Thursday, July 17, 2014

Discoveries from the bottom of the SSA list

Here are some nice names given to only 5 girls in 2013.

Abyssinia
Afra
Alexina
Amadea
Amandine
Aquinnah
Argelia
Aricella
Arusha
Ash
Asherah
Atira
Aurore
Averil
Behati
Benicia
Briony
Caelia
Calandra
Calixta
Carmine
Cassiopeia
Catharina
Clarita
Clary
Claudine
Clementina
Coretta
Cristabella
Daciana
Dinara
Dinora
Dionysia
Doria
Drucilla
Ebba
Edina
Elidia
Elisabel
Elmira
Elodia
Elsabeth
Eugenia
Eulalie
Evania
Farzana
Fiamma
Florina
Frederica
Gavrielle
Gem
Ghita
Gianina
Gracielle
Graziana
Gwendoline
Hilaria
Hyacinth
Idania
Illythia
Ivona
Izora
Jessamy
Jovia
Ketura
Kinneret
Kismet
Lealani
Letitia
Liadan
Linna
Lisbet
Liva
Lunabelle
Macrina
Magenta
Marchelle
Mariane
Mariposa
Mirren
Nanette
Nazarene
Nicolena
Ninette
Odilia
Olimpia
Olinda
Olivine
Onora
Oriane
Ourania
Piera
Pierina
Quintessa
Rohana
Romelia
Rosalva
Soteria
Sunniva
Tallia
Talulla
Thessaly
Thisbe
Tulia
Verina
Viveka
Zoraida
Zuleikha

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Belva

This Latin name meaning "beautiful view/lovely vista" is one rare name that fits right in today, alongside Elsa, Belle, and Ava. It stemmed from place name usage, likely bella vista, and remained uncommon throughout history. In the U.S. the most it was used was 185 times in 1927, slimming its way down to 5 births in 2007 - the same amount it started out with in 1882. Belvia, an elaboration of Belva, stopped being used in 1969, never used more than 21 times in a year.


Below are four historical namesakes.

Belva Lockwood, women's rights activist who ran for president in 1884 and 1888 - the first woman on official ballots.
American author Belva Plain.
Belva Gaertner, the inspiration behind character Velma Kelly in "Chicago." Not to be confused with Beulah Annan.
American journalist Belva Davis, now age 81.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Nicander

To some, Nicander (nih-CAN-dur) might seem like a made-up smoosh name - Nick + Andrew or something like that. However, I assure you this saint name is legit, although it remains so rare that there are no statistics in the U.S. for it. From the name Nicandros this name means "man of victory." And the fact that it sounds so close to Nick, Andrew, Alexander, Leander, etc makes it that much more wearable. Hearing it once also packs a punch.

Nicander of Colophon was a Greek poet, physician and grammarian, but only two of his works survive. Many other "greats" were inspired by him, such as Ovid and Pliny.

Nicander of Sparta was a Greek king who reigned between c.750 and c.725, but not too much is known about him.

There are only a few other namesakes throughout history, some of which go by the international spelling Nicandro. Nicknames for both could be Nick, Nico, or Andy. There are also a few saints of the name, including Nicander the Egyptian physician, Nicander of Bulgaria, Nicander the bishop, and the patron saint of Venfro, Italy.

Nicandra is the super rare feminine variant.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Expecting! And welcome Giovanna

Congratulations to my sister and best friend Jennifer who recently named her newborn Giovanna!

Speaking of real babies, my husband and I are expecting our first baby in early December, gender unknown. I would love to hear suggestions from readers and visitors to the blog - my mind is just static right now! When we make our final decision I'll post a list of the runners-up, both male and female. While my husband and I have loved the same three or four boy names for 5+ years, picking a girl's name has been way harder than I imagined! I am limiting myself too much (nothing that starts with a soft G or a B, nothing in the top 1000, etc) but other parts have been very fun, such as finding a middle name that honors my mother without using her exact name. Not sure why middle names are so much easier for me, but they are! As for first names, I've been drawn to very rare names with cute nicknames that also look good with our very Polish last name. In the past I've thought about names such as Lorelei, Melusina, Sabina, Saskia, Elska, Ottilie, Rumina, Zenobia, Esmerina and Aurielle, but the list is getting shorter and shorter.

So, if you're up for a bit of fun, help me find a name for an ethereal star gazer, enchanting and charming, who is wild, whimsical, magical, brave and bewitching!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Galician Baby Names

I grew up on a street that was named an Italian variant of Roger. When I got married and we bought our first house, it turned out to be on Roger Street. Once noting that coincidence, I started searching for other variants of the name. However, female variants turned out to be pretty nonexistent. Save for Roxeria, which I later discovered was the Galician female form, possibly pronounced rohz-AIR-ee-uh. That led me to a few lists of female Galician names, ranging from common to rare. Here is a sampling of names not often heard here in the states...

Albina
Alda
Alma
Alodia
Aloia
Amada
Amadora
Amalia
Amparo
Anisia
Antia
Araceli
Aranzazu
Artemisa
Avelina
Azucena

Baia
Balbina
Baltasara
Beatriz
Benvida
Berenice
Bieita
Branca
Braulia

Caetana
Carola
Casilda
Casimira
Ceferina
Celsa
Cipriana
Cira
Clorinda
Coralia
Cornelia
Cosima

Davinia
Delfina
Desideria
Dionisia
Dominga
Dorinda
Dorotea
Dositea

Edelmira
Edenia
Elba
Elvira
Emiliana
Etelvina
Eufemia

Fabia
Faustina
Felicita
Filipa
Filomena
Francisca
Frida
Froila

Gliceria
Graciela
Gregoria
Griselda
Guendolina

Hadriana
Heladia
Helia
Hilaria
Honorina

Ida
Imelda
Ines
Iola
Iria
Irimia
Isadora
Isaura
Isidra
Isolda
Isolina

Landelina
Leda
Ledicia
Liboria
Lidia
Liduvina
Lilia
Liria
Lua
Lucila
Luz

Madalena
Mafalda
Mara
Marcelina
Margarida
Maxima
Maxina
Melania
Melba
Melchora
Minia
Mirta

Nelida
Nereida
Nicanora
Nicasia
Nicolasa
Nidia
Noela
Noelia
Noemia

Octavia
Odelia
Ofelia
Olalla
Olegaria
Olimpia
Onda
Oriana
Orosia
Otilia
Ovidia

Palmira
Panfila
Pascuala
Paz
Pelaxia
Peregrina
Pilar
Pomba
Porfiria
Prisca
Prospera

Quiteria

Rafaela
Rexina
Roca
Rosamunda

Sabina
Salome
Salvia
Sebastiana
Serafina
Severa
Sibilina
Silvana
Silvina
Simona
Sira
Socorro

Tarsila
Teodora
Teofila
Tita
Tomasa

Urraca

Venancia
Verisima
Vicenta
Violante
Violeta
Viridiana
Vitoria

Xela
Xema
Xenara
Xenia
Xenxa

Zenobia
Zoraida
Zulena
Zulima