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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!).

Alexandra (x2)
Melissa (x2)
Savannah (x2)

Brent (x2)
Christopher (x2)
Jared (x2)

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.

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.

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.

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.