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baby name meaning ’
Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
Thanksgiving often seems to get lost between Halloween and Christmas—especially when the stores seem to start putting up their Christmas displays before you’re done with your back-to-school shopping. And it’s a shame, as it’s a pretty great holiday: When else are you encouraged to think of all the things in your life that you should be grateful for—and enjoy a fabulous meal with friends and family? If you’re looking for a baby name that suits the meaning of this particular season—gratitude, friendship and kindness—here are some options for you.
Alden This charming boys’ name makes a nice alternative to Aiden. It means friends.
Amity This sweet virtue name is virtually unheard of, but has a lovely meaning—friendship.
Charity This charming old-school virtue name just cracked the top 1000, and seems particularly perfect for the season.
Concord Considered a boys’ virtue name, Concord is a word that means peace and harmony.
Connelly This Irish boys’ name means love and friendship—and would make a lovely girls’ name, too.
Edwin This old-school variant on Edward means wealthy friend—and makes a winning way to pay homage to an Edward in your family tree.
Dakota is a Sioux name meaning “friendly one,” and has been popular for both boys and girls since the 1980s.
Mercy Another old-school virtue name, Mercy means compassion, and has become one of the more popular virtue names for girls.
Rowena This lovely Welsh name has become more noticed since J.K. Rowling used it in Harry Potter for the name of one of Hogwarts’ founders. It means famous friend.
Shakir This Arabic name means thankfulness. Shaquille O’Neal gave the variant spelling Shaqir to his son.
Zendaya An African name that literally means “to give thanks.” Its most famous bearer is Zendaya Coleman, who starred on Disney Channel’s Shake it Up and took a spin on Dancing With the Stars that almost netted her the disco ball prize.
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Thursday, July 17th, 2014
We all have our “dream names” that we use for our first baby (or three), but sometimes coming up with a name that you love for baby #4 can be a challenge. That’s the issue reader Katie has:
I am expecting my 4th child in about 5 weeks. My husband and I can not agree on anything for a name. My other three children are Ethan (13), Presley (girl), and Emett (4 year old twins).
I am leaning towards surnames or even boy names for a girl. My trouble becomes one minute I like something and the next I don’t. I want something different, but not weird. I want people to be able to pronounce it and spell it, but I don’t want there to be five other little girls in her class with the same name.
Names are hard. They are such a big decision. I have no idea how we were able to come up with two names for the twins. However, when we agreed on Presley after they were delivered I didn’t really like it. I do still love the boys’ names we chose, though. I am hoping to find a girl’s name that I feel the same about for this little one.
Looks like you picked some really intriguing names for your first three—nothing too popular, but definitely still on people’s radar as a good name. Clearly, you want something not-so-traditionally girl (so no Amelia or Penelope for you, right?).
Finley is one of my favorites for girls (and boys). It’s a Celtic name that means “fair-haired hero,” and while it’s up and coming, it’s still a bit below the radar (it just broke the top 300 for girls last year). I think it would pair beautifully with the other names you’ve picked.
Another (more popular) unisex name that matches beautifully with the names of your other kids is Peyton, which is just below the top 50 currently. I like that it features similar sounds to her siblings—Presley and Peyton make a good sister pair, don’t you think?
There’s a slew of fun “R” names that are unisex—Rowan, Rory, Regan, Romilly and Remy all could work for your daughter. Of these four, I’d pick Rowan and Remy as the best two options.
And then there’s Marley. Yes, it’s currently associated with the dog in the best selling book and movie—but it also has ties to reggae great Bob Marley, and of course, the ghost of Dickens’ classic, Christmas Carol. With a meaning like “seaside meadow,” it’s a lovely choice. Not into Marley? Try Marlowe, which a few celebs have picked for their daughters (in honor of Britain’s great playwright, perhaps?).
Two other options for you: I love Arden, which is the name of the forest in Shakespeare’s As You Like It and means “valley of the eagle.” It hasn’t hit the top 1000 yet—I think it’s a wonderful choice. And it’s not unisex or a surname, but Imogen, a longtime British favorite that means “maiden,” would sound beautiful with the rest of your choices. It’s on the radar of many naming experts as an up-and-comer, but it still hasn’t cracked the top 1000 yet. You could be a trend setter with that one!
Readers: What other options would you suggest for Katie?
If you’re still looking for the perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at email@example.com for some advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.
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In Name Only
Thursday, June 12th, 2014
The top 1000 baby names is always intriguing. But what’s even more interesting is seeing what’s below that level—the names that only 5 or 25 people picked for their kids. While there’s always an array of creative spellings, possible mistakes (did 6 people really name their boys Adeline?) and assorted other oddball picks that probably won’t suit most guys out there, you can find a few gems hidden among the more…ahem…unique choices.
You can check out my girls’ name picks from last week, or see what I’ve picked for the boys here.
Rigby This proper British surname name means farm along the ridge, and is perfect for a baby of Beatles fans (think Eleanor Rigby). It’s a nice alternative to other surname names like Reilly and Sullivan.
Hero This old-school name was traditionally for the girls (think of the character Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing). But this is one girls’ name that could easily cross the aisle for the boys.
Bruin I’m guessing most of the baby boy Bruins live in the Boston area, and the name was picked to honor the hockey team. But Bruin makes another offbeat color name (it means brown or bear).
Indy I’m assuming this was picked as a casual nickname for Indiana (a la Indiana Jones), but could also be considered short for independent. I’m not sure I totally love it, but it’s intriguing to me.
Sylvan This name evokes the woods and forest, perfect for a nature-loving family. (And you can either go with Syl or Van for short.)
Aristotle Someone’s parents were philosophy majors (or Greek). The name of the great Greek philosopher could be considered one of those cool and clunky old-school names, especially when you start talking nicknames, like Ari.
Wilfred You get two great nicknames—Will and the adorable Freddie—with this old English name, that means “desires peace.” Actor David Tennant chose it for his son, and it was also the name of a character on his show, Doctor Who. For the more literary minded, it was a hero in Sir Walter Scott’s classic Ivanhoe.
Sven Scandinavian names were already starting their climb in popularity before Frozen hit the big time, and now Elsa, Kristoff and Anna stand to become seriously red hot. Sven was the brave reindeer sidekick, and it means “youth.”
Tell us: What off-the-beaten path names do you like for your son? If you’re looking for something unique, try our Baby Name Finder, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for some baby name advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest baby name news.
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Baby Name Help, Baby Name Stories
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
I always love when there’s a story behind a chosen name—and reader Kara’s looking for another name that has personal meaning. Here’s her dilemma:
We are currently expecting our 4th child. My maiden name is Green and married name is Stone and since I am an only child I wanted my maiden name to live on. So I chose the names Jade and Teal…Our 8-year-old daughter is Jade Marie, 5-year-old son is Anthony James (Jr), & our 2-year-old is Alexis Teal. If it is a girl we have it covered but if it is a boy we are totally lost! Any suggestions?
Finding a name with meaning can be tough. Since big brother is a junior, if it’s a boy, you might want to consider looking for something in the family tree (or perhaps a variant on your name!) for your son. Carey means “dark,” and could be in homage to your name, Kara. Jamison could be an intriguing way to bring your husband’s middle name into your son’s name. Look at the grandfathers, and see if there’s something that might work.
And of course, you can work with the Green theme you started with your daughters. Jasper is a precious stone that’s often in green, and it’s an up-and-coming name for boys (currently just inside the top 250). Consider it a nice way to combine your maiden name with your married surname! I also like Olivier, which means “olive tree.” It’s the French variant of popular Oliver—and actually, either would pair nicely with Stone. Laramie isn’t just the name of a city in Wyoming—it also means “canopy of leafy boughs.” And it might be worth considering for your son, too. One last thought: Forrest. It’s not just for the titular character of Forrest Gump—consider Oscar-winning actor Forrest Whitaker!
Tell me: What other meaningful suggestions would you give Kara? And did you choose a name with meaning for your baby?
You can search for the perfect name with our Baby Name Finder, or send your dilemma to email@example.com for some personal suggestions. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!
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Monday, May 12th, 2014
Season finale season on TV usually includes a birth or two, and Once Upon a Time’s season finale featured the birth, and naming, of Prince Charming and Snow White’s son. And what moniker did they give the Prince? That’d be the decidedly not too royal (or too fairy tale) Neal.
Neal has a bit of a history on the show—it’s the name picked by the son of Rumpelstiltskin, who had previously gone by the name Baelfire—and who had fallen in love and had a child with Charming and Snow’s daughter, Emma. (Whew!)
Neal is an Irish name that means cloud, and it’s more typically spelled Neil. (Though I kinda prefer the “a” in the middle.) With the more popular spelling, there’s a crew of famous namesakes—man on the moon Neil Armstrong, pop-singing institution Neil Diamond, and of course, actor Neil Patrick Harris, to name a few. After years in the top 400, Neal started a nosedive in the mid 1980s, and hasn’t been in the top 1000 since. But could ABC’s fairy-tale show help bring it back?
Neal could be easily paired with some of the longer names that are in vogue. I’d love it with Parker, Andrew, Oliver and Xavier—either name could be in the middle spot. (I’m especially liking the combos Andrew Neal and Neal Parker!)
What do you think of the name Neal? Too 1950s, or ready to reclaim the limelight?
If you’re still looking for a name for your son or daughter, try our Baby Name Finder, or like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.
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Baby Name Help, Must Read