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Ravensara

Ravensara


You might be thinking this baby name is made-up, obviously the combination of girls names Raven and Sara, and you wouldn't be too far off. Ravensara (rah-ven-SAHR-uh) is actually not a baby name at all - rather, it is a botanical name. This is the genus of evergreen trees and shrubs native to Madagascar, prized today for the pure essential oils made from it. All of the parts of this tree are aromatic, and the meaning of its native name, Hazomanitra, is "tree that smells." The (new) Latin name Ravensara means "good leaf," from the Malagasy word ravendsara, ravin'tsara.

Ravensara retains all the mysterious, dark-forest charm of Raven, and the elegant familiarity of Sara, while being infinitely less popular than both (zero data), having the option of either as a nickname, and it is a legit nature name. Rassa, Ren, Ravy, Ray, and Venna are other nickname options.

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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…