Category Archives: cultural names

Sweet Sam Names

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Sama
Short and sweet, Sama is exotic and flavorful.
Arabic meaning sky.

Samala
Samala is a rare name that may be mistaken for a slew of similar sounding words.
Hebrew meaning requested by God.

Samantha
A Victorian classic, Samantha fits in perfectly with other trending beauties like Olivia or Amelia.
Hebrew meaning told by God.

Samara
Samara was the haunting girl in The Ring films. If you can get past that association its a gorgeous name that lends itself to Sam or Mara.
A Hebrew place name meaning under God’s rule.

Samina
Samina is unique yet easy to say and spell. Her nicknames also make it a very wearable choice.
An Arabic name meaning healthy.

Samira
Actor Samira Wiley has helped bring attention to this uncommon beauty.
An Arabic name meaning evening companion.

Samiyah
There are multiple spelling variations of Samiyah including Samia and Samiah.
Arabic meaning high, exalted, praised.

Desmond

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🖤Desmond🖤
Irish meaning “from south Munster”
Irish. Heroic. Distinguished. Versatile.

If you’re looking for a distinguished Irish name with numerous notable namesakes and fun nickname options then Desmond may be the name for you! A surname derived from  Deasmhumhain, Desmond means one originating from the southern region of Muntser, Ireland. Desmond began to be used as a given name in the 20th century.

Less clunky than other names with -d endings like Arnold and Edmund, Desmond is a versatile sophisticated name that easily lends itself to more relaxed nicknames like Des, Desi, and Dez.

South African human rights activist Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Tutu’s work for equality and against apartheid makes Desmond a wonderful choice for parents with a passion for social justice.

You may also associate this name with the character Desmond Hume, a beloved character on the show Lost. Hume’s character was named after philosopher David Hume. Beatles fans are sure to associate Desmond with the song Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da.

A few others you may associate to this name include Desmond Miles, a main character in the game Assasin’s Creed, Zoologist Desmond John Morris, and Jamaican musician Desmond Dekker.

🖤 Sisters to Desmond: Caroline, Honor, Lucy, Margot, Olive

🖤 Brothers to Desmond: Cedric, Conrad, Hugo, Sebastian, Winston

🖤 Middle Name Suggestions: Desmond Arthur, Desmond Leo, Desmond Oliver, Desmond Patrick, Desmond Royce

🖤 Names with a similar vibe to Desmond: Dermot, Malcolm, Roland, Theodore

8 Great Easter Names for Girls

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8 lovely choices for your little honey bunny!

Anastasia
Anastasia is a beautiful Greek name with a Princess-worthy ring often associated with the daughter of the last Russian Czar that mysteriously disappeared. Anastasia means resurrection, could there be a more perfect meaning for an Easter baby? Fun name fact, Anastasia Termaine was the name of one of the evil stepsisters in Disney’s Cinderella.

April
April is a Latin month and springtime name meaning to open. Easter is more often celebrated in the month of April. Once one of the most popular month names, April is now falls behind in popularity to her sisters June, August, and May. Fun name fact, comedian Ralphie May named his daughter April May, her full name is actually April June May.

Easter
Easter is a rarely used English name derived from the name of the Greek goddess Eostre. When I think of Easter as a name I can’t help but hum the lyrics from Sheryl Crowe’s song Everyday is a Winding Road, “…he’s got a daughter he calls Easter. She was born on a Tuesday night.” Fun name fact, you could also opt for the international variation Pascale.

Evangeline
Evangeline is a gorgeous Greek name meanings bearer of good news. Evangeline has a great meaning and is connected to the Christian faith. Evangeline may remind you of beautiful actress Evangeline Lilly, born Nicole Evangeline Lilly. Fun name fact, Evangeline is a character in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog .

Lily
Lily is the most popular flower name with holiday ties to the demure English lily. A sweet and timeless name, Lily is also a Top Name in England, Scotland, and Wales. Fun fact, several celebrities have daughters named Lily including Chris O’Donell, Fred Savage, Johnny Depp, Kate Beckinsale, and Nicky Hilton.

Sunday
Sunday is quickly becoming one of the most loved weekday names. Easter falls on Sunday, a revered holy day. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban helped bring attention to this name when they used it for their daughter in 2008. Fun name fact, only 34 little girls were given the first name Sunday last year.

Susanna
Susanna is a Greek name meaning lily. A wonderful subtle connection to Easter lilies, Susanna has a wholesome and grounded sound. Susanna is sure to remind many of the song Oh, Susanna. Fun name fact, Susanna is a Biblical figure in the book of Daniel.

Una
Una is a little Latin name with a lovely exotic flare. Una means lamb, a subtle but powerful connection to the Easter holiday. You may also like the Irish spelling, Oona. Fun name fact, actress Saoirse Ronan’s middle name is Una.

Eight Great April Namesakes

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Spring has sprung and April is showering us with name inspiration! Check out these eight great namesakes fit for a baby born any month of the year.

Alessandra
Brazilian model and actor Alessandra Ambrósio was born on April 11th. Alessandra is probably best recognized as a Victoria Secret angel. A Spanish and Italian form of Alexandra, meaning defending men, Alessandra is grand, extoic, and yet totally usable at Number 313 in popularity. A great name to honor anyone from an Alexander to an Alice to an Alessia, Alessandra is a stunning name.

Bijou
Actor and model Bijou Phillips, daughter of musician John Phillips, was born on April 1st. Bijou is a delightful and whimsical French name, pronounced bee-zhoo, meaning jewel. A rarely used name in the U.S. as well in France, Bijou is a brave and quirky choice.

Clark
Actor and director Clark Gregg, born Robert Clark Gregg, celebrates his birthday on April 2nd. Clark plays Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Clark is an English surname and occupational name referring to a clerk or scribe. A crisp name with an Old-Hollywood tie, Clark currently ranks at Number 380 in popularity.

Hawkins
English actor and Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins blows out her Birthday candles on April 27th. Sally has been in many beloved period pieces, including Persuasion (where are my Jane Austen lovers at?). I love the wholesome sweet name Sally, but today I wanted to highlight Hawkins, familiar as a surname it makes for an unexpected first name. Hawkins is an English surname meaning Hawk, a natural nickname to a fun name choice.

Hugo
Actor Hugo Weaving was born on April 4th. Hugo has portrayed multiple iconic roles from Elrond in The Lord of the Rings films to Agent Smith in the Matrix Trilogy. Hugo is a Latin form of Hugh meaning mind and intellect. Hugo may remind you of writer Victor Hugo or of Hugo Cabret in the film Hugo. Hugo is a name with many great film and literary ties. Hugo currently ranks at Number 418 in popularity.

Murphy
Eddie Murphy is one of the most recognizable comedians and actors of our time. Eddie celebrates his birthday on April 3rd. Born Edward Regan Murphy, I appreciate the historic and literary ties to the classic Edward but again felt we should draw inspiration from a surname. An Irish name meaning sea warrior, Murphy is a well-loved canine name choice. A unisex name, the show Murphy Brown gave this name a nudge for the girls in the 80’s and 90’s.

Ronan
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan was born April 12th. In addition to being a phenomenal actress, Saoirse has such a great name that both her first and last name made my list today. So let’s talk about the Irish surname Ronan. Ronan in addition to having a hearty Irish feel also comes with the irresistible meaning of little seal. A strong yet sweet name choice, Ronan currently ranks at Number 296 in popularity.

Saoirse
Saoirse Ronan helped introduce her lovely name to American audiences. Saoirse is pronounced SEER-sha or SAIR-sha depending on region and accent. Saoirse is dipping her toes in the Top 1,000, currently ranked at Number 962 in popularity. Need something else to love about this beautiful Irish name gem? Saoirse means liberty, and with that I drop the name mic. 😉

Seven Great IRISH Surnames

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St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner so why not full name inspiration from some Irish surnames that are perfect in the first name spot! Everyone loves a great Irish name!

Brady
Brady has a very Varsity, pal-next-door, light-hearted, but grounded feel. An anglicized Gaelic name, Brady comes from Ó Brádaigh, meaning large-chested and currently ranks at Number 227 in popularity. Brady may remind you of the show “The Brady Bunch” or athlete Tom Brady.

Callaghan
Callaghan is such a lush, fun name to say that lends itself easily to the nickname “Cal.” Callaghan is an anglicized form of Ó Ceallacháin which may mean bright-headed or church. The “g” is silent, pronounced “cal-a-han” and Callahan is a legit alternate spelling.

Delaney
Playful yet grounded, Delaney is an anglicized form of Ó Dubhshláine meaning dark or black and currently ranks at Number 250 in popularity. Delaney may remind you of songwriter Tom Delaney or actor Kim Delaney. Laney seems the most natural nickname option.

Flynn
A great Finn alternative, Flynn is an anglicized form of Ó Floinn meaning red-haired. I grew up with a girl named Flynn, a name that works on either sex and is currently ranked at Number 756 for boys in popularity. Disney fans will recognize Flynn as Rapunzel’s love-interest in ‘Tangled.”

Quinn
A friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Quinn this year. An anglicized form of Ó Cuinn, meaning chief, Quinn is more popular than you may think, currently ranked at Number 76. Quinn is a well-loved TV name, she was the sister on MTV’s “Daria”, the cheerleader on “Glee”, and who could forget “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman?”

Rafferty
Don’t you just love saying Rafferty? I never understood why this delightful name, which could be shortened to the equally fun Raff or Rafe, is really used in the U.S. An anglicized form of Ó Rabhartaigh, Rafftery means floodtide. Jude Law and Sadie Frost have a son named Rafferty.

Sullivan
Another family name for me, there is something very warm and inviting about the name Sullivan. Sullivan is an anglicized form of Ó Súileabháin meaning little dark-eyed one and currently ranks at Number 399 in popularity. Celebs love this hearty Irish name too. Actor Patrick Dempsey and singer Tom Waits each have sons named Sullivan.

What are your favorite names from this list? I’m also partial to Burke, my own Irish surname 😉

The Top 19 Names in 1919

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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?

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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