Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Nolan, Theodore or Nathaniel? Plus, Unusual Middle Name Ideas!

Nolan, Theodore, Nathaniel, baby boy names, baby names

Sometimes parents are attracted to more unusual names but they don't wish for it to be the first name that their child goes by on a daily basis. Here are three common first names for boys that have been paired with more unusual choices in the middle name spot. This way, you can have some familiarity with your uniqueness and the child can choose which one suits them better.

Nolan is derived from an Irish surname Ó Nualláin meaning "descendant of Nuallán", which itself came from nuall meaning "noble, famous". Nolan dates back on record to the 1880s, but held steady for decades at a similar popularity. It started increasing in the 1990s, and entered the Top 100 in 2011. As of 2017, it ranked at #67.
  • Nolan Maverick
  • Nolan Marvel
  • Nolan Colbalt
  • Nolan Escher
  • Nolan Ramsey
  • Nolan Hawthorn
  • Nolan Cordovan
  • Nolan Sterling
  • Nolan Quade
  • Nolan Bingham
  • Nolan Thackeray
  • Nolan Wiley
  • Nolan Lysander
  • Nolan Huckleberry
  • Nolan Peregrine
Theodore means "gift of god" from the Greek name Θεοδωρος (Theodoros). It has always been in use in the US for boys. In particular, it enjoyed extra popularity from 1912 through the 1960s before declining a bit. However, around the mid-2000s, it regained popularity and has really skyrocketed in the past few years. Its current highest peak ever took place in 2017 with nearly 6,000 male births and a rank of #62.
  • Theodore Weaver
  • Theodore Quill
  • Theodore Bloom
  • Theodore Reeve
  • Theodore Seven
  • Theodore Merlin
  • Theodore Quenby
  • Theodore Crosby
  • Theodore Dresden
  • Theodore Hayes
  • Theodore Atlas
  • Theodore Rigby
  • Theodore Rohan
  • Theodore Rafferty
  • Theodore Bromley
Nathaniel is the most common spelling but it comes from Nathanael which was the spelling used in the Old Testament (if not Nethanel or Nethaneel). They come from the Hebrew name נְתַנְאֵל (Netan'el) meaning "God has given". Nathaniel dates back to 1880 in the US, whereas Nathanael wasn't used until 1915. Nathaniel had a popularity peak from the 1940s through the 1960s before it really started to climb, joining the Top 100 in 1978. It received the most births ever in 2002 and ranked at #62. In 2017, it rests comfortably at #112, (Nathanael at #647).
  • Nathaniel Crimson
  • Nathaniel Cloud
  • Nathaniel River
  • Nathaniel Danger
  • Nathaniel Frost
  • Nathaniel Rune
  • Nathaniel Tatum
  • Nathaniel Tolliver
  • Nathaniel Bane
  • Nathaniel Kit
  • Nathaniel Finch
  • Nathaniel Wilder
  • Nathaniel Madden
  • Nathaniel Indigo
  • Nathaniel Wolf
Which would you choose? Can you think of more middle names that would be interesting choices for a modern boy?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Name Search Report: Wilder, Gael, Milo and More Boy Names You Seek!

Behind the scenes, I am able to view the search terms, or keywords, that are entered into search engines that lead viewers here to my site. Often, people are searching for specific names. Some of these names I have already covered previously on other articles, but some of them are new. I thought it was about time that I addressed the names that people are actually looking for.

This series will pull names directly from that Name Search Report and investigate closer. The current data that I am using to evaluate a name's popularity comes straight from the Social Security Administration's 2017 popular name database. And I will also include name meanings found via

Here's our first group of boy names that you wanted more information about.

Asa  - Short, Biblical, Interesting... Asa is both bold but familiar for a boy today. It has always been in use, dating back on record to 1880, but it didn't truly catch on until a hundred years later. Since 1980, Asa has been trending upward, and it currently ranks at its highest modern peak of #490 in the US in 2017! This name possibly means "healer" in Hebrew.

Jarvis - This name is somewhat old-fashioned and proper sounding, but it has potential to be a modern, trendy choice similar to Jasper. Jarvis has been regularly used since the 1910s and entered the Top 1000 in 1950, but it has never been popular. Its highest peak was in 1988 at #347. Today, it ranks below the Top 1000 at #1438. It comes from a surname which was derived from the given name Gervais meaning "spear".

Wilder - Part surname, part word name, Wilder is very trendy right now. While it has made a handful of appearances dating back to 1914, Wilder was rare up until recently.  It has skyrocketed, joining the Top 1000 for the first time in 2015, it ranked at #573 in 2017. It should continue to rise over the next few years.

Herbert comes from Germanic elements meaning "army" and "bright". Of course, Herbert isn't the first name you'd list as a modern choice for a boy, but it has an old-fashioned charm about it. So old-fashioned, in fact, that it had its most usage in 1928 before nearly flat-lining today. As of 2017, there were only 77 boys named Herbert for a rank of #1880.

Carlile - Carlile, along with the original spelling Carlisle, come from the name of a city in England, originally called Lugavalium by the Romans. It means "stronghold of Lugus". It was only later that "ker" was added to the name meaning "fort." Interestingly, Carlile has a total of 15 total births ever on record from 1880 to now. Carlisle has more usage over the years but remains rare. Its highest peak occurred in 2012 with a high of 47 births. In 2017, there were 40 boys and 12 girls named Carlisle.

Milo is an Old Germanic form of the name Miles. It is also the Latinized form. It could come from the Slavic element milu meaning "gracious", or perhaps it is associated with the Latin miles meaning "soldier." Either way, Milo has always been in use, but it has really skyrocketed into popularity since the year 2001 when it first entered the Top 1000. It currently ranks at #224 for boys and probably continue to climb.

Nolan is derived from an Irish surname Ó Nualláin meaning "descendant of Nuallán", which itself came from nuall meaning "noble, famous". Nolan dates back on record to the 1880s, but held steady for decades at a similar popularity. It started increasing in the 1990s, and entered the Top 100 in 2011. As of 2017, it ranked at #67.

Everett is a surname that comes from the given name Everard meaning "brave boar" in German. Its Old English equivalent was Eoforheard. Everett dates back to 1880 on record and enjoyed a popularity peak from 1914 to 1935. It maintained a similar number of births for decades after that until it began climbing in the mid-2000s.  As of 2017, it ranked #104 and could burst into the Top 100 soon!

Fisher comes from a German occupational surname literally referring to "fishermen", and often used by English and Jewish people. As a boys name in history, it hasn't been consistently used. It had a stretch from 1914 to 1933 and then disappeared until 1992. It entered the Top 1000 in 2004 and has slowly inched its way up to #765 in 2017. It could definitely have appeal as a rugged, outdoorsy surname name possibility.

Oswin comes from Old English elements meaning "god" and "friend". It was also the name of a 7th-century king of Northumbria before ultimately losing usage after the 14th century. It was somewhat revived in the 19th century, but has laid dormant until it regained usage in 2000. While still extremely rare, there were 25 boys named Oswin in 2017, (and 6 girls).

Daniel comes from the Hebrew name דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel) meaning "God is my judge", and was the name of a biblical character. This name has been very popular throughout history, including England in the Middle Ages, but became rare in the 15th century. Today, of course, it is a classic. It peaked the highest in 1985 with 38,541 male births in the US, which ranked it at #5 for that year. In 2017, it ranks at #15 with 11,650 births.

Finn could come from the Irish Fionn, meaning "fair" or "white"; or from the Old Norse name Finnr which refers to a "person from Finland". Either way, Finn was relatively unused as a boy's name until 1953. It entered the Top 1000 in the year 2000, and has been climbing fast ever since! As of 2017, it ranks #167. Along with longer forms of the name like Finley, Finnegan or Finnian, Finn is definitely a rising nickname too.

Elijah is from the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu) meaning "my God is YAHWEH". While Elijah has always been used in the US, it really started gaining popularity in the 1990s before skyrocketing recently. It entered the Top 100 in 1995 and now ranks at #8 in 2017. It's poised to be a classic.

Vince, as you may know, comes from Vincent, which comes from the Roman name Vincentius, which was from Latin vincere meaning "to conquer". Along with being the name of many saints, it has been in use since the Middle Ages. It has also been consistently well-used over the years, hovering around the Top 100 rank. In 2017, it ranked at #108 for boys.

Markus is the German and Scandinavian form of Mark, a form of Marcus. Marcus is probably derived from the Roman god Mars, the god of war. Marcus dates back to the 1880s in the US, growing most popular during the 1980s. Markus has been in the Top 1000 since the 1960s, ranking at #933 in 2017.

Gael may refer to speakers of Gaelic languages. It could also be a variant of the French/Breton name Gwenaël meaning "blessed and generous". As a boy name, Gael has been rare, popping up occasionally between 1919 and 1952, but it wasn't in regular usage until 1992. It joined the Top 1000 in 2002 and is now up to #178 in 2017.

Remy may be the French form of the Latin Remigius, which comes the remigis meaning "oarsman, rower". It could also be short for Remington, which is an Old English surname and place name meaning "boundary stream" and "settlement". Remy began as a boys name as far back as 1914, but it is rapidly raising for both genders. It entered the Top 1000 for boys in 2009, followed by 2014 for girls. It ranks #449 for boys and #605 for girls in 2017.

Elias is a cognate of the name Elijah, which we already mentioned is very popular today. Elias has the same meaning and origin, and is similarly gaining popularity today in the US. It dates back to 1880 and maintained a steady amount of usage over the decades leading up to an increase beginning around the 1990s. Elias entered the Top 100 in 2015 and now ranks at #78 and climbing!

Lennox comes from a Scottish surname which came from the name of a district in Scotland called Leamhnachd in Gaelic, possibly meaning "place of elms". As a boy name, it had a handful of sightings as far back as 1918, but it didn't gain speed until the 1990s. It has quickly escaped obscurity, joining the Top 1000 in 2010 and reaching as high as #408 for boys in 2017. It also gained usage for girls in 2005, skyrocketing from beyond the Top 1000 in 2014, to ranking at #665 in 2017.

Which of these names do you like best? What middle names would you pair with them? Share your favorites in the comments below!


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