Wednesday, December 31, 2014

10 P Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Remember back in February when I told you that F was my favorite letter for names? P is a close second. I LOVE P girl names, in fact, seven of the following names have been on my favorites list at one time or another.

Palma- A Spanish surname that evokes scenes of the beach.

Pamina- A great way to honor a Pamela. Plus, you can call her Mina or Minnie.

Pasha- I've been hearing a lot of Sashas around lately (and she might be going to the boys), but Pasha is a darling alternative.

Penna- Penna is the quirky-cute name many parents are looking for. I prefer her on her own, but she also works as a nickname for Penelope.

Peridot- This gemstone name has only one pitfall--is it pear-ih-doe or pear-ih-dot? I'm a fan of the latter, because then you can call her Dot.

Pimm- Pimm was a favorite of mine for a long time. I was first introduced to her by Abby, and I think she'd make the perfect sister name for Nell. Alas, whenever I bring her up, I get a less than warm reception.

Plum- Food names can be hit or miss, but Plum is definitely a winner. This sweet, purple-hued name should be used more often.

Pomme- She's the French word for apple, which makes Pomme a sort of food name as well. I love her as a nickname for Pomeline (a guilty pleasure name of mine), but she works well on her own, too.

Posy- Posy is so charming! She works as an unusual nickname for Sophia.

Prairie- Prairie is an unexpected nature name ready to be picked up by hipsters. She could become quite popular in the coming years.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Best of 2014

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What a year it's been! 2014 has been a great year for the blog. I've posted more than ever before, and we've had a record breaking number of viewers. Thanks so much to everyone for reading--now here's a look at this year's highlights.

January: We talked about Oscar Nominee Names in January (is anyone using Philomena yet?)

February: In February I wrote about Naming a Dog, inspired by my puppy Harvey. 

March: March showed us some names influenced by Texting and Shorthand.

April: I let you read my Junior Research Paper in April--all about baby names!

May: This month we looked at C Names for Girls. I adore Cameo, Celestine, and Circe. 

June: In June we talked about Initial Names. It's such a fun concept, and a great way to use those style outlier honor names. 

July: I wrote about Preppy Names in July (Parts One and Two). This was one of my most popular posts!

August: August introduced us to Hidden Names. The most usable combo was Lainey and Aine. 

September: We reviewed some Modern Virtue Names (Parts One and Two) during the month of September. 

October: In October we discussed Sports Names. As a golfer, I'm rather partial to Birdie. 

November: Just in time for Thanksgiving, I wrote about Herbs and Spices Names

December: Happy Holidays! Here are some Holiday Names for your baby. 


And now, viewer favorites:



Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Names

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Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you guys are having a great holiday season. I've posted about holiday names many times in the past, and this year I am going to do something a little different. There are so many holiday names, but many of they are not all cohesive. I've split up 24 names into four categories--Familiar, Fashionable, Festive, and Funky--to help you pick the perfect holiday baby name based on your style. Let me know what you think!

Familiar
Bell- Do you have certain names where you hate one spelling but love the other one? For me, that's Bell. I really don't like Belle, but Bell makes me swoon.
Carol- Old fashioned; I would choose Caroline instead.
Holly- I think she's cuter as a nickname for Holiday.
Joy- Sweet, sweet, sweet. Perfect for the Holidays.
Natalie- She's not tied to Christmas anymore, so she makes for a subtle holiday name.
Nicholas- I'm not very fond of Nicholas, but that's probably because he peaked around the time I was born.

Fashionable
Eve- There's no better name for a girl born on December 24th.
Natalia- Kicks Natalie up a notch.
Neve- Gorgeous name meaning snow.
Pax- He means peace, which is a great meaning year-round.
Piper- This trendy girls name has her own line in the Twelve Days of Christmas song.
Winter- The most coveted season name.

Festive
Christmas- Might as well go big.
December- December is a unisex name, but if you use it on a girl, she can be called Ember.
Garland- One of my favorite G names for boys.
Holiday- Ooh, I adore Holiday. I would use her in a heartbeat.
Merry- I prefer Mary, but hey, Merry is better for a holiday baby.
Noel- Noel is very sophisticated, especially when pronounced (nole) on a boy.

Funky
North- Did Kim Kardashian ruin this name for everyone? Maybe stick her in the middle.
Plum- Plum is my other favorite of the list. She's just so cute!
Season- If you use her in the middle, don't make Holiday her first name.
Silver- A very festive color, seldom heard as a name.
Star- If Star is overkill, try Stella or Estelle.
Yule- Many people overlook Y names, but Yule is one of the better ones out there.



That's all for this week, thank you so much for reading. I will be off next week for the holidays. Check back on December 29th for a year in review post.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

10 O Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Oh boy, O names for boys! I couldn't resist. O names are the coolest. 

Oak- Tree names are on the up-and-up, and Oak is no exception. He still is below the top 1000 though, so you have time to snag him. 

Oberon- Oberon is a Shakespearean name with some serious style. Obie would be a cool nickname. 

Odin- Odin is our most popular name on this list, ranking at #573. I was surprised at first, because I have never heard this name before. But after considering how close he was to Aiden, it all made sense. 

Ogden- Ooh, I love Ogden. He's the name of a major street here in Chicago, which, of course makes me love him even more. 

Omer- Homer has been ruined (forever?). But Omer is up for grabs. But they are awfully close. 

Onyx- A color name with quite a few high point Scrabble letters. Could Onyx be the next baby of Robert Downing Jr.?

Oren- Oren is cute, simple, and musical. Anyone a fan of Oren Lavie? 

Oro- Oro means gold in Spanish, which is perfect for your little treasure. 

Oxford- He might sound a little pretentious and preppy to some, but I think Oxford is a winner. Plus, Ford makes for a rad nickname. 

Oz- You might get a few jokes about being "great and powerful," but that's not so bad. And calling him Ozzie will eliminate that problem. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Full Names for Essie

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Most people haven't thought about using Essie as a nickname for their daughter. Let's face it--she's more synonymous with the nail polish brand than as a name. Essie works as a nickname for so many names, it's seems silly not to consider her. I have a list of some possible full forms. Take a look.

Expected:
Elisabeth- You can't go wrong with Elisabeth, and Essie would be an unexpected nickname.
Esther- This Biblical girl name is rising up the charts. Essie is one of her few nicknames.
Genesis- She's the most popular name on this list at #55. Skip the dated nickname Gen, and use Essie.
Jessica- Essie updates the '80s name Jessica.
Vanessa- Worried that Vanessa would be too much name for your child to handle? Calling her Essie is the perfect solution.

Unique:
Alessandra- This gorgeous Italian name doesn't need a nickname, but if I had to use one, I'd pick Essie.
Esmeralda- Chances are you'll want to call her Esme, but Essie is a nice option too.
Estelle- Estelle means star, which is perfect for a holiday baby!
Frances- I am partial to Francie as a nickname, but Essie is works just as well.
Francesca- I didn't include Essie on this list, but she's definitely usable.

Unheard of:
Alessia- She's the softer version of Alexia, and comes with better nicknames (in my opinion).
Essence- I don't see how you could not call an Essence Essie.
Jenessa- This invented name is a rarity, but she's more common in Canada than America.
Jessamine- Jessamine is one of those names I beg people to use. She's so pretty and unique, how could you go wrong?
Odessa- I talked about Odessa in last week's post about O names. More people should consider her as an option.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Catalog Names: Tiny Prints 2014

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The Holidays are officially here, which can only mean one thing: a giant influx of mail. I recently got the Tiny Prints catalog, and I looked at the names on the cards right away. Overall they were pretty run-of-the-mill, but I found a few gems (Maxine and Simone--yes, please!).

Girls
Abby
Alexandra (x2)
Alexis
Amanda
Angela
Anna
Bianca
Caitlin
Chloe
Eleanor
Eliza
Emily
Evelyn
Evie
Grace
Gwenyth
Jane
Jen
Jenna
Julia
Lauren
Lilly
Lizzie
Madeline
Maggie
Margaret
Margot
Mariah
Maryann
Maxine
Melissa (x2)
Nadia
Rachel
Rebecca
Riley
Sandy
Savannah (x2)
Sloan
Simone
Sophie

Boys
Aiden
Anthony
Brent (x2)
Brian
Christopher (x2)
Connor
Edward
Emery
Ethan
Frederick
Jared (x2)
Jayden
Jonathan
Jordan
Josh
Joshua
Liam
Madden
Mason
Matthew
Mike
Miles
Nathan
Oliver
Robert
Reid
Samuel
Scott
Sebastian
Thomas
Tim
Xavier

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 O Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Ooh, O names! There are so many more than you think. They are waiting to be discovered, so let's get right to it.

Oceane- Oceane is not simply Ocean with an extra e (she should have an accent mark over the first one). This gorgeous French name is pronounced O-shay-ahn.

Odele- Odele is extremely rare, but sounds on-trend (thanks to names like Adele), making her a viable option.

Odessa- Want an interesting, unusual, alternative to Tessa? Odessa's your girl. Dessie or Essie makes for a cute nickname.

Ola- She's short, sweet, and Scandinavian. If three letters isn't substantial enough for you, try Solange, Maiola, or Gladiola as full names.

Oona- I was a little surprised to hear that this Irish beauty has never ranked in the United States top 1000. How can we not love Oona? I think she'd make a great sister name to many of our more popular names, including (but not limited to) Lily, Evie, and Nolan.

Opal- This gemstone name is scarcely heard, but with Pearl on the rise, I wouldn't be surprised if Opal was next.

Ophira- She's Sophia's quirkier cousin. Not to mention the name of one of my favorite NPR hosts, Ophira Eisenberg.

Orla- I really love these Irish O names. And Orla is so lovely! If I were Irish, I'd use Orla in a heartbeat.

Orlie- As a nickname for Orla, or on her own, you can't deny Orlie's cute factor. Fair warning: Spelled Orly, she's texting shorthand for "Oh, really?"

Ottilie- Ottilie is such a romantic name (don't you agree?). Her stunning qualities are only improved by the equally charming nickname Tillie.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Full Names for Beth

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Beth is a modern classic of a nickname. She can be easily worn on a grown woman, as well as a baby (the character Quinn from Glee named her daughter Beth). Most people only consider her a nickname for Elizabeth, but there are plenty of options when it comes to getting to the Beth. Let me know which one is your favorite.

Expected:
Bethany- This Hebrew name peaked in the '80s, but she wouldn't be very out of place today.
Elizabeth- She's forever popular, but these days her nickname is more likely to be Elsie or Ella. Beth makes a strong alternative.

Unique:
Annabeth- Young readers will recognize her as a feature character in the Percy Jackson series; could she be a popular name of the future? Until then she's an unpopular smoosh name that is most popular in Denmark.
Lisbeth- Lisbeth had a strong and sudden increase in popularity in 2002, for reasons I can't figure out (anyone know?). She fell quickly after that, and doesn't rank in the top 1000 anymore. Nowadays this beauty (with Hebrew, Scandinavian, and Spanish roots) is an interesting way to get to Beth.

Unheard of:
Bethan- Bethan is a frills-free Bethany. She's a bit more modern, and offers a great way to honor Aunt Bethany.
Bethania- Talk about an elaborate name. At least you can call her by the more simple Beth.
Bethel- I get why Bethel might not be so appealing. She sounds like Ethel with a B, which dates her. But using the nickname Beth makes her seem more usable.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Names Ending in -ing

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There are many popular suffixes for names, and -ing is not one of them. Maybe it sounds too much like a verb, but hey, we've got those too. There's Chase, but not Chasing; Dash, but not Dashing; and Hope, but not Hoping. The names that do end in -ing sound much less like verbs, and work much better than Chasing. Take a look.

Aishling- She may end in -ing, but don't pronounce her like that. This Irish name is said ASH-lyn.

Banning- Unlike the rest of these names on the list, Banning is an action (and not an entirely pleasant one). But if you can get over that fact, he makes a great, unique name.

Benning- So maybe Banning is a little harsh. Benning super similar, but with the nickname Ben, and without the negative connotations.

Downing- He's a surname that would work nicely if he was Mom's maiden name. Otherwise he might seem a bit obscure to some people.

Harding- A presidential surname that is seldom heard. If we can use Nixon and McKinley, why not Harding?

Irving- Irving is the old man of the group. I agree, he sounds super dated, but is it too early to put him on the "Never Coming Back" list?

King- Title names have been on the rise lately (Deacon, Duke, Judge), King included. He may be a simple name, but it's a lot to live up to.

Lansing- I've never been to Lansing, Michigan, so I don't know if this State Capital name is worthy of giving to a child. Maybe if it's your hometown.
 
Sperling- He's a type of squash that would be a fun name for the son (or even a daughter) of a chef.

Spring- The neglected season name. Is it because of her -ing ending? I happen to prefer the Spanish version Primavera myself.

Sterling- A silver-tinged name that's a bit out of style. He's definitely still usable though.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

10 N Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Noah was the man of the year, taking the title of "most popular name" away from Jacob. He's a very likable name, but not all parents are okay with the idea of using the Number One. That's where I come in. This list has some great N names (some very similar to Noah), that aren't even in the top 500.

Nacio- He's a short form of Ignacio, but sounds modern and fresh on his own.

Ned- Ned is a British nickname that more American parents should embrace. 

Niels- I'm a sucker for Scandinavian names (they're short, but they pack a punch!), and I think Niels is great. He's too close to Nell for me to put him on my list, but I encourage other people to do so.

Nigel- Ned not English enough for you? Try Nigel. He's a smart and quirky name that could potentially catch on with hipsters (I predict).

Nikos- I'm seventeen, and so many of the boys in my grade are named Nick. It has become dated. Nikos is a nice alternative.

Nino- Oh, Nino. Ever since watching Amelie, I've fallen in love with this name. He's so charming, but I'm not sure he would work on an American adult.

Noam- I did promise you names that were similar to Noah. Noam is cool and ages much better than Nino. Plus, you can decorate his nursery with gnomes!

Noble- He's a strong virtue name with tons of potential. Even if you don't love him as a first, imagine how awesome he'd be as a middle.

Noe- You could always just go with the first syllable of Noah. Noe is a very cool name in theory, though I think it could be a little confusing.

Noon- Noon is a spunky word name that would work well if it held significance. Perhaps his parents got engaged at noon, or he was born at 12:00 p.m. Then it would be cute.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Month Names: December

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Holy cow, you guys. It's December. 2014 flew by. I always love December because of all the holiday festivities going on, but it would be a busy month to have a baby. That being said, if you are due this month, there is lots of baby naming inspiration. Here are some names that are related to December.

Birthstone:
Turquoise- Turquoise would be quite a name, but it's not totally unusable.

Birth Flower:
Narcissus- Narcissus, no; Narcissa, yes. Though narcissist is a pretty unpleasant word.

Birth Colors:
Green- There are so many shades of green that work as names. Some of my favorites are Olive, Moss, Laurel, Fern, Pine, Emerald, India, Jade, and Sea.
Indigo- Indigo makes a cool and unique name for a boy.

Star Sign:
Sagittarius- Like I mentioned last month, Archer is a subtle way to relate back to Sagittarius.
Capricorn- Capricorn is much harder to come up with related names for. Caprice, maybe?

Related to December:
December- She's an unconventional month name, but Demi or Ember make nice nicknames.
Holiday Names- There are so many great holiday names out there. Look for a post about them later this month.
Winter- It's the beginning of Winter! Celebrate with the hottest new season name.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Food Names: Desserts


Did you all have a good Thanksgiving? To finish up our mini-series, we are going to profile names of the final course- dessert. What better than to name your baby after your favorite treat? Here's some inspiration.

Expected:
Angel- For Angel Food Cake. Better on a boy.
Ginger- Gingersnaps and Gingerbread. Second time this week that we've talked about Ginger. She's darling.
Honey- Save this one for a nickname.
Madeleine- Classic, but sounding trendy because of all the Mad- and Add- names.

Unique:
Ambrosia- A little over the top.
Boston- After Boston Cream Pie. Love it on a boy, very unique.
Cookie- I wouldn't.
Suzette- For Crepes Suzette. A little dated, but Suzie makes her cooler.

Unheard of:
Alaska- Very cool and under the radar.
Blondie- Reserved for '80s pop singers only.
Éclair- A "sweet" way to get to Clair or Clary.
Tiramisu- If you are very brave, this could be an option. Susie is a cute nickname.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Food Names: Squash and Pumpkins

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What's the star vegetable of every Thanksgiving meal? Pumpkin, of course! As the quintessential ingredient in many holiday recipes, I thought we'd take a look at some of the pumpkin and squash varieties that would make good baby names.

Expected:
Gem- Cute, but better as a nickname for Gemma.
Jack- So popular, but so handsome.
Patty- Way too dated.
Marina- So pretty; a lovely nature name.
Max- One super trendy boys name, he has many full forms
Summer- Maybe not for your November baby.

Unique:
Alba- Sweet and ready for a comeback.
Kuri- Does she sound too much like Curry? You could always pronounce it KOO-ri
Marine- More straightforward than Marina.
Sperling- A good alternative to Sterling.
Tatuma/Tatume- An elaboration of Tatum? Definitely makes her more feminine.
Valenciano- If you want an extravagant form of Valencio.

Unheard of:
Amphora- Pretty and feminine.
Aurantia- Very unique, comes with the nickname Tia.
Caserta- the Cas- sound is trendy, why not add this one to the list?
Citrullina- Reminiscent of citrus, which makes her prefect for a Fall/Winter baby.
Cocozelle- My favorite of this list. Wouldn't it make you smile to meet a baby Cocozelle?
Ebisu- Sounds very foreign, but still very usable in the U.S.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Food Names: Herbs and Spices

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Happy Thanksgiving-week! In honor of the holiday we are going to talk about food names all week. Back in October I covered fruits and veggies, so today is all about herbs and spices. There are so many options here, and I adore almost all these names. Let me know what you think! Would you name your baby after a spice? (I totally would).

Expected:
Basil- Though as a name, he's mostly pronounce BAH-zull.
Bay- Lovely, especially for a girl, I think.
Dill- He works as a nickname for Dillon, but not so much on his own.
Ginger- A name more people should be using.
Jasmine- Jasmine is beautiful, and was popular in the past.
Juniper- Up and coming, she also comes with nicknames June, Junie, and Juno.
Pepper- Spicy and fun.
Rosemary- So sweet, the nickname Romy seals the deal.
Sage- Another name that is truly unisex. Sage has been used by a few celebrities.
Willow- Will- names have been popular lately, perhaps because of the Smith family?

Unique:
Angelica- A little outdated, but usable.
Anise- Don't confuse her with Anais, this one's pronounced ANN-iss.
Carraway- Too similar to carried away? I think she still works.
Cassia- Feminine choice brought into the light by the YA Matched series.
Cicely- She would often get confused with Cecily, but still is a lovely pick.
Lavender- One of the most girly nature names out there.
Rue- She should be gaining popularity soon, thanks to The Hunger Games books and movies.
Saffron- Fun choice, especially for a chef.
Tarragon- It works for either gender, but it's similarity to Tara makes me read girl on this one.

Unheard of:

Artemisia- An elaboration of Artemis. Does she need elaboration though?
Clary- Another name from a YA Dystopian novel. Cute nickname for Clare or Clara names.
Clove- What's with it with YA Dystopian books and spice names? Another one from The Hunger Games, Clove is a simple yet strong name for a girl.
Myrtle- She's so far gone, she might never come back.
Nigella- So closely associated with Nigella Lawson, but a pretty pick nonetheless.
Olida- A great choice for the underused letter "O".
Perilla- She sounds very name-y, I'm surprised she hasn't been used yet.
Quassia- The world could use more "Q" names. This is a great one.
Ramsons- A little close to Ransom, but hey, that's a name too.
Sorrel- This herb is a great pick for a baby boy.
Verbena- The -ena ending make her name-worthy. But the strong -rb- sound gives me pause.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Warby Parker Names

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Do you guys like Warby Parker glasses? I don't wear glasses, but I might invest in a pair of their sunglasses (that are super awesome as well). All the Warby Parker glasses have names, which are just as cool as the glasses themselves. I've left out a few obscurities (mainly Duckworth), but the rest of these names are perfect for any hip baby.

Girls
Annette
Clara
Julia
Madison
Mallory
Minnie
Piper

Boys
Aldous
Ames
Arthur
Aslin
Ballard
Banks
Baxter
Beckett
Begley
Bensen
Burke
Chamberlain
Chandler
Cliff
Clyde
Crane
Crossfield
Dale
Dean
Dixon
Downing
Durand
Duval
Eli
Everett
Felton
Fillmore
Finch
Fitz
Garrett
Griffin
Halford
Hall
Hardy
Haskell
Holt
Hutton
Huxley
Ingram
Kidd
Langston
Linwood
Lyle
Marcel
Marple
Marshall
Miles
Mitchell
Nash
Nedwin
Neville
Oliver
Ormsby
Owen
Percey
Pierce
Preston
Quentin
Raglan
Ramsay
Robinson
Ryder
Seymour
Sims
Sinclair
Stewart
Teddy
Thatcher
Theo
Thompson
Upton
Wally
Watts
Webb
Wilkie
Wiloughby
Winston
Zagg

Unisex
Ainsworth
Batten
Coley
Ellison
Goodney
Kimbal
Lowry
McKee
Paley
Quimby
Raleigh
Reece
Reilly
Ripley
Rowan
Sibley
Sloan
Walker

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 N Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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As many of you guys know, N is the first initial of my all time favorite girl name--Nell. Nell is gorgeous, sweet, and lovely, and will not be making an appearance on this list. Instead I've picked some more creative, daring, and unexpected names for you to consider.

Navy- This color name has become more fashionable lately, and it's easy to see why. She shares a -av sound with popular names Ava and Avery, and she's not too long.

Nelia- Nelia is originally a nickname for Cornelia, but she stands nicely all on her own. Possible nicknames include Nell or Lia.

Nemy- A cute, upbeat name that strikes me as more feminine than Remy. She might work better as a nickname though.

Nessa- Nessa could be used as a nickname for Vanessa, Janessa, or even Anastasia, but I'm attracted to her simplicity.

Nettie- She's a spunky, old fashioned nickname with lots of charm. She doesn't need a full name, but if you must, she works for any name ending in -ette.

Nigella- Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson is the most famous bearer of this name, which comes from a spice. I'm not sure many American parents would be brave enough to use Nigella, but you could always call her Ella.

Nika- Have you noticed how many N names are diminutives? Nika is no exception. She comes from Veronika, and sounds much more modern.

Ninon- Ninon is a French nickname for Anne or Nina, and she should probably stay that way. I can't imagine her as a full name, but how adorable would a Nina-called-Ninon be?

Nona- Before you ask, yes, I know that Nona is a popular term for grandma. That may be a deal breaker for you, but she actually means "nine." I think she's pretty darling, especially if you were having your ninth (!) child.

Nuala- Nuala is a pretty Irish name that fits right in with today's most popular. She's got long vowel sounds and the coveted L, making her a perfect pick. I know two Nualas (well, one is a dog), and I can say that the name wears very well.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Full Names for Bree and Bri

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What do you guys think of the name Bri? It was one of those names that I really despised until recently. I think it may have something to do with the lovely Bri from DesignLoveFest. More proof that certain people can really change the way you think about names. So now I think Bri (or Bree)'s a pretty cute nickname. I've listed some options for a full name. Let me know what you think!

Expected:
Brianna- Probably the most obvious choice for a full name for Bri. She seems a little dated to me, but still usable.
Briella- A spin off of Gabriella. I prefer the original.
Brielle- She's a little more common than Briella, and more appealing. Former Atlanta Housewife Kim Zolciak has a seventeen-year-old daughter named Brielle.
Gabriella- Gabriella is a beautiful name, but most parents today would prefer using Gabby, Bella, or Ella as the nickname.
Gabrielle- Very chic and French. Gabrielle is the real name of Coco Chanel, so Coco could also be a cute nickname.

Unique:
Bridget- The sound isn't exactly there, but there aren't many other nicknames available for Bridget.
Brigitta- Brigitta lends herself to Bri better than Bridget, but she might sound a bit too German for many American parents.
Briony- She's normally pronounced BRY-oh-nie, but there's no reason you can't go against the grain.
Sabrina- She peaked a while ago, but she's still a nice option.

Unheard of:
Breeze- Does Breeze qualify as a nature name? I'm going to say yes. She works nicely with Bree, but with only one syllable, she doesn't need a nickname.
Briallen- She may sound like a smoosh, but Briallen is actually a Welsh name meaning Primrose.
Brietta- A very uncommon name that your daughter would share with a Barbie princess.
Cambria- The first nickname that comes to mind is Cammie, but Bri is more grown-up.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Nicknames for Eloise

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The first time I met an Eloise, I was eleven years old. Even back then I was astonished to meet one that was so close to my age. These days I feel like I hear Eloise all over the place! She's a lovely name--and how can you resist when there's the amazing book series? Now is a great time to use Eloise, but be careful, she's quickly moving up the charts. I have some great nicknames listed here for Eloise, just in case she needs one (and I know how much you guys love nicknames).

Expected:
Ellie- Very sweet and girly. Perfect for a childhood nickname.
Elle- After watching Legally Blonde, many of my classmates with El- names (and some without) wanted to be called Elle. It's very likely your Eloise will love it too.

Unique:
Lou- I think Lou is one of those "perfect nicknames." She's short, not too girly or too masculine, and can work on almost any girl.
Lulu- It's funny how Lou is not very feminine, but you add another one, and BAM. She's girly to the max. Lulu is adorable, but more appropriate for a child. Luckily she has Eloise to fall back on.

Unheard of:
Elsie- We all love Elsa these days, but what about Elsie? She ranks 365 on her own--not far behind Eloise--but is scarcely heard as a nickname for her.
Loie- You don't hear of many Loies. I know a couple of women with this chic French name, but she is not listed on many of the popular baby name websites. She's gorgeous, unique, and one of those nicknames you can use for the rest of your life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

10 M Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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What's your favorite M name for boys? Maverick? Mateo? Miles? I happen to be fond of Max, but he's just so popular right now. Many parents nowadays want a name that is on trend, yet no one is using. It sounds like an impossible task, but I've found ten M names that are just that.

Macalester- Looking for an offbeat way to get to Mac? How about Lester? Maybe Cal? Macalester is a smart collegiate name with a wealth of nickname possibilities (obviously).

Magnus- This Scandinavian charmer is the most popular of the list, ranking at 958. He makes a nice alternative to Max; just ask one of his many celebrity parents--including Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, and Jennifer Nettles.

Maguire- We love giving our children surnames as first names, but haven't embraced Maguire. It's a unisex name, but if you use him for a boy, he's nicknameless (and if you're anything like me, that's a plus).

Maine- Maine is my favorite state name. He's simple and understated, yet rugged and strong. It'd be a great way to honor a family member who was from Maine.

March- He's one of the most usable month names, yet he never gets used. I mean, come on, it's not like using February. I think he's one of the most handsome names.

Mead- He may be short, but he doesn't lack substance. Mead is a surname that would be great for honoring a Maude or a Reid.

Meyer- Another preppy surname, but this time with foodie appeal. Perfect for your sweet little boy, because Meyer Lemons are the sweetest.

Moe- You can't get much simpler than Moe. He makes a great first name, but he works as a nickname for many retro picks as well. My suggestion? Cosmo.

Moore- Moore strikes me as swanky and sophisticated. But it's a little hard for me to picture him on a baby.

Moss- Moss is appealing on so many levels. Where else can you find a name that both nature-lovers and super model fanatics can agree on?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Full Names for Mae/May

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Mae is a classy, simple, and gorgeous name. She's not very popular though, Mae ranks in the low 600s, and May doesn't even make the top 1000. I suspect some parents think she's a little short to be used as a full name, so I have compiled some other monikers that could use Mae or May as a nickname.

Expected:
Mabel- This old-fashioned charmer doesn't need a nickname, but if you insist, I would go with Mae over Belle.
Macy- Sweet and sassy, but doesn't really need a nickname.
Margaret- She has so many wonderful nicknames. Mae and Greta are my favorites.
Mary- Classic. Mary is never a bad choice.

Unique:
Magnolia- An amped up version of Margaret that's just as stylish.
Maisie- She's usually a nickname herself, but I don't mind Maisie on the birth certificate.
Mamie- Mamie has a similar feel to Maisie, but is a little less childish.

Unheard of:
Mayfair- A beautiful name. It's guaranteed your daughter will be the only Mayfair on the block.
Mavis- She's a vintage name with so much potential. I happen to prefer Avis, but Mavis is less rental-car-company-ish
Mayla- A better alternative to the outdated Mayra. There's a song called Mayla by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, perfect for a personalized lullaby.
Mayra- Not a currently stylish pick, but calling her May definitely helps.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Unhateable Names

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Some parents don't care about how popular their child's name is, or whether or not it will seem dated in twenty years. In fact, many parents' goal is to find a normal name for their baby, one that no one will ridicule or cringe at. If you fall into that camp, I have a great list for you today. I have compiled a list of 14 names that people just can't hate.

Boys:
Andrew- A sturdy classic. Andrew is a solid choice.
Ben- Sweet and charming. Everyone loves a Ben.
Charlie- Charlie is a handsome and playful name. Whether on his own, or as a nickname for Charles, you can't go wrong with Charlie.
Henry- I'm normally adverse to names as popular as Henry, but I just can't help loving him. How can you not?
Jack- A simple name that packs a punch. I can picture the name Jack on almost any man.
James- One of the more popular of this list, he ranks at 13. Many parents see James's appeal.
Michael- Always popular and never dated. No one will give you weird looks for naming your son Michael.

Girls:
Caroline- Elegant and royal. Caroline will always be a lovely choice.
Emma- Classy, simple, and yes, currently a bit trendy. But I have a feeling she's going to remain much more of a classic than Sophia or Ava.
Claire- I know so many Claires, of all ages. She's not going out of style for a long time.
Grace- I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Grace, but I don't hate her. She is virtuous without being over the top, and has some incredible namesakes (I mean, Grace Kelly, right?).
Julia- She's been flying under the radar, but that doesn't mean she's not being used--she comes in at 75. A beautiful name, forever and always.
Kate- The trendy nicknames for Katherine will come and go (I'm pretty into Kit), but Kate will always remain the classic. Whether she's the nickname or the full form, everyone will like Kate.
Lucy- A sweet choice that I've been hearing all over the place on little girls. I predict she will go down in history as a modern classic.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

10 M Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Today's list is a great one, so let's get right to it.

Madigan- She's so similar to Madison, yet nobody uses her. Quite possibly the best alternative to all of those Mad- names. 

Maisie- Sweet and cutesy with a bit of Southern charm. A good nickname choice if you can't decide between Maggie or Daisy. 

Marin- A modern, feminine name that's not too girly. She can be spelled in a plethora of ways, including Merryn, Marryn, Marrin, or Marren. 

Marine- Marine is tranquil and beachy, perfect for families settled along the coast. She has a gorgeous sound, and is more contemporary than Marina. 

Marais- One of my favorite middle names. She's pronounced muh-RAY; the emphasis on the second syllable makes her flow very well with almost any first name. 

Mika- Mika is chirpy, but polished. She has Japanese, Hebrew and Russian roots, which makes her a nice option for multicultural families. 

Minna- Ooh, I love Minna. She had everything I look for in a name. She's not too long or girly, pretty much nickname-less, and nobody's heard of her. 

Mirabel- Now Mirabel is ultra-femme. No doubt about it, Mirabel is a girly girl. If she does turn out to be a tomboy, you can always shorten it to Mira. 

Mirren- Is it only an American thing to give our children celebrity surnames? I've been hearing a lot of them lately--Keaton, Anniston, Jolie, etc. Mirren is a real winner though, both in sound and namesake. 

Moon- How dreamy is Moon? I love her gentle sound. I would love to see her as a first name, but if she's a little too out there for you, the middle is nice, too. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Month Names: November

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November already? I can't believe the year is almost over. November is a great month to have a baby, right before all the holiday craziness. That being said, things tend to get a little more stressful around this time. Still need a name for your baby? No worries. There are some great November-related names out there, if you would like to pay homage to your baby's birth month with their name. Take a look.

Birthstone:
Citrine- I love the name Citrine. She's bright and peppy--perfect for a sweet baby girl.
Topaz- Definitely not my favorite of the gemstone names, but she could make for a good middle.

Birth Flower:
Chrysanthemum- I would think twice before saddling my daughter with this name, but then again, the book is pretty cute.

Birth Colors:
Dark Blue- Not just any blue--dark blue. My picks for possible names are Cobalt, Indigo, and Navy.
Red- There are so many options with this color, but Carmine, Crimson, Rose, Russet, and Scarlet stand out the most.

Star Sign:
Scorpio- I talked about Scorpio last month. My feelings haven't changed.
Sagittarius- Sagittarius is too much for a little boy, but Archer is not. Archer would be a nice, very subtle way for your son to have a connection to his birthday.

Related to November:
Autumn- It's still Fall (for one more month), which means Autumn is still on the table.
Election Day- If your baby is born on or around November Fourth, why not consider giving him or her a presidential name?
November- Why not? You can call her Nova, Ember, or Neve for short.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Candy Names (Updated)

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Happy Halloween, everybody! I updated my Halloween candy post from last year, enjoy.

Expected:
Henry- People probably won't get the connection unless you hand out Oh Henrys.
Joy- Slightly dated, but a lovely name nonetheless.
Kat- Stick with Kit.
Mary Jane- A nasty candy, but sweet name.
Mike- He's definitely a dad name, but I have met some young kids named Mike recently.
Reese- A great name, and who doesn't love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?
Ruth- Baby Ruths are delicious, and would be a great first Halloween costume for your baby.

Unique:
Heath- A classy name and a classy candy. It's a perfect match.
Ike- I love the nickname Ike, especially for Isaac. More people should consider him an option.
Kit- My favorite nickname for Katherine. She's simple and modern.
York- Ultra preppy. And the peppermint patties are solid.
Unheard of:
Charleston- An extravagant way to get to Charlie.
Honey- I don't think anyone gives out Bit O' Honeys on Halloween, so maybe the name should retire along with the candy.
Pixie- Strictly nickname only, and even that's a little much.
Tootsie- I happen to enjoy Tootsie Rolls, but using her as a name is a little too Dustin Hoffman.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10 L Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Will Liam make it to the number one spot? My prediction is yes, but we might not see it happen for another year or two. I find Liam incredibly sweet, but wouldn't ever use him myself. He's just too popular. Maybe you agree with me, maybe you don't, but it's hard to deny that there are other great L names out there. I have a great list with ten of them today. And the best part is, they aren't even in the top 1000.

Laird- A tailored and professional name that could easily work on a child as well. Laird is definitely one to put on the list.

Lander- Landon is ranked at 39. Anderson and Anders are both found in the top 1000. Lander is just as stylish as his more popular brothers, but you won't find another one in town.

Lars- I've always had a soft spot for Lars. I think he works even if you're not Scandinavian, but if you won't use him as a first name, he's great in the middle.

Lazlo- Lazlo is such a fun name. He's so happy sounding. He could also be spelled Laszlo, but I prefer this simplified spelling.

Leif- A widely overlooked name that would work so well in America. Spelled Leaf, he'd be perfect for your nature loving Fall baby.

Lester- When I was six, I named one of my baby dolls Lester. I have no idea where I heard the name, but I still like it. He's very old man cool.

Linus- Speaking of old man cool; Linus! He's mainly associated with the Peanuts character, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Besides, it gives you the perfect nursery theme.

Lloyd- He may sound like a curmudgeonly old fellow, but Lloyd is ripe for revival (almost). I really like him, but I know most people don't, so we should give him another decade or two. Just don't put him on the Gone Forever list, because I know he will come back someday.

Locke- Preppy and sophisticated. He would make a great middle name, but Locke also has first name potential.

Lodge- How cool is Lodge? He's very woodsy and rugged; perfect for all those hipster parents.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Full Names for Abby

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Abby is a very sweet name, it's easy to see why she's so popular (especially as a nickname for Abigail). But, let's face it, Abigail is not everyone's style. Many parents want a less popular or quirkier full name for their Abby, and I have got the perfect list for them.

Expected:
Abigail- Most Abbys out there are probably Abigails (that or just Abby). She's number 8 on the SSA charts, and has been pretty popular for many years now. Looks like Abigail is here to stay.
Abriella- If you prefer Abby over Gabby, go with Abriella rather than Gabriella.
Abrielle- A more trim and dainty version of Abriella. You could also go with the nicknames Bri or Elle, but Abby is my favorite of the bunch.

Unique:
Annabel- It would be a bit more conventional to use Annie or Bella as the nickname, but Abby definitely works.
Arabella- Arabella is quickly rising up the charts. She currently ranks at 210, but I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the top 150 in the next few years.
Elizabeth- A classic name with an abundance of nicknames. Why not add Abby to that list?
Isabel- Not a big fan of Belle or Izzy? (Me neither, actually). Lucky for you, Abby makes a great nickname for Isabel.

Unheard of:
Abbott- Abbott's tomboy edge is softened by the gentle nickname Abby.
Alabama- She may be a little offbeat, but hey, you can always call her Abby.
Tabitha- You don't often hear of little Tabithas, which isn't that surprising. The most obvious nickname Tabby is too feline, but Abby works perfectly.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall TV Names

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Fall is officially here, and with that comes TV premieres. This year's lineup has some interesting names, and could offer some helpful inspiration to expectant parents.

A to Z
Andrew
Sage (b)
Zelda

Out of all the A and Z names, they choose Andrew and Zelda. Andrew is, perhaps, the least inventive "A" boys name, and Zelda comes in third behind Zoey and Zara. If it were up to me, I would have chosen something like Arlo and Zadie, or August and Zora. Sage is a nice name for a supporting character, though.

Blackish
Andre (x2)
Jack
Rainbow
Zoey

Andre was a good choice for father and son, and Andre, Zoey, and Jack is a nice sibset. I'm really liking Rainbow for the mother character. She's a little bit out there, yet 100% believable.

Cristela
Cristela
Daniela
Felix
Natalia

All these names work really well together. Cristela is the name of the leading actress, and I wonder if this show will give her name a boost.

The Flash
Iris

The only interesting name I could get from this show was Iris, a name more people should embrace. She's vintage and sweet, plus, a flower.

Happyland
Ansel
Gloria

Ansel and Gloria are two names I could see rising a lot in popularity in the next few years. It helps that Ansel is the name of a teen heartthrob, and Gloria has been used by a celebrity or two.

How to Get Away with Murder
Annalise
Asher
Eloise
Laurel
Wes

Annalise is the most talked about name from the Fall TV premieres. It's a great name, but gosh, do I hate that spelling. Anneliese is so much prettier. The names of the students are nice, but would make more sense on babies, not college kids.

Jane the Virgin
Alba
Jane
Petra
Xiomara

What gorgeous names! It's no secret I love Jane, and Alba, Petra, and Xiomara are wonderful as well. I would love to see any of those on a baby, but let's be honest--are any of us brave enough to use Xiomara?

The Originals
Agnes
Bastianna
Cary
Celeste
Davina
Diego
Elijah
Eve
Francesca
Gia
Genevieve
Klaus
Monique
Oliver
Rebekah
Sabine
Thierry

This show wins for best names. Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah are siblings, which is an okay sibset. Klaus stands out for me with that one. But some of these names are straight-up fantastic. Have you ever heard of Bastianna before? Me neither, but I think she's lovely.

Red Band Society
Dash
Jordi
Kenji
Leo
Quinby
Ruben
Simmi (g)


These names are definitely age appropriate. The characters are children, so it's very believable. Simmi stands out to me, though. I wonder if it's a nickname.

Transparent
Bianca
Davina
Len
Maura
Raquel

I watched this show, and it was amazing. The characters names were very fitting, but I was especially intrigued by Maura. The character in the show was originally Mort, but changed her name to Maura when she came out as a woman. Picking your own name seems incredibly challenging to me. Did you notice this is the second Davina we have listed? Out of all the names, I wouldn't have guessed that Davina would be the one repeated.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It was pointed out that Klaus from The Originals is actually Niklaus. In that case, I like the sibset much better. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10 L Name You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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L is a super popular letter for names right now. Lily, Layla, Lucy, and Leah are some of the most popular ones, which definitely shows a trend. We like L names that are two syllables, have a strong vowel sound, and preferably a "Y" in there somewhere. The names on this list might not meet all that criterion, but they have something else going for them--their popularity. None of these L names are in the top 1000, so you don't need to worry that your daughter will go by "Leonie F." in school.

Lake- I have a feeling actress Lake Bell will give this one a boost (will we see her in next year's top 1000?) but she still won't be that popular. Lake is a great nature name that works for both genders, but now swings female.

Larkin- A unisex surname that has one of the sweetest nicknames--Lark.

Leatrice- Is Beatrice too popular for you? (she ranks at 593, so I doubt it). Try Leatrice, which is almost the same name, but with an L.

Leonie- Pronounce her however you like (is it LAY-oh-nie, lay-OH-nie, LEE-oh-nie, or lee-OH-nie?) but you can't really go wrong. She's a super cute name, and an excellent way to honor all the Leonas and Leos in your life.

Libra- I've talked about Libra a lot in the past, she's one of the best star sign names out there. Libby would be a nice nickname.

Lilias- She's one of the few full forms of Lily that hasn't become very popular. I think she's the most gorgeous of the bunch; I would choose her over Lillian or Liliana any day.

Lilo- I adore Lilo, she's much more spunky than Lily. But the Disney character has turned me off to her, I wonder if other Lilo lovers feel the same.

Linden- A unisex tree name that I prefer for girls. Linden would make a great modern way to honor a Lindsay.

Lolita- I know why everyone doesn't want to name their daughter Lolita. But gosh, she's such a pretty name. Any brave parents out there?

Lotus- So many nature names this week! Lotus is a lovely, almost ethereal, flower name, perfect for your beautiful, mellow baby girl.

Lucienne- A very sophisticated and French way to get to Lucy. She's much prettier than Lucille, in my opinion.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Catalog Names: Mini Boden, October 2014

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Last week my monthly Boden catalogs came in the mail, and there was good news and bad news. The good news was that there are new models, which means new names to talk about. The bad news? They are no longer listing the names in the women's Boden catalog. Only Mini Boden. That kind of bummed me out, but there were so many great kids names that it made up for it (almost). Let me know what you think.

Girls

Expected:
Cecilia
Hope
Jessica
Julia
Kaia (x2)
Matilda
Molly
Regan
Sara
Sofia

Unique:
Aimee
Amelie
Martha
Poppy
Rebeka
Winona
Yasmin

Unheard of:
Bronte
Cai
Caprii
Kyja


Boys

Expected:
Cameron
Daniel
Ethan
Finn
Jackson
Noah

Unique:
Declan
Freddie
George
Markus
Teddy
Tristan (x2)

Unheard of:
Barnaby
Orlando
Soli

Friday, October 17, 2014

Food Names: Fruits and Veggies

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Food offers a lot of inspiration when it comes to baby names. There are a lot of fun choices, like Plum and Fig, but there are also more standard ones, like Olive. So however adventurous you are with your baby names, you can be influenced by fruits and veggies.

Expected:
Cherry- Sounds like an old-fashioned nickname.
Clementine- One of my faves. So spunky.
Ginger- Super cute, and makes a great nickname for Virginia.
Kale- Better spelled Cael.
Nori- Kimye's nickname for baby North, and also seaweed.
Olive- A favorite among hipster parents and celebrities.
Peach- Southern and old.
Plum- I adore Plum. More people should be using her.

Unique:
Canna- Interesting alternative to Hannah.
Carola- Reminds me a little too much of Crayola, but workable.
Chaya- Very pretty and feminine.
Huckleberry- The name of one of Bear Grylls's sons. Nickname Huck is adorable.
Nance- Better left as a nickname for Nancy.
Pearl- Inspired by Pearl Onions, Pearl is a vintage name ready to comeback.
Pepper- Quirky-cool, reminiscent of Annie's fellow orphan.

Unheard of:
Apple- Too Gwyneth Paltrow? Maybe.
Beet- She's better spelled Biet, a la NYC blogger Belle's daughter.
Ceriman- Interesting choice for either gender.
Citron- Just enough sour spunk to make this French choice totally rad.
Currant- It shares likeness with Curran, but is a little wordy.
Fig- A daring pick, probably best reserved for the middle.
Quince- A Shakespearian name starting with the overlooked letter Q.
Sorrel- A leafy green, Sorrel makes a nice, unique choice for a son.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

10 Names K You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Here's one thing that irks me about K names: they are often times respellings of C names. I tend to prefer the more traditional form, and I'm not about to put names like Konnor or Kristian on this list just because they're not popular. But! That doesn't mean they're all bad. Not in the slightest. I have found ten great choices that hold up to my (high) standards. So let me know what you think (are there any that I've missed?).

Kano- An interesting name that is a funkier alternative to the more preppy Kane.

Keats- Want a name even preppier than Kane? Keats is your man. This guy is prep-city.

Keefe- Simple and tailored, with a nod to Georgia O'Keefe.

Keir- Masculine and suave, plus, a great way to honor a Keira.

Kellam- More interesting and mysterious than Kellan.

Kelvin- Kevin and Melvin sound dowdy on their own, but Kelvin is totally cool and modern.

Kenyon- Collegiate and on-trend. Kenyon is my favorite from this list.

Kiel- Normally he's a nickname for Ezekiel, but I happen to like him on his own, too.

Killian- This is one case when the K spelling came before the C. Cillian may be softer, but Killian is the way to go.

Kyan- All the Ky- names are pretty trendy, but Kyan hasn't caught on. He's a perfect pick if you want something in-style yet unused.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Explorer Names

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Hey guys, happy Columbus Day! I don't get this day off of school anymore (in Chicago we get Pulaski Day off instead). I thought it would be perfect to honor the holiday by talking about names for your little explorer. So, enjoy, and tell me what you think.

Expected:
Destiny- A little out of style (there are a lot of Destinys my age), but not a bad virtuous pick.
Journey- Wouldn't she make a cool middle name for a girl? I would like to see that.

Unique:
Asra- I've talked about Azra before, but I think I like this spelling even more. He's an interesting and quirky choice, but not too out-there.
Beatrix- Her roots suggest that she could mean "traveler," which is perfect for your explorer of a daughter.
Doran- Doran means "wanderer" in Gaelic, and is a great choice for a boy or a girl.

Unheard of:
Ferdinand- Double points for Ferdinand, he means "brave journey" and is the first name of esteemed explorer Magellan.
Peregrine- A little long and grand for a boy, I'm not sure if he's useable. Maybe if he was called Perry?
Saira- Gorgeous alternative to Sarah.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sports Names

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You don't necessarily need to honor someone by using their name. You can name your child after something they loved. Dad loves golf and you like vintage names? Hello Birdie.

Basketball:
Nellie- An adorable name, but you all know I prefer Nell.

Cricket:
Cricket- Busy Phillips used this for her daughter recently. Cricket is cute, but not many people would first think of the sport.

Football:
Marty- "Marty Ball" is a football philosophy, and could make a fun retro pick for a son.

Golf:
Ambrose- In golf I call this a scramble, but Ambrose sounds more like a name :)
Austin- Not quite as fashionable as he once was, but he doesn't sound dated yet.
Birdie- Super cute and sweet. Another Busy Phillips choice.
Chip- Usually reserved as a nickname for Junior.
Goldie- Old fashioned pick with lots of flair. For a first name, Gold would be cool.

Soccer:
Derby- A cousin of Darby and Darcy, but way more unique. I like her!
Kit- Short, sweet, and to the point. Use her as a nickname for any of the Kat- names.

Tennis:
Love- But in Tennis it means zero.

Volleyball:
Pepper- Most people don't give her enough credit to be a first name, though I think she'd work rather nicely in the middle.
Spike- An intense boys name that would be cool on a volleyball player's son.

All:
Ace- I know more dogs than kids named Ace, but with Jessica Simpson's baby, that could change.
Field- Suave and preppy. Plus, he can apply to multiple sports.
League- League can apply to any sport. He's cool and sounds right on trend.
Season- My first thought does not go to sports, but Season can be applied to almost any sport.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

10 K Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Have you ever played that game where you pick out your favorite name for each letter of the alphabet? Well, K is always my hardest letter. I just don't love K names. That being said, I really like some of the names on this list (Kahlo is a new guilty-pleasure name of mine). So take a look, and maybe a name or two will surprise you.

Kahlo- Love it, love it, love it. She's on trend, but not trendy, and has a great namesake (the best).

Kalila- Kalila, on the other hand, has a very trendy sound, which she probably won't retain for much longer. But, if you're looking for an unpopular name with a stylish sound, she could be your girl.

Katell- She's a form of Katherine that is never heard in the U.S. I think she'd make a great import, and a wonderful alternative to Kate.

Keela- Keela seems sweet and innocent, yet I can picture her on a woman of any age.

Kerensa- This was my top choice for the Kimye baby back when we were in denial over the whole  "North West" thing. She's got the movie-star glam and star potential.

Keziah- There are two girls in my grade with this name. One pronounces it KEZ-ee-uh, and the other kez-EYE-uh. I prefer the former (it's the original), but either works for this distinctive biblical name.

Kia- Short and sweet. I think the only reason people haven't embraced this name is because of the car brand, but I honestly don't think it's that big of a deal.

Kit- Remember that game I was talking about? Kit is always my answer for girls. Fair warning: if you name your daughter Kit, be prepared to buy all of the American Girl themed items. Though the doll's real name is Margaret.

Kedzie- She's got that andro-girly charm. A nice pick for parents who want something a little less popular than Kenzie.

Kimball- A unisex name that will probably work better for girls these days. Kimball would be a nice way to honor all the Kimberlys that will be grandparents in about ten years. So keep this one in your back pocket if you're my age.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Full Names for Gwen

I couldn't find a cool picture of Gwen, so I made one myself (A Beautiful Mess App).
I've been digging Gwen lately. And Gwyn. I like both spellings. Gwen peaked in 1959, but seems like a great choice for a baby of today (maybe it's because of Spiderman's Gwen Stacy?). To me, Gwen seems perfect all on her own, especially for a modern girl, but others (many) feel differently. I've come up with a list of full names for a little Gwen (and Gwyn), but be prepared--a lot of them are very (very) Welsh.

Expected:
Guinevere- The spelling's not exactly there, but the sound is. Guinevere is a lovely name from Arthurian legend. Gwen would make a great nickname, but my favorite one is Guinnie.
Gwendolen/Gwendolyn- The most popular of the list, and perhaps the most basic. She's a great name, nonetheless. (and Gwendolen is the original).
Gwyneth- A beautiful name, and my favorite of the list, but she's so closely tied to Gwyneth Paltrow. If you absolutely love it, it's worth it.

Unique:
Gwenda- I'm not so sure about this one. She seems like a mash-up of Glenda and Gwen. Though, I assure you, she's totally legit.
Gwendoline- There's Carolyn/Caroline, and now Gwendolyn/Gwendoline. I like it! Very cute.
Gwennan- Ooh, this one is very appealing. Slightly masculine, yet still very useable on a girl, and the nickname Gwen! Undiscovered gem.
Gwylan- This one's a little harder to get to Gwyn from, but she still works. Gwylan gives me the same feeling as Gwennan, but I don't think she's quite as nice.

Unheard of:
Gwenaelle- What a mouthful. But, if one parent likes Gwen, and the other Ellie, this could be a good compromise.
Gweneira- Sweet and girly. I can't see this one catching on, but she makes a lovely choice.
Gwenllian- If you put Gwen and Gillian together you would get Gwenllian. Fun fact: Gwenllian was a popular name for medieval Welsh royals --Behind the Name dot com.
Gwynedd- A Welsh unisex name (just so you know, in Wales, Gwyn is male, Gwen is female). Probably better on a boy with the Ned ending, but it works for a girl, too.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Month Names: October

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October is my favorite month of the year. I love the weather, food, festivity, basically everything ever about October. If you're having a baby this October (or just love the month as much as I do), you might want to consider honoring it with a name. Let me show you what I mean.

Birthstone:
Jasper- Apparently the "Mystical Birthstone" (whatever that is) of October is Jasper. Jasper's a great name, but I'm not sure if the Mystical Birthstone thing will hold up.
Opal- Opal is the real birthstone of October, and is one of the many underused gem names. I think she could be the next Pearl.

Birth Flower:
Calendula- Hmm. So, how useable is Calendula? I think she'd be pretty sweet if called Callie or Lula, but the final call is up to you.

Birth Colors:
White- There aren't many attractive names for shade of white, but Snow, Ivory, and Lace are nice options.
Yellow- Yellow offers more choices, with Amber, Citrine, Jasmine, and Saffron being the most tame picks.

Star Sign:
Libra- Like I said last month, I think Libra would make a great name. A sister for Justice, perhaps?
Scorpio- Maybe a middle name. But I still hesitate.

Related to October:
Hope- Opal means hope, so if you want an even subtler connection, here's your gal.
Octavia, Octavio, Octavius, etc.- So, October is not the eighth month, but it was at one time, which is why it got it's name. This is probably the most obvious connection, but you have to admit, Octavia is pretty charming (and that nickname Tavi, too).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

10 J Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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There are five J names in the boys top 20. Five. That's one fourth of the group. So, saying they're popular is an understatement. If you like J names, but are scared they are too trendy, I say don't worry. There are plenty of great J names out there, that have yet to be discovered.

Jaco- I have a confession- I don't like Jacob. I think he's overused and not attractive sounding. But Jaco? Super cool. I guess it's that B I have a problem with, because Jaco is an awesome name.

Jans- Jan would sound frumpy and dull on a baby girl. I think it's time we switch genders. Jans is modern and sleek, and actually, very masculine.

Jarvis- Ooh, one of my favorite Chicago baby names. You can't deny Jarvis's cool factor.

Jefferson- Presidential and prestigious, yet totally accessible.

Jethro- Starts with J, end with O, it's a perfect combo. And the rad nickname Jeth helps a little, too.

Jex- We like Dex and Rex, so why not Jex? The only qualm is that I can't think of a good full name for him. Jexon?

Jones- Surname names for boys are always a homerun. Yet Jones seems to have missed the boat. I happen to think he would sound adorable on a little boy, and would definitely age nicely.

Jory- This unisex name is definitely that (the Jori and Jorie I know are female), but overall opinion swings more towards boy.

Joss- I know, I put this one on last week's girl list. But with namesakes like Joss Whedon, it's impossible not to consider for both genders. If he's too nicknamey for you, try it as an update for Josh, with the full name being Joshua.

Judson- If you smoosh Hudson and Judd, you get Judson. But it's not a made up name, I promise. He's an English name, and would make a fresh alternative to all the -son names.