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Belva

This Latin name meaning "beautiful view/lovely vista" is one rare baby girl name that fits right in today, alongside Elva, Bella, 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.

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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…