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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Sage (b)

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.

Andre (x2)

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.


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

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.


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 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

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

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
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.


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.


Kaia (x2)


Unheard of:



Tristan (x2)

Unheard of:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

Love- But in Tennis it means zero.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.