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Riordan

This Irish Gaelic name, pronounced REARden, means "bard, minstrel, royal poet," derived from the older name Rioghbhardan. A bard was a poet who recited epic poetry, especially that with a long oral tradition. Bards were most popular in medieval times. These professionals were employed by wealthy patrons who believed in their work, but the patrons wanted the bards to compliment and praise them and their ancestors. William Shakespeare was known as the Immortal Bard, and he is still known as the very definition of a bard today. Robert Burns was another popular bard. The word bard, a loan word from Proto-Celtic, Proto-Indo-European, meant "to raise the voice, praise." Bards did not solely retell the works of others, they composed original work, funded by their patrons. Their work include eulogies and satires. Riordan is also known as a surname, and Archbishop Riordan High School. Rio could make for a nickname, and Riordan could make an excellent solution to the slight infatuation with Raiden as a given name in the U.S. There were only 11 baby boys named Riordan in 2011.

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Forest

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.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…