Tag Archives: tulipbyanyname

Black History Surname Names

blackhistory (2).jpg

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?

Advertisements

Six Sweet February Namesakes

sixsweet

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

5follow

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

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!

The Top 19 Names in 1919

1919 (1)

Happy 2019! Let’s hop in our baby name time machines and check out the Top 19 names from the year 1919 to see what names have truly stood the test of time!

# 1 John & Mary
It doesn’t get more simple and classic than John and Mary! I’d opt for a cool variant for a fresh twist like the Scottish Ewan & or Latin Maren.
Today’s Ranking: John #27 & Mary # 126

#2 William & Helen
William is the epitome of a name that will never go out of style. Helen is more commonly seen now on Grandmother’s and Great-Grandmother’s but could be prime for a comeback.
Today’s Ranking: William #3 & Helen # 418

#3 James & Dorothy
We’ve seen a trend of Celeb’s loving James for girls, but James is still well loved, used, and rising for boys. Dorothy may be just old enough to be cute again, I’m seeing loads of buzz about Dorothy on instagram!
Today’s Ranking: James #4 & Dorothy #601

#4 Robert & Margaret
Robert and Margaret both have vintage vibes and sound very stayed and grounded in the middle name spot.
Today’s Ranking: Robert #65 & Margaret #132

#5 Charles & Ruth
If you’re like me, at this point you’re thinking of all your older relatives that bear these names. Charles and Ruth are two names also tied to great historical figures.
Today’s Ranking: Charles #49 & Ruth #265

#6 George & Mildred
George and Mildred have a very British vibe paired here together in their ranking. Mildred is the first on our list here today that would be a shock to hear on a modern baby.
Today’s Ranking: George #124 & Mildred is no longer in the US Top 1,000.

#7 Joseph & Virginia
Joseph is a strong familial name for many and “Joe” just never feels dated. Virginia could make a comeback as people are loving vintage nicknames like Vina or Ginny.
Today’s Ranking: Joseph #19 & Virginia #514

#8 Edward & Elizabeth
This regal duo is still quite current. Edward may feel a bit formal in the U.S. but it’s got a handsome and distinguished sound non the less. Elizabeth with all her gorgeous nicknames and rich history is an ideal classic girls name.
Today’s Ranking: Edward #169 & Elizabeth #13

#9 Frank & Frances
I chuckled at this pairing not only because the names are just variants of each other, but they’re also my Grandpa and Great-Aunt’s name. In fact all of their siblings names made this list! Frankly Frank names are beginning to dwindle.
Today’s Ranking: Frank #373 & Frances #438

#10 Thomas & Anna
I love that this pairing would work seamlessly on babies born today! Thomas and Anna both have very wholesome and timeless vibes.
Today’s Ranking: Thomas #48 & Anna #53

#11 Walter & Evelyn
Walter is what I call “Grandpa-chic.” Walter is handsome and dignified with an older vibe. Evelyn could easily be the top girls name in a few years, it’s had a resurgence and is a name to watch!
Today’s Ranking: Walter #265 & Evelyn #9

#12 Richard & Marie
You’re probably noticing that many of the male names on this list have a lot of staying power. Male names are more likely to be passed down from generation to generation, thus feeling more classic. Marie is a common middle name that would feel fresh in the first name spot.
Today’s Ranking: Richard #175 & Marie #651

#13 Harold & Alice
Harold would be hard to picture on a small child without a fun nickname. Harold seems to have seen his heyday. A name rich in history and literature, Alice has been climbing the charts the past 10 years.
Today’s Ranking: Harold #799 & Alice #70

#14 Raymond & Florence
Does everybody love Raymond? Not so much anymore, it’s still used but likely as a name to honor. Florence may seem like she’s barely ranked, but be mindful that Florence just returned to the U.S. Top 1,000 last year!
Today’s Ranking: Raymond #293 & Florence #980

#15 Paul & Betty
Paul is definitely a name that’s easy to picture on a man of any age. It’s interesting that Betty, while no longer popular, was popular at the same time it’s root name Elizabeth was also trending. Any other Riverdale fans out there crushing on the name Betty?
Today’s Ranking: Paul #225 & Betty is no longer in the U.S. Top 1,000.

#16 Henry & Irene
Henry has been on the rise and will probably exceed it’s former popularity in the years to come. Irene seems to be hovering in the 500-600 range.
Today’s Ranking: Henry #18 & Irene #594

#17 Donald & Lillian
I’m noticing that Donald and Harold have the same feel with the “ld” ending that is no longer in fashion. Lillian has a romantic, vintage vibe and has been rising again in popularity.
Today’s Ranking: Donald #488 & Lillian #27

#18 Albert & Doris
Albert is much more popular across-the-pond and has a very distinctly British feel. Doris could get picked up by the hipsters but I don’t we’ll see her return.
Today’s Ranking: Albert #430 & Doris is no longer in the U.S. Top 1,000.

#19 Arthur & Rose
Arthur has an old knowing quality and makes a fabulous middle name. Rose is a name booming in the middle name spot that would be lovely to see more as a first name.
Today’s Ranking: Arthur #244 & Rose #141

Which of these 100-year-old trendsetters could you see on a babe today?

Five Fab Fresh January Namesakes

5fres

Let’s kick off the New Year and new month with five fabulous fresh January Namesakes. I have two previous articles that I’ll link at the end with some wonderful historic and meaningful namesakes, but for today let’s looks to celebs born in January for some modern name inspiration!

Dax
Actor, writer, and funny man Dax Shepard celebrates his birthday on January 2nd. Dax is a French place name that has an appealing and modern sounding “x” ending. If you love the timeless name Max, you may also like the very current sounding Dax which ranks at Number 456 in popularity.

January
It’s hard to talk about celebrities born in the month of January without mentioning actor and model January Jones. Jones was born on January 5th and has definitely brought recognition to this month name. January is the first month of the Gregorian calendar and is derived from the name of the Roman goddess Janus.

Keaton
Eccentric and lovable actor and director Diane Keaton blows out her birthday candles on January 5th. Keaton is a surname that is heating up in the charts as a first name. An English name meaning shed town, Keaton currently ranks at Number 572 for boys but would also be charming on a little lady. I think Diane Keaton would approve of her surname as a modern first name.

Rowan
Actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson is perhaps best known for his character “Mr.Bean.” Rowan has Scottish and Irish roots meaning little redhead. Nature name lovers will recognize Rowan as a tree name. I know three girls under the age of five named Rowan. Rowan is truly a unisex name, currently ranked at 212 for girls and at Number 140 for boys.

Watson
Highly acclaimed actor Emily Watson was born on January 14th. Watson, is an English and Scottish surname meaning son of Wat. Watson is one of the most common surnames in Scotland today. This rich historic surname is also tightly associated with Sherlock Holmes sidekick John Watson. Watson would be an unexpected yet familiar choice, right on trend with the surname craze.

My January Namesakes Article from 2017: https://nameberry.com/blog/great-inspirations-for-a-january-babe-crosby-to-zane

My January Namesakes Article from 2016: https://nameberry.com/blog/notable-january-namesakes

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.