Peter), or Jean-Baptiste (John the Baptist) for males; and Marie (Mary), Jeanne (Jane), Marguerite (Margaret), Françoise (Frances), or Élisabeth (Elizabeth) for females. Often these names would be hyphenated such as Jean-Pierre or Marie-Claude. This is still a popular naming style today.

When 1966 came around, the government decided to give parents a bit more freedom by allowing mythological names as well as some regional or foreign names. It wasn't until 1993 that parents gained even more freedom. In that year, most restrictions were lifted as long as the name was not deemed detrimental to the child's future. The birth registrar has the ultimate say and can refuse to allow a name that is thought to be harmful. If a name is rejected, the parents may be sent to a local court but this tends to be a rare occurrence.

Typically in the past, the French tended to have one given name that they use, (hyphenated names are considered one name) and a second and third name that are hardly mentioned beyond official documents. These latter names tend to honor godparents or grandparents and may be considered "out of fashion" for those reasons. These second and third names are similar to the Anglo-Saxon "middle name" that is rarely known or used. However, a French person may choose to be called by one of these more "hidden" names rather than the first one listed on the birth certificate. Nowadays, using more than one name on a daily basis is rather out of fashion, but they still tend to have multiple middle names.

Nearly all traditional given names are gender-specific. There are some cases where a name may appear unisex but actually be pronounced or spelled slightly differently for each gender such as Frederic (M) and Frederique (F).  When it comes to compound or hyphenated names, sometimes the second name can be that of the opposite gender; for example, a girl named Marie-George or a boy named Jean-Marie. It is the first name that denotes the gender.

As a result of the lifting of the baby naming restrictions, names that are being given today are drastically different than the names used even 40+ years ago.

For French-Canadians, there was a typical name structure in place up until the mid-1900s. Children were generally given three names. The first denoted the gender of the child, like Marie or Joseph. The second name was that of a godparent of the same gender. The third name is what the child was actually called by. It was even common for every sibling to receive the same sex appropriate first name, which brought about families whose children looked like this: Marie-Louise, Marie-Antoinette, Jean-Pierre and Jean-Paul. They would then either go by the second half of the hyphenated name or by a third name.

Baptism records often listed only the child's first name and sometimes the second name. The third was virtually ignored. However, the family bible would list all of the names. Records sometimes got confusing, especially when the children were all given the same first names. This would lead to plenty of mistaken identities in genealogical records. Occasionally there was also a practice up until the 1930s in which the name of a deceased child would be reused again for the next child. That no longer happens but it definitely led to even more confusion on official records.

As of 2011, popular baby names in France were much different than those in America.
One source even mentioned that using an "American" name is not fashionable and can sometimes indicate a lower class family. This is because the French overused "American" names in the 1990s so they currently shy away from our trends. But they definitely have their own. If the name is not French in origin, it may be Italian, Greek, Spanish or Irish instead, which are all being commonly used these days. There is plenty of debate about whether a foreign name could hurt the child's future job prospects since the country had very limited choices for so long. It is feared that if a name is too unique, the child may not fare well.

Recent trends have included using shorter names like Lucas and Clara rather than using long ones like Alexandre or Nathalie. Girls are increasingly being given names that end with -a rather than the more usual -e endings.  Boys are seeing more names ending in -o.

       Top Names in France for 2013:


Boys:            
Nathan
Lucas
Léo
Enzo
Louis
Gabriel
Jules
Timéo
Hugo
Arthur
Ethan
Raphaël
Maël
Tom
Noah
Mathis
Théo
Adam
Nolan
Clément
Girls:
Emma
Lola
Chloé
Inès
Léa
Jade
Manon
Louise
Zoé
Lilou
Léna
Sarah
Camille
Maëlys
Lina
Eva
Louna
Clara
Alice
Romane
For a much longer list of names that are used in France, check out the top names from 2011. It is a bit older but it is more complete than the above.  Which name on the list is your favorite?

[Note: I know very basic French but I've never been to France or Quebec or any other French-speaking country. If I have misinterpreted any information, please let me know!]

Monday, May 19, 2014

Olivier

I selected four French boy names and threw them in a poll on the blog. You voted and Olivier was barely the winner with 14 votes, sneaking past front-runner Laurent in the 11th hour. So let's take a look at the French name Olivier as we kick off French-Week! Stay tuned for our World-Wide Wednesday post about French naming customs too, and a girl name on Friday!


Parents are in love with Oliver today. Nameberry describes it as "energetic and good-natured, stylish but not nearly as trendy as twin-sister Olivia, with a meaning symbolizing peace and fruitfulness." The French Olivier may have pronunciation problems in the US along with sister Olivie, however there are also other similar options such as the Spanish Olivero and the Italian Oliviero. Olive is also becoming a favorite for girls.

With the following pronunciations, o-lee-VYAY (French), O-lee-veer (Dutch), Olivier isn't exactly rolling off American tongues the same way Oliver is. Both of these names may come from either the Germanic name Alfher or the Old Norse name Áleifr. They became more popularly influenced by the Latin oliva over time which means "olive tree". According to Behind the Name: "In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.

In England Oliver was a common medieval name, however it became rare after the 17th century because of the military commander Oliver Cromwell, who ruled the country following the civil war. The name was revived in the 19th century, perhaps in part due to the title character in Charles Dickens' novel 'Oliver Twist' (1838), which was about a poor orphan living on the streets of London."

Both of these names clearly have some solid history behind them in Europe since medieval times, and if you take a look at Behind the Name, you'll see a long list of Oliver's popularity around the world! Oliver is ranked pretty high in several countries, but what about their popularity in the US today?

While Oliver is enjoying plenty of usage at #73 in 2012 in the US, the French spelling of Olivier is not very popular.  Olivier ranked in at #2046 which means only 67 boys were given the name. It has only been in regular usage since the 1960s whereas Oliver dates back in the US to 1880 with a bit of a popularity boost around 1920.   Olivier ranks #282 in England/Wales, #348 in France and #43 in the Netherlands.

If you have any French ancestry or a French last name, Olivier is a wonderful choice! However, non-French Americans seem to flock towards Oliver instead. Which do you prefer? Using the American format of a first and middle name, what would you pair with these? Here are some ideas I came up with for each:

Sibling Name Ideas (Olivier):
Sisters: Amelie, Beatrice, Claire, Estelle, Lucille, Rosalie, Sylvie, Vivien
Brothers: Augustin, Benoit, Emile, Felix, Frederic, Luca, Maurice, Sebastien

Middle Name Ideas:
Olivier Fabian
Olivier Gerard
Olivier Noel
Olivier Remi

As a Middle Name:
Claud Olivier
Damien Olivier
Henri Olivier
Mathieu Olivier

--

Sibling Name Ideas (Oliver):
Sisters: Amelia, Charlotte, Eleanor, Lily, Lucy, Rose, Sophie, Violet
Brothers: Alexander, Daniel, Elliot, Henry, Leo, Noah, Samuel, Thomas

Middle Name Ideas:
Oliver Dominic
Oliver James
Oliver Tristan
Oliver Vincent

As a Middle Name:
Gideon Oliver
Julian Oliver
Nathan Oliver
Sebastian Oliver

What do you think? What sibling or middle name ideas would you add?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Trendy Girl Names from 1900 + Unusual Choices


In 1900, there was a big trend occurring among baby girl names. Parents loved the cutesy style of names that ended in -ie. These were not nicknames, they were given names. As you can see by the list below, there was a plethora of options just within the
US Top 1000 names .  We're seeing a few of these threaten to come back into style today while others, like Sophie, Ellie and Sadie, are already hot! Drew Barrymore just used the name Frankie for her daughter last month!

Did your [great] great-grandmother have a name like this? If so, do share it with us in the comment section below! Which of these -ie names are your favorite? Would you ever use it?

Abbie                  
Addie
Aggie
Allie
Amie
Ammie
Angie
Annie
Arie
Arlie
Arrie
Artie
Audie
Bennie
Berdie
Bertie
Bessie
Bettie
Billie
Birdie
Bobbie
Bonnie
Callie
Carrie
Cassie
Charlie
Christie
Classie
Clemmie
Cordie
Corrie
Dessie
Dicie
Dixie
Dollie
Donnie
Dottie
Dovie
Dulcie
Eddie
Effie
Ellie
Elsie
Elvie
Emmie
Erie
Essie
Ettie
Eugenie
Evie
Exie
Fannie
Florrie
Flossie
Frankie
Freddie
Georgie
Gertie
Goldie                  
Gracie
Gussie
Hallie
Hassie
Hattie
Hessie
Hettie
Icie
Jamie
Janie
Jannie
Jennie
Jessie
Jettie
Jimmie
Johnie
Johnnie
Jonnie
Josie
Jossie
Julie
Kattie
Kittie
Kizzie
Lannie
Lennie
Leslie
Lessie
Lettie
Lexie
Libbie
Lillie
Linnie
Lizzie
Lockie
Lonie
Lonnie
Lossie
Lottie
Louie
Lovie
Lucie
Ludie
Lutie
Macie
Madie
Maggie
Mallie
Mamie
Mammie
Margie
Mattie
Maudie
Maxie
Maymie
Mazie
Mellie

Mettie
Millie
Minnie
Mittie
Mollie
Monnie
Mossie
Myrtie
Nannie
Nellie
Nettie
Nonie
Ocie
Odie
Ollie
Onie
Osie
Ossie
Ottie
Pattie
Pearlie
Pinkie
Pollie
Queenie
Ressie
Robbie
Rosalie
Rosie
Rossie
Roxie
Rubie
Ruthie
Sadie
Sallie
Sammie
Sophie
Sudie
Susie
Tempie
Tennie
Tessie
Tillie
Tommie
Tressie
Trudie
Valerie
Vallie
Vassie
Vergie
Verlie
Versie
Vertie
Vinnie
Virgie
Willie
Winnie
Zadie
Zettie
I'd also like to point out some unusual girl names from 1900 that you may find interesting, including some names that are typically viewed as masculine-only. Do you think any of these will ever be in style on a modern girl?:


Aleen                  
Almeta
Alpha
Arthur
Atha
Beaulah
Besse
Beula
Bina
Birtha
Bula
Charles
Clella
Clifford
Clora
Clyde
Dale
Dellar
Dorcas
Dortha
Easter
Ebba
Electa
Ellar
Elmer
Ena
Ether
Fairy
Fleta
Florida
Floy
Frank
Freeda
Frona
Hazle
Hedwig
Hertha
Hildegard
Hildur
Hulda
Huldah
Icy
Isa
James
Joe
John
Lady
Lavada
Leatha
Lelar
Leo
Letha
Lue
Malvina
Marvel
Melba
Meta
Missouri
Mozelle
Myrtice
Myrtis
Nena
Neoma
Nevada
Oda
Olevia
Otelia
Ouida
Ova
Ozella
Paralee
Reatha
Retha
Rilla
Twila
Velva
Vernon
William
Yetta
Zada

Friday, May 9, 2014

Unusual Boy Names from 1900 You Don't See Today


We see plenty of interesting and odd baby names being used today but it is not a new concept. People have always had strange names. I thought it would be fun to take a look in the past and see what kind of names were being given to the peers of our [great] great-grandparents.

Way back in 1900, I found some interesting choices for baby boys. These were all listed on the US Top 1000 chart for boys 114 years ago. Do you think any are actually usable or are they too out there?

Admiral                            
Alford
Brown
Buddie
Burl
Cleve
Cloyd
Collis
Colonel
Connie
Curley
Doctor
Dorsey
Earlie
Early
Effie
Elige
Ellsworth
Elmore
Elzie
Ewell
Fate
Foy
French
Furman
Gaylord
Goebel
Green
Gust
Hamp
Henery
Hobart
Hosie
Hyman
Junious
Lemon
Less
Lige
Luster
Mearl
Moody
Norval
Otha
Pink
Pinkney
Pleas
Pleasant
Rolla
Rosevelt
Rossie
Sim
Son
Spurgeon
Tallie
Vester
Wash
Wayman
Zollie
Sometimes names that we consider "female-only" were used on males in 1900. I tried not to include those that were "male first" and have since been taken over by females. I'm not sure if these were just errors in documentation or if they were legitimately given to boys but you will find these listed on the SSA Top US Baby Names chart for boys in 1900:


Alice                                
Anna
Annie
Beatrice
Bertha
Bessie
Bonnie
Callie
Clair
Clara
Cora
Dorothy
Edith
Edna
Elizabeth
Elsie
Emma
Ethel
Eva
Frances

Gertrude
Hallie
Hazel
Helen
Holly
Ida
Lacy
Lillie
Lois
Louise
Mae
Margaret
Marie
Martha
Minnie
Nora
Patsy
Pearl
Rose
Ruth
What do you think of the list? Do you know of any odd names being given to boys today?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Baby Naming Challenge! - Month Edition

This is the ultimate initial challenge! I do have to admit that I borrowed the idea from my friend over at nameddict.  I came across it at the perfect time since I was just about to post Tuesday's blog about month names. I found this challenge to be a genius idea that I hadn't seen before, and it is fun!  Imagine you have twelve babies to name and give it a try!

Using the three-letter abbreviations for each month, come up with the perfect baby name using those letters as a first/middle/middle combo. There's a Y and 3 U's that will make it a bit tricky!  I will post my names below. Feel free to share yours in the comment section or on Facebook!


My names:

JAN: Johanna Adelaide Nell
FEB: Frederick Evan Benedict
MAR: Marius Alexander Rafferty
APR: Amabel Penelope Rose
MAY: Matilda Alice Yvonne
JUN: Julius Ulrich Nathaniel
JUL: Josephine Uma Lenore
AUG: Alistair Ulysses George
SEP: Sebastian Evander Paul
OCT: Octavia Claire Tamsin
NOV: Nadia Olive Valentina
DEC: Dante Everett Cole

Johanna, Frederick, Marius, Amabel, Matilda, Julius, Josephine, Alistair, Sebastian, Octavia, Nadia & Dante. 6 girls and 6 boys!   What names would you choose?

Friday, May 2, 2014

June

The lovely name June has been used for girls as a given name since the 19th century!  Boys occasionally wear it too but not to the same extent as girls.  As a month name, June originally comes from the name of the Roman goddess Juno.


Juno's true meaning is unknown but it is said to possibly be related to a root name meaning "youth". Juno was the wife of Jupiter in Roman mythology and considered the queen of the heavens. She protected marriage, women and childbirth. That is one of the reasons that many weddings traditionally took place in the month of June.

This sweet name hasn't been very popular lately.  In fact, there was a twenty year dry-spell that ended in 2007 where June was not ranked within the Top 1000 names at all. Until recently, She's generally been considered an old-fashioned, grandma name because of her super-popularity that peaked in 1925. But as the 100 year rule goes, she's due to become a hot name once again and we're already seeing signs of her revival!

Back in the day, June rose to fame very quickly! She was always used in some capacity but right around 1914, her popularity skyrocketed. 6,649 baby girls were named June in 1925 (#39), setting a record that hasn't been matched since. After that year, the name began a steady decline in usage. Right around the 1970s, June had fallen to the middle of the pack and began receiving less than 1000 births a year.

In 2008, June jumped back in the game, ranking in at #869 with 320 baby girl births. Since then, June has continued to climb the charts, ranking in at #435 in 2012 with 710 births. Very soon we will find out where she stood in 2013 but I have a feeling she climbed a little bit higher once again.  Click here to view the dramatic popularity charts!

What do you think of June? Is it your favorite month name or do you prefer another? What would you pair with it? Here are some ideas I came up with:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alice, Celia, Elsa, Grace, Hazel, Ivy, Pearl, Rose, Tessa
Brothers: Arthur, Clark, Frederick, Henry, Isaac, Leo, Philip, Silas

Middle Name Ideas:
June Caroline
June Francesca
June Leonora
June Millicent
June Penelope
June Rosalind
June Theodora

As a Middle Name:
Adeline June
Charlotte June
Evelyn June
Lavinia June
Matilda June
Priscilla June
Vivian June

Most of these names have a similar vintage quality to them. I couldn't resist. :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Popular Pages

More Info