Category Archives: Baby Names

Nature Names – Letter C

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Calla
Calla gets its nature tie from the beautiful calla lily flowers. Calla is Greek meaning beautiful.

Camellia
A lovely was to get to “Cam,” Camellia is a genus of flowering plants.

Canyon
A Spanish word name, canyon is a deep grove which often has a river flowing through it. An adventurous choice.

Caraway
Caraway is a plant often used as a spice. Caraway is also known as meridian fennel and Persian cumin.

Cassia
Cassia is a tree name and a form of cinnamon. Cassia is the feminine form of the Greek Cassius.

Cedar
A strong English tree name and Biblical word name.

Cherry
A fruit and tree name that now has more of a rockabilly vibe.

Chrysanthemum
A bit of a mouthful, though fun to say, Chrysanthemum is a flower native to Northeastern Europe and Asia.

Citron
Citron has a futuristic sound in English, though it means lemon in French. Citron is a large fragrant citrus fruit with a thick rind.

Clay
Clay is an English word for rich earth composed of several minerals. Clay currently ranks at Number 697 in the U.S.

Clementine
A French, feminine form of Clement, meaning merciful, Clementine doubles as a nature name. Clementine is a citrus fruit and a name getting attention, currently ranked at Number 744.

Cliff
Cliff is a topographical name but can also be short for names such as Clifford, Clifton, and Heathcliff.

Clove
Clove is an aromatic flower used as a spice. Clove got a bit of attention as a name after appearing in The Hunger Games.

Clover
A lucky little plant name perfect for a Saint Patrick’s Day baby!

Coral
Coral is a beautiful formation of marine invertebrates. Coral doubles as a color name for its bright orange-pink hue.

Cooper
Cooper is a natural metal and a golden-brown color.

Cove
A small sheltered bar, Cove is a name on many name enthusiasts list!

Creek
A stream or brook that feeds to a river. This aquatic name may remind you of Russell Brand’s character is Trolls.

Crystal
A gemstone name. Crystal was all the rage in the 80’s, today she ranks at Number 644 in popularity.

Cypress
A great tree name that easily lends itself to the nickname Cy.

Would you use any of these for your bouncing babe?

The Way to Spell a Name

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Congratulations, you’ve found the perfect name for your little one, but wait… how are you going to spell it? Say you love the name Dylan- great choice! Dylan is Welsh meaning son of the sea. Then while looking into Dylan you come across Dillon, pronounced the same way as Dylan, Dillon is Irish and means loyal. So how would you decide between Dylan and Dillon? Well maybe Dylan gets the edge because of the association to Dylan Thomas, or perhaps you have Irish heritage that you’d like to give a nod to with the Dillon spelling. I could make a list of reasons in favor of either spelling and that’s the point of this article, names are important and so are their spellings. Take it from a lady named Meagan ;).

There are many names with multiple legitimate spelling variations, think Vivienne and Vivian or Marc and Mark.  Often times spelling variations are connected to a region and or language. Then there are names like Dylan and Dillon that sound the same but have different meanings and origins.

In recent years the Social Security Administration has reflected an increase in uniquely spelled baby names.  In the naming community these spellings are often categorized as “kreative spellings.” I do want to emphasize here that choosing a name and a spelling is a personal choice and I want to shine light on that, this post is not intended to throw any shade or side eye.

One top trend in the unique spelling craze is the addition of the letter “y” to names, such as Jayson instead of Jason, or replacing an “i” with a “y,” like Austyn instead of Austin.  We see this a lot when a traditionally male name is being used on a girl, for example Jaymes instead of James.  There are several names like Sailor and Saylor that may appear to just be a trendy spelling variant but in fact have different origins and are original spellings.

Modern parents don’t limit their love to “y” they also expand this to “x” and “z.” Jasmine becomes Jazmine and Jackson becomes Jaxon. Other than aesthetics these letter substitutions are often intentional because they are connected to nicknames.  I know a little Jazmine that goes by “Jazz” and a Jaxon that is often called “Jax.”

Aside from the “y”, “x”, and “z” variants one of the common ways I see names altered to uncommon spellings is changing the spelling of the long “e” sound. So there’s “e”, “ee”, “ie”, “eigh”, “ey”, “y.” Let’s break this down with Kailey which could also be Kailee, Kailie, Kaileigh, Kaley, Kaylee, Kayley, and so on, you get where I’m going here.

Vowel swapping at the end of names, particularly those ending in “n” is another trend I see frequently.  Landon could also be Landan, Landen, Landin, Landon, or Landyn.  Grayson and Greyson are both ranked in the United States Top 1,000, as are Greyson and Graysen. When it comes to swapping out vowels, there are numerous combinations.

There is no one way or “right” way to spell a name.  I would urge soon-to-be parents to look into the history of the names they’re considering and pick the one that suits them best. Keep in mind that modifications may lead to more corrections but more and more unique spellings are being used these says so it’s likely even a little Mary may be asked how she spells her name. Who knows, she could be Merry, Maree, or another unique spelling entirely!

Elven Baby Names

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Some beautiful names with an Elven vibe!

Ariadne
A Greek name meaning most holy, Ariadne currently ranks at Number 773. Mythological names lend themselves to the Elven sound as does the spunky nickname Ari.

Eirlys
Eirlys, like many Welsh names, has a mystical fairy-like sound. Eirlys even means snowdrop, which would make for a great Elven surname.

Eirwen
Eirwen is another gorgeous Welsh name, this one is a form of Welsh coinage. Eira, which made my video list could be a charming nickname for Eirwen.

Fauna
Fauna was the name of one of the fairies in Sleeping Beauty, perhaps that’s why this Latin name gives my a mystical vibe. Fauna refers to the animals in a specific area, perfect for a woodland Elf.

Gaia
If Fauna had a sister, she’d probably be Gaia. Gaia is a Greek name meaning mother earth that brings about imagery of lush green lands.

Orlaith
The Irish Orlaith (pronounced Orla) is relatively undiscovered in the United States. Orlaith means golden princess, the perfect fit for Elven royalty.

Sylvie
There is something so sweet about the French Sylvie, and much more youthful than the Latin Sylvia which she stems from. Sylvie means from the forest, perhaps the best fitting meaning to name match up on this list. Sylvie ranks at Number 993.

Twila
I’ve met a cat or two named Twila, and indeed it seems equally suited for a furry friend of pointy eared elf. Twila is of English origins and means woven with double thread.

Rue
Rue has a very whimsical feel, though it means regret. English from a Greek name, Rue was the lovable character in The Hunger Games.

Zinnia
A rarely used flower name, Zinnia gets extra credit for starting with the zesty initial Z. Many flower and nature names could easily fit this category!

Hear my chat about 10 more great Elven inspired names in my latest video:

Keep Counting – The Duggar Grandkids

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The Duggar kids are growing up and quite a few have become parents. The more the merrier for fans and name lovers alike! Let’s look at the names of the Duggar grand-babies, and I invite you to share your favorites!

Mackynzie Renee born October 8, 2009 – daughter of Josh & Anna Duggar
Mackynzie
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Mackynzie is a spelling variation of the Scottish Mackenzie, meaning son of Kenneth.

Michael James born June 15, 2011 – son of Josh & Anna Duggar
Michael
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Michael is a classic Hebrew name meaning who is like the Lord.

Marcus Anthony born June 2, 2013 – son of Josh & Anna Duggar
Marcus
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Marcus is a strong Latin name meaning warlike.

Israel David born April 6, 2015 – son of Jill & Derick Dillard
Israel
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Israel is a Hebrew place name meaning he who struggles with God.

Meredith Grace born July 16, 2015 – daughter of Josh & Anna Duggar
Meredith
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Meredith is a Welsh name meaning great ruler.

Spurgeon Elliot born November 11, 2015 – son of Jessa & Ben Seewald
Spurgeon
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Spurgeon is a unique Norse name meaning little branch.

Henry Wilberforce born February 6, 2017 – son of Jessa & Ben Seewald
Henry
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Henry is a rising German name meaning estate ruler.

Samuel Scott born July 8, 2017 – son of Jill & Derick Dillard
Samuel
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Samuel is a Hebrew name meaning told by God.

Mason Garrett born September 12, 2017 – son of Josh & Anna Duggar
Mason
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Mason is a popular English name meaning stone worker.

Gideon Martyn born February 23, 2018 – son of Joy-Anna & Austin Forsyth
Gideon
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Gideon is a Hebrew name meaning hewer.

Garrett David born June 8, 2018 – son of Joseph & Kendra Duggar
Garrett
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Garrett is an Irish variant of Gerard, meaning spear strength.

Felicity Nicole born July 20, 2018 – son of Jinger & Jeremy Vuolo
Felicity
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Felicity is a Latin name meaning happiness and good fortune

My favorites? Well that little Spurgeon sure is adorable but I’d vote Felicity and Gideon as my favorite names in the bunch, what are yours? Who will be the next Duggar to bring a new grand baby to the bunch?

Rare Classy Girls Names

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Emma, Charlotte, Amelia, Ava.. there are so many beautiful and classy names taking over in popularity. I love this trend and so today I think we should look at some equally lovely and classy options that aren’t currently in the U.S. Top 1,000.

Audra
The perfect alternative to the ladylike Audrey is Audra, and English name meaning noble strength. The lovely songstress Audra McDonald is a great namesake.

Beatrix
Much less popular than Beatrice, Beatrix is a Latin name with the gorgeous meaning she who brings happiness. It also has the great Beatrix Potter association.

Cordelia
A strong name and personal favorite, Cordelia is rich in history. It may be Latin or Celtic meaning heart or daughter of the sea. Classy nickname options include Cora and Delia.

Flora
Sister to more popular Cora and Nora, the Latin Flora has a darling vintage vibe and means flower. Flora was the name of one of the little fairies in Sleeping Beauty.

Moira
An Irish form of the classic Mary, meaning bitter, Moira has a charm and silent strength on her own. Moira always reminds me of the character Wendy Moira Angela Darling from Peter Pan.

Odette
Ette names just scream classy to me and how fun is that O initial? French from a German name Odette means wealthy. Jared and Genevieve Padalecki named their daughter Odette Elliott last year.

Tabitha
I’m always perplexed by how low Tabitha ranks. An Aramaic name meaning gazelle, it’s time to bring back Tabitha. You could use the classic nickname Beth or the quirky cute Tibby!

Theodora
Theodore has gained attention but his sister Theodora, the feminine form of the Greek name meaning gift or God, is still quite underused. Thea and Teddy sure do make for charming nicknames.

Weigh in on your favorites!

Nature Names – Letter B

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Basil
An herb and Greek name meaning regal.

Bay
A name that brings to mind aquatic images, Bay has Latin roots meaning berry, a nature name through and through.

Beach
Surfs up! This one may be best in the middle name spot.

Begonia
Do you like flower names? Begonia is an unusual choice for the gorgeous flower.

Beech
So Beach is for the water babies and now we have Beech for the forest babes!
Beech trees are part of the fagaceae family.

Berry
Berry berry cute! I love Berry as a middle name. As a child of the 80’s and 90’s I can’t help but see this one and think of Strawberry Shortcake sheets.

Birch
Don’t you just love those white-bark branches? This one-syllable name is strong in sound and imagery.

Blossom
The flowering part of a plant and the coming-of-age 1990’s television show.

Bluebell
This flower name is on many name-lover’s guilty pleasure lists. Split this name up and nicknames Blue and Bell make it easy to wear.

Branch
Hard to see this one and not think of Justin Timberlake in Trolls.
Branch our with this sturdy nature name.

Briar
English for a thorny patch, this one is also associated with Sleeping Beauty who went by the alias “Briar Rose.”

Brook
Often overlooked due to Brooks and Brooke’s popularity. This babbling water name is a great choice.

Bryony
A Latin flower name meaning to sprout. The spelling Briony was used in the film and book Atonement.

Buttercup
It’s hard not to think of The Princess Bride for this quirky, cute flower name.

Which of these names would you use for your little one?

Cow Baby Names

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Wait, what?!? Yes, you read that right, Cow Baby Names! These are a few great names popular with cows that you may also love using for your little darling!

Bella
An Italian name meaning beautiful, many think of Bella as being a nickname for Isabella, but did you know that Bella ranks at Number 50 all on its own? Della and Ella are also well loved for cows and babes!

Bessie
Good Ole’ Bessie is moving on up from frumpy=granny to vintage-chic. Bessie is one of the many nicknames for Elizabeth, meaning God is my oath. Bess and Betsy also have similar vibes and shared origins.

Clarabelle
Clara and Belle are two stunning names and whenever I suggest the name smoosh of Clarabelle I often getting the response that it sounds like a cow! Thanks, Disney 🙂 Clarabelle has Latin roots meaning bright and beautiful.

Daisy
A darling little flower name and diminutive of Margaret, Daisy is popular with a slew of pets but as well as little girls. Daisy currently ranks at Number 170 in popularity.

Darla
Darla totally has a retro vibe going on and if Finding Nemo didn’t ruin it for you, it has the intuitive meaning of darling. Darla is prime for hipster pickings as it walks the line of cute and ugly.

Gertie
Most Gertie fans fell for this name watching a young Drew Barrymore in E.T. Like Darla, Gertie is a bit polarizing and can be seen as cute or hideous. Gertie comes from the name Gertrude, meanings strength of spear.

Lola
I know two dogs and one teenage girl named Lola. Extremely popular for pets, Lola, a diminutive of Delores, ranks at Number 240 for girls in the U.S. A prime example of a name people seem to love equally for four-legged-friends and children.

Lucy
Do you love Lucy? A great many of us do. Lucy has a soft sweetness to it that ties it to youthfulness, and innocence making it fit of calf or girl. A Latin name meaning light, Lucy is Number 52 for little girls.

Minnie
Minnie, Daisy, and Clarabelle, hmm clearly this Nanny has seen an episode too many of Mickey Mouse. Minnie has a sweet, vintage vibe and it is kinda a funny choice for a not-so-small animal.

Sadie
Sweet Sadie, like many of these names Sadie has a comforting an endearing ring to it. Sadie comes from Sarah, meaning princess. Sadie has been well-loved in recent years, ranking at Number 71.

Which of these would you use? For a cow or a tiny human?

Nature Names – Letter A

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Acacia
A shrub in the mimosa family.
Greek meaning thorny.

Alder
A tree in the birch family
Dutch surname meaning son of Aldert.

Amarantha
A family of colorful plants and flowers
From the Greek amarantos meaning unfading.

Amber
Golden fossilized tree resin.
Amber became popular in jewelry during the 19th century.

Ash
A tree name. May also be short form of Asher meaning fortunate and blessed.

Aspen
A tree with heart-shaped leaves as well as a place name

Autumn
The season between Summer and Winter.
From the Latin word autumnus meaning autumn or fall

Azalea
A Hebrew flower name.

Which of these names would you use for your little one?

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?