Category Archives: Baby Names

The Best Mid-Popular Names!

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It’s been an exciting week in the Name World as the United States Social Security Administration just released the list of the most popular baby names. I’ll add a link to my video chatting about the popularity at the end of this video. So like any dedicated name nut I’ve been combing the list and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised by many mid-popular names. What’s a mid-popular name? These are names that rank in the sweet spot, right around the middle of the Top 1,000 in spots 475 to 575. The great thing about a mid-popular name is that it’s usually familiar without being overly used. Here are a few name gems that rank right in the middle!

Benson – ranked at #474

Benson is an English surname meaning son of Ben. Of course you get the nickanames Ben, Benny, and Benji, without the popularity of Benjamin, the Number 6 most popular name. At 474 Benson dipped nearly 50 spots last year. Law & Order fans may be reminded of character Detective Olivia Benson when they hear this usable yet not overly used choice.

Blair – ranked at #511

Allow me to show my age in saying Blair will forever remind me of the character Blair Warner from the TV show The Facts of Life. Younger generations will recognize the name Blair from the show Gossip Girl. Blair took a small jump last year on the girls list rising ten spots to spot Number 511. Blair is a Scottish unisex name meaning dweller on the plain. It is not currently in the Top 1,000 for boys.

Colette – ranked at #531

Colette is one of the few names my partner and I both agree on and so it’s been on my personal name list for a few years. Colette is a chic, French feminine form of Nicholas meaning victory of the people. I love the nickname potential from Coco to Lettie or even Lottie. Colette decreased in popularity last year from 469 to 531.

Hattie – ranked at #480

If you love vintage old-timey diminutive names that Hattie is your girl. Originally a nickname for Harriet, meaning estate ruler, Hattie is slowly rising sitting today at Number 480. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for her performance in the epic film Gone with the Wind.

Leonidas – ranked at #498

I’m seeing lots of little Leo’s lately as Leo is now in the Top 100 and up over 70 spots in the last five years. If you love Leo and are looking for a large and unique show-stopper of a name, you may consider Leonidas! A Greek name meaning lion, Leonidas has a very strong, masculine sound. If Leo isn’t your bag of tea, Lee and Leon are other nickname contenders.

Liberty – ranked at #568

Word names are all the rage right now and Liberty is one of my favorites in the bunch. If I had a daughter born on the fourth of July I may be tempted to use Liberty. The nickname Libby is equally appealing as is Birdie. Liberty has never ranked higher than 406 and today ranks at 568.

Matilda – ranked at #521

I would use the name Matilda in a heartbeat if I could convince my partner. I love the nickname Tilly and the character in the Roald Dahl book and film. A German name meaning battle-worthy Matilda dropped almost 30 spots last year to 521. Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger chose the name Milda Rose for their daughter born in 2005.

Otto – ranked at # 478

I recently met a baby named Otto which really endeared me to this old-timey little palindrome name. A German name meaning wealthy, Otto dipped in popularity after the second World War, but has steadily been climbing the past five years. Currently ranked at Nmber 478, Otto hasn’t been this popular since 1946.

Rhys – ranked at #477

Rhys is another long-time favorite of mine. Rhys is a handsome Welsh name meaning ardor. Jonathan Rhys Meyers helped introduce this name to American audiences. Joey McIntyre chose the name Rhys Edward for his son born in 2009.

Wilder – ranker at #573

Are you wild about Wilder? I’ll be honest, it isn’t my style but I’m warming up to it and I do love the Laura Ingalls Wilder association. Many a name lover has Wilder on their list. Wilder is a rapidly rising name and will likely be too popular for my mid-popular names list in the years to come. Wilder first entered the Top 1,000 in 2015 and jumped nearly 400 spots to 573 just in two years!

What are your favorite mid-popular names?
Hear all about the New Most popular baby names in the US here:

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Seven C’s

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Calling all lovers of exotic Princess-worthy names! Feast your name eyes and ears on these seven grand, gorgeous, and glorious C names for girls!

Camellia
Camellia has an exotic flare though it shares a similar sound to the much more popular Amelia. Camellia is a flowering plant was named for botanist Georg Josef Kamel. What little girl wouldn’t love a flower name? The nickname possibilities are endless, but a few you may enjoy include Cam, Cammie, Mel, Mellie, Mia, and Lia.

Cataleya
Cataleya is a variant of cattleya which is a genus of orchids – can you tell I love a good flower name? Zoe Saldana played Cataleya in the film Colombiana, giving this name a boost, though its not too popular currently ranked at Number 510. Cataleya would be a great way to honor a Catherine, Kathleen, or even a Lee or Leah.

Celestia
A name written in the stars Celestia has Latin roots meaning heavenly or of the sky. Celestia is hardly a name one would forget as it is both striking and ethereal. Little House on the Praire writer Laura Ingalls Wilder’s younger sister Carrie was born Caroline Celestia “Carrie” Ingalls. Celestia peaked in the late nintenth century.

Christiana
A whole generation of Christian, Christine, and Christina’s are now becoming parents. Refresh these beloved names with the brilliantly opulant Christiana, a variation which shares the meaning follower of Christ. Feminine with an exotic twist, Christiana could skip nicknames like Chris and Christy and opt for Tiana.

Clementine
Oh, my darlin’s Clementine just recently re-entered the US Top 1,000.  A Frecnch feminine form of Clement, meaning merciful, Clementine has a very wholesome and country vibe. Several stars from Claudia Schiffer, Kate Winslet, and Ethan Hawke have all picked the name Clementine for their daughters. In France Clementine ranks within the Top 100.

Cornelia
I’m such a big Cordelia fan that I often overlook Cornelia. A Latin name meaning horn, Cornelia easily lends itself to very user friendly nicknames like Cory, Cora, Nell, and Nellie. A name rich is history and literature there are a load of assocations to this name from a Christian saint to Julius Caesar’s first wife.

Cressida
A former college classmate recently had a little Cressida making my name-loving heart swoon. Cressida is the name of a Shakepearean heroine and has Greek rooks meaning golden. Cressida was also used in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, giving it life to a younger generation Cressida is equal parts strong and feminine.

Please share your favorite from this list! xo

Soft Boys Names

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I love names that are easy to say and seem to glide right off the tongue. Max and Milo, while both darling, have different vibes. There is a trend right now of handsome, powerful, Roman-warrior sounding names for boys. Today I thought we’d explore the other side of the spectrum with some equally handsome soft sounding male names. You’ll notice that many names ending in vowels and that have strong vowel sounds tend to be more melodic and soft. These are my Top 10 Soft Boys Names:

Bodhi
Bodhi is a hot celebrity baby name used by Megan Fox, Oliver Hudson, and Amy Brenneman just to name a few. Bodhi has a playful and soft sound coupled with the wonderful Sanskrit meaning of awakening and enlightenment.

Callum
Many “Cal” names lend themselves to a sweet softer sound.  For more “Cal” names check out my article, “Call me Cal” https://tulipbyanyname.com/2017/05/15/call-me-cal/ .  Callum also ends with the lullaby “-lum” sound making it one of the first names that came to mind when building this list. Need another reason to love Callum? It’s a Scottish name meaning dove, a beautiful symbol of peace to bestow on your little one.

Hayes
I love how soft Hayes is to the ear while still conveying a very masculine cowboy vibe. This name is the perfect example of how soft can still be handsome and manly. Hayes is an English name meaning hedged area. Jessica Alba recently used the name Hayes for her first son born at the end of 2017.

Henley
Names ending in “y,” particularly “ley” really draw out a softer sound in a name. Henley is one of those names I think more people would use if they knew of it and if the henley shirt association didn’t bother them.  Henley is also a great Henry alternative and much less popular too!

Jude
“Hey Jude,” you straight-forward, one-syllable, soft but powerful name, I sure do love you. Jude is a little name getting quite a bit of love lately. A diminutive of the Latin Judah, Jude means praised. Jude is also a widely recognized saint name for Saint Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.

Luca
Speaking of names people are mad about right now, Luca is also climbing the charts with rapid speed. I’m a sucker for “Luke names” and Luca has such a romantic, smooth, and soft sound with it’s “a” ending. Luca is an Italian form of Luke meaning from Luciana.

Milo
Milo has been a personal favorite for the last few years, though I’ve yet to sell my partner on it. Milo has Latin and German roots meaning soldier or merciful, strong meanings for such a soft little name. Actor Milo Ventimiglia has helped make this whispering name a household name.

Owen
I recently met a darling little girl named Owen and so I wanted to address the elephant in the name article – yes, many of these names work well on either sex – names can be both pretty and handsome, as can people ((grin)). I love that strong soft “O” sound in Owen, a Welsh name meaning well-born or youthful warrior.

Shiloh
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made headlines when they named their daughter Shiloh in 2006. Many biblical names ending in the soft “ah” or “oh” have a sweet, soft ending sound.  Shiloh is a Hebrew name with the lovely meaning tranquil, I love how the meaning mirrors the sound.

Wesley
Both syllables of this melodic name have a soft, subdued sound but pack a great punch when paired together. Wesley is an English name meaning western meadow that has long been popular in the United States.

Even more great soft names for boys include:

Arlo
Asher
Elian
Elliott
Ethan
Finley
Hugh
Joel
Julian
Liam
Micah
Noah
Remy
Riley
Rowan
Sean
Seth
Simon
Theo
Wiley

What names would you add to this list?

The Best Celeb Baby Names of the Year (so far)

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Doesn’t it seem like we we’re just ringing in the New Year? Spring is in bloom and we’re already four months into 2018, so let’s see what names celebrities treated us to in the first quarter!

Classy Choices
When you think of celebrity baby names often the weird and the wacky come to mind. These are some more popular and classic names that are lovely and wearable. Tabitha Simmons & Robert Livingston “Topper” Mortimer went for a classy combo for their daughter Violet Elizabeth. Eddie and Hannah Redmayne picked the timeless name Luke Richard for their little leading man.

Showstopper
Christina Perri and Paul Costabile wowed us with the rare and grand name Carmella.

Double The Name Fun
2018 has given us two sets of twins so far! Hillary Scott and Chris Tyrell welcomed sweet country cuties Betsy Mack and Emory Joann. AJ Buckley and Abby Ochse dazzled us with twin boys named Bodhi Robert and Ranger Joseph.

Vintage Delights
Jack & Lisa Osbourne welcomed third daughter Minnie Theodora in February. She joins older sisters Pearl Clementine and Andy Rose. These two truly are namers at heart!

A Touch of Whimsy
Aaron Paul and Danielle Hart chose Story Annabelle for their first daughter. I sweet word name anchored with a sensable and equally lovely middle name.

Kardashian Korner
Love em’ or hate em’ the Kardashian’s have had a big pull on names in recent years. Two new little ones have recently joined the family! Kim & Kanye West welcomed daughter Chicago in January followed by little sister Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott’s first child, Stormi born in February.

You can watch me chat about these names and more here:

Irish Saints Names

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I’ve heard it said that we’ve all got a little Irish in us. It’s true, that many American’s have some Irish blood running through us. The month of March is home to Saint Patrick’s Day, and while Patrick makes a fine name and one we will delve into, let’s look at a total of five Irish Saint’s for lucky Name-spiration!

Saint Aidanaidan
Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne was a monk who founded a monastic chapel in Lindisfarne. St. Aiden traveled endlessly through the countryside spreading the gospel. Aidan boomed in popularity in the early 2000’s, peaking at Number 39 in 2003. Today Aidan is still well loved and used at Number 190. Alternative spelling Aiden is more popular at Number 16, while Ayden is Number 92, and Adan comes in at Number 443. Aidan is an Irish name meaning little and fiery which perfectly fits the little Aidan’s I’ve encountered.

Saint Brendanst.brendan
Saint Brendan of Clonfert is often reffered to as the “Navigator” or the “Voyager”, as he was one of the early Irish monastic saints who voyaged by sea on legendary quests. Brendan is an Irish name meaning prince that ranks right about in the middle of the Top 1,000 at Number 451. Brendan peaked in the late 1990’s but still wears well today. Actors James McAvoy and Mark Wahlberg each have sons named Brendan.

Saint BrigidSaintBrigid
Saint Brigid of Kildare is one of the patron saints of Ireland, along with Columba and Patrick. One of the first nuns, Brigid founded many monasteries and is also the patron saint of scholars. Brigid is a variation of the Irish fire goddess name Brighid meaning strength or exaulted one. The alternative spelling, Bridget became popular in the early 1970’s and currently ranks at Number 594. Brigid or Bridget also lends itself to many fun, quirky nicknames, like Biddy or Birdie.

Saint Columbacolumba
Saint Columba, one of the three patron saints of Ireland, was an abbot and a missionary who is credited with spreading Christianity to what is modern day Scotland. Saint Columba was male, with a Latin name meaning dove. The Irish translation Colm and Scottish translation Callum make for handsome alternatives and ways to honor St. Columba. Columba as never ranked in the US Top 1,000 for either sex, though I think it would work well for a girl.

Saint Patricksaintpatrick
The most popular patron saint of Ireland, St.Patrick is one of the world’s most recognizable saints. A Romano-British missionary he is credited with converting Ireland to Christianity. Patrick has become a quintessential Irish name though like St. Patrick himself, Patrick is of Latin origins and means noble or patrician. Patrick peaked in 1968 and was a Top 50 name from 1948-1997. Today Patrick ranks at Number 170 and is one I commonly see in the middle name spot.

What are your favorite Irish Saints Names?

Literary Sisters – Add one!

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There are many delightfully named literary sisters. I love looking at sibling sets in novels and crawling into the author’s name-nerd brain. Let’s look at four wonderful, well-loved sibling sets of sisters and imagine what we would name another sister to each literary family.

The March Sisters
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women
Margaret “Meg”, Josephine “Jo”, Elizabeth “Beth”, Amy
How classy are the March sister’s names? It is widely assumed that Amy is short for Amelia, though never explicitly stated in the novel. I love a good nickname and Margaret, Josephine, and Elizabeth all lend themselves beautifully to an array of nicknames. So for fun, what would I name a fifth March sister? I would choose Samantha “Sam.” Samantha is another long and lovely classic name that can easily be shortened to Sam. Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, and Sam it is for me. What name would you add? Other names I considered that I think would fit in well with this set include Catherine, Charlotte, and the author’s own name, Louisa.

The Ingalls Sisters
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Series
Mary, Laura, Caroline “Carrie”, and Grace
The Little House sister’s are unique to this list as the books were based off of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s real life sisters. Mary, Laura, Caroline “Carrie”, and Grace all have very wholesome, sweet sounds to them. So, what would I name a fifth Ingalls girl? Anna was the first name that popped into my mind. Anna is simple, sweet, and could potentially be shortened to Annie, which I think would suit this set well. What would you name a fifth sister? Other names I think would work well are Emily, Hannah, or Susanna.

The Bennet Sisters
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine “Kitty”, and Lydia
I could (and may) do a blogpost on Austen’s sibling sets. The five Bennet sisters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine “Kitty”, and Lydia all have very classic names. Austen loved repeating names in her novels and so I pulled name inspiration from her in choosing Anne to be the sixth Bennet sister. My mind races to imagine what she would be like. Other names repeated in Austen novels that could work in this sibling set for me would be Louisa, Margaret, and Marianne. I’d love to read your pick for this set of iconic sisters!

The O’Hara Sisters
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind
Katie Scarlett “Scarlett”, Susan Elinor “Suellen”, Caroline Irene “Carreen”
Frankly, my dears, the O’Hara sisters have some pretty fun names! I think its neat that none of them go by their given names, but rather their middle name or a smoosh name. So we have Katie Scarlett “Scarlett”, Susan Elinor “Suellen”, and Caroline Irene “Carreen”. I looked at Scarlett, Suellen, and Carreen and immediately wanted another C name to balance out the two S’s. So my choice would be Cora Isobel “Corabelle.” I also considered the given first names; Katie, Susan, Caroline and thought Eliza, Rebecca, and Julia would work well as well. What name would you add to this fiery sibling set?

I’d love to hear you weigh in on these sister names and add your own additions to these timeless sets!

2017 Celebrity Baby Names

newyearsbaby17It’s a New Year and that means there will be a whole new batch of celebrity babies born and for us name nerds, that means new names to ooh and ahh at! Let’s take a look back and recap some of the more colorful and inspiring names from last year.

Most Anticipated Twin Names of 2017:

Rumi & Sir
Born to Jay-Z & Beyonce
Rumi is a Japanese name meaning beauty or lapis.
Sir is a word name and a title.

Alexander & Ella
Born to George & Amal Clooney
Alexander is a Greek name meaning defending men.
Ella is a name with multiple origins and depending on origin it can mean she, all, or maiden.

Interesting & Usable Celeb Boys Names of 2017:

Phoenix Wolf
Bam & Nicole Margera
Phoenix is a Greek name and a place name meaning dark red.

Gunner Stone
Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt
Gunner is a variant of a Scandinavian name meaning bold warrior.

Jones McCoy
Tony & Candice Crawford Romo
Jones is an English surname meaning God is gracious.

Watson Cole
Chelsea Houska & Cole DeBoer
Watson is an English and Scottish surname meaning son of Wat.

Ryder Falcon
Rodney & Rose Atkins
Ryder is an English surname meaning cavalryman.

Robinson True
Samantha Ponder & Christian Ponder
Robinson is an English name meaning son of Robin.

Braver Celeb Baby Boys Names of 2017:

Strummer Newcomb
Julia Stiles & Preston J. Cook
Strummer is a word name possibly referring to a musical man who strums instruments.

Revel James Makai
Matthew & Renee Morrison
Revel is a word name meaning noisy and lively enjoyment.

My Favorite Celeb Boy Baby Names 2017:

#3 Arlo Benjamin
Theo & Meghan Rossi
Arlo is a place and literary name.

#2 Flynn Maxwell
Patrick & Jasmin Renna
Flynn is an Irish name meaning son of the red-haired one.

#1 Jude Malcolm
Steven Yeun & Joana Pak
Jude comes from a Latin name meaning praised.

Almost made My Fav Celeb Boys List:

Beckett Scott
Blair & Dylan Scott Robinson
Beckett is an Irish and English name meaning bee cottage.

Forrest Henry
John & Candice Cody
Forrest is an English name meaning dweller near the woods.

Ford Douglas Armand
Armie Hammer & Elizabeth Chambers
Ford is an English name meaning dweller at the ford.

Interesting & Usable Celeb Girls Names of 2017: 

Odette Elliott
Jared Padalecki & Genevieve Cortese
Odette is a French name meaning wealthy.

Mabel Jane
Topher & Ashley Hinshaw Grace
Mabel is a diminutive of Amabel meaning grace.

Kaia Joann
Earl Cole & Shelley Lee
Kaia may be Hawaiian meaning sea or derive from a Greek name.

Birdie Joe
Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan
Birdie is an English word name meaning bird.

Teddy Marilyn
James & Nicky Hilton Rothschild
Teddy is a diminutive of Theodora meaning gift of God.

Domenica Celine
Daphne Oz & John Jovanovic
Domencia is a Spanish name meaning born on Sunday. 
Braver Celeb Baby Girls Names of 2017: 

Gravity Blue
Lucky Blue Smith & Stormi Bree
Gravity is a word name for the force that attracts a body to the earth. 

Rome Coco
Jason Thompson & Paloma Jonas
Rome is a place name and the Capital city of Italy.

Zeppelin Adele
Kiele Sanchez & Zach Gilford
Zeppelin is a word name for a German airship. 

My Favorite Celeb Girl Baby Names 2017:
#3 Rosie Carolyn
Nathan & London Kress
Rosie is a diminutive of the flower name Rose.

#2 Rowan Louise
Mikey Way & Kristin Colby
Rowan is a tree name as well as an Irish and Scottish name meaning little redhead.

#1 Calliope Maeve
Felicia Day
Calliope is a Greek mythological name meaning beautiful voice.

Almost made My Fav Celeb Girls List:
 

Lyla Isabela
April Hernandez-Castillo & Jose Castillo
Lyla is an Arabic name meaning night.

Hear my thoughts on these names here: