Tag Archives: boy names

Arizona Baby Names


Let’s warm things up with some baby names inspired by the state of Arizona! Sunny southwestern Arizona is one of the newer US states, the 48th to be added. Arizona’s cities and desert landscapes make for some lovely names chalked full of character.

Let’s start with the place name Arizona, a Native American name meaning small springs. You may recognize Arizona as Jessica Capshaw’s character on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Arizona was briefly ranked in the Top 1,000 between 1901-1911. Last year only 115 girls were named Arizona.

Arizona has been nicknamed “The Grand Canyon State.” The Grand Canyon is located in Northern Arizona and is known world-wide for its stunning size and color. Canyon makes for an interesting, underused, yet familiar sounding word name. 130 boys and 8 girls were given the name Canyon last year.

Chandler is a prominent suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Chandler got its name from veterinary surgeon Dr. Alexander John Chandler. Chandler is a surname and occupational name meaning candle-maker.  Chandler is also closely associated with Mathew Perry’s character Chandler Bing from the popular TV show Friends. Chandler is currently ranked at Number 466 for boys and Number 995 for girls.

Copper is the state metal of Arizona which also bears the nickname, “the copper state.” Copper is a beautiful burnished metal that was only used by 30 boys and 11 girls last year. Copper could make for a good alternative to Connor or Carter.

Arizona is most definitely known for its vast desert landscape. Truly an unusual name, it could be a fun word name and lends itself to the cute nicknames Des or Desi. Desert is so rare that it was given to less than 5 babies last year and has never ranked in the US Top 1,000.

Gilbert is a town located in southeast Phoenix, Arizona. Gilbert gets its name from William “Bobby” Gilbert who provided land for the Arizona Eastern Railway. I have a soft spot for the name Gilbert, a beloved character from the Anne of Green Gables series. Gilbert is a German name meaning shining pledge that currently ranks at Number 960.

When you saw this was a list of Arizona themed baby names the name Phoenix was probably one of the first that came to mind. Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and the fifth most populated city in the US. Phoenix is a Greek name meaning dark red and the name of the mythological bird. Phoenix is currently ranked at Number 292 for boys and Number 443 for girls. This name also reminds me of actors River and Joaquin Phoenix.

Prescott is another large city in Arizona. Prescott was named in honor of historian William H. Prescott. Prescott has a crisp, preppy, vintage vibe. An English surname meaning priest’s dwelling, Prescott was only given to 33 boys and 5 girls last year.

Sedona is a breathtakingly beautiful city known for its red sandstorm formations. Sedona was named after the hospitable first postmaster’s wife, Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly. Schnebly’s mother created the name herself, combining sounds she found appealing. 64 girls were given this exotic place name last year.

Turquoise is the gemstone of this beautiful southwestern state. In addition to being a gorgeous bluish-green hue, Turquoise is a French name meaning Turkish stone. An uncommon color name, Turquoise was used by less than five babies last year.

The Most Popular Names in Arizona last year were:

1 Liam (#2 in the US)
2 Noah (#1 in the US)
3 Sebastian (#24 in the US)
4 Daniel (#13 in the US)
5 Alexander (#11 in the US)
6 Michael (#8 in the US)
7 Julian (#39 in the US)
8 Oliver (#12 in the US)
9 Benjamin (#6 in the US)
10 Elijah (#9 in the US)

1 Emma (#1 in the US)
2 Sophia (#4 in the US)
3 Mia (#6 in the US)
4 Olivia (#2 in the US)
5 Isabella (#5 in the US)
6 Ava (#3 in the US)
7 Emily (#9 in the US)
8 Sofia (#14 in the US)
9 Abigail (#8 in the US)
10 Charlotte (#7 in the US)


Rad Word Names for Boys A-Z


All names are words so why not look at some words that make for intriguing name choices. Here are some rad word names for boys A to Z.

Archers and fans of Robin Hood may enjoy this smooth choice.
119 boys and 71 girls were named Arrow last year.

A wonderful trait to bestow upon your little lad.
29 boys were named Brave last year.

A great sound for a beachy babe.
42 boys and 7 girls were named Cove last year.

Perfect for you blue jean baby.
117 boys and 62 girls were named Denim last year.

That cool Ev sound. Also a great nickname for Everest or Everett.
133 boys and 84 girls were named Ever last year.

A cool Finn alternative with a spark!
85 boys were named Flint last year.

A great Gavin alternative and perfect for a Thanksgiving baby!
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

A strong bird name with a cool image
55 boys were named Hawk last year.

If only Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had heard this one.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

For the guy on the go!
Currently Number 314 for boys.

For the dashing young lad.
50 boys were named Knight last year.

Calling all Zelda fans.
145 boys were named Link last year.

Perhaps a cool Mason alternative? A bit more popular with the girls.
24 boys and 69 girls were named Maven last year.

A great virtuous choice.
140 boys and 15 girls were named Noble last year.

A strong, steady image.
40 boys were named Oak last year.

A familiar sound but oh so rare.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

For your little adventurer.
35 boys were named Quest last year.

A Puritanical name with a strong meaning.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

TV reporter Stone Phillips wears this name well.
177 boys and 8 girls were named Stone last year.

Understated with a great sound and meaning.
44 boys and 31 girls were named True last year.

Baby in the city.
35 boys were named Urban last year.

Warrior-worthy virtue name.
90 boys and 14 girls were named Valor last year.

An appealing sounding directional name.
72 boys were named West last year.

Quirky and futuristic.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Simple, strong, and bold.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Breezy and cool.
124 boys and 20 girls were named Zephyr last year.

Which of these rad word names would make your list?

Alaska Baby Names


Baby, it may be cold outside in Alaska, but these names inspired by the state of are hot and ready to be used! Alaska has an expansive and diverse terrain which yields to many great Native names and nature names. Let’s look at some great names from America’s last frontier.

It seems only fitting that we start with this dynamic place name. Alaska comes from a Native American word meaning great land. Not very common as a first name, only 51 little girls were given the first name Alaska last year. Alaska Young is the title character in John Green’s popular novel Looking for Alaska. Alaska may also remind you of Alaska Matthews the pint sized beauty queen from the show Toddlers and Tiaras.

In 1927 13-year-old John Ben “Benny” Benson Jr. won a contest for designing the flag of the then territory of Alaska. Benson is an English name that as you may have guessed means son of Ben. Much less popular than Benjamin, which ranks at Number 6, Benson comes in at Number 428. If you love Ben names you may also consider Benedict, Bennett, Bentley, or Benton.

Denali is a National Park in Alaska that has the highest mountain peak in North America. Denali is a Native American name meaning great one or tall one. 62 girls and 24 boys were named Denali last year. You may also recognize Denali as the name of one of the vampire covens in the Twilight saga.
Name nerds like me will appreciate that Denali is an anagram for Daniel.

Alaska has been nicknamed “The Last Frontier.” Frontier definitely brings to mind images of cowboys and unsettled regions. A bold and uncommon word name, Frontier is two syllables and ends in “r” like Fletcher, Carter, and many more popular boys names. As you may have guessed Frontier is so uncommon as a name that less than 5 babies were named it last year.

Alaska designated Jade as its state gemstone in 1968. Jade is a beautiful precious green stone. As a name Jade has Spanish roots meaning stone of flank. One of the most popular names on our list today, Jade is currently Number 117 for girls. Though this name has clearly gone to the girls, it was still used by 53 boys last year. I’ve also seen Jade commonly used as a middle name in recent years.

Juneau is the capital of Alaska and comes from a french word meaning young. If you do have a connection to Alaska, Juneau is a distinctive place name. The spelling Juno may be assumed when this name is said out loud, in part due to the popular 2007 film Juno. A rarely used name, 10 girls were named Juneau last year.

Kodiak is Alaska’s largest island and the second largest island in the United States. Fittingly, Kodiak is a Russian name meaning island. In addition to being a place name Kodiak is also the name of a species of bear. 25 boys were named Kodiak last year. Nicknames like Koda or Kody may make this untapped place name feel more usable.

Denali was once called Mount McKinley. There is some naming controversy surrounding the highest point in North America. Native’s called the mountain Denali then later William Dickey began calling it McKinley after President William McKinley. Both names are still used interchangeably though locals will call it Denali. In 2015 Obama approved officially restoring the name to Denali. McKinley is a Scottish name meaning son of the fair warrior. Currently more popular with girls were it ranks at Number 428, McKinley was used by 68 boys last year as well.

Alaska’s motto is “North to the future.” This directional name made waves when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West used it for their daughter in 2013. I still associate North with Elijah Wood in the 90’s film North. I think North would make a handsome middle name choice. 11 boys were given the first name North last year.

A land of winter, many people associate Alaska with ice, snow, cold, and a seemingly endless winter.  A beautiful seasonal word name, Winter is rising in popularity, currently coming in at Number 506. Winter can also work on the fellas, 45 boys were named Winter last year. I love Winter as a middle name, it yields a clean, crisp (pun intended) sound. I also think Snow and Frost would make for fun cold weather middle names.

The most popular names in Alaska last year were:

1 Liam (#2 in the US)
2 Oliver (#12 in the US)
3 James (#5 in the US)
4 William (#3 in the US)
5 Joseph (#20 in the US)
6 Lucas (#14 in the US)
7 Noah (#1 in the US)
8 Owen (#23 in the US)
9 Logan (#18 in the US)
10 Mason (#4 in the US)

1 Emma(#1 in the US)
2 Olivia (#2 in the US)
3 Amelia (#11 in the US)
4 Charlotte (#7 in the US)
5 Sophia (#4 in the US)
6 Abigail (#8 in the US)
7 Ava (#3 in the US)
8 Elizabeth (#13 in the US)
9 Aurora (#66 in the US)
10 Chloe (#20 in the US)

Alabama Baby Names


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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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 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.

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)


Call me Cal


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!

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.

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 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 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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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?

Dapper Names for your little Dude


There is something quite entertaining about a little boy with a distinguished sounding name. These 10 dapper boys names have an old world charm and feel sophisticated without being too stuffy.

It doesn’t get more dapper than Clive, an English name that oozes with finesse. Actor Clive Owen has made this straight-laced name feel very usable. Clive is a rare choice in the US and was only used by 82 baby boys last year.

Felix has Latin roots and means happy or fortunate, both great meanings to bestow on your bundle of joy.  Once closesly associated with the character Felix the Cat, Felix has both a vintage vibe and a modern X ending. Felix currently ranks and Number 262.

A personal favorite of mine, at Number 135 Everett is quickly rising in popularity. The crisp T ending partnered with the adorable nicknames Ever or Rhett have given this name a boost. Everett is derived from a German name meaning brave as a boar.

My fellow name enthusiast and friend Alena J Ingle has a darling little boy named Hugh Clinton (https://www.instagram.com/hughclinton2014/). There are several notable actors with this name from Hugh Jackman to Hugh Grant to Hugh Laurie.  Hugh comes from a German name meaning intellect.  Hugh currently ranks at Number 849, a lot lower than its brother Hugo at 432.

Jazz musician Miles Davis is a great association to this elegant name choice. Miles peaked last year at 107 in popularity. An English form of the name Milo, several celebrities including Eddie Murphy, Mayim Bialik, and Susan Sarandon have used Miles for their sons.

Originally used for the fifth born child, Quentin is a Latin name that fittingly means fifth. There are very few cool names that begin with the quirky letter Q and can sound polished at the same time. Quentin may remind you of John Green’s character Quentin “Q” Jacobsen or director Quentin Tarantino. Quentin ranks at Number 483.

A stylish name that is more utilized across the pond than here in the US where it was only given to 22 boys last year. Rupert is a German form of the name Robert meaning bright fame. Actors Rupert Everett, Rupert Graves, and Rupert Grint are three household namesakes.

At 35 in popularity Sebastian is one of those names that people don’t often realize is as popular as it is.  Latin from a Greek name Sebastian means from Sebastia. Sebastian has a masculine and accomplished ring to it and lends itself to fun nicknames like Bas, Bash, Bastian, Baz, Seb, and Sebs.

Theodore is another classic name on the rise, currently ranked at Number 99. A Greek name meaning gift of God, Theodore was most popular in 1901 when Theodore Roosevelt began his term.  Tad, Ted, Teddy, and Theo are just a few of its likable nicknames.

Polished and noble, Walter is a German name meaning army ruler that ranks at Number 308.  Walt Disney (born Walter “Walt” Elias Disney), Walter “Walt” Whitman, and Walter Cronkite are three bearers of this distiniguished name.

If you like these names, you might also love some of these dashing choices:

20 Great -by Baby Names


There’s something sweet and approachable about names that end in –by.  Here are 20  and great choices for your little baBY.

Current Ranking: 437 for girls
A common nickname for Abigail, Abby would also be a great nickname for Abilene or even Tabitha
Cool Connection: Sesame Street character Abby Cadabby

Current Ranking: Only used by 23 girls and 17 boys last year
Could Ashby the next Ashley? Ashby has a super sweet Southern sound.
Cool Connection:  TV host Nancy O’Dell has a daughter named Ashby Grace

Current Ranking: Less than 5 boys were used Barnaby last year
A posh beginning with a sweet ending.  Barnaby is derived from the name Barnabas.
Cool Connection: Barnaby Bear is an animated and live action character in several UK TV series

Current Ranking: 454 for boys
A surname, a place name, and the name of a cheese.
Cool Connection: Survivor runner-up Colby Donaldson

Current Ranking: 575 for boys
People really took notice of this name following the success of the show Parenthood
Cool Connection: Folk rock group Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Current Ranking: Only used by 110 girls and 27 boys last year
Fairly common boys name in Ireland, Darby will forever remind me of the film Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
Cool Connection: Actor Paul Rudd has a daughter named Darby

Current Ranking: Only used by 12 boys and 5 girls last year
Literary parents will recognize this name from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Cool Connection: The character Jay Gatsby was actually born James “Jimmy” Gatz

Current Ranking: 655 for boys
A little bit Jacob and a little bit Coby, a fun name with lots of charm!
Cool Connection: Boston Red Sox player Jacoby Ellsury

Current Ranking: Only used by 41 boys and 23 girls last year
If Kelly and Shelby had a baby you’d get the surname Kelby!
Cool Connection: Kelby has British, Tutonic, German and possibly Norse roots.

Current Ranking: Only used by 53 boys and 27 girls last year
A sporty sounding unisex surname
Cool Connection: John Wayne played 5 characters named Kirby in his acting career with

Current Ranking: 995 for girls
Originally a nickname for Elizabeth, Libby would also be a darling nickname for Liberty
Cool Connection: Carly Simon has a song called Libby

Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Moby last year
This could make for a fun nickname. Most folks are sure to associate it with Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
Cool Connection: Musician Moby was born Richard Melville Hall and got his stage name/nickname due to his ancestor, Herman Melville.

Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Quimby last year
A quirky cute Q name
Cool Connection: Beverly Cleary character Ramona Quimby

Current Ranking: Only used by 31 boys last year
Beatles fans are sure to recognize this name from the song Eleanor Rigby
Cool Connection: USA Gymnastic Gold medalist Cathy Rigby

Current Ranking: 83 for girls
A beautiful red gemstone name on the rise
Cool Connection: Ruby Bridges, Activist and first African American child to desegregate a Louisiana school in 1960

Current Ranking: Only used by 9 girls last year
In the Shelby and Sylvie family, Selby has a posh and fresh sound
Cool Connection: Edgy photographer Todd Selby

Current Ranking: 299 for girls
Shelby screams super sweet southern belle
Cool Connection: Julia Robert’s character in the tear-jerking comedy Steel Magnolias

Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Tibby last year
Tibby originated as a nickname for Elizabeth, though it also works well as a nickname for Tabitha
Cool Connection: Tabitha “Tibby” is a character in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series

Current Ranking: 689 for boys
First used as a nickname for Tobias, Toby now stands alone as a full name
Cool Connection: Actor Tobey Maguire

Current Ranking: Only used by 6 boys last year
A great way to get to Will or honor a Will
Cool Connection: Jane Austen character John Willoughby

What are your favorite -by Baby names?

Hear about 10 of these names here: