Thursday, July 17, 2014

Discoveries from the bottom of the SSA list

Here are some nice names given to only 5 girls in 2013.

Abyssinia
Afra
Alexina
Amadea
Amandine
Aquinnah
Argelia
Aricella
Arusha
Ash
Asherah
Atira
Aurore
Averil
Behati
Benicia
Briony
Caelia
Calandra
Calixta
Carmine
Cassiopeia
Catharina
Clarita
Clary
Claudine
Clementina
Coretta
Cristabella
Daciana
Dinara
Dinora
Dionysia
Doria
Drucilla
Ebba
Edina
Elidia
Elisabel
Elmira
Elodia
Elsabeth
Eugenia
Eulalie
Evania
Farzana
Fiamma
Florina
Frederica
Gavrielle
Gem
Ghita
Gianina
Gracielle
Graziana
Gwendoline
Hilaria
Hyacinth
Idania
Illythia
Ivona
Izora
Jessamy
Jovia
Ketura
Kinneret
Kismet
Lealani
Letitia
Liadan
Linna
Lisbet
Liva
Lunabelle
Macrina
Magenta
Marchelle
Mariane
Mariposa
Mirren
Nanette
Nazarene
Nicolena
Ninette
Odilia
Olimpia
Olinda
Olivine
Onora
Oriane
Ourania
Piera
Pierina
Quintessa
Rohana
Romelia
Rosalva
Soteria
Sunniva
Tallia
Talulla
Thessaly
Thisbe
Tulia
Verina
Viveka
Zoraida
Zuleikha

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Belva

This Latin name meaning "beautiful view/lovely vista" is one rare name that fits right in today, alongside Elsa, Belle, and Ava. It stemmed from place name usage, likely bella vista, and remained uncommon throughout history. In the U.S. the most it was used was 185 times in 1927, slimming its way down to 5 births in 2007 - the same amount it started out with in 1882. Belvia, an elaboration of Belva, stopped being used in 1969, never used more than 21 times in a year.


Below are four historical namesakes.

Belva Lockwood, women's rights activist who ran for president in 1884 and 1888 - the first woman on official ballots.
American author Belva Plain.
Belva Gaertner, the inspiration behind character Velma Kelly in "Chicago." Not to be confused with Beulah Annan.
American journalist Belva Davis, now age 81.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Nicander

To some, Nicander (nih-CAN-dur) might seem like a made-up smoosh name - Nick + Andrew or something like that. However, I assure you this saint name is legit, although it remains so rare that there are no statistics in the U.S. for it. From the name Nicandros this name means "man of victory." And the fact that it sounds so close to Nick, Andrew, Alexander, Leander, etc makes it that much more wearable. Hearing it once also packs a punch.

Nicander of Colophon was a Greek poet, physician and grammarian, but only two of his works survive. Many other "greats" were inspired by him, such as Ovid and Pliny.

Nicander of Sparta was a Greek king who reigned between c.750 and c.725, but not too much is known about him.

There are only a few other namesakes throughout history, some of which go by the international spelling Nicandro. Nicknames for both could be Nick, Nico, or Andy. There are also a few saints of the name, including Nicander the Egyptian physician, Nicander of Bulgaria, Nicander the bishop, and the patron saint of Venfro, Italy.

Nicandra is the super rare feminine variant.