Tag Archives: uncommon names

The Best Mid-Popular Names!

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It’s been an exciting week in the Name World as the United States Social Security Administration just released the list of the most popular baby names. I’ll add a link to my video chatting about the popularity at the end of this video. So like any dedicated name nut I’ve been combing the list and I must say I’m pleasantly surprised by many mid-popular names. What’s a mid-popular name? These are names that rank in the sweet spot, right around the middle of the Top 1,000 in spots 475 to 575. The great thing about a mid-popular name is that it’s usually familiar without being overly used. Here are a few name gems that rank right in the middle!

Benson – ranked at #474

Benson is an English surname meaning son of Ben. Of course you get the nickanames Ben, Benny, and Benji, without the popularity of Benjamin, the Number 6 most popular name. At 474 Benson dipped nearly 50 spots last year. Law & Order fans may be reminded of character Detective Olivia Benson when they hear this usable yet not overly used choice.

Blair – ranked at #511

Allow me to show my age in saying Blair will forever remind me of the character Blair Warner from the TV show The Facts of Life. Younger generations will recognize the name Blair from the show Gossip Girl. Blair took a small jump last year on the girls list rising ten spots to spot Number 511. Blair is a Scottish unisex name meaning dweller on the plain. It is not currently in the Top 1,000 for boys.

Colette – ranked at #531

Colette is one of the few names my partner and I both agree on and so it’s been on my personal name list for a few years. Colette is a chic, French feminine form of Nicholas meaning victory of the people. I love the nickname potential from Coco to Lettie or even Lottie. Colette decreased in popularity last year from 469 to 531.

Hattie – ranked at #480

If you love vintage old-timey diminutive names that Hattie is your girl. Originally a nickname for Harriet, meaning estate ruler, Hattie is slowly rising sitting today at Number 480. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for her performance in the epic film Gone with the Wind.

Leonidas – ranked at #498

I’m seeing lots of little Leo’s lately as Leo is now in the Top 100 and up over 70 spots in the last five years. If you love Leo and are looking for a large and unique show-stopper of a name, you may consider Leonidas! A Greek name meaning lion, Leonidas has a very strong, masculine sound. If Leo isn’t your bag of tea, Lee and Leon are other nickname contenders.

Liberty – ranked at #568

Word names are all the rage right now and Liberty is one of my favorites in the bunch. If I had a daughter born on the fourth of July I may be tempted to use Liberty. The nickname Libby is equally appealing as is Birdie. Liberty has never ranked higher than 406 and today ranks at 568.

Matilda – ranked at #521

I would use the name Matilda in a heartbeat if I could convince my partner. I love the nickname Tilly and the character in the Roald Dahl book and film. A German name meaning battle-worthy Matilda dropped almost 30 spots last year to 521. Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger chose the name Milda Rose for their daughter born in 2005.

Otto – ranked at # 478

I recently met a baby named Otto which really endeared me to this old-timey little palindrome name. A German name meaning wealthy, Otto dipped in popularity after the second World War, but has steadily been climbing the past five years. Currently ranked at Nmber 478, Otto hasn’t been this popular since 1946.

Rhys – ranked at #477

Rhys is another long-time favorite of mine. Rhys is a handsome Welsh name meaning ardor. Jonathan Rhys Meyers helped introduce this name to American audiences. Joey McIntyre chose the name Rhys Edward for his son born in 2009.

Wilder – ranker at #573

Are you wild about Wilder? I’ll be honest, it isn’t my style but I’m warming up to it and I do love the Laura Ingalls Wilder association. Many a name lover has Wilder on their list. Wilder is a rapidly rising name and will likely be too popular for my mid-popular names list in the years to come. Wilder first entered the Top 1,000 in 2015 and jumped nearly 400 spots to 573 just in two years!

What are your favorite mid-popular names?
Hear all about the New Most popular baby names in the US here:

 

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Rad Word Names for Boys A-Z

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All names are words so why not look at some words that make for intriguing name choices. Here are some rad word names for boys A to Z.

Arrow
Archers and fans of Robin Hood may enjoy this smooth choice.
119 boys and 71 girls were named Arrow last year.

Brave
A wonderful trait to bestow upon your little lad.
29 boys were named Brave last year.

Cove
A great sound for a beachy babe.
42 boys and 7 girls were named Cove last year.

Denim
Perfect for you blue jean baby.
117 boys and 62 girls were named Denim last year.

Ever
That cool Ev sound. Also a great nickname for Everest or Everett.
133 boys and 84 girls were named Ever last year.

Flint
A cool Finn alternative with a spark!
85 boys were named Flint last year.

Given
A great Gavin alternative and perfect for a Thanksgiving baby!
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Hawk
A strong bird name with a cool image
55 boys were named Hawk last year.

Icon
If only Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had heard this one.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Jett
For the guy on the go!
Currently Number 314 for boys.

Knight
For the dashing young lad.
50 boys were named Knight last year.

Link
Calling all Zelda fans.
145 boys were named Link last year.

Maven
Perhaps a cool Mason alternative? A bit more popular with the girls.
24 boys and 69 girls were named Maven last year.

Noble
A great virtuous choice.
140 boys and 15 girls were named Noble last year.

Oak
A strong, steady image.
40 boys were named Oak last year.

Post
A familiar sound but oh so rare.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Quest
For your little adventurer.
35 boys were named Quest last year.

Reverent
A Puritanical name with a strong meaning.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Stone
TV reporter Stone Phillips wears this name well.
177 boys and 8 girls were named Stone last year.

True
Understated with a great sound and meaning.
44 boys and 31 girls were named True last year.

Urban
Baby in the city.
35 boys were named Urban last year.

Valor
Warrior-worthy virtue name.
90 boys and 14 girls were named Valor last year.

West
An appealing sounding directional name.
72 boys were named West last year.

Xerox
Quirky and futuristic.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Yard
Simple, strong, and bold.
Used by less than 5 babies last year.

Zephyr
Breezy and cool.
124 boys and 20 girls were named Zephyr last year.

Which of these rad word names would make your list?

Lovable Underused L Names for Boys

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L is a wonderful letter for names with lots of variety to choose from.  The Top L names for boys right now are Liam at Number 2, Logan at Number 14, Lucas at Number 16, Levi at Number 42, and Lincoln at Number 66. Though many of the popular L names for boys are on my own personal list, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some equally awesome lesser used L names!

Landry
Landry can and is being used for both sexes.  I put it on our boys list here today because it gives me a hearty, handsome, cowboy feel.  Landry is a French surname meaning ruler, currently ranked at Number 858. Landry may remind you of Tom Landry the legendary Dallas Cowboys coach.

Langston
Literary parents will instantly think of writer Langston Hughes.  Langston is an Old English surname meaning long stone ranking at Number 691. Langston just entered the Top 1,000 for the first time in 2013 and has been steadily rising ever since.

Laszlo
Laszlo comes from a Hungarian name meaning glorious ruler.  Saint László was an eleventh century Hungarian king. Laszlo has the smooth trending ‘o’ ending and easily lends itself to the cool nickname Laz.  Only 23 boys were given the name Laszlo last year.

Leary
Everyone loves and Irish name! Leary is an Irish surname meaning calf herder. Leary was the name of several Irish kings and may also remind you of writer and producer Dennis Leary.  Leary is so rarely used as a first name that less than 5 boys were named Leary last year.

Ledger
Ledger is another great surname name derived from a Norman name meaning tribe or spear.  The late actor Heath Ledger is a strong association to this name.  Another name with a cool cowboy vibe, Ledger was used by 157 boys last year.

Lemuel  
I discovered the name Lemuel through my friend and fellow baby name enthusiast Alena (you can find her on YouTube: AlenaJIngle).  Lemuel is a Hebrew name meaning devoted to God. A wonderful underused Biblical name, only 72 boys were named Lemuel last year.

Lev
Lev is a wonderful alternative to the much more popular Levi.  Lev has both Hebrew and Russian origins meaning heart or lion. Actress Candace Cameron has a son named Lev. Last year 136 baby boys were given the first name Lev.

Lowell
Lowell comes from a French nickname meaning wolf. I first noticed the name Lowell while watching the TV show Wings.  Lowell peaked in 1934 when it reached spot Number 148. Only 45 baby boys were named Lowell last year.

Ludo
Ludo is one of those names that I think would be more used if more people knew about it.  Ludo has the loveable “Lu” sound like the more popular names Luca, Lucas, and Luke.  Ludo is a short form of the name Ludovic meaning famous ruler.  Seven boys were named Ludovic last year, but less than 5 were named Ludo.

Lysander
Lysander is one of my favorite alternatives to the classic Alexander.  Lysander is a Greek name meaning liberator.  Lovers of Shakespeare will recognize Lysander as one of the characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Only 34 little boys were named Lysander last year.

What are your favorite underused L names for boys?

9 – #Namemas Countdown: Waverly

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Welcome to #Namemas, a collaborative name celebration and Christmas Countdown.

On the 9h day of Namemas TulipbyAnyName gave to me the baby name Waverly.

Major General Tom Waverly is a beloved character in the wonderful musical film White Christmas.

White Christmas has a range of traditional names like Tom and Phil, as well as some not-so-current names such as Judy and Betty.  Let’s look at the Major’s surname, Waverly, which makes for a wonderful modern choice.  An English surname meaning quivering aspens, Waverly was only used by 120 girls and 6 boys last year.  The cast of White Christmas actually has some pretty neat names as well; including Crosby for Bing Crosby and Rosemary for Rosemary Clooney.

What do you think of the name Waverly? Hear my thoughts below:

11 – #Namemas Countdown: Jovie

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Welcome to #Namemas, a collaborative name celebration and Christmas Countdown.

On the 11th day of Namemas TulipbyAnyName gave to me the baby name Jovie.

Jovie is Buddy the Elf’s love interest played by Zooey Deschanel in the film Elf.

Jovie is a modern invented name though it may have originated as a diminutive of Jovan or Jovana.  Jovie may also be taken from the word jovial, meaning cheerful.  A rarely used name in the US, only 194 girls were given the first name Jovie last year.  Jon Bon Jovi fans may prefer Jovie without the extra e – Jovi. Do you like Jovie but it’s just a little to out-there for you?  You may like alternatives to Jovie like Jolie or Josie.

What do you think of the name Jovie? Hear my thoughts below:

Lovely Names Ending in L

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There’s something feminine and sweet about the letter L.  Lily, Lillian, Layla, and Leah are all currently ranked in the Top 50 for girls.  If you love the luring L sound you may consider one of these great names ending in the letter L.

Nature Names

Coral
A great alternative to the rapidly rising Cora, Coral was only used as a first name by 199 baby girls last year. Disney fans will also recognize Coral as the name of Nemo’s Mom in Finding Nemo.

Hazel
People are really enjoying the vintage vibe of this color and plant name. Hazel currently ranks at Number 63, the highest it has ranked since the late 1920s.

Laurel
A lovely tree name, Laurel is a great way to honor a Laura, Lauren, or even a Laurence.  Laurel currently ranks at Number 772.

Gem Names

Beryl
Beryl peaked in popularity in 1920, falling out of the Top 1,000 in the late 1950s.  Last year this green gemstone name was only used by 9 little girls.

Crystal
Originally a male name, Crystal peaked for girls in the early 1980s.  Today Crystal is Number 550, right in the middle of the charts for popularity.

Jewel
A pretty, sweet, one-syllable name, Jewel is a lovely and fresh way to honor someone with a name beginning in Ju- (Julia, Julian, Juliet, etc..)  Jewel is currently Number 887.

Opal
The birthstone of October, Opal has a strong vintage vibe and hasn’t been in the Top 1,000 since 1960.  Only 229 baby girls were named Opal last year.  Could Opal be the next Ruby?

Pearl
This little vintage name is making a comeback.  Currently ranked at 628, Pearl jumped 331 spots in the last 5 years. Pearl is one of June’s birthstones.

Celebrity Names

Ariel
Modern Family actress Ariel Winter is one of the bearers of this name.  Ariel may also remind you of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Disney’s Ariel gave this name a huge boost in the early 1990s.  Today Ariel ranks at Number 137

Avril
Singer Avril Lavigne is probably the first person who comes to mind when you hear the name Avril.  A French variation of April, Avril was only used by 129 little girls last year.

Bristol
Bristol Palin, spokesperson and daughter of politician Sarah Palin, helped bring this name to the public eye.  Bristol first entered the Top 1,000 in 2009 and currently ranks at Number 447.

Meryl
Legendary actress Meryl Streep was born Mary Louise Streep. Olympic Ice dancer Meryl Davis also shares this iconic name. Meryl was only given to 50 girls last year.

Traditional Names

You may recognize some of these names from your family tree:

Abigail
Annabel
April
Carol
Ethel
Gail
Rachel

Lovely International Choices

These names would be a great way to honor your heritage and are easily usable in the US:

Amabel
Gretel
Isobel
Liesl
Marisol
Raquel
Soleil

A few more great Names to Consider

These lovely names all rank below 500 in popularity:

Chanel
Mabel
Mehetabel
Muriel
Sybil
Teal
Xochitl

What are your favorite names ending in L?

Surf’s Up – Beachy Baby Names

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Summer is officially here! Warmer weather lends itself to some pretty cool names.  Check out these beachy names for your little dude or dudette!

Ripley
A sweet surfer name that works on a boy or a girl, Ripley may remind beach-lovin’ parents of rippling waves. Ripley is an Old English surname meaning strip clearing. A cool alternative to the much more popular Riley, Ripley was only used by 97 little girls and 29 little boys last year.

Marina
Marina is a beautiful, melodic choice for your little water baby. A Latin name meaning from the sea, Marina is currently Number 656 in popularity. Former Friends star Matt LeBlanc gave his daughter the enchanting name Marina Pearl.

Sailor
Sailor is an occupational nautical name that may take off in the years to come. In the last year Bristol Palin used the name Sailor Grace for her daughter and Liv Tyler selected Sailor Gene for her son.  Kristin Cavallari chose the alternative spelling Saylor for her daughter, Saylor James, who was also born last year.  There were 234 girls and 42 boys named Sailor last year. Saylor is actually more popular, ranking at Number 608 for girls.

Coral
In addition to being a pretty summertime color, coral is a word name for underwater skeletal deposits which often form beautiful reefs. You may recognize Coral as the name of Nemo’s Mom in Finding Nemo. Last year 199 baby girls were given the first name Coral.

Morgan
Morgan is derived from a Welsh name meaning sea and circle, the perfect meaning for a little beach babe.  Traditionally a male name, Morgan currently ranks at Number 674 for boys and 120 for girls. Morgan le Fay was a powerful enchantress in Arthurian legend.

Reef
Reef not only has a cool sound, it’s also a great beach baby name for a bar of rock, sand, or coral beneath the water. Only 51 little boys were given this aquatic name last year. Reef is also the name of a popular sandal and clothing company that sells beach gear and active wear.

Ocean
If you’re a fan of the water and of word names, why not consider Ocean? A cool sound that brings to mind a lovely image, Ocean can easily work on either sex.  Last year 80 boys and 65 girls were given the first name Ocean. Other great similar names include Oceanus, Oceana, and Oceane.

Waverly
Waverly is one of my favorite names to say with its easy-breezy flow. Waverly has the word wave in it and has a smooth, laid-back sound. An English surname, Waverly means meadow of quivering aspens. Waverly hasn’t broken into the Top 1,000 yet. It was used by 120 girls and 6 boys last year.

Kai
Kai is a short and sweet name that is on the rise.  Kai not only has a cool sound, it’s also a name used in many cultures.  The Hawaiian meaning of Kai is sea, perfect for a sweet little swimmer.  Kai is currently Number 145 for boys and Number 895 for girls.

Finn
Finn is a great choice for your little fishy. Finn is derived from an Irish name meaning white or fair. Fin is currently Number 209 for boys. Several celebrities including Tori Spelling and Christy Turlington have used the name Finn for their sons.

Dylan
Dylan is a popular Welsh name meaning tide, flow, or son of the wave. A less obvious beach baby name, Dylan currently ranks at Number 27 for boys and Number 397 for girls. Dylan has many great namesakes including writer Dylan Thomas and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman).

Cove
If you’re looking for a smooth, underused nature name, than Cove may be it. A cove is a small bay or coastal inlet.  Only 53 little boys and 5 little girls were named Cove last year.  I can definitely picture this name on a little sun-kissed tike.

What are your favorite beachy baby names?