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Showing posts from August, 2018

Alphabet Week: Q-S

Quill, unisex, or Quilla if you prefer to add an a at the end for a girl, comes from Middle High German, meaning “hollow stem.” As a bird feather a quill was used for writing with ink. Be aware that Quilla was also the Hispanic spelling of Mama Killa, the Incan goddess, but it was pronounced KEE-lah, whereas Quill is KWILL. Quilla was used between 1902 and 1964, rarely, while Quill has not been used for either gender.

Rada: a short form of the Czech girl name Radoslava (and in Slovak, and Polish Radoslawa), Rada, pronounced RAH-dah, means “good glory, eager glory” from rad “glad, eager” and mil “glory.” As a word, rada means “advice.” Radoslav is the masculine form. Rada has been used since 1893 in the U.S. but rarely, only given to 5 girls in 2017. Radoslav, on the other hand, was only given to 5 boys in 1976. Radoslav was a 9th century Serbian ruler as well as several after him. Radič is a diminutive mainly used in Serbian and Bosnian. 

Sabelina: coming from the word sable of Slavic o…

Alphabet Week: M-P

Magali: this girl name is probably a Provence diminutive of Margaret, meaning “pearl,” or according to French sites it derives from Magdalene, meaning “tower.” Magaly and Magalie have been seen as alternate spelling options. Magali has been used in the U.S. since 1950 and was given to 53 girls in 2017. (Mah-gah-LEE and MAH-gah-lee seem to be both accurate pronunciations.)
Marduk: a god of healing in ancient Babylon whose name means “bull calf of the sun god Utu.” A simpler meaning is “solar calf.” He could use magic and was given some of his power by an older god, Ea. Marduk has not been used in the U.S.

Nigella: usually said to be the female variant of Nigel, Nigella actually comes from the Late Latin word nigellus, meaning “blackish.” And although most of the world is familiar with chef Nigella Lawson, the name still is not used in the U.S.
Nicander: from Greek Nikandros, meaning “victorious man.” One of the first people with this name was a 2nd century BCE scholar. Being so similar to…

Alphabet Week: I-L

Iskra: a Croatian, Russian and Polish girl name meaning “spark,” it is seeing the light of day in the U.S. thanks to body-positive model Iskra Lawrence. It was also the name of a newspaper founded by Lenin in 1900. The name is still not listed in U.S. statistics.
Ingram: this name came to England from the Normans, and it likely means “Ing’s raven” or comes from the ancient Germanic tribe known as the Angles, combined with hraben, meaning “raven.” Listed in the U.S. starting in 1883, it has always been extremely rare, and was only given to 10 boys in 2017. Gram could make an easy nickname.

Jacoba: everyone seems to love Jacob, but not as much love is given to Jacoba and Jacobina. Jacoba, always rare in the U.S., was used since 1900 and given to 5 girls in 2017. Jacobia was used only in 1991 and 1992, 5 times each, and Jacobina seems to have not been used at all.
Jackdaw: this is a bird name, and one not usually seen among other bird name lists. It is one of few birds able to imitate human…

Alphabet Week: E-H

Elbereth: this name has not been used in the U.S. it is a Lord of the Rings name meaning “star-queen.”
Elynas: this name has not been used in the U.S. you may remember this as the name of the King of Albany (Scotland) from the story of Melusine. Traditional searches for this name’s meaning turned up nothing until I found his supposed real name - Gille Sidhean, which might mean “steward of the fey,” or Elinas d’Albha. He is connected to the Vere and Anjou lines and said to be born circa 704, but with names this old sometimes there is more speculation than fact, although it becomes very interesting when the lines blur (like, some would say, King Arthur). At the end of this speculation there is a bit more of his ancestry connecting him to the Ulsters. Unfortunately I have yet to find the name’s meaning, but Helinus looks promising.

Fruzsina: the Hungarian form of Euphrosyne, meaning “mirth.” It is pronounced fruuz-EE-nah. Eufrozina and Frosina are other variants. The variant Frozine was th…

Alphabet Week: A-D

This week I will cover 26 boys and 26 girls that are considered rare.

Ashwin: a Sanskrit name meaning “light,” and possibly Anglo-Saxon meaning “spear.” As a given name it has been used since 1977 in the U.S. always rare, it was given to 56 boys in 2017.
Amellina: a Spanish and Italian variant of Amelia meaning “rival.” This name is very rare, with no statistics.

Brynja: a Norse name meaning “armor.” Pronounced BRIN-yah, this name has been used since 1993 in the U.S. but is very rare, given to only 7 girls in 2017.
Bedivere: a Knight of the Round Table, his name means “birch man.” This name has not been used in the U.S. despite its chivalrous vibe, along with the possible unusual nicknames Bev, Bear, or Biv.

Csilla: a Hungarian name meaning “morning star.” It was created by the Hungarian author Andras Dugonics in 1803. Pronounced tCHEE-luh. This name was only used 5 times, in 1961.
Cain: a Bible name with a negative story, this Hebrew name meaning “acquired” was liked enough to be in the to…

Norway 2017 Top 10

1. Sophie/Sofie
2. Nora/Norah
3. Emma
4. Sara/Sarah/Sahra/Zara
5. Ella
6. Olivia
7. Maia/Maya/Maja (I am wondering why Mya isn’t here)
8. Emilie
9. Sophia/Sofia
10. Ingrid/Ingerid/Ingri

1. Jacob/Jakob
2. Lukas/Lucas
3. Emil
4. Oscar/Oskar
5. Oliver
6. William
7. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
8. Noa/Noah
9. Elias
10. Isac/Isaac/Isak

Check out this list from 2015.


Lecelina is the medieval variant of Letitia, a Roman name meaning "happiness." Specifically, it is a double diminutive of Lece, taken from Lettice. Leceline and Lescelina are other spelling variants. Lasceline de Turqueville was an illegitimate daughter of Richard I of Normandy. Letitia, today’s most common variant, was the Roman goddess and personification of happiness. The name has been used since the 12th century, most commonly as Lettice. Lecia is another rare variant. Leta may be a cousin name, meaning "happy" from the Latin root laeta. Queen Letizia is the current queen in Spain. There are no SSA statistics for Lecelina or Leceline, but Lecia is used five or six times a year, usually two to five years apart.