Tag Archives: baby name blog

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 😉

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Little Old Lady Names

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Are these names too old or too cute? You be the judge!

Agnes
Agnes is a polarizing name that you’ll either feel is dusty and way-too-dated or darling and dainty. Agnes is a Greek name meaning virginal that does lend herself to the soft nickname “Aggie.” Fans of the Bronte sisters may associate this name with the novel Agnes Grey as I do.

Dorothea
Believe it or not I’m seeing Dorothy pop up on lots of instagram and Youtube favorites list! The Greek Dorothea has a similar but different vibe and the wonderful meaning of gift of God. Perhaps the best part of Dorothea is the nickname potential she brings, a few of which include; Dori, Dot, Dottie, and Thea.

Frances
A family name for me, Frances is a Latin name meaning from France or free man. Frances has a very classic and grounded vibe. Less vibrant than her sisters Francesca and Francine, Frances ranks at Number 439. An infant named Frances may be hard to picture but Francie, Franny, or Frankie are fun and youthful vintage nicknames for her.

Gertrude
Gertrude may be one of the first names people come up with when asked to pick an old-timey Grandma name. Trudy is adorable and Gertie has her charm (Drew Barrymore in E.T. anyone?), but Gertrude like many old German names isn’t quite catching favor for modern American babies. Gertrude means spear of strength and hasn’t ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000 since the 1960s.

Ida
Could Ida be the next Ava? It may follow a similar sound pattern though it does have a stronger beginning sound which isn’t as well-received in girls names. Ida screams sweet little Granny at a deli to me. A German name meaning industrious one that hasn’t been in the US Top 1,000 since the 1980s.

Mildred
As delightful as the first syllable is, the second syllable in Mildred does have a much heavier sound. Millie is rising on its own but can Mildred come out of the attic to play too? Mildred is an English name meaning gentle strength.

Opal
Opal is a rarely used gemstone name, currently ranked at Number 859, that means gem in Sanskrit. Opal is October’s gemstone and is considered a symbol of good fortune. Opal’s vintage sister Pearl is on the rise, so perhaps Opal will be the next come-back gemstone.

Selma
Emma aside, many names ending in “ma” like Irma, Thelma, Wilma, and Selma have an older vibe to them. Selma is a German name meaning godly helmet. Actress Selma Blair makes this name feel much more youthful and usable. Selma may have a dated stigma but she does have a soft sweet sound.

Weigh-in below and let me know which of these names are too old and which are too cute!

Six Sweet February Namesakes

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February is synonymous with love and there is a lot to love about these Six Sweet February Namesakes! At the end I’ll link my previous February Namesakes articles which are packed with cultural and historic names, but today lets look at some fresh darling names for February inspiration.

Alice
The distinctively raspy voiced singer and song writer Alice Cooper celebrates his birthday on February 4th. Alice is a very classic sounding German name meaning noble. There’s the Alice in Wonderland connection, Twilight‘s Alice Cullen, and the rocker edge Cooper adds to this simple sweet name. Alice currently ranks at Number 70 in the U.S.

Brinkley
Eternally beautiful model and businesswoman Christie Brinkley blows out her candles on February 2nd. Brinkley definitely has a cutesy modern vibe. An English surname meaning wood clearing, Brinkley fits right in with similar trending names like Ainsley and Everley.

Cash
You know what makes the word name Cash even cooler? It’s association with legendary musician Johnny Cash born February 26th. Cash may also be a diminutive of Cassius meaning hollow. Cash is a name American’s are loving lately and currently ranks at Number 285.

Cobain
The late musician Kurt Cobain was born on February 20th. While Kurt would a great name, Cobain is prime for a music-loving hispter takeover! Cobain is an Irish and Scottish surname. Surnames and two syllable names ending in “n” are definitely right on trend, could Cobain be the next big thing?

Mia
Activist,actor, and model Mia Farrow, who uses Mia as a nickname for her birth name Maria, was born February 9th. Mia is an Italian name meaning mine or a diminutive name coming from Mary meaning bitter. This sweet little three-letter name has been taking the U.S. by storm and currently ranks at Number 6 in popularity.

Zane
Actor and Producer Billy Zane was born on February 24th. While Zane’s first name William “Billy” is well loved and used, Zane is climbing the charts at Number 202 in popularity. Zane may come from the name John meaning God is gracious and certainly has a familiar sound with a fun beginning initial.

My previous February Namesake Articles:

https://nameberry.com/blog/february-namesakes-to-inspire-you

https://nameberry.com/blog/notable-boy-namesakes-for-february

Five Fab Fresh January Namesakes

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Let’s kick off the New Year and new month with five fabulous fresh January Namesakes. I have two previous articles that I’ll link at the end with some wonderful historic and meaningful namesakes, but for today let’s looks to celebs born in January for some modern name inspiration!

Dax
Actor, writer, and funny man Dax Shepard celebrates his birthday on January 2nd. Dax is a French place name that has an appealing and modern sounding “x” ending. If you love the timeless name Max, you may also like the very current sounding Dax which ranks at Number 456 in popularity.

January
It’s hard to talk about celebrities born in the month of January without mentioning actor and model January Jones. Jones was born on January 5th and has definitely brought recognition to this month name. January is the first month of the Gregorian calendar and is derived from the name of the Roman goddess Janus.

Keaton
Eccentric and lovable actor and director Diane Keaton blows out her birthday candles on January 5th. Keaton is a surname that is heating up in the charts as a first name. An English name meaning shed town, Keaton currently ranks at Number 572 for boys but would also be charming on a little lady. I think Diane Keaton would approve of her surname as a modern first name.

Rowan
Actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson is perhaps best known for his character “Mr.Bean.” Rowan has Scottish and Irish roots meaning little redhead. Nature name lovers will recognize Rowan as a tree name. I know three girls under the age of five named Rowan. Rowan is truly a unisex name, currently ranked at 212 for girls and at Number 140 for boys.

Watson
Highly acclaimed actor Emily Watson was born on January 14th. Watson, is an English and Scottish surname meaning son of Wat. Watson is one of the most common surnames in Scotland today. This rich historic surname is also tightly associated with Sherlock Holmes sidekick John Watson. Watson would be an unexpected yet familiar choice, right on trend with the surname craze.

My January Namesakes Article from 2017: https://nameberry.com/blog/great-inspirations-for-a-january-babe-crosby-to-zane

My January Namesakes Article from 2016: https://nameberry.com/blog/notable-january-namesakes

Bodacious “B” Surname Names

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2019 is just days away and as we look at trends from last year that are sure to carry into next year, surname names aren’t loosing their luster! Here are 8 bodacious surnames that begin with the letter B!

Bauer
Bauer is a familiar surname that would make an edgy yet really usable first name! A German occupational name meaning tiller of the soil, Bauer may remind you of 24′s iconic character Jack Bauer.

Beckett
Beckett is my favorite suggestion for honoring a Rebecca. An Irish and English surname meaning bee cottage, I love the association to playwright Samuel Beckett.

Bennett
Bennett derives from the surname Benedict, meaning blessed. Bennett is a delightful way to get to the nickname “Ben.” I’m also fond of the spelling Bennet, as it was the surname of the five sisters in Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice.

Blair
The Gossip Girl‘s character Blair Waldorf helped give this Scottish surname a boost. Blair is a unisex name, now more popular with girls, and means dweller on the plain.

Boone
Boone is so cowboy-chic! Originally a French surname, Boone means blessing. This one is tightly associated to legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Briggs
There’s something very hearty and salt-of-the-earth about the name Briggs. Briggs is an English surname and a variation of bridges. Briggs reminds me of the Myer’s Briggs personality test, any other INJF’s out there? 😉

Brooks
Brooks is just dripping with hunky charm. An English name meaning by the brook, Brooks has been steadily gaining popularity in the U.S. Fittingly several ball players bear this handsome name.

Burke
I had to include my own surname, Burke! A popular name in Ireland, Burke is an anglicized spelling of a French name meaning from the fortress.

 

Seven Great S Word Names

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Seven
Fittingly, I had to kick off my Seven Great “S” Word Names article with the numerical name Seven. David and Victoria Beckham gave this daughter the name Harper Seven, seven being his jersey number. Erykah Badu and Andre 3000 opted to use Seven for their son, Seven Sirius Benjamin.

Silver
A bold but wearable word name, Silver definitely packs a load of luster. Silver is a character in both the My Little Pony and the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

Slate
Slate is a strong, one-syllable color and rock name. Slate feels modern and fresh without trying too hard. American soccer player Slate Donovan wears this name well.

Sonnet
Literary lover’s will enjoy this poetic name choice. Forest Whitaker selected the name Sonnet Noel for his daughter. Forest and Sonnet, now that’s a great family pairing!

Stone
This name rocks! Stone has the same straight-forward, no nonsense feel as Slate. Stone may remind you of TV news anchor Stone Phillips.

Stormy
Stormy is definitely a name that’s been in the news lately. A whimsical weather name, Kylie Jenner chose the alternate spelling Stormi for her daughter born earlier this year.

Story
Story would be another great choice for the babe of literature lovers. While Story is more popular for girls, Minnie Driver used Story as her son Henry’s middle name.

Which of these S Names would you use?

Names from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Netflix recently released the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a show based off the comic series of the same name and it has been all the buzz around the water cooler. Perhaps part of the appeal is nostalgia for the much lighter late 90’s sitcom Sabina the Teenage Witch. There are some great names a brew from cast and characters alike!

Sabrina Spellmansabrina
Played by Kiernan Shipka
Sabrina is the name of a mythological Celtic Princess as well as a Latin name derived from the River Severn. U.S. Ranking – Number 434.
Kiernan is traditionally and Irish male name meaning dark one. Not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000 for either sex.

harveyHarvey Kinkle
Played by Ross Lynch
Harvey is a French name meaning battle worthy. U.S. Ranking – Number 382.
Ross is of Scottish origins meaning upland or Peninsula. Ross does not currently rank in the U.S. Top 1,000.

zeldaZelda Spellman
Played by Miranda Otto
Zelda comes from the name Griselda meaning gray battle. U.S. Ranking – Number 649.
Miranda is a Latin name meaning marvelous and worthy of admiration. U.S. Ranking – Number 344.

hildaHilda Spellman
Played by Lucy Davis
Hilda Hilda is a German name meaning battle woman. Hilda is not currently Ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Lucy Lucy is an English variant of Lucia meaning Light. U.S. Ranking – Number 52.

ambroseAmbrose Spellman
Played by Chance Perdomo
Ambrose is a Latin name meaning immortal one. Ambrose does not currently rank in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Chance is a word name but may also be a variant of Chauncey, meaning chancellor. U.S. Ranking – Number 267.

maryMary Wardwell
Played by Michelle Gomez
Mary is a Latin name meaning bitter. U.S. Ranking – Number 126.
Michelle is a French feminine form of Michael meaning who is like God. U.S. ranking – Number 214.

prudencePrudence Night
Played by Tati Gabrielle
Prudence is a Puritanical virtue name meaning caution. Prudence is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Tati is short for Tatiana a Russian family name. Tatiana is currently ranked at Number 700 in the U.S.

faustusFather Faustus Blackwood
Played by Richard Coyle
Faustus is a Latin name possibly meaning auspicious or lucky. Faustus is rarely used in the U.S. and not ranked in the Top 1,000.
Richard is a German name meaning dominant ruler. U.S. Ranking – Number 175.

rozRosalind “Roz” Walker
Played by Jaz Sinclair
Rosalind is a Latin name meaning pretty rose. Rosalind is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Jaz is a variant of Jasmine, a Persian flower name. Jaz is not ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000, while Jasmine ranks at Number 130.

susieSusie Putnam
Played by Lachlan Watson
Susie is a diminutive of the name Susan meaning lily. Susie is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Lachlan is a Scottish name meaning from the forjed-land or land of lochs. Lachlan is ranked at Number 695 for boys in the U.S.

Happy Halloween!