Tag Archives: baby name meanings

Wonderful Whimsical W Names

wnamesgirls

W makes for a great initial and there are several slightly hippie, majorly delightful girls names that begin with the letter W. If whimsical nature names are your style, then you’re sure to love this list!

Waverly
Waverly has a melodic, light, easy-going tone. I think Waverly will be this Generation’s Kimberly. Waverly may remind you of the Disney show The Wizards of Waverly Place or one of the main characters in The Joy Luck Club. Waverly is an English name meaning meadow of quivering aspens. Not quite yet in the Top 1,000, Waverly was used by 224 girls and 5 boys last year.

Wednesday
Wednesday may be the bravest and most polarizing name we’re looking at today, it always makes my own guilty pleasure list. Strongly associated with the character of Wednesday Addams, Wednesday is an English name meaning Woden’s day. 50 girls were named Wednesday last year. Wednesday does lend herself to nicknames like Wendy and Winnie which are coming up on our list.

Wendy
Wendy peaked in popularity in the early 1970’s and is one of the names I’d love to see make a comeback. Today Wendy ranks at spot Number 854. As a young name-lover I remember being delighted that Wendy Moira Angela Darling, from Peter Pan, had two middle names. Wendy may have in fact been a name invented by Pan author J.M. Barrie. Wendy may also come from the Welsh Gwendolen.

Willa
Willa is a feminine form of William, meaning resolute protection. Much less common than popular “Will” names, Willa ranks at Number 463. Willa began as a nickname for Wilhelmina, which it can still of course work for, though Willa works well on her own. Willa has a wholesome, bluegrass vibe that works well on a woman of any age.

Willow
Willow may have once been a hippie-dippie name, but now this tree name is in the Top 100 ranking at spot Number 96. I can’t help but think of the 1988 film Willow and I know many fans of the show Buffy associate Willow with a main character from that series. Willow is melodic and smooth with its soft and inviting “o” ending sound.

Winnie
I love Winnie as a nickname for Ceridwen, Gwendolen, and many other beautiful Welsh names, though Winnie is quite cute all on her own. Winnie was mostly seen originally as a nickname for Winifred, meaning fair and blessed friend. Jimmy Fallon has a daughter named Winnie Rose. 233 girls were given this spunky sweet name last year.

Winter
Winter would be a lovely full name to use to get to the nickname Winnie. A lovely season name, I think Winter is also striking as a middle name. At 506 in popularity, Winter is higher up in the charts than most people realize. Winter is a main character in Marissa Meyer’s popular series the Lunar Chronicles.

Wren
Wren is a darling bird name that could easily work well on any gender. At 524 in popularity for girls, Wren could be the next generations Robin. Wren is a straight-forward, one-syllable name with a sweet nature tie. Wren is definitely a name to watch and has been popping up in several modern TV shows and novels.

Which of these wonderful, whimsical W names would you use?

Alabama Baby Names

alabamababynames

Do you find yourself looking at place names when you travel? I recently moved to a new state and I love taking in all the potential local baby names. My love of the U.S., travel, and names has come together in this new series where I’ll be talking about some great names inspired by each state. Let’s look at some great names from the heart of Dixie inspired by the state of Alabama.

Alabama
Why not pull inspiration from the state itself? Alabama comes from a Choctaw Native American name which when broken down means plant-cutters and to clear. Celebs Travis Barker Shanna Moakler named their daughter Alabama Louella. Writer William Faulker also used Alabama for his daughter. Alabama would be a cool way to get to the nickname Ally/Allie. Only 14 girls were named Alabama last year.

Auburn
Auburn is a college town, home of Auburn University. One of Alabama’s largest cities, Auburn’s nickname is ,“The Loveliest Village On The Plains.” Auburn is also a lovely red-brown color name and lends itself easily to the nickname Aubrey. Auburn has never ranked in the US Top 1,000 and was only used by 34 girls and 6 boys last year.

Birmingham
Birmingham may be suited best as a middle name or a name reserved for a brave namer. You could get creative with nicknames like Bing or Barry for Birmingham. One of the most recognizable cities in Alabama, Birmingham is packed full of history. Birmingham comes from an Old English surname meaning homestead of the people. Birmingham is so rarely used that less than 5 babies were named Birmingham last year.

Camelllia
Camellia became the state flower of Alabama in 1927. If you like the rising name Amelia, you may enjoy Camellia. Camellia is a rarely used “Cam” name that was only given to 78 baby girls last year. Camellia is an uncommon name with lovable recognizable nicknames like Cam, Cami, Mellie, Mia, and Millie.

Cotton
Located right in the center of the Cotton belt, one of Alabama’s nicknames is fittingly “the Cotton state.” Cotton played a huge role in Alabama’s history and economy. A word name, Cotton was more popular among Puritans and early settlers. 18 baby boys were named Cotton last year. Cotton may also remind you of the folk song “Cotton-eyed-Joe” or the 2014 film Cotton.

Crimson
“Roll Tide!” The Alabama Crimson Tide refers to the 21 beloved sports teams at the University of Alabama. Crimson is a cool color name for a brilliant deep red hue. 69 girls and 44 boys were given the first name Crimson last year. A recognizable but rare name choice, Crimson could be an alternative to Scarlett which continues to rise.

Dixie
Alabama is known as the “heart of Dixie.” Dixie is a nickname for the South which is derived from the Latin word “dix” meaning ten. Dixie peaked in the late 1930s when it reached spot Number 167.  Last year 254 girls were named Dixie. When I think of Dixie I think of actor Dixie Carter who played Julia Sugarbaker on the TV show Designing Women or the musical trio The Dixie Chicks.

Harper
Writer Harper Lee who is remembered for her iconic book, To Kill A Mockingbird, was born in Monroeville, Alabama. One of Alabama’s most celebrated residents, Lee was born Nelle Harper Lee.  Harper first entered the Top 1,000 in 2004 and has quickly rose to the Number 10 spot where it has been the past two years. Harper is a English surname and occupational name for a harp player.

Montgomery
Montgomery is the Capital city of Alabama. The second largest city in Alabama, Montgomery was named after Richard Montgomery. Montgomery is a distinguished sounding Norman name meaning man power. 14 girls and 115 boys were given the first name Montgomery last year. I have a soft spot for Montgomery because of author Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Rocket
Brave parents may take a page from Pharell Williams who has a son named Rocket. Alabama is known as the rocket capital of the world. Hunstville, Alabama is home of the US space and rocket center. A fun word name with equally fun nicknames like Rock or Rocky, only 23 boys were named Rocket last year.

The most popular names in Alabama last year were:

1 William (#3 in the US)
2 James (#5 in the US)
3 John (#28 in the US)
4 Mason (#4 in the US)
5 Elijah (#9 in the US)
6 Noah (#1 in the US)
7 Jackson (#17 in the US)
8 Michael (#8 in the US)
9 Liam (#2 in the US)
10 Samuel (#21 in the US)

1 Ava (#3 in the US)
2 Emma (#1 in the US)
3 Olivia (#2 in the US)
4 Elizabeth (#13 in the US)
5 Harper (#10 in the US)
6 Madison (#15 in the US)
7 Amelia (#11 in the US)
8 Caroline (#56 in the US)
9 Isabella (#5 in the US)
10 Ella (#17 in the US)

 

 

Incredible -ina Names

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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?

Call me Cal

callmecal

Cal has always had a bit of a sporty sound to me probably because I associate it with baseball player Cal Ripkin Jr. Cal originated as a nickname for Calvin, which is Ripkin’s given name, but can be used for a whole slew of delightful names. Check out these 10 wonderful “Cal” names!

Caledon
I first heard the name Caldeon used on Billy Zane’s character in the epic film Titanic. Caledon is a striking underused name that fits in well with many -n ending male names. Caledon is mostly likely a variation of the place name Caledonia. Less than 5 babies were named Caledon last year.

Calfuray
I really enjoy Native American names and Calfuray is a stunning Mapuche name meaning violet flower. Traditionally a feminine name, Calfuray pronounced kal-foo-RAW-ee, could work on either sex. Less than 5 babies were named Calfuray last year.

Calhoun
Calhoun is an Irish surname packed full of charm. A fun name to say, Calhoun has a bit of a cowboy-vibe. Another cool thing about Calhoun is that it means from the forest. Only 8 boys were named Calhoun last year.

Calix
Calix is one of those names I think more people would use if they knew about it. A cool way to honor an Alex or get that modern -x ending. Calix comes from a Latin name meaning chalice. Only 26 baby boys were named Calix last year.

Callahan
Callahan is one of the many handsome Cal- surnames that makes for a usable yet uncommon first name. Also spelled Callaghan, this is a name with Irish roots meaning bright-headed. There were only 113 boys named Callahan and 10 boys named Callaghan last year.

Callan
If you find yourself drawn to two-syllable boys names that end in -n like Aiden, Ethan, or Mason, you may also consider Callan. A soft but handsome Gaelic name slowly rising in the charts, Callan means rock or battle. Callan currently ranks at Number 730 in popularity.

Calloway
Calloway is yet another charming Irish surname that makes for a delightful first name meaning pebbly place. Calloway has a melodic and mysterious vibe. 21 boys and 6 girls were named Calloway last year.

Callum
My fellow baby name lover and friend Rebe (youtube.com/rebesharpe) has a sweet little boy named Callum Donovan. If you love names with animal meanings you’ll definitely love that Callum, which comes from Scottish roots, means dove. Callum is currently Number 701 in popularity.

Calvert
Braver namers may enjoy the sophisticated and rare English name Calvert, meaning calf herder. Calvert is a great Albert alternative and of course comes with the usable nickname Cal. 6 baby boys were given the first name Calvert last year.

Calvin
Let’s not overlook Calvin, the first name most people will think of when they hear the nickname “Cal.” Calvin is a Latin name meaning bald, which is a pretty fun meaning for a newborn. We’re seeing more and more little Calvin’s as it ranks at Number 148.

There’s also Calder, Caldwell, Cale, Caleb , and Pascal that have the letters Cal in them though they offer a different sound.

What’s your favorite Cal name?

Posh Names for your Princess

posh

These feminine names age well and have a distinctly upper-crust vibe. Consider one of these 10 sophisticated choices for your little lady.

Bianca
Bianca is one of the many Shakespearean character names that easily fits in to this category. An Italian name meaning white, Bianca has a much more refined sound than her sister Blanche. Currently ranked at 379, Disney fans will love the connection to the prim little mouse Bianca in The Rescuers.

Claudia
A common name in ancient Rome, Claudia still feels sophisticated and current at Number 741 in popularity. Fashion model Claudia Schiffer and the eternally young vampire Claudia from Interview with a Vampire are two well-known bearers of this name. You could also kick up the posh level a bit by using the name Claudine.

Francesca
It doesn’t get much more posh or Princess-worthy than the grand name Francesca. A flowery Italian form of Frances, meaning french man or free man, Francesca currently ranks at Number 428. Nickname lovers will delight in the numerous nickname options including; CeCe, Fanny, Fran, Francie, Frankie, and Franny.

Georgiana
Jane Austen fans will instantly recognize this as the name of Mr. Darcy’s sister in Pride and Prejudice. Georgiana is one of the many attractive feminine forms of George meaning farmer. Whether you pronounce it gor-gee-AH-na or gor-JAY-na its simply magnificent.

Lavinia
A great alternative to the much more popular Olivia, Lavinia was only used by 63 little girls last year. A fun way to get to Liv or Livie, Lavinia is a Latin name meaning from the ancient Lavinium. There were characters named Lavinia in A Little Princess and Downtown Abbey.

Margot
We could easily fill this list with lovely posh French names for girls. Margot is a french form of Margaret meaning pearl. At 593 in popularity Margot is on the rise, up nearly 150 spots last year. Margaux Hemingway changed the spelling of her name from Margot to Margaux after learning Margaux was the name of the wine her parents consumed the night of her conception.

Natasha
There is something exotic, alluring, and appealing about the name Natasha. A Russian diminutive of Natalya, meaning born of Christmas, Natasha currently ranks at Number 666. Barack and Michelle Obama named one of their daughters Natasha, though she goes primarily by the nickname Sasha.

Octavia
Another great Olivia alternative, Octavia is a striking Latin name meaning eighth. Oscar winning actor Octavia Spencer helped bring attention to this Victorian name. Only 173 baby girls were named Octavia last year.

Portia
Portia has an super sophisticated sound though it derives from a Roman family name meaning pig or hog. Perhaps the Porsche car association is too strong since only 42 babies were named Portia last year. Actress Portia de Rossi, born Amanda, chose the prim Portia in renaming herself.

Sophie
Sophie is sweet and chic French form of Sophia, meaning wisdom. A very wearable name, currently ranked at Number 104, Sophie is in the Top 3 in Austria, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Scotland.

Which of these posh names would you use?

Hitchcock’s Leading Ladies

hitchcocksladies

Alfred Hitchcock, often referred to as the “Master of Suspense” worked with forty-seven lead actresses in his five decades of film making. Let’s explore his seven most memorable leading ladies.

Eva
Eva Marie Saint
Eva Marie Saint won an Oscar for her performance in One the Waterfront, though her role of Eve Kendall in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest is arguably one of her most memorable roles. Eva is a Latin form of the name Eve meaning life. Currently ranked at Number 75, Eva hasn’t been this popular since the mid-1920s. Eva ranked at Number 66 in 1924, the year Saint was born. Eva peaked in popularity in 1900 at Number 33.

Grace
Grace Patricia Kelly
The epitome of elegance, Grace Kelly starred with James Stewart in Rear Window, one of Hitchcock’s greatest films. Kelly also starred in Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief. Grace Kelly truly lived up to her virtuous name which means elegance and refinement. A popular name in the early 1900s, Grace regained popularity again in the late 1990s. Today Grace ranks at Number 19, it was Number 54 in 1929 when Kelly was born. Grace peaked in 2004 when it reached Number 13 in popularity.

Ingrid
Ingrid Bergman
Legendary beauty Ingrid Bergman starred in some of Hitchcock’s most acclaimed films. One of her most remembered roles was alongside Cary Grant in the thriller Notorious. Bergman also starred in Hitchcock’s Spellbound and Under Capricorn. Ingrid is a polarizing name with a strong sound that people seem to love or hate. Ingrid is an old Norse name meaning beautiful. Currently Number 957, Ingrid was not in the Top 1,000 in 1915 when Bergman was born. Ingrid peaked in 1967 reaching Number 380.

Janet
Janet Leigh – born Jeanette Helen Morrison
Janet Leigh’s appearance in Psycho made her one of Hitchcock’s most famous leading ladies. Though her role was brief, Leigh’s shower scene became one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history. Janet is a Medieval diminutive of Jane, meaning God is gracious. Janet fell out of the Top 1,000 in 2012, though it ranked at Number 112 the in 1927 when Leigh was born. Janet peaked in 1938 when it reached Number 16.

Joan
Joan Fontaine – born Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland
Joan Fontaine’s first Hitchcock film was Rebecca. Fontaine was the only actor, male or female, to win an Academy Award in a Hitchcock film for her role in Suspicion. Joan is a Medieval form of Johanna meaning God is gracious. Joan is a generational name, seen more these days on Grandmother’s and Great-Grandmother’s.  Joan was last in the Top 1,000 in 1993, but ranked at Number 182 in 1917 when Fontaine was born. Joan reached its peak in 1933 when it was Number 5.

Kim
Kim Novak – born Marilyn Pauline “Kim” Novak
Kim Novak’s most praised work was for her role in Vertigo. Hitchcock cast Novak in Vertigo as a replacement to Vera Miles, who had to leave the part when she became pregnant. Kim is an English diminutive of the place name, Kimberly. Modern parents may enjoy other “Kim names” like Kimber or Kimball. Kim left the Top 1,000 in 1992, and was not in the Top 1,000 in 1933 when Novak was born. Novak more than likely helped Kim gain attention as it peaked in 1960 when it reached spot Number 34.

Tippi
Tippi Hedren – born Nathalie Kay “Tippi” Hedren
Tippi Hedren was the last classic Hitchcock leading lady starring in the legendary film The Birds. Hedren also starred alongside Sean Connery in Marnie, considered to be Hitchcock’s last great film. Tippi is a nickname that Hedren received from her father. Tippi has never ranked in the Top 1,000 though her given name, Nathalie is currently Number 652 and was Number 828 in 1930 when Hedren was born. Nathalie is a variant of Natalie meaning the Lord’s Birthday. Nathalie peaked in 1998 reaching spot Number 446. Tippi could be a quirky and fun nickname to Tabitha, Tiffany, or Topanga.

Which of these Leading Lady’s names do you like best?

10 – #Namemas Countdown: Parker

10parkerralphie

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

On the 10th day of Namemas TulipbyAnyName gave to me the baby name Parker.

Ralphie Parker is the main character in the iconic film A Christmas Story.

While the name Ralphie may feel a bit dated, Parker is right on trend.  Parker peaked in popularity for both boys at Number 72 and girls at Number 227 last year.  Parker is a surname and an occupational name that was used to describe a park-keeper.  Celebrities Rosie O’Donnell and Clay Aiken each have sons named Parker. If you like the name Parker but you’re concerned about its rising popularity; you may also consider Porter or Palmer.

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