Thursday, February 27, 2014


The masculine name Clark originally comes from the Old English word clerec which actually referred to a priest. Later it became an English surname that means "cleric" or "scribe". It could also refer to a clerk and is associated with the occupational name for a clergyman cleric in a religious setting. Because of these meanings, the name gives the impression of a good and intelligent man.

Famous Clarks include Superman's iconic alias Clark Kent who has been personified by numerous actors and voice talents since its comic book days. There's also Old Hollywood actor Clark Gable best known for his role as Rhett Butler in 1939's Gone with the Wind opposite Viven Leigh. Another association is the American explorer William Clark who helped lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition across America in the early 1800s. Between these three strong, handsome and adventurous namesakes, modern parents are starting to see the appeal of this short but powerful name.

The name Clark has been in regular use since 1880 in the US.  It got its first popularity boost around 1912 and gradually climbed higher and higher until hitting its peak in 1961. In that year, 877 boys were named Clark for a ranking of #268.
After that, the name saw a decline in usage. It has held steady in the lower half of the Top 1000 since then and is rising once again. In 2012, the name was used 467 times for a ranking of #554.

From the scholarly and religious meaning to the image of a seemingly ordinary reporter suddenly becoming "the man of steel" and flying through the sky, Clark is a winning name choice! Parents today seem to be flocking to the shorter names. The most commonly searched and viewed page on The Art of Naming is by far the One Syllable Boy's Names list. While this is just one little blog, it does suggest that short names are in whether they're being used in the first name spot or in the middle. What do you think of this "short name trend" theory? What do you think of the name Clark?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Audrey, Ella, June, Leah,  Ruth, Sybil, Tessa
Brothers: Archer, Grant, Henry, Max, Noah, Owen, Thomas

Middle Name Ideas:
Clark Alexander
Clark Benjamin
Clark Nathaniel
Clark Sebastian

As a Middle Name: 
Andrew Clark
Jackson Clark
Mason Clark
Samuel Clark

Clark is one of those names that works as a middle name for many names.  I would just avoid a first name that already has a strong C/K sound. Also make sure it is at least 2 syllables.  What would you pair with Clark?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Boy Names of Old Hollywood

Old Hollywood is sometimes referred to as the golden age. It ranged from about 1927 to the early 1960s. In regards to cinema in particular, Hollywood had its own very specific style that produced some of the greatest films ever! True classics! There was such a glamorous vibe in those days that is still admired even today. The celebrities of that time are well known for their elegance, style, poise and even their amazing names!

If you are a fan of this time in our history, I'm sure you will love this list of celebrity baby names for boys! The girl's list will be posted next week!

First (Last)

ANTHONY (Quinn)                          
BASIL (Rathbone)
BUSTER (Keaton)
CARY (Grant)
CHARLIE (Chaplin)
CLARK (Gable)
CLAUDE (Rains)
DAVID (Niven)
ELVIS (Presley)
ERROL (Flynn)
FRANK (Sinatra)
FRED (Astaire)
GARY (Cooper)
GENE (Kelly)
GLENN (Ford)
HAROLD (Lloyd)
HENRY (Fonda)
JACK (Lemmon)
JAMES (Cagney)
JIMMY (Stewart)
JOHN (Wayne)
KIRK (Douglas)
LAURENCE (Olivier)
LIONEL (Barrymore)
LON (Chaney)
MARLON (Brando)
MICKEY (Rooney)
ORSON (Welles)
OLIVER (Hardy)
PETER (O'Toole)
PAUL (Newman)
RICHARD (Burton)
ROBERT (Mitchum)
ROCK (Hudson)
RONALD (Colman)
ROSCOE (Arbuckle)
RUDOLPH (Valentino)
SEAN (Connery)
STEVE (McQueen)
TYRONE (Power)
WILLIAM (Holden)
YUL (Brynner)
First names from Last Names:

Please let me know if I missed any of your favorites!

Friday, February 21, 2014


The feminine name Aurora is the Latin word for "dawn" so naturally Aurora was the Roman goddess of the morning. She has two siblings, a brother (Sol, the sun) and a sister (Luna, the moon). It is said that she would renew herself in the morning and fly across the sky to announce the rising of the sun.  In Astronomy, the northern lights are also known as the Aurora Borealis. It is a natural light display in the sky mostly seen in high latitudes.  They named this celestial phenomenon after the goddess.

The Art of Naming - latin names for girls - popular goddess name

Beyond astronomy and mythology, though, Aurora has one of the longest Wikipedia pages that I've ever seen for a name. Aurora has so many associations across a variety of subjects like colleges, all sorts of entertainment from films to novels to song titles, fictional characters like the Disney princess from Sleeping Beauty, geographical locations all around the world, sports and forms of transportation. If you're considering this name for a daughter, I would recommend browsing through this list of namesakes.

As a baby name, Aurora is definitely gaining popularity. Parents find the appeal of a goddess and a princess to be the most attractive and of course the beautiful northern lights come into play as well. This name has an elegance about it unlike any other name. Radiance and sunlight and morning dew come to mind which can all feel romantic, mystical and poetic. However, if your little princess turns out to be more of a tom-boy, the spunky nickname Rory definitely has that covered which makes this name feel rather versatile for modern parents.

Aurora has been in use since the Renaissance. It has been around within the US since records began in 1880. It received a brief popularity bump from about 1920 to the mid-1930s which resulted in a high-rank of #349 in 1929. Since then, the name remained in the lower half of the Top 1000. By the year 2000, Aurora climbed past the #500s for the first time in 50 years! In 2006, the number of births per year hit the 1,000 mark for the first time. And 2012 saw 1,890 births for a record-high ranking of #166. I predict this name to continue climbing and eventually be a staple of the Top 100.

Revision:  My prediction was accurate. Aurora continued to climb and, as of 2016, ranks at #66! That is 3,963 births for the year. I think she still has a bit more room to grow, too! What do you think?

There's also the French version Aurore but it is nearly nonexistent in the US with less than 20 births since the 1940s. It did have a bit of usage from 1884-1938 though. I think this would be adorable as a middle name to a long, elegant first name.

What do you think of the name Aurora? Would you use it? If you have, what middle names and sibling names do you think best fit with it? Here are some ideas:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Athena, Cecilia, Iris, Minerva, Scarlett, Valentina
Brothers: Atticus, Conrad, Julian, Leander, Miles, Tristan

Middle Name Ideas:
Aurora Charis
Aurora Ivy
Aurora Katherine
Aurora Sable

As a Middle Name:
Daphne Aurora
Lily Aurora
Madeline Aurora
Xanthe Aurora

Throw some more ideas at me!

Original Post: 2/21/14
Revision: 5/14/17

Monday, February 17, 2014

Disney Names for Girls

Most of us grew up watching these beloved Disney characters in movies and reading books about them. For some kids, Disney is a huge part of their childhood and the theme parks can certainly bring awe and magic into their young lives.

Perhaps you visited one of these parks as a small girl and can remember the day that you got to hug Alice in Wonderland or Princess Jasmine. Maybe you've even been in love with the names Alice and Jasmine since that very day!

From popular choices like Abigail, Charlotte and Jennifer to the more unique names like Attina, Fauna and Nala, which of the names on this lovely list of female Disney characters is your favorite? Would you ever use one of these for a child? Have you already done so? Do share your thoughts in the comments below! Are there any that I've missed?

Abigail (The Aristocats)
Adelaide (The Aristocats)
Adella (The Little Mermaid)
Alana (The Little Mermaid)
Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Amelia (The Aristocats)
Anastasia (Cinderella)
Andrina (The Little Mermaid)
Anita (101 Dalmatians)
Anna (Frozen)
Aquata (The Little Mermaid)
Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
Arista (The Little Mermaid)
Attina (The Little Mermaid)
Audrey (Home on the Range)
Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
Babette (Beauty and the Beast)
Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
Bianca (The Rescuers)
Calliope (Hercules)
Charlotte (The Princess and the Frog)
Cinderella (Cinderella)
Cleo (Pinocchio)
Clio (Hercules)
Daisy (Daisy Duck)
Drizella (Cinderella)
Ellie Mae (The Rescuers)
Elinor (Brave)
Elsa (Frozen)
Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Eudora (The Princess and the Frog)
Faline (Bambi)
Fauna (Sleeping Beauty)
Flora (Sleeping Beauty)
Georgette (Oliver & Company)

Giselle (Enchanted)
Helga (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
Hera (Hercules)
Jane (Tarzan)
Jasmine (Aladdin)
Jennifer (Oliver & Company)
Kala (Tarzan)
Lilo (Lilo & Stitch)
Marian (Robin Hood)
Marie (The Aristocats)
Mary (Peter Pan)
Megara (Hercules)
Merida (Brave)
Merryweather (Sleeping Beauty)
Minnie (Minnie Mouse)
Myrtle (Lilo & Stitch)
Nala (The Lion King)
Odie (The Princess and the Frog)
Olivia (The Great Mouse Detective)
Peg (Lady and the Tramp)
Penny (101 Dalmatians)
Perdita (101 Dalmatians)
Pocahontas (Pocahontas)
Rapunzel (Tangled)
Rita (Oliver & Company)
Sarabi (The Lion King)
Sarafina (The Lion King)
Thalia (Hercules)
Tiana (The Princess and the Frog)
Tiger Lily (Peter Pan)
Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
Wendy (Peter Pan)
Wilhelmina (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
Willow (Pocahontas)
Winifred (The Jungle Book)
Don't forget to take a look at last week's list of Disney Names for Boys too!

Friday, February 14, 2014


The name Sebastian comes from the Latin name Sebastianus meaning "from Sebaste" which is the name of a town in Asia Minor. In turn, Sebaste is derived from the Greek σεβαστος or sebastos which means "venerable" which is the Greek translation of the Latin title for Roman emperors, Augustus. It is further said that the Greek sebastos comes from σέβας (sebas) which also means "awe, reverence, dread".

Sebastian is an ancient name. In particular, it belonged to a Roman soldier from the 3rd-century who was martyred by arrows when he was outed as a Christian.  He later became one of the most popular saints causing the name Sebastian to be used throughout medieval Europe, particularly in France and Spain.  In the 16th-century, the King of Portugal bore this name. He was killed in a crusade against Morocco.

On a more creative note, there were characters named Sebastian in two of Shakespeare's plays, (Twelfth Night, and The Tempest) as well as the 1945 novel Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. And of course, more recently, there is Sebastian the crab in Disney's The Little Mermaid.  There are plenty of other people, characters and places relating to the name Sebastian!

This sophisticated name is starting to see more and more usage these days! Since the 1990s, this name has shot straight up the charts.  It isn't often that a name will have such a dramatic climb! Sebastian has been in use in the US since 1881 but it was used sporadically. It wasn't until 1901 that it gained regular usage. The number of births per year climbed into the 100's by 1915 but declined again to the 50 range by the mid-1930s.

The number of births per year was back into the 100s in 1961, climbing steadily with each passing year. The number of babies named Sebastian suddenly jumped to the thousands in 1991.  By 2000, there were over 5,000 baby boys named Sebastian putting the name in the top 100 for the first time.  And it would only increase from there! Most recently in 2012, there were 6,685 births for a ranking of #64 on the Top 1000 chart.  I would bet that it has climbed even higher in 2013.

Common nicknames include Seb, Sebbie, Bas, Bash, Bastian or Baz and possibly Ian. According to Behind The Name, pronunciations vary around the world: ze-BAHS-tee-ahn (German), sə-BAS-chən (English), se-BAHS-tyahn (Polish). They also list many variations and diminutives of the name around the world and the popularity of the name in different countries if you're interested.  It ranks as high as #5 in Chile and #9 in Austria!  What do you think of this name?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Anastasia, Charlotte, Elizabeth, Philippa, Sabrina, Valentina
Brothers: Alexander, Benedict, Dominic, Leonardo, Maximilian, Thaddeus

Middle Name Ideas:
Sebastian Alexander
Sebastian Lucas
Sebastian Miles
Sebastian Theodore

As a Middle Name: 
Anthony Sebastian
Edmund Sebastian
Remy Sebastian
William Sebastian

Let me know what you think of this name! Also, what middle name ideas would you suggest? Do you know any little Sebastians? If so, what are their siblings' names?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Disney Names For Boys

Everyone loves Disney. From the characters to the movies to the theme parks, Disney is a big deal. But what about baby names? My son's name happens to be heard on a fairly new character in the Disney realm: the horse from the movie Tangled.  My husband's name is on here too!

Some of these are very common names like David, John and Peter. Others are very tied specifically to a certain character like Aladdin or Gaston or even Mickey.  Do you have any of the following names on your list or already in your family? Can you think of any characters that I missed?  Do let me know which of these you like the most!

Abu (Aladdin)
Akela (The Jungle Book)
Aladdin (Aladdin)
Amos (The Fox and the Hound)
Apollo (Hercules)
Archimedes (Tarzan)
Arthur (The Sword in the Stone)
Ben (Pocahontas)
Berlioz (The Aristocats)
Bernard (The Rescuers)
Chip (Chip 'n' Dale)
Christopher (Winnie the Pooh)
Claude (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Clayton (Tarzan)
Cody (The Rescuers Down Under)
Copper (The Fox and the Hound)
Dale (Chip 'n' Dale)
David (Lilo & Stitch)
Demetrius (Hercules)
Donald (Donald Duck)
Edgar (The Aristocats)
Eli  (The Princess and the Frog)
Eric (The Little Mermaid)
Evinrude (The Rescuers)
Fagin (Oliver & Company)
Fenton (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
Figaro (Figaro the Cat from Pinocchio)
Flynn (Tangled)
Francis (Oliver & Company)
Francois (The Rescuers Down Under)
Frank (The Rescuers Down Under)
Gaetan (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
Gaston (Beauty and the Beast)
George (Peter Pan)
Geppetto (Pinocchio)
Gideon (Pinocchio)
Gus (Cinderella)
Hans  (Frozen)
Harvey (The Princess and the Frog)
Henry (The Princess and the Frog)
Hercules (Hercules)
Hermes (Hercules)
Horace (101 Dalmatians)
Hubert (Sleeping Beauty)
Hugo (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Iago (Aladdin)
Ian (The Princess and the Frog)
Jaques (Cinderella)
Jafar (Aladdin)
Jake (The Rescuers Down Under)
James (Peter Pan)
Jasper (101 Dalmatians)
Jim (Treasure Planet)
Jock (Lady and the Tramp)
John (Pocahontas)

Joshua (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
Kristoff (Frozen)
Lafayette (The Aristocats)
Lawrence (The Princess and the Frog)
Louie (Oliver & Company)
Louis (The Princess and the Frog)
Luke (The Rescuers)
Lyle (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
Marlon (The Princess and the Frog)
Maurice (Beauty and the Beast)
Max (The Little Mermaid)
Maximus (Tangled)
Michael (Peter Pan)
Mickey (Mickey Mouse)
Milo (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
Mufasa (The Lion King)
Naveen (The Princess and the Frog)
Olaf  (Frozen)
Oliver (Oliver & Company)
Orville (The Rescuers)
Otto (Robin Hood)
Pascal (Tangled)
Percival (Rescuers Down Under)
Percy (Pocahontas)
Peter (Peter Pan)
Phillip (Sleeping Beauty)
Philippe (Beauty and the Beast)
Preston (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)
Pumbaa (The Lion King)
Rafiki (The Lion King)
Rajah (Aladdin)
Razoul (Aladdin)
Randy (The Princess and the Frog)
Richard (Robin Hood)
Robin (Robin Hood)
Roger (101 Dalmatians)
Roscoe (Oliver & Company)
Rufus (The Rescuers)
Sebastian (The Little Mermaid)
Simba (The Lion King)
Stefan (Sleeping Beauty)
Sven (Frozen)
Tantor (Tarzan)
Tarzan (Tarzan)
Thomas (The Aristocats)
Timon (The Lion King)
Timothy (Dumbo)
Tito (Oliver & Company)
Toby (Robin Hood)
Tod (The Fox and the Hound)
Toulouse (The Aristocats)
Victor (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)
Wilbur (The Rescuers Down Under)
Winston (Oliver & Company)
Zeus (Hercules)
Stay tuned for next week's list of Disney Girl's names! 

Friday, February 7, 2014


Althea is a feminine, Greek Mythological name. It comes from the Greek name Αλθαια (Althaia) and might also be related to the Greek αλθος (althos) which means "healing". Most baby naming sites say that this name means "with healing power" or that it refers to the Althaea genus of perennial herbs including the marshmallow plant which is noted for its healing powers.

The Art of Naming - Greek legend name meaning healing

In Greek legends, Althea was the mother of Meleager. Behind the Name says "soon after her son was born she was told that he would die as soon as a piece of wood that was burning on her fire was fully consumed. She immediately extinguished the piece of wood and sealed it in a chest, but in a fit of rage many years later she took it out and set it alight, thereby killing her son." Clearly this name has some tragedy behind it but it is still interesting and lovely in sound.

In the 17th century, a poet named Richard Lovelace used the name Althea as a poetic pseudonym for his beloved in the poem "To Althea, from Prison". In modern times, this name is most commonly associated with the great tennis player, Althea Gibson, who was the first African-American to win at Wimbleton.

As far as nicknames go, modern parents would probably opt for Thea. I also like the idea of Allie for a small child.

This name has been in regular usage since 1880 in the US. It has had two dramatic popularity boosts in the past. One around 1920 and the other in the late 1950s even though this name has never seen more than 400 births in a single year. Althea has had steady usage since the 1970s in the 40-80 births per year range. It has not seen the Top 1000 since 1972. In 2013, there were 99 baby girls named Althea for a ranking of #1964.

Revision:  As of 2016, Althea rose to #1674 for a total of 127 births for the year. The name is due for another popularity boost.

What do you think of this ancient name? Do you feel as though it could be relevant again today?

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Bronwyn, Calliope, Daphne, Hyacinth, Juno, Olympia
Brothers: Atlas, Evander, Jasper, Oscar, Sebastian, Tarquin

Middle Name Ideas:
Althea Camille
Althea Iris
Althea Penelope
Althea Rose
Althea Willow

As a Middle Name:
Chloe Althea
Daisy Althea
Genevieve Althea
Madeleine Althea
Olive Althea

Share your thoughts on this name in the comments below.

First published: 2/7/14
Revised: 12/25/14
Revised: 5/13/17

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mythological Names for Girls

The thing about mythological names is that they are flush full of history. Whether past namesakes were a part of a tragedy or a utopian rulership, these names are bound to offer an abundance of strength. This list mostly contains Greek and Roman deities and legends, but there are mythological figures from various other origins as well.

These names may have a beauty and a unique freshness to them in today's society but be sure to research these names before committing to one. Make sure that you like the namesake!  Let me know which of these names you like the most! Would you ever consider using it?
Don't miss the list of Mythological Boy Names too!

Don't forget to check out this fabulous, longer list of mythological names courtesy of Behind the Name. Here are my Top 5 favorites from the above list. I'll list them with potential sibling and middle name ideas just in case you also love these names too!

1. Athena

Sisters: Ariadne, Aurora, Evadne, Helena, Lydia, Penelope
Brothers: Ambrose, Apollo, Damian, Lysander, Orion, Philip

Middle Name Ideas:
Athena Catherine
Athena Hyacinth
Athena Persephone
Athena Sybil

As a Middle Name:
Cleo Athena
Daphne Athena
Iris Athena
Phoebe Athena

2. Diana

Sisters: Celeste, Flora, Jane, Margaret, Sophia, Victoria
Brothers: Andrew, Elliot, Henry, Michael, Thomas, William

Middle Name Ideas:
Diana Christine
Diana Hermione
Diana Katherine
Diana Simone

As a Middle Name:
Chloe Diana
Ivy Diana
Lucy Diana
Selene Diana

3. Iris

Sisters:  Audrey, Cassia, Hazel, June, Ophelia, Violet
Brothers: Atlas, Everett, Jason, Nicholas, Oliver, Wyatt

Middle Name Ideas:
Iris Cassandra
Iris Evangeline
Iris Matilda
Iris Victoria

As a Middle Name:
Althea Iris
Calista Iris
Eugenia Iris
Phillipa Iris

4. Minerva

Sisters: Andromeda, Cordelia, Isolde, Luna, Octavia, Rowena
Brothers: Auberon, Evander, Inigo, Leander, Matthias, Sebastian

Middle Name Ideas:
Minerva Amaryllis
Minerva Calliope
Minerva Eloise
Minerva Sybil

As a Middle Name:
Catherine Minerva
Eleni Minerva
Helen Minerva
Thisbe Minerva

5. Xanthe

Sisters: Agatha, Charis, Eleni, Lotus, Phoebe, Thalia
Brothers: Achilles, Damon, Erasmus, Hector, Linus, Plato

Middle Name Ideas:
Xanthe Acacia
Xanthe Corinna
Xanthe Eulalia
Xanthe Odessa

As a Middle Name:
Alyssa Xanthe
Calla Xanthe
Elena Xanthe
Isadora Xanthe


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