Monday, March 31, 2014

Full Names for Nikki, etc.

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These days, Nikki was most likely your friend's childhood nickname (or if you're my age, your mom's childhood nickname). In fact, the little girls with names on this list are probably Nico or Colette. We still see Nikki around, even on younger generations. One such Nikki won the most recent season of The Bachelor. So whether you want to call your daughter Nikki, Nico, Colette, Coco, or the like, I have come up with some names you should consider.

Expected:
Nicole- She sounds very dated now.
Nicolette- I think this is a good choice, my only hesitation is that is sounds like Nicorette.
Veronica- Veronica sounds slightly dated, but that gives her charm. Ready for revival.

Unique:
Monica- Another dated one, but less so if you call her Nico.
Nicola- A fresh way to honor a Nicole.
Nicolina- A fanciful elaboration.
Nicoline- I would go with Nicolina

Unheard of:
Danica- She has two great namesakes, Danica Patrick and Danica McKellar.
Nika- Sweet and spunky. She doesn't need a nickname.
Nikita- She comes with bonus nickname Kiki.
Nikolia- This Greek name would be a great choice for families looking to honor a Nicole as well as their heritage.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Full Names for Callie and Cali

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Do you have any names where you hate it spelled one way but love it the other? That's true for me with Cali and Callie. I dislike the Cali spelling (it looks like California, that's confusing!), but think Callie is adorable. Callie is more popular, but Cali is rising quickly. They both work on their own, but there are some great full name options for them.

Expected:
California- It only makes sense if you're calling her Cali.
Calla- Bonus points for being both beautiful and a flower name.
Calliope- A little much, but not if you call her Callie.
Callista- Gorgeous.

Unique:
Calandra- Great name, but my computer thought I was trying to spell calendar.
Calico- The Calico/Callie combo seems very country to me, which is good if that's what you're going for.
Calida- Pretty and understated.
Kalila- She lends herself to Lila more so than Cali/Callie/Kali
Kallan- Slightly masculine, but Callie evens her out.

Unheard of:
Calais- Pronounced cah-LAY. She would make a great middle.
Caledonia- Way too much.
Calypso- A fun, peppy name.
Kalindi- You could also call her Lindy.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bird Names

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finally Spring. It's still colder than usual here in Chi-beria, but Spring has finally sprung. I compiled a list of bird names in honor of this lovely season.

Girl:
Ani
Besra
Dove
Emerald
Kea
Lark
Myna
Phoebe
Raven
Sora
Swan
Topaz
Wren

Boy:
Drake
Hawk
Finch
Heron
Jay

Either:
Crane
Robin
Sparrow
Teal

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Alternatives to Alexander

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Alexander is a great name. However, he's just too popular for some people. If you're in that boat, check out these alternatives.

Sight:
Alessandro- The Spanish form of Alexander. Definitely usable in America.
Anderson- Alexander's ending is Anderson's beginning. He feels a bit more upper crust than Alexander though.
Dexter- He's rising in popularity, due to the hit TV show. Dex makes a great nickname.

Sound:
Alistair- Another form of Alexander, but not nearly as widely used.
Calix- He's more similar to Alex than Alexander, but Calix is a really cool name.
Lysander- With the -ander names getting so popular, it's surprising that Lysander hasn't gotten any attention.

Style:
Adrian- I never liked it on a girl, Adrian seems so masculine to me.
Roman- They share ancient roots.
Sebastian- He's gaining speed on the charts, but Sebastian is not nearly at the level Alexander is.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Alternatives to Sophia

Sophia is my real name, and I've always hated how popular she's become. She's a beautiful name, but worn by too many girls. Here are some options for alternatives for Sophia, whether you're in love with her sight, sound, or style.

Sight:
Simona- Simona is a beautiful name, but would often get confused for Simone.
Sophronia- Making Sophia even more princessy.
Sosie- I adore Sosie. She makes a great alternative to the nickname Sophie. I like her on her own, buy many see her as a short for Sophia or Josephine.

Sound:
Fiona- She's lost her ogre touch. Go ahead and use her.
Ophelia- Lovely and Shakespearian.
Phoebe- I adore Phoebe. I expect to see her on the rise.

Style:
Bianca- She's got the Latin flair Sophia has, but is way less common.
Josephine- Josephine is great, and has many wonderful nicknames.
Louisa- My latest favorite nicknames for Louisa are Loulie and Lilou.




I couldn't find the image credit, if anyone can find it, please tell me!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Alternatives to Olivia

Image Credit- Me (Photoshop Skills)
Many parents think Olivia is a great name for a girl, but want something less common. Whether you're in love with the sight, sound, or style of Olivia, I have some options for you that are under the radar.

Sight:
Octavia- She starts with "O" and ends in -ia, just like Olivia. Plus, the nickname Tavi is cute and way less common than Livi (and there's Tavi Gevinson, I love her).
Olivette- Normally Olive would be on this list, but she's getting common, so on to the next similar name, Olivette. Yes, she seems like a little much, but the Olive- sound puts her on trend.
Ophelia- This beautiful Shakespearian name does not get enough attention.

Sound:
Liviana- She sounds like a blend of Olivia and Liliana, which many of today's parents will see as a plus.
Viva- Viva is a pretty name meaning "life."
Vivian- I hesitate to put her on this list since she's getting so common, but she's no where near Olivia, so Vivian is a good option for parents who want something in between top ten and top 200.

Style:
Adriana- She's the feminine form of Adrian, and has a similar make-up to Olivia.
Alexia- Peppier than Alexandra, but just as many syllables.
Carlotta- Carlotta is used more by Latin families, but would make a great sister name to Olivia.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Alternatives to Ava

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I have a couple new series coming up for you guys. First up is The Alternatives Series, focusing on alternatives to some of the most common names, filed under similarity to sight, sound, and style. The sight section is for people attracted to the look of the name, the sound section is for people who like how the name sounds, and the style section focuses on good sister or brother names that have similar aesthetic to the name. First name up is Ava. She's currently in the fifth position, and many parents are looking for similar names to use instead. Here are my suggestions.

Sight:
Avis- I love Avis. I know it's a rental car company, but her sound is the perfect mix of current and vintage. More people should be using her.
Avalyn- I hesitate to suggest Avalyn. It's technically a form of Evelyn, but looks like a smush between Ava and the popular Lyn suffix. If your moved by sight though, go with this one.
Eva- Eva is considerably less popular at 86, but expect her to be moving on up in the coming years.

Sound:
Avalon- Avalon is so similar to Ava, yet she doesn't make the top 1000.
Evelyn- A beautiful choice, but unfortunately she's not far behind Ava at 26.
Ever- You often see this as a pick for boys (short for Everett), but Ever makes a great word name for a daughter as well.

Style:
Lucy- Lucy would be a perfect sister for Ava. She's not quite as popular, but is still in the top 100.
Mina- Mina has the old-fashioned charm that Ava has, but is all the way down in the 800s. A great pick for parents looking for something less popular.
Ruby- Ruby is sweet and girly like Ava, but still has the retro spunk. She might break into the top 100 this year.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Names

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Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my Irish readers! I don't have much Irish heritage, so I don't celebrate the holiday, but I thought it'd be fun to compile a list of names, mostly based on history. Most of these would be a great way to honor your Irish descent.

Expected:
Christian- It's a Christian holiday.
Ireland- Straight to the point, but I really love the name Ireland.
Patricia- The female form of Patrick. Too old fashioned.
Patrick- Too obvious an association for a March 17 baby.

Unique:
Bell- There's a bell called St. Patrick's Bell. Spelled like this, it is a subtle nod to the holiday.
River- In Chicago we dye the river green on St. Patrick's Day. River would make a lovely choice for either gender born around March 17 (or any time).
Tara- One of St. Patrick's churches is on the Hill of Tara. She's a little dated, but the connotation is nice.
Saul- St. Patrick founded his first church in a town called Saul. He's a very uncommon name that deserves wider recognition.

Unheard of:
Bishop- Before he was a saint, he was a bishop. This name gets used from time to time. Only use it if you're religious.
Celestine- Pope Celestine sent St. Patrick to be the first bishop to Irish Christians. Celestine is a lovely elaboration of Celeste.
Padrig- He's the Welsh form of Patrick. He might be a little hard for Americans to grasp at first, but I think Padrig is still useable.
Palladius- Palladius is the supposed name of the real St. Patrick. A little over the top, Pallas would be a nice contraction.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Movie Names: The Royal Tenenbaums

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The Royal Tenenbaums is my all time favorite movie. As I mentioned earlier this week, I love Wes Anderson, so this should come as no surprise. One of the things I love most about Wes Anderson (though not as much as his quirky characters and whimsical sets) is how he names his characters. In every one of his movies, the names are specially tailored to the characters, or so it seems. If you haven't seen a Wes Anderson movie before, I highly recommend the Royal Tenenbaums as your first one. It's a lovely film, with lovely names.

Boys:
Ari- He's a name often associated with Nice Jewish Boys, but he can work for a boy with any culture or religion.
Chaz- Normally a nickname for Charles. Not quite useable on the birth certificate, but he would make a nice retro nickname.
Dudley- Dudley's name was perfect for his character, because he was dud-ish. That being said, it's not a good connotation for your child.
Eli- Eli is one of the great characters in this film, but if you want to name a baby after him, go with his last name- Cash.
Henry- Sweet and classic.
Mordecai- He's Richie's falcon in the movie, and would be a fun connection for a boy. However, he is a lot of name.
Pagoda- Whimsical and delighting, but maybe for a girl?
Raleigh- Many would consider this a girl name, but Raleigh wore surprisingly well on his character (played by Bill Murray!)
Richie- Chaz's brother's name is also more common as a nickname (this time for Richard), but is used in its own right. Richie holds up better than Chaz.
Royal- Is this one set to come back? Maybe, because names like Duke and Deacon are heading upwards.
Uzi- Ari's brother (surprised?). The gun connotation is a bad one, but that doesn't rule it out.

Girls:
Etheline- A beautiful elaboration of the crotchety sounding Ethel.
Margot- One of the best names in the entire film. Margot is stunning and glamorous, just like her character.
Rachael- She's not a big character in the movie (Ari and Uzi's dead mother), but she has a great name that is falling slightly out of favor.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Full Names for Wes

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Wes is such a nice nickname. He's masculine yet soft, which is hard to come by in boys names. Also, Wes Anderson might be the best person ever. (And he proves the name works nicely on its own). Most people only think of him as a nickname for Wesley, but he has some great full name options that are way less common. Take a look.

Expected:
Wesley- He's stayed pretty stable for the past 100 years, except for a large uptick in 1977. In 2007 he was his least popular ever, at 195. He's currently been trending slightly upward, coming in at 155 last year.
Westley- Westley is a new, rather invented name that combines the trendy West with the timelessness of Wesley. He lends himself to West, but there's no reason you can't use Wes.
Weston- Weston has been making leaps and bounds lately. He's climbing up the charts, and at this rate, he's posed to take down Wesley.

Unique:
West- I wouldn't name my son West just to call him Wes, because that's way confusing, but whatever floats your boat.
Westbrook- He's a brand name and a surname, but lends himself to many trendy nicknames like Wes, West, and Brooks.
Westcott- Go old school and call him Scott or Scottie, or contemporary and call him Wes or West.

Unheard of:
Webster- He has all the letters to make Wes, so why not?
Westerfield- It's a long surname, but would work nicely, especially if Westerfield is a family name.
Wesleyan- College has been on the mind lately, and I'm visiting this Connecticut school in a few weeks. A college names post is coming up soon, but until then, think about Wesleyan. It's a little much for a baby, but Wes makes him more manageable.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Nicknames for Sophia

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As a Sophia myself, I often wish I had a less common nickname than the ever popular Sophie. Alas, I would never change my name. Although, Posy and Sosie are on my own list, and could make great middles for future daughters. If you, like many parents find yourself using Sophia for a daughter, but want her to stand out, look at the bottom of this list.

Expected:
Soph
Sophie


Unique:
Fifi
Phia
Unheard of:
Posy
Sosie

Editor's Note: This post was significantly revised on April 18, 2016. To view the updated post, click here

Friday, March 7, 2014

Texting Shorthand and Slang Inspired Names

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We've all heard of the parents who named their kid Hashtag. That seems over the top, but this list proves that tech inspired names can at least sound useable. P.S.- I consider all of these names to be "Unheard of" so there will be no ranking system today.

Aisi- Shorthand for As I See It, Aisi could be pronounced AY-see or EYE-see. Bonus points- I didn't know this was a shorthand term, so this is an easy one to get away with.
Ily- Ily is short for I Love You, and is very well-known. I think it works, but I would spell it Illy or Illie to avoid confusion.
Ilys- Pronounced like Elise, Ilys means I Love You So. Stick with Elise.
Iolo- This one doesn't actually stand for anything, but it's pronounced like Yolo, so it fits. While he may have once been wearable, those days are gone.
Lol- Everyone knows LOL means Laughing Out Loud, so this one doesn't work as a full name. However, Miley Cyrus played a Lola called Lol in the movie by the same name. That convinces me of her use as a nickname.
Orly- This is my favorite of the list. Orly stands for Oh Really, but makes a cute name, especially as a nickname for Orla or Orlaith.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Full Names for Charlie

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We recently discussed Full Names for Charley, which got me to thinking, "What are other options if you want to name your son Charlie?" Turns out, while there are less options for the male Charlie, there are still more than enough choices.

Expected:
Carl- He's mostly a dad name nowadays, but the nickname Charlie livens him up.
Carlos- Spanish speakers would normally call him Carlitos as a nickname, but Charlie works too.
Charles- The classic.

Unique:
Carlton- Don't worry about The Fresh Prince of Bel Air references, those will be long gone by the time he's in school.
Carlo- Hipper than Carlos, maybe it's that "O" ending.
Carlson- He sounds a little dowdy, but Charlie is a great nickname to change that.
Charleston- The dance, the city, so many great associations for your little Charlie!

Unheard of:
Carlisle- A little feminine, but if you're planning on calling him Charlie, I say go for it.
Carmichael- The obvious nicknames are Mike, Mikey, Mickey, etc., but Charlie is the freshest of them all.
Carroll- It's too bad he sounds like a middle aged woman, because Carroll would make a really nice choice for a son.
Charlton- Sounds like a butchered version of Carlton.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Green Baby Names

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Happy March! This month makes everyone think of the color green- Saint Patrick's Day is coming up, and Spring is almost here. To celebrate this green-tinged month, I have compiled a list of names that are also shades of green. Perfect for a March baby!

Expected:
Emerald- She was Pantone's color of the year last year, and is picking up popularity.
Hunter- The -er ending is very trendy right now, and people's first thought will not be the color.
Jade- A beautiful color, but an even more beautiful name.
Kelly- Both the name and the color were once trendy. Now, not so much.
Lincoln- I talk about Lincoln a lot on here. It's a great name for either gender, but most people won't know it's a shade of green.
Olive- Olive is the first name that comes to mind when I think "green names." She's a lovely name that was once considered unique, but is now turning mainstream.

Unique:
Fern- She's the little girl in Charlotte's Web as well as the poetry loving dog on Arthur. With so many great associations, what's not to love about Fern?
Forest- The baby name is more often spelled Forrest, but the shade of green is spelled like the noun. Either one is useable, but I suggest the double R.
India- She's obviously way more of a place name than a color name, but India is an amazing choice nonetheless.
Myrtle- Most of today's parents wouldn't consider her an attractive choice, but hey, you could call her Tilly.
Paris- Paris is in the same boat as India. Go with India.

Unheard of:
Citrine- I've talked about Citron before, but Citrine sounds more like a name. I'm liking it.
Cyan- Technically Cyan is a blue-green shade, but whatever. Kyan and Kayan are already boys names, so why not Cyan?
Pine- I adore Pine for a baby boy. It's the perfect mix of nature and masculine.
Sea- I love Sea on her own, but many parents want longer full names. I like Season best.
Teal- Short and sweet. That's how I like my baby names.