Posts Tagged ‘
girl baby names ’
Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Today’s Throwback Thursday heads back to the turn of the 20th century, when many of the old-fashioned names that we’re loving now were in vogue. For girls, that meant names like Lillian, Grace, Rose and Clara, while William, Jack, James and Charles were stylish for boys.
But there are some unique names from the top of the list that haven’t made it back into fashion. Could one of these vintage baby names make it on your short list?
Inez is the Portuguese version of Agnes, and means pure. It hit its peak in the 1900s, when it fell just a bit outside the top 100. It hasn’t been in the top 1000 since the 1970s, but I think it’s ready for a fresh run for the top.
With names like Ruby, Jade and Pearl becoming popular, could other gem names be far behind? I love Opal, which was the #98 name in the 1900s. Consider it especially for a daughter born in October, when opal is the birthstone.
I’m pretty partial to the name Margaret (it’s my youngest daughter’s name), but Marguerite is pretty darned stylish, too. It’s the French version of Margaret, which means pearl—and it’s also the name of a flower.
Lucille was nearing its peak in the 1900s, when it was the 51st most popular name. It’s a fun way to get to Lucy, and pays homage to the legendary comedienne. If you don’t want people to think of the wacky redhead, try the variant Lucilla.
Edith has a lovely meaning—prosperity—and the perfect way to follow the E-name trend without going for the overused Ella or Emma. (And I love the nickname Edie!)
Gladys was the 14th most popular name back in the 1900s, a Welsh gem that actually means “lame.” I think it’s a lovely name, though.
Roosevelt reached its pinnacle of popularity for boys back in the 1900s, thanks to the indomitable prez Teddy. It’s a Dutch surname that means rose field, and fell out of favor back in the 1990s.
Willard has the Today Show’s longtime weatherman/100th-birthday wisher Willard Scott to recommend it, and a cool meaning—brave. It’s a nice way to get to Will without the uberpopular William.
Virgil was Rome’s finest poet—a Latin name that means staff bearer. It was at its peak of popularity back in the 1900s, and comes with the cute “Gil” nickname
Luther is a German name that means army people, and stayed in the top 100 until 1910. Consider it a cool way to pay homage to Martin Luther King—or Superman baddie Lex Luthor.
Howard means brave heart, and was a top 50 name through the late 19th and early 20th century, before a steep nosedive starting in the 1980s (could the infamous 80s-era flop Howard the Duck be to blame?). Skip Howie and go with the cool Ward for a nickname.
Albert was one of my front runners for a royal baby name—it means “noble,” and was the name of Queen Victoria’s beloved husband. I love the nickname “Bertie” for a little boy. Too cool!
What do you think of these turn-of-the-century names? Could you imagine a little Willard or Edith? Look for the perfect baby name with our Baby Name Finder, and check out my advice for the biggest baby name trends of next year.
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Image: 1900s couple by velora / Shutterstock.com
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In Name Only, Must Read, Top Baby Names
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
A reader is trying to help a friend with a not-so-easy baby name challenge:
My friend would like to name her baby girl after her deceased mother, but her mom hated her name. She is looking for a variation but we have had no luck helping her brainstorm. Her mother’s name was Ernestine, no middle name. Any suggestions?
I can understand not wanting to pick Ernestine itself—it’s still plagued with a bit of a clunky vibe, and hasn’t been in the top 1000 in nearly 50 years. Its international variations and common nicknames, like Erna and Ernesia, don’t exactly sound as “wow” as your friend would probably like. Plus, since her mom hated her own name, it may not be the best way to honor her mother’s memory.
So here are my suggestions:
1. I could make a case for Nessa or Tessa being nicknames for Ernestine. Nessa is a Scandinavian name that means “headlands,” and Tessa means “to reap.” I think both names seem fresh and modern, and worth a look. Other variants on the name include Tina (which just fell out of vogue earlier this century) and Nettie.
2. Pick a name with a similar meaning to Ernestine. Ernestine is the feminine version of Ernest, which means serious or resolute. Along those same lines are Severine, Wilhelmina and Willa. Willa is a red-hot name, and Wilhelmina may follow suit, too—especially as it’s been picked by a few celebrities recently.
3. Honor her by choosing a name with the same initial, and even the same number of syllables. There are so many wonderful E names—I love Eleanor, Edina, Elena, Ellery, Emmeline, Eveline, and Everly.
4. Consider making Ernestine the middle name, and picking another name for the first name. That way, her mother is still honored, but her daughter isn’t stuck with a clunky name.
5. Is there a name that her mother wished she had? If your friend knows what her mom’s dream name would have been, that could also be a valid way to honor her mother.
What do you think? Do you have any other suggestions for names that honor Ernestine without actually using it? Share your thoughts in the comments!
And don’t forget to use our Baby Name Finder on your own baby name hunt, or share your baby name dilemmas with me at email@example.com.
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Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year
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Baby Name Help, Baby Name News, Must Read
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
The 1990s may feel like yesterday—but it is already 20 years ago! As with most recent top 10 girls’ names, the 1990s chart topper, Jessica, has had a sharp decline since its heyday—it’s currently at number 138 and dropping. Michael, the top boys’ name of the decade (and really, for several decades when the current crop of dads were born), fared a little better than poor Jessie—Michael’s still in the top 10!
Many of the recent hot names started their climb to the top during the 1990s, but there are still some gems that may deserve a second look.
GIRLS’ BABY NAMES
The place name trend started at the turn of the century, when names like Cheyenne and Alexandria were hot. Cheyenne was #100 back in the 1990s—it’s a Sioux name that means “people of a different language,” and is also the capital of Wyoming. Alexandria is another take on Alexandra, but one that has more international flair—think the city in Egypt.
Sabrina was the 91st most popular name back in the 1990s. It’s the name of a Celtic goddess—and the title of the classic film, starring Audrey Hepburn.
Pretty Paige reached its pinnacle, #66, in the decade of flannel and grunge. Its most famous bearer was one of the sisters on Charmed.
The #33 name back in the 1990s was Kelsey, an English name that means “island.” Kelsey was a relatively new name, first breaking into the top 1000 in the 1970s—but since its peak in the 1990s, it’s back down to the top 300. Still, it’s a fun alternative to Lindsay or Kelly.
Spencer, a name that means “steward,” was the 98th most popular name for boys in the 1990s. It’s tapered off into the top 205 since then, but thanks to its association with silver screen icon Spencer Tracy, it still has glamour.
Mitchell is a British version of perennial favorite Michael, and reached its pinnacle of popularity in the 1990s, when it was 91st most popular name. Consider it as a way to pay homage to Michael, without choosing that top 10 name.
An early Irish favorite was Garrett, which reached its peak at 85 20 years ago. It means strong, and has had a slight decline into top 250.
Blake, which means fair-haired, was the #84 name in the 1990s, and has stabilized in the top 100 ever sense. Thanks to country star Blake Shelton, this is likely destined to remain a hot name for the foreseeable future.
What’s your favorite 1990s name? If you’re still searching for the perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder.
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Image: Guryanov Andrey
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Baby Name Stories, In Name Only, Must Read
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Disney’s latest princess flick comes courtesy of Hans Christian Andersen’s legendary tale, The Snow Queen. While they took quite a few liberties with the story (no talking snowmen, from what I remember!), Frozen’s a beautiful modernization of this classic.
My daughters and I loved the movie—and I adored the names they picked for several of the characters. With Scandinavian names becoming a trendlet in baby names, maybe we’ll see a few of these hitting the big time.
Elsa The Snow Queen gets this lovely variant on Elizabeth, which might be a worthy (and currently under the radar) choice if you like the uberpopular Ella. It means “pledged to God,” and after nearly falling out of the top 1000 in the late 1990s, it’s now recovered into the top 500.
Anna Little sister Anna was the focus of the story, and the person on a quest to save her sister. Anna means grace, and it’s been a consistent top 100 baby name for the past century and a half.
Olaf This Norse name that means “relic” was picked for the comic relief snowman sidekick—and I’m afraid that it’s a relic that won’t see a revival. (It hasn’t been in the top 1000 names here for nearly a century.
Kristoff I like the odds on this Scandinavian variant on Christopher finally cracking the top 1000 here. After all, it was the name of Anna’s hunky helper.
Hans A Scandinavian alternative to John, Hans dropped out of the top 1000 at the turn of the 21st century. I’m not sure its bearer in Frozen will do much to change that around.
Sven Kristoff’s trusty reindeer sidekick bears the most Swedish of names—it’s actually how Sweden came to be named (Svealand). Sven means youth, and has a very hunky ski instructor vibe to it.
What did you think of Frozen? Did any of the names sound baby worthy to you? Don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder to help you pick the perfect name, and like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names.
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Image: Frozen movie poster, courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios
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Baby Name News, In Name Only, Must Read
Sunday, November 24th, 2013
Our friends over at Nameberry have posted their list of Thanksgiving-themed names, including Miles (as in Standish), Priscilla (as in one of the women at the first Thanksgiving meal) and Tom (as in Tom the Turkey). But perhaps my favorite choice out of them is the day-of-the-week name Thursday.
Thursday’s not a very popular baby name—no one even picked it for their child last year. But it’s a real-deal baby name nonetheless.
Thursday was named for the Norse god Thor, the god of thunder. And it makes a pretty cool name for a girl, like the similarly cool Tuesday and Wednesday (as in the creepy-cool Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family).
Thursday’s one of my favorite heroines from recent books—as in Thursday Next from the Bookworld series. She’s a plucky literary detective who sneaks into classic works of great literature and solves crimes, such as the kidnapping of Jane Eyre from out of her novel.
Of course, a fresh and modern name like Thursday requires a fun and funky middle name. I’d pair it with Snow, Rose, or James.
What do you think of the baby name Thursday? Is it something you could consider for your daughter, or are would you like to keep searching with our Baby Name Finder? And don’t forget to keep up with In Name Only on Facebook to get the latest in baby names.
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Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?