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Showing posts from October, 2011

Zelda

Today's name: Zelda (which I thought would be perfect to post today since it is a little witchy, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D came out just a few months ago)

Pronunciation: ZEHL-dah

Potential nicknames: Zell, Zellie, Ellie, or maybe even Zsa-Zsa or ZiZi

Origin: (1) The German diminutive of Griselda/Grizelda, meaning "dark battle" or "grey battle maiden," but can also come from a word for stone or gravel. (2) Yiddish cognate of German name Salida, meaning "joy" or "luck." (3) Old English variant of Selda, meaning "companion."

Popularity: Zelda first appeared on the SSA charts in 1880 when records of names first started being kept by the Social Security Administration, and it ranked at #834. It worked its way up to #379 in 1911, then worked its way back down to #997 in 1967, where it was last seen. When the first Zelda video game came out there were a handful of babies each year between 1985 and 1991 presumably named for her, but no mor…

Halloween Baby Names

Here is my October list of relevant Halloween baby names! Enjoy

Girls:
Persephone (means "to bring death")
Beatrix ("tricks")
Arista (can mean "harvest")
Hallow (All Hallow's Eve)
Elphaba (The Wicked Witch)
Morrigan (meaning "great queen, nightmare queen")
Nerissa (meaning "black-haired")
Zelda & Hilda (Sabrina's witch aunts, also "Broom Hilda")
Sabrina (the Teenage Witch)
Elvira (Mistress of the Dark)
Morticia (The Munsters)
Carrie (Steven King)
Piper, Pru, Phoebe & Paige
(All Hallow's) Eve
Tituba (Salem witch)
Wednesday (Adams)
Wendy (Casper's witch friend)
Rosemary (Rosemary's baby)
Buffy (the Vampire Slayer)
Drusilla (a vampire from Buffy)
Tabitha & Endora (from Bewitched)
Ligeia, Lenore & Rowena (Poe characters)
Jacquelyn (for Jack-o-lantern)
Lilith (meaning "of the night," a she-demon)
Autumn
Stormy
Amber (an orange color)
Jetta (meaning "black)
Lamia (a snake-woman or phantom or witch, who knows, e…

Genoveva, Geneva

Today's name: Genoveva, from Geneva
There are also the variants Genovefa, Genevra/Ginevra, Genever, Genevia, Geneve, Jeniver.

Pronunciation: jehn-oh-VEE-vah, HEN-oh-VEH-vah, jehn-oh-VAY-fah

Potential nicknames: Gen, Gena, Genna, Genny, Neva, Nova, Veva, Viva, Eve, Ever, Eva, Evie

Origin: Genoveva is the Spanish variant of either Old French Geneva. Geneva means "juniper," from French, and the old Dutch word for juniper, "genever, jeniver."

Popularity: Genoveva only ranked in the U.S. in 1885, 1894 and 1895. Geneva last ranked every year between 1880 (when the SSA first started keeping track) and 1995. In 2010 there were only 5 baby girls named Genoveva, and 15 in 2011, while there were 149 named Geneva, 6 Geneve, In 2011 there were 7 girls named Genavie, 15 Genoveva, 28 Genevie, and 156 Geneva.

Fun fact: (1) Saint Genoveva Torres Morales of Spain, lived from 1870 to 1956. Her feast day is January 5. (2) Genoveva Edroza-Matute was a Filipino author. (3) Lake Geneva, w…

Intentionally or Creatively Misspelling Names

A note on intentional or creative misspellings of names:

Sometimes made-up names are great because they combine two names from your family tree, such as combining something like Jasmine and Mira – Jasmira, or sometimes the name at least sounds like it could be a legitimate name, such as Kivora, and sometimes the legitimate names sound made-up, such as Doveva (but usually because they’ve been unheard of for so long). But I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of creating a new baby name, I’ll just say this: research any possible associations, and don’t misplace vowels. Say you want to go for Aliyah/Aaliyah and its variants, something new, so you try Alyia. If anything, that letter I should have been placed before the Y. This is beside the fact that both the I and the Y do not need to be there if the Y comes first, only one does. These are the language laws, which dictate that misplacing vowels (and certain other letters) make for a nonsense word or name. Scrolling through the SSA l…

Oberon

Today's name: Oberon

Pronunciation: oh-bur-on

Potential nicknames: Obie, Ober, Ron, Ronnie (a great way to honor a Ronald or Obie in your family tree) Bear, Bearie

Origin: Old German, meaning "royal bear," or "noble, bear-like," coming from the name Auberon (which is equally attractive) an Old French name from Frankish German origins. It is possible that Auberon and Oberon are related to the Germanic name Alberich. If indeed they are related to Alberich, then they are also related to the name Aubrey.

Popularity: I was shocked to learn that there were zero (five or less, as the SSA won't tell you when there is less than five) baby boys named Oberon and Auberon in 2010 and 2011. A pity, but that number rose to 11 boys in 2015.

Fun fact: (1) Oberon was King of the Faeries in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and he graces the pages of other medieval and Renaissance literature. Since then, a moon of Uranus was named Oberon, as well as Quee…

Persephone

Today's name: Persephone

Pronunciation: per-SEPH-oh-nee

Potential nicknames: Perri, Persie, Seph, Sephie, Steph, Stephie, Penny

Origin: Greek, possibly with a pre-Greek origin as there were so many ways the Greeks said Persephone's name, including Kore, Persephassa, Persephoneia, and Phersephassa, meaning it could  have been brought to the Greeks by a Proto-Indo-European language. She was brought over to Roman mythology as Prosperina. While Kore, from which Cora comes from, means "girl, maiden," Persephone, in its most literal form from Proto-Indo-European, means "to bring death." Because of this, Persephone is associated with death, destruction, and rebirth, although death and rebirth were not always considered negative things, as we think of death today. Death was a new beginning. I would also like to point out, however, that "phone" in Greek means "sound, voice." Persephone's name is not purely negative, as a commenter pointed out. H…

Bram

Today's name: Bram

Pronunciation: brahm

Potential nicknames: While Bram seems more like a nickname itself, it produces feminine nicknames such as Brammie. However, Bram is the short form of Abraham and can be a great nickname for Bertram.

Origin: (1) Scottish, Irish and Gaelic, meaning "bramble," "a thicket of wild gorse," or "raven." (2) As the short form of Abraham, meaning "father of a multitude of nations."

Popularity: In 2010 there were 38 baby boys named Bram, and 5 of the variant Bran. In 2011 there were 5 Bron, 7 Bran, 17 Brahm and 37 Bram.

Fun fact: (1) Legendary Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula.

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Hallow

Today's name: Hallow

Pronunciation: HAL-low

Potential nicknames: Hal, Halo, Hallie, Allie

Origin: Old English,meaning "to make holy," "to consecrate," and "to believe sacred." It is important to know that hallowed means "sacred," or "holy."

Popularity: In 2010 and 2011 there were no babies named Hallow, and it has always been a very rare name, if ever given at all.

Fun fact: (1) See my last post about Samhain for info on All Hallow's Eve and All Hallow's Day. It is a time to remember loved ones who have passed on, therefore naming your baby Hallow could make a connection to honoring someone who is no longer with you. (2) Joining other more popular names like Harlow, Halle, and Haley, Hallow will fit right in. If you're worried about the meaning being too pretentious, keep in mind all the babies named Angel, Honor, Princess and the like. (3) This name might be immediately associated with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, …

Samhain

A little bit about Samhain:

Samhain is a Gaelic harvest festival held between October 31st and November 1st and has connections with other Celtic cultures. Traditionally Samhain was meant to be a celebration of the end of the harvest season and a time to give thanks for a good crop, also marking the end of the lighter days and the beginning of darker days. Historically, those who participated in Samhain were those who dealt in agriculture, and they would light bonfires as a means of purification.

It is now widely regarded as a Pagan celebration and associated with witches, and although Neo-Pagans do celebrate this as a sort of holiday, there are many negative presumptions by the general public. When Christianity was beginning to blossom, one of the ways in which its followers thought it would be easier to make the transition between Paganism and Christianity was to just blend the holidays and beliefs a little bit, somewhat to make the new religion feel more familiar. Because the Catho…

Creative Baby Names to Honor Family

A lot of expectant parents decide they would like to honor a family member by using their name in the first or middle spot because their baby's name takes on a special new meaning. But what do you do when the family names are not to your liking? They might be dated or ugly to you, despite that special connection. Or maybe you just want to elaborate on the name.

I suggest thinking outside the box.

1. Elaborate on the name: Have a Rhoda or Rhonda in your family you’d like to honor, but don’t like the name? Try Rhodanthe, from the Greek words for “rose” and “flower,” which is a word that can be used to refer to the color of flowers. Or try Rhodora (with the cute nickname Dora) which is a flowering shrub. The name comes from the Greek word for rose. Even simpler, you could change Emma to Emmeline or Rose to Roseline.

2. Try international variants: Anthony, for example, is very popular, so you might want to go with the less-popular Antony or Antonio. Or Katherine, for example, might be th…

Basil (m) & Basilia (f)

Today's name: Basil (male) and Basilia (female)
Pronunciation: Basil: BAY-zil or BAZ-ill, Basilia: bah-ZIL-ee-ah or bah-ZEEL-ya

Potential nicknames: Bay, Bas/Baz, Basie, Zilla

Origin: (1) Basil is Greek, from the name Basileios, meaning "royal, kingly." Basil first appeared during the Hellenistic period. The words basilica and basilisk derive from the same word. Basilia is the female form of Basil, meaning the same thing. Basilia was common in the Middle Ages. Basil was common in the eastern Mediterranean before it was brought to England by the Crusaders. (2) In Arabic, Basil means "brave."

The male name Basil has several variant forms, some more common than others: Breasal, Basek, Bazel, Basle, Basul, Basile, Basilic, Basilides, Basileios, Basilie, Basilio, Basilius, Bazeel, Bazeelius, Bazil, Bazyli, Vasil, Vazul, Vasile, Vasileos, Vasili, Vasilije, Vasilios, Vasilis, Vasilius, Vasilus, Vasily, Vassilij, Vassily, and Wassily.

The girl's name Basilia also has a …

Sabrina

Today's name: Sabrina


Pronunciation: sa-BREE-nah

Potential nicknames: Bri, Brin, Bria, Brina, Brini, Sassy, Sabbie, Rina

Origin: Of uncertain etymology, of Celtic origin. In Celtic mythology, recorded by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sabrina was an illegitimate daughter of a king, and gave her name to the River Severn in England, as it is still called today, because she was drowned in that river as a baby (for being illegitimate). Habren or Hafren, the Welsh name for the Severn, could have been the name of the river before it was called Severn. Others believe Sabrina was the goddess of the Severn, for which there is no legitimate source for this information, and others believe she was a nymph that drowned in the river.

Popularity: In 2010 Sabrina ranked at #219 and has been in the top 1000 since 1950. There were 1,421 baby girls named Sabrina in 2010. In 2011 it was #261, with 1,215 births.

Fun fact: (1)English poet Edmund Spenser first brought Sabrina to attention in literary form by way of h…

Casper

Pronunciation: KASS-pur, CAHS-pehr

Potential nicknames: Cass, Caspie, Casey, Cap, Case

Origin: This is the Dutch form of the Persian name Jasper, meaning "treasurer" or "treasure holder." Kasper, Jaspar, Gaspard and Gaspar are variants. The spelling Gasper ranked twice in U.S. history - once in 1911 and once in 1917.

Popularity: Casper ranked on the U.S. top 1000 from 1911 to 1933, but has not been seen since. In 2010 there were 51 baby boys named Casper and 11 named Caspar, 5 Kaspar and 26 Kasper. In 2011 there were 7 boys spelled Caspar and 54 Casper.

Fun fact: (1) Part of Casper's lack of popularity is due to "Casper the Friendly Ghost," which first appeared in a 1939 children's book and later an animated cartoon and comics, finishing with a movie in 1995. (2) Saint Gaspar del Bufalo. (3) Along with Balthazar and Melchior, Casper was one of the three Magi, or Wise Men, who brought gifts from afar to the infant Jesus. These three names cannot be fou…

Falena

Today's names: Falena

A drawing of the widely known Luna Moth, image via http://prittimoth.blogspot.com
Pronunciation: fah-LAY-nah

Potential nicknames: Fay, Fallie, Lena, Lala

Origin: Latin, used in Spanish and Italian, meaning "moth." Falena is also a rare variant of the name Felina, which is Latin, meaning "catlike."

Popularity: Falena has not ranked in the top 1000, and in 2010 and 2011 there were no baby girls named Falena in the U.S.

Fun fact: Moths can be just as beautiful and colorful, and sometimes more so, than butterflies. What is the difference between a moth and a butterfly, anyway? One of the easiest ways to tell the difference is that moths usually have feathery, fluffy antennae, while butterflies have thin, straight antennae. Some of them can even look like tiny, lighter, feathery bats, and some look like they have bunny ears. A second way to distinguish between the two is that moths fold their wings down behind them, and butterflies keep their wings u…

Aragon

Today's name: Aragon

Pronunciation: AYR-uh-gahn, AIR-ah-gonn

Potential nicknames: Ar, Ary, Ara, Gon

Origin: Spanish and Aragonese, the medieval Kingdom of Aragon in the northeastern Iberian peninsula of Spain, it is now an autonomous community as of 1982 and its own nationality and its own provinces. Aragon has a rich history dating back to pre-Roman days. Aragon became a self-proclaimed kingdom in 1035 AD.

Popularity: In 2010 there were no babies named Aragon, nor has it ever ranked. In 2011 there were only 5 boys given this name.

Fun fact: (1) Not to be confused with the book and movie titled "Eragon." (2) Catherine of Aragon was the wife of Arthur Tudor, the Prince of Wales, but he died five months after their marriage in 1501. She then married his brother, Henry VIII, the future King of England, in 1509. Henry was not satisfied that she gave him no surviving male heirs, so he annulled their marriage, partly due to his infatuation with his mistress, Anne Boleyn. Henry went…

Electra / Elektra

Today's name: Electra
Is Electra too electric for you? Try  Elettra, Elektra, Alectra, Ellectra, Ellektra or Ilectra.
Pronunciation: el-EK-trah, ee-LEK-trah

Potential nicknames: Elle, Ellie, Ella, Lectra, Lex, Lexie

Origin: Greek, meaning "amber." Derived from the Greek word for amber, elektron. Although other sources claim it means "shining," "bright," and "radiant," there is no proof for these meanings.

Popularity: Electra has not ranked in the top 1000. In 2010 there were 18 baby girls named Electra and 36 baby girls spelled Elektra. In 2011 there were 14 Electra, 25 Elektra and no Elettra.

Fun fact: (1) Electra was the daughter of King Agamemnon and his wife Clytemnestra of Mycenae. Agamemnon killed Electra's sister Iphigenia to please the goddess Artemis in hopes that Artemis would let his ships safely sail to Troy during the Trojan war. His wife was angered by this and swore to never forgive him, but when he came back from Troy with a ne…

Felix

Today's name: Felix (Felixa and Felixia for girls)
Depending on where you live, Feliciano, Felicio, Felike, Feliks or Felizio may be more familiar variants.

You know I had to add a picture of Felix the Cat
Pronunciation: FEE-licks

Potential nicknames: Fee, Flick, Lixy, Lixer, Felly/Fellie

Origin: Latin, meaning "happy, fortunate."

Popularity: In 2010 Felix ranked #331 for boys, and the ranking has stayed in the 300s for the past decade. There were a total of 940 baby boys born in 2010 named Felix, 7 spelled Feliks, and 20 named Feliciano. Felix ranked #8 in Quebec and Germany, #11 in Austria, #36 in Sweden, #81 in Norway, and #221 in Scotland, all in 2010. In 2011 it moved up to #311 with 1,023 births. For girls, Felixa and Felixia are too have to rank or statistically summarize.

Fun fact: (1) You may recognize this name from the animated "Felix the Cat," one of the first cartoons of the silent film era, and by far the most popular. Although you can still find Felix…

Opal

Today's name: Opal, the birthstone of October
Try Opalina or Opaline if you don't like Opal. There have even been a few Opalinska's.



Pronunciation: OH-pull, OH-pall

Potential nicknames: Opie, Palla, Ollie

Origin: Hindi and Sanskrit (from the word upala), meaning "gem, precious stone." From Sanskrit upala came the Greek word opallios, and then Latin opalus. Some say the name Opal came from the wife of the god Saturn, who was named Ops. The term/festival Opalia refers to her, just as Saturnalia refers to Saturn. Opaline and Opalina are longer versions of the female name.

Popularity: Opal was last on the Social Security Administration's top 1000 list in 1960, at #920, after a very successful run from the early 1900's. It made it to #81 in 1911. In 2010 there were only 80 baby girls named Opal. In 2011 there were 92 girls named Opal. There were no baby girls named Opaline or Opalina.

Fun Fact: (1) The opal gemstone comes in a wide variety of iridescent colors, mai…

Croix

Today's name: Croix

Pronunciation: CROY, or KWAH

Potential nicknames: Suggestions welcome, all I can think of is Crow.

Origin: French, meaning "cross." You might recognize this name from Saint Croix, the island in the Bahamas. Saint Croix does not refer to a saint, it simply means "holy cross."

Popularity: Croix does not rank on the Social Security Administration's top 1000 baby names, but there were 28 baby boys named Croix in 2010. As for Croix's meaning, there were 35 baby boys named Cross born in 2010. In 2011 there were 18 boys named Croix.

Fun fact: Cedric Kyles, aka Cedric the Entertainer chose this name for his son.

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Lyra

"Sappho Kissing Her Lyre" by Jules-Elie Delaunay
Today's name: Lyra

Pronunciation: LYE-rah (ly-rah)

Origin: Greek, meaning "lyre." A lyre is a small harp, and it was a favorite instrument among the ancient Greeks. Lyra is a feminine variant of Lyris. The words lyricist and lyric come from the same root.

Popularity: Lyra is not, and has not been, in the U.S. top 1000. There were 216 baby girls named Lyra in 2010, along with 8 spelled Lyrah. In 2011 there were 13 Lyrah and 240 Lyra, just outside of being ranked.

Fun fact: (1) Lyra is the name of a small constellation. According to Greek mythology this constellation resembled the lyre that belonged to the poet Orpheus. Vega is its brightest star. (2) Lyra is the main character in the His Dark Materials novel series by Phillip Pullman, and the first book is now a movie titled "The Golden Compass." (3) Lyra was the chosen baby name by Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum. (4) As seen in the picture above, the lyre was…

Dylan

Today's name: Dylan
Variant spellings: Dillan, Dillon, Dyllan, Dyllon, Dylon, Dylonn

Pronunciation: DIL-an

Potential nicknames: Dyl, "D"

Origin: Welsh, meaning "son of the sea," although there is a possibility the names comes from the word dylanwad, meaning "influence." The spelling Dillon derives from a surname.

Popularity: In 2010 Dylan ranked at #31 for boys in the U.S. with 10,455 boys born with that spelling, and, surprisingly, #571 for girls. The spelling Dillon ranked at #293 for boys in 2010 with 1,037 boys born with that spelling. These rankings have not changed much in the past decade, but have been very slowly moving down for both genders. In 2010 the name was ranking at #2 in Wales, #9 in Northern Ireland, #12 in Ireland, #13 in Scotland, #18 in Sascatchewan, #19 in England, #24 in New Zealand, #25 in British Columbia and in Ontario, and #30 in Australia's New South Wales. In 2011 in the U.S. it ranked at #33.

Fun fact: In Welsh mythology, s…

Isla

Today's name: Isla

Pronunciation: EYE-lah

Potential nicknames: Issie, Lala, Isle, Isles, Islie (pronounced eye-lee)

Origin: (1) Scottish and English, meaning "Scottish island," derived from Islay, the real name of a Scottish island. It is also the name of two Scottish rivers. It became a popular given name in the 1800s.(2) Old French, from the name Ila, meaning "island."

Popularity: In 1886 Isla ranked at #938 on the SSA's top 1000 list, climbing to #713 the next year, sinking a little in the following years, and then it fell off the chart after 1908. Then in 2008, possibly due to actress Isla Fisher, the name jumped back on the chart, landing at #619, and increasing ever since. In 2010 it was at #297 and in 2011 it reached its highest ranking at #268. In the UK she has already made it in the top 100, and she's popular in many countries.

Fun fact: Isla Fisher, actress, married to Sasha Baron Cohen, who named her baby girls Elula Lottie Miriam Cohen and Olive…

Seamus

Today's name: Seamus
Alternate spellings that have been used: Sheamus, Seumus, Shaymus, Seamas, Shamus

Pronunciation: SHAY-muss

Potential nicknames: Shea/Shay, Shy, Sean, Shem
(who can resist a nickname like Shea?)

Origin: Irish Gaelic variant of James (which is the English variant of Jacob), meaning "supplanter," or "he who grabs at the heel." A supplanter is someone who takes someone else's place. Jacob was born grabbing at his twin brother Esau's heel, later tricking this brother into trading the place of first born son, then tricking his father into giving him the title of first born son, and he is now the famous Biblical supplanter. Despite his trickery, God favored him.

Popularity: Seamus first made it on the Social Security Administration's top 1000 list for boys in 1995, making it to #733 in 2003, and in 2010 he ranked at #878. There were 236 baby boys  named Seamus in 2010 in the U.S., 7 Shaymus, 38 Shamus, 14 Sheamus, 118 Shea and 68 Shay. Ther…

Notable Boy Names from the 2009 Michigan SSA List

I thought this would make for a fun post, since I have some readers in Michigan.
Here are some interesting names of baby boys born in Michigan in 2009. These names vary from weird to rare to common.

5 Delorean
5 Carmine
5 Vicente
5 Andreas
5 Anakin
6 Winston
6 Titan
6 Milan
6 Merrick
7 Sheldon
7 Thaddeus
7 Salvador
7 Lachlan
7 Arturo
9 Salvador
9 Orlando
9 Byron
10 Romeo
11 Soren
11 Roland
11 Lewis
11 Franklin
12 Cedric
14 Archer
15 Ronan
17 Arthur
18 August
19 Sergio
19 Maverick
19 Dorian
31 Rocco
32 Dean
32 Quentin
35 Rowan
39 Gregory
47 Tory
47 Peter
49 Mario
54 Jace
64 Devon

Desperately Seeking... Endrina

Hi, all. Usually it isn't too hard for me to find info on some of the most rare names, but I'm having a really hard time finding anything on Endrina. I have a feeling that, like the name Andrina, it is a variant of Andrea, but I can't prove that (yet). If you have any info, please let me know! Thanks.

*update 2/14/12...I found out Endrina is a grape-like fruit! Never heard of it before, and I guess it can be called endrina or endrin...and I've mostly seen it in Spanish, not Albanian as I'd thought...*

Orion

Today's name: Orion

Image from www.astrosurf.com Pronunciation: or-RY-on

Potential nicknames: Ri/Ry, Rion, Ory/Orrie

Origin: Greek, meaning unknown, but possibly related to the Greek word horion, meaning "boundary," or "limit." Some claim it means "son of fire," or "son of light," others say "dweller on the mountain." Orion was the hunter son of Poseidon, the Greek god. In some myths, Orion loved the goddess Diana but she accidentally killed him, so he was turned into a constellation. In other myths, he was accidentally killed by Artemis, and Zeus placed him in the sky as a constellation. Either way, you can now see his constellation at night. People sometimes simply refer to Orion as "The Hunter." Information is sometimes contested about Orion because there are several different versions of his story.

Popularity: Surprisingly, there were 555 baby boys named Orion in 2010 in the U.S., ranking at #466. There were also 13 boys n…

Crisanta & Chrysanthe

Today's name: Crisanta & Chrysanthe
Chrysanthe can also be spelled Chrysanthea (kris-SAN-thee-uh) and Chrysantha.
Crisanta's alternate is Crisantha (kriss-ANN-tha)

Pronunciation: kriss-AHN-tah

Potential nicknames: Cris, Crissa, Crissy, Cristie, Santa, Thea

Origin: Crisanta is the Spanish variant of the Old Greek, meaning "golden flower," which probably referenced the chrysanthemum, which most people associate it with today. The traditional Old Greek spelling is Khrysanthe, pronounced kris-ANN-thee, from the words chrysos and anthos. It is the feminine form of Chrysanthos, which all of the variants come from.

Popularity: There were no babies named Crisanta or Chrysanthe in 2010 or 2011.

Fun fact: (1) Chrysanthos (male) was a third century Egyptian saint, who was not very well known.

Middle name ideas: Crisanta and Chrysanthe may sound too exotic for most American parents, so a more modern-sounding, simple, traditional middle name might make it perfect, although these ra…

Harvey

Today's name: Harvey

Pronunciation: HAR-vee

Potential nicknames: Harv, Harry

Origin: Old English, meaning "eager for battle; strong and worthy," derived from the Old Breton Aeruiu or Haerviu. It is the French variant of Herve, and a Norman name revived in the 19th century.

Popularity: Harvey last ranked on the SSA chart in 1997, when it was #922. There were 184 baby boys named Harvey in 2010 in the U.S., and then in 2011 it came back at #862, which I have a feeling is all because of the new Batman movies.

Fun fact: (1) Harvey Dent was a character also known as Two Face in the Batman comics, and although he is know as a villain, his great personality before his "change" is showcased in the new movies. The Harvey award is given for achievement in comic books. (2) Harvey was also a character from "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." (3) "The Harvey Girls" was a musical film staring Judy Garland, written by Samuel Hopkins. (4) "Harvey" was a Pulitz…

Aurelia

Today's name: Aurelia

Pronunciation: OR-ell-ee-ah, AWE-rell-ee-ah

Variants: Aurelie, Aranka, Arela, Areli, Arelie, Arella, Arely, Auralia, Aurea, Aurel, Aureliana, Aurelina, Aurellia, Aurene, Auriel, Auriella, Aurielle, Aurita, Ora, Oriana, Oriane, Oralia, Ouralia, Oralie, Orel, and Orelia.

Potential nicknames: Aura, Aurie, Rellie, Lia

Origin: Latin, meaning "golden." It is the feminine variant of Aurelio, which comes from Aurelius. Aurelius was taken from the Sabine Ausel, meaning "splendid" or "dazzling." This was a very popular name in the days of the Roman Empire, and it started to bloom again in the 17th century. It is being considered again, possibly thanks to its mixture of an ancient Latin vibe and the imagery of golden sunsets.

Popularity: Aurelia last ranked on the Social Security Administration's list of the top 1000 baby names in 1950, when it was at #917. In 2010, there were 209 baby girls born named Aurelia and 15 named Aurelie, and in 20…

Coriander

Today's name: Coriander (unisex)


Pronunciation: KOR-ee-AN-der

Potential nicknames: Cor, Cori, Corie, Cory, Andie, Andy, Ander, Anders, Corian, Corin

Origin: From the Old French word coriandre, from the Latin coriandrum, from the Greek koriannon, this word has been around for a long time. According to Wikipedia, the earliest attested use was the Mycenaean Greek word ko-ri-ja-da-na, reconstructed as koriadnon, similar to the name Ariadne. (Ariadne was Mino's daughter.) That said, coriander has a long, rich history of use. Coriander is an annual herb native to southern Europe, North Africa and southwestern Asia. The leaves are known as cilantro and the seeds as coriander. Both cilantro leaves and coriander seeds are used as spices. Coriander seeds are traditionally used internationally for medicinal properties such as settling anxiety and ridding insomnia.

Popularity: There were no baby boys or girls named Coriander in 2010 or 2011 and it has not been in the top 1000 in at least 11 y…

Dahlia

Today's name: Dahlia



Pronunciation: DAHL-ya, DAHL-ee-ah

Potential nicknames: Doll/Dahl, Dolly/Dahllie, Lia, Dala

Origin: (1) Swedish and Scandinavian, meaning "valley," or "valley dweller." (2) A flower named for the 18th century botanist Anders Dahl.

Popularity: There were 447 baby girls named Dahlia in 2010 in the U.S., ranking in at #650. In 2011 it went up to #538, with 536 births.

Fun fact: (1) Dahlias come in an array of colors. (2) "The Black Dahlia" was a movie based on a real American woman named Elizabeth Short whose 1947 murder case was never solved. It is disputed whether newspaper reporters gave her this nickname, or friends of hers gave her the nickname based on the recent movie "The Blue Dahlia." The movie is probably the real reason. For those of you who don't want this negative association, consider the fact that the dahlia flower has been around for a lot longer, and Dahlia was not this woman's real name.

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Critiquing Popular Baby Name Blogs & Sites

The ideal baby name website would have polls, the option to make a list of first and middle name combos that people can vote on, the option to save names I like to a separate list, forums where I can talk about names, popularity charts with information from every year since 1880 (or whenever, it's really time-consuming to make these) even if that name has never been in the top 1000, and the number of births for every name, even if there were only 5, and the widest variety of names with accurate meanings and pronunciations. I'm sure others would add famous namesakes to this list, but I'd just like to know of any bad associations.

Also, the very first site you go to when trying to pick a name should be the Social Security Administration to check if that name ranks in popularity. You could also check HowManyofMe.com for an idea of how many people in the U.S. share your first and last name combo. You'll find other credible sources on the right side of this site. It is best…

Peregrine

Today's name: Peregrine (male)
The female variant is Peregrina The male Peregrine is sometimes given to girls, however. In 2015 it was given to 6 girls and 16 boys.

Pronunciation: PARE-uh-grinn, and occasionally PARE-uh-gryne (as in grind)
The variations Peregryn and Peregrin are pronounced PARE-uh-grinn
The variation Peregrino is pronounced pay-reh-GREEN-oh

Potential nicknames: Per, Perry, Perrin, Pippin, Grine (Green), Grin, Grey
For a girl, a potential nickname is Birdie, Grina, Peggy, Pear, Pera, Perrie or Pippa.

Origin: (1) Latin, meaning "traveller, wanderer, foreigner" from the word peregrinus. (2) Peregrine falcon.

Popularity: Peregrine has never ranked in the U.S. top 1000. There were 12 baby boys named Peregrine in 2010 and 16 in 2015. By comparison, there were 128 boys named Perry (and 40 Perrin if you were curious) in 2010. As for baby girls, the female variant Peregrina has only been used on 5 girls in 2005. However, Peregrine is sometimes given to girls. In 201…