Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Can You Contract Longer Names to Form Shorter Ones?

Lately, I've been loving the name Thea. However, when I thought about longer, proper names, I just don't like Theodora or Dorothea enough to consider using those on the birth certificate with Thea as just a nickname. Some people like to skip that middle step and put nicknames or shortened forms directly on the paperwork.

It occurred to me that shortening or contracting names could work for those wishing to honor a relative. You love grandma Wilhelmina but don't wish to use her exact name, so you contract it and go with Willa. Easy, right?

Are there any names that you can think of that could be shortened to create interesting short forms? Maybe some that are a bit more unexpected than traditional? Sure, there's Thea from Theodora, and Tessa from Theresa. Are there any others that aren't as obvious? Just pick a name, drop a few letters and see what you're left with. Maybe it'll be the next big thing! Here are a few I came up with:

Adelaide > Ada, Adlai, Adele, Aida
Alexandra > Alexa, Andra, Alandra, Axara, Alara
Angelica > Anelia
Arianna > Aria
Aurora > Aura, Ara
Beatrix > Bix
Bianca > Bia
Brianna > Brina
Carolina > Cara, Carla, Calia, Calla
Cassandra > Candra, Casara
Cassidy > Cady
Cecilia > Celia
Dorothea > Dora, Dot
Eleanora > Elora
Elodie > Edie
Emilia > Elia
Esmeralda > Esme, Elda, Esra, Emerald
Estella > Ella, Esta
Evangeline > Evaline, Eline
Galilea > Gala
Georgiana > Gia, Gina, Gera, Giana
Giovanna > Gia, Gina, Gianna
Isabella > Isla, Isela
Juliet > Jet
Julietta > Jetta
Katherine > Karine
Leonora > Lena, Lora, Lea, Leona
Lillian > Lian
Lorraine > Laine
Louisa > Lia, Lisa
Marilyn > Maryn
Margaret > Maret
Margareta > Meta, Mara
Matilda > Mila
Meredith > Merith
Minerva > Mina, Meva
Miranda > Mira, Manda, Mandy, Mindy, Mina
Miriam > Mira
Natalia > Nala
Noelle > Nell
Penelope > Pelle, Penny, Poppy
Rebecca > Reba
Romilly > Romy
Rosalie > Rosie
Rosemary > Romy, Remy, Rory, Roma
Savannah > Sanna
Theodora > Thea, Thora, Theda, Thera, Tora, Téa
Theresa > Tess, Tessa, Téa, Tera, Tressa
Valentina > Vala, Valentia, Vena,
Veronica > Vera, Vona
Victoria > Vita, Vira, Via
Wilhelmina > Willa, Wilma, Wima

What other names can you come up with? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Great Long List of Excellent Name Ideas for Modern Girls [Part Two]

For anyone considering baby names for a future daughter, finding the right choice isn't always the easiest task. There are many factors at play, including how the name sounds and flows with your surname, potential nicknames, the name's popularity, ease of spelling and pronunciation, and the name's meaning.

All of these aspects are things that should be considered when choosing a name for a child. However, some people just need somewhere to start before delving deeper. If you're in need of a launch pad, consider this list a great beginning.

Last week we took a look at names starting with A-M, all of which would be great for a modern girl. Now, browse these names from N-Z for even more inspiration!

Naomi
Natalie
Natasha
Nell
Niamh
Nicole
Noelle
Noa
Nola
Nora
Norah
Nova
Octavia
Odelia
Odessa
Odette
Olive
Olivia
Olivine
Olympia
Oona
Ophelia
Ottilie
Ottoline
Paige
Paisley
Pearl
Penelope
Peony
Phaedra
Philippa
Phoebe
Piper
Poppy
Priscilla
Primrose
Quilla
Quinn
Quintessa
Raphaela
Raven
Rebecca
Reese
Rhiannon
Riley
Romy
Rosalie
Rosalind
Rose
Rosemary
Rowan
Ruby
Ruth
Sabrina
Sadie
Sage
Scarlett
Selena
Serena
Shayla
Shelby
Sienna
Sierra
Skye
Sophia
Sophie
Stella
Summer
Susannah
Sybil
Sylvia
Sylvie
Tallulah
Tamsin
Tatiana
Tatum
Tessa
Thalia
Thea
Theodora
Thora
Ulla
Ulyana
Ulyssa
Uma
Una
Uriela
Valentina
Valerie
Vanessa
Verity
Veronica
Victoria
Vienna
Viola
Violet
Viviana
Vivienne
Willa
Willow
Winter
Wren
Wynne
Xanthe
Xenia
Yesenia
Ygritte
Yveline
Yvette
Zara
Zelda
Zinnia
Zoey

What other names would you add to the list?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Great Long List of Excellent Name Ideas for Modern Girls [Part One]

Are you expecting a daughter? Surely you have pondered names, by now. Finding the right choice isn't as easy as one would hope. There are many factors at play, including how the name sounds and flows with your surname, potential nicknames, the name's popularity, ease of spelling and pronunciation, and the name's meaning.

All of these aspects are things that should be considered when choosing a name for a child. However, some people just need somewhere to start before delving deeper. If you're in need of a launch pad, consider this list a great beginning. Below is a list of girl names from A-M that would be beautiful on a modern girl. If you can't find something you like here, wait for the next article that covers N-Z.

Adele
Adeline
Agatha
Ainsley
Alexandra
Alice
Amelia
Antonia
Aria
Athena
Audrey
Augusta
Aurora
Aveline
Azalea
Bailey
Beatrice
Bellamy
Belle
Bethany
Bianca
Blair
Blythe
Briar
Brielle
Bronwyn
Brynn
Bryony
Caia
Calista
Calliope
Camila
Camille
Cara
Caroline
Cecily
Celeste
Charlotte
Claire
Clementine
Colette
Cora
Coralie
Cordelia
Corinne
Dahlia
Daisy
Daphne
Darcy
Delaney
Delphina
Diana
Dorothea
Dorothy
Eden
Elaine
Eleanor
Elise
Elizabeth
Elodie
Eloise
Elowen
Elsa
Emilia
Esme
Estella
Eulalia
Evelyn
Everly
Faith
Faye
Felicity
Fiona
Florence
Frances
Gabrielle
Gemma
Genevieve
Georgia
Giselle
Grace
Gwen
Hadley
Hannah
Harper
Harriet
Hazel
Helena
Imogen
Ingrid
Iris
Isabelle
Isla
Ivy
Jade
Jane
Johannah
Jolie
Josephine
Juliet
June
Juniper
Kaia
Kara
Kate
Katherine
Katrina
Keira
Kendall
Keturah
Laurel
Lena
Leonora
Lila
Lillian
Lily
Lola
Lorelei
Louise
Lucille
Lucy
Luella
Luna
Lysandra
Madeline
Maeve
Magnolia
Maisie
Maren
Margot
Marigold
Marjorie
Marlowe
Matilda
Mavis
Mia
Mila
Molly

What do you think of this list? Hopefully it gives you some inspiration and a place to start. Check out N-Z next week!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dagny

The baby name Dagny is our featured name, taken from our list of names ending with the letters "-ny".



Dagny is an Old Norse name for females. It comes from Dagný, which was derived from the elements dagr meaning "day" and meaning "new". If you ask me, "new day" is an adorable meaning, and it would be especially sentimental on a rainbow baby. It is often used in Scandinavian countries, including Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.  Another form includes the Latvian Dagnija.

This name first appeared on record in the US in 1893. It has never had significant popularity and it has never been commonly used. If you're looking for a truly rare name, Dagny is a safe bet.  The most births in a single year that were earned by Dagny is 80 in 2013, which is its highest popularity peak on record. There were only 37 girls named Dagny in 2016.

This name has never ranked within the Top 1000 in the US. It did rank in Iceland in 2007 at #75. It isn't always easy to find statistics like this, but I did find an interesting site saying that 2,053 women have Dagny as a main first name in Sweden. It also says a total of 5,185 woman have it as a first name. I'm not sure how they define the difference between a "main first" name and just a "first" name, but you can see the information here yourself.

That site also indicates that the median age for persons named Dagny is 76, so it may be more on the old fashioned side than the modern. However, it could be viewed as an interesting, bold and refreshing choice on a modern American girl. Besides, Norse names are unique enough to be hip. Perhaps Dagny could become trendy in the future. What do you think of it?

Are you a fan of Nordic names? I know that I am. If you'd consider the name Dagny, here are some ideas for sibling names and middle names to complement it:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Astrid, Britta, Elsa, Freya, Ingrid, Signe, Thora
Brothers: Ansel, Erik, Leif, Magnus, Ragnar, Soren, Viggo

Middle Name Ideas:
Dagny Anneke
Dagny Erika
Dagny Jeneve
Dagny Karina
Dagny Linnea
Dagny Maren
Dagny Sorena
Dagny Ursula

As a Middle Name:

Bridget Dagny
Elisa Dagny
Hannah Dagny
Kaia Dagny
Kirsten Dagny
Mia Dagny
Ottilia Dagny
Sonia Dagny

What do you think of the Nordic name Dagny? Would you use another Nordic name with it as a middle name or would you use something else like Dagny Rose or Kate Dagny?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Looking for a Baby Name Ending with "-ny"?

This series explores different names ending with -y. We've already seen quite a few. Today we'll look at the many interesting and unusual names that end with the letters "-ny".

Girls:

Adrianny
Albany
Aleny
Anny
Aubuiny
Audny
Bethany
Betony
Bonny
Borgny
Briony
Britany
Britny
Brittany
Brittny
Bryony
Bunny
Christany
Dagny
Delany
Destiny
Devany
Devony
Ebony
Elleny
Epiphany
Estefany
Evany
Evony
Fanny
Franny
Genny
Ginny
Giverny
Harmony
Henny
Idony
Janny
Jenny
Jessany
Jinny
Khyany
Kiffany
Kilmeny
Linny
Mahogany
Marigny
Marny
Melany
Melony
Oddny
Penny
Peony
Rainy
Romany
Sidony
Signy
Steffany
Stephany
Sunny
Symphony
Tawny
Tiffany
Tiffiny
Tinny
Tiny
Tiphany
Yolany

Boys:

Anthony
Antony
Benny
Berthony
Danny
Denny
Donny
Giovanny
Johnny
Jonny
Jovanny
Jovany
Kenny
Lanny
Lemony
Lenny
Lonny
Manny
Ronny
Sonny
Sunny
Tony
Vinny

Are there any names on this list that you would consider using? Which are your favorites?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I Paired Five Ancient Girl Names with Vintage Middle Names


Creating a great first and middle name combination takes some practice. Some people have a very hard time with it and others are rather skilled at it! If you’d like to improve your naming skills, I thought I’d provide a few examples to show my step-by-step thought process for pairing two names together. Here is a list of names that work well together. You could either use these as inspiration or actually take and use them for your child.

This list of names is based on two specific styles that I like. The first names are all “ancient” names and the middles are more on the traditional, vintage side. I picked out five of my favorites to show you:

  1. Amabel Grace
  2. Sabrina Ruby
  3. Sibyl Josephine
  4. Viviana Pearl
  5. Francesca Ivy

1. Amabel is a medieval name that has never caught on in modern times. Short form Mabel was popular in the 1880s and early 1900s but it is now considered a vintage name that is beginning to be revived again. Amabel is an obscure choice but it sounds similar enough to names like Annabelle and Arabella that it wouldn’t stand out as odd. With its three syllables and unique nature, I chose to pair it with the simple but lovely Grace. Grace is a virtue name and is very common for middle names these days so the popularity contrast provides balance to Amabel. Meaning-wise, Amabel means “loveable” which compliments the idea of grace in an attractive way. Amabel Grace is very balanced in many different ways which makes for a great first and middle name combination!

2. Sabrina dates back to the 12th century based on the Roman name for a river in Wales.  It has had 5 popularity spikes since the 1950s so it has been well used but it is currently not high on parents’ radars, ranking at a respectable #370 in 2016. It has three syllables which flows nicely with Ruby’s two syllables. Ruby is another vintage name that was popular about a hundred years ago and has come back into style today. Ruby currently ranks at #71 so they have a bit of a popularity contrast which is nice.  If you notice, both names have an R and a B. This is a personal preference. I think Sabrina Ruby as a combination ties together well because of this shared sound.

3.  Sibyl can also be spelled Sybil. Both names date back to Greek and Roman legend and they were popular in the Middle Ages too. I like Sibyl for being rather unheard of today. It hasn’t really been used at all in recent years for that spelling. Sybil is a bit more used but still only receives about 100 births per year. It is a lovely, two-syllable name that happens to pair beautifully with a longer traditional middle name. In this instance, I chose Josephine but I also debated using Margaret and Theodora.  Josephine is a feminine spin on the classic male name Joseph and it is considered a lovely vintage choice that’s making strides today. Sibyl Josephine as a whole is a strong and interesting girl name that isn’t overly feminine sounding.  

4.  Viviana dates back to a saint and martyr in the 4th century. The name itself comes from the Late Roman name Vivianus meaning “alive”. It currently ranks at #444. I chose Viviana because of how long, flowy and feminine it is but to balance it out, I paired it with the one-syllable name Pearl. Pearl was well used from the 1880s to the 1940s but fell out of favor since then. Today it is starting to make a comeback, ranking back up at #567 in 2016. This combination of ancient and vintage works well since they’re both gaining popularity again as modern names. Viviana Pearl is a sweet, balanced combination suitable for a girl today.


5. Francesca is the Italian form of the Latin Franciscus. The entire family tree of Franc- names is very internationally used. Because of associations with saints, these names have been well-used since at least the 13th century. Francesca is such a long, traditional choice so I chose to pair it with the short, nature name Ivy. Francesca always gets a similar amount of births per year so it is neither gaining nor losing popularity. Vintage Ivy is actively gaining popularity again, doing even better today than it did in the early 1900s. Together, Francesca Ivy is a beautiful name that flows well and isn’t too popular or too obscure.

What do you think of these five combinations? How do you go about pairing names? Click below to view the article featuring five boy name combinations.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ancient Boy Names + Traditional Middle Names = 5 Great Name Combinations

theartofnaming.com  the art of naming  ancient and traditional names

Creating a great first and middle name combination should take some serious thought and a little bit of research. The more effort that goes into it, the better the name will be, usually. I thought I’d provide a few examples to show my step-by-step thought process for pairing two names together. Here are five boy names that flow well together. The first names are of the “ancient” style and the middle names are classic, traditional choices.


  1. Atticus William
  2. Dante Oliver
  3. Apollo James
  4. Cyrus Alexander
  5. Dominic Theodore


1. Atticus comes from a Roman name that means "from Attica" in Latin, which is a location in Greece. It has a solid background in that area of the world and in history because of a couple philosophers who had the name. Atticus has only been used in the US in the past thirty years or so, breaking into the Top 1000 in 2004. William, on the other hand, also has a very strong history in the form of kings and poets and authors. It has been used in the US in mass quantities since before records began in 1880. Atticus William flows well as a whole name. These names are very strong together without overdoing it and they have a nice popularity contrast. Atticus ranked at #360 in 2016 while William was #3.


2. Dante is the medieval form of Durante and also has ties to the 13th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri. This name has been in use in the US since 1908, gaining a boost in popularity around the late 1990s. It has been ranking consistently in the 200-300s since then, including #344 in 2016. Oliver also has some ancient ties to the middle ages, but it has always ranked fairly well in the US giving it a classic vibe. In fact, Oliver is on the rise, ranking at an all-time high of #12 in 2016. With a 2:3 syllable count, Dante Oliver flows nicely and offers enough of a popularity contrast to stand apart from the crowd.


3.  Apollo dates way back to Greek mythology as the son of Zeus and Leto, and twin brother of Artemis. This name is definitely ancient and strong. James is also an old name, dating back to biblical times, but it has remained modern. James is actually the #1 boy name for the past 100 years, topping John for the title. As a result, it is possibly the most common middle name as well. However, since Apollo is still somewhat unusual with a popularity ranking of #584 against James' #5 in 2016, the two work nicely together. Apollo James as a whole sounds strong and is full of history.


4. The Greek Cyrus dates back to several ancient kings of Persia including the biblical Cyrus the Great. It is known as Kurush in ancient Persia and Kyros in Biblical Greek among other international variations. Alexander also has strong ancient and biblical history, as well as a namesake known as Alexander the Great. Cyrus ranks at #427 in 2016 and Alexander is at #11 in the US. These two names just go together. Cyrus Alexander is strong, bold and, well, great!


5.  Many may not realize that Dominic is an old name. It comes from the late Latin Dominicus meaning "of the Lord" and was the name of several saints, dating back to around the year 1000. There was also the Dominican order of friars in the 13th century. I paired Dominic with the middle name Theodore which comes from a Greek name meaning "gift of God". This name has remained rather traditional today but it actually dates way back to several saints too, at least to the 4th century. Dominic Theodore sounds very modern but it is actually a very old combination whose meanings happen to be quite compatible.


Do you find yourself drawn to any of the above examples? Feel free to use them if you’d like! These are just a few names within a very specific theme that caught my attention. Stay tuned for a similar list of female names next week!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Interesting Names from Creative Gamers


I occasionally play video games with my husband. We enjoy what's called "massively multiplayer online role-playing games" or MMORPGs. These games connect us with thousands of other players across the country (and sometimes around the world).

If you aren't familiar with these kinds of games, that's fine, it isn't super important for the point of this post. Basically, you create a character, design them from their hair and eyes to what sort of armor they wear. You choose what kind of class or profession you want them to have, even what race or species you prefer. Then the best part comes next: choosing an interesting name for them.

Some games will even offer guidelines that follow the lore behind the characters to help you decide on an appropriate name for them based on their story. Not everyone follows this, but I always do. Some people don't put any thought into it and come up with random words or phrases (like "Thats Odd") rather than an actual name. However, other times people put a lot of thought into it and come up with some very intriguing monikers.

I have to admit that I tend to get very distracted by the names, so much so that I started writing down some of the best ones that I've spotted. And of course, that means I must make a post about it and share them with you. Below is a list of names created by other people, real people, for their characters within one of the games I play.

Small disclaimer: these names are meant to be interesting. They are names of fictional video game characters. I am in no way suggesting usage on real life children; however there are some that are real names and could be used, like Lily or Phaedra or Audrey. Use your own discretion.

Kára Aonghuis
Daenea
Maladie Ardente
Raeine Kotto
Solith Elensar
Brassicace Olercea
Aurae Lenis
Ilya Kuriyakin
Kessa Star
Euphemia Stone
Phaedra Blackstaff
Akahana Sayomi
Ivo Julian Kinobar
Boudica Dragon
Aldro Vanda
Magna Turr
Sabre Vizaerios
Corvus
Sylavaine Froste
Kivan
Elma Skere
Bequa  Silverwind
Melayna
Beladona Lugosi
Osric Stark
Ciara Sativola
Grigor Stovanovich
Dmitry Rioux
Dietri
Freya Ryselmon
Amurcora
Zarri
Grizabella
Solara Treestar
Reyna Frost
Lily Rockstorm
Malo Octavius
Kagerou Rin
Ginger Vietas
Rosana Viola
Neblina Oscura
Shanti Priya
Rose Dupre
Mona Vanille
Amira Daemon
Thasserian Wyrnn
Montague Ashton
Ichaival Black
Lilith Thorne
Grace Northstar
Vesper Tavarius
Valfreyja Njordkin
Audrey Minerva
Caelanderferasnen
Axel Valdemar
Nicolai Benedikt

Do you play any games? What names have you chosen for your characters? Share your thoughts in the comments below! :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cool, Slightly Unusual, Somewhat Exotic but Definitely Interesting Boy Names [Part Two]

If you are searching for a less-than-common name for a boy, this list has plenty of interesting and wearable options. We previously explored similar names from A-M.  The list below continues with the letters N-Z.

If you're willing, choose 5 names from this list and pair them with a middle name of your choice to create an interesting sibling set! Post the results in the comment section below.


Nash
The Art of Naming - noble ozias pavel quill revere stark thayer upton valor wolfe xerxes york zenith
Nemo
Nero
Nico
Niles
Noam
Noble
Nova
Nye
Oberon
Odin
Olivander
Orion
Oslo
Otto
Ozias
Pace
Pasqual
Pavel
Pearce
Penn
Peregrine
Philo
Pippin
Ptolemy
Quade
Quarry
Quest
Quill
Quimby
Quixley
Rafael
Ragnar
Rasmus
Remi
Revere
Rocco
Rockwell
Rolf
Rune
Sanders
Sayer
Severin
Skandar
Slater
Soren
Stark
Stellan
Sutton
Tate
Tavish
Teague
Thanos
Thayer
Theoden
Thorsten
Tobias
Tomas
Tyrion
Ulrich
Ulysses
Upton
Urban
Usher
Uziah
Valentin
Valor
Vance
Viggo
Vulcan
Ward
Weston
Whittier
Wilder
Wim
Wolfe
Wray
Xanthus
Xerxes
Yale
Yannick
Yardley
York
Zaid
Zaffre
Zebulon
Zen
Zenith
Zeppelin
Zoltan

Which of these names stands out to you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And don't forget to check out Part One by clicking to the previous page.

unusual interesting cool boy names from the art of naming

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cool, Slightly Unusual, Somewhat Exotic but Definitely Interesting Boy Names [Part One]

If you're looking for a name for a boy but you want something more unusual than most, try these for inspiration. Here you'll find 90 interesting names that are a bit outside the typical set of popular choices you hear everywhere today.
The Art of Naming - adler bram cyril dorian elian fox gunnar henning ivo jem kasimir leif merrill

Adler
Alvar
Andre
Aramis
Arlo
Armin
Arno
Auden
Augustin
Axel
Basil
Bastian
Benedict
Benno
Bram
Brom
Bruno
Calix
Casper
Caspian
Cato
Conrad
Constantine
Corin
Cosimo
Cyan
Cyril
Dante
Dashiell
Diederick
Dominic
Dorian
Eamon
Edwin
Elian
Emery
Emmerich
Evander
Fabian
Felix
Fergus
Fletcher
Fox
Fritz
Gael
Gregor
Gunnar
Guthrie
Havel
Hawthorn
Henning
Hugo
Indigo
Isidor
Ivo
Iwan
Jarlath
Jasper
Jaziel
Jem
Jericho
Johan
Jupiter
Justice
Kai
Kasimir
Keane
Kennon
Kit
Knute
Kylo
Laird
Larkin
Leif
Lemuel
Leopold
Levin
Loic
Luca
Ludwig
Lysander
Marco
Marius
Matteo
Maxim
Mccoy
Merrill
Milan
Murray

Which of these names catch your eye? Choose five and give them interesting middle names of your choice. Click below for the names N-Z!

Friday, May 19, 2017

A History of "Sound" in the Naming Process

The Art of Naming explores the top popular names of 2016 and compares them to 1920 to analyze their sounds and letters
The very first thing that all name-searching parents do when they find a name is say it. Whether it is in their mind or out loud, pronouncing the name always comes first. How does the name sound when you say it? Do you like the sound of the name? Does it easily roll off the tongue or are there pronunciation issues that could cause the child problems in life? 

Many of these questions are answered subconsciously as we say and hear the name. And of course, this is going to vary greatly per person. What sounds like a lovely name to one person may not be attractive at all to another. But the question is, are there specific sounds in a name that are more mass-appealing than others? Do we, as a country, tend to gravitate toward certain sounds within a name? 

Take for instance the top 5 girl names of 2016. They all end in the letter A: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Sophia, and Isabella.  These are all very vowel-heavy names that easily roll off the tongue. Today’s parents are flocking to these feminine, vintage-sounding names for girls even though none of them, besides Emma, has ever had major popularity in the past. If you look at the popularity of these five names, you will see that they have all been in regular usage since the US began to keep records in the 1880s, but none of them have ever had this much success until now. So in a way, they are more modern than vintage. 

How do their sounds compare to their contemporaries of the past? 

The types of names that were most popular around the 1920s have a very different sound to them than the modern names we see today.  The top 5 girl names of 1920 were Mary, Dorothy, Helen, Margaret and Ruth. None of these end with the feminine letter A like today's popular names do. Comparatively when you pronounce them out loud, they feel "heavier" than the names of 2016.  

Let’s look beyond the top five. In 2016, twenty-one out of the top fifty girl names end with the A-sound, whereas in 1920, only nine out of fifty do. Those nine names are Virginia, Anna, Martha, Edna, Thelma, Clara, Emma, Barbara and Sarah.  Out of these, Anna (#51 in 2016) and Sarah (#57 in 2016) are very classic and timeless names. Emma has been one of the most popular names of the past couple decades, ranking at #1 in 2008 and again from 2014-2016. Clara (#99 in 2016) falls in line with the vintage names that work well today and are currently gaining popularity.  The other names, Virginia, Martha, Edna, Thelma and Barbara are still being used but they don’t have the same fresh and modern vibe that parents seek today. Why is that?

It is probably because they contain "heavier" and "more out-dated" consonants such as D, N, B, G and -Th, plus other factors like over-use within a particular generation which newer generations avoid. But, if you take a look at the consonants of the most popular names in 2016, you will see that they mostly include L, M, R, S and V. In fact, the letter L seems to be the most popular consonant. It appears in thirty of the top fifty names in 2016, but only seventeen of them in 1920. But on that note, the names Martha and Thelma should technically fit in with the modern names since they end with an A and contain some of the more popular consonants, right?

Unfortunately, no. The Th- sound is not currently deemed stylish. Thelma only had 32 births in 2016, and Martha had 389 for a ranking of #727. There are only two names in the girl’s top 50 of 2016 that contain a Th and neither of them starts with it: Elizabeth and Samantha. While there are indeed many names that contain the Th sound within the name for both boys and girls, there are only two female names in the Top 1000 that start with it: Thea, which is rising quickly (#290), and Thalia which ranks down at #809. On the boy’s side, there are only Thomas, Theodore, Thiago, Theo, Thaddeus and Thatcher.

In 1920, there was Thelma, Theresa, Theda, Theodora, Therese, Theo, Thomas, Theola, and Thora for the girls; Thomas, Theodore, Thurman, Thaddeus, Theron, Theo, Theadore, Thornton, and Thurston for the boys within the Top 1000 names.  This indicates that names that begin with Th- are a thing of the past. These names went out of style because the Th- sound became unfashionable over time, except for the timeless survivors such as Thomas and Theodore that are still in use today.

Some may argue that it has more to do with the style of these names since others with a similar “old” feel like Mildred and Doris, Bernard and Donald all went down with them. Style plays into it, definitely, but I think it has to do more with the individual sounds that make these names feel “old” to begin with. For instance, the letter D was rather popular in the past. Names of 1920 included Dorothy, Mildred, Doris, Gladys, Edna, Edith, and Gertrude within the top 50.  Today, Dorothy is at #652, and Edith at #488 but none of the others rank in the Top 1000.  In 2016, the only female names that have the letter D in the Top 50 are Madison, Addison and Audrey.

For the boys, the D’s tended to be on the end of popular names in 1920 such as Edward, Richard, Harold, Raymond, Donald, Howard, David, Fred, Leonard, Alfred and Bernard within the Top 50. Out of these, only Fred and Bernard have fallen out of regular usage while the rest are within the Top 1000 today. This goes to show that the sounds that work for boys might not always work for girls and vice versa. For example, naming your son David today is a great idea but naming his twin sister Doris might not be. 

Many of the sounds that seem "out-dated" today have a great chance at once again sounding fresh in the coming decades. This doesn't apply for all names across the board, but once some of these names have had enough time to cycle back around, they will regain usage again. This is often referred to as the 100-Year-Rule or the Great-Grandparents Rule which states that the new young generation of parents will find that names from roughly 3 generations back are appealing, whereas names from their parents' and grandparents' era are still too associated with that time and not quite fashionable yet.

There are exceptions, of course, and plenty of classic names that stand the test of time by appearing strongly throughout all generations. What do you think? What other observations have you made about the history of sound in the naming process? How much is dictated by these sounds and how much is due to trends and preference? Share your thoughts below!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Jeremy

We took a look at all the names ending with the letters -my in the previous post. Today we'll pull one of those from the list and get to know it better. I chose Jeremy,  which may feel a bit dated to many of you but it still deserves usage today.

The Art of Naming - English form of Jeremiah - Hebrew name meaning Yahweh has uplifted


Jeremy comes from the name Jeremiah, it is the Medieval English version of it. Jeremiah comes from the Hebrew name יִרְמְיָהוּ (Yirmiyahu) meaning "YAHWEH has uplifted". Jeremy was occasionally the form used in England in place of Jeremiah since the 13th century. It wasn't until the Protestant Reformation that Jeremiah gained more common usage.

Interesting related diminutives include Jez, Jezza, Jem, Jemmy, Jere and Jerry.  Other languages and cultures offer interesting choices such as the Finnish Jorma, Jarkko, and Jarmo; or the Biblical Greek Ieremias, the Biblical Hebrew Yirmiyahu, and the Biblical Latin Hieremias.  The French favor Jérémie and the Spanish use Jeremías.

Jeremy itself works internationally without being "translated". It has ranked at #445 in France recently, #390 in the Netherlands, and #497 in England and Wales. Canada, Australia, Belgium and Switzerland also have the occasional love for Jeremy.

In the US, Jeremy didn't gain usage until 1923, but was nearly always in the Top 1000 after that, starting in the 1940s. It peaked in 1977 in the US, which may make Jeremy feel most associated with the 1970s and 1980s. That's a valid feeling because it was suddenly very popular for only that short amount of time. It only had 641 births in 1968 but received a high of 21,012 by 1977 which labeled it as the 15th most popular name in the country.

Today, it is still finding itself ranked at a respectable #174 as of 2015, which means 2,380 boys were named Jeremy in that year. It is a solid, "alternative classic" name. It is biblical-based and very versatile over multiple languages which means Jeremy will always be around, even though it isn't as popular as it once was.

What do you think of this name? Do you know any children named Jeremy? If you're considering it, here are some sibling name ideas and middle name ideas:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Amanda, Bethany, Danielle, Lydia, Nicole, Sabrina, Tabitha
Brothers: Aaron, Gerard, Joshua, Mitchell, Ryan, Samuel, Zachary

Middle Name Ideas:
Jeremy Brian
Jeremy Daniel
Jeremy Noah
Jeremy Oliver
Jeremy Tobias
Jeremy Zachariah

As a Middle Name:
Andrew Jeremy
David Jeremy
Ian Jeremy
Matthew Jeremy
Seth Jeremy
William Jeremy

Which  names would you pair with Jeremy? Share your thoughts below!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Happy Name Nerd-oween! The 2016 Baby Name Stats Are Here!

As you may know, the Social Security Administration has released the list of 2016's most popular baby names. It covers the Top 1000 in the site, but more names beyond that are also available for download.

Emma has ranked at #1 four times now. The first time was in 2008, and now she's been ruling the chart for 3 years straight (2014-2016). Will Emma continue her reign again next year? If not, which name will steal the crown? I think Olivia will rise to the top in the next year or three.



As for the boys, Noah replaced the long-running Jacob in 2013. This is Noah's 4th year in a row being #1. How much longer will it remain at the top? If it dips next year, which name would replace it? My bet is on Liam.



What do you think of the top 2? Here's the rest of the Top 20 as well:

Source
Names on the rise include:

One notable thing is that Elijah joined the Top 10 for the first time ever. Other names to watch include Oliver, Charlotte, Amelia and Evelyn.
  • Oliver is up 7 ranks, It didn't join the top 100 until 2009 and now it is on the verge of breaking into the Top 10. It ranked at #12 in 2016, so I would guess that it will land at either #9 or #10 next year. (With sister name Olivia taking #1 for the girls). What do you think?
  • Charlotte which is up by 2 ranks over 2015 and is definitely on the rise. Charlotte could be a contender for the Top 3 in the next few years.  
  • Amelia has been steadily rising since joining the Top 100 in 2004, hitting #11 now in 2016. 
  • Evelyn once ranked at #10, but that was way back in 1915. At #12 in 2016, she could make a run for the Top 10 soon.
Names on the decline include:

Boys:
Aiden (down 3 ranks)
Jacob (down 3 ranks)
Alexander (down 3 ranks)

Girls: 
Madison (down 4 ranks)

Beyond the Top 20:

Every year, there are names that suddenly have major popularity boosts from one year to the next. These are fascinating to look at, but they don't always result in becoming "the next big name". However, if you want to avoid following the trends, it's good to know which names are being most-used by the masses. Here are the Top 10 names that climbed the most ranks:

Source
And going the opposite direction, there are also names that lose favor in mass. Here are the Top 10 names that declined the most from 2015 to 2016:

Source

Clearly America has grown tired of the Caitlin/Katelynn crowd. What do you think of those?

What other interesting stats did you see? Share any information that stood out to you the most! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Names Ending with the Letters "-my"

These names end with the letters my.
We're halfway through our collection of names ending with the letter -y. We've seen plenty of common and rare names along the way as we've cruised through the alphabet.

Next we will explore the few but interesting names ending with the letters -my.

This series doesn't always feature a plethora of name options since these endings are more on the unusual side, but that's the beauty of it. How often have you stopped to think about names ending with these specific letters? Perhaps never.

However, if someone is looking for that exact sound or letter combination with a sentimental purpose behind it, this list is sure to help.

Take a look at the list below and share your thoughts in the comments. Can you think of any names that could be added?

Girls:
Aemy
Alchemy
Amy
Bellamy
Cammy
Emmy
Emy
Jemmy
Jessamy
Jessemy
Keimy
Kimmy
Kymmy
My
Naomy
Nomy
Remy
Romy
Stormy
Tammy

Boys:
Barthelemy
Bellamy
Jeramy
Jeremy
Jeromy
Jimmy
Ptolemy
Ramy
Remy
Sammy
Timmy
Tommy

Be sure to check out the rest of this series, too! You never know when you may need a specific name with a specific sound.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Penelope

This name is a fast-rising modern Greek name for girls. It was featured in this week's list of gorgeous Greek names and we will learn more about it here.

Penelope is a Greek Name for Girls that is very popular in the US today.


The usage of the name Penelope dates back to Homers Odyssey. In the story, she was the wife of Odysseus who had to stand strong against suitors while he was in Troy.

As far as the origin and meaning go, it was possibly derived from the Greek  πηνελοψ (penelops) which refers to a kind of duck. However, it is also possible that Penelope is taken from  πηνη (pene) which means "threads" and  ωψ (ops) which means "face" or "eye". With those combined, Penelope is sometimes listed as meaning "weaver".

As a name in America, Penelope has been in use since records began in 1880 but it wasn't steadily used until 1909. It ranked well from 1935-1975, but left the Top 1000 until 2001. It was majorly trending upward from then on, hitting the Top 100 in 2013. As of 2015, it ranks as the 34th most popular name in the country.

If this is a name you are considering, here are some middle name ideas and some sibling name ideas for Penelope:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Amelia, Camilla, Delphine, Lydia, Olivia, Theresa, Veronica
Brothers: Anthony, Damian, Evander, Lucas, Orion, Reuben, Theodore

Middle Name Ideas: 
Penelope Catherine
Penelope Hazel
Penelope Kate
Penelope Joy
Penelope Sybil

As a Middle Name:
Anna Penelope
Diana Penelope
Iris Penelope
Thea Penelope
Zoe Penelope

What middle name would you pair with Penelope? Share your thoughts on this name in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Gorgeous Greek Names for Girls

Last week we took a look at boy names that are either diminutives of ancient Greek names, or have had their spellings more Latinized or modernized over the years.  Now it's time to look at the feminine name choices. Many of these have been in use for a long time whether or not the wearers realize their Greek origins. Greek names tend to be very versatile. They easily cross bridges into several cultures and languages, allowing nearly anyone to use them in one form or another.

Here are some of the best Greek names I could find that would work beautifully on modern girls. Which of these do you like best?
Little girl with flower

Althea
Anastasia
Ariadne
Calista
Calliope
Cassandra
Catherine
Chloe
Cleo
Daphne
Delphina
Diana
Dorothy
Elaina
Ellen
Esmeralda
Eugenia
Eulalia
Evadne
Helen
Helena
Hermione
Iris
Isadora
Kyra
Lydia
Lysandra
Melanie
Melissa
Oceana
Odessa
Olympia
Ophelia
Penelope
Persephone
Phaedra
Philippa
Phoebe
Selene
Sophia
Sybil
Thalia
Thea
Theodora
Theresa
Veronica
Xanthe
Xenia
Zandra
Zoe

Can you think of any other names that would fit this category? Share your favorites!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Damian

One of my favorite Greek names is Damian, which comes from the Greek name Δαμιανος (Damianos).  This name was listed on the Great Greek Names for Modern Boys list posted earlier this week.

Greek name for boys - male name for babies


Damian is ultimately derived from the  Greek δαμαζω (damazo) meaning "to tame".  There was a saint by this name from the 4th century who was martyred with his twin brother Cosmo in Syria. There was also an 11th-century saint named Peter Damian who was a cardinal and theologian from Italy.

In the US, Damian was first used on boys in 1912. It also gained a minimal amount of use for girls in 1968. For boys, this name gained momentum in the 1970s, peaking in 1977 before dipping a bit again. By the 1990s, it began an upward trajectory of usage. It actually cracked the Top 100 in 2012-2013 at #98 both years. Even though it has dropped again to #116 in 2015, Damian is a solid name with great usage.

There's also a few spelling variations associated with different languages and cultures. The French Damien is also doing well in the US at #254 in 2015. Other spellings include Damon (#427), Damion, Damiaan, Damiano, Damianus, Damyan, Damijan and Damjan.

If you are thinking about using this name, here are some middle name ideas and some sibling name ideas that work well with the name Damian:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Alyssa, Diana, Helena, Juliet, Lucia, Sophia, Veronica
Brothers: Andrew, Dominic, Elias, Lucas, Raphael, Theodore, Xander

Middle Name Ideas:
Damian Benedict
Damian Christopher
Damian Lysander
Damian Phillip
Damian Timothy

As a Middle Name:
Atlas Damian
Evander Damian
George Damian
Nicholas Damian
Silas Damian

What do you think of this name? Which middle names would you pair with it?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Great Greek Names for Modern Boys

Greek names are fascinating, however, many of them are too wrapped up in archaic spellings to be considered usable today. But over the centuries, some of those names developed diminutives or were passed through a process of modernization to make them easier on our ears today. 

Here are some of the most usable Greek boy names around! Which do you enjoy most?


Alexander
Andrew
Apollo
Atlas
Calix
Christopher
Damian
Demetrius
Erasmus
Evander
Flavian
George
Gregory
Hector
Isidore
Jason
Jericho
Leander
Leonidas
Lucas
Lysander
Maximos
Memphis
Nicholas
Odysseus
Orion
Peter
Phillip
Phoenix
Sebastian
Stephen
Thaddeus
Theodore
Theon
Thomas
Timothy
Titus
Troy
Xander
Zacchaeus
Zander
Zephyr

Are there any other traditionally Greek names that you could consider using on a modern boy?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What Will May's Names of the Month Be? You Decide!


Thank you for voting! If you'd like to submit your own favorite name combinations to be used in future Names of the Month polls, go to this page and enter them!  

Check FacebookTwitter or Instagram on May 1st to see which names won.

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