Tag Archives: names

The New Kids Kids – Babies on the Block

newkidskids

If you were a girl in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s chances are you were obsessed with the American boy band The New Kids on the Block (NKOTB). I had their poster in my room at age six and thought then that if I didn’t marry Jordan Knight that I’d at least have a son with his name. NKOTB still has hoards of followers, many that are now parents, which made me curious as to what the teen idols named their little ones.

Jordanjordananderic
I’ve already professed my childhood crush on Jordan, born Jordan Nathaniel Marcel Knight, the younger brother of fellow band-mate Jonathan Knight. Jordan is a Hebrew river name meaning flowing down. Knight’s parents were ahead of the trend in 1970 when Jordan was born. His name then ranked at Number 486. Jordan peaked in popularity in the late 1990’s when it reached spot Number 26. Today Jordan sits at Number 67. Knight married Evelyn Melendez-Knight and together they have two sons, Dante Jordan and Eric Jacob.
Dante is a Latin Medieval name, a variant of Durante, meaning enduring. One of the most famous bearers of this name was the 13th century poet Dante Alighieri. A bold and masculine name, Dante currently ranks at Number 344.
Eric is an Old Norse name meaning eternal ruler. Eric was a Top 100 name from 1950 to 2010. Today Eric ranks at Number 142, the lowest its been since the mid-1940s.

Jonathanjonathanandharley
Jonathan is the only guy in this group who has not yet become a father. He and fiance Harley Rodriguez have expressed interest in one day starting a family. We know Jonathan as Jordan’s older brother, but he also has three older siblings; Allison, Sharon and David. Jonathan was born Jonathan Rashleigh Knight. Jonathan is a Hebrew name meaning gift of God. Since the early 1960’s Jonathan has been in the Top 100. It ranked at Number 53 in 1968, when Knight was born, and today ranks just a few spots lower at Number 56.

Donniedonnieandelijah
Donnie Wahlberg has gone on to be one of the most famous members of the band. Donnie, born Donald Edmond Wahlberg Jr. Is the eighth of nine children, the youngest being famous brother Mark Wahlberg. Donald is a Gaelic name derived from Domhnall, meaning ruler or chief.  Donald peaked in the 1930’s when it was a Top 10 baby name. Donald ranked at Number 30 in 1969 when Wahlberg was born but has steadily declined every year since, today coming in at Number 488.
Wahlberg has two sons, Xavier Alexander and Elijah Hendrix with his ex-wife Kimberly Fey.
Xavier comes from a Basque place name meaning the new house. A noteable namesake is Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier. Xavier has been a Top 100 name since 2001, today ranking at Number 88.
Elijah has been steadily climbing the charts, peaking in popularity last year reaching spot Number 9. Elijah is the name of an Old Testament prophet and has Hebrew roots meaning Yahweh is God.  The attractive nickname Eli aids in Elijah’s appeal.

Dannydannydannyjr
Danny was the first in the band to become a father, see him pictured with Danny Jr. in 1992. Born Daniel William Wood, Danny has one of the most timeless and classic names on this list. Daniel is a has never dipped below spot Number 55. Today Daniel ranks at Number 13, maintaining its well-loved and well-used status. Danny has a son named Daniel William Jr. with his ex-girlfriend Elise Stepherson as well as son Chance and daughter Vega with ex-wife Patricia Alfaro.
Daniel is one of the many classic names we see passed from father to son. It was Number 7 in 1992 when Danny Jr. Was born.
Chance is a word name meaning luck or fortune though it can also be a diminutive of the English Chauncey meaning chancellor. Chance first entered the Top 1,000 in 1967, peaking in the mid-1990s. Today Chance is ranked at Number 274.
Vega is the rarest name on our list today. Vega is a star in the Lyra constellation as well as an Arabic name meaning swooping eagle. Only 35 girls and 10 boys were named Vegas last year.

Joeyjoeyfamily
Joey is the youngest member of the group and went on to find success in his solo musical career.  Born Joseph Mulrey McIntyre, Joey is the youngest of nine children. His older siblings names are Judy, Alice, Susan, Tricia, Carol, Jean, Kate, and Tommy. Joseph is another well-loved classic Biblical name.  A Hebrew name meaning Jehovah increases, Joseph is currently Number 20 in popularity, the lowest it has ever ranked. Joey and wife Barrett Williams are parents to Griffin Thomas, Rhys Edward, and Kira Katherine.
Griffin is a Welsh variant of Gruffudd meaning strong lord. Griffin has never been too popular, peaking in 1998 when it reached Number 215. Today Griffin is just a bit lower at Number 229. Nicknames Finn, Griff, and Griffy add to Griffin’s appeal.
Rhys is another handsome Welsh name meaning ardor. Numerous Welsh rulers were fittingly named Rhys. Rhys first entered the US Top 1,00 in 2004 and today ranks at Number 494.
Kira is a Russian feminine form of Cyrus meaning young or throne. Kira can have numerous origins and spellings, but with this spelling it currently ranks at Number 369.

Which of the New Kids has the best naming chops?

Advertisements

Alaska Baby Names

coldbaby

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.

Alaska
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.

Benson
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
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.

Frontier
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.

Jade
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
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
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.

McKinley
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.

North
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.

Winter
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

alabamababynames

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.

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
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
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.

Camelllia
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.

Cotton
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.

Crimson
“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.

Dixie
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.

Harper
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
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.

Rocket
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)

 

 

Mermaid Baby Names

mermaidbabynames

Mermaids are my favorite mythological creatures. In my latest YouTube video, which I’ll link at the end of this article, I talked about 10 beautiful names that would be fitting for a mermaid. Today I thought we’d explore 10 more mermaid inspired names for your aqua baby.

Aerwyna
Let’s begin with the exotic yet beautiful Aerwyna, pronounced ER-Wih-NAH. Tolkien fans will recognize this as an Elven name. Aerwyna has English roots meaning friend of the sea, the perfect meaning for a mermaid!

Ariel
How can we not talk about Ariel? The wide-eyed, red-headed Disney mermaid from Little Mermaid is perhaps one of the most recognizable mermaids. Ariel is a unisex Hebrew name meaning Lion of God. Shakespeare used the name Ariel for the spirit in his play The Tempest. Ariel currently ranks at Number 140.

Kailani
Most Hawaiian names could easily fit this category. Kailani is a beautiful exotic yet accessible choice meanings sky, heavens and sea. Kailani is currently number 754 in popularity, the most popular it has ever ranked. The nicknames Kai and Lani definitely make this name all the more appealing.

Madison
Daryl Hannah played the mermaid Madison in the 1980s film Splash. Madison has been wildly popular since and has been a Top 20 name since 1996. Currently Number 15 in popularity, Madison is actually a lot more popular when you add up the multiple spelling variations.

Muirgen
My love of mermaids and of Irish mythology come together in the name Muirgen, a Gaelic name (pronounced mur-in) meaning born of the sea. According to Irish legend, Muirgen was a woman who was transformed into a mermaid for 300 years but returned to her human form after being baptized.

Muriel
Muriel is a melodic Irish name meaning bright sea. Muriel peaked in 1922 and hasn’t been in the Top 1,000 since 1964. Muriel may remind you of the film Muriel’s Wedding or of Muriel Stacy, Anne Shirley’s beloved teacher in the Anne of Green Gables series.

Nerida
Nerida has a very familiar sound though it is quite uncommon. Nerida may have Greek roots meaning sea nymph or Australian ties meaning water lily. Both origins of Nerida make it a suitable name for a woman with fins and a watery home.

Ondine
Ondine is a stunning Latin name from the French Undine meaning wave. Ondine is the name of a mythical water spirit, a story that was adapted into the 2009 film Ondine. Sleek and mysterious Ondine is a mix of soft and bold.

Shell
Word names are all the rage and so beach-going parents may consider Shell.  A cool way to honor a Shelly, Shell has a more modern feel. Shell is also similar to author Shel Silverstein which would make a fun namesake connection.

Waverly
Waverly is one of my favorite names to say. Melodic and whimsical, Waverly has the word wave right in it, perfect for a mermaid! An English name meaning meadow of quivering aspens, I think Waverly will be the next Everly.

What are your favorite mermaid names? Hear me chat about 10 more magical mermaid names:

Incredible -ina Names

inanames

Names that end in the letter -a often have a softer, more traditionally feminine sound. If you like names that end in the sweet -a sound, you may enjoy these ultra-feminine names that end in -ina. Many names ending in -ina have a bit of an exotic flare and lend themselves to delightful nicknames.

Audrina
I grew up with a generation of teenage girls who obsessed over V.C. Andrew’s novels, and so Audrina always reminds me of the book My Sweet Audrina. Audrina may also remind you of reality TV star Audrina Partridge. With Audrey quickly rising in popularity, Audrina, which shares the same roots, its a lovely less popular alternative at Number 738.

Celestina
Babies truly are little angels and so you may consider using Celestina, a Spanish and Italian name meaning heavenly, for your little angel. Celestina is a variant of Celeste and would work well to honor a Celeste or even a Tina. A melodic and ethereal name choice, only 22 little girls were named Celestina last year.

Evangelina
Evangelina is striking, angelic, and packed full of adorable nicknames from Angie to Evie to Lina. A Latinate variant of the Greek Evangeline, Evangelina means bearer of good news. A lovely name with a lovely meaning to bestow upon any little girl. Last year 170 girls were named Evangelina.

Georgina
Georgia has been steadily rising in popularity the past few years. Why not consider her sister Georgina? Georgina is an English feminine form of George meaning farmer and was only given to 133 girls last year. Georgina Sparks is a character in the popular Gossip Girl series.

Jamesina
If you’re obsessed with what names celebrities are using like I am, then you’ve noticed the huge trend of James for girls. James is also on the rise for boys, currently ranked at Number 5. Jamesina is not only a fun name to say, it’s also a fun form of James, meaning supplanter. Jamesina is so rare that it was given to 5 or less girls last year.

Katarina
Katarina is a stunning Czech form of Katherine meaning pure. An exotic sound yet totally usable here in the US, Katarina is a great way to honor a Kate, Kaitlin, or Katherine. You may recognize Katarina as a character name used in Dr. Who and 10 Things I Hate About You.

Marina
A poetic Latin and Shakespearean name, Marina means of the sea. If you want a name that people will recognize but isn’t overly used, then Marina fits the bill, currently ranked at Number 685. Actor Matt LeBlanc used the lovely combo Marina Pearl for his daughter.

Seraphina
A name on many namers guilty pleasure list, Seraphina has Latinate and Hebrew roots meaning fiery. A large and grand name, Seraphina could easily be shortened for Sera and of course then honor a Sara or Sarah. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Gardner helped give this name some attention when they used it for their daughter. 209 girls were named Seraphina last year.

Valentina
Truly a romantic choice, Valentina peaked in popularity last year when it reached spot Number 106. Valentina is a Latin feminine form of Valentine meaning strong and healthy. Selma Hayek chose the name Valentina Paloma for her daughter.

Wilhelmina
Wilhelmina is on the brink of shedding it’s formerly frumpy vibe. William which Wilhelmina shares its origins with has long been in the Top 10. Wilhelmina is made all the sweeter by the nicknames Mina, Willa, and Willie. 114 girls were named Wilhelmina last year.

Loving these -ina Names? Here are a few more to tickle your naming fancy:

Alexandrina
Alina
Angelina
Carina
Carolina
Christina
Emmelina
Evelina
Josephina
Justina
Katrina
Irina
Martina
Nina
Paulina
Regina
Sabrina
Thomasina
Tina
Trina
Zarina

What are your favorite names that end in -ina?

The Top Names of 2016

topnames16

It’s here! It’s here! The United States Social Security Administration just released their most current data giving us a new list of popular baby names.  Let’s look over the new Top Baby Names!

Girls

1 Emma
2 Olivia
3 Ava + up one spot from last year
4 Sophia – down one spot from last year
5 Isabella
6 Mia
7 Charlotte + up two spots from last year
8 Abigail – down one spot from last year
9 Emily – down one spot from last year
10 Harper

Boys

1 Noah
2 Liam
3 William + up one spot from last year
4 Mason – down one spot from last year
5 James + up two spots from last year
6 Benjamin + up four spots from last year
7 Jacob – down three spots from last year
8 Michael + up one spot from last year
9 Elijah + up two spots from last year
10 Ethan – down four spots from last year

Elijah is new to the Top 10 and Alexander has fallen out of the Top 10.

Do you know any babies born last year with these names? What are your personal favorites?

Posh Names for your Princess

posh

These feminine names age well and have a distinctly upper-crust vibe. Consider one of these 10 sophisticated choices for your little lady.

Bianca
Bianca is one of the many Shakespearean character names that easily fits in to this category. An Italian name meaning white, Bianca has a much more refined sound than her sister Blanche. Currently ranked at 379, Disney fans will love the connection to the prim little mouse Bianca in The Rescuers.

Claudia
A common name in ancient Rome, Claudia still feels sophisticated and current at Number 741 in popularity. Fashion model Claudia Schiffer and the eternally young vampire Claudia from Interview with a Vampire are two well-known bearers of this name. You could also kick up the posh level a bit by using the name Claudine.

Francesca
It doesn’t get much more posh or Princess-worthy than the grand name Francesca. A flowery Italian form of Frances, meaning french man or free man, Francesca currently ranks at Number 428. Nickname lovers will delight in the numerous nickname options including; CeCe, Fanny, Fran, Francie, Frankie, and Franny.

Georgiana
Jane Austen fans will instantly recognize this as the name of Mr. Darcy’s sister in Pride and Prejudice. Georgiana is one of the many attractive feminine forms of George meaning farmer. Whether you pronounce it gor-gee-AH-na or gor-JAY-na its simply magnificent.

Lavinia
A great alternative to the much more popular Olivia, Lavinia was only used by 63 little girls last year. A fun way to get to Liv or Livie, Lavinia is a Latin name meaning from the ancient Lavinium. There were characters named Lavinia in A Little Princess and Downtown Abbey.

Margot
We could easily fill this list with lovely posh French names for girls. Margot is a french form of Margaret meaning pearl. At 593 in popularity Margot is on the rise, up nearly 150 spots last year. Margaux Hemingway changed the spelling of her name from Margot to Margaux after learning Margaux was the name of the wine her parents consumed the night of her conception.

Natasha
There is something exotic, alluring, and appealing about the name Natasha. A Russian diminutive of Natalya, meaning born of Christmas, Natasha currently ranks at Number 666. Barack and Michelle Obama named one of their daughters Natasha, though she goes primarily by the nickname Sasha.

Octavia
Another great Olivia alternative, Octavia is a striking Latin name meaning eighth. Oscar winning actor Octavia Spencer helped bring attention to this Victorian name. Only 173 baby girls were named Octavia last year.

Portia
Portia has an super sophisticated sound though it derives from a Roman family name meaning pig or hog. Perhaps the Porsche car association is too strong since only 42 babies were named Portia last year. Actress Portia de Rossi, born Amanda, chose the prim Portia in renaming herself.

Sophie
Sophie is sweet and chic French form of Sophia, meaning wisdom. A very wearable name, currently ranked at Number 104, Sophie is in the Top 3 in Austria, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Scotland.

Which of these posh names would you use?