Tag Archives: classic names

Rare Classy Girls Names

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Emma, Charlotte, Amelia, Ava.. there are so many beautiful and classy names taking over in popularity. I love this trend and so today I think we should look at some equally lovely and classy options that aren’t currently in the U.S. Top 1,000.

Audra
The perfect alternative to the ladylike Audrey is Audra, and English name meaning noble strength. The lovely songstress Audra McDonald is a great namesake.

Beatrix
Much less popular than Beatrice, Beatrix is a Latin name with the gorgeous meaning she who brings happiness. It also has the great Beatrix Potter association.

Cordelia
A strong name and personal favorite, Cordelia is rich in history. It may be Latin or Celtic meaning heart or daughter of the sea. Classy nickname options include Cora and Delia.

Flora
Sister to more popular Cora and Nora, the Latin Flora has a darling vintage vibe and means flower. Flora was the name of one of the little fairies in Sleeping Beauty.

Moira
An Irish form of the classic Mary, meaning bitter, Moira has a charm and silent strength on her own. Moira always reminds me of the character Wendy Moira Angela Darling from Peter Pan.

Odette
Ette names just scream classy to me and how fun is that O initial? French from a German name Odette means wealthy. Jared and Genevieve Padalecki named their daughter Odette Elliott last year.

Tabitha
I’m always perplexed by how low Tabitha ranks. An Aramaic name meaning gazelle, it’s time to bring back Tabitha. You could use the classic nickname Beth or the quirky cute Tibby!

Theodora
Theodore has gained attention but his sister Theodora, the feminine form of the Greek name meaning gift or God, is still quite underused. Thea and Teddy sure do make for charming nicknames.

Weigh in on your favorites!

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Hitchcock’s Leading Ladies

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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?

Lovely Names Ending in L

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There’s something feminine and sweet about the letter L.  Lily, Lillian, Layla, and Leah are all currently ranked in the Top 50 for girls.  If you love the luring L sound you may consider one of these great names ending in the letter L.

Nature Names

Coral
A great alternative to the rapidly rising Cora, Coral was only used as a first name by 199 baby girls last year. Disney fans will also recognize Coral as the name of Nemo’s Mom in Finding Nemo.

Hazel
People are really enjoying the vintage vibe of this color and plant name. Hazel currently ranks at Number 63, the highest it has ranked since the late 1920s.

Laurel
A lovely tree name, Laurel is a great way to honor a Laura, Lauren, or even a Laurence.  Laurel currently ranks at Number 772.

Gem Names

Beryl
Beryl peaked in popularity in 1920, falling out of the Top 1,000 in the late 1950s.  Last year this green gemstone name was only used by 9 little girls.

Crystal
Originally a male name, Crystal peaked for girls in the early 1980s.  Today Crystal is Number 550, right in the middle of the charts for popularity.

Jewel
A pretty, sweet, one-syllable name, Jewel is a lovely and fresh way to honor someone with a name beginning in Ju- (Julia, Julian, Juliet, etc..)  Jewel is currently Number 887.

Opal
The birthstone of October, Opal has a strong vintage vibe and hasn’t been in the Top 1,000 since 1960.  Only 229 baby girls were named Opal last year.  Could Opal be the next Ruby?

Pearl
This little vintage name is making a comeback.  Currently ranked at 628, Pearl jumped 331 spots in the last 5 years. Pearl is one of June’s birthstones.

Celebrity Names

Ariel
Modern Family actress Ariel Winter is one of the bearers of this name.  Ariel may also remind you of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Disney’s Ariel gave this name a huge boost in the early 1990s.  Today Ariel ranks at Number 137

Avril
Singer Avril Lavigne is probably the first person who comes to mind when you hear the name Avril.  A French variation of April, Avril was only used by 129 little girls last year.

Bristol
Bristol Palin, spokesperson and daughter of politician Sarah Palin, helped bring this name to the public eye.  Bristol first entered the Top 1,000 in 2009 and currently ranks at Number 447.

Meryl
Legendary actress Meryl Streep was born Mary Louise Streep. Olympic Ice dancer Meryl Davis also shares this iconic name. Meryl was only given to 50 girls last year.

Traditional Names

You may recognize some of these names from your family tree:

Abigail
Annabel
April
Carol
Ethel
Gail
Rachel

Lovely International Choices

These names would be a great way to honor your heritage and are easily usable in the US:

Amabel
Gretel
Isobel
Liesl
Marisol
Raquel
Soleil

A few more great Names to Consider

These lovely names all rank below 500 in popularity:

Chanel
Mabel
Mehetabel
Muriel
Sybil
Teal
Xochitl

What are your favorite names ending in L?

The Candidate’s Kids & Grandkids

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The United States Presidential election is just around the corner and the race to the White House is heating up. Today let’s put politics aside and look at the names of the two main candidate’s children and grandchildren. Cast your vote for your favorite name from this list!

The Clinton’s

Hillary
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. Hillary comes from the ancient Latin name Hilaris meaning cheerful.  Traditionally a male name spelled Hilary, Hillary took off for girls in the early 1960s.  Hillary peaked in 1992, but fell out of the Top 1,000 in 2009.  You may also associate Hillary with actors Hilary Duff and Hilary Swank.

Chelsea
Chelsea Victoria Clinton is the only child of Hillary Clinton and former US President Bill Clinton. Chelsea is and Old English name as well as a New York and London place name meaning landing place for chalk. Chelsea just entered the Top 1,000 in 1969, peaking in the early 1990s.  Though Chelsea has declined in popularity recently, it is still readily used, currently ranked at Number 305.

Charlotte
Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky is Hillary Clinton’s oldest grandchild. Charlotte is definitely a name on the rise, currently ranked at Number 9.  A French feminine diminutive of Charles, meaning free man, Charlotte peaked in popularity last year.  A timeless name with multiple sweet nicknames, from Charlie to Lottie to Carly, Charlotte is sure to continue to rise in popularity.

Aidan
Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky was just born in June 2016. Aidan is another popular name choice. Aidan is an anglicized Irish name meaning little and fiery.  This spelling of Aidan ranks and number 185, though if you add up all the spellings of Aidan it’s easily one of the most popular names right now. Charlotte and Aidan are both characters from the popular TV series Sex In The City, which makes me wonder if Mom Chelsea is a fan of the show.

The Trump’s

Donald
Donald John Trump is the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States. Donald is a Gaelic name which fittingly for a politician means chief or ruler.  Donald was a Top 10 name from 1923 to 1942, ranked at Number 11 in 1946, the year Trump was born.  Currently Number 441, Donald is a family name passed down by many men, including Donald Trump who used it for his oldest child, son Donald John Trump Jr.  “Don.” Donald Trump Jr continued the tradition, passing his name to his second born and eldest son, Donald John Trump III.

Kai
Kai Madison Trump is Donald Trump’s oldest grandchild.  Kai is the daughter of Donald Trump Jr. and Vanessa Haydon. Kai is a rising unisex name with multiple meanings used multiple places worldwide.  The Hawaiian meaning of Kai is sea.  Kai is currently Number 895 for girls and 145 for boys in popularity and has steadily risen for both sexes in recent years.

Tristan
Tristan Milos Trump is Donald Trump Jr’s third child and second son, born two years after older brother Donald John III. Tristan is a handsome Celtic name that unfortunately means sorrowful.  Modern parents have looked past the given meaning and are definitely taking notice of Tristan which currently ranks at Number 101.  Tristan may remind you of the legendary knight from the story Tristan and Isolde.

Spencer
Spencer Frederick Trump is Donald Trump Jr’s fourth child and third son. Spencer is an English surname and occupational name meaning dispenser for provisions. Spencer has ranked in the 200’s the last several years, currently at Number 252, making it familiar but not extremely popular.  Spencer has a distinguished sound and still carries the cool Spencer Tracy association.

Chloe
Chloe Sophia Trump is the youngest of Donald Trump Jr. and Vanessa Haydon’s five children. Chloe peaked in 2010 when it was the Number 9 name.  Today Chloe is still very loved and used coming in at Number 17.  A lovely Greek name meaning young green shoot, it’s very fitting for a baby born in the spring. Chloe spelled Khloe, like TV personality Khloe Kardashian, comes in at Number 100.

Ivanka
Ivanka Marie Trump is Donald Trump’s second child and eldest daughter. Ivanka is a diminutive of Ivana, which also happens to be her mother’s name and stems from Ivan meaning God is Gracious.  A rarely used name in the United States, Ivanka has become a name easily identifiable with Ivanka Trump.

Arabella
Arabella Rose Kushner is the eldest daughter of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Arabella is a beautiful Latin name meaning yielding to prayer. Arabella just entered the Top 1,000 in 2005 and is currently Number 194 in popularity.  Arabella makes for a less popular alternative to Isabella which ranks at Number 5. TV’s Doctor Oz also has a daughter named Arabella.

Joseph
Joseph Frederick Kushner is the second son of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Joseph is a timeless Hebrew name meaning Jehovah increases. Currently Ranked at Number 21, Joseph has never dipped below spot Number 22 in popularity. In the Old Testament Joseph was the beloved eleventh son of Jacob.

Theodore
Theodore James Kushner was just born this May.  He’s the youngest of Trump’s grandchildren and the second son of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Theodore is a handsome Greek name meaning gift of God.  Currently ranked at Number 99, Theodore is climbing the charts, up 200 spots in the last 10 years. Theodore has a very distinguished sound and comes with the adorable nickname options Ted, Teddy, and Theo.

Eric
Eric Frederick Trump is Donald Trump’s third child and second son. Eric comes from an Old Norse name meaning eternal ruler. Eric peaked in 1976 at Number 13.  Eric gained popularity in the mid-nineteenth century as it was the name of a popular Viking explorer, Erik the Red, and a name in a popular children’s book, Eric.

Tiffany
Tiffany Ariana Trump is Donald Trump’s fourth child and second daughter. Tiffany is derived from the Greek name Theophania, meaning God’s appearance. Tiffany was all the rage in the late 1980’s peaking at Number 13 in 1988. Tiffany majorly dropped in popularity in the late 1990s and currently ranks at Number 494.  Tiffany may also remind you of the popular jewelry company Tiffany & Co.

Barron
Barron William is Donald Trump’s fifth and youngest child. Barron is a variant of the word name Baron, referring to a rank in British nobility. Baron was briefly in the Top 1,000 from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, peaking in 1966 at Number 750. You may also recognize Barron as the name of businessman William Barren Hilton “Barron.”

Which of these names gets your vote?

Wholesome Names for Girls

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Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what these names are made of.  From Bonnie to Nora, these names are perfect for sweet little girls with pigtails that make daisy chains on warm summer days.

Sadie
Sadie is a sweet name full of old-timey charm.  It may surprise you to know that Sadie actually peaked in 2014 when it reached spot Number 46.  Sadie is still high ranking, currently coming in at Number 52.  Sadie began as a nickname for Sarah, but now outranks Sarah by 6 spots. The Beatles have a song called Sexy Sadie and Barbra Streisand sang “Sadie, Sadie” in Funny Girl.

Rosemary
Rosemary is a great nature name for the rosemary plant.  Rosemary gets its name from the Latin ros marinus which means the dew of the sea.  One of the most recognizable namesakes is singer and actress Rosemary Clooney. Rosemary peaked in 1946 and currently ranks at Number 518.  A great way to honor a Rose or a Mary, Rosemary also lends itself to the wholesome nicknames Rosie and Romy.

Georgia
Georgia peaked in 1900, but its climbing the charts, up almost 100 spots in the last 5 years.  Georgia is a feminine form of Georgia meaning farmer and currently ranks at Number 230. Harry Connick Jr., Zac Brown, Mick Jagger, and Kenan Thompson are just a few of the many celebrities with daughters named Georgia.  Other feminine forms of George include Georgina, Georgiana, Georgine, and Georgette.

Molly
Molly began as a diminutive of Mary, but is now commonly used as a standalone name, currently ranked at Number 144. Molly is often thought of as an Irish name and is more popular in Ireland where it ranks at Number 29. The famous song Molly Malone is set in Dublin, Ireland.  Molly may also remind you of 80s teen movie star Molly Ringwald.

Annabelle
Annabelle may come from the name Amabel meaning lovable or be a name smush of Anna and Belle.  Annabelle entered the Top 100 for the first time in 2012 and is currently ranked at spot Number 92. Annabelle had been steadily rising in the charts but dropped last year after the release of the horror film Annabelle about a possessed doll. The spelling Annabel is a lot less popular at Number 621.

Bonnie
Bonnie is a Scottish word name meaning pretty. Bonnie peaked in in the 1940s and 50s following the release of Gone With the Wind in which Scarlett and Rhett’s daughter is affectionately nicknamed Bonnie. Currently Number 871, Bonnie is still a well-loved character name.  You may recognize the name Bonnie from the TV series How to Get Away with Murder, The Walking Dead, and The Vampire Diaries.

Nora
Nora is derived from the name Honora and may mean light or honor. Nora peaked in popularity last year reaching spot Number 41. Two well-known namesakes are writer Nora Ephron and musician Norah Jones.  The spelling Norah is just behind Nora, ranking at Number 159 and also peaking last year.  Perhaps Nora and Norah are the next generations Sara and Sarah.

Hannah
Hannah  gets extra cool points for being a palindrome name. A Hebrew name meaning grace, Hannah was a Top 10 name from 1995-2007.  Today Hannah is Number 28 in popularity. In the Old Testament Hannah is the mother of the prophet Samuel.  Actor Elijah Wood has a younger sister named Hannah.

Caroline
We can’t talk about wholesome names without mentioning sweet Caroline. Neil Diamond’s song Sweet Caroline, inspired by Caroline Kennedy, was released in 1969.  Currently ranked at Number 62, Caroline is more popular now than ever. Caroline is a feminine form of Charles meaning free man.  Caroline is the name of the Princess of Monaco as well as former First Lady Caroline Harrison.

What are your favorite wholesome names for girls?

Best Names for Boys from the bottom of the charts

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Last week we explored some gorgeous girl’s names ranging between 900 and 1,000 in the charts. This week let’s find some inspiring choices for the fellas at the bottom of the Social Security Administration’s Top 1,000 chart.

Thatcher
Thatcher is an English surname and occupational name meaning a roof thatcher. Thatcher just entered the US Top 1,000 in 2013 and currently ranks at Number 902. Thatcher makes for a fresh choice and alternative to similar sounding occupational surnames like Carter or Sawyer. Thatcher always reminds me of Becky Thatcher, the leading lady in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Grey
Any fans of Grey’s Anatomy out there? Grey is a smooth color name that just entered the Top 1,000 in 2013.  Currently Number 916, Grey is one of my favorite middle names, and sounds good with many longer first names. Grey is also being used as a nickname for Greyson, which currently ranks at Number 111.

Keenan
Keenan may remind you of comedians Keenan Ivory Wayans and Kenan Thompson. An Irish name meaning ancient, Keenan currently ranks at Number 931. Keenan peaked in 1997 when it reached Number 354, but has steadily declined every year since.

Boone
Boone first entered the Top 1,000 last year and is currently the highest it has ever ranked at Number 940. Boone is an English surname derived from a French name meaning a blessing.  Boone has a cool cowboy feel and may conjure up images of frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Cairo
Cairo gets double cool points for being a place name and ending in the smooth letter o. Cairo is the capital city of Egypt and means victorious in Arabic.  Cairo first entered the Top 1,000 last year, when it peaked at Number 941.

Seamus
There are many high-ranking handsome Irish names.  If you’d love to honor your Irish heritage, but want something a bit less used, you may consider Seamus.  Seamus is an Irish form of James meaning supplanter that currently ranks at Number 948. Seamus is the name of a Pink Floyd song and a character from Harry Potter.

Anton
Anton is a German and Scandinavian form of Anthony, meaning priceless.  Anton is Number 960, much less popular than Antony at Number 25. Anton may remind you of Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno or writer Anton Chekhov.

Wilder
People are wild about Wilder! Wilder was one of the fastest rising names last year, jumping 360 spots and making its debut in the Top 1,000 at Number 964.  Wilder is a surname and a word name that could be associated with the lovable namesakes Laura Ingalls Wilder or Gene Wilder.

Truman
Truman is an English surname meaning loyal or trusty man.  Truman peaked in 1945, the year Harry S. Truman, the 33rd US President took term.  Currently Number 981 in popularity, Truman has been declining in popularity.  The hip nickname True may make Truman feel fresh to modern parents.

Gilbert
My love of the name Gilbert stems from my love of the character Gilbert Blythe in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables book series. Gilbert is a German name meaning shining pledged, currently ranked at Number 983. Gilbert peaked in 1930, but has dropped several spots in recent years.

What are your favorite names ranking from 900 to 1,000?

Boys Names that end in -i

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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?