Tag Archives: names

5 Names Rules to Ignore

ignore

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!

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Bodacious “B” Surname Names

bsurnames

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.

 

Names from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

sabrina

Netflix recently released the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a show based off the comic series of the same name and it has been all the buzz around the water cooler. Perhaps part of the appeal is nostalgia for the much lighter late 90’s sitcom Sabina the Teenage Witch. There are some great names a brew from cast and characters alike!

Sabrina Spellmansabrina
Played by Kiernan Shipka
Sabrina is the name of a mythological Celtic Princess as well as a Latin name derived from the River Severn. U.S. Ranking – Number 434.
Kiernan is traditionally and Irish male name meaning dark one. Not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000 for either sex.

harveyHarvey Kinkle
Played by Ross Lynch
Harvey is a French name meaning battle worthy. U.S. Ranking – Number 382.
Ross is of Scottish origins meaning upland or Peninsula. Ross does not currently rank in the U.S. Top 1,000.

zeldaZelda Spellman
Played by Miranda Otto
Zelda comes from the name Griselda meaning gray battle. U.S. Ranking – Number 649.
Miranda is a Latin name meaning marvelous and worthy of admiration. U.S. Ranking – Number 344.

hildaHilda Spellman
Played by Lucy Davis
Hilda Hilda is a German name meaning battle woman. Hilda is not currently Ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Lucy Lucy is an English variant of Lucia meaning Light. U.S. Ranking – Number 52.

ambroseAmbrose Spellman
Played by Chance Perdomo
Ambrose is a Latin name meaning immortal one. Ambrose does not currently rank in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Chance is a word name but may also be a variant of Chauncey, meaning chancellor. U.S. Ranking – Number 267.

maryMary Wardwell
Played by Michelle Gomez
Mary is a Latin name meaning bitter. U.S. Ranking – Number 126.
Michelle is a French feminine form of Michael meaning who is like God. U.S. ranking – Number 214.

prudencePrudence Night
Played by Tati Gabrielle
Prudence is a Puritanical virtue name meaning caution. Prudence is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Tati is short for Tatiana a Russian family name. Tatiana is currently ranked at Number 700 in the U.S.

faustusFather Faustus Blackwood
Played by Richard Coyle
Faustus is a Latin name possibly meaning auspicious or lucky. Faustus is rarely used in the U.S. and not ranked in the Top 1,000.
Richard is a German name meaning dominant ruler. U.S. Ranking – Number 175.

rozRosalind “Roz” Walker
Played by Jaz Sinclair
Rosalind is a Latin name meaning pretty rose. Rosalind is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Jaz is a variant of Jasmine, a Persian flower name. Jaz is not ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000, while Jasmine ranks at Number 130.

susieSusie Putnam
Played by Lachlan Watson
Susie is a diminutive of the name Susan meaning lily. Susie is not currently ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000.
Lachlan is a Scottish name meaning from the forjed-land or land of lochs. Lachlan is ranked at Number 695 for boys in the U.S.

Happy Halloween!

Nature Names – Letter C

naturenamesletterc

Calla
Calla gets its nature tie from the beautiful calla lily flowers. Calla is Greek meaning beautiful.

Camellia
A lovely was to get to “Cam,” Camellia is a genus of flowering plants.

Canyon
A Spanish word name, canyon is a deep grove which often has a river flowing through it. An adventurous choice.

Caraway
Caraway is a plant often used as a spice. Caraway is also known as meridian fennel and Persian cumin.

Cassia
Cassia is a tree name and a form of cinnamon. Cassia is the feminine form of the Greek Cassius.

Cedar
A strong English tree name and Biblical word name.

Cherry
A fruit and tree name that now has more of a rockabilly vibe.

Chrysanthemum
A bit of a mouthful, though fun to say, Chrysanthemum is a flower native to Northeastern Europe and Asia.

Citron
Citron has a futuristic sound in English, though it means lemon in French. Citron is a large fragrant citrus fruit with a thick rind.

Clay
Clay is an English word for rich earth composed of several minerals. Clay currently ranks at Number 697 in the U.S.

Clementine
A French, feminine form of Clement, meaning merciful, Clementine doubles as a nature name. Clementine is a citrus fruit and a name getting attention, currently ranked at Number 744.

Cliff
Cliff is a topographical name but can also be short for names such as Clifford, Clifton, and Heathcliff.

Clove
Clove is an aromatic flower used as a spice. Clove got a bit of attention as a name after appearing in The Hunger Games.

Clover
A lucky little plant name perfect for a Saint Patrick’s Day baby!

Coral
Coral is a beautiful formation of marine invertebrates. Coral doubles as a color name for its bright orange-pink hue.

Cooper
Cooper is a natural metal and a golden-brown color.

Cove
A small sheltered bar, Cove is a name on many name enthusiasts list!

Creek
A stream or brook that feeds to a river. This aquatic name may remind you of Russell Brand’s character is Trolls.

Crystal
A gemstone name. Crystal was all the rage in the 80’s, today she ranks at Number 644 in popularity.

Cypress
A great tree name that easily lends itself to the nickname Cy.

Would you use any of these for your bouncing babe?

The Way to Spell a Name

babyletter

Congratulations, you’ve found the perfect name for your little one, but wait… how are you going to spell it? Say you love the name Dylan- great choice! Dylan is Welsh meaning son of the sea. Then while looking into Dylan you come across Dillon, pronounced the same way as Dylan, Dillon is Irish and means loyal. So how would you decide between Dylan and Dillon? Well maybe Dylan gets the edge because of the association to Dylan Thomas, or perhaps you have Irish heritage that you’d like to give a nod to with the Dillon spelling. I could make a list of reasons in favor of either spelling and that’s the point of this article, names are important and so are their spellings. Take it from a lady named Meagan ;).

There are many names with multiple legitimate spelling variations, think Vivienne and Vivian or Marc and Mark.  Often times spelling variations are connected to a region and or language. Then there are names like Dylan and Dillon that sound the same but have different meanings and origins.

In recent years the Social Security Administration has reflected an increase in uniquely spelled baby names.  In the naming community these spellings are often categorized as “kreative spellings.” I do want to emphasize here that choosing a name and a spelling is a personal choice and I want to shine light on that, this post is not intended to throw any shade or side eye.

One top trend in the unique spelling craze is the addition of the letter “y” to names, such as Jayson instead of Jason, or replacing an “i” with a “y,” like Austyn instead of Austin.  We see this a lot when a traditionally male name is being used on a girl, for example Jaymes instead of James.  There are several names like Sailor and Saylor that may appear to just be a trendy spelling variant but in fact have different origins and are original spellings.

Modern parents don’t limit their love to “y” they also expand this to “x” and “z.” Jasmine becomes Jazmine and Jackson becomes Jaxon. Other than aesthetics these letter substitutions are often intentional because they are connected to nicknames.  I know a little Jazmine that goes by “Jazz” and a Jaxon that is often called “Jax.”

Aside from the “y”, “x”, and “z” variants one of the common ways I see names altered to uncommon spellings is changing the spelling of the long “e” sound. So there’s “e”, “ee”, “ie”, “eigh”, “ey”, “y.” Let’s break this down with Kailey which could also be Kailee, Kailie, Kaileigh, Kaley, Kaylee, Kayley, and so on, you get where I’m going here.

Vowel swapping at the end of names, particularly those ending in “n” is another trend I see frequently.  Landon could also be Landan, Landen, Landin, Landon, or Landyn.  Grayson and Greyson are both ranked in the United States Top 1,000, as are Greyson and Graysen. When it comes to swapping out vowels, there are numerous combinations.

There is no one way or “right” way to spell a name.  I would urge soon-to-be parents to look into the history of the names they’re considering and pick the one that suits them best. Keep in mind that modifications may lead to more corrections but more and more unique spellings are being used these says so it’s likely even a little Mary may be asked how she spells her name. Who knows, she could be Merry, Maree, or another unique spelling entirely!

Keep Counting – The Duggar Grandkids

keepsounting

The Duggar kids are growing up and quite a few have become parents. The more the merrier for fans and name lovers alike! Let’s look at the names of the Duggar grand-babies, and I invite you to share your favorites!

Mackynzie Renee born October 8, 2009 – daughter of Josh & Anna Duggar
Mackynzie
mrd
Mackynzie is a spelling variation of the Scottish Mackenzie, meaning son of Kenneth.

Michael James born June 15, 2011 – son of Josh & Anna Duggar
Michael
mjd
Michael is a classic Hebrew name meaning who is like the Lord.

Marcus Anthony born June 2, 2013 – son of Josh & Anna Duggar
Marcus
mad
Marcus is a strong Latin name meaning warlike.

Israel David born April 6, 2015 – son of Jill & Derick Dillard
Israel
idd
Israel is a Hebrew place name meaning he who struggles with God.

Meredith Grace born July 16, 2015 – daughter of Josh & Anna Duggar
Meredith
mgd
Meredith is a Welsh name meaning great ruler.

Spurgeon Elliot born November 11, 2015 – son of Jessa & Ben Seewald
Spurgeon
ses
Spurgeon is a unique Norse name meaning little branch.

Henry Wilberforce born February 6, 2017 – son of Jessa & Ben Seewald
Henry
hws
Henry is a rising German name meaning estate ruler.

Samuel Scott born July 8, 2017 – son of Jill & Derick Dillard
Samuel
ssd
Samuel is a Hebrew name meaning told by God.

Mason Garrett born September 12, 2017 – son of Josh & Anna Duggar
Mason
mgdd
Mason is a popular English name meaning stone worker.

Gideon Martyn born February 23, 2018 – son of Joy-Anna & Austin Forsyth
Gideon
gmf
Gideon is a Hebrew name meaning hewer.

Garrett David born June 8, 2018 – son of Joseph & Kendra Duggar
Garrett
gdd
Garrett is an Irish variant of Gerard, meaning spear strength.

Felicity Nicole born July 20, 2018 – son of Jinger & Jeremy Vuolo
Felicity
fnd
Felicity is a Latin name meaning happiness and good fortune

My favorites? Well that little Spurgeon sure is adorable but I’d vote Felicity and Gideon as my favorite names in the bunch, what are yours? Who will be the next Duggar to bring a new grand baby to the bunch?

Nature Names – Letter B

bnature

Basil
An herb and Greek name meaning regal.

Bay
A name that brings to mind aquatic images, Bay has Latin roots meaning berry, a nature name through and through.

Beach
Surfs up! This one may be best in the middle name spot.

Begonia
Do you like flower names? Begonia is an unusual choice for the gorgeous flower.

Beech
So Beach is for the water babies and now we have Beech for the forest babes!
Beech trees are part of the fagaceae family.

Berry
Berry berry cute! I love Berry as a middle name. As a child of the 80’s and 90’s I can’t help but see this one and think of Strawberry Shortcake sheets.

Birch
Don’t you just love those white-bark branches? This one-syllable name is strong in sound and imagery.

Blossom
The flowering part of a plant and the coming-of-age 1990’s television show.

Bluebell
This flower name is on many name-lover’s guilty pleasure lists. Split this name up and nicknames Blue and Bell make it easy to wear.

Branch
Hard to see this one and not think of Justin Timberlake in Trolls.
Branch our with this sturdy nature name.

Briar
English for a thorny patch, this one is also associated with Sleeping Beauty who went by the alias “Briar Rose.”

Brook
Often overlooked due to Brooks and Brooke’s popularity. This babbling water name is a great choice.

Bryony
A Latin flower name meaning to sprout. The spelling Briony was used in the film and book Atonement.

Buttercup
It’s hard not to think of The Princess Bride for this quirky, cute flower name.

Which of these names would you use for your little one?