Tag Archives: baby names

Seven Sweet May Namesakes

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Merry month of May 🌻 April showers lead to May flowers and here’s a bouquet of beautiful May names for you!

Adele
There are few artists that can go by one name alone and Adele is one of them. Singer and songwriter Adele Laurie Blue Adkins celebrates Birthday on May 5th. Adele is a French pet form of Adelaide meaning noble. Less popular than other names that lend themselves to “Addie/Addy,” Adele currently ranks at Number 789 in popularity.

Breckin
Comic Actor Breckin Erin Meyer was born on May 7th. Breckin’s parents were definitely ahead of their time when they used this handsome Irish name for their son in the mid-1970’s. Breckin means speckled or freckled and is more commonly spelled Breccan.

Fairuza
Actor and musician Fairuza Alejandra Balk was born on May 21st. Fairuza gets her unique and exotic Persian name from her father who exclaimed “fairuza,” the Farsi word for turquoise, when he saw his daughters brilliant bright eyes.

Kenan
Comedian Kenan Thompson, born May 10th, has been entertaining us since he was a child with his one-of-a-kind humor. Kenan is a smelling variation of the Irish Keenan, meaning ancient. Kenan is also a well-used name in Turkey and Bosnia.

Octavia
Academy Award winner Octavia Lenora Spencer was born on May 25th. A true showstopper, Octavia is a Latin name meaning eighth. Popular in the Victorian era, Octavia is a rare gem currently ranked at Number 593.

Pierce
Irish actor and producer Pierce Brendan Brosnan was born on May 16th. I love a strong, striking, one-syllable boys name. Pierce is an English name meaning son of Piers, currently ranked at Number 522. Pierce also makes for a great middle name paired with a longer first name.

Reilly
Comedian and actor John C. (Christopher) Reilly celebrates his birthday on May 24th. It doesn’t get much more classic than John Christopher. Reilly makes for a great first name as well for either sex. An Irish surname, Reilly means courageous.

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Alice

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❤ Alice ❤
German meaning “noble”
Classic. Royal. Literary. Whimsical

Alice is a classic and intriguing name rich with royal and literary ties. Most people associate the name Alice with the iconic character created by Lewis Carroll  in his 1871 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll’s novel was later adapted into Disney’s animated film Alice in Wonderland in 1951. Carroll’s Alice has been a muse featured in numerous artistic adaptations.

There are numerous characters outside of Carroll’s Alice in literature. Alice Cullen in the Twilight saga flipped our image of a blonde pre-teen in a ribbon to a pixie-cut-raven-haired beauty.  Alice was also the name of Neville Longbottom’s Mom in the Harry Potter series. The 1971 novel Go Ask Alice,gets its title from a lyric in Jefferson Airplane’s song White Rabbit.

Alice has German roots, possibly from an Old French name meaning noble. Queen Victoria used the moniker for her second daughter. Alice became a popular name in England and France during the 12th century and has been used by many royal families.

Celebrities have been loving and using this classic yet whimsical name as well. Writer John Green has daughter Alice Grace, actor Tom Cavanagh named his daughter Alice Ann, and comedian Tina Fey is Mom to Alice Zenobia.

❤ Sisters to Alice: Amelia, Eloise, Imogen, Josephine, Lucy

❤Brothers to Alice: August, Desmond, Henry, Luke

❤ Middle Name Suggestions: Alice Juliette, Alice Matilda, Alice Penelope, Alice Victoria, Alice Winter

❤ Names with a similar vibe to Alice: Claire, Ellis, Eve, Iris, Hazel

What do you think of the name Alice?

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. 😉

Black History Surname Names

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A beautiful batch of surname baby names for Black history month inspired by African American leaders and pioneers.

Coleman
Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman to receive a pilots license. Coleman is an English surname meaning servant of Nicholas. Cole ranks at Number 873 in popularity and easily lends itself to the nickname Cole.

Ellington
Composer and legendary jazz musician Duke Ellington is a wonderful February namesake. Ellington is an English surname and place name meaning Ellis town. Ellington has a distinguished vibe and could work well for either sex.

Haley
Writer Alex Haley wrote the ground breaking book and screenplay Roots. Haley is an English surname meaning hay field that currently ranks at Number 343 for girls in the U.S.

Hope
Writer and artist Akua Lezli Hope has an undeniably uplifting word name and surname. Puritan’s were immensely fond of virtue names though few are as widely used now as Hope which currently ranks at Number 253.

Jemison
Engineer and physician Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel to space. Jemison is a great Jameson alternative and Jem makes for a darling nickname. Jemison does have a bit of a disputed meaning but may come from Jacomus or Jacobs meaning supplanter.

Truth
Sojourner Truth was a prominent proponent of Civil rights and Women’s rights. Truth is another virtuous word name that I’d love to see used more. Truth mirrors the sound of Ruth and certainly carries a great meaning as well as a great namesake.

Walker
Alice Walker is a Pulitzer prize winning writer. Walker is amungst the many surnames that are gaining popularity as first names. Currently ranked at 314 in popularity, Walker is an occupational name meaning cloth-walker

Wells
The final namesake on our list today is that of Civil rights leader and journalist Ida B. Wells. Wells is both a surname and a place name meaning a spring. A distinguished name, Wells is only rarely seen in the U.S. currently ranked at Number 915.

Which of these surnames would you consider using?

Five Name Rules to Follow

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Last week we explored five unofficial “rules” that buzz around the baby name world that I’d gladly pass on. Name rules are made to be broken, right? Well here are a few rules I think are worth following, or at least strongly considering.

1 Initials are Important
I was recently chatting with one of my non-name-obsessed friends about names and we got onto the subject of initials. It hadn’t dawned on her that initials were a thing. Now I wouldn’t purposely put a name together to get fun initials like A.C.E. or G.E.M. but I would strongly suggest avoiding initials like R.A.T. or B.A.D. I think it’s a good policy to say and write a name out to avoid any future monogram embarrassment.

2 I want that Name!
The list of names I love is massive but not as long as the list of names I love but would never use. There are just some names that feel too cutesy or too bold for me personally. As a rule of thumb I always advise parents to select a name either they or their partner would be happy to have been named. Is it a name that would’ve fit you at 7? 47? 77? If so, you found a winner!

3 Know the Name buzz
When choosing a name I think it’s important to take into account any stigmas that may currently be attached to the name. A quick google search can help you look at any current cultural or political references to that name. I’m not saying that you can’t use a name a Kardashian used or the name of the President’s wife, but it would be good to be aware that others may assume that is where you got the name from.

4 Consider Long-term Name loves
I think that we name-nerds are always on the hunt for a new great name. It’s wonderful to discover new beauties, but don’t discount old loves. I think that you have less risk of regretting a name choice if you pick a name you’ve loved for a long time. While some of the names I loved in middle-school are flat out embarrassing, a few have stood the test of time and are still on my list.

Use a name you LOVE
When all is said and done there is no one name that everybody loves. What’s important is that you and your partner love the name. The fact that you’re here reading this now shows you care and have the best of intentions in naming. It’s hard enough for two people to agree on a name, so when you do, go with your gut and then come tell me what you choose! I love hearing name-lover’s name choices!

Happy Naming!

5 Names Rules to Ignore

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Have you been obsessing about names since you were a child naming your dolls like me? Or are you expecting and just dipping your toes into the name world waters? It seems that everyone, enthusiast or not, has an opinion about how to name a baby. I’ve read and heard unofficial “name rules” for years. Some rules, like don’t name your baby after a dictator are common sense, but here are a few rules I think are made to be broken…

1 Same letter names for siblings
I’m sure you’ve met siblings who’s names were so similar that you have to wonder how their parents managed to call for them. I went to school with siblings Stephanie and Stephan. I’m definitely not suggesting matchy-matchy sibsets nor would I recommend Duggar-sized families continue a letter theme. I do think siblings names beginning in the same letter work when the letter make a different sound. Gavin and Gabriel are easier to get tongue tied than Emma and Evelyn for example. So toss that rule aside and opt for the sound the letter makes over the letter itself.

2 Alternate Spellings
Alternate spellings are hugely controversial in the baby name world. Take it from a girl named Meagan, not Megan or Meghan or a million other variations, its ok to use an alternate spelling. In my 30-something *cough* years of life I’ve had my name misspelled but it really hasn’t been that big of a deal and people usually catch on once corrected. That said, Meagan is a legitimate, although less popular spelling of the familiar Megan. I don’t mind the alternate spelling but I’m sure glad my folks didn’t get overly creative and opts for Mahayghanne or some other created spelling.

3 Franken-Names
I’m all for alternative spellings and cautious when it comes to creative spellings, but I have to say I’m a fan of some franken-names or name-smash’s. A franken-name is the melding of two names, sometimes hyphenated to create one name. One of my favorite examples is Anastella, one part Ana, one part Stella, mix and get the lovely Anastella. It can be tricky finding of creating a name smash that isn’t obnoxiously long and doesn’t feel like it trying to hard but when you do its magic!

4 Gender Bending Names
We’ve definitely seen a rise of traditionally male names being used on little girls in recent years. A polarizing topic in the name world gender bender or unisex names are totally lovable and usable. I know of a little boy named Kelly, a male name that gained popularity for girls, but could swing back around. I grew up with a boy and a girl named Evan, both wore their names well. While some names may have more teasing potential, I think it’s fine to use a name like Avery now more popular for girls on a boy.

5 A Name that’s taken
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if a name was usable because it had been used by the expecting couples boss, friend, sibling, etc. So this one is tricky and doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer, the key is to consider the relationship. Did your co-worker name her son Riordan? Is Riordan your Mother’s maiden name, a name you and your partner agree on and have loved for ages? Use it! No one can call “dibs” on a name. Do consider if your kids will be raised together. If your sister lives next door and names her daughter Finley it may be one you have to forgo. Then again you could always use Finley as a middle name and share a cute cousin connection.

Keep in mind that most people will have an unwarranted opinions about your child’s name but at the end of the day what matters most is how happy you are with your choice. These broken rules are just my opinion, I’d love to hear your opinions in the comment section. Happy Naming!

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.