Category Archives: Baby Names

Names from Disney’s “COCO”

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Parents and caregivers are always up on the latest children’s films to be released on Netflix. Disney Pixar’s “Coco” is all the rage right now. As I sat cross-legged on the floor to watch the delightful film for the third time this week, I kept wondering how the characters were related to one another and what their beautiful names meant.  SPOILER ALERT – not everyone in the film is who they seem, and this article reveals family names and connections.  I feel like I should start with Miguel, our stories protagonist, but my OCD mind feels like its better to start from the Top down.  See the graphic at the end of this article to see how everyone connects.

Imelda “Mamá  Imelda” – The sassy, suborn, matriarch of the family and Miguel’s Great-Great-Grandmother.  Voiced by Alanna Ubach. Imedla is a Spanish and Italian name meaning all-consuming fight, quite the perfect meaning for this fiery character.

Héctor – Talented and goofy Héctor is the guy we’re all rooting for.  We learn that he is Miguel’s Great-Great-Grandfather. Voiced by Gael García Bernal. Héctor is a Greek name widely used around the world.  Hector means holding fast and currently ranks at Number 317 in the U.S.

Oscar – One part of the lovable twin Uncles, “Tíos Oscar & Felipe.”  Oscar is one of Miguel’s Great-Great-Uncles. Voices by Herbert Siguenza. Oscar has English and Irish roots, though it’s been used in various countries and even has a bit of a hipster vibe. Rated at Number 192 Oscar has the adorable meaning, deer lover.

Felipe – The other half of the twin Uncle-Duo of “Tíos Oscar & Felipe.” Felipe is one of Miguel’s Great-Great-Uncles, also voiced by Herbert Siguenza. Much less popular than Oscar, Felipe, the Spanish form of Philip and ranks at Number 782.

Socorro “Coco” – The bearer of the films name, Socorro, better known as “Mamá Coco,” voiced by Ana Ofelia Murguia. Socorro is also the name of Miguel’s baby sister, born at the end of this film. A Spanish name meaning succour, help, or relief, the nickname “Coco” makes this name feel a bit more usable.

Julio – Miguel’s late great-grandfather, “Papá Julio” is lovable and kind. Voiced by Alfonso Arau. Julio is a Spanish form of Julius meaning youthful.  Julio is popular with Latino families and currently ranks at Number 499 in the U.S.

Rosita – Tía Rosita, Papá Julio’s sister is cheerful and adorable. I would’ve loved to see more of her in the film. Rosita is voiced by Selene Luna. Rosita is a Spanish nickname for Rosa, meaning rose. Rosita isn’t ranked within the Top 1,000, though Rosa comes in at Number 672.

Franco – Franco, “Papá Franco”, is Miguel’s grandfather and his name is totally ready for a revival. I think his namesake is in honor of the film composer, Germaine Franco.  Franco is an Italian form of Francis and currently ranks at Number 728 in popularity.

Elena – better known as “Abuelita”, Miguel’s Grandma is a bit or a tyrant though lovable, and full of good intentions.  Abuelita Elena is voiced by Renee Victor.  Elena is a Spanish form of Helen meaning bright, shining light.  Elena is trending right now and currently ranks at Number 67 in popularity.

Victoria –  Tía Victoria, Miguel’s Great-Aunt is a bit buttoned-up and no-nonsense like her Grandmother, Imelda. Voice by Dyana Ortellí, Tia Victoria would be a fun character to play.  Victoria is a classic Latin name meaning victory, currently ranked at Number 19.

Enrique  – Miguel’s  father, “Papá” is a loyal family man.  Voiced by Jaime Camil. Enrique is a Spanish form of Henry, meaning estate ruler.  Enrique isn’t quite as popular as Henry, it ranks at Number 487.

Luisa – Miguel’s mother, “Mamá ” is sensitive to her son and pregnant for most of the film with his little sister. Voiced by Sofia Espinosa. Luisa is an Italian feminine form of Louis meaning renowned warrior. Luisa isn’t in the Top 1,000 though the spelling Louisa ranked at Number 752.

Gloria – Gloria is Miguel’s Aunt or Tía. She’s outspoken and has fun makeup, don’t we all have a Gloria in our lives? Gloria is a Latin name meaning glory that ranks at Number 561.  I predict that glory, this names meaning, will take off in the years to come.

Berto  Tío Berto, Miguel’s Uncle, is voiced by Luis Valdez. Berto is quite a little character, a bit clumsy, but also a kind family man.  Berto is a Spanish nickname for names like Alberto, Roberto, and other names with similar endings. As a stand-alone name, Berto is not in the Top 1,000.

Carmen – Carmen is Berto’s wife, and Miguel’s Aunt or Tía. Carmen is a Spanish form of Carmel and means garden. Carmen is an attractive name that works well in various languages and currently ranks at Number 405 in the United States.

Abel – Abel is Miguel’s dutiful cousin who like his father is a bit of a klutz. Abel is a Hebrew name meaning breath that people are loving.  Currently ranked at Number 146, Abel is one of those names more popular than many may realize.

Rosa – Rosa is another one of Miguel’s cousins.  I love how they dressed her in the film.  Rosa may have been named for her Tía Rosita.  Rosa means rose and ranks at Number 672.

Benny – One half of Miguel’s twin-cousin duo of Benny and Manny.  Benny may be a dimiuntive of a multitude of Ben names – from Benjamin to Benicio. I think Benicio would be a handsome and fitting fuller name for this character.

Manny – Benny’s twin brother, and Miguel’s cousin, is Manny. Manny is a diminutive of Emmanuel, a Hebrew name meaning God is with us.  Manny may also work as a nickname for Manuel, which I think would fit this character’s heritage well.

Miguel – Finally we get to our tenacious and talented little Miguel. Vocied my Anthony Gonzalez. Miguel is a Spanish and Portuguese form of the name Michael, meaning who is like the Lord. Miguel is a well-loved name, ranking at Number 176 in the U.S.

Ernesto – I had to included another lead character, the antagonist, Ernesto de la Cruz voiced by Benjamin Bratt. Ernesto is a Spanish and Italian form of Ernest meaning serious and resolute.  Ernesto currently ranks at Number 708 in popularity.

What are your favorite names from the Rivera Family?

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Well Named – “well” baby Names

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I have been majorly crushing on the name Wells. I think Well and Wells make for great Will alternatives. Well, that Wells name sure got me thinking of all the fabously names that Well could be a nickname for.  You’ll notice that many are surname names with English origins.  Be sure to tell me your favorites

Boswell
Boswell is an English name meaning well near the woods. Boz would be a great nickname if you’re looking for a Well/Wells alternative.

Hartwell
Hartwell is a place name and English name meaning one who lives near the stag’s spring. I love Hart as a male middle name. Smoosh Hart and Well together and you get a preppy cool name!

Maxwell
I love “Max” names and Maxwell, ranked at Number 133, is the most popular name on this list. A Scottish name meaning great stream, I love that you could get the familiar Max or fresh Wells from it.

Oswell
Oswell is an English name (like most of these names are), and it means divinely powerful. I love Oswell as an OSwald alternative and how adorable is the nickname Ozzy on a little guy?

Rockwell
A little bit preppy and a little bit rock-n-roll. Rockwell is an English name meaning rock spring. Rock and Rocky would be awesome nicknames!

Samwell
Samwell is one of those surnames that there are disputed meanings for. There is a musician named Samwell, born Samuel. Samwell gives me Samwise vibes and has the familiar and lovable Sam to it.

Wellington
Wellington has such a posh, distinguished sound. A surname and place name, Wellington means people in a hamlet near the temple. It’s a big name with a lot of character.

Well, which Well name is your favorite?

Named after Grandma

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The baby in this picture is so adorable but Grandma’s today are much more stylish and hip than the old-school Granny cliches! Grandma’s today are typically in their 50’s or 60’s so let’s look at some of the most popular names from that generation. I plucked names from 58 years ago in 1960, since most of these names held popularity for several years making them now Grandma-aged names!

Mary
Mary, a Hebrew name meaning bitter, was the Number 1 name in 1960 and today ranks and Number 126. Mary was a Top 10 name from 1900-1971 so chances are you have a Grandma, Great-Grandma, Aunt, or other female relative named Mary. My favorite modern Mary alternative is Maren. I love how familar yet unique Maren is. Maren has Latin roots meaning sea. There are probably 1,000 variations and diminutives of Mary, but a few I think make nice modern way to honor include Mara, Meryl, and Molly. And for you more adventurous namers, how about Marietta? Etta sure would be a sweet nickname.

Susan
My Dad is the eldest of seven children and he has five younger sisters. I just had to chuckle seeing that four of my five Aunt’s names are on this list, including Susan. Susan was ranked at Number 2 in 1960 and comes in at Number 963 today. Susan is a Hebrew form of Susannah, meaning Lily, which is my top pick for honoring. I love that the meaning and think that would be a lovely bond between grandmother and granddaughter. Of course it’s root name Susannah would make a lovely choice, as would Suzette (again that Etta nickname, or the upbeat Sookie. If you want something with a clear sound connection that is distinctive you may like Sioux.

Linda
Linda was all the rage in the 1940’s-1960’s. Ranked at Number 3 in 1960, today Linda is Number 708, the lowest it has ever ranked. Linda is still popular among Spanish speakers as it is a Spanish and Portuguese name meaning pretty. A friend of mine had a daughter named Linden last year and I remember loving the nature tie but also thinking it would be a great Linda alternative! My other ideas for honoring a Linda include Lindley, Lydia, or Lindy. If you’re craving something more bold you may consider Linnora.

Karen
In 1960 Karen was Number 4 but today this Dutch variation of Katherine is all the way down at Number 556. I could see Karen coming back into fashion, is it just old enough to sound fresh? Karen does share the pattern of being a two syllable name ending in N that many popular names also have.  I think Kieran would be the perfect Karen alternative. There are tons of great Karen alternatives including Karina, Kara, and Karys. I also think Kerensa would be a great showstopper!

Donna
Donna peaked in the 1960’s, reaching spot 5 in 1960 and then decreeased steadily there after.  Donna fell out of the Top 1,000 in 2010.  Truly a generational name, Donna also reminds many of use of the character Donna Martin in the TV show 90210. Donna is Italian meaning lady but I really like male alternatives for this one! My top pick would be Donovan. I also think Dante, Donnelly, and Donal would make cool choices for a grandson. If you’d like a bold name that is also female Domina shares the same meaning and has a ton of flare!

Lisa
Lisa is totally a modern Grandma name. It ranked at Number 6 in 1960 but Lisa was a Top 10 name from the late fifties through the mid-seventies. Still, Lisa doesn’t feel as old or dated as some names on this list and today it ranks at 884. Lisa is one of the several variations of Elizabeth meaning God is my oath. I have always loved the name Lisette so that will be my pick for a Lisa alternative. You might also consider Liesel, Elise, or Elisa. My favorite creative way to honor a Lisa though is to scramble the letters and use Isla.

Patricia
Patricia was fashionable for a number of years and ranked in the Top 10 from 1929-1966! In 1960 Patricia was Number 7 and today it comes in at spot Number 889.  A Latin feminine form of Patrick, Patricia means noble or patrician. Unless you go the Trisha/Tricia route then you’re a bit limited in P names with a similar vibe, but I’m going for that sound and so my top pick would be the similar sounding unisex Pax. I also think the more exotic Petra, Patrice, or Patrika could be fun, particiularly in the middle name spot. Want to go out on a limb? Then I’d vote for Adelaide which shares a similar meaning as Patricia.

Debra & Deborah
In 1960 Debra ranked at Number 8 and Deborah was Number 10. There were a whole generation of Debbie’s as you can imagine with two spelling variations in the Top 10. A name close to my own heart (it’s My Mom’s name), Debra is not currently in the Top 1,000 while Deborah is holding on at Number 774. A Hebrew name meaning bee, I thought Bee would be a cute nickname to honor a Debra or Deborah. Devorah which both names stem from would be another cool choice and you get Dev or Devi as nicknames. Most Debra/Deborah’s go by Debbie so why not consider similar sounding Darby or Libbie? Devra one final alternative I wanted to add to the mix. I still think Bee would be a cute middle name to honor.  Matilda Bee? Lucy Bee? I think so.

Cynthia
The Greek name Cynthia peaked in the 1950’s and 1960’s and ranked at Number 9 in 1960. Today Cynthia has a sophisticated era and comes in at Number 637. I love the name Thea so I’d chop off the end of Cynthia and use Thea as a name to honor. Kynthia (kin-thee-uh) is a very cool bold alternative or you could run with the beiginning letters and get Cypress or Cyan. Many Cynthia’s go by Cindy so if your Mom was more of a Cindy than a Cynthia you may also get away with honoring through names like Sidney or Lindy.

What’s your Mom’s name and what name would you consider using to honor her?

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:

 

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: