Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Look Back At The Art of Naming's 2015 - A Year End Summary

We're at the end of the year 2015. Before we step into 2016, let's take a moment to look back at the names and articles we've discussed this year.

The main name series of the year took us on an alphabetical adventure. The plan was to fit all 26 letters into 12 months but it was a bit too jam-packed. As a result, the letter Z has been stretched out to March, but we have been able to explore most of the letters already. Below are all of the available links to view the Top 50 names per letter according to The Art of Naming:

A | B | C D E | F | G | H | I | J K | L | M N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

The featured name articles that have accompanied the alphabetical posts were originally meant to complement each other as if they were part of a big sibset of 26 kids from A-Z but there may be a few outliers that don't quite "fit" in the traditional sense of what one may perceive a sibset to be. Here are links to those articles:

The letters V-Z will be arriving shortly. I hope you've enjoyed this series so far.

Also in 2015, we explored the following name lists:

As always, if you are expecting a child soon and find yourself at a loss for names, I have naming services available to help you! You can visit my Private Naming Services page to learn more about how I can help you find the perfect name in a professional, private and personalized manner.

Thank you for following my articles this year. Next year will bring several new series of name articles. I look forward to sharing more names with you in 2016 and beyond!

Happy New Year!

-Kara @ The Art of Naming

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I Want To Change My Name! Where Do I Start?

Changing your name can be tough. It requires that you really know yourself and what you want. 
You would need to browse through name lists and pick out the ones that jump at you. Maybe you’ll find something that instantly speaks to you, but most likely it’ll take a while and names will need to grow on you. You’ll need to try them on and wear them to see if they’re a fit.

You could go about it in many different ways but it would depend on if you want to keep a connection to your old name or abandon it completely. Here are a few of the many possible methods for choosing a different name for yourself:

1. Stick to similar sounds: Maybe you dislike your name Carolyn but you find yourself liking the similar sounding Coraline instead.

2. Find a related name: You don't want to stray too far but Heidi just isn't you. Try sister name Adelaide from the same root name Adalheidis.

3.  Do the complete opposite:  If you have a common name, go for something unusual like Rafferty or Xenia. If you already have an odd name that gives you trouble, you might opt for a more classic choice like James or Elizabeth.

4. Simplify it: If your name is needlessly complicated, you could find a simpler spelling. For instance, change Abbygayle to Abigail or Xzayvier to Xavier.

5. Scramble the old, create the new: You could rearrange the letters in your old name to come up with something else:  Alice -> Celia. Include your middle name and even your maiden name or surname if you're changing the entire thing.

6. Meanings are everything: You could find a name with the same meaning as your old one to subtly link your new self to a piece of your old self.

7. Borrow from the past:  You could pick something from your family tree like your great grandmother’s maiden name or an uncle's middle name. Explore your ancestral options, maybe you'll find something you like more than your own. Honoring a late relative would be a great bonus!

8. Random name generator:  You could look up name popularity statistics for your birth year and see where your name ranked, then choose whatever name ranked the same for 2014. Or 1920. Or 1957. Whatever year means something to you.

9. Swap it out: You could look at your birth year and find a different name that ranks within the Top 1000 so you would still fit in with your age group. (Some names that are popular and appealing now were not used at all until recently so you’d seem out-of-time if you used it.)

10. Find something shiny and new: The most likely option will be that you simply find something that feels right with no strings attached to your old name. Only you can know if the name will suit you. Trust your instincts and don't be afraid to be bold with your choice if need be. Being happy with your name is very important for your self identity.

No matter what approach you take to finding a new name for yourself, it takes research, self-meditation and trial and error. Introduce yourself with a name you like and see how it feels. Practice writing it and see if it seems natural or odd. It’s a complicated process but it is completely possible with enough thought and determination!

If you've ever changed your name or if you're considering it, share your story with us in the comment section below! 

Friday, December 18, 2015


Names that start with the letter U aren't always favored very highly but Ulysses is a great exception that deserves more usage.

The masculine name Ulysses is the Latin form of the excellent Greek mythological name Odysseus. Odysseus is said to be derived from the Greek οδυσσομαι (odyssomai) which means "to hate, wrathful". While that isn't the greatest meaning ever, both of these names are strong and interesting.

In Greek legend, Odysseus was a hero of the Trojan War. Homer's The Odyssey, follows Odysseus's journey back to his kingdom and his wife Penelope.

As for the name Ulysses, it was used as the title of a book written in 1920 by Irish author James Joyce. This story was loosely based on The Odyssey and was adapted into a movie in 1967.

The most famous man named Ulysses in American history is Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the commander of the Union forces during the American Civil War. He later became the 18th President of the United States from 1869-1877. His full name was actually Hiram Ulysses Grant.

This was also the name of George Clooney's character name in the Coen brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Other forms of the name include the feminine Ulyssa, the French Ulysse, the Italian Ulisse, the Portuguese Ulisses and the Spanish Ulises.

Ulysses has been used as a name in the US since records began in 1880. It has always ranked within the Top 1000 up until the mid-2000s. It received the most amount of births in a single year in 1999 which was 272. Currently, Ulysses ranks at #1109 in 2014 with 171 births.

If you're considering this handsome, strong name, here are some middle name ideas and sibling name ideas that you may enjoy:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Antonia, Athena, Aurora, Eugenie, Lavinia, Octavia, Xanthia
Brothers: Fabian, Felix, Horatio, Octavian, Percival, Titus, Virgil

Middle Name Ideas:
Ulysses Benedict
Ulysses Clark
Ulysses Matthew
Ulysses Theodore
Ulysses Raphael

As a Middle Name:
Barnaby Ulysses
Dominic Ulysses
Henry Ulysses
Julian Ulysses
Victor Ulysses

What do you think of the name Ulysses? Does it deserve to rejoin the Top 1000? Or should it remain uncommon?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Very Best U Names for Boys and Girls

Imagine an alternate universe where the alphabet was arranged differently. I surmise that people love the letter A so much because it is #1, but what if it wasn't?  What if the letter U came first?

What if there were an abundance of favorable baby names that began with the letter U? What if common A names had their spellings changed to start with U and everyone loved them?

If that is hard to imagine, perhaps you should take a moment to stop and smell the U-scented roses. There is a surprising amount of lovely names that begin with this under-appreciated letter. I narrowed it down to the best I could find.

Here are the 50 best boy and girl names that start with the letter U:

  1. Ujana
  2. Ulani
  3. Ulla
  4. Ulyana
  5. Ulyciana
  6. Uma
  7. Umay
  8. Umeko
  9. Umi
  10. Umika
  11. Ummi
  12. Una
  13. Unique
  14. Unity
  15. Ura
  16. Urania
  17. Uriela
  18. Urja
  19. Ursa
  20. Ursula
  21. Usra
  22. Utari
  23. Uttara
  24. Uva
  25. Uzuri
  1. Uba
  2. Uchenna
  3. Uday
  4. Udell
  5. Ugo
  6. Ulmer
  7. Ulrich
  8. Ulysses
  9. Umberto
  10. Umed
  11. Umi
  12. Unique
  13. Uorsin
  14. Upton
  15. Urbain
  16. Urban
  17. Urbano
  18. Uri
  19. Uriah
  20. Urian
  21. Uriel
  22. Urijah
  23. Usher
  24. Usman
  25. Uttam
Which of these do you like best? If U isn't your letter, use the links below to explore 25 others.

<-- The Very Best T Names for Boys and Girls  |||  The Very Best V Names for Boys and Girls -->

Friday, December 11, 2015

Surname Names for Girls

Surname names aren't anything new. There are countless surnames that could work as a given name for a boy, but did you know that there is also an increasing amount of surname names for girls?

This list ranges from the more unisex options like Morgan, Parker and Carson that are also popular for boys to the interesting, feminine ones like Ayala, Miranda and Valencia.

Do you have a favorite surname to use as a girl's given name? Perhaps you'd use your maiden name or your grandmother's maiden name for a daughter.

Browse the list below and let me know in the comments if there are any other surname names that you can think of that I've missed.

  • Adair
  • Addison
  • Ainsley
  • Aniston
  • Arden
  • Arlington
  • Ashley
  • Astor
  • Avery
  • Avila
  • Ayala
  • Bailey
  • Bardot
  • Bell
  • Bellamy
  • Bettany
  • Blair
  • Blakely
  • Caldwell
  • Callan
  • Cameron
  • Campbell
  • Carlisle
  • Carrigan
  • Carrington
  • Carroll
  • Carson
  • Carter
  • Chandler
  • Connelly
  • Darby
  • Darcy
  • Delaney
  • Ellery
  • Ellington
  • Elliott
  • Ellis
  • Ellison
  • Embry
  • Emerson
  • Emery
  • Everly
  • Fifer
  • Finley
  • Garcia
  • Gracen
  • Greer
  • Hadley
  • Haley
  • Hanna
  • Harlow
  • Harper
  • Hayden
  • Holland
  • Hollis
  • Hollister
  • Hope
  • Jordan
  • Karter
  • Kelly
  • Kennedy
  • Kensington
  • Kerrington
  • Kim
  • Landry
  • Lane
  • Lara
  • Larkin
  • Lexington
  • Lindsey
  • Luna
  • Mackenzie
  • Madden
  • Madigan
  • Madison
  • Mara
  • Marley
  • Matlin
  • May
  • Mckenna
  • Mckinley
  • Miranda
  • Monroe
  • Mora
  • Morgan
  • Paige
  • Parker
  • Phoenix
  • Presley
  • Quinn
  • Reese
  • Riley
  • Rivera
  • Rose
  • Sailor
  • Santana
  • Sawyer
  • Sayer
  • Sheridan
  • Sinclair
  • Sloane
  • Sutton
  • Taylor
  • Tierney
  • Valencia
  • Valentine
  • Whitney
  • Windsor
  • Winslet
  • Winslow
  • Wylie
Do you know any girls with any of these names? Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Surname Names for Boys

Surname names for boys is one of the largest trends in baby names today, so much so that it is sometimes happening under the radar. Many of the names on this list have become so well-used and well-known as first names over the years that we don't really think about them also being surnames, we know that they are but the connection may not be immediately made.

That isn't always the case though. Some names are obviously more reminiscent of a surname than others like Smith or Nicholson or Campbell but many parents are increasingly using these surnames for first names.

This especially occurs in relation to maiden names. Mothers like to pass down their surnames by giving them to their sons as firsts or middles. This can also happen through wanting to honor a whole branch of the family tree.

Whatever the reason, many of the following names are hot these days while others are waiting to be discovered. Which of these do you like most?

  • Anderson
  • Bauer
  • Baxter
  • Bennett
  • Blaine
  • Brady
  • Brando
  • Brennan
  • Brooks
  • Bryant
  • Bryson
  • Callahan
  • Camden
  • Cameron
  • Campbell
  • Carlisle
  • Carter
  • Carson
  • Channing
  • Charlton
  • Clancy
  • Clark
  • Clinton
  • Cohen
  • Connor
  • Cooper
  • Crosby
  • Cruz
  • Cullen
  • Curran
  • Cyrus
  • Davis
  • Dawson
  • Dillon
  • Donovan
  • Elliott
  • Emerson
  • Emmett
  • Evans
  • Everett
  • Farrell
  • Finnigan
  • Finnegan
  • Fitzgerald
  • Fletcher
  • Flynn
  • Frazier
  • Ford
  • Gable
  • Gallagher
  • Garner
  • Gordon
  • Grady
  • Grant
  • Gray
  • Guthrie
  • Harper
  • Harrison
  • Hayes
  • Hendrix
  • Heston
  • Holden
  • Holland
  • Hollis
  • Hollister
  • Hudson
  • Hunter
  • Huxley
  • Jackson
  • Jacoby
  • Jameson
  • Jefferson
  • Jensen
  • Jones
  • Keagan
  • Keaton
  • Kennedy
  • Kiernan
  • Larkin
  • Lawson
  • Ledger
  • Lennon
  • Lennox
  • Levitt
  • Lincoln
  • Madigan
  • Mason
  • Mckinley
  • Miller
  • Monroe
  • Morgan
  • Morrison
  • Morrissey
  • Murphy
  • Murray
  • Nicholson
  • Nolan
  • Parker
  • Penn
  • Phoenix
  • Pierce
  • Porter
  • Quinn
  • Rafferty
  • Ramsey
  • Reagan
  • Reid
  • Rooney
  • Ross
  • Russell
  • Ryan
  • Ryder
  • Sawyer
  • Seeley
  • Shepherd
  • Sloan
  • Smith
  • Stewart
  • Sullivan
  • Sutton
  • Taylor
  • Theron
  • Theroux
  • Tiernan
  • Truman
  • Tucker
  • Turner
  • Tyler
  • Tyson
  • Walker
  • Ward
  • Wayne
  • West
  • Whitaker
  • Wilder
  • Wilson
  • Wiley
  • Winston
There are no doubt plenty more names that could be added to this list. Did I miss any of your favorites? Share your thoughts in the comments or follow the links to learn more about the handful of names already featured.

Friday, December 4, 2015


Inspired by our list of The Very Best T Names for Boys and Girls is the beautiful and unique name Tallulah.

Tallulah is a Native American name but there is a bit of discrepancy about its true origin and meaning. It is typically said to mean "leaping waters" in the Choctaw language but some argue that it actually means "town" in the Creek language. Perhaps both of them are accurate. This name is pronounced tə-LOO-lə.

The alternative spelling Talulla is actually a different name. Talulla is Irish and comes from the Gaelic name Tailelaith. It is derived from the Irish elements tuile meaning "abundance" and flaith meaning "princess". There are two early Irish saints by the name Talulla.

Neither name is popular or even common. The Irish Talulla has only been given to 10 girls total according to the SSA's records: 5 births in 2011 and 5 in 2013 in the US.

As for Tallulah, the name has been on record since 1917 in the US but it was only occasionally used until 1956 when it took a hiatus. It regained usage in 1979 but it was still spotty until 1995.

Now the name is gaining a following and climbing the charts. It has yet to rank within the Top 1000 names but with 139 female births in 2014, it is getting close. It also ranked recently at #265 in England and Wales.

As for famous namesakes, there was an American actress by the name of Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968) who was named after her grandmother. Her grandmother may have been named after the beautiful waterfall at Tallulah Falls in Georgia.

Tallulah strikes an interesting chord as a name. Its Native American roots give it an earthy yet whimsical vibe, but it also seems sweet, sassy and elegant in other lights. This name seems rather versatile and definitely unique. If you're considering it, you could go many different directions when it comes to finding middle names and sibling names that would pair well. Here are a few ideas I came up with:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Augusta, Delilah, Francesca, Jemima, Lorelei, Ophelia, Penelope, Theodora
Brothers: Ambrose, Benedict, Heathcliff, Horatio, Matthias, Maximilian, Stellan, Tristan

Middle Name Ideas:
Tallulah Belle
Tallulah Jane
Tallulah Noelle
Tallulah Scarlett
Tallulah Vivienne

As a Middle Name:
Audrey Tallulah
Emme Tallulah
Ivy Tallulah
Margaret Tallulah
Sophie Tallulah

What would you pair with Tallulah? What do you think of it?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Very Best T Names for Boys and Girls

The process of tracking down the right name for your child can be tricky. Sometimes there are just too many options to sift through and you find yourself overwhelmed by the possibilities.

Allow me to make it easier for you. If you are fond of the letter T or if you're searching for a T name to honor someone in particular, you've found the right place.

Below are 25 of the best T names for girls, and 25 for boys too. I took the time to sift through the hundreds of T names so I could bring you only the best of the best.

Here you may very well find the perfect, fashionable T name for your child.

Which of these do you like most?

  1. Tabitha
  2. Tallulah
  3. Tamsin
  4. Tanya
  5. Tara
  6. Tatiana
  7. Tatum
  8. Tavia
  9. Tawny
  10. Taylor
  11. Teagan
  12. Temperance       
  13. Tessa
  14. Thalia
  15. Thea
  16. Theodora
  17. Theresa
  18. Thisbe
  19. Thora
  20. Tiana
  21. Tiffany
  22. Trinity
  23. Trista
  24. Trudy
  25. Tyra
  1. Tate
  2. Tavish
  3. Taylor
  4. Teague
  5. Tennyson
  6. Thaddeus
  7. Thatcher
  8. Theodore
  9. Theron
  10. Thomas
  11. Tiberius
  12. Timothy
  13. Titus
  14. Tobias
  15. Todd
  16. Tolliver
  17. Torsten
  18. Travis
  19. Trenton
  20. Trevor
  21. Trey
  22. Tristan
  23. Troy
  24. Tucker
  25. Tyler
If you had to, which name would you remove from this list and what would you replace it with?   If T isn't your letter after all, be sure to follow the links below to browse names starting with other letters.

<-- The Very Best S Names for Boys and Girls  |||  The Very Best U Names for Boys and Girls -->

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

24 Unusual Virtue Names Used in Colonial America

Around this time of year, America tends to reflect on our interesting origins as a country. One of the most popular tales revolves around the early settlers who arrived on the east coast in the 1600s.  The fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving, a national holiday that commemorates the thanksgiving that the Pilgrims held for barely surviving their first winter in 1621. Tomorrow, this holiday will be observed by many.

The Puritans were a quirky group of English Protestants who settled mostly in the Boston area. There were about 10 Massachusetts Bay Puritan settlers to every 1 Pilgrim from Plymouth but they ended up merging together around 1691. While these two groups were initially very different, they and their descendants together form the popular image of America's early settlers that most people think about on Thanksgiving.

Let's take a moment to look back at some of the unusual names that popped up in Colonial America. Most of the common names were traditional ones such as John, William, Richard, Mary, Jane and Elizabeth but the Puritans also favored Old Testament names, virtue names and phrase names like Fear-Not or Safe-on-High.

In 2013, The Art of Naming listed many of the biblical and virtue names used by the first settlers.  In 2014, we took a closer look at 10 of the best Old Testament names that they favored.

Today, we are going to take a closer look at 24 virtue names for girls and boys that were sometimes used.  While a bit unusual, some of these names could potentially work on a modern child, but you may need to be a bold namer to follow through with it.

If you're not so bold, many virtue names would work well in the middle name spot, assuming you enjoy the message they send which will also be listed below. Many of the more common virtue names are very popular as middle names today such as Grace, Hope, Faith and Joy. Below are the less-common and even rare options:


Amity - /ˈamitē/ - noun: "a friendly relationship."  Derived from the Latin word amicitia. As a name, Amity may have had usage in colonial times, but it lost favor thereafter. It was not ranked in the US until 1960.* In 2014, there were 27 female births.

Charity - /ˈCHerədē/ - noun: "the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need." Derived from Late Latin caritas meaning "generous love" which came from the Latin carus "dear, beloved". As a name, Charity peaked in popularity in 1974 with 1,408 births for the year. Currently the name fell out of the Top 1000 with only 243 births in 2014.

Clarity - /ˈklerədē/ - noun: "the quality of being clear, of being intelligible or of being easy to see or hear." Derived from the Latin clarus which means "clear". As a name, Clarity has only been used regularly since 1997 in the US. In 2014, there was a high of 63 births but it does not rank within the Top 1000.

Desire  - /dəˈzī(ə)r/ - noun: "a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen." The name Desire was derived from the Latin desidero meaning "to wish for, to desire", but it was first used by the Puritans probably with the intended meaning of "desire the Lord". After that, it wasn't used again in the US until 1955 and remains rare with only 73 births in 2014.

Fidelity - /fəˈdelədē/ - noun: "faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support." Fidelity comes from the Latin words fidelis or fidere meaning "to trust".  This name has never been in recorded usage for girls since 1880, however the male name Fidel has been a rare constant since 1892.

Modesty - /ˈmädəstē/ - noun: "the quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities. Behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency." As a name, Modesty comes from the Latin word modestus and modus meaning "measure." It popped up once or twice in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s but it gained regular yearly usage at the start of the 1990s. Never popular however, Modesty was given to 15 girls in 2014.

Patience /ˈpāSHəns/ - noun: "the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset."  Patience comes from the Latin words patientia and pati meaning "to suffer". This is one of the more well-used puritan names and has been on record since 1880. It hit a popularity high in 2006 with 507 births and a rank of #578. In 2014 it was down to 267 births and a #988 ranking.

Prudence - /ˈpro͞odns/ - noun: "the quality of being prudent; cautiousness." Prudence comes from Prudentia which is the feminine from the the male Latin name Prudentius, which comes from the word prudens meaning "good judgement". This name has been given to girls since 1880 in the US. There were 58 births in 2014.

Remember - /rəˈmembər/ - verb: "have in or be able to bring to one's mind an awareness of (someone or something that one has seen, known, or experienced in the past)." This name comes from the Latin word rememorārī which means "to call to mind" and comes from the word memor meaning "mindful." There are zero births on record in the US for the use of Remember as a name.

Silence - /ˈsīləns/ - noun: "complete absence of sound." verb - "cause to become silent; prohibit or prevent from speaking." As a puritan name, Silence was likely derived from the words of Saint Paul: "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection". On the US birth record, this name only appears once. In 2005 there were 9 girls named Silence.

Temperance - /ˈtemp(ə)rəns/ - noun: "abstinence from alcoholic drink. Moderation or self-restraint, especially in eating and drinking".  This name wasn't used in the US until 1972. It has increased since 2006, likely influenced by the main character from the TV show Bones. It ranked at #854 in 2014 with 320 births.

Verity - /ˈveritē/ - noun: "a true principle or belief, especially one of fundamental importance. Truth." Verity has recently ranked at #344 in England and Wales. However in the US, it's very rare. It dates back to 1966 but it has never been popular. There were only 59 births for girls in 2014.


Assurance - /əˈSHo͝orəns/ - noun: "a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise." For the puritans, this name likely refers to the promises made by God in the bible.  Since 1880, Assurance has never been given to at least 5 children in one year.

Constant - /känstənt/ - adjective: "occurring continuously over a period of time." The puritans used Constant as a name based on its definition, but it also comes from the Late Latin name Constans meaning "constant or steadfast".  This name was used the most between 1911 and 1951. It hasn't been given to at least 5 boys since 1995. Constantine would be a nice alternative.

Experience - /ˌikˈspirēəns/ - noun: "practical contact with and observation of facts or events." From the Latin words experientia and experīrī meaning "to try, test".  As a name, it has never actually been given to boys in the modern US. It could be interesting in the middle name spot.

Increase - /ˈinkrēs/ - noun: "an instance of growing or making greater." The puritans used this name to refer to the biblical command of increasing in number. Neither the name Increased nor Increase are on record in the US for usage for boys.

Lament - /ləˈment/ - noun: "a passionate expression of grief or sorrow." The puritans tended to give this name only to the bastard children since its meaning refers to being sorry for sin. It's not surprising that this name has never been on record in the US.

Noble - /ˈnōbəl/ - adjective: "having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals." Noble has been used as a name for boys and girls, but it is most popular for boys. In 1920, there was a peak of 196 births for a ranking of #427. This is the one virtue name for boys that has decent usage and is currently re-climbing the charts. There were 129 births in 2014 for boys.

Prosper - /ˈpräspər/ - verb: "flourish physically; grow strong and healthy." Prosper comes from the Latin name Prosperus meaning "fortunate, successful". It has had spotty usage from 1913 to 1947 and again from 1998 to 2014. There were 10 births for boys in 2014 for the name Prosper, and 8 female births for the name Prosperity.

Reason - /ˈrēzən/ - noun: "the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic."  Reason popped up as a name a few times around 1920 but it hadn't been heard from much until recently. It landed on record for the first time in 75 years in 2000 and has had a handful of births since then, including 8 male births and 5 female births in 2014.

Repentance - / rəˈpentəns/ - noun: "the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse." Much like the name Lament, Repentance was mostly given to bastard children. Both would be heavy names to live with since they refer to feeling sorry for sins that were not even the child's fault. Clearly this isn't a name that's freely given to modern American children now.

Resolved - /riˈzälvd,-ˈzôlvd/ - adjective: "firmly determined to do something." Resolved was the name of the big brother of Peregrine White who was born on the Mayflower in Cape Cod Harbor, making him the first European born to the Pilgrims in America. Since then, the name Resolved has not been in use on record in the US.

Steadfast - /ˈstedˌfast/ - adjective: "resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering." This name referred to God's steadfastness as well as one's own steadfastness in their faith. It hasn't been used as a name on record in the US after 1880.

Truth - /tro͞oTH/ - noun: "the quality or state of being true." Truth was given to girls here and there around 1920 but fell dormant until the mid 1990s. It has been in regular usage for both genders since then. There were 35 boys named Truth in 2014 and 24 girls.

What do you think of these odd but fascinating names? Are there any that you would like to see revived? Would they work better for a middle name or are you bold enough to make one of these a first name? Have you known someone with one of these names? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Learn more about the differences between Puritans and Pilgrims here.

*As a general note for those unaware, the United States Social Security Administration began recording the usage of names starting in 1880. Usage prior to that is harder to track down. The SSA will not list a name unless it has had at least 5 births in a single year.  If a name only had 3 births in a year, we would never know that the name was used at that time. The data in this article reflects the number of births per year from 1880-2014. When "rank" is mentioned, that refers to popularity. For example, if a name ranks at #498, it is the 498th most popular name for that year.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Taken from the list of The Very Best S Names for Boys and Girls is the interesting masculine name Soren. Let's learn more about it.

Soren is a Scandinavian name that's starting to catch on with American parents today. There are three different ways to spell Soren. First, there's just the anglicized Soren which is typically pronounced Sorr-en.

If you venture into Scandinavia, there's also the Danish and Norwegian form the name spelled Søren and pronounced more like SUU-ren. Derived from that is the form that the Swedes and Germans tend to prefer: Sören, also pronounced SUU-ren or ZUU-ren.

No matter how it is accented, the name originally comes from Severinus which is a Roman family name derived from Severus meaning "stern" in Latin.

This name has been well-used in Denmark. Just take a look at the long list of mostly Danish famous people on Nameberry.  What about its popularity in America?

Soren first appeared on record in the US in 1912 but it wasn't more regularly used until the 1950s. It remained obscure until it entered into the Top 1000 names in 2003 at #958. It has been inching its way up the charts, ranking at #640 in 2014 with 408 male births.

There were also 20 female births in 2014. Soren gained usage for girls in 1994. While it is still far from being considered truly unisex, which gender do you prefer it on?

If Soren is a name that you're considering, here are some middle name ideas and sibling name ideas:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Annika, Britta, Dagny, Elsa, Freya, Kiersten, Malina, Theodora
Brothers: Anders, Erik, Gunnar, Jensen, Leif, Magnus, Oscar, Viggo

Middle Name Ideas:
Soren Alexander
Soren Christopher
Soren Frey
Soren James
Soren Ragnar

As a Middle Name:
Axel Soren
David Soren
Henry Soren
Oliver Soren
Quincy Soren

What do you think of the name Soren? What middle names would you pair with it?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Very Best S Names for Boys and Girls

It's time to choose a name. Not just any name, though, you must pick one that you and your partner mutually love. A name that feels relevant to your family and suitable for your child.

While there are thousands of options out there, the amount that you can actually select for one child is usually limited to four names at most.

On your search, you'll no doubt develop a sort of naming style. Many of your names will have similar sounds or popularity to one another. Perhaps you'll even be drawn to one or two specific letters. If your current favorite letter is S for names, this list is for you.

Below are 25 of the best S names for girls and 25 of the best S names for boys listed alphabetically. Among these, you'll surely find a winner!

  1. Sabrina
  2. Sadie
  3. Samantha
  4. Sarah
  5. Sasha
  6. Savannah
  7. Scarlett
  8. Selah
  9. Selena
  10. Seraphina
  11. Serena
  12. Serenity
  13. Shayla
  14. Shelby
  15. Shoshanah
  16. Sienna
  17. Sierra
  18. Simone
  19. Sonia
  20. Sophia
  21. Stella
  22. Summer
  23. Susannah
  24. Sybil
  25. Sylvia