Friday, January 30, 2015

Pattern Names

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You can get inspiration for names everywhere. I always have to keep a notebook with me to write down all my ideas, because I will be inspired at the most random of times. It recently occurred to me that prints and patterns have such great names, many of which can be transferred over to a baby.

Argyle- It would be unconventional, but this preppy pattern would make for an interesting name.

Chevron- I've always thought Chevron would be a cool name, see 2012.

Dot- It's no secret I love Dot. I think she works on her own, but she could also be a nickname for Dorothy.

Floral- We love Flora and Laurel, so why not Floral? I would love to meet a baby Floral.

Gingham- I hesitated with putting this one on the list, but I think Ginger would be a cute nickname. Maybe just stick with Ginger.

Glen- Glen is a type of plaid, and also an old man name. He's almost ready for a comeback, but not quite yet.

Grain- Wood grain is such a pretty pattern, and I could see Grain being used by hipsters.

Harris- He's a kind of tweed, and makes a wonderful alternative to the popular Harrison.

Paisley- Paisley is a country girl name, and the most popular one on the list. She currently is at 80, and rising.

Plaid- Plaid is masculine and hip. He would be great as a middle name.

Tartan- Take Plaid to the next level with Tartan. And what a fun way to honor your Scottish heritage.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

10 R Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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This list was one of the most fun to put together. I touched on a lot of different styles, so I hope you find something you like. Enjoy!

Raizel- Raizel is the Yiddish word for Rose, and makes quite a beautiful alternative. With Hazel becoming so popular, I wonder if Raizel will climb the charts.

Reid- Reid is well-used for boys (#258), but only 3% of Reids are female. I think Reid makes a great, preppy choice for a daugher (she was on my list for a long time). I wouldn't be surprised if it became a more unisex choice.

Reverie- Chances are, if you've heard of the name Reverie, you've heard of Girls Gone Child. One of Rebecca's twins is Reverie, called Revi (and the other, Boheme, called Bo). She's a lovely word name with a fantastic meaning--I'm jealous I didn't think of it myself.

Rhonwen- She's a gorgeous Welsh name that would work well in America. Rhonwen is perfect for parents looking for a name that's feminine, but not too "girly."

Ripley- Ripley is an andro-girly name that is rising quickly. She is well-below the top 1000, but in the next couple of years she could make a breakthrough. Ripley is one to watch.

Roma- Roman and Romeo are red hot, so why isn't Roma? She makes for a very romantic choice.

Romilly- Romilly is fairly well-known in the baby name community, but rarely anyone else has ever heard of her. She fits in with many naming styles, making her an excellent choice for a first-born.

Romy- She's originally a diminutive of Rosemary, but I also like Romy as a nickname for Romilly. If you prefer her as is, she would make a great sister name for your daughter Reid.

Rooney- This Irish surname was brought into the spotlight by the lovely actress Rooney Mara. She made her name an accessible choice for girls, and a stylish one at that.

Roxy- Although her fuller forms are not currently in style, Roxy hits all the trends. She's a vintage, tough-yet-feminine nickname with a lot of spunk.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Full Names for Connie

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I've always liked the name Connie. She's cute, unusual, and vintage. It's a little surprising we don't hear more of her. There are many beautiful names that lead to Connie, if you don't want to use her as is. Take a look.

Beacon- I think Beacon will be among the next generation of word names. She would wear well on a celebrity baby. The obvious nickname is Bea, but Connie is a little more interesting.

Constance- Constance is a beautiful virtue name. Some would argue she's outdated, but I think a baby Constance would be charming.

Constantia- If you think Constance is too archaic, try Constantia. She has a more updated sound, and a lot of flair. Connie makes the perfect nickname for her.

Contessa- Contessa is absolutely gorgeous, and with the popularity of Tessa, I'm surprised that she's rarely used. Contessa is most popular in the Philippines currently, and ranks at #4266 in the United States

Consuela- Even less popular than Contessa is Consuela. Fewer than five American babies were given this name last year. She does sound a little dowdy, but Connie freshens her up.

Cornelia- When I was younger, I loved Cornelia nickname Connie. I think I heard the name in a book somewhere, so I always have a soft spot for her.

Cornell- This collegiate name is most popular for boys, but the nicknames Connie and Nell make it viable for girls.

Cornella- That being said, Cornella might be a better option. She is awfully close to Cornelia though, and people will likely confuse the two names.

Corona- I talked about Corona earlier this month, and I stand by what I said, "Pick a name not associated with an alcoholic beverage, or put her in the middle."

Corrine- Corrine might not be the first full name for Connie you think of, but she definitely works. And besides, Connie is much cuter (and more current) than Cory.

Courtney- Courtney is obviously a mom name, but that doesn't mean she's off limits. Especially if you're using Courtney as an honor name, Connie is a distinct, yet close enough diminutive.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Names Ending in -ow(e)

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-O names have been in style for a while now. As of 2015, it seems like we have a new trend. Names that end in -ow or -owe--while similar to -o names--have a different feel. There's a real unisex quality to them. Most of these names can be used on a girl or boy. More than a few of them have nature ties, which is also appealing to today's parents. I'm excited about this trend. -ow names have real potential, and I suspect quite a few of these will make it into the top 1000 this year.

Arrow- As a symbol, it's a popular hipster motif--and as a word name, well, he's still a little hipster-ish. With names like Fletcher on the rise, I wouldn't be surprised to meet a baby Arrow (in fact, I have!).

Barlow- I included Barlow in my 10 B Names You Never Thought of Using list, which means he's perfect if you want an under-the-radar, trendy name.

Bowe- Bo and Beau (especially) have been on the rise. A lot of times stylish names get quite a few unique spellings, so I'm surprised no one has thought of using Bowe yet. I think this spelling would work great on girls, but I could see it on a boy as well.

Carlow- Carlow is a college name, as well as an excellent baby name. It would be nice on either gender, and makes a nice alternative to Charlie.

Fallow- Fallow is a light brown color, one that is often used to describe the color of deer. Like it on a girl? You can nickname her Doe or Fawn. 

Harlow- Oh Harlow. People are loving her. She currently ranks at #540, but she is making a steep climb up the charts. Maybe that cute pup on Instagram has something to do with it.

Marlowe- Marlowe is rising extremely quickly. Even though she ranks at #1284, she will definitely make it to the top 1000 this year. Use her while you can, this one is about to get real popular.

Meadow- At one time she may have sounded like a 1960s flower child, but today Meadow makes for a lovely nature pick. She has a sweet quality about her, and in the age of flower names, Meadow seems perfect.

Nowe- I have a couple of problems with this name. They mostly consist of the name is pronounced like the word "no," which would be horribly confusing for a toddler. I can really only justify putting this one in the middle.

Rainbow- Rainbow is similar to Meadow, except I don't think she lost her hippie-chick vibe. Try Rain. Or Bo.

Snow- Snow is a delightful, whimsical name for a winter baby girl. There are princess ties, which can be a plus or a minus for some people.

Sparrow- Bird names are so fun, and I adore Sparrow. Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their son Sparrow (brother to Harlow), but it works on either gender.

Willow- She's the most popular on this list, coming in at #155. Willow is still on the rise, so I'll bet she breaks the top 100 for 2014. Willow is a very ethereal nature name, and it's easy to see why people love her.

Winslow- Currently, Winslow is used for boys 97% of the time. But, since fewer than five children were given the name last year, I think it is absolutely usable for girls.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

10 Q Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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When are Q names going to become a trend? We've had X's and O's, I think Q's turn is coming up. Let's stay ahead of the curve, and look at some rad Q names for boys.

Quaid- Sure, he's a celebrity surname, but we Americans have proven we aren't opposed to that. In fact, how about a celebrity surname sibset? I like the sound of Quaid and Keaton together. Not a movie buff? Spell it Quade.

Quain- Quain is a similar, but softer version of Quaid. Plus, he shares sounds with other trendy names like Zane, Kayne, and Reign.

Quennell- This French surname means "little oak tree," and sounds incredibly smart. Maybe it's that -nell ending he shares with some top colleges (Cornell, Bucknell, Grinnell, etc.). A baby named Quennell is destined for genius.

Quill- How amazing would it be if an author named their son Quill? Answer: Totally awesome. He's even great in the middle (and you don't have to be an author to use him).

Quillan- Is Quill too nickname-y for your taste? Try Quillan. Now he has a stylish ending, and a rad nickname.

Quiller- Or you could go with Quiller! He's similar in concept to Quillan, but he might be a better fit for your family.

Quimby- Any Ramona fans out there? Her surname would be great on a little boy (or girl), and you can read the books together.

Quince- Quince is one of the better Shakespearean names out there. He's short, peppy, and much more accessible than Horatio or Othello.

Quinlan- If you're in need of a Quinn name beyond Quentin, Quinlan's your man. They're so similar, it's silly that no one is using him.

Quito- We love place names, but I haven't heard of anyone named Quito. The capital of Ecuador would be a great name to honor your heritage.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Claire Names

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Claire is a modern classic. You wouldn't be surprised to meet a mom named Claire, and it's not uncommon to run into younger ones either. Claire has many variants, which are getting exceedingly popular. Though Claire reigns supreme, I have a feeling Clara could beat her out for the number one Claire name in the coming years. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Clara- Elegant and vintage, it's no wonder parents love Clara. At #131, is it possible she could crack the top 100?

Clarabella- She may seem like a smoosh name, but Clarabella has real Latin roots. She's quite a mouthful, though. If you must, choose Clarabelle.

Clarabelle- Slightly more subdued than Clarabella. For a slimmed-down version, try Claribel.

Claremont- My first thought is college--but as a high school senior, I have higher education on the brain. I like her sound, and I think she works.

Clarice- My association with this name is Clarice Bean, a funny childrens book series by Lauren Child. Clarice may be a little outdated, but she still fits in on the playground.

Clarinda- I know most of you will hate it, but I think Clarinda is pretty charming! I've explained my love of Lucinda before, I think -inda names are due for a comeback.

Clarion- Clarion is definitely the most contemporary name on this list. I think she's lovely.

Clarissa- Maybe it's her similarity to Melissa, or the '90s TV show Clarissa Explains it All, but I cannot picture her on a baby born in 2015.

Clarity- Clarity is a unique virtue name with an updated sound. Much better than Chastity.

Clary- She's a nickname, but I think Clary would also work well on her own. Maybe as a sister to Sadie?

Eclair- Does Eclair work as a name? She should work in theory--it's only one extra syllable to the name Claire--but she still seems a little off.

Montclair- Switch around Claremont, and you've got Montclair. I could see this one working on a boy.

Sinclair- Another Claire name that swings masculine is Sinclair. He has a sauve, old-timey feel that I love.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hipster Baby Name or Hipster City?

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There's been some chatter amongst namers lately. It seems like the rest of the world doesn't know what a "hipster baby name" is. This was recently brought to our attention by a few key websites (ahem, Buzzfeed, SF Gate, Daily Mail), making lists of Hipster Baby Names, and 2015 Popular Name Predictions. So I'm here to set the record straight. A hipster baby name is on the cusp of cool. It seems unstylish or out-there to most parents, but then gains favor. On the other hand, a hipster city is a metropolitan area with a high concentration of liberal young adults. Sometimes the two intertwine, but a seasoned baby namer can usually tell the difference.

Take my quiz first to test your knowledge, then come back and read my responses.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10 Q Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Did you think I would skip Q? No way, we're doing them all. Every single letter. By itself. None of that "XYZ" nonsense. And Q wasn't even that hard. People should embrace it more. Q is not a scary letter--there are plenty of great Q names out there. I'll show you.

Quarry- A quarry is a place from where rock has been taken, which makes her a nature name of sorts. She has a beautiful sound, why not consider her?

Quassia- Another nature name, Quassia is a type of small tree (also known as Bitterwood, but that's beside the point). She fits in well with some of the more obscure plant names. Quassia and Amaryllis?

Quay- Looks can be deceiving--she's actually pronounced KEY. This short beauty makes a great middle name, as demonstrated by Sarah Rhodes's (of Arrow & Apple and A Beautiful Mess) daughter Imogen Quay.

Quebec- I'm a sucker for a good place name. Quebec is darling. I've been to Quebec before (it's truly lovely), so I might be biased. It would make a great honor name if you are of French-Canadian descent.

Quenby- A fabulous unisex name that works as a nice alternative to the so-darn-popular Quinn.

Querida- She means *darling* in Spanish. If that's not a powerful reason to use a name, I don't know what is. You can't get a much better meaning than that.

Quilla- I debated over what my favorite name of this list is (Quilla? Quay? Quebec?) Ultimately, I had to choose Quilla. Her sound is right on trend, but rarely anyone knows she exists. Perfect.

Quincy- When I was ten years old, I loved the name Quincy on a girl. I have no idea where I heard it, but I named a lot of dolls Quincy. Tragically, I am no longer in love with the name, but that doesn't mean she isn't great for you. She's much preferable to Quinn.

Quinta- Add an extra syllable to Quinn, and you've changed the game. No longer is she a preppy princess--she's a fierce beauty.

Quintessa- What a glamorous name. Perfect for a movie star--and your baby daughter. Her nickname possibilities are endless. Tess, Tessa--and yes, even Quinn.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Full Names for Billie

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Billie is an old fashioned nickname with lots of spunk. She brings to mind singer Billie Holiday and Michael Jackson song Billie Jean. She hasn't been used in decades, but in an era where we call our daughters Max and Charlie, Billie would fit right in.

Abilene- At first glance she may not look like much, but Abilene would make a great name for a modern baby. She shares sounds with many of today's popular names, and you could call her Abby, Billie, or even Lena.

Jubilee- There aren't many names as happy sounding as Jubilee. She's definitely a fun choice.

Sybilla- Sybil is still pretty dowdy, but Sybilla is a fresher variant. That being said, many people would still consider her too frumpy to use, so calling her Billie is a nice compromise.

Wilder- Who said Wilder is just for the boys? If girls can be called Walker, there's no reason they shouldn't answer to Wilder as well. Billie doesn't do much to ease gender confusion, but she's really the only nickname option (though a great one!)

Wilhelmina- People love Wilhelmina's shabby charm. She hasn't reached similar names like Josephine and Matilda in terms of popularity, which is perfect if you want to use her. (By the way, Billie, Josie, and Mattie would make a great sister set).

Willa- Oh man, Willa is so cute! I met a couple of baby Willas recently, and the name wears really well. I don't think she needs a nickname, but if you want one, Billie is your girl.

Willow- Willow is climbing her way up the popularity charts, and with names like Marlowe and Harlow rising as well, I wouldn't be surprised if she made it to the top 100.

Wilma- My mind goes straight to The Flintstones, though that association is already pretty obsolete. She could come back in style if given a couple of years, but for right now I wouldn't use her.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Royalty Inspired Names

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Kourtney Kardashian's new baby is named Reign Aston--a nod to their high-class status and dad Scott's "title" Lord Disick. Royal names have been on the rise the past few years, but this birth announcement could send them to the upper half of the top 1000. I don't think Reign will have quite the effect Mason or Penelope did on American baby naming, but nevertheless, look forward to a year full of royal names.

Corona- She does mean "crown" in Spanish, but I think that fact would be lost on most people. Pick a  name not associated with an alcoholic beverage, or put her in the middle.
Grace- It is not uncommon to hear Royals be referred to as "Her Grace." Add Princess Grace Kelly, and you've got yourself a very regal name.
Honor- Honor feels very similar to Grace. Not the first name you think of when talking about royal names, but she makes for a nice, subtle option.
Princess- On the other hand, there's nothing subtle about Princess. Names like Princess teeter on the edge of tacky. I'd stick with Sarah (who means princess) instead.
Queenie- I don't hate the name Queenie. I see how she could feel no better than Princess, but Queenie has an old school, retro charm about her.
Tiara- File this one with Princess. I much prefer Tierra (meaning land or earth in Spanish), which is less material, more earthy.

Baron- With his regality and similarity to names like Aaron, I'm a little surprised Baron isn't being used. He'd fit right in on the playground.
Duke- Was Duke the name that started this all? He's been rising in popularity the past few years, and now it's Reign's turn.
Earl- Earl gives me more of a country song picture than a royal one. Is he ready for revival with the others? I have a feeling he might sit this one out.
King- Names beginning with King surged in popularity a few years ago. On his own, he makes a great middle, and even works as a first name.
Noble- Like Grace and Honor, Noble is a royal-virtue name. I expect to see a few celebrities use this name in the coming year.
Royal- My first thought is Royal Tenenbaum, but I'm a huge Wes Anderson fan, so maybe it's just me.

Reign- With its similarity to the unisex nature name Rain, Reign remains undecided in terms of gender. Will Reign Aston change that?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

10 P Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Are we already on P names for boys? Yikes, I can't believe this series is almost over. I'm really excited about the names I picked out for today. Normally P boys names aren't my thing, but I'm digging these choices. Tell me what you think.

Pace- I can't believe no one has ever thought of Pace, considering his wordiness and similarity to Chase. What a cool name. Pronounced PAH-chay he means peace in Italian, which is nice. 

Painter- Painter is an occupation name that America has not yet embraced, though he is a favorite among the baby name community. You can call him Paine for short. 

Palmer- Palmer is one of those unique names that is extremely unisex. There is an almost equal amount of boys and girls named Palmer, with a just a few more girls getting the name last year. That shouldn't discourage you though, I happen to prefer Palmer on a boy. 

Pascoe- Pascoe is a variant of Pascal, both of which are heavily associated with Easter. Pascoe seems like a more American-friendly choice, and could be worn by a child born any time of year. 

Patton- Patrick is most definitely a dad name, and he's quickly moving into grandpa territory. New parents are going to need a way to honor Patricks, and Patton is ready for the job. He's modern, unused, and has a trendy ending. Perfect. 

Penn- Ultimate prep-school kid name. 

Pike- He's a little fishy, but also streamlined and modern. Pike would be a great honor name for someone who loves to fish. 

Pine- A super rad name for nature loving or northern parents. 

Portland- I adore Portland (the city), and think it makes for a great (yet unusual) name. If Scotland is viable, why not Portland?

Powell- Powell's is the famous bookstore in Portland, so I suggest you pick one or the other. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Full Names for Maggie

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Maggie is a sweet, old fashioned nickname that sounds great with sister names such as Sadie, Lily, and Lucy. She's not too popular on her own (231), but Maggie is one of the more popular nicknames for Margaret, which ranks at 181. Margaret is not the only way to get to Maggie though. Maggie has many full forms, ranging from the classic and charming, to the bold and colorful. Take a look.

Magnolia- This Southern flower has tons of nicknames, and recently made the top 1000.
Margaret- I think it's safe to say that Maggie is currently her most popular nickname, though I've heard a couple of Gretas and Megs around, too.
Marguerite- I know quite a few Marguerites, and all of them go by Daisy. Change it up with Maggie.

Magda- Magda sounds a little stodgy. Probably not the best choice for a 2015 baby.
Magdalene- Gorgeous and ethereal. Add one more syllable to Magda, and the whole vibe changes.
Margarita- She gives Maggie some Latin flair. I love it.

Unheard of:
Magenta- How's that for a full name? Magenta is super spunky, and the nickname Maggie is a nice balance.
Maguire- Maggie makes this unisex Irish surname swing girl for me.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Month Names: January

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Happy New Year everybody! I'm so glad it's finally 2015. It's going to be a good year, I can feel it. If you're having a baby this month, consider sneaking a January-related name in the choice pool. I have a lot of great options for you.

Garnet- Garnet is a great gemstone name, and one of the few that works better on boys.

Birth Flower:
Camellia- Camellia is a beautiful name on her own, but you can also call her Cammie.
Carnation- I'm not sure how usable Carnation is as a name. You could call her Carnie?
Plum Blossom- In China, January's flower is the Plum Blossom. You might not want to use them as a set, but Plum or Blossom make fun names on their own.
Snowdrop- Snowdrop doesn't really work as a name, but there are names that are related to snow, like Neve.

Birth Colors: 
Black- Black itself isn't a name, but Ebony, Jet, Noir, and Onyx are.
Dark Blue- We went over dark blue names in November. I stand by my picks of Cobalt, Indigo, and Navy.

Star Sign:
Aquarius- Aquarius means water bearer, so a water name like Bay, Lake, or Oceane would be perfect.
Capricorn- Last month I suggested Caprice as an option. Does it work?

Related to January:
Jan Names- Most of the Jan- names are not in style, but Jane, January, and Janson are in vogue.
Winter- Winter is in full swing, why not name your daughter after her birth season?