Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Caspian, Kai & River: Names Inspired by Water

Water is everywhere. We use it for countless reasons every day. Heck, we're made of water. It is essential to life as we know it. What better way to honor our precious life-sustaining water than to choose a name inspired by it?

Plenty of parents are already fans of nature names, why not filter those down to just the water-related ones? You'll find that you have many great options to choose from.

Before we dive into the deep end, let's explore a bit of mythology. The God of the Sea is known as Poseidon in Greek mythology. One of his love interests was the Sea Goddess Amphitrite. Together they had a son named Triton who was the Messenger of the Sea.  The Roman equivalent of Poseidon is Neptune, the God of Freshwater and the Sea.

Here are some of the best names inspired by water:

Bodies of water that could be used as names:

Names of falls, lakes, rivers and oceans that work as names:

Names meaning "water" or "sea", etc:

"town at the source of the river"
"settlement on the River Glyme".
"sea, ocean"
"dark river"
"possessing drops of rain"
"green water"
"narrow water"
"valley on the river Kent"
"town on the River Kenn"
"lake colony"
"of the sea".
"of the sea"
"sea and sun"
"star of the sea"
"remnants of a lake"
"the sea"
"sea fortress"
"town on a lake"
"sea, ocean"
"ocean, wide expanse of water, deep sea"
"sea circle"
"still water"
"bright sea"
"born of the sea"
"wave, sea foam"
"water lily"
"nymph, sea sprite"
"from a water spring"
"the sea"
"dew of the sea"
"leaping waters"
"wide river valley"
"town on the River Wylye"

Other relevant names:

What do you think of this list? Can you think of more that could be added? Which is your favorite?

Friday, January 22, 2016


This featured name is brought to you by the letter W and the very best W names for boys and girls.

We recently talked about how one of the biggest boy name trends is to use surnames as first names. As an English surname, Wesley is no exception. It fits right in with other surname names for boys.

As a name, Wesley could be considered more on the gentle side of boy names. This could be partly because many of the other -ley names are rather unisex like Bailey or conquered by the girls like Ashley. However, there are many who also consider Wesley to be a tough guy name due to pop culture associations such as actor Wesley Snipes.

Another major association is John Wesley, an 18th century theologian who founded the evangelical movement known as Methodism.

Wesley is short for "Wesleydale" which is Anglo-Norman in origin. The "wes" part refers to the direction "west" while "lea" is an open grassy area. Therefore, Wesley refers to a western field or
meadow. Most sites list its meaning as "west meadow".

The name Wesley is more popular for boys, but it has also been given to a handful of girls every year since 1910. There were 43 girls named Wesley in 2014.

For boys, though, Wesley has consistently ranked in the #100s or better since 1880. Its high point came in 1977 when 4300 boys were given the name. It has had its ups and downs but as of 2014, Wesley ranks at #130 with 3,112 births.

Brother name Westley has been in use in the US since 1887 but it has never been anywhere near as popular as Wesley. It has ranked within the Top 1000 many times, though, mostly through the 1980s and early 1990s. The timing of that popularity boost coincides with the 1987 film The Princess Bride which featured a handsome character named Westley. After that time period, the name Westley declined in usage again and was given to only 174 boys in 2014.

Wesley feels both old-fashioned and modern. It has always been in use so it is more of an evergreen name than not even though it is much less common than other evergreens like James and William. What do you think of Wesley? If you are considering it, here are some ideas for middle names and sibling names:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Annabel, Diana, Laurel, Katherine, Margaret, Rebecca, Sarah
Brothers: Bennett, Carson, Harrison, Neil, Owen, Reid, Stephen

Middle Name Ideas:
Wesley Allen
Wesley Marshall
Wesley Oliver
Wesley Robert
Wesley Thomas

As a Middle Name:
Charles Wesley
George Wesley
Jack Wesley
Shawn Wesley
Tyler Wesley

What names would you pair with Wesley? Do you prefer Wesley or Westley?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Very Best W Names for Boys and Girls

As you continue your search for the perfect name, I'd like to ask you to take a moment and consider using a name that starts with the letter W.

We're nearing the end of the alphabet so if you've been following this series and you haven't found a winner yet, this might finally be the list for you.

The letter W has a good variety of names. There's the more proper ones like William and Winston for boys, and the more whimsical options like Waterlily or Wintress for girls.

There should be a little bit of something for everyone here.

Tell me in the comments, did I miss any good W names that you enjoy? Of the ones featured below, which name catches your eye the most?

  1. Wanda
  2. Waterlily
  3. Waverly
  4. Wednesday   
  5. Wendy
  6. Whisper
  7. Whitley
  8. Whitney
  9. Wilda
  10. Wilhelmina
  11. Willa
  12. Willamena
  13. Willene
  14. Willow
  15. Wilma
  16. Wilmet
  17. Windsor
  18. Winifred
  19. Winnie
  20. Winona
  21. Winter
  22. Wintress
  23. Wren
  24. Wylie
  25. Wynne
  1. Wade
  2. Walker
  3. Walter
  4. Warren
  5. Watson
  6. Waylon
  7. Wayne
  8. Wendell
  9. Wesley
  10. Weston
  11. Wilder
  12. Wiley
  13. Wilfred
  14. Willard
  15. William
  16. Willis
  17. Willoughby
  18. Wilmer
  19. Wilson
  20. Winslow
  21. Winston
  22. Wolf
  23. Wolfgang
  24. Woodrow
  25. Wyatt
If W isn't your letter after all, use the following links to continue your search in the remaining letters of the alphabet.

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Most Popular Arabic Names in the US in 2014

Have you ever really taken a look at the names in the United State's Social Security Administration's Top 1000 most popular names chart? I mean, have you really looked at it?  I decided to fish a little bit and I found a ton of Arabic names swimming right at me. Had I really never noticed these names before? Sure, I'm not an ethnic match for any of them but not all of them stand out as foreign.

Just take a look at the female names! Many of them aren't obviously Arabic and they are no doubt being used on girls of a variety of races all across the country. For example, the highest ranking name is Layla at #29 and it has so many variants that are very fashionable today such as Lyla, Laila, Lila, Leila and Lilah which all rank within the Top 1000.  Then there's the Aaliyah sisters with a similar story.

Let's start with the male names. There are four spellings of Muhammad and also variants like Ahmad that rank in the Top 1000. Somehow, though, the masculine names strike me as more ethnic and foreign-sounding than any of the female names do.  Why do you think that could be? Take a look:

  • Boys:
  • Amir #212
  • Omar #214
  • Ali #333
  • Malik #376
  • Muhammad #399
  • Mohamed #427
  • Ibrahim #455
  • Khalil #465
  • Mohammed #498
  • Ahmed #549
  • Nasir #551
  • Yahir #564
  • Ayaan #570
  • Ahmad #571
  • Mohammad #588
  • Yusuf #589
  • Rayan #606
  • Hamza #620
  • Abdullah #634
  • Omari #707
  • Kareem #751
  • Samir #757
  • Hassan #759
  • Jamal #764
  • Yousef #766
  • Jamir #820
  • Rashad #913
  • Mustafa #916
  • Ameer #940
  • Khalid #953
  • Ayan #991
  • Girls:
  • Layla #29
  • Aaliyah #45
  • Lyla #140
  • Laila #149
  • Aliyah #168
  • Lila #183
  • Alina #192
  • Leila #241
  • Nyla #301
  • Lilah #312
  • Fatima #328
  • Amina #408
  • Zara #422
  • Aleah #423
  • Nylah#430
  • Imani #503
  • Zariah #535
  • Aisha#559
  • Mariam #568
  • Maryam #597
  • Amani #647
  • Alia #729
  • Farrah #759
  • Yamileth #794
  • Zaria #860
  • Aliya #865
  • Salma#878
  • Yasmin #904
  • Yaritza #992
The feminine names are all so beautiful. They have a certain elegance about them that no doubt is the reason they are so appealing cross-culturally.

What do you think of this list? Have I missed any? Share your favorites in the comments below!

Friday, January 8, 2016


One of The Very Best V Names around is Viola, of course! Taken from our previous article, this name is still a rarity but could potentially gain popularity in the coming years.

The name Viola means "violet" in Latin. If Violet is too popular for you (it ranked #67 in 2014), try Viola. It is very similar in sound but it is ranking well below the Top 1000 chart.

As you may know, the viola is a bowed string instrument. Wikipedia says that "it is slightly larger than a violin in size and has a lower and deeper sound than a violin. Since the 18th century it has been the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello."  This would be a great name choice for musical parents, specifically ones who may actually play this instrument.

The Viola is also a genus of flowering plants within the violet family of Violaceae. The name Viola would please not only musical parents, but those with an appreciation for nature. Additionally, literature lovers would recognize that Viola is the name of the heroine in Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night" (1602).

On top of all that, Viola can also be considered a vintage name since it was well-used a century ago and has the potential to come back into fashion again in the next few years if it can catch a ride on Violet's coattails.

What's not to love? She's a musical, literary, vintage nature name that happens to still be flying under the radar popularity-wise! Hollywood has an Emmy Award winning actress by the name of Viola Davis who has been helping to increase exposure to the name in the entertainment world recently.

Do you think Viola may start climbing the charts for modern babies soon? Viola has been in use in the US since 1880 when records began. It isn't very popular now but it once peaked even higher than the name Violet did. In 1918, there were 4,331 girls named Viola for a ranking of #59 (while Violet ranked at #83 in the same year.)

Since the 1920s, though, Viola has declined in popularity straight down the charts and out of the Top 1000 by 1973. While Viola remains uncommon, it is starting to inch its way back up. There were 192 girls given this name in 2014 for a rank of #1250.

Here are some sibling and middle name ideas for Viola:

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Cecily, Coraline, Grace, Imogen, Lenore, Lucille, Rosalie
Brothers: Ambrose, Barnaby, Curtis, Henry, Leonard, Marcus, Thomas

Middle Name Ideas:
Viola Camille
Viola Genevieve
Viola Hettienne
Viola Maren
Viola Rose

As a Middle Name:
Alice Viola
Belle Viola
Julianne Viola
Louise Viola
Tess Viola

What do you think of the name Viola? Or do you prefer Violet? What about Violetta?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Very Best V Names for Boys and Girls

The letter V is trending these days within popular names like Ava and Evelyn for girls.

It's been a constant for boys in the name David. Both genders love Avery as the top unisex name.

What about names that start with the letter V?

Victoria still ranks well and Violet and Valentina are trending upward for girls.

Vincent is just outside the top 100 for boys with Victor not far behind.

Are you a fan of the letter V? If you are, surely you'll enjoy this great list of the 25 best V names for girls and 25 for boys.

 Did I miss any of your favorite V names?

  1. Vale
  2. Valencia
  3. Valentina
  4. Valerie
  5. Vanessa
  6. Vanna
  7. Vella
  8. Velvet
  9. Venus
  10. Verity
  11. Veronica
  12. Vesper
  13. Victoria
  14. Vida
  15. Vienna
  16. Vincenza
  17. Viola
  18. Violet
  19. Violetta
  20. Virginia
  21. Viveca
  22. Vivian
  23. Viviana
  24. Vivienne
  25. Vrai
  1. Vadden
  2. Valdemar
  3. Valentino
  4. Valor
  5. Van
  6. Vance
  7. Vander
  8. Vasily
  9. Vaughn
  10. Verne
  11. Vernon
  12. Vicente
  13. Victor
  14. Vidal
  15. Viggo
  16. Vin
  17. Vince
  18. Vincent
  19. Vincenzo
  20. Vinny
  21. Virgil
  22. Vitaly
  23. Vito
  24. Vladimir
  25. Voyer
Which of these names do you love most? Share your thoughts about this list below! Not a V fan? Check out the following links to browse names starting with other letters:

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


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