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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. There were also only two baby Seamus's born in Scotland in 2010. Then in 2011 there were 33 boys named Sheamus, 34 Shamus, and Seamus ranked at #840. By 2016 this name dropped a bit in rank to #951.

Fun fact: (1) Poet Seamus Heaney. (2) Seamus Finnigan was a Harry Potter character.

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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…