Monday, May 20, 2013


Ivelisse (ee-vel-eess) is a name you'll find in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and very rarely in the U.S. There's a handful of namesakes from the Latin community to represent this name, such as Ivelisse Echevarria, Puerto Rico's greatest softball pitcher, and Ivelisse Blanco, who competed in the Olympics for rhythmic gymnastics. The name Ivelisse is said to mean "life," from some obscure Spanish or French origin. The likely explanation is that Ivelisse comes from Eve, meaning "life," and had the -lis/-lisse ending tacked on to sound more feminine, like Elise. However, it could also come from Ivette, the Spanish form of the French name Yvette, meaning "yew," (possibly combined with Elise) or the names Evelyn and Evelina, which have debated meaning.

You can find it spelled several ways: Iveliz, Ivaneliz, Ivalisse, Iveliss, Ivelice, Ivelys, Evelisse, Evaliz, and Yvelisse. In Bulgaria, Ivelina and it's masculine form Ivelin can be found. One of my favorite explanations can be found on
Hello, my name is Ivelisse and I am from Puerto Rico. Ivelisse is a French origin name, from the island of Corsica in the south of France. The Corsicans who immigrate to the island settle in the south of Puerto Rico: Yauco. The French influence greatly our food, names, music, the needlework, and a lot more...Ivelisse is a name to a flower that grows in the south of France and this plant is related to the jasmine flowers.
While it is impossible to check the accuracy of claims online, people from Corsica did immigrate to Puerto Rico and Cuba in the 19th century, which would explain why the name Ivelisse came about around the 60's. From that point, Corsicans did heavily influence Puerto Rican and Cuban culture. There is a plaque in Yauco which remembers the Corsicans - Yauco is known as "Corsican Town." Corsican settlers to Yauco cultivated crops of coffee beans, tobacco and sugar cane. Today, Corsican surnames such as Paoli, Santoni, Negroni and Fraticelli are still common, so it is possible given names from Corsica found stability as well, and that Ivelisse could be one of them.

Though rare, the spelling Yvelisse has been used in France since about 1950. Even in the U.S. the name only dates to 1950. There is a book called "Yvelisse to Love." From this link there is also the possibility of a flower called Yvelisse or Yvelise.

In 2011, there were 31 baby girls given the name Ivelisse in the U.S. along with 5 spelled Ivelise and 6 spelled Iveliz. In 2012 there were 25 girls named Ivelisse. In previous years there were 5 spelled Ivelis and 5 spelled Yvelisse and 6 girls named Yveline. In 2015 there were only 20 Ivelisse and less than 5 spelled Ivelise.

Memorial Day Baby Names

Cathay - Better known as William Cathay in order to fight as a soldier, the woman named Cathay Williams was the first African American woman to enlist in the military. Her name sounds a bit like Kathy, making it familiar, yet Marco Polo used it to refer to China.

Belle - Sojourner Truth, defender of women's rights, was born Isabella Baumfree and called Belle. Belle is not in the top 1000. Sojourner helped recruit African American troops for the Union during the Civil War.

Poppy - Not only do we wear poppies on Remembrance Day thanks to the poem "In  Flanders Fields," but a poet named Moina Michael also wrote a poem in which poppies symbolized the blood of heroes.

Araminta - Harriet Tubman was born Araminta and known as Minty (and while Minty may not make the best nickname today, Minna, Minta, or even Ana might). The Underground Railroad is one of the most famous parts of the Civil War.

Hattie and Harriet, for the same reasons above.

Jeb - Jeb Stuart, aka James Ewell Brown. His most famous campaign was Gettysburg.

Birkett - Birkett Davenport Fry was a Confederate general in the Civil War, and was also an adventurer, lawyer and cotton manufacturer.

Fentress - An intriguing name, Fentress is a surname that means "adventurous." I have a love of most -tress names, although this one was found on Civil War general Thomas Fentress Toon. I think it would be lovely, feminine and unexpected on a girl.

Remember - as a middle name or a combo (such as Remember Joey, if that was the name of the person you wanted to remember) could work as a unisex name. On that note, Memory could also work.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

New Additions to the 2012 Top 1000

There were 45 new additions to last year's top 1000. Here are highlights and thoughts.

Azalea - A great flower name addition.

Coraline - Making a giant leap to #823, I'm surprised this Neil Gaiman favorite didn't make it on the list when the movie Coraline came out.

Titan - An intriguing choice.

Foster - Foster the People, or surname chic?

Denzel - I'm also surprised this name didn't make it on the list a long time ago (Denzel Washington).

Thiago - A very spunky and classy choice.

Mack - I love this name. It reminds me of the 1920's for some reason.

Katrina - Another name I love.

Winter - I knew it wouldn't be long before this one shot up the charts.

Elissa - A very pretty, feminine name.

Aubrielle - This one definitely fits in with a lot of other popular names, and also with Aubriana, which also charted for the first time

Katalina - Another elegant, feminine choice.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The New Top 10 Baby Names for 2012

2012 Top 10

     1. Sophia (22,158)                                       1. Jacob (18,899)
     2. Emma (20,791)                                        2. Mason (18,856)
     3. Isabella (18,931)                                      3. Ethan (17,547)
     4. Olivia (17,147)                                         4. Noah (17,201)
     5. Ava (15,418)                                           5. William (16,726)
     6. Emily (13,550)                                         6. Liam (16,687)
     7. Abigail (12,583)                                       7. Jayden (16,013)
     8. Mia (11,940)                                            8. Michael (15,996)
     9. Madison (11,319)                                     9. Alexander (15,105)
    10. Elizabeth (9,596)                                    10. Aiden (14,779)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A new way to honor your mother Donna

....Donatella, with or without the nickname Donna (because you could also go with Tella, Ella, or the tomboy Donnie)

...Belladonna, the mysterious plant

...Domina, which has the same meaning as Donna

...Donelle, a French twist


...Doncia, meaning "sweet"



...Donina, with the possibility of Doe as a nickname


Or, Donahue, Donovan or Donnelly for a boy.