Tag Archives: unisex names

20 Great -by Baby Names

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There’s something sweet and approachable about names that end in –by.  Here are 20  and great choices for your little baBY.

Abby
Current Ranking: 437 for girls
A common nickname for Abigail, Abby would also be a great nickname for Abilene or even Tabitha
Cool Connection: Sesame Street character Abby Cadabby

Ashby
Current Ranking: Only used by 23 girls and 17 boys last year
Could Ashby the next Ashley? Ashby has a super sweet Southern sound.
Cool Connection:  TV host Nancy O’Dell has a daughter named Ashby Grace

Barnaby
Current Ranking: Less than 5 boys were used Barnaby last year
A posh beginning with a sweet ending.  Barnaby is derived from the name Barnabas.
Cool Connection: Barnaby Bear is an animated and live action character in several UK TV series

Colby
Current Ranking: 454 for boys
A surname, a place name, and the name of a cheese.
Cool Connection: Survivor runner-up Colby Donaldson

Crosby
Current Ranking: 575 for boys
People really took notice of this name following the success of the show Parenthood
Cool Connection: Folk rock group Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Darby
Current Ranking: Only used by 110 girls and 27 boys last year
Fairly common boys name in Ireland, Darby will forever remind me of the film Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
Cool Connection: Actor Paul Rudd has a daughter named Darby

Gatsby
Current Ranking: Only used by 12 boys and 5 girls last year
Literary parents will recognize this name from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Cool Connection: The character Jay Gatsby was actually born James “Jimmy” Gatz

Jacoby
Current Ranking: 655 for boys
A little bit Jacob and a little bit Coby, a fun name with lots of charm!
Cool Connection: Boston Red Sox player Jacoby Ellsury

Kelby
Current Ranking: Only used by 41 boys and 23 girls last year
If Kelly and Shelby had a baby you’d get the surname Kelby!
Cool Connection: Kelby has British, Tutonic, German and possibly Norse roots.

Kirby
Current Ranking: Only used by 53 boys and 27 girls last year
A sporty sounding unisex surname
Cool Connection: John Wayne played 5 characters named Kirby in his acting career with

Libby
Current Ranking: 995 for girls
Originally a nickname for Elizabeth, Libby would also be a darling nickname for Liberty
Cool Connection: Carly Simon has a song called Libby

Moby
Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Moby last year
This could make for a fun nickname. Most folks are sure to associate it with Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.
Cool Connection: Musician Moby was born Richard Melville Hall and got his stage name/nickname due to his ancestor, Herman Melville.

Quimby
Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Quimby last year
A quirky cute Q name
Cool Connection: Beverly Cleary character Ramona Quimby

Rigby
Current Ranking: Only used by 31 boys last year
Beatles fans are sure to recognize this name from the song Eleanor Rigby
Cool Connection: USA Gymnastic Gold medalist Cathy Rigby

Ruby
Current Ranking: 83 for girls
A beautiful red gemstone name on the rise
Cool Connection: Ruby Bridges, Activist and first African American child to desegregate a Louisiana school in 1960

Selby
Current Ranking: Only used by 9 girls last year
In the Shelby and Sylvie family, Selby has a posh and fresh sound
Cool Connection: Edgy photographer Todd Selby

Shelby
Current Ranking: 299 for girls
Shelby screams super sweet southern belle
Cool Connection: Julia Robert’s character in the tear-jerking comedy Steel Magnolias

Tibby
Current Ranking: Less than 5 babies were named Tibby last year
Tibby originated as a nickname for Elizabeth, though it also works well as a nickname for Tabitha
Cool Connection: Tabitha “Tibby” is a character in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series

Toby
Current Ranking: 689 for boys
First used as a nickname for Tobias, Toby now stands alone as a full name
Cool Connection: Actor Tobey Maguire

Willoughby
Current Ranking: Only used by 6 boys last year
A great way to get to Will or honor a Will
Cool Connection: Jane Austen character John Willoughby

What are your favorite -by Baby names?

Hear about 10 of these names here:

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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?

Word Names for Writers

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I’ve noticed that several baby name enthusiasts have a passion for writing. Many writers enter the world of baby names while researching potential character names. I thought it would be fun to look at some wonderful word names related to the art of writing.

Story
Story seems like it should be a hipster favorite.  A unisex word name, meaning a narrative, Story has a whimsical vibe.  Though Story may seem a bit too out there to many parents, it does share the same ending sound as familiar names like Lori and Corey. Actress Jenna Elfman named one of her sons Story Elias.  If Story feels to bold as a first name, you may consider pairing it with a more traditional first name, like actress Minnie Driver who named her little one, Henry Story.

Read
Can a name also be a verb? Why not? There’s Reid and Reed, so why not Read? A simple spelling twist ensures that this name has a recognizable sound, but different meaning. A cool name for a lover of literature. Reid is the most popular spelling at #259, followed closely by Reed at #317, while Read is not ranked in the top 1,000.

Page
Page is another recognizable name, a slight spelling variation of Paige.  Page is both an occupational name, meaning an attendant to a Lord, and a term for a sheet of paper. A subtle book tie in with either spelling.  Page Hopkins, a television journalist, wears this name well.

Penn
Penn may remind you of illusionist Penn Jillette, or actor Penn Badgley. Penn is an English word meaning enclosure.  It also mirrors the sound of pen, a writing instrument.  Penn has a similar sound to Ben, and would make a cool alternative to the rising name, Finn.  Is the Penn mightier than the sword? I’m not sure, but I do think it’s one of the more usable names on this list.

Press
Hot off the Press! There are many definitions of this interesting word name, but a printing press is what comes to mind when I think of writers.  Not sure about using Press on it’s own? Try Presley, Prescott, or Preston.  All give you the cool, subtle nod to published word.

Poet
A word name and occupational name with a romantic feel to it. Actress Soleil Moon Frye used the name Poet Sienna Rose for one of her daughters.  Poet seems like a name that should be a celebrity favorite.  It could easily work on either gender.

Sonnet
If you thought Poet was cool, then you might like Sonnet.  Sonnet is an inviting choice for avid readers and writers. The word Sonnet is derived from an Italian word meaning little song.  A beautiful sound and meaning, Forest Whitaker named his daughter Sonnet Noel.

Fable
Fable almost has a virtuous quality to it. A fable is a short story, often with animals, that is used to convey a moral.  A nice meaning and a quirky, yet usable name.  Blogger Rebecca Wolf named her daughter Fable Luella.

Writer
I really like the sound of the word Writer.  A Writer is someone who has written text. As a name, it has the same feel as Ryder and Wilder to me.  It follows the occupational trend and ends in the popular “er” ending.

Quill
A Quill is a writing instrument often made using a feather.  A lovely tool to write with and an interesting name. Q also makes for an interesting initial.  Quill could also work as a nickname for Quiller or Quillan.  I’d love to meet a little Quill!

Write On!
~Meagan

 

Word to you baby – Juicy Word Names

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Word names as given names are popping up all over! There are all sorts of word names – virtue names, nature names, seasonal names, color names, and more! Today I made a video on my personal favorite word names (watch at the end of this post), but there are so many juicy word names out there!

Some of these names may be better suited for the middle name spot or a character.  Then again I went to school with girls named Sunset, Echo, and October, so what ‘s considered brave for one isn’t brave for all. Here are 7 unexpected word names:

Alchemy
Alchemy was a science used in the Middle Ages. A word name with a bit of mystery and magic to it.  A cool choice for a New Age parent or a lover of the book The Alchemist.

Bliss
Bliss means, “extreme happiness”. A lovely name with a virtuous vibe. Bliss would be a fresh alternative to names like Joy or Grace. Ellen Page played a character named Bliss in the 2009 roller derby movie Whip It.

Daily
The surnames Daley and Daly share the same sound but feel a bit less quirky than Daily. Daily means an occurrence done everyday. There are many popular two syllable names that end in the “lee” sound, which make this name feel a bit more familiar.

Harvest
Harvest feels very grounded and like a Puritan name to me. The Harvest is the time or season of gathering. Harvest would make a neat name choice for a baby born in the fall or on Thanksgiving. It would also be a great way to honor someone named Harvey.

Peace
I’m always surprised that Peace isn’t used more often. Peace means contentment, a great meaning to a word name that would make a fabulous middle name for a boy or a girl. Peace is pretty cool in other languages to – think Pax or Paz.

Relic
Relic sounds a bit like a movie hero to me. I could see this name on a future Indiana Jones type character. A relic is an object or artifact with historic or sentimental value.

Timber
Timber is wood prepared for carpentry. It’s also a saying used to warn lumberjacks of falling trees. As a name, Timber has a bit of a whimsical sound.

My personal favorite word names:

Word out
~Meagan

Names of the Week – River & Charlie

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All month long the names of the week have been unisex names.
Let’s end our Unisex Names month with: River & Charlie

River – River is one of my favorite nature names.  River brings to mind the beautiful image of serene flowing water.  As a name, River reminds me, as I’m sure it does many of you, of the late actor River Jude Phoenix (pictured below).  A popular name amongst celebrity babies, Kelly Clarkson welcomed daughter River Rose last year. River is currently #372 for boys and #588 for girls in the U.S.

The late actor River Phoenix. Actress Mia Talerico as Charlie (Charlotte) Duncan  on TV show "Good Luck Charlie".

The late actor River Phoenix.
Actress Mia Talerico as Charlie (Charlotte) Duncan
on TV show “Good Luck Charlie”.

Charlie – Charlie is a perfume, a Peanuts character, a nickname, and a great unisex name.  Charlie is a diminutive of the name Charles, meaning “free man”.  When it comes to popularity Charlie is quite even at #233 for boys and #240 for girls in the U.S.  Although Charlie works well as a nickname for Charles or Charlotte, it also works well all on its own.

Learn more about these names, get middle name ideas, & alternatives:

Enjoy the rest of your January
~Meagan

Names of the Week – Parker & Avery

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This weeks names are: Parker & Avery
This month all the names of the week will be unisex names!

Parker – an English surname and occupational name, meaning “park keeper”.  Parker is more popular with both sexes than its ever been in the U.S.  Currently #74 for boys and #267 for girls.  Parker has a sporty sound and follows the trend of names ending in -er.

Actress Parker Posey Character Avery Jennings from Disney's "Dog with a Blog" (portrayed by Genevieve Hannelius)

Actress Parker Posey
Character Avery Jennings from Disney’s “Dog with a Blog”
(portrayed by Genevieve Hannelius)

Avery – is an English name with one of the cutest meanings, “ruler of the elves”.  What little kid wouldn’t love that meaning?  Avery is derived from the name Alfred and is immensely popular at #12 for girls and #196 for boys in the U.S.

Learn more about these names, middle name ideas, & alternatives:

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
~Meagan

Names of the Week – Finley & Sage

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This weeks names are: Finley & Sage
This month all the names of the week will be unisex names!

Finley – this charming Irish/Scottish name means “white or fair warrior, or fair-haired”.  I’m a fan of “Finn names”- Finley, Finnian, Finnegan, Finch, Finton, Finbar, Griffin… you get it, I’m digging the Finn trend!  Finley wears well on both sexes, but is a bit more popular for girls in the U.S. at #290 versus boys at #483.  Several celebrities have used this friendly little name for their little ones, hear who has used this name in my names of the week video below.

Finley from "Oz: The Great and Powerful" voiced by Zach Braff & Sage leaves

Finley from “Oz: The Great and Powerful” voiced by Zach Braff
& Sage leaves

Sage – a spice/ herb that is believed by many to having cleansing and healing powers.  Sage means “wise” and has a great earthy feel to it.  If you’re looking for a cool nature name that suits either gender, Sage is definitely a cool choice.  With just one syllable, this smooth one syllable name makes a really great middle name.

Learn more about these names:

Here’s to the first Monday of the year!
~Meagan