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Columba



Since the last post featured a bird of prey, today's name is Columba, Latin, meaning "dove," the symbol of peace. It is the name of a constellation, three saints, and a term lovingly used for the United States. It is not to be confused with Columbia, the country in South America, although the two names do share a connection.

Columba and its variants have become a symbol of peace beyond the name's meaning. America was the name of the continent, Columbia was the female personification, the name based on the surname of Christopher Columbus, who discovered it. This is also how the country of Columbia got its name. As we all know, the New World was intended to be the "Land of the Free," where everyone could come to be rid of religious persecution. Columbia was intended to mean "Land of Columbus," but Columbus means "dove" just as Columba does. As Columbia represented a sentiment of the Americas, Columba now symbolizes peace in all forms (not simply religious).

6th century St. Columba that converted Scotland to Christianity, and although he was male, there were two other saints of the same name that were female. If you're having a boy and still want to use a peaceful name such as Columba, try Colm, Culver or Callum. Other female names meaning "dove" include Paloma, Aloma, Colombe, Columbia, Columbana, Jemima and Yonina. Also, see this post for names that are peaceful.

In 2010 there were 6 baby girls named Columbia, but none named Columba. There were also 8 boys named Colum.

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Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

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