Category Archives: Character Names

Arizona Baby Names

aznames

Let’s warm things up with some baby names inspired by the state of Arizona! Sunny southwestern Arizona is one of the newer US states, the 48th to be added. Arizona’s cities and desert landscapes make for some lovely names chalked full of character.

Arizona
Let’s start with the place name Arizona, a Native American name meaning small springs. You may recognize Arizona as Jessica Capshaw’s character on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Arizona was briefly ranked in the Top 1,000 between 1901-1911. Last year only 115 girls were named Arizona.

Canyon
Arizona has been nicknamed “The Grand Canyon State.” The Grand Canyon is located in Northern Arizona and is known world-wide for its stunning size and color. Canyon makes for an interesting, underused, yet familiar sounding word name. 130 boys and 8 girls were given the name Canyon last year.

Chandler
Chandler is a prominent suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Chandler got its name from veterinary surgeon Dr. Alexander John Chandler. Chandler is a surname and occupational name meaning candle-maker.  Chandler is also closely associated with Mathew Perry’s character Chandler Bing from the popular TV show Friends. Chandler is currently ranked at Number 466 for boys and Number 995 for girls.

Copper
Copper is the state metal of Arizona which also bears the nickname, “the copper state.” Copper is a beautiful burnished metal that was only used by 30 boys and 11 girls last year. Copper could make for a good alternative to Connor or Carter.

Desert
Arizona is most definitely known for its vast desert landscape. Truly an unusual name, it could be a fun word name and lends itself to the cute nicknames Des or Desi. Desert is so rare that it was given to less than 5 babies last year and has never ranked in the US Top 1,000.

Gilbert
Gilbert is a town located in southeast Phoenix, Arizona. Gilbert gets its name from William “Bobby” Gilbert who provided land for the Arizona Eastern Railway. I have a soft spot for the name Gilbert, a beloved character from the Anne of Green Gables series. Gilbert is a German name meaning shining pledge that currently ranks at Number 960.

Phoenix
When you saw this was a list of Arizona themed baby names the name Phoenix was probably one of the first that came to mind. Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and the fifth most populated city in the US. Phoenix is a Greek name meaning dark red and the name of the mythological bird. Phoenix is currently ranked at Number 292 for boys and Number 443 for girls. This name also reminds me of actors River and Joaquin Phoenix.

Prescott
Prescott is another large city in Arizona. Prescott was named in honor of historian William H. Prescott. Prescott has a crisp, preppy, vintage vibe. An English surname meaning priest’s dwelling, Prescott was only given to 33 boys and 5 girls last year.

Sedona
Sedona is a breathtakingly beautiful city known for its red sandstorm formations. Sedona was named after the hospitable first postmaster’s wife, Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly. Schnebly’s mother created the name herself, combining sounds she found appealing. 64 girls were given this exotic place name last year.

Turquoise
Turquoise is the gemstone of this beautiful southwestern state. In addition to being a gorgeous bluish-green hue, Turquoise is a French name meaning Turkish stone. An uncommon color name, Turquoise was used by less than five babies last year.

The Most Popular Names in Arizona last year were:

1 Liam (#2 in the US)
2 Noah (#1 in the US)
3 Sebastian (#24 in the US)
4 Daniel (#13 in the US)
5 Alexander (#11 in the US)
6 Michael (#8 in the US)
7 Julian (#39 in the US)
8 Oliver (#12 in the US)
9 Benjamin (#6 in the US)
10 Elijah (#9 in the US)

1 Emma (#1 in the US)
2 Sophia (#4 in the US)
3 Mia (#6 in the US)
4 Olivia (#2 in the US)
5 Isabella (#5 in the US)
6 Ava (#3 in the US)
7 Emily (#9 in the US)
8 Sofia (#14 in the US)
9 Abigail (#8 in the US)
10 Charlotte (#7 in the US)

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20 Great -by Baby Names

byendingnames

There’s something sweet and approachable about names that end in –by.  Here are 20  and great choices for your little baBY.

Abby
Current Ranking: 437 for girls
A common nickname for Abigail, Abby would also be a great nickname for Abilene or even Tabitha
Cool Connection: Sesame Street character Abby Cadabby

Ashby
Current Ranking: Only used by 23 girls and 17 boys last year
Could Ashby the next Ashley? Ashby has a super sweet Southern sound.
Cool Connection:  TV host Nancy O’Dell has a daughter named Ashby Grace

Barnaby
Current Ranking: Less than 5 boys were used Barnaby last year
A posh beginning with a sweet ending.  Barnaby is derived from the name Barnabas.
Cool Connection: Barnaby Bear is an animated and live action character in several UK TV series

Colby
Current Ranking: 454 for boys
A surname, a place name, and the name of a cheese.
Cool Connection: Survivor runner-up Colby Donaldson

Crosby
Current Ranking: 575 for boys
People really took notice of this name following the success of the show Parenthood
Cool Connection: Folk rock group Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Darby
Current Ranking: Only used by 110 girls and 27 boys last year
Fairly common boys name in Ireland, Darby will forever remind me of the film Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
Cool Connection: Actor Paul Rudd has a daughter named Darby

Gatsby
Current Ranking: Only used by 12 boys and 5 girls last year
Literary parents will recognize this name from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Cool Connection: The character Jay Gatsby was actually born James “Jimmy” Gatz

Jacoby
Current Ranking: 655 for boys
A little bit Jacob and a little bit Coby, a fun name with lots of charm!
Cool Connection: Boston Red Sox player Jacoby Ellsury

Kelby
Current Ranking: Only used by 41 boys and 23 girls last year
If Kelly and Shelby had a baby you’d get the surname Kelby!
Cool Connection: Kelby has British, Tutonic, German and possibly Norse roots.

Kirby
Current Ranking: Only used by 53 boys and 27 girls last year
A sporty sounding unisex surname
Cool Connection: John Wayne played 5 characters named Kirby in his acting career with

Libby
Current Ranking: 995 for girls
Originally a nickname for Elizabeth, Libby would also be a darling nickname for Liberty
Cool Connection: Carly Simon has a song called Libby

Moby
Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Moby last year
This could make for a fun nickname. Most folks are sure to associate it with Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
Cool Connection: Musician Moby was born Richard Melville Hall and got his stage name/nickname due to his ancestor, Herman Melville.

Quimby
Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Quimby last year
A quirky cute Q name
Cool Connection: Beverly Cleary character Ramona Quimby

Rigby
Current Ranking: Only used by 31 boys last year
Beatles fans are sure to recognize this name from the song Eleanor Rigby
Cool Connection: USA Gymnastic Gold medalist Cathy Rigby

Ruby
Current Ranking: 83 for girls
A beautiful red gemstone name on the rise
Cool Connection: Ruby Bridges, Activist and first African American child to desegregate a Louisiana school in 1960

Selby
Current Ranking: Only used by 9 girls last year
In the Shelby and Sylvie family, Selby has a posh and fresh sound
Cool Connection: Edgy photographer Todd Selby

Shelby
Current Ranking: 299 for girls
Shelby screams super sweet southern belle
Cool Connection: Julia Robert’s character in the tear-jerking comedy Steel Magnolias

Tibby
Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Tibby last year
Tibby originated as a nickname for Elizabeth, though it also works well as a nickname for Tabitha
Cool Connection: Tabitha “Tibby” is a character in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series

Toby
Current Ranking: 689 for boys
First used as a nickname for Tobias, Toby now stands alone as a full name
Cool Connection: Actor Tobey Maguire

Willoughby
Current Ranking: Only used by 6 boys last year
A great way to get to Will or honor a Will
Cool Connection: Jane Austen character John Willoughby

What are your favorite -by Baby names?

Hear about 10 of these names here:

Names from Red Queen

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I just finished reading Red Queen, a young adult fantasy novel by Victoria Aveyard.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel without falling in love with at least one of the names in it.  Check out this eclectic list of character names from Aveyard’s Dystopian world.

Cal
Tiberias “Cal” Calore VII, the eldest prince and the heir to the thrown
Cal is a diminutive name, usually seen as a nickname to Calvin.  In this case because he is a junior, character Cal pulls his nickname from his surname.  A few Cal names I enjoy include Caledon, Callahan, Calix, and Callum. 143 little boys were given the first name Cal last year.

Elara
Elara Merandusm, the Queen of Norta
Love her or love to hate her, this dynamic character has a lovely melodic name. In Greek mythology Elara was a mortal Princess, Zeus’ lover, and the mother of the giant Tityos.  Elara would be a lovely Laura alternative.  32 baby girls were named Elara last year.

Evangeline
Evangeline Samos, Cal’s fiancée
Evangeline is an elegant Greek name meaning good news.  Currently ranked at Number 261 in popularity, Evangeline lends itself to dozens of lovely nicknames from Eva to Evie to Angie.  Evangeline was also a character name in the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Farley
Diana Farley, captain of the Scarlet Guard
Farley is an Old English surname meaning sheep meadow or clearing.  Farley may remind you of author Farley Mowat or comedian Chris Farley.  Farley is so rare as a first name that it was used by less than 5 babies last year.

Gisa
Gisa Barrow, Mare’s younger sister
Gisa, pronounced GEE-zah, is a German diminutive of the French name Giselle, meaning hostage or pledge.  Though Gisa has a familiar look to it, it is very rare here in the US and was used by less than 5 girls last year.

Julian
Julian Jacos, Cal’s uncle and a royal librarian
Julian is an English form of the Latin name Julius meaning youthful and downy. Julian is one of the many beloved “Jul” names, currently ranked at Number 45 in popularity. Julian was the name of an Apostate, a Roman emperor, and several saints.

Kilorn
Kilorn Warren, Mare’s best friend
Kilorn was one of the stand-out names for me in this novel.  I’d never heard of Kilorn before though it does have a similar feel to Cillian, which I adore. Rarely used as a surname, there’s very little data or information on this cool character name.

Lucas
Lucas Samos, Mare’s guard
Lucas is a Latin form of Luke meaning man from Luciana. Lucas obviously easily lends itself to name Luke, both which are rising in popularity.  Lucas peaked in popularity last year at spot Number 16.

Mare
Mare Barrow, our protagonist who also goes by the alias Mareena Titanos
Mare is a simple, sweet, one-syllable name. Mare is a diminutive of names like Mary or Maria and may also be an Irish form of Mary. Mare was used by less than 5 girls last year.

Maven
Maven Calore, the second eldest prince
Maven is an anglicized form of the Irish name Meidhbhin, meaning intoxicating. Maven may also come from a Hebrew word meaning one who understands.  Maven definitely resembles many popular names in its sound. 14 boys and 44 girls were named Maven last year.

Ptolemus
Ptolemus Samos, is Evangeline’s brother
The name Ptolemus will probably remind you of Ptolemy or Ptolemaios, a Greek name meaning warlike.  Though the meaning of this name matches the character, it’s quite rare and was used by less than 5 babies last year.

Rane
Rane Arven, a Silver instructor
Rane may be a variation of Rain or Raine.  Rane may also be an Old Swedish form of the name Hrani meaning rough or brutal.  This rare spelling was used by less than 5 babies last year.

Sara
Sara Skonos, a healer and Julian’s friend
Sara is a variation of the Hebrew name Sarah meaning princess. Sara/Sarah was quite popularity throughout the 1980s and 90s.  Today Sara is still well loved and used at 162 in popularity.

Shade
Shade Barrow, Mare’s older brother
Shade is a cool word name that sounds like it should be a modern celebrity baby name.  “Throwing shade” or “being shady” are the downsides to this otherwise smooth sounding name. 22 boys and 5 girls were named Shade last year.

Tiberias
Tiberias Calore VI, the King of Norta
Tiberias may be a variant of Tiberius, a Latin name meaning of the Tiber River. Tiberias is the name of an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Tiberias was used by less than 5 boys last year, but Tiberius was given to 109 boys.

Tristan
Tristan, a member of the Scarlet Guard
Tristan is a Celtic name meaning sorrowful or sad, but its meaning hasn’t detoured parents from using it, Tristan is currently ranked at Number 101.

What are you favorite names from this novel?

Beauty and the Beast Names

namesfrombatb

The live-action remake of Disney’s 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast opens on March 17th.  In anticipation for its release, let’s look at the fabulous names from the cast and characters in the upcoming fantasy film!

belleemmaBelle
What little girl wouldn’t like to be named for a Disney Princess? Belle is a sweet, chic, French name that fittingly means beauty. Belle fell out of the Top 1,000 in the early 1930s, though I think it stands a chance to rise following the release of the film. Belle is more often seen as a middle name.  Celebrities like Dylan Walsh, Rosie O’Donnell, and Bruce Willis and Demi Moore have used Belle as a middle name for their daughters.  Belle was only used by 248 girls as a first name last year.

Emma
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson plays Belle in this adaptation. The most popular name in the US right now, chances are you know a little Emma. A German name meaning universal, Emma has been a Top 5 name for the past 14 years.  The equally lovely Emilia and Emmeline are less popular alternatives, but have both risen greatly in the past few years. Emma is a celebrity favorite too, used by parents Martina McBride, Mick Taylor, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Harvey Weinstein.

beastdanAdam
We talked about the beauty, but what about the Beast? Beast definitely isn’t a usable name choice, but Adam, the Prince’s human name, definitely is. Adam is a Hebrew name meaning man or son of the earth.  In the Old Testament God created Adam and Eve, the first humans from the earth. Currently ranked at Number 73, Adam has been a Top 100 name since 1970. Adam Lambert, Adam Levine, and Adam Sandler are just a few of the many popular bearers of this name that you may recognize.

Daniel
Dan Stevens, best known for his role as Mathew Crawley in Downton Abbey, is our Beast/ Prince Adam.  Dan’s full name is Daniel Jonathan Stevens, a classic name for the handsome actor.  Daniel is another popular name choice, currently ranked at Number 12.  Daniel has always been a well-loved name, ranking in the Top 50 since the early 1920s. A Hebrew name meaning God is my judge; Daniel was a Hebrew prophet in the Old Testament. There is also the tear-jerking Irish melody Oh, Danny Boy.

GastonLukeGaston
Gaston is the hunky villain with a distinguished French name. French from a German name, Gaston means stranger or guest. There was a 2004 Hurricane and a 2010 storm called Gaston.  Today it’s hard to part the name from this vain character. A rarely used choice in the United States, only 27 boys were named Gaston last year.

Luke
The dashing Luke Evans portrays the Gaston, the character we love to hate. Luke is an English form of the Greek name Loukas meaning from Lucania.  A much more usable name than Gaston, Luke peaked in popularity last year when it reached spot Number 28. Similar names Luca and Lucas are also rapidly rising in the charts. Luke is one of the four books in the New Testament.  Luke may remind you of Luke Duke from The Dukes of Hazard or Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.

mauricekevinMaurice
Maurice is Belle’s absent-minded yet lovable father.  Maurice is French from the Roman name Mauritius meaning dark-skinned.  Maurice ranked in the Top 200 for most of the 20th Century.  Peaking in 1914 at Number 94, Maurice now ranks the lowest it has ever been at Number 621. Saint Maurice is the patron saint of locales and kingdoms. You may also like the variations Mauricio (Spanish), Meuric (Welsh), Moritz (German), or Morris (English).

Kevin
Kevin Delaney Kline is a beloved actor playing the part of Belle’s whimsical father. Kevin is a popular anglicized Irish name meaning handsome or kind. Currently ranked at Number 79, Kevin has been a Top 100 name in the US since 1949. Kevin has long been a popular name choice amongst Irish-American’s, in part due to Saint Kevin, one the patron Saint’s of Dublin.  John McEnore and Tatum O’Neal have a son named Kevin, as does Jimmy Kimmel.

LeFouJoshLeFou
LeFou is Gaston’s bumbling little sidekick. LeFou has the distinction of being one of the few character names I would not recommend as it translates in French to the fool or the crazy one.  If you do like the sound of Le Fou, perhaps I can interest you in the French surname Lafayette meaning faith.  Lafayette is a rare choice and was only given to 10 baby boys last year.

Josh
Actor Joshua Ilan “Josh” Gad offers a much more usable name choice than that of his character LeFou. Disney fans will recognize Gad as the voice of the lovable snowman Olaf in Frozen. Joshua is a Hebrew name meaning Jehovah is salvation.  The Biblical Joshua was chosen to succeed Moses as leader of the Israelites.  Joshua was a Top 10 name from 1979 to 2009.  Today Joshua is still well-loved and used at Number 33 in popularity.

LumiereEwanLumière
The charming candelabra Lumière gets his name from the French word for light. A few other male names that have meanings related to light include Abner, Lior, Lucius, Lugus, Ori, Ray, and Uriah.  As you may have guessed Lumière was not used by any babies born last year.

Ewan
Ewan Gordon McGregor channels his inner-cupid as the charming match-making candelabra Lumière. Ewan is the Scottish spelling of the Gaelic Eoghan meaning born of the yew tree. Pronounced YOO-un, other spellings include Eoin, Euin, and Ewen. A cool alternative to the rising name Owen, Ewan was only used by 138 boys last year.

MaestroStanley.jpgMaestro Cadenza
This new version of Beauty and the Beast will introduce us to a brand new character, Maestro Cadenza who is a grand piano and a neurotic maestro. Maestro would make for a cool and quirky word name.  Maestro is a term given to a distinguished musician, usually a classical musical conductor. Cadenza is another musical term for a solo passage inserted into a concerto typically near the end of a piece.

Stanley
Stanley Tucci will be bringing the new character of Maestro Cadenza to life.  Stanley is an Old English name meaning stone clearing.  At 688 in popularity, Stanley could be a hidden gem ready for a revival by hipster parents. Stanley was a Top 100 name in until 1960 and currently ranks at the lowest it’s ever been.  Sir Henry Morton Stanley initially gave rise to the name Stanley in 1871 with his historic contact of Dr. Livingston in Africa.

CogsworthIan.jpgCogsworth
You may have noticed already that many names in this tale relate to who or what the character is; for example Belle meaning beauty and Lumière meaning light. Cogsworth is a French term for “Big Ben,” the well-known clock tower in London, and this character is the persnickety little clock in the story.

Ian
Sir Ian Murray McKellen is a distinguished actor playing the role of the fussy Cogsworth.  Ian is a Scottish variation of the name John meaning the Lord is gracious. Currently ranked at Number 76, Ian has been a Top 100 name since 1982.  Other interesting forms of John include Evan, Giovanni, Hans, Ivan, Johan, Juan, Sean, and Yannick.

mrspottsemmaMrs. Potts
Another play on words is the head housekeeper Mrs. Potts who was transformed into a teapot.  While Potts might not make the best name choice, perhaps Potter could work? Potter is an English occupational name meaning maker of storage vessels.  Less popular than other similar sounding occupational surnames like Porter or Parker, Potter was used by less than 5 babies last year.  Potter may also remind you of the character Harry Potter.

Emma
Emma Thompson takes on the nurturing role of Mrs. Potts.  Since we already looked at the name Emma earlier with Emma Watson, I thought it would be fun to mention Emma Thompson’s children’s names.  Thompson is truly a namer at heart having chosen the names Gaia Romilly and Tindyebwa Agaba for her children.  Emma Thompson and Emma Watson share more than just a first name, they also share a birthday and both starred in the Harry Potter series.

MadameAudraMadame de Garderobe
Madame de Garderobe translates to Mrs. Wardrobe, a fitting name for the woman who is magically turned into a wardrobe. This is another fun spin as we see it relates to who and what the character is, though it doesn’t quite work for a human child.

Audra
The wildly talented Audra Ann McDonald will bring the wardrobe to life at Madame de Garderobe.  Audra is an English name meaning noble strength.  No longer in the Top 1,000 Audra was only given to 190 girls as a first name last year.  Audra makes for a lovely less-popular alternative to its sister Audrey which ranks at Number 37.

Plumette
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha, plays the role of maid turned feather duster Plumette which was known as Babette and Fifi in other versions of this tale.
Gugulethu is a Zimbabwe name of Ndebele origin meaning our precious child.

Chip
Chip Potts is the son of Mrs. Potts who was transformed into a chipped teacup.  Chip has traditionally been used as a nickname for Charles.
Nathan Mack will be playing the sweet role of Chip.  Nathan is a popular Hebrew name meaning given, that currently ranks at Number 38.

Monsieur D’Arque
Monsieur D’Arque is the local madhouse owner who is bribed by Gaston in his scheme to win over Belle.  It’s no coincidence that his name D’Arque sounds a lot like dark.
Adrian Schiller will play the unscrupulous Monsieur D’Arque.  Adrian is a Latin name meaning man of Adria that is currently Number 58 in popularity.

Agathe
Agathe is the Enchantress that curses Prince Adam and his castle. Agathe is a French form of the name Agatha meaning good.
Hattie Morahan, born Harriet Jane “Hattie” Morhan plays the Enchantress Agathe.   Hattie is a diminutive of Harriet meaning estate ruler that currently ranks at Number 488.

What are your favorite names from the cast and characters?

Hear me chat about some these names:

 

 

 

1- #Namemas Countdown: Bailey

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Welcome to #Namemas, a collaborative name celebration and Christmas Countdown.

On the 1st and final day of Namemas TulipbyAnyName gave to me the baby name Bailey.

Clara is the name of the sweet little girl in The Nutcracker

My favorite Christmas film is It’s a Wonderful Life starring James Stewart as George Bailey.

Bailey is a surname, an occupational name, and a unisex name meaning bailiff. In recent years Bailey has increased in popularity for girls, ranking at Number 108, and decreased for boys, used by only 109 boys last year.  You may recognize Bailey as the name of Irish cream liquor.  Bailey is also a popular pet name. Scott Baio, Bill Bellamy, Melissa Etheridge, and Stella McCartney all have daughters named Bailey.

What do you think of the name Bailey? Hear my thoughts below:

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

2- #Namemas Countdown: Clara

2Clara.jpg

Welcome to #Namemas, a collaborative name celebration and Christmas Countdown.

On the 2nd day of Namemas TulipbyAnyName gave to me the baby name Clara.

Clara is the name of the sweet little girl in The Nutcracker.

Many people fell in love with the name Clara because of the delightful character in The Nutcracker. A lovely Latin name, Clara means bright and clear.  Currently ranked at Number 98, Clara has steadily been rising in popularity.  Clara hasn’t been this popular since the mid-1930s. Ewan McGregor has a daughter named Clara Mathilde, sister to Esther Rose, Esther was my Namemas day 5 name.

What do you think of the name Clara? Hear my thoughts below:

3- #Namemas Countdown: Iris

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Welcome to #Namemas, a collaborative name celebration and Christmas Countdown.

On the 3rd day of Namemas TulipbyAnyName gave to me the baby name Iris

Kate Winslet plays Iris Simpkins in romantic comedy The Holiday.

There’s a lot to love about the name Iris.  In addition to being a flower name, Iris is also a Greek name meaning rainbow.  In Greek mythology Iris was the goddess of rainbows. Currently ranked at Number 217, Iris has steadily been rising in popularity the past five years. Judd Apatow, Jude Lawson, and Renee O’Connor all chose the name Iris for their daughters.

What do you think of the name Iris? Hear my thoughts below: