Tag Archives: names

Desmond

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🖤Desmond🖤
Irish meaning “from south Munster”
Irish. Heroic. Distinguished. Versatile.

If you’re looking for a distinguished Irish name with numerous notable namesakes and fun nickname options then Desmond may be the name for you! A surname derived from  Deasmhumhain, Desmond means one originating from the southern region of Muntser, Ireland. Desmond began to be used as a given name in the 20th century.

Less clunky than other names with -d endings like Arnold and Edmund, Desmond is a versatile sophisticated name that easily lends itself to more relaxed nicknames like Des, Desi, and Dez.

South African human rights activist Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Tutu’s work for equality and against apartheid makes Desmond a wonderful choice for parents with a passion for social justice.

You may also associate this name with the character Desmond Hume, a beloved character on the show Lost. Hume’s character was named after philosopher David Hume. Beatles fans are sure to associate Desmond with the song Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da.

A few others you may associate to this name include Desmond Miles, a main character in the game Assasin’s Creed, Zoologist Desmond John Morris, and Jamaican musician Desmond Dekker.

🖤 Sisters to Desmond: Caroline, Honor, Lucy, Margot, Olive

🖤 Brothers to Desmond: Cedric, Conrad, Hugo, Sebastian, Winston

🖤 Middle Name Suggestions: Desmond Arthur, Desmond Leo, Desmond Oliver, Desmond Patrick, Desmond Royce

🖤 Names with a similar vibe to Desmond: Dermot, Malcolm, Roland, Theodore

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Seven Sweet May Namesakes

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Merry month of May 🌻 April showers lead to May flowers and here’s a bouquet of beautiful May names for you!

Adele
There are few artists that can go by one name alone and Adele is one of them. Singer and songwriter Adele Laurie Blue Adkins celebrates Birthday on May 5th. Adele is a French pet form of Adelaide meaning noble. Less popular than other names that lend themselves to “Addie/Addy,” Adele currently ranks at Number 789 in popularity.

Breckin
Comic Actor Breckin Erin Meyer was born on May 7th. Breckin’s parents were definitely ahead of their time when they used this handsome Irish name for their son in the mid-1970’s. Breckin means speckled or freckled and is more commonly spelled Breccan.

Fairuza
Actor and musician Fairuza Alejandra Balk was born on May 21st. Fairuza gets her unique and exotic Persian name from her father who exclaimed “fairuza,” the Farsi word for turquoise, when he saw his daughters brilliant bright eyes.

Kenan
Comedian Kenan Thompson, born May 10th, has been entertaining us since he was a child with his one-of-a-kind humor. Kenan is a smelling variation of the Irish Keenan, meaning ancient. Kenan is also a well-used name in Turkey and Bosnia.

Octavia
Academy Award winner Octavia Lenora Spencer was born on May 25th. A true showstopper, Octavia is a Latin name meaning eighth. Popular in the Victorian era, Octavia is a rare gem currently ranked at Number 593.

Pierce
Irish actor and producer Pierce Brendan Brosnan was born on May 16th. I love a strong, striking, one-syllable boys name. Pierce is an English name meaning son of Piers, currently ranked at Number 522. Pierce also makes for a great middle name paired with a longer first name.

Reilly
Comedian and actor John C. (Christopher) Reilly celebrates his birthday on May 24th. It doesn’t get much more classic than John Christopher. Reilly makes for a great first name as well for either sex. An Irish surname, Reilly means courageous.

Eight Great April Namesakes

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Spring has sprung and April is showering us with name inspiration! Check out these eight great namesakes fit for a baby born any month of the year.

Alessandra
Brazilian model and actor Alessandra Ambrósio was born on April 11th. Alessandra is probably best recognized as a Victoria Secret angel. A Spanish and Italian form of Alexandra, meaning defending men, Alessandra is grand, extoic, and yet totally usable at Number 313 in popularity. A great name to honor anyone from an Alexander to an Alice to an Alessia, Alessandra is a stunning name.

Bijou
Actor and model Bijou Phillips, daughter of musician John Phillips, was born on April 1st. Bijou is a delightful and whimsical French name, pronounced bee-zhoo, meaning jewel. A rarely used name in the U.S. as well in France, Bijou is a brave and quirky choice.

Clark
Actor and director Clark Gregg, born Robert Clark Gregg, celebrates his birthday on April 2nd. Clark plays Agent Phil Coulson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Clark is an English surname and occupational name referring to a clerk or scribe. A crisp name with an Old-Hollywood tie, Clark currently ranks at Number 380 in popularity.

Hawkins
English actor and Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins blows out her Birthday candles on April 27th. Sally has been in many beloved period pieces, including Persuasion (where are my Jane Austen lovers at?). I love the wholesome sweet name Sally, but today I wanted to highlight Hawkins, familiar as a surname it makes for an unexpected first name. Hawkins is an English surname meaning Hawk, a natural nickname to a fun name choice.

Hugo
Actor Hugo Weaving was born on April 4th. Hugo has portrayed multiple iconic roles from Elrond in The Lord of the Rings films to Agent Smith in the Matrix Trilogy. Hugo is a Latin form of Hugh meaning mind and intellect. Hugo may remind you of writer Victor Hugo or of Hugo Cabret in the film Hugo. Hugo is a name with many great film and literary ties. Hugo currently ranks at Number 418 in popularity.

Murphy
Eddie Murphy is one of the most recognizable comedians and actors of our time. Eddie celebrates his birthday on April 3rd. Born Edward Regan Murphy, I appreciate the historic and literary ties to the classic Edward but again felt we should draw inspiration from a surname. An Irish name meaning sea warrior, Murphy is a well-loved canine name choice. A unisex name, the show Murphy Brown gave this name a nudge for the girls in the 80’s and 90’s.

Ronan
Irish actress Saoirse Ronan was born April 12th. In addition to being a phenomenal actress, Saoirse has such a great name that both her first and last name made my list today. So let’s talk about the Irish surname Ronan. Ronan in addition to having a hearty Irish feel also comes with the irresistible meaning of little seal. A strong yet sweet name choice, Ronan currently ranks at Number 296 in popularity.

Saoirse
Saoirse Ronan helped introduce her lovely name to American audiences. Saoirse is pronounced SEER-sha or SAIR-sha depending on region and accent. Saoirse is dipping her toes in the Top 1,000, currently ranked at Number 962 in popularity. Need something else to love about this beautiful Irish name gem? Saoirse means liberty, and with that I drop the name mic. 😉

Little Old Lady Names

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Are these names too old or too cute? You be the judge!

Agnes
Agnes is a polarizing name that you’ll either feel is dusty and way-too-dated or darling and dainty. Agnes is a Greek name meaning virginal that does lend herself to the soft nickname “Aggie.” Fans of the Bronte sisters may associate this name with the novel Agnes Grey as I do.

Dorothea
Believe it or not I’m seeing Dorothy pop up on lots of instagram and Youtube favorites list! The Greek Dorothea has a similar but different vibe and the wonderful meaning of gift of God. Perhaps the best part of Dorothea is the nickname potential she brings, a few of which include; Dori, Dot, Dottie, and Thea.

Frances
A family name for me, Frances is a Latin name meaning from France or free man. Frances has a very classic and grounded vibe. Less vibrant than her sisters Francesca and Francine, Frances ranks at Number 439. An infant named Frances may be hard to picture but Francie, Franny, or Frankie are fun and youthful vintage nicknames for her.

Gertrude
Gertrude may be one of the first names people come up with when asked to pick an old-timey Grandma name. Trudy is adorable and Gertie has her charm (Drew Barrymore in E.T. anyone?), but Gertrude like many old German names isn’t quite catching favor for modern American babies. Gertrude means spear of strength and hasn’t ranked in the U.S. Top 1,000 since the 1960s.

Ida
Could Ida be the next Ava? It may follow a similar sound pattern though it does have a stronger beginning sound which isn’t as well-received in girls names. Ida screams sweet little Granny at a deli to me. A German name meaning industrious one that hasn’t been in the US Top 1,000 since the 1980s.

Mildred
As delightful as the first syllable is, the second syllable in Mildred does have a much heavier sound. Millie is rising on its own but can Mildred come out of the attic to play too? Mildred is an English name meaning gentle strength.

Opal
Opal is a rarely used gemstone name, currently ranked at Number 859, that means gem in Sanskrit. Opal is October’s gemstone and is considered a symbol of good fortune. Opal’s vintage sister Pearl is on the rise, so perhaps Opal will be the next come-back gemstone.

Selma
Emma aside, many names ending in “ma” like Irma, Thelma, Wilma, and Selma have an older vibe to them. Selma is a German name meaning godly helmet. Actress Selma Blair makes this name feel much more youthful and usable. Selma may have a dated stigma but she does have a soft sweet sound.

Weigh-in below and let me know which of these names are too old and which are too cute!

Black History Surname Names

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A beautiful batch of surname baby names for Black history month inspired by African American leaders and pioneers.

Coleman
Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman to receive a pilots license. Coleman is an English surname meaning servant of Nicholas. Cole ranks at Number 873 in popularity and easily lends itself to the nickname Cole.

Ellington
Composer and legendary jazz musician Duke Ellington is a wonderful February namesake. Ellington is an English surname and place name meaning Ellis town. Ellington has a distinguished vibe and could work well for either sex.

Haley
Writer Alex Haley wrote the ground breaking book and screenplay Roots. Haley is an English surname meaning hay field that currently ranks at Number 343 for girls in the U.S.

Hope
Writer and artist Akua Lezli Hope has an undeniably uplifting word name and surname. Puritan’s were immensely fond of virtue names though few are as widely used now as Hope which currently ranks at Number 253.

Jemison
Engineer and physician Mae Jemison was the first African American woman to travel to space. Jemison is a great Jameson alternative and Jem makes for a darling nickname. Jemison does have a bit of a disputed meaning but may come from Jacomus or Jacobs meaning supplanter.

Truth
Sojourner Truth was a prominent proponent of Civil rights and Women’s rights. Truth is another virtuous word name that I’d love to see used more. Truth mirrors the sound of Ruth and certainly carries a great meaning as well as a great namesake.

Walker
Alice Walker is a Pulitzer prize winning writer. Walker is amungst the many surnames that are gaining popularity as first names. Currently ranked at 314 in popularity, Walker is an occupational name meaning cloth-walker

Wells
The final namesake on our list today is that of Civil rights leader and journalist Ida B. Wells. Wells is both a surname and a place name meaning a spring. A distinguished name, Wells is only rarely seen in the U.S. currently ranked at Number 915.

Which of these surnames would you consider using?

Six Sweet February Namesakes

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February is synonymous with love and there is a lot to love about these Six Sweet February Namesakes! At the end I’ll link my previous February Namesakes articles which are packed with cultural and historic names, but today lets look at some fresh darling names for February inspiration.

Alice
The distinctively raspy voiced singer and song writer Alice Cooper celebrates his birthday on February 4th. Alice is a very classic sounding German name meaning noble. There’s the Alice in Wonderland connection, Twilight‘s Alice Cullen, and the rocker edge Cooper adds to this simple sweet name. Alice currently ranks at Number 70 in the U.S.

Brinkley
Eternally beautiful model and businesswoman Christie Brinkley blows out her candles on February 2nd. Brinkley definitely has a cutesy modern vibe. An English surname meaning wood clearing, Brinkley fits right in with similar trending names like Ainsley and Everley.

Cash
You know what makes the word name Cash even cooler? It’s association with legendary musician Johnny Cash born February 26th. Cash may also be a diminutive of Cassius meaning hollow. Cash is a name American’s are loving lately and currently ranks at Number 285.

Cobain
The late musician Kurt Cobain was born on February 20th. While Kurt would a great name, Cobain is prime for a music-loving hispter takeover! Cobain is an Irish and Scottish surname. Surnames and two syllable names ending in “n” are definitely right on trend, could Cobain be the next big thing?

Mia
Activist,actor, and model Mia Farrow, who uses Mia as a nickname for her birth name Maria, was born February 9th. Mia is an Italian name meaning mine or a diminutive name coming from Mary meaning bitter. This sweet little three-letter name has been taking the U.S. by storm and currently ranks at Number 6 in popularity.

Zane
Actor and Producer Billy Zane was born on February 24th. While Zane’s first name William “Billy” is well loved and used, Zane is climbing the charts at Number 202 in popularity. Zane may come from the name John meaning God is gracious and certainly has a familiar sound with a fun beginning initial.

My previous February Namesake Articles:

https://nameberry.com/blog/february-namesakes-to-inspire-you

https://nameberry.com/blog/notable-boy-namesakes-for-february

Five Name Rules to Follow

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Last week we explored five unofficial “rules” that buzz around the baby name world that I’d gladly pass on. Name rules are made to be broken, right? Well here are a few rules I think are worth following, or at least strongly considering.

1 Initials are Important
I was recently chatting with one of my non-name-obsessed friends about names and we got onto the subject of initials. It hadn’t dawned on her that initials were a thing. Now I wouldn’t purposely put a name together to get fun initials like A.C.E. or G.E.M. but I would strongly suggest avoiding initials like R.A.T. or B.A.D. I think it’s a good policy to say and write a name out to avoid any future monogram embarrassment.

2 I want that Name!
The list of names I love is massive but not as long as the list of names I love but would never use. There are just some names that feel too cutesy or too bold for me personally. As a rule of thumb I always advise parents to select a name either they or their partner would be happy to have been named. Is it a name that would’ve fit you at 7? 47? 77? If so, you found a winner!

3 Know the Name buzz
When choosing a name I think it’s important to take into account any stigmas that may currently be attached to the name. A quick google search can help you look at any current cultural or political references to that name. I’m not saying that you can’t use a name a Kardashian used or the name of the President’s wife, but it would be good to be aware that others may assume that is where you got the name from.

4 Consider Long-term Name loves
I think that we name-nerds are always on the hunt for a new great name. It’s wonderful to discover new beauties, but don’t discount old loves. I think that you have less risk of regretting a name choice if you pick a name you’ve loved for a long time. While some of the names I loved in middle-school are flat out embarrassing, a few have stood the test of time and are still on my list.

Use a name you LOVE
When all is said and done there is no one name that everybody loves. What’s important is that you and your partner love the name. The fact that you’re here reading this now shows you care and have the best of intentions in naming. It’s hard enough for two people to agree on a name, so when you do, go with your gut and then come tell me what you choose! I love hearing name-lover’s name choices!

Happy Naming!