Category Archives: cultural names

Incredible -ina Names

inanames

Names that end in the letter -a often have a softer, more traditionally feminine sound. If you like names that end in the sweet -a sound, you may enjoy these ultra-feminine names that end in -ina. Many names ending in -ina have a bit of an exotic flare and lend themselves to delightful nicknames.

Audrina
I grew up with a generation of teenage girls who obsessed over V.C. Andrew’s novels, and so Audrina always reminds me of the book My Sweet Audrina. Audrina may also remind you of reality TV star Audrina Partridge. With Audrey quickly rising in popularity, Audrina, which shares the same roots, its a lovely less popular alternative at Number 738.

Celestina
Babies truly are little angels and so you may consider using Celestina, a Spanish and Italian name meaning heavenly, for your little angel. Celestina is a variant of Celeste and would work well to honor a Celeste or even a Tina. A melodic and ethereal name choice, only 22 little girls were named Celestina last year.

Evangelina
Evangelina is striking, angelic, and packed full of adorable nicknames from Angie to Evie to Lina. A Latinate variant of the Greek Evangeline, Evangelina means bearer of good news. A lovely name with a lovely meaning to bestow upon any little girl. Last year 170 girls were named Evangelina.

Georgina
Georgia has been steadily rising in popularity the past few years. Why not consider her sister Georgina? Georgina is an English feminine form of George meaning farmer and was only given to 133 girls last year. Georgina Sparks is a character in the popular Gossip Girl series.

Jamesina
If you’re obsessed with what names celebrities are using like I am, then you’ve noticed the huge trend of James for girls. James is also on the rise for boys, currently ranked at Number 5. Jamesina is not only a fun name to say, it’s also a fun form of James, meaning supplanter. Jamesina is so rare that it was given to 5 or less girls last year.

Katarina
Katarina is a stunning Czech form of Katherine meaning pure. An exotic sound yet totally usable here in the US, Katarina is a great way to honor a Kate, Kaitlin, or Katherine. You may recognize Katarina as a character name used in Dr. Who and 10 Things I Hate About You.

Marina
A poetic Latin and Shakespearean name, Marina means of the sea. If you want a name that people will recognize but isn’t overly used, then Marina fits the bill, currently ranked at Number 685. Actor Matt LeBlanc used the lovely combo Marina Pearl for his daughter.

Seraphina
A name on many namers guilty pleasure list, Seraphina has Latinate and Hebrew roots meaning fiery. A large and grand name, Seraphina could easily be shortened for Sera and of course then honor a Sara or Sarah. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Gardner helped give this name some attention when they used it for their daughter. 209 girls were named Seraphina last year.

Valentina
Truly a romantic choice, Valentina peaked in popularity last year when it reached spot Number 106. Valentina is a Latin feminine form of Valentine meaning strong and healthy. Selma Hayek chose the name Valentina Paloma for her daughter.

Wilhelmina
Wilhelmina is on the brink of shedding it’s formerly frumpy vibe. William which Wilhelmina shares its origins with has long been in the Top 10. Wilhelmina is made all the sweeter by the nicknames Mina, Willa, and Willie. 114 girls were named Wilhelmina last year.

Loving these -ina Names? Here are a few more to tickle your naming fancy:

Alexandrina
Alina
Angelina
Carina
Carolina
Christina
Emmelina
Evelina
Josephina
Justina
Katrina
Irina
Martina
Nina
Paulina
Regina
Sabrina
Thomasina
Tina
Trina
Zarina

What are your favorite names that end in -ina?

Boys Names that end in -i

nametrend

The Social Security Administration released data on the most popular names for 2015 earlier this month.  Name enthusiasts around the world have been pouring over this much anticipated list.  The high-ranking boy’s names from last year are mostly classic, timeless choices, still a few new trends are emerging. In recent years we’ve seen cool names ending in –s, like Silas and Elias, rise for the fellas.  We’ve also seen a rise in smooth –o ending names like Milo and Leo. I’ve also taken notice of another fun trend, names that end in –i increasingly used for boys.  From Eli to Kenji, there’s a lot of variety in –i ending names to explore!

The Most Popular Boys Names that end in –i

Levi
Levi is the most popular boys name right now that ends in the letter –i.  Currently ranked at Number 42, Levi is up over 100 spots in the last 10 years.  Levi is a Biblical name with a cool cowboy edge, in part due to the Levi Strauss jeans association.  Sheryl Crow and Matthew McConaughey both used this cool name for their sons.

Eli
Eli comes in next and ranks at Number 53 in popularity. Eli is a Hebrew name meaning ascended.  Popular on its own, Eli is also commonly used as a nickname for Elijah and Elias, both of which are also in the Top 100.  A few other cool names that you can get the nickname Eli from include Elian, Eliezer, and Elisha.

Giovanni
Giovanni is a handsome Italian form of John, meaning God is gracious. Giovanni comes in at Number 130, making it usable but not overly used name. Giovanni easily pairs with Italian names for girls like Isabella that is still topping the charts. Fashion designer Gianna Versace’s given name is Giovanni.

Kai
Kai is definitely a name to watch, up 60 spots in the last 5 years.  Currently ranked at 145 for boys, Kai is number 895 for girls. In addition to its cool sound, one of the things that I love about Kai is that it’s used in several different cultures and therefore has many meanings.  The Hawaiian meaning of Kai is sea.

Malachi
Malachi is a Hebrew name meaning my messenger. Malachi re-entered the Top 1,000 in 1987 at Number 992 and currently ranks at Number 162. There are numerous Malachi’s in film and literature, including the evil Malachi Boardman in Children of the Corn.

Quickly rising -i ending Names

Omari and Jabari are two of the 10 names that had the biggest increase in popularity last year

Omari is currently Number 510 – up 198 spots from 2014 to 2015
Jabari is currently Number 945 – up 194 spots from 2014 to 2015

A few more great names that end in -i

Bodhi
Bodhi first entered the charts in 2010 and quickly rose in popularity. Bodhi is currently the most popular it has ever been at Number 499. Bodhi is a tree name and a Sanskrit name meaning awakening and enlightenment.

Esai
Esai is a Spanish name possibly derived from Esau or Esaias.  Actor Esai Morales, who pronounces his name EE-sye, helped introduce many people to this great name.  Esai has never been in the Top 1,000.

Dimitri
Dimitri is a Russian form of the Greek name Demetrius, meaning follower of Demeter.  Dimitri has never been too popular, peaking in 1992 when it reached Number 502.  Today Dimitri ranks at 905 for boys.

Kenji
Kenji is a Japanese name meaning second son.  Kenji is a name I think more people would use if they knew about it. Kenji Kishimoto is one of the lead characters in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me book series.

Nikolai
Nikolai peaked last year at Number 478, the most popular it has ever ranked.  Nikolai is one of the many attractive forms of the name Nicholas, meaning people of victory.

What are your favorite names for boys that end in the letter –i?

Remembering Maureen

rememberingmaureenoh

This morning I was saddened to read that legendary actress Maureen O’Hara had passed away. Maureen O’Hara, born Maureen FitzSimons, was an iconic, fiery redhead with the face of an angel. Today I’d like to look back at the names of some memorable characters O’Hara portrayed.

Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Esmeralda is a Spanish and Portuguese name meaning emerald. Esmeralda was the name of the gypsy in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame who was loved by Quasimodo. Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes named their daughter Esmeralda Amada in September 2014. Esmeralda is currently Number 376 in popularity.

Angharad in How Green Was My Valley
Angharad is an old name Welsh meaning more loved. In Welsh mythology Angharad was known as Angharad Golden-hand, the lover of Peredur. Angharad was used a lot among Welsh royals, most notably by the daughter of King Owain Gwynedd. Angharad is rarely used in the United States.

Lady Margaret Denby in The Black Swan
* O’Hara also played a Margaret as character Margaret “Maggie” McKendrick in the film The Parent Trap.
Margaret is a classic Greek name meaning pearl. Currently Number 169 in popularity, 1,933 little girls were named Margaret in the US last year. My name, Meagan, is one of the many variants of Margaret. A few other great forms of Margaret include Marguerite, Mairéad, and Gretel.

Valentine Lee in Immortal Sergeant
Valentine is a name that conjures up images of love and Valentine’s Day. A French form of Valentinus, meaning strong and healthy, only 46 girls were given the name Valentine last year. If you like Valentine you may also enjoy Valentina, a much more popular choice at Number 112.

Doris Walker in Miracle on 34th Street
Doris peaked in the 1920s. In 2014 only 122 little girls were given the name Doris. Doris is a Greek name meaning gift or woman from Dorian. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph and the daughter of Oceanus. A famous bearer of this name is Doris Day, another iconic actress.

Adelaide “Addie” Culver in The Forbidden Street
Adelaide is a variant of the German name Adelheid, meaning noble. Currently Number 316, Adelaide has steadily been rising in popularity. Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. There are many great characters by the name of Adelaide, from Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, to Madame Adelaide in Disney’s The Aristocats.

Mrs. Kathleen Yorke in Rio Grande
Kathleen is an anglicized form of the Irish name Caitlín meaning pure. Kathleen peaked in the 1950s and is currently Number 674 in popularity. When I hear this name I think of the song “I’ll take you home again, Kathleen”. There are numerous lovable nicknames for Kathleen including Kate, Katie, Kathy, Kat, Kit, and Kitty.

Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man
The Quiet Man is my favorite of O’Hara’s films. As a little girl I named a red-haired porcelain doll Mary Kate after O’Hara’s character in this movie. A double barrel name, Mary is a Hebrew meaning bitter, and Kate is a diminutive of Katherine meaning pure. Mary Kate Olsen is a well-known bearer of this name.

Prudence “Spitfire” Stevens in Against All Flags
The Puritans loved Prudence, a virtue name meaning cautious. Could Prudence come back into fashion? The Beatles had a song called “Dear Prudence.” Prudence was also the name of one of the Halliwell sisters on the TV show Charmed. There were only 58 little Prudence’s born last year in the U.S.

Olivia Spencer in Spencer’s Mountain
A Latin name meaning olive tree, Olivia was first used by Shakespeare in Twelfh Night. Olivia has steadily been rising in popularity and is currently the Number 2 name for girls. Olivia is also a Top 10 name in Australia, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Sweden.

Katherine Gilhooley McLintock in McLintock!
* O’Hara also played a Katherine as character Katherine “Kitten” Hilliard in the film Do You Love Me .
Katherine is a classic Greek name meaning pure. There are several attractive variants of Katherine, from familiar names like Caitlin and Karen, to exotic beauties like Yekaterina and Catriona.

Moira in The Battle of Villa Fiorita
Moira is an anglicized form of the Irish name Máire, meaning bitter. Moira is memorable to me as one Wendy Moira Angela Darling’s middle names in Peter Pan. The name Moira was given to 126 baby girls in the U.S. last year.

Martha McCandles in Big Jake
* O’Hara also played a Martha as character Martha Price in the film The Rare Breed.
Martha is an Aramaic name meaning lady. The first First Lady, Martha Washington, wife of President George Washington, is a notable bearer of this name. Martha is a popular character name appearing in a variety of TV shows from Downton Abbey to The Simpsons.

Rest in Peace, Maureen O’Hara

this article is dedicated to my Mom for sharing her love of film

Lovely Lithuanian Names

lithuanianI love learning about names from different cultures and countries. There are many stunning Lithuanian names, here are a few of my favorites!

Elžbieta – Elizabeth is one of my favorite names in just about any language. Elžbieta is a beautiful, Lithuanian form of Elizabeth, meaning “pledged to God”.

Lilija – A Lithuanian and Latvian form of Lily. Lily is a popular and beautiful flower name associated with youth and purity. Lilija has a rich, feminine sound and lends itself to the nickname Lily.

Kotryna – Katherine, like Elizabeth, is a beautiful classic with many variations. Kotryna is a striking Lithuanian form of Katherine, meaning “pure”.

Lėja – The name Leah has been rising. If you like Leah, you might consider the Lithuanian form Lėja, meaning “wearly”.

Many female Lithuanian names end in the letters a, e, or ia.

 

Andrius – Andrius is my personal favorite name from this list. A Lithuanian form of Andrew, meaning “manly”, Andrius is a name used in many countries. I think it would wear well in the U.S.

Matas – I love the look of Matas.  It would fit in well with other male names ending in the letter S that are trending, like Silas and Tobias.  Matas is a Lithuanian form of Matthew, meaning “gift of God”.

Kasparas – A strong and handsome name, Kasparas is Lithuanian form of Jasper, meaning “treasurer”.  Fans of the name Casper might enjoy this grand name.

Mykolas – Mykolas is a cool Lithuanian form of Michael, meaning “who is like God”? Mykolas would be an awesome way to honor a Michael.

Many male Lithuanian names end in the letters as, is, ius, us, or ys.

 

Viso gero,
Meagan

Lovely Latin Word Names

latinwordnames

Word names are definitely in fashion.  If you’re looking for a word name that doesn’t feel so “wordy” you might consider using a Latin word name. Here are some lovely Latin word names that would be perfect for your little lady.

Aurora
Aurora is a popular name in Italy. It’s also the name of both a Disney Princess and a Roman Goddess. Latin for “dawn”, Aurora is currently #145 for girls in the U.S. I love that this name is ultra feminine and easily lends itself to the lively nickname “Rory”.

Avis
Avis is the name of a popular rental car company, but if you can get passed that association, it’s actually a pretty cool name. Latin for “bird”, Avis makes a great alternative to the much more popular Ava. Avis also gets added cool points for being the name of a spell in the Harry Potter series.

Clara
Clara is a sweet name with old fashioned charm. I always picture the little girl in The Nutcracker when I hear this name. Latin, meaning “bright, clear”, Clara is currently #131 in the U.S. for girls. Clara is also a popular name in several European countries.

Felicia
Felicia comes from the male Latin name Felix, meaning “successful or lucky”. I really love the name Felicity, which comes from Felicia. One draw back to this name would be the pop culture saying, “Bye Felicia”. Otherwise, an underused name with a great meaning.

Gemma
If you love the name Emma you might consider the similar sounding, less popular name, Gemma. Latin, meaning “jewel”, Gemma is currently #316 in the U.S. Perfect for your little gem!

Gloria
I think Gloria is a name on the verge of making a comeback. I’m waiting for the hipster crowd to take notice of this one. Latin, meaning “glory”, Gloria is currently #525 in the U.S. Actors Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal used the name Gloria for one of their daughters.

Luna
I love the sound, I love the meaning, and I love the Harry Potter character Luna Lovegood. Latin, meaning “moon”, Luna is currently #185 in the U.S. for girls. Romantic, whimsical, and feminine, Luna makes a lovely first or middle name.

Lux
Lux has a unisex sound and ends with the powerful letter X. Latin, meaning “light”, Lux would make for an unusual yet easily usable name choice. I always think of the character Lux Lisbon from The Virgin Suicides when I hear this name.

Serena
Does this name sound serene to you? Fittingly, Serena is Latin, meaning “serene, tranquil” and ranks at #411 for girls in the U.S. A name with a lovely, melodic tone, Serena may also remind you of the tennis player, Serena Williams.

Stella
Stella made a huge comeback, up 310 spots in the past 10 years. Stella is currently #70 for girls in the U.S. A Latin name, with the the lovely meaning, “star”. I can’t help but think of A Streetcar Named Desire when I hear this name.

 

alis volat propriis
one of my favorite Latin phrases “she flies with her own wings”
~Meagan

Sioux Names

siouxnames

The Sioux are a Native American tribe in North America.
Here are ten extraordinaire Sioux names:

Female Names:

Chumani – (choo-mah-nee) “dewdrop”
I love many meanings of Sioux names. Dewdrop conjures up a lovely image of a tiny pearl-shaped morning drop of dew perched on a crisp green leaf.

Ehawee – (ee-hah-wee) “she laughs”
If you’re into name meanings this one is absolutely delightful!

miraposaKimimela – (kim-mee-meh-lah) “butterfly”
This name sounds like poetry. It’s smooth and sweet just like the flight of a butterfly.

Maka – (mah-kah) “earth”
I think Maka is one of the most usable names on this list. It looks like it sounds and sounds similar to Ma_a names like Maya or Mara.

Talutah – (tah-loo-tah) “scarlet, red”
The name Scarlet is on the rise. A cool alternative would be Talutah which means scarlet. Talutah also has a similar look and sound to the name Tallulah.

Male Names:

Akecheta – (ah-kech-tah) meaning “warrior”
A strong yet melodic sound, I think the meaning is well suited to the name.

Enapay – (en-ah-pay) “goes forth bravely”
I adore the way this name rolls off the tongue. I think many people would love a name with a meaning tied to bravery.rhors

Kohana – (ko-hah-nah) “swift”
Kohana is also a Japanese name meaning “little flower”.

Ohanzee– (o-han-zee) “shadow”
A soft and mysterious sound paired with a subtle and interesting meaning.

Tashunka – (tah-shun-kah) “horse”
I love dogs and horses, so naturally I’m always drawn to name tied to one of these majestic animals.

All good things
~Meagan