Tag Archives: place names

Arizona Baby Names

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Let’s warm things up with some baby names inspired by the state of Arizona! Sunny southwestern Arizona is one of the newer US states, the 48th to be added. Arizona’s cities and desert landscapes make for some lovely names chalked full of character.

Arizona
Let’s start with the place name Arizona, a Native American name meaning small springs. You may recognize Arizona as Jessica Capshaw’s character on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. Arizona was briefly ranked in the Top 1,000 between 1901-1911. Last year only 115 girls were named Arizona.

Canyon
Arizona has been nicknamed “The Grand Canyon State.” The Grand Canyon is located in Northern Arizona and is known world-wide for its stunning size and color. Canyon makes for an interesting, underused, yet familiar sounding word name. 130 boys and 8 girls were given the name Canyon last year.

Chandler
Chandler is a prominent suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Chandler got its name from veterinary surgeon Dr. Alexander John Chandler. Chandler is a surname and occupational name meaning candle-maker.  Chandler is also closely associated with Mathew Perry’s character Chandler Bing from the popular TV show Friends. Chandler is currently ranked at Number 466 for boys and Number 995 for girls.

Copper
Copper is the state metal of Arizona which also bears the nickname, “the copper state.” Copper is a beautiful burnished metal that was only used by 30 boys and 11 girls last year. Copper could make for a good alternative to Connor or Carter.

Desert
Arizona is most definitely known for its vast desert landscape. Truly an unusual name, it could be a fun word name and lends itself to the cute nicknames Des or Desi. Desert is so rare that it was given to less than 5 babies last year and has never ranked in the US Top 1,000.

Gilbert
Gilbert is a town located in southeast Phoenix, Arizona. Gilbert gets its name from William “Bobby” Gilbert who provided land for the Arizona Eastern Railway. I have a soft spot for the name Gilbert, a beloved character from the Anne of Green Gables series. Gilbert is a German name meaning shining pledge that currently ranks at Number 960.

Phoenix
When you saw this was a list of Arizona themed baby names the name Phoenix was probably one of the first that came to mind. Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and the fifth most populated city in the US. Phoenix is a Greek name meaning dark red and the name of the mythological bird. Phoenix is currently ranked at Number 292 for boys and Number 443 for girls. This name also reminds me of actors River and Joaquin Phoenix.

Prescott
Prescott is another large city in Arizona. Prescott was named in honor of historian William H. Prescott. Prescott has a crisp, preppy, vintage vibe. An English surname meaning priest’s dwelling, Prescott was only given to 33 boys and 5 girls last year.

Sedona
Sedona is a breathtakingly beautiful city known for its red sandstorm formations. Sedona was named after the hospitable first postmaster’s wife, Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly. Schnebly’s mother created the name herself, combining sounds she found appealing. 64 girls were given this exotic place name last year.

Turquoise
Turquoise is the gemstone of this beautiful southwestern state. In addition to being a gorgeous bluish-green hue, Turquoise is a French name meaning Turkish stone. An uncommon color name, Turquoise was used by less than five babies last year.

The Most Popular Names in Arizona last year were:

1 Liam (#2 in the US)
2 Noah (#1 in the US)
3 Sebastian (#24 in the US)
4 Daniel (#13 in the US)
5 Alexander (#11 in the US)
6 Michael (#8 in the US)
7 Julian (#39 in the US)
8 Oliver (#12 in the US)
9 Benjamin (#6 in the US)
10 Elijah (#9 in the US)

1 Emma (#1 in the US)
2 Sophia (#4 in the US)
3 Mia (#6 in the US)
4 Olivia (#2 in the US)
5 Isabella (#5 in the US)
6 Ava (#3 in the US)
7 Emily (#9 in the US)
8 Sofia (#14 in the US)
9 Abigail (#8 in the US)
10 Charlotte (#7 in the US)

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Alabama Baby Names

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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)

 

California Place Names

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I’m a true California girl. I grew up in Southern California and went to college in Northern California. I love driving up and down the coast and exploring this beautiful state. Here are some California place names that I enjoy!

August
August is a small area nestled in San Joaquin County
August has really grown on me this past year. It’s a strong month name that would age very well.

Aurora
For the Aurora community in Stanislaus County
I adore the name Aurora! It’s always just shy of making my top 10 list. I love the idea of using the nickname “Rory” for a little Aurora.

Barrett
Barrett is a little unincorporated area in Mariposa County
I love how Barrett roles off my tongue. It’s a very distinguished sounding name without feeling too fussy.

Cambria
Cambria is located in San Luis Obispo County
Cambria is breathtaking. I’ve made several trips to this quaint city that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. I love the area and I think Cambria is a great, underused “Cam” name.

Egan
Egan was a former settlement in Yuba County
Would it be weird for me to have a son named Egan, given that my name is Meagan? I think it has such a cool ring to it.

Elsa
An unincorporated are in Monterrey
Elsa will be a name to watch in the next year. I expect this name to rise because Disney just used it for one of their characters in the film “Frozen”.

Hart
Hart was an old gold-mining town in the Mojave desert
I think Hart would make such an interesting and strong middle name. It has a cool cowboy quality to it.

Liberty
Liberty is an old Ghost Town in San Joaquin County
Liberty is such a wonderful word name. I love the meaning and I love the nickname “Libby”. It would be an awesome choice for a baby born on the 4th of July.

Ramona
Ramona is in the Southern part of San Diego County
Ramona Quimby played a huge part in my childhood. I think Ramona is a great name!

Westley
A small city in Stanislaus County
Westley reminds me of “The Princess Bride”. I like Westley with that extra “t” in it as an alternative to Wesley.

Love from the Golden State!
~ Meagan