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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 Online, she was very charitable during the time when Emperor Marcus Antoninus was murdering Christians, until she couldn't bear their suffering anymore and asked God if he could relieve her of her pain.

She has a couple of famous paintings, one as shown above by Johannes Vermeer, which is a copy of a painting by Felice Ficherelli, the other by Simone Pignoni. Three famous people were named for the saint, including Spanish civil engineer/Prime Minister Praxedes Mateo Sagasta (1825-1903), who was given the name because he was born on her feast day; Praxedes Guerrero, Mexican anarchist poet and writer who fought during the 1910 Revolution; lastly Praxede Larue, Quebec physician and politician. There are also four place names for this saint: Santa Prassede church in Rome, Santa Praxedes in Cagayan, Sainte-Praxede in Quebec, and Praxedis G. Guerrero municipality in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

547 Praxedis is a minor planet/asteroid orbiting our sun, named for the character in Joseph Viktor von Scheffel's Ekkehard.

In the U.S. all forms of this name are very rare, with no SSA data and White Pages reporting 425 total Praxedes, 310 Praxedis, a handful of Praxadis and Praxides, 13 Praxede and 5 Prassede. Also of note: 2 Prasseda.


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Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
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8. Ella
9. Lea/Leah
10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
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3. Oliver
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5. Lukas/Lucas
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7. Liam
8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
7. Oliver
8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


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…