Tag Archives: tulipbyanyname

Seven Great IRISH Surnames

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St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner so why not full name inspiration from some Irish surnames that are perfect in the first name spot! Everyone loves a great Irish name!

Brady
Brady has a very Varsity, pal-next-door, light-hearted, but grounded feel. An anglicized Gaelic name, Brady comes from Ó Brádaigh, meaning large-chested and currently ranks at Number 227 in popularity. Brady may remind you of the show “The Brady Bunch” or athlete Tom Brady.

Callaghan
Callaghan is such a lush, fun name to say that lends itself easily to the nickname “Cal.” Callaghan is an anglicized form of Ó Ceallacháin which may mean bright-headed or church. The “g” is silent, pronounced “cal-a-han” and Callahan is a legit alternate spelling.

Delaney
Playful yet grounded, Delaney is an anglicized form of Ó Dubhshláine meaning dark or black and currently ranks at Number 250 in popularity. Delaney may remind you of songwriter Tom Delaney or actor Kim Delaney. Laney seems the most natural nickname option.

Flynn
A great Finn alternative, Flynn is an anglicized form of Ó Floinn meaning red-haired. I grew up with a girl named Flynn, a name that works on either sex and is currently ranked at Number 756 for boys in popularity. Disney fans will recognize Flynn as Rapunzel’s love-interest in ‘Tangled.”

Quinn
A friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Quinn this year. An anglicized form of Ó Cuinn, meaning chief, Quinn is more popular than you may think, currently ranked at Number 76. Quinn is a well-loved TV name, she was the sister on MTV’s “Daria”, the cheerleader on “Glee”, and who could forget “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman?”

Rafferty
Don’t you just love saying Rafferty? I never understood why this delightful name, which could be shortened to the equally fun Raff or Rafe, is really used in the U.S. An anglicized form of Ó Rabhartaigh, Rafftery means floodtide. Jude Law and Sadie Frost have a son named Rafferty.

Sullivan
Another family name for me, there is something very warm and inviting about the name Sullivan. Sullivan is an anglicized form of Ó Súileabháin meaning little dark-eyed one and currently ranks at Number 399 in popularity. Celebs love this hearty Irish name too. Actor Patrick Dempsey and singer Tom Waits each have sons named Sullivan.

What are your favorite names from this list? I’m also partial to Burke, my own Irish surname 😉

Six Stunning March Namesakes

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The Merry Month of March is in full swing, hope you’re well caffeinated the first day post-daylight savings time, and ready for a beautiful bouquet of fresh modern name inspiration!

Elton
Singer-song writer Elton John, born Reginald Kenneth Dwight was born on March 25th. An English surname now synonymous with the musical legend, Elton means from the old town.

Frost
American Poet Robert Frost was born on March 26th. A fan of Frost’s work, I love the idea of using his surname as a middle name. Frost has a crisp, clean sound, no pun intended.

Keira
Classically beautiful and talented actor Keira Knightly, blows out her candles on March 26th. Originally spelled Kiera, Knightly brought light to this lovely Irish name. Keira means little dark one and is well loved currently ranked at Number 331.

Oscar
Oscar Issac, who you may know best as Poe Dameron from Star Wars celebrates his Birthday on March 9th. Another great Irish name, Oscar is a name rich in history and literary ties. Oscar has old-man vibes and is used world-wide. Currently ranked at Number 192, Oscar means deer-lover.

Rhea
Actor and writer Rhea Perlman was born on March 31st. Mia, Gia, Leah, I could go on and on listing names that are sisters to the lovely and rarely used Rhea. Rhea is a Greek mythological name meaning a flowing stream. At 867 in popularity, Rhea is familiar but far from being overly used.

Theodore
Theodore Seuss Geisel, best known as “Dr. Seuss” was born on March 2nd. Ted, Teddy, Theo, yep, there are lots of adorable nicknames to the classic Theodore and it gets bonus points for being Dr. Seuss’ first name. Theodore is on the rise, currently coming in at Number 62. A Greek name meaning gift of God, Theodore is a name to watch!

Share your favorite March Namesakes below!

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!

5 Names Rules to Ignore

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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!