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Magnolia

Today's name: Magnolia


Potential nicknames: Maggie, Maggs, Lia, Nolie, Meg, Noa, Nola, Lina

Pronunciation: mag-NOL-ee-ah

Origin: Latin, meaning "Magnol's flower," after 17th century botanist Pierre Magnol. It can either mean the magnolia tree, or the magnolia flower itself.

Popularity: The baby name Magnolia went off the Social Security Administration's list of the top 1000 most popular baby names in 1940. In 2010 there were 164 babies born named Magnolia, and in 2011 there were 185.

Fun fact: (1) Magnolia flowers bloom in pink and white. (2) The magnolia is the state flower for both Louisiana and Mississippi. (3) A character on the TV show "Hart of Dixie."

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Allifair

Alifair Hatfield
The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…