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Alaric

Alaric is a Germanic boys name meaning "everyone's ruler/ruler of all." While most pronounce the name AL-uh-rik, many pronounce it uh-LAHR-ik or uh-LAIR-ik.

There are three accounts for the Alarick spelling: 12 in 2015, 5 in 2013, and 5 in 2001. For the Alarik spelling there has been a little more consistency: 6 in 2003, working its way up to 20 in 2015. Lastly, the Alaric spelling is much more popular, used since at least 1949 (7 births that year) to its all-time high of 181 boys given the name in 2015. Alarich, a form sometimes used in Germany, has not been seen on the U.S. graphs, nor has Italian Alarico. Aleric is also sometimes recorded. The name had already been slowly rising, but note a jump between 40 births in 2010, 50 in 2011, and then 88 in 2012. This is likely thanks to The Vampire Diaries, which began airing in 2009. The character Alaric Saltzman is a history teacher and vampire hunter who befriends a vampire and impacts all of the characters for the better.

Yarden

Like yesterday's post on Yardley, Yarden is extremely similar in every way - nature name, place name, rare, but it seems to work as a boy's name just a tiny bit more than Yardley thanks to it's trending -n ending. However, the similarity in sound to "garden" makes it seem a bit whimsical-meets-tomboy for a girl. The perfect unisex name.

The statistics say Yarden is for girls, though. While Yardley was given to 9 girls in 2014 and none in 2015, and not given to boys at all, the name Yarden was given to 7 girls in 2014, then 5 in 2011 and none between those dates. Yarden previously had a run between 2002 and 2008, missing some years between, and not given more than 11 times in a year. It started being used on girls in 1984 with 6 births (probably five and less than five births for any number of years beforehand) and started being used on boys in 1990 with 5 births. Interestingly, Yarden seems to switch sides: given to boys in the years it's not used on girls an…

Yardley

Yardley, also sometimes spelled Yeardley or Yeardlea (less often Yeardlee, Yeardleigh and Yeardlie), is an English surname occassionally found as a given name. It means "enclosed (fenced) meadow," and is pronounced YARD-lee.

There are a few namesakes for Yeardley: George Yeardley, plantation owner and a former governor of Virginia whose wife was Temperence Flowerdew Yaerdley; voice actress Yeardley Smith, who was born Martha (Marge, The Simpsons); lacrosse player Yeardley Love, who was murdered; also Quaker missionary John Yeardley. The spelling Yardley is largely used as a place name, and it can be seen on several people as a surname, but as a given name this is the name of patent attorney Yardley Chittick, born Charles Yardly Chittick, and news reporter Megyn Kelly's daughter. The cosmetics brand Yardley of London was established in 1770. In the news last year (2015) a baby was named Yardley and her brother was named Camden for Orioles home field Camden Yards.

Other ra…

Moana

While Kai, a Hawaiian name that means "sea," has been increasing in popularity, Moana may just catch up. Moana (moh-AH-nah) means "ocean" in Hawaiian, Polynesian and Maori (New Zealand). Both Kai and Moana are unisex. Moana first appeared with the SSA in 1941, given to 8 girls, and there are no recordings for boys. It's been used very sporadically, but it wasn't until 2000 that it picked up to steady, albeit rare, usage. In 2015 it was given to 18 girls, and in 2016 that number rose to 56.

Interestingly, the French Disney company completely changed the name of the movie to Vaiana: La Legende du Bout du Monde (translation: Vaiana: The Legend from the End of the Earth). Vaiana (vy-AH-nah) is Tahitian meaning "water cave." In the movie, her last name Waialiki also has a word meaning "water." Vaiana has not been used in the U.S. and it is a surprising choice to be used in the French dubbed version of the movie.

Moana is also the newest Disne…

Ailani

Ailani (EYE-law-nee) is a Hawaiian girl's name meaning "chief," which makes it a very powerful yet feminine name. If you're thinking about nicknames, you could call her Ali, Aia, Lani, Aila (sounds like Isla) or even Annie. This name did not rank in the U.S. top 1000 until 2016 with a rank of #913. In 2015 Ailani was given to 206 girls, 300 in 2016. Perhaps with the new Disney movie Moana, this and other Hawaiian names will gain interest.

Sailor

Oscar de le Renta 
Sailor is a baby name with immediate imagery impact: an actual sailor on the sea, or perhaps someone in the Navy. While the word sailor as we know it today does refer to a person who sails a boat, and it has meant that in English since the 17th century, as a surname it comes from Old French sailleor, meaning "leaper, dancer," which was used as an occupational surname, and from Old German seil, meaning "rope," as an occupational name: rope maker. There is possibly a connection here between the use of ropes in sailing. It sounds summery, modern and unisex. This name is rising in popularity, from only five boys given the name in 1997 and then ten girls in 1998, in 2015 it increased to 42 boys and 234 girls, making it rank just outside the top 1000 for girls (but still rare on boys). You may have heard this name on a little one before, but perhaps Sailor isn't how that child's name was spelled. Saylor, Sayler, and Saylar have also been used,…

Gascon language girls names

Gascon is a dialect of Occitan spoken in Gascony, France, whose speakers at one point in history were Basque. Here are some beautiful and unique female names from this origin, which are unlike anything you've seen before. None of these names were used in 2016 in the U.S. except for Adelaida, Alaria, Belina, Celina and Clarie.

Adelaïda (from Adelaide)
Aimelina
Aizivella
Alaizina
Alamanda, Allemande
Alaria
Alesta
Alissende, Alissenda
Almoïse
Amadeta
Amandina
Amaneva
Anderequina
Arsende
Asalaïs
Auda
Aulaire
Belina
Berengaria, Bereguièira
Bertrana
Biatris
Blanqua
Bousigat
Brayda
Brunissen, Brunissenda
Cathelina
Célina
Ciragua
Claramontine
Clariana
Clarie
Cristia
Domengina
Domenja
Eisabèu
Ermessinde
Esclarmonda
Esperta
Esterelle (thought to be a Provençal fairy who protects pregnant women, means "star")
Estevena
Fortina
Franquine
Garsenda
Gauzia
Guiana
Guilhelma
Guiralda
Isabèu
Izelda
Jacotte (found in Foix)
Jenofa
Jouselet
Liloia
Liorada
Loïsa
Mabilia
Magalona (Occitan name …

Brunissende

I just caught sight of this beauty in the Dictionary of Medieval Names and it turns out this female name was used on someone with a bit of a pedigree. Brunissende de Comborn was the daughter of the Viscount of Comborn in France in medieval times. However, the first ruler, Archambaud, was of Merovingian descent. There are at least two named Brunissende in the family tree that I can see - Brunissende de Limoges, married to Archambaud the Bearded (1147) and from then on called Brunissende de Comborn. Her name was also written Brunissent, Brunicenda, Brunissen and Brunicens, but her birth name may have been Humberga. Delightfully, one of her daughters was named Melisende. Brunissende de Thiern (1235 or 1318) was daughter of Archambaud VII. Her name has also been written in the Latin Brunicendis.

Are those the only namesakes for this rare French name? Nope. Brunissende of Cardona was another, wife of Roger IV of Foix, the son of Roger-Bernard II the Great. Their son named one of his daught…

Pieran

While Kieran seems to be all the rage lately, no one pays attention to the Cornish version of the name, meaning "little black one." Pieran is the same as Kieran because of the rule of language making the Gaelic "k" a "p" in Cymric. A transcription of Piran, sometimes written Perran, or even Perrian and Pierrian, this is the patron saint of miners and of Cornwall. The name is basically unheard of, unused in the U.S.

Some locations bear this name in Cornwall. Saint Piran died c. 480 after being an abbot, with possible Irish roots. He is linked to the Irish saint Ciaran of Saigir. His legend starts with being thrown over a cliff into the sea tied to a boulder. He calms the sea and floats to safety in Cornwall, becomes a hermit with great qualities so he is gifted the ability to perform miracles. Then he made the Abbey of Lanpiran with his followers and helped the community perfect the art of tin-smelting. His flag is a white cross on a black background, ofte…

Accalia

Accalia (ah-KAH-lee-uh, uh-KAY-lee-uh) was the Etruscan woman from mythology that cared for the twins Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, after they were suckled by a she-wolf or the goddess Rhea Silvia in the form of a wolf, who took them in when they were abandoned as the sons of the god Mars. In many places you will not find a meaning for this baby name, and in some instances the listed meaning will be "she-wolf," which is inaccurate. Accalia is likely from Acca Larentia, who was the wife of the shepherd Faustulus. Together they had twelve sons who became the Arval Brotherhood. In some cases it is said she was called lupa because of her personality, in others she was called that because she was a prostitute, and this is probably what spurred the legend of the she-wolf. In another version she was either a prize that Hercules won or a woman he helped get married, and the property she inherited upon that husband's death she then gave to the Roman people. But Accalia'…

Oscalie

Oscalie is the first Creole origin name to be featured here, and although it is a rare name you can find it every so often in France, Haiti and the South (maybe about 3 in the U.S. total). The name is a feminine French variant of Oscar, as well as Oscalia and perhaps Oscaria. Oscarine has been found in Quebec. There aren't any famous namesakes, but I bet a lot of little Oscalie's have been named in honor of a special Oscar in the family tree. Oscar was originally a Viking (Old Norse) name, Asger, meaning "god-spear." Oskaria and Oscaria are possibly feminine Swedish variants.

French boys names you've never heard

Here are some handsome French boy's names that are rare in the U.S. Also see my list of French girl's names you've never heard.

Absalon
Adalric
Alain Albin
Alberic
Aldric
Alliaume
Aloïs 
Alpinien
Amandin
Amant
Anastase
Anatole
Ancelin
Andéol
Andoche
Angelin
Angilran
Angoustan
Antonin
Apollinaire
Arcade
Archambeau
Arian
Aristion
Arsène
Arthème
Ascelin
Aubin
Audouin
Audran
Aurelien
Aurian
Auxence
Aymard
Aymeric
Aymon

Barthélemy 
Basile
Bastien Baudouin Benoît Béranger Bertrand Blaise Bon Brice Brieuc
Camélien 
Camillien
Caribert
Carloman
Cassien
Chrétien
Claudien
Clement
Clotaire
Clovis
Corentin
Cyprien
Cyril

Didier

Edgard 
Éleuthère
Emeric
Emile
Emilien
Epiphane
Etienne
Eudes
Eudoxe
Eugene
Evariste
Evrard

Fabrice
Flavien
Florent
Florian
Foulques
Fulcran
Fulgence

Gabin
Gaël
Gaston
Gaspard
Gatien
Gédéon
Géroud
Ghislain
Girart
Gonthier
Grégoire 
Guérin
Guillaume
Gustave
Guyot

Hardouin
Hédelin 
Hélier
Herluin
Hilaire
Hincmar

Idris
Isabeau
Isidore

Japhet
Josse
Josselin
Jourdain

Laurent
Lazare
Leu
Leufroy
Loïc
Longin
Lorrain
Lothaire

Macaire
Malo
Manassé
Marceau
Marcelin
Mathurin
Mauricet
Maxence
Mayeul …

French girls names you've never heard

Here's a long list of French girls names you've probably never heard in America that could likely go over well here. I have included 2016 use, and if I've written nothing next to a name it means that name was not used in the U.S. last year. Also see my list of French boy names you've never heard.

Abeline
Aicelina Aliénor
Alaine, 21
Alcine
Alexine
Aliette (from place name Aleth)
Alix (a form of Alice), 26
Amaliane (from Germanic amal liut, "powerful people")
Amandine
Ameline
Anastasie
Anceline
Anicette
Apolline, 10
Apollonie
Arabelle, 124
Arcadie
Ariette
Audeline
Auxane
Avoye
Aymardine
Azelie, 16

Basilisse
Bastienne
Bérangère
Bibiane
Blanchette
Blandine
Brunelle
Brunissende

Capucine
Carine, 5
Celandine
Celarie
Cendrine
Charlaine
Charmaine, 15
Claudie 
Claudine, 7
Clio
Coline
Coralie, 167
Corisande
Cyrielle

Delphine, 45
Domitille
Doriane

Edmée (or Edmé)
Éliane, 15
Élia, 194
Elzire
Émérance
Eudoxie
Eugenie, 7
Eulalie

Faustine, 5
Felicie
Flavie
Florie
Francia, 5

Garance
Garcelle
Germaine
Godelieve
Guenièvre
Gu…

Praxedes

Vermeer, Saint Praxedis
Also seen in the form of Praxedis (Latin), Praxede (18th and/or 19th century France), and Prassede (Italian), this unusual saint name is extremely rare and interesting. She comes from Greek praxis, "an accomplishment." PRA-shed-yees and PRAHK-say-dahs are accepted pronunciations in Spanish and Portuguese, while prak-SAY-deez for the Praxedes spelling (like Mercedes) and PRAK-sed-iss for the Praxedis spelling are accepted in English. PRAK-seh-deh is commonly accepted elsewhere.

The Roman female Christian saint died in the year 165, and little is known about her. According to Jacobus de Voragine, her sister was Saint Pudentiana and her brothers were Saint Timothy and Saint Donatus. Sabine Baring-Gould claims she was the daughter of Saint Pudens, also the sister of Saint Pudentiana, but that her brothers were Saint Timothy and Saint Novatus. Some think because her name is not a feminine form of Pudens, she must have been a slave. According to Catholic O…

Garden

Garden is a baby name option for the very brave, although it wouldn't be the first time this unisex name was used. It was used in 1923 on five boys, but for all we know this may have been a surname used in honor, much like the use of Gardener as a given name (although Gardener is an occupational surname). Garden basically means "enclosed yard," but through time it has been used to refer to a home orchard, kitchen garden or personal yard. Today we immediately think of a beautiful flower, herb, or vegetable garden. It sounds similar to the vintage gemstone name Garnet, the trending Arden, masculine Gordon, and popular Grayden-Ayden type names (names ending with N are very popular now).

Tamarix

Tamarix gallica

Tamarix (TAM-ar-iks) would make for quite an unusual baby name, but the salt cedar plant, shrub, and small tree also known as tamarisk is no different than other flowering plants used as baby names, such as Rose, Magnolia, Petunia or Laurel. The only difference is that everyone knows what a rose looks like, while little Tamarix would have to say "Google it" with every introduction. She's also very similar to other familiar names like Tamar/a, Beatrix and Tamsin. This pretty namesake might just be worth the trouble.

From Latin, the name may have originated from the Tamaris River in Spain, now know as the Tambre or Tamariz, because these plants grew along the river. Tamaris may have been directly connected to the Biblical names Tamara and Tamar, meaning "date palm tree," but more likely the ancient goddess Tamara of Britian, goddess of rivers and streams or at least specifically the Tamar River, which borders Cornwall and has a different meaning,…

Cian

Cian (KEY-in) is an Irish boy's name meaning "enduring, ancient." The most legendary namesake was Cian Mac Maelmuaid, son-in-law of Ireland's great Brian Boru, King of Munster. Cian led an army from Munster to victory against the Vikings during the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, where he and his father-in-law were killed in battle. Ironically, Cian's father Mael Muad had been killed by Brain Boru years before. In mythology, however, Cian is also known as Scal Balb and is father of Lug (Lugh, sun god) and son of Dian Cecht. In oral medieval narrative Cian's marriage to Ethniu was a romance/bridal quest. Today the most popular namesake is likely either Youtube star Cian Twomey or Kian Lawley.

In 2015 Cian was given to 153 boys, not too far outside the top 1000 but far enough from the top 100 to be unusual. It is currently a very popular name in Ireland, #14 as of 2015.

Spelled Kian the name is now Persian, pronounced key-AHN, possibly meaning "kings." (I…

Top Irish Baby Names 2015

Boys:                                                      Girls:
1. Jack                                                     1. Emily
2. James                                                  2. Emma
3. Daniel                                                 3. Ava
4. Conor                                                  4. Sophie
5. Sean                                                    5. Amelia
6. Adam                                                  6. Ella
7. Noah                                                   7. Lucy
8. Michael                                               8. Grace
9. Charlie                                                9. Chloe
10. Thomas                                            10. Mia

(This seems like a dated U.S. list!)       (This seems like a future U.S. list)

Polly

"Polly want a cracker?" "Polly put the kettle on." We've all heard it, and you must understand that if you choose Polly as your baby's name then you and she will hear this often. The question is, is it worth it? Polly has a certain allure - catchy, obviously, but also confident and happy. Maybe you'll just want to put it in the middle spot, but it is a delightfully bright, vintage name with dozens of namesakes.

Most people don't know that Polly and Molly are related, connected in medieval times. Both are originally nicknames for Mary (the most popular name ever given in the U.S.), which either means "beloved," from Egyptian, or "sea of bitterness," the most common given meaning.

An inspiring name, little Polly can look up to several powerful women. Polly Berry was an American slave who sued for freedom. Polly Beemis was born in 1853 in China, then became an American pioneer whose story later became a novel. Polly Bergen, born 193…

Maynard

The baby name Maynard (MAY-nard) is from Anglo-French Mainard, ultimately Old High German Maganhard, meaning "mighty and brave." There are a few famous namesakes, such as Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of the metal band Tool, American artist Maynard Dixon, actor Rex Maynard Linn, 1930's movie cowboy Ken Maynard and trumpet jazz player Maynard Ferguson. On TV, there was a Maynard in "Desperate Housewives" and "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," as well as the movie "The Sasquatch Gang."

The name peaked in 1922 at #278, but was only given to 16 boys in 2015. Mayne could make a good nickname. Menard and Maynor are unusual variants. Maynor was given to 23 boys in 2015.

Castalia

www.learnaboutbutterflies.com

The girl's baby name Castalia (Κασταλια) is pronounced kah-STAH-lia, and/or KASS-tah-lee-uh. She was a nymph, daughter of the river Achelous, who gave her name to the Castalian Spring near Delphi, Greece - home of the prophetic Oracle of Delphi. According to some legends she married the King of Delphi (possibly King Delphus who gave his name to the city) and had a son with him, who was named Castalius. According to other legends, she became the Castalian Spring itself by diving into the fountain at the foot of Mount Parnassus after being pursued romantically by the god Apollo. Now she is a muse who inspires poetic genius to those who touch her waters, and the other muses are sometimes called Castalides, or it is used as their surname or collective name, because they are associated with this spring. 'Castalian' is now a word, meaning "pertaining to Castalia, fountain of Parnassus."

Virginia Woolf used this name for a character in A So…

Rhodri

www.walesonline.co.uk
Rhodri (HRO-dree) is a Welsh boy's name meaning "circle; disk; crown" and "ruler." 'Crown of royalty' could be what this is hinting at. Consider the following three historical namesakes and you'll agree that this is certainly a name for a circle of rulers.

Rhodri Molwynog, also known as Rhodri the Bald and Grey, was an 8th century king of Gwynedd. Little is known about him, but he is called King of the Britons in the Annals of Wales, and he probably died in 754 A.D. Rhodri the Great (820-878) was also a Welsh king, named Rhodri ap Merfyn and also known as Rhodri Mawr, and he was from either the Isle of Mann or Manau. His father, Merfyn Frych, was King of Gwynedd until 844, who took the throne after the previous line (Cunedda) ran out of male heirs. In the Annals of Ulster he is called King of the Britons. Fun fact: it may be possible that rap superstar Eminem (Marshall Mathers) is descended from him. Then we have Rhodri ap Gru…

Angelica

[source]
Angelica (ann-JEL-ik-uh) is a Latin origin girl's name meaning "angelic," from the word angelicus. It has a faint hint of being dated, but not so much as Angel, and without the scream of "celebrity" that Angelina carries. Angelica is also a plant name - a Northern Hemisphere herb that grows tall with white flowers. It has been used to flavor things from cake toppings to gin, it's been used as medicine, and it's been made into the musical instrument called the fadno.

Some of you will instantly remember Angelica Pickles from the animated series Rugrats. Others will think of actress Anjelica Houston. There are other actresses with the name, including Angelica Panganiban, Angelica Domrose, and Anjelica Bridges. There's Austrian Neoclassical painter Angelica Kauffman, a founding member of the Royal Academy in London. Angelica Schuyler Church was a socialite with a village and a town named after her in New York. Angelica Rylin is a Swedish musici…

Wallace

Sir William Wallace stained glass in Edinburgh Castle

Wallace (WAHL-iss) is an unusual baby name, since it means "Welshman," but it's of Old French origin, from the word waleis that translates to "Celtic foreigner." Before this, Wallace came from the cognate of an Old English word (Wylisc, Welisc) of the same meaning: "Welshman; foreigner." It originated as a surname. Most of the namesakes bearing Wallace as a surname were from the 1800's and 1900's, and there are many namesakes representing the armed forces, law, media, sports, religion, and sciences. If this name interests you, be sure to look up Alfred Russel Wallace, who was the first to create the theory of evolution in regard to natural selection, and who inspired Charles Darwin. In fiction there are characters in Final Fantasy VII, Pulp Fiction, Stargate, EastEnders, The Office and more with Wallace as their last name. The surname Walsh is connected to Wallace.

Wallace may have first b…

Elina

While Elena (el-AY-nah) is having a moment in the sun, her sister Elina (el-EE-nah) is just outside of ranking. In 2015 Elina was given to 248 girls, a triumph considering she was only given to 5 girls in 1900 and no more than 13 until 1976. It wasn't until 2005 that she jumped past 100 births, so by all means Elina is still quite a rare gem. Elena, on the other hand, was given to 2,877 girls in 2015, ranking at #106. Similar-sounding Eliana (el-ee-AH-nah) currently ranks #103, given to 2,956 girls in 2015. If the baby name Eliana or Elena is perfect for you but you're afraid it's too common, give Elina a chance. She's streamlined and sophisticated, and truly sparkles.

Elena is the Latin cognate of Helen, from Greek mythology. The name most likely means "torch," with attention to the flame. Helen (Helene) was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, and her kidnapping by Paris ended up causing the famous Trojan War. Throughout history she's been known as the beauty…

Cassiana

This is a rare female form of Cassian (KASH-in, though KASS-ee-an is accepted), Cassius (KASH-us), and the Roman family name Cassianus. It is of Latin origin, meaning "hollow, empty." The girl's name Cassiana is pronounced KAH-shah-nah, KASS-ee-ah-nah, or KAH-see-ah-nah. Cassiane/Kassiane (KAH-see-ah-neh) and Cassia (KAH-shuh, KASS-ee-uh accepted) are other female forms.

Recorded in the years 1992, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2015, and 2016 (5 births) never more than seven times in a year, the baby name Cassiana is definitely rare. The spelling Casiana was only used in 1996 on 7 girls and 1998 on 5, and there is no recorded spelling of Cassiane. The spelling Kassiana was used in 2011 on 5 and 2014 on 6 girls. Cassia was used 61 times in 2015, making it the most popular option. Although these are rare feminine names, they do have a nice history of use and a broad range of countries it is used in. However, I do think people confuse Cassiana for a smoosh of Cassie/Cassand…

Vanellope

Hey, remember that one time an author made up a name and it suddenly surged in popularity? (I'm looking at you, Renesmee.) Well, add Vanellope to the list. I bet it sounds familiar, and that's because it's the name of the main female character in 2012's Wreck It Ralph, an animated kid's movie. I believe it is a candy-coated smoosh of 'vanilla' and Penelope. Vanellope von Schweetz is the lead racer in a game called "Sugar Rush," and she is cute, determined and witty. She is 9 years old, dislikes bullying, and loves candy. With Ralph's help they are able to get her out of glitch mode and save the residents of the arcade's games.

In 2012 when the movie came out the name was nonexistant, but by 2015 Vanellope was used 68 times. The spelling Vanelope was also used 7 times in 2015. While the credibility of this name is lacking thanks to being made up for a recent animated film, the plus side is that most people won't recognize where it came…

Best of the bottom 2016 stats part 3

Larimar

Continuing after taking a break to talk about Tigris, here is a list of the stunning names given to only seven girls in 2016.

Accalia, Aissa, Ambriella, Anastassia, Annesley, Annisa, Antonette, Avabelle, Avriella
Belicia, Bell, Bia (a goddess), Bitania, Brigitta, Briona, Bronte, Branwen
Cecilie, Chandra, Chetana, Chriselle, Claritza, Corazon
Daciana, Deidra, Derica, Deva, Domino, Doriana
Eisele, Eleri, Eline, Elisea, Emmelina, Elora, Enora, Essa, Eudora, Evania
Fatimatou, Faviola, Felina, Fionnuala, Florentina, Fortune
Gabriana, Gael, Garnet, Gene, Genoveva, Giordana, Gwenneth, Gwynneth
Haydan, Helina, Hodaya, Holliday (possibly the extra L is to give notice that it's being used as a name and not the word)
Ilyse, Isana
Jara, Jarah, Jem, Jenia, Jera, Jerra, Jet, Jezebelle, Jora
Kaede, Kathalia (which is a place name), Kei, Keirsten, Kelsa, Kesha, Kindra, Kirstin, Korinna
Larimar*, Leonore, Lilana, Lior, Lisbet, Lolly, Louna, Lucelia, Lucine, Lunetta, Lyria
Magenta, Marabel…

Tigris

Visit TigerDay.org
Tigris (TY-griss) is a name of Latin origin meaning "tiger," and it is used as the species name of the tiger family, Panthera Tigris. It is the name of the Tigris River that runs through Iraq and Turkey, and it connects with the Euphrates River. Legend has it that Saint Patrick had a sister named Tigris, and she is listed as a Catholic saint in her own right. She had at least five children, and it is said that they were five boys who all became bishops - one of which may have been Saint Loman of Trim. In Thermodon and Tiigris were the two river spirits Romans knew as Flumina, but they represented every river. In the movie Gladiator, the main character fights "the undefeated" Tigris of Gaul, and there is a Tigris character in The Hunger Games series as well.
A tigress (TY-gress) is a female tiger. The Tigress is the name of a 1927 silent film and a 1992 German film. There are characters named Tigress in DC Comics, Kung Fu Panda, and the Tigress c…

Best of the bottom pt.2 (Girls)

Continuing from the last post, here are beautiful and rare names from the very bottom of the SSA extended list in 2015. I do try to make sure they are all "real" names that have been used before. Not sure how many more of these posts will be written or if I will get to the boys, so enjoy, and tell me which ones you like!

6 times used in 2015

Abela, Abelina, Aleska, Alexine, Amabelle, Anthem, Aradia, Aricia, Arlena, Athaliah
Bess, Bettina, Bibianna, Blakesley, Branwen, Briceyda, Brizeida, Brynja, Bryony
Callalily, Caralena, Castella, Catherina, Cecille, Charlena, Cherith, Christiane, Christmas, Cicilia, Cipriana, Circe, Clemence, Cloris, Corrinne, Cristabel
Dariona, Deidre, Delphia, Denisa, Devlin, Dhara, Diona, Dione, Drusilla, Dyna
Edina, Elvina, Elvy, Emanuelle, Emelda, Enza, Eponine, Erendira, Ernestina, Eula, Evanora
Faria, Fauna, Fayza, Felicitas, Feyza, Fiorela, Florina, Fox
Gal, Galadriel, Galena, Gavrielle, Ghita, Gloriann, Gracianna, Griselle
Heloisa, Hildana, Hilde…

The Best of the Bottom (Girls)

Here is a list of the best of the names at the very bottom of the 2015 extended SSA document. These names were given to five girls, are real names and have a history of use either in the U.S. or abroad. Some of them are truly stunning! (And refreshing, once you're knee deep in the L's and M's with all the various spelling choices for the same name and the J's which are mainly a collection of random trendy sounds.)

Aia, Aisosa, Albana, Alesya, Amabella, Amadea, Ambra, Aniella, Anneth, Annetta, Antalya, Apsara, Aquinnah, Araminta, Aspasia, Avalena

Bellatrix, Betselot, Brita

Caelia, Calyx, Cameo, Capella, Carlita, Carmia, Carola, Carsten (although typically used for boys), Cassiana, Clarita, Cliona, Clodagh, Clothilde, Concetta, Constantina, Coralina, Corinthia, Czarina

Dafina, Dagmar, Delancy, Delancey, Delphina, Desta, Doria, Dorsa, Dotty

Eilonwy, Elisiana, Eliska, Etana, Exie

Federica, Fiamma, Franziska

Gwenna

Ife, Iselin, Ishara, Izora

Jeannine, Jenella, Jensine, Jinn…

I say Maibritt, you say Maybrit

Maybritt and Maybrit are modern spellings of the Nordic name Majbritt, pronounced MY-brit. It is largely used in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, in that order. The girl's name can be traced back to at least 1893. It is now a bit dated, as its heyday was between 1950 and 1980. Maybrit, Majbrit, Maibritt, Maibrit, Majbritta, Majbritte, and -th endings such as Maibrith have also been used. The 'maj' element of the name comes from Maja (and ultimately from Maria, whose meaning is contested) and can also mean May (the month), while 'britt' comes from Britta, from the Celtic name Brighid (prn: BREED), meaning "exalted one." Brighid/Bridget was a goddess in Irish mythology. The takeaway for meaning is "exalted woman."

May-Britt Moser is a Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist who was a Nobel laureate. Majbritt Morrison was the victim of racial violence that initiated the 1958 Notting Hill race riots. She later wrote Jungle West 11. Maibritt Saerens is…

Eternity

Eternity graffiti, Arthur Stace

Eternity is an intriguing option as a girls baby name. While word names are always popular, those with grand meanings are favorites. Serenity, for example, has been climbing the charts steadily and now sits high at #71. Eternity, however, remains rare. In 2015 there were only 84 baby girls given the name, which is about the same amount for the past decade. It has only been used since about 1990, which is when Calvin Klein introduced the perfume Eternity. However, the universal concept of eternity (mathematical, philosophical, religious or otherwise) has been around for, pun intended, eternity, and there is no off-putting association for it.

From old Latin aeturnus, Eternity means "without beginning or end." Synonym: forever. It is easy to see as a name - just like Destiny or Trinity. It has a modern, feminine sound, like Eve, Lily (currently ranking at #25) or Emily (currently ranking at #8). Nicknames could be Etty, Teri, or Terny, but I'…

My naming advice to myself

I'll admit, I had a very rough time choosing a name for my daughter. For my son, we had a list of about ten names going into the hospital, narrowed it down to three once we saw what he looked like, and then my husband suddenly put his bossy pants on and said, "It's this one." Easy. With our daughter born in March, the list was three times longer and even though I narrowed it down to three like before, I left the hospital without a name picked. We called the hospital the next day to make at least one of them official, but it didn't feel right. I poured over my lists all night. Our top name suddenly felt boring, while the runner-up was so beautiful I really wanted to pick it, but it didn't look like her. Even after making her name official I considered a few others, wondering if one of them would jump out and say, "Why didn't you pick me?!"

I asked myself, what advice would I give to a friend having trouble making a decision?

- You've spent lo…

Trystine

Ametrine
A gorgeous natural mixture of amethyst and citrine, this beautiful name can hardly say its been used at all - in fact there are likely as few as two people in the U.S. named Trystine. While the stone itself is known as ametrine (amethyst + citrine as a smush word) or golden amethyst, it is naturally found in Bolivia, thus the trade-name is Bolivianite. There are several varieties of quartz, including onyx, Tiger's eye, rock crystal, and amethyst and citrine individually.

To be clear, a gemstone is a "mineral crystal" and it can be a precious or semi-precious stone. When cut and polished these are used to make jewelry. A few gemstones are not minerals at all, such as lapis lazuli, amber and jet.

In legend, ametrine was first seen when a Conquistador inherited a Bolivian mine via marriage to a Princess Anahi of the Ayoreos tribe, and he gifted some of these New World gemstones to the Queen of Spain. This must only be legend because the Ayoreo were supposedly firs…

Gap Casting Call Boys 2016

Oliver (3)
Aiden & Aaden & Ayden (2)
Aaron (2)
Liam (2)
Jude
Gavin (2)
Grady
Austin
Roland
Lennon
Ryuu
Lucien
Dominic (8)
Albert
Linkin & Lincoln (3)
Hudson (3)
Ollie
Christian
Miguel
Titus
Michael (3)
Kaemon
Kale
Austin
John (2) & Jon
Marcus
Brynnen
Johnathan (2)
Eric
Rhett
Anthony (2)
Wade
Mason (4)
Sky (f & m)
Ashton (2)
Nathan & Nathaniel (2) & Nathanial (2)
Kellen
Dakarai
Connor (7)
Elijah (4)
Tyler (2)
Spencer
Jasper (2)
Thomas (3)
Allen
Sebastian (2)
Isaac (2)
Andres
Jason (2)
Maxwell
Gerardo
Phoenix
Easton
Gunner
Nolan (2)
Reid
Bennett
Devon & Devin
Gabriel
Noah (4)
Skyler (m & f)
Henry (4)
Cole (2)
Bradley
Zander
Ziggy
Weston (2) & Westin
Asher
Landon (3)
Jacob (6) & Jake (3)
Daniel
Pedro
Thatcher
Bodhi
Christopher (3)
Ty
Xavier (2)
Max (4)
Levi (2)
William (2)
Giovanni (3) & Jovanni
Aquiles
Kenneth
Morgan
Warner
Camron & Cameron (2)
Rhyan
Blake (3)
Eli
Sanaa
Zachary
Donovan
Cohen
Evan (5)
Colten
Arian
Ace
Kiran
Miles (2)
Be…

Gap Casting Call Girls 2016

Somehow the Gap Casting Call has a wide array of very well named children each year, you would think this was a naming pageant. So without further ado, the U.S. names from submissions...

Kyleigh (2) & Kylee & Kaileigh
Caylee & Kaylie
Paislee & Paisley (3)
Rifka
Penelope
Alina
Gabriela & Gabriella
Layla (2) Leila & Laila
Lennon (2)
Farrah
Elizabeth (4)
Brianna
Hattie
Lillian (2)
Alaina (2)
Madison (5)
Esther
Kayden and Kaiden (2)
Kendall
Scarlette
Alessandra
Belen
Gloria
Lyric
Isla
Kinsley
Maelin
London (3) & Londyn
Mikayla (2) & Micaela & Makayla
Madeleine & Madeline (3)
Norah (3)
Kelsie
Melody
Amelia
Sequoia
Emma (4)
Arianna (3) & Ariana (2) & Aryanna
Violet (3)
Ipek
Anna (2)
Avril
Sophia (5) & Sofie & Sofia & Sophie (2)
Ananda
Annabeth
Bianca
Adrianna (2)
Sky (f & m)
Valentina (2)
Eva (2)
Stella (3)
Autumn
Mariah (2)
Peyton (2)
Baylinn
Ava (2) & Avalyn & Avalyne
Elle
Eloise
Emmaline
Wren
Imogen
Julia (3)
Dallas …

Top 10 Portugal 2015

1. Maria & João
2. Leonor & Martim
3. Matilde & Rodrigo
4. Beatriz & Santiago
5. Carolina & Francisco
6. Mariana & Afonso
7. Ana & Tomás
8. Ines & Miguel
9. Margarida & Guilherme
10. Sofia & Gabriel

11. Lara & Duarte
12. Laura & Gonçalo
13. Francisca & Pedro
14. Joana & Tiago
15. Alice & Rafael
16. Clara & Diogo
17. Diana & Lourenço
18. Luana & Lucas
19. Madalena & Dinis
20. Mafalda & Salvador

To see up to #100 for both genders visit this site.

Catrina (Katrina)

Katia Winter as Katrina Crane 
Catrina was only used 11 times in 2015, a dramatic drop from its 1980 peak of 454 births. The spelling Katrina is always more popular, lurking just off the top 1000 with 215 births in 2015. Katrina also peaked in 1980 with 3,397 births. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 negatively impacted the popularity of both spelling options, but usage was already decreasing. The original spelling, Catriona (pronounced the same, kuh-TREE-nah) was used 17 times in 2015. It is the Gaelic form of Katherine, and "pure" is the accepted meaning.

Cat, Trina, Rini, Caty/Katy and Kiki have all been used as nicknames. Most recently the name Katrina has been used in the TV show Sleepy Hollow, which began airing in 2013. The character Katrina Crane is played by Katia Winter.

Seeley

Special Agent Seeley Booth

Due to its -ley ending and its obscurity, Seeley started life in the U.S. fairly unisex. It was used 5 times in 1914, 6 in 1924 on just boys. Then it reappeared to be used 5 times in 1996 and 7 times in 2007 on just girls. 2009 and later it was used on both genders and has been increasing in popularity, but it is clearly more popular for boys, being used 36 times in 2015 but only 15 for girls. The sudden interest in this name and consistency of use in the 2000's is likely in thanks to Seeley Booth, played by David Boreanaz in the TV show Bones. The show began airing in 2005, but it wasn't until 2009 that Seeley resumed use on team blue. Temperance had a similar revival at the same time and then took off running.

Seeley is an Old French surname meaning "blessed," and historically has been spelled Sealey, Seelye and Seely. Real life namesakes include Seeley G. Mudd, professor, physician and philanthropist, the son of Seeley Wintersmith Mudd,…

Beatrix

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands when she was just a princess
Beatrix (BEE-ah-trix) is a vintage name, a historical name, very international, and a modern favorite here in the States. It is little known that her original form is Viatrix, ultimately from Latin viator, meaning "voyager." The -trix suffix for Latin loan words was traced back to the 15th century by The Oxford English Dictionary, yet Saint Viatrix/Beatrix/Beatrice of Rome is from the 4th century. Christians later changed the spelling so that via- became bea- and "blessed" became the new meaning, but beatus also makes "she who makes happy" a legitimate meaning. Beatrice, Beatriu, Betrys, Beitris, Beatrise, Beatrycze and Beatriz are the other spelling variants in Europe. Trixy and Bea/Bee are the most used nickname options, although Bix/Bixy, Beaty, Bebe and even Brice have been used as well.

Namesakes include Beatrix Kiddo from "Kill Bill," the girl detective Trixie Belden series (fu…