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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?

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Going for Gold

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The 2016 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team was announced late Sunday evening.  Since childhood I’ve been fascinated with the mental and physical strength of these remarkable athletes. Let’s look at the names of the talented young women that will represent the U.S. in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

The U.S. Women’s Olympic Team

Simone Bilessimone
Simone Biles is the reigning three-time world all-around champion.  Biles is dynamic to watch and is favored to win the individual all-around gold medal.  Simone is a French feminine form of the name Simon meaning he has heard. Simone peaked in popularity in 1988 and has steadily declined ever since. Currently ranked at Number 821, I’m curious to see if Biles’ presence will help revive the name Simone. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson used the name Simone Alexandra for his daughter born in 2001.

Gabby Douglasgabbyd
Gabrielle Christina Victoria “Gabby” Douglas made Olympic history in 2012 as the first African American woman to become the individual all-around champion.  Gabrielle is a French feminine form of the name Gabriel meaning God is my strength. Renowned designer Coco Chanel’s given name was Gabrielle. Gabrielle peaked in the late 1990s climbing up to spot Number 46 and today ranks at Number 205. Gabriella has soared in recent years, coming in ahead of Gabrielle at Number 54.

Aly Raismanalyrais
Alexandra Rose “Aly” Raisman was the captain of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team in the 2012 Summer Olympics.  Alexandra is a Greek feminine form of the name Alexander, meaning defender of man. Alexandra was in the Top 100 from 1984 to 2014 and just fell to Number 101 last year.  Alexandra has many attractive nicknames including Aly, Alex, Alexa, Alexia, Andy, Lex, and Lexi. Actors Sean Astin and Daniel Baldwin each have daughters named Alexandra.

Madison Kocianmadisonc
Madison Taylor Kocian was the 2015 world champion on the uneven bars. Madison is an English surname meaning son of Maud. Madison first entered the Top 1,000 in 1985 following the release of film Splash, in which the main character is named Madison.  A Top 10 name from 1997 to 2014, Madison just fell out of the Top 10, currently ranked at Number 11.  Musician Melanie Brown and actor Johnny Knoxville each have daughters named Madison.

Laurie Hernandezlaurieh
Lauren “Laurie” Hernandez preformed two nights of nearly-flawless beam routines during the Olympic trials. Lauren was the 11th most popular girls name in 2000 when Laurie Hernandez was born.  Today Lauren ranks at Number 119. Lauren is a variation of Laura meaning bay laurel. Lauren first entered the charts in 1945, the year after Lauren Becall’s first film appearance.

The Replacement Gymnasts

MyKayla Skinnermykayla
Mykayla Brooke “Mikki” Skinner competed in the 2014 World Championships, helping the U.S. team win a gold medal. Mykayla is one of the many spelling variations of Michaela, meaning who is like the Lord. Mykayla is not currently ranked however, Makayla, Mikaela, Mikayla and Michaela are all in the Top 1,000. Last year 42 baby girls were given the name Mykayla with this spelling.

Ragan Smithragan
Ragan Elisabeth Smith is one of the youngest members of the team and is expected to compete again in the 2020 Tokoyo Olympics. Ragan is a spelling variation of the Irish Reagan, meaning little king. While Ragan is not in the Top 1,000, Reagan is currently Number 99 and rising in the charts. The name Reagan may also remind you of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Ashton Locklearashtons
Ashton Locklear is the 2014 US Champion on the uneven bars. Ashton is currently Number 141 for boys and isn’t in the Top 1,000 for girls. An English name meaning ash tree hill, 189 girls were named Ashton last year. Ashton is often associated with actor Ashton Kutcher.

Which of these athletes’ names do you enjoy?

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?

Great Girls Names from the bottom of the charts

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Looking for a familiar but not overused name for your little lady? You may find some inspiration at the bottom of the Social Security Administration’s Top 1,000 chart.  Check out these underused gems for girls ranging from 900 to 1,000 in popularity.

Paloma
Paloma, pronounced pah-LO-mah, is a Spanish name meaning dove.  Currently Number 906 in popularity, Paloma dropped 37 spots in the last year.  Actors David Caruso and Ana Ortiz both used the name Paloma for their daughters.  Perhaps one of the most recognizable namesakes is Paloma Picasso, jewelry designer and daughter of Pablo Picasso.

Louisa
Louisa peaked in 1900 at Number 271.  Today Louisa ranks at spot Number 908. A feminine form of Louis, meaning renowned warrior, Louisa comes with a slew of sweet vintage nicknames.  Love Lulu, Lulie, Lou, or Louie? Louisa is a great way to get to “Lu” nicknames.  Louisa is also a cool alternative to Lucy, which has continuously risen the past 10 years and ranks at Number 55.

Arden
Arden is one of the two names on my list here today that doesn’t end in the letter a.  Arden is an English surname stemming from a Celtic word meaning high. Arden is a unisex name and has a similar sound to popular names like Aiden, but ranks at Number 912 for girls. Shakespeare’s fans may recognize Arden as the name of the forest in As You Like It.

Wendy
Wendy made a significant drop last year, falling 154 spot to Number 936. Wendy peaked in 1970 and though it isn’t popular now, it doesn’t quite give off a granny vibe yet either. Sir James Barrie invented the name Wendy for the kind, motherly, old sister in his iconic play Peter Pan. Prior to the play Wendy may have also been used as a nickname for Gwendolen.

Tabitha
Tabitha is an Aramaic name meaning gazelle currently ranked at Number 947.  You may recognize Tabitha as the mother from Bewitched or the free-spirited girl in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  Tabitha is also the Biblical name of a New Testament woman who was restored to life by Saint Peter.  Tabby, Tibby, and Bitty are a few cutesy nicknames Tabitha lends itself to.

Cordelia
If you love vintage names and Anne of Green Gables as I do, you may consider Cordelia. Cordelia is the name Anne Shirley would have renamed herself.  Cordelia may be Celtic meaning daughter of the sea, or have Latin roots meaning heart.  Cordelia fell out of the Top 1,000 in 1951, just returning in 2014, and currently ranks at Number 948.

Lilia
A Russian form of Lily, Lilia is the perfect choice for people who love Lily but want something less popular.  Lilia is currently Number 958, while Lily comes in at Number 25. Lilia has never been very popular, peaking in 1928 when it reached Number 752.  Lilia is also great alternative to other more popular repeating L names for girls like Layla, Lila, and Liliana.

Elora
I recently posted about the name Elora on my Instagram account (@tulipbyanyname) and it received an overwhelmingly positive response.  Elora was the name of the darling infant in the fantasy film Willow. Possibly derived from Eliora or Eleanora, Elora would be a great way to honor a Laura or Laurence.  Elora first entered the Top 1,000 last year at Number 963.

Lyra
A Greek name meaning lyre, Lyra is the name of a constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega. Lyra just entered the Top 1,000 for the first time last year at Number 984. Lyra is the name of the main character in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series and film The Golden Compass.

Rhea
Mythology fans will recognize the name Rhea, a Greek name meaning flowing down.  In Greek mythology Rhea was a Titan and mother to Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, and Zeus.  In Roman mythology Rhea Silvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus.  At Number 989 Rhea was given to just 270 little girls last year.

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

Hey baby, what’s your sign?

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*A hunky name for each star sign*

Many moons ago, when I was a tween, I loved flipping to the back of teen magazines to check my horoscope and see which hunky heartthrobs shared my star sign. Let’s do an updated version of this adolescent pastime and explore the names of 12 Hollywood heartthrobs, one guy for each zodiac signs. These guys not only share the limelight, they also share some fabulous names!

alouisCapricorn – Louis Tomlinson
Born: December 24, 1991
Louis William Tomlinson is a member of the popular boy band One Direction. Louis, pronounced loo-ee by Tomlinson, is a French name meaning famous in battle. Louis is a name associated with several royals. Little Prince George of Cambridge honors with his second middle name, George Alexander Louis. Another adorable little Louis is Sandra Bullock’s son, Louis Bardo, who was named after jazz musician Louis Armstrong.

Aquarius – Calum Worthyacal
Born: January 28, 1991
Calum Worthy is an actor best known for his roles on the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally and The Coppertop Flop Show. Calum is a Scottish that means dove. More commonly seen spelled Callum, Colm is another spelling variant. My friend and fellow name enthusiast Rebe Sharpe named her eldest Callum Donovan. A few other cool Cal names include Caledon, Calvin, Calix, and Calisto.

Pisces – Stephen Currystep
Born: March 14, 1988
Wardell Stephen “Steph” Curry II is a basketball player for the Golden State Warriors. Curry is said to be one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. Stephen is a Greek name meaning crown, pronounced stef-en by Curry. Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr, making his name beloved and popular choice in the early Christian world.

Aries – Peyton Manningapay 
Born: March 24, 1976
Peyton Williams Manning is a former NFL football quarterback. Peyton is a unisex English surname meaning from Pœga’s town. Currently Number 210 in popularity for boys, Peyton is more popular for girls at Number 56. Peyton Manning has a pretty cool sibling set with brothers named Eli and Cooper. Manning choose the names Marshall and Mosely for his two sons.

achanTaurus – Channing Tatum
Born: April 26, 1980
Channing Matthew Tatum is an actor and dancer. Channing is an English surname now strongly associated with the Magic Mike star. As a surname Channing may remind you of actors Carol Channing and Stockard Channing. Tatum and wife Jenna Dewan named used the rapidly rising name Everly for their daughter in 2013.

Gemini – Hayes Grierahay
Born: June 8, 2000
Hayes Grier is a Vine and Internet personality. Hayes is an English surname that may be derived from the Gaelic surname O’hAodha. A popular last name, Hayes makes for an interesting first name. Kevin Costner used the name Hayes Logan for one of his sons. Grier’s parents created an interesting sibling set using the names Hayes, Nash, Will, and Skylynn.

Cancer – Luke Bryanaluke
Born: July 17, 1976
Thomas Luther Bryan, best known as Luke Bryan, is a country music singer. Luke is a Greek name meaning from Lucania. Luke is a New Testament name that still feels fresh and current. A few cool ties to the name Luke include Star Wars Luke Skywalker and Luke Danes from Gilmore Girls. Jessica Capshaw, Bill Murray, and Lance Armstrong are just a few celebrities that used the crisp name Luke for their sons.

Leo – Jordan Spiethajor
Born: July 27, 1993
Jordan Alexander Spieth is a professional golfer. Jordan is a Hebrew name meaning descended or flowing down. In the New Testament Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Jordan peaked for boys in 1997 and remains in the Top 100. Jordan is a unisex name, still a bit more popular for boys. Jordana would also be a great variation.

Virgo – Hunter Hayesahunt
Born: September 9, 1991
Hunter Easton Hayes is a singer and songwriter. Hunter is an English surname and occupational name meaning one who hunts. Actor’s Terrence Howard and Josh Holloway both choose the name Hunter for their sons. If you have a connection to hunting you may also enjoy the Greek name Theron, meaning to hunt.

Libra – Bruno Marsbruno
Born: October 8, 1985
Peter Gene Hernandez, best known by his stage name Bruno Mars, is a singer and choreographer. Bruno was formerly thought of a clunky name before Mars breathed new life into it. Bruno is a German name meaning shield, armor, or brown. Chef Nigella Lawson used the name Bruno Paul for her son.

Scorpio – Leonardo Dicaprio1leo
Born: November 11, 1974
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an actor and film producer. I must confess that I had posters of Leo on my walls as a teenager. Leonardo is an Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese form of Leonard, meaning brave lion. A grand name, Leonardo easily lends itself to the popular and wearable nickname, Leo.

Sagittarius – Theo James1theo
Born: December 16, 1984
Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis, known as Theo James, is an actor. Theodore is a Greek name meaning Gift of God. Theodore is a classic name that many Hollywood is taking notice of. Actors Bryce Dallas Howard, Ali Larter, and Rachael Leigh Cook all recently used the name Theodore for their sons.

Which Heartthrob shares your star sign?

And the Winners are…

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This week America crowned the 15th and final American Idol Winner.  The hit singing competition debuted on June 11, 2002, going on to become one of the most successful television shows in history. Idol launched the career of many talented singers.  Let’s reminisce as we look back and explore the names of American Idol’s winners.

Kelly Clarkson – Season 1 Winner, 2002
Kelly Brianne Clarkson was the first and is one of the most recognizable winners of American Idol.  Clarkson is a three-time Grammy winner and has release seven studio albums. Kelly is an anglicized spelling of an Irish surname meaning war. Currently Number 432 in popularity, Kelly peaked in 1977 when it was the 10th most popular name for girls. A popular name for girls throughout the 1970s and 80s, Kelly is a unisex name that may make a fresh choice if used on a boy today.  Clarkson married to Brandon Blackstok in 2013.  They have a daughter named River Rose and are expecting a baby boy.

Ruben Studdard – Season 2 Winner, 2003
Christopher Ruben Studdard was affectionately nicknamed the “Velvet Teddy Bear,” while preforming on the second season of American Idol.  Studdard has released five studio albums and went on to appear on the hit TV show The Biggest Loser. Ruben is a spelling variation of the Hebrew name Reuben, meaning “behold, a son.” At 357 in popularity Ruben is actually a more popular spelling than Reuben in the U.S. Ruben would be a cool name to use to get to the nickname Ben.

Fantasia Barrino – Season 3 Winner, 2004
Fantasia Monique Barrino is one of the few artists with a name so iconic that she is easily recognizable by first name alone.  Fantasia is a Grammy winner and appeared in the Broadway musical The Color Purple. Fantasia is a mystical sounding name meaning fantasy or imagination. Aside from Fantasia Barrino, Fantasia is probably best recognized as the 1940 Disney animated film, Fantasia. Fantasia is the mother of daughter Zion Quari and son Dallas Xavier.

Carrie Underwood – Season 4 Winner, 2005
Carrie Marie Underwood is one of the biggest stars to have come out of American Idol.  Underwood has numerous awards and achievements, including seven Grammy awards and six consecutive Number 1 albums on the Billboard’s Top Country Album chart. Carrie is a diminutive of Carol or Caroline meaning free man.  Carrie peaked in 1977, and fell out of the Top 1,000 in 2008.  The popularity of the similar sounding Carly may have contributed to the decline of Carrie being used. Underwood married Mike Fisher in 2010.  They welcomed son Isaiah Michael in February 2015.

Taylor Hicks – Season 5 Winner, 2006
Taylor Reuben Hicks currently has a successful residency in Las Vegas and continues to tour. Hicks is also the co-owner of an Alabama BBQ restaurant called Saw’s Juke Joint. Taylor is an English occupational name for a tailor, fittingly meaning to cut. Taylor is a unisex name that is currently more popular for girls. At spot 435 Taylor is still being used for boys, and got some visibility when teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner appeared in the Twilight films.

Jordin Sparks – Season 6 Winner, 2007
At age 17 Jordin Brianna Sparks became the youngest American Idol winner.  One of Spark’s biggest successes was her collaboration with Chis Brown in the 2008 single No Air, which earned her a Grammy nomination. Jordin is a spelling variation of the Hebrew name Jordan, meaning flowing down. The spelling Jordin briefly entered the US Top 1,000 from 2007-2009, most likely boosted by Sparks.  Jordan peaked in popularity for girls and boys in the late 1990s.

David Cook – Season 7 Winner, 2008
David Roland Cook broke numerous Billboard records the week following his idol win.  Cook parted ways with RCA records in 2012 and moved to Tulsa where he joined the band Midwest Kings. Chances are that you know quite a few men named David. David has always been a popular name in the US, never dipping below spot 32, it is currently ranked at Number 18.  A Hebrew name meaning beloved, David is a classic name popular in many countries. Cook married longtime girlfriend, Rachael Stump in 2015.

Kris Allen – Season 8 Winner, 2009
Kristopher Neil “Kris” Allen may not have reached the success of season 8 runner-up, Adam Lambert, but he did debut a hit single Live Like We’re Dying, in 2009. Kristopher is a spelling variation of Christopher, meaning bearing Christ.  Christopher is quite popular at Number 30, though Kristopher also appears on the charts at spot 591. Actors Jane Seymour and James Keach used the name Kristopher for one of their twin sons in 1995.  Kris Allen and wife Katy O’Connell welcomed son Oliver Neil in 2013.  They’re expecting their second child this June.

Lee DeWyze – Season 9 Winner, 2010
Leon James “Lee” DeWyze, Jr.’s debut album peaked at Number 19 on the Billboard charts.  DeWyze’s rendition of Blackbird Song was featured on season four of the AMC hit show, The Walking Dead. Leon comes from a Greek name meaning lion. Currently Number 321 in the US, Leon is a Top 20 name in Austria, Croatia, Norway, and Switzerland.  Though Lee can be a nickname for Leon, as used by DeWyze, it is also a given name meaning meadow or clearing.  DeWyze married Jonna Walsh in 2012.

Scotty McCreery – Season 10 Winner, 2011
Scott Cooke “Scotty” McCreery was Idol’s youngest male winner at age 17.  A country star sensation, McCreery has sold over 2.5 million albums. McCreery’s debut album, Clear as Day, was certified platinum. Scott is a crisp, one-syllable, English and Irish surname referring to a person from Scotland. Scott peaked in 1971 when it was the 10th most popular name for boys.  Currently Number 425, Scott does have some other cool associations, including writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and Scott Lang, also known as Marvel comics Ant Man.

Phillip Phillips – Season 11 Winner, 2012
A name so nice, it’s used twice by Phillip LaDon Phillips Jr. One of the most memorable songs to have come from Idol is Phillips coronation song Home. Home was the best-selling coronation song in Idol history, and was used in the NBC Olympic coverage. Phillip is a spelling variation of the Greek name Philip, meaning lover of horses. Phillip is currently Number 391 in popularity, just a tad behind Philip at 389. Nicknames such as Pip or Flip could make for fun fresh alternatives to the more familiar Phil. Phillips married Hannah Blackwell in 2015.

Candice Glover – Season 12 Winner, 2013
Candice Rickelle Glover has not yet produced a hit single, though she has continued to perform at corporate and professional sporting events. Rumor has it that she has a second album in the works.  Candice is a spelling variation of the Biblical name Candace, the title of a queen or mother of a queen. Candice peaked in 1982 when it ranked at Number 78. Both Candice and Candice were fashionable in the 1980s and neither currently appear in the Top 1,000.  One of the most notable bearers of this name is actress Candice Bergen.

Caleb Johnson – Season 13 Winner, 2014
Caleb Perry Johnson’s debut album, Testify, was released less than three months after his Idol win. The song Holding On, from Johnson’s sophomore album was just released in February 2016. Caleb is a handsome Hebrew name meaning faithful or dog. Currently 35 in popularity, Caleb was also commonly used among the Puritans.  Several celebrities have chosen this wearable Biblical name. Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson, and Julianne Moore all have sons named Caleb.

Nick Fradiani – Season 14 Winner, 2015
While we await the debut of his first album, Nick Fradiani’s first single, Beautiful Life, appeared in the Billboard Hot 100 charts last year.  Frandiani also appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2014 with his band Mohegan Sun. Nick is an English name, most commonly used as a diminutive of names like Nicholas or Dominic. Actors Nick Sandow and Nick Stevenson also share the given name Nick.  A few other great names that Nick could serve as a nickname to include Nicodemus, Nikolai, and Nixon.

Trent Harmon – Season 15 Winner, 2016
Trent William Harmon was crowned the 15th and final winner of American Idol on April 7, 2015.  Harmon will kick off his career with his single, Falling, which was co-written by Idol judge Keith Urban.  Trent is an English surname originally used to describe someone who lived near the River Trent in England. Trent peaked in 2001, and currently sits in the middle of the Top 1,000 at Number 499 in popularity.

Which American Idol gets your vote for the best name?

Beyond Anne

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Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables novels bring back warm childhood memories for me. I believe these books positively impacted my imagination as well as my naming style.  I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the title character, Anne Shirley, and her insistence on spelling her name Anne, with an ‘e’.  “But if you call me Anne, please call me Anne with an ‘e’.” Let’s explore some of the rich and wonderful names for girls that Montgomery used in this series!

Cordelia
I have to start with the name Cordelia as it inspired me to write this article. Underwhelmed with her own sensible name, Anne requests to be called Cordelia. Cordelia has a bit of an unknown meaning.  It may be a Celtic name meaning daughter of the sea, or a Latin name meaning heart. A personal favorite of mine, there are many lovely nickname options for Cordelia, such as Cora or Delia. At 993 in popularity, Cordelia is a familiar, but still underused name choice.

Sybil
Sybil is a Greek name meaning prophetess. According to an ancient Greek legend, the sibyls were women that prophesied at holy sites. Sybil peaked in 1919, though it has dropped significantly, used by only 86 girls last year. Audiences were reintroduced to this lovely, understated name as it was used by the admirable youngest Crawley sister on Downton Abbey. Sybil in the Anne of Green Gables series is affectionately called “Dovie.”

Aurelia
My love of the name Aurora often makes me overlook the stunning and grand Aurelia. If you are looking for an Aurora alternative, Aurelia is a mirror in beauty, and less commonly used. Aurelia is currently Number 832, whereas Aurora sits at 116. That said, Aurelia was one of the most rapidly-rising names in 2013. The name of many early saints, Aurelia is a feminine form of the Latin Aurelius, meaning golden or gilded.

Esther
The Biblical Esther was a heroic Jewish queen in the Old Testament that saved her people from obliteration. Esther’s original Hebrew name was Hadassah. A Persian name meaning star, Esther peaked in 1913, though it is still wearable ranking at Number 203. As a lover of nicknames, I love that Essie, Estee, Etta, and Tess could all stem from Esther.

Theodora
Theodore is all the rage right now, rising 150 spots just in the last five years. If you’re worried about the recent spike that Theodore has made, you may want to consider the less popular, feminine variation, Theodora. A Greek name meaning gift of God, Theodora has a sophisticated old world charm. Robbie Williams used the name Theodora “Teddy” Rose for his daughter born in 2012.

Blythe
Blythe is a surname in the Anne of Green Gables series that makes for a fresh and spirited first name. Blythe comes from an Old English surname meaning happy and cheerful, a wonderful meaning to bestow upon a child. A rarely used virtue name, 167 girls and 9 boys were given the name Blythe last year. Perhaps the most well-known bearer of this name is actress Blythe Danner.

Muriel
Muriel is derived from a Celtic name meaning bright sea.  There are forms of the name Muriel in Irish, Breton, and Scottish Gaelic languages.  Muriel peaked in 1922, but dropped off the charts in the mid-1960s.  Last year only 30 girls were given the first name Muriel.

Flora
Flora is a sweet, chic, vintage name prime for a comeback.  Nora and Cora have both had recent dramatic leaps in popularity, could Flora be next? Flora peaked in 1902 and was given to just 167 baby girls last year.  A Latin name meaning flower, Flora is a Roman goddess of flowers and springtime.  You may also recognize Flora as the name of one of sweet fairy-godmother’s in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

A few more beautiful names from this series include:

Avonlea
Charlotta
Clarice
Cornelia
Hester
Jamesina
Lavendar
Laurette
Louisa
Marilla
Mirabel
Myra
Pearl
Persis
Philippa

What are your favorite names from Avonlea?