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Showing posts from July, 2016


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…


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…


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


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 (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


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 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'…