Category Archives: Baby Names

5 Names Rules to Ignore

ignore

Have you been obsessing about names since you were a child naming your dolls like me? Or are you expecting and just dipping your toes into the name world waters? It seems that everyone, enthusiast or not, has an opinion about how to name a baby. I’ve read and heard unofficial “name rules” for years. Some rules, like don’t name your baby after a dictator are common sense, but here are a few rules I think are made to be broken…

1 Same letter names for siblings
I’m sure you’ve met siblings who’s names were so similar that you have to wonder how their parents managed to call for them. I went to school with siblings Stephanie and Stephan. I’m definitely not suggesting matchy-matchy sibsets nor would I recommend Duggar-sized families continue a letter theme. I do think siblings names beginning in the same letter work when the letter make a different sound. Gavin and Gabriel are easier to get tongue tied than Emma and Evelyn for example. So toss that rule aside and opt for the sound the letter makes over the letter itself.

2 Alternate Spellings
Alternate spellings are hugely controversial in the baby name world. Take it from a girl named Meagan, not Megan or Meghan or a million other variations, its ok to use an alternate spelling. In my 30-something *cough* years of life I’ve had my name misspelled but it really hasn’t been that big of a deal and people usually catch on once corrected. That said, Meagan is a legitimate, although less popular spelling of the familiar Megan. I don’t mind the alternate spelling but I’m sure glad my folks didn’t get overly creative and opts for Mahayghanne or some other created spelling.

3 Franken-Names
I’m all for alternative spellings and cautious when it comes to creative spellings, but I have to say I’m a fan of some franken-names or name-smash’s. A franken-name is the melding of two names, sometimes hyphenated to create one name. One of my favorite examples is Anastella, one part Ana, one part Stella, mix and get the lovely Anastella. It can be tricky finding of creating a name smash that isn’t obnoxiously long and doesn’t feel like it trying to hard but when you do its magic!

4 Gender Bending Names
We’ve definitely seen a rise of traditionally male names being used on little girls in recent years. A polarizing topic in the name world gender bender or unisex names are totally lovable and usable. I know of a little boy named Kelly, a male name that gained popularity for girls, but could swing back around. I grew up with a boy and a girl named Evan, both wore their names well. While some names may have more teasing potential, I think it’s fine to use a name like Avery now more popular for girls on a boy.

5 A Name that’s taken
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if a name was usable because it had been used by the expecting couples boss, friend, sibling, etc. So this one is tricky and doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer, the key is to consider the relationship. Did your co-worker name her son Riordan? Is Riordan your Mother’s maiden name, a name you and your partner agree on and have loved for ages? Use it! No one can call “dibs” on a name. Do consider if your kids will be raised together. If your sister lives next door and names her daughter Finley it may be one you have to forgo. Then again you could always use Finley as a middle name and share a cute cousin connection.

Keep in mind that most people will have an unwarranted opinions about your child’s name but at the end of the day what matters most is how happy you are with your choice. These broken rules are just my opinion, I’d love to hear your opinions in the comment section. Happy Naming!

Advertisements

The Top 19 Names in 1919

1919 (1)

Happy 2019! Let’s hop in our baby name time machines and check out the Top 19 names from the year 1919 to see what names have truly stood the test of time!

# 1 John & Mary
It doesn’t get more simple and classic than John and Mary! I’d opt for a cool variant for a fresh twist like the Scottish Ewan & or Latin Maren.
Today’s Ranking: John #27 & Mary # 126

#2 William & Helen
William is the epitome of a name that will never go out of style. Helen is more commonly seen now on Grandmother’s and Great-Grandmother’s but could be prime for a comeback.
Today’s Ranking: William #3 & Helen # 418

#3 James & Dorothy
We’ve seen a trend of Celeb’s loving James for girls, but James is still well loved, used, and rising for boys. Dorothy may be just old enough to be cute again, I’m seeing loads of buzz about Dorothy on instagram!
Today’s Ranking: James #4 & Dorothy #601

#4 Robert & Margaret
Robert and Margaret both have vintage vibes and sound very stayed and grounded in the middle name spot.
Today’s Ranking: Robert #65 & Margaret #132

#5 Charles & Ruth
If you’re like me, at this point you’re thinking of all your older relatives that bear these names. Charles and Ruth are two names also tied to great historical figures.
Today’s Ranking: Charles #49 & Ruth #265

#6 George & Mildred
George and Mildred have a very British vibe paired here together in their ranking. Mildred is the first on our list here today that would be a shock to hear on a modern baby.
Today’s Ranking: George #124 & Mildred is no longer in the US Top 1,000.

#7 Joseph & Virginia
Joseph is a strong familial name for many and “Joe” just never feels dated. Virginia could make a comeback as people are loving vintage nicknames like Vina or Ginny.
Today’s Ranking: Joseph #19 & Virginia #514

#8 Edward & Elizabeth
This regal duo is still quite current. Edward may feel a bit formal in the U.S. but it’s got a handsome and distinguished sound non the less. Elizabeth with all her gorgeous nicknames and rich history is an ideal classic girls name.
Today’s Ranking: Edward #169 & Elizabeth #13

#9 Frank & Frances
I chuckled at this pairing not only because the names are just variants of each other, but they’re also my Grandpa and Great-Aunt’s name. In fact all of their siblings names made this list! Frankly Frank names are beginning to dwindle.
Today’s Ranking: Frank #373 & Frances #438

#10 Thomas & Anna
I love that this pairing would work seamlessly on babies born today! Thomas and Anna both have very wholesome and timeless vibes.
Today’s Ranking: Thomas #48 & Anna #53

#11 Walter & Evelyn
Walter is what I call “Grandpa-chic.” Walter is handsome and dignified with an older vibe. Evelyn could easily be the top girls name in a few years, it’s had a resurgence and is a name to watch!
Today’s Ranking: Walter #265 & Evelyn #9

#12 Richard & Marie
You’re probably noticing that many of the male names on this list have a lot of staying power. Male names are more likely to be passed down from generation to generation, thus feeling more classic. Marie is a common middle name that would feel fresh in the first name spot.
Today’s Ranking: Richard #175 & Marie #651

#13 Harold & Alice
Harold would be hard to picture on a small child without a fun nickname. Harold seems to have seen his heyday. A name rich in history and literature, Alice has been climbing the charts the past 10 years.
Today’s Ranking: Harold #799 & Alice #70

#14 Raymond & Florence
Does everybody love Raymond? Not so much anymore, it’s still used but likely as a name to honor. Florence may seem like she’s barely ranked, but be mindful that Florence just returned to the U.S. Top 1,000 last year!
Today’s Ranking: Raymond #293 & Florence #980

#15 Paul & Betty
Paul is definitely a name that’s easy to picture on a man of any age. It’s interesting that Betty, while no longer popular, was popular at the same time it’s root name Elizabeth was also trending. Any other Riverdale fans out there crushing on the name Betty?
Today’s Ranking: Paul #225 & Betty is no longer in the U.S. Top 1,000.

#16 Henry & Irene
Henry has been on the rise and will probably exceed it’s former popularity in the years to come. Irene seems to be hovering in the 500-600 range.
Today’s Ranking: Henry #18 & Irene #594

#17 Donald & Lillian
I’m noticing that Donald and Harold have the same feel with the “ld” ending that is no longer in fashion. Lillian has a romantic, vintage vibe and has been rising again in popularity.
Today’s Ranking: Donald #488 & Lillian #27

#18 Albert & Doris
Albert is much more popular across-the-pond and has a very distinctly British feel. Doris could get picked up by the hipsters but I don’t we’ll see her return.
Today’s Ranking: Albert #430 & Doris is no longer in the U.S. Top 1,000.

#19 Arthur & Rose
Arthur has an old knowing quality and makes a fabulous middle name. Rose is a name booming in the middle name spot that would be lovely to see more as a first name.
Today’s Ranking: Arthur #244 & Rose #141

Which of these 100-year-old trendsetters could you see on a babe today?

Five Fab Fresh January Namesakes

5fres

Let’s kick off the New Year and new month with five fabulous fresh January Namesakes. I have two previous articles that I’ll link at the end with some wonderful historic and meaningful namesakes, but for today let’s looks to celebs born in January for some modern name inspiration!

Dax
Actor, writer, and funny man Dax Shepard celebrates his birthday on January 2nd. Dax is a French place name that has an appealing and modern sounding “x” ending. If you love the timeless name Max, you may also like the very current sounding Dax which ranks at Number 456 in popularity.

January
It’s hard to talk about celebrities born in the month of January without mentioning actor and model January Jones. Jones was born on January 5th and has definitely brought recognition to this month name. January is the first month of the Gregorian calendar and is derived from the name of the Roman goddess Janus.

Keaton
Eccentric and lovable actor and director Diane Keaton blows out her birthday candles on January 5th. Keaton is a surname that is heating up in the charts as a first name. An English name meaning shed town, Keaton currently ranks at Number 572 for boys but would also be charming on a little lady. I think Diane Keaton would approve of her surname as a modern first name.

Rowan
Actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson is perhaps best known for his character “Mr.Bean.” Rowan has Scottish and Irish roots meaning little redhead. Nature name lovers will recognize Rowan as a tree name. I know three girls under the age of five named Rowan. Rowan is truly a unisex name, currently ranked at 212 for girls and at Number 140 for boys.

Watson
Highly acclaimed actor Emily Watson was born on January 14th. Watson, is an English and Scottish surname meaning son of Wat. Watson is one of the most common surnames in Scotland today. This rich historic surname is also tightly associated with Sherlock Holmes sidekick John Watson. Watson would be an unexpected yet familiar choice, right on trend with the surname craze.

My January Namesakes Article from 2017: https://nameberry.com/blog/great-inspirations-for-a-january-babe-crosby-to-zane

My January Namesakes Article from 2016: https://nameberry.com/blog/notable-january-namesakes

Bodacious “B” Surname Names

bsurnames

2019 is just days away and as we look at trends from last year that are sure to carry into next year, surname names aren’t loosing their luster! Here are 8 bodacious surnames that begin with the letter B!

Bauer
Bauer is a familiar surname that would make an edgy yet really usable first name! A German occupational name meaning tiller of the soil, Bauer may remind you of 24′s iconic character Jack Bauer.

Beckett
Beckett is my favorite suggestion for honoring a Rebecca. An Irish and English surname meaning bee cottage, I love the association to playwright Samuel Beckett.

Bennett
Bennett derives from the surname Benedict, meaning blessed. Bennett is a delightful way to get to the nickname “Ben.” I’m also fond of the spelling Bennet, as it was the surname of the five sisters in Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice.

Blair
The Gossip Girl‘s character Blair Waldorf helped give this Scottish surname a boost. Blair is a unisex name, now more popular with girls, and means dweller on the plain.

Boone
Boone is so cowboy-chic! Originally a French surname, Boone means blessing. This one is tightly associated to legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Briggs
There’s something very hearty and salt-of-the-earth about the name Briggs. Briggs is an English surname and a variation of bridges. Briggs reminds me of the Myer’s Briggs personality test, any other INJF’s out there? 😉

Brooks
Brooks is just dripping with hunky charm. An English name meaning by the brook, Brooks has been steadily gaining popularity in the U.S. Fittingly several ball players bear this handsome name.

Burke
I had to include my own surname, Burke! A popular name in Ireland, Burke is an anglicized spelling of a French name meaning from the fortress.

 

Seven Great S Word Names

7s

Seven
Fittingly, I had to kick off my Seven Great “S” Word Names article with the numerical name Seven. David and Victoria Beckham gave this daughter the name Harper Seven, seven being his jersey number. Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 opted to use Seven for their son, Seven Sirius Benjamin.

Silver
A bold but wearable word name, Silver definitely packs a load of luster. Silver is a character in both the My Little Pony and the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

Slate
Slate is a strong, one-syllable color and rock name. Slate feels modern and fresh without trying too hard. American soccer player Slate Donovan wears this name well.

Sonnet
Literary lover’s will enjoy this poetic name choice. Forest Whitaker selected the name Sonnet Noel for his daughter. Forest and Sonnet, now that’s a great family pairing!

Stone
This name rocks! Stone has the same straight-forward, no nonsense feel as Slate. Stone may remind you of TV news anchor Stone Phillips.

Stormy
Stormy is definitely a name that’s been in the news lately. A whimsical weather name, Kylie Jenner chose the alternate spelling Stormi for her daughter born earlier this year.

Story
Story would be another great choice for the babe of literature lovers. While Story is more popular for girls, Minnie Driver used Story as her son Henry’s middle name.

Which of these S Names would you use?

Names from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

sabrina

Netflix recently released the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a show based off the comic series of the same name and it has been all the buzz around the water cooler. Perhaps part of the appeal is nostalgia for the much lighter late 90’s sitcom Sabina the Teenage Witch. There are some great names a brew from cast and characters alike!

Sabrina Spellmansabrina
Played by Kiernan Shipka
Sabrina is the name of a mythological Celtic Princess as well as a Latin name derived from the River Severn. U.S. Ranking – Number 434.
Kiernan is traditionally and Irish male name meaning dark one. Not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000 for either sex.

harveyHarvey Kinkle
Played by Ross Lynch
Harvey is a French name meaning battle worthy. U.S. Ranking – Number 382.
Ross is of Scottish origins meaning upland or Peninsula. Ross does not currently rank in the U.S. Top 1,000.

zeldaZelda Spellman
Played by Miranda Otto
Zelda comes from the name Griselda meaning gray battle. U.S. Ranking – Number 649.
Miranda is a Latin name meaning marvelous and worthy of admiration. U.S. Ranking – Number 344.

hildaHilda Spellman
Played by Lucy Davis
Hilda Hilda is a German name meaning battle woman. Hilda is not currently Ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Lucy Lucy is an English variant of Lucia meaning Light. U.S. Ranking – Number 52.

ambroseAmbrose Spellman
Played by Chance Perdomo
Ambrose is a Latin name meaning immortal one. Ambrose does not currently rank in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Chance is a word name but may also be a variant of Chauncey, meaning chancellor. U.S. Ranking – Number 267.

maryMary Wardwell
Played by Michelle Gomez
Mary is a Latin name meaning bitter. U.S. Ranking – Number 126.
Michelle is a French feminine form of Michael meaning who is like God. U.S. ranking – Number 214.

prudencePrudence Night
Played by Tati Gabrielle
Prudence is a Puritanical virtue name meaning caution. Prudence is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Tati is short for Tatiana a Russian family name. Tatiana is currently ranked at Number 700 in the U.S.

faustusFather Faustus Blackwood
Played by Richard Coyle
Faustus is a Latin name possibly meaning auspicious or lucky. Faustus is rarely used in the U.S. and not ranked in the Top 1,000.
Richard is a German name meaning dominant ruler. U.S. Ranking – Number 175.

rozRosalind “Roz” Walker
Played by Jaz Sinclair
Rosalind is a Latin name meaning pretty rose. Rosalind is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Jaz is a variant of Jasmine, a Persian flower name. Jaz is not ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000, while Jasmine ranks at Number 130.

susieSusie Putnam
Played by Lachlan Watson
Susie is a diminutive of the name Susan meaning lily. Susie is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Lachlan is a Scottish name meaning from the forjed-land or land of lochs. Lachlan is ranked at Number 695 for boys in the U.S.

Happy Halloween!

Lovely Names Ending in “L”

lendingnames

Do you love a good “L” name? Lillian, Lucy, Layla, or perhaps Linnea? The letter “L” makes a lovely sound and seems to dance off the tongue. If you love “L” names then you may consider one of these beauties that puts “L” at the end.

Popular “L” Endings

Abigail
A Top 10 name since 2001, Abigail has been a long time leader in popularity currently ranked at Number 10.
Hazel
Hazel gives off vintage vibes and is well loved today at Number 43 in popularity
Isabel
Isabel’s third syllable is “L”, perfect for “L-ending” fans. There are numerous spellings of Isabel, this one ranks at Number 145.

Spunky “L” Endings

Avril
Avril isn’t ranked in the US Top 1,000 but has a spunky rocker edge due to its ties to alternative singer Avril Lavigne.
Bristol
A great underused nature name, Bristol ranks at Number 483. Many American’s became familiar with this name through social figure Bristol Palin.
Laurel
Another great nature name, Laurel is the perfect way to honor a Laura or Lauren. Laurel comes in at Number 597.
Teal
Teal is an unexpected but highly usable color name that isn’t currently in the Top 1,000.

Vintage “L” Endings

Amabel
A great Annabelle or Amelia alternative, Amabel has a great old-fashioned vibe and is not currently in the Top 1,000.
Anabel
Like Isabel, Anabel can be spelled many ways. At 908 in popularity, Anabel may remind your of the Edgar Allen Poe poem Annabel Lee.
Coral
Another great nature and color name, coral was all the rage in jewelry many moons ago. Coral as a name has yet to break into the Top 1,000.
Mabel
At 451 in popularity, Mabel may feel lightly vintage but it’s more popular now than ever before.
Muriel
Muriel is melodic and romantic but isn’t in the Top 1,000. My fellow Anne of Green Gables fans will think of the darling character Muriel Stacy.
Opal
A gemstone name Opal may feel like a Great-Grandma name, but it actually peaked in popularity last year at Number 859.
Pearl
Another lovely gemstone name, Pearl is a symbol of purity and innocence currently ranking at Number 652.
Sybil
Hello Downton Abbey fans, I’m looking at you. Sybil is a lovely vintage name that isn’t currently in the Top 1,000.

A few more “L” Endings

April
A springy month name, April ranks at Number 453.
Ariel
Hello Disney fans! Ariel comes in at Number 142.
Chantel
A bit of a French vibe, Chantel hasn’t ranked in the Top 1,000 since 2001.
Crystal
Crystal exploded in the 1980’s and has steadily declined every decade since. Today Crystal comes in at Number 644.
Liesl
Let’s end this list with the lovely Liesl which I see on many a name-lover’s list but isn’t in the Top 1,000.

Which of these names do you love?
This article was written by Meagan @tulipbyanyname and may not be reprinted without permission, thank you!