Monday, March 30, 2015

Month Names: April

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I started this series last May, so as of this month, we have come full circle. Enjoy this last month post (especially if you're having an April baby!).

Diamond- April's birthstone is the diamond. Unfortunately, she sounds a little dated (and some would say unsophisticated). I'd try something related to diamonds. Clarity, perhaps?

Birth Flower:
Daisy- Daisy is an adorable name. She's #198 in popularity, and can be used on her own, or as a nickname for Margaret or Marguerite.
Sweet Pea- Sweet Pea is more of a term of endearment than a given name. But, using a P name makes the title more appropriate. Pick a "sweet P name" like Posy, Poppy, or Penelope.

Birth Colors:
Red- There's a plethora of red names, but if you're looking for something unusual, I like Carmine, Crimson, and Russet.
Yellow- My favorite yellow-hued name is Citrine--so bright and cheerful! Jasmine, Saffron, and Amber are some other nice options.

Star Sign:
Aries- Aries has potential as a stand-alone name, but he (or she) might not work in all cases. Arie works well and has a similar sound.
Taurus- Taurus is my favorite zodiac name. He's cool, strong, and very unique. Taurus would make an especially daring middle.

Related to April:
April Names- April herself is an obvious choice for this month, but she's a bit dated for the month names. Avril and Abril (French and Spanish, respectively) could be fresher options.
Arbor Day- Arbor Day is the last Friday of April. If your babe is born around this time, it's definitely worth considering a tree name. Elm, Linden, Oak, Willow, and Pine are just a few of the options available. Arbor would make a cool name as well!
Earth Day- Earth Day is the 22nd. Along with the Arbor Day tree names, you could use Eartha, Tierra, Sky, or any other natural name.
Easter- If you're having an Easter baby, why not consider a name tie-in like Pascal, Pascoe, Palma, Calla, or even Easter herself.

Friday, March 27, 2015

If I Could Name 100 Girls

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One of my very first posts was called "If I Could Name 100 Girls." A lot has changed for me since 2012, and my taste has definitely shifted. I thought I'd bring it back today to show the evolution of my favorite names.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

10 V Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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V names for girls are having a moment. Violet, Vivian, and Valentina are all very trendy, and will continue to climb the charts. Not all the good V names are popular--I have a great list of ones that don't even break the top 1000.

Vale- I wrote this post about Vale right after Savannah Guthrie gave the name to her daughter in August. She will probably get a boost as a celebrity baby name, but I wouldn't expect her to be in the top 1000 for next year.

Verona- This romantic name is one of the best for honoring a Veronica. Verona is the Italian city where Romeo and Juliet takes place, so it would be a lovely choice for a Shakespeare fan.

Veronique- Veronique is the French form of Veronica, and much more current. I've heard it on a few American children, and she is definitely wearable in the U.S.

Vesper- Vesper is a cool, mysterious name that means evening. She's perfect for parents looking for a baby name with an edge. However, a Vesper is a type of cocktail, which may be off putting to some parents.

Vida- Could Vida make it into the top 1000 this year? She is currently at #1308, but she's rising quickly--possibly thanks to Matthew McConaughey's daughter. Vida is a super sweet name, and she has the best meaning--"life."

Vienna- Vienna will definitely break the top 1000 in May. She's at #1004, and is experiencing a rapid rise in popularity. She's one of my favorite place names, and is wonderful for honoring Austrian heritage. Want a subtle connection? The popular surname Wiener means "from Vienna," so she'd be the perfect pick if that was your maiden name or on your family tree.

Viola- There are two pronunciations of Viola. The first (and most popular) is like Violet--vie-OH-lah. the second is like the instrument--vee-OH-lah. Take your pick. They are both beautiful (and make a great alternative to Violet).

Vionnet- Vionnet is another French name, pronounced VEE-oh-nay. She's absolutely stunning, and would make a lovely, unexpected middle.

Viveca- Viveca is my favorite alternative to Vivian, I am constantly suggesting her. She's a Scandinavian name, and like Vida, means "life." Viveca can also be spelled Vivica, like the actress Vivica A. Fox.

Vrai- Looking for an exotic virtue name? Look no further. Vrai is the French word for "truth," and she could definitely work in America. If you're not brave enough to use her as a first name, she'd be a unique pick for the middle position.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ten Nicknames for Katherine

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Katherine and Catherine are classics. Katherine has never made it out of the top 105, and Catherine has always remained in the top 200. With names as timeless as these, many nicknames have emerged. A few of them are rather dated, but some are ready for revival. Which one would you choose for a little Katherine?

Cat- The spunky, feline Cat would be a delightful nickname for a Catherine. Spelling her Kat gets rid of the animal association, but that can be part of the fun.

Kate- Kate is perhaps the most enduring of all of Katherine's nicknames. She never sounds dowdy, and I can picture her on women of all ages. Kate (or Cate or Cait) is never a bad choice.

Kath- Kath is a powerful, take-charge name. She means business. Kath may not be the cutest nickname for Katherine, but if you're looking for a strong short form, I think Kath is perfect.

Kathy- Kathy (and Cathy) are the most stale names on this list. They peaked in 1958, so we could use another generation before they make their way back in fashion.

Katie- Katie takes the cake for most alternate spellings. Take your pick of Katie, Katy, Catie, Caity, Caitie, Katey, Kati, Catee, or Catey. It's quite the bunch. Katie is by far the most prominent spelling, and ranks at #244 on her own.

Kay- I'm ready for a Kay comeback. Kay and Kaye peaked in the 1940s, but I could see her sneaking back in even earlier than 2040. People are warming up to May and Fay, so why not Kay?

Kit- Historically, Kit has been used on more boys than girls, but right now the genders are pretty even. I prefer Kit on a girl--she's fresh, not too feminine, and plus, there's that sweet American Girl Doll with the name.

Kitty- The retro Kitty would be darling on a Katherine of today. I happen to know one, and her name wears very well. If you like charming, old fashioned nicknames, give Kitty a chance.

Rina- Rina is beautiful, sophisticated, and rarely heard as a nickname for Katherine. She is a legitimate diminutive, and would be lovely on a little girl.

Rynne- Rynne (or Rynn) is a logical nickname for Katherine, yet, out of all the Katherines I know, I've never encountered a Rynne. She's a nice option for many parents, and with Wynn and Wynne rising on the charts, she might become a more popular nickname.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Names

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Happy first day of Spring! I am so excited that Spring is (finally) here. If you're having a Spring baby, you might want to consider one of these very appropriate, seasonal names.

Flower Names
I have a full list of Unexpected Flower Names right here. Some of my favorites are Aster, Liatris, Lotus, Posy, and Zinnia.

Holiday Names
Easter- Some classic Easter names are Pascal and Pascoe, and you could always just go with Easter.
May Day- Expecting a baby on May 1st? You can't go wrong with the sweet, old-fashioned May.

Month Names
March- March is a great month name for a little boy, regardless of what month he's born in.
April- April is one of the more dated month names, but I still find her charming.
May- I've written countless amounts of posts on May. Some of my favorites are Full Names for May, and May Names
June-June is a lovely name--one that is slowly rising up the charts. She's at #364 now, but I could see her in the top 300 for the 2014 stats.

Seasonal Names
Equinox- The Spring Equinox is tonight, which makes it a perfect name for a baby born today. The nickname Nox makes it more wearable.
Primavera- The Spanish word for Spring is beautiful. Primavera would make a darling first or middle name for a daughter.
Weather Names- With the start of Spring brings new weather--mainly rain for us here is Chicago. Consider a Weather Name for your child, perhaps Rain, Sky, Sunny, Storm, or Rainbow?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

10 U Name You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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On to the boys! I'm actually surprised at how much I like this list--I had never really thought of any U names before. Take a look, and tell me if you feel the same.

Uberto- Uberto is cool and sophisticated. He's a slimmer version of Umberto--another name I considered putting on this list.

Ugo- If Hugo's too hipster for your taste, try Ugo. He's got a similar feel, but is more exotic and interesting.

Ultan- Ultan is an Irish saint name (Happy Saint Patricks Day!) with good potential for the middle spot. He may be a little out there, but if you're brave enough, he would also make a good first name.

Umber- We love color names, but there are few out there for boys. Umber is one of the few, and makes a striking name for a son. He's also a nice way to honor an Amber.

Urban- What better name than Urban to convey your love for city life? He may sound modern and cosmopolitan, but Urban is a very old name, peaking in 1916.

Uri- Ari is racing up the charts, and though he may not seem popular on paper (#417), he is an extremely trendy choice in many areas of the country (including Chicago--I know a million Aris). Uri is the perfect alternative, yet he's not even on most people's radar screens. Uri is a Hebrew name like Ari, but the names have different meanings. Uri means "light."

Urian- The most popular U name for boys is Uriah (#535). That's not popular at all (only 488 boys were given the name last year), but some parents are looking for something almost no one has used. Urian shares many sounds with Uriah, but did not even place in the top 1000 last year.

Urso- Urso is such a cool name. He's an Italian name meaning "bear," which makes him perfect for a subtle animal-themed sibset.

Utah- State names can be great choices for babies. They can honor a parent's home, where the baby was born, a special place to the parents, and more. Utah is an especially rad name for a boy--he's got the feel of a hipster cowboy.

Uzi- He may share a name with a machine gun, but Uzi is not unusable. Wes Anderson choose him as the name of one of Chaz Tenenbaum's sons (along with Ari) for his film The Royal Tenenbaums. That movie helped me see Uzi as a wearable name, but you have to decide for yourself.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nicknames for Jonathan

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Jonathan may have peaked in 1985, but at #42 on the popularity charts, it's safe to say he's still going strong. He's a modern classic, which is appealing to many parents. However, sometimes Jonathan needs a nickname. Whether he's a junior or you just want options, there are plenty of nicknames to choose from.

Jack--Jack is a common diminutive of John, so he makes perfect sense as a nickname for Jonathan. Jack is an every-boy name, but beware--he's popular on his own and as a nickname, so there are more Jacks out there than the data suggests.

John or Jon--You can't beat a classic. Jon is the easiest nickname for Jonathan, and has a standard, sturdy feel.

Johnny--Johnny is definitely dated, but stands at a solid #266 in the top 1000. He is a retro pick that is ripe for revival, along with brothers Billy, Jimmy, and Eddie.

Nat--Nat may be concise, but he sure is suave. If you're looking for an unexpected, classy nickname for Jonathan, Nat's your man.

Nate--Nate is an extremely popular nickname, especially where I live. He can be used as a nickname for Nathaniel or Nathan, but is more surprising when used for Jonathan.

Nathan--Nathan is not often used as a nickname for Jonathan, mostly because he's a popular name in his own right. At #31, he's even more popular than Jonathan. That doesn't mean you can't use him in this way--in fact, it's a great option if you love both Nathan and Jonathan.

Natty--Natty absolutely has a younger feel to him, but sometimes parents are only looking for a young childhood nickname. He's cute, spunky, and upbeat. If he did want to wear the nickname into adulthood, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. I know a Natty, and I don't find his name startling at all.

Than--Than is my favorite of this list. He's modern, sleek, and extremely rare. Than is the most unique nickname for Jonathan, and would age nicely.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Same Meaning Sibsets: Part One

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I'm not usually a fan of baby name gimmicks, but if done right, they can be cute. One subtle way to tie your kids names together is through meaning. Many names share the same meaning, and sometimes they would make a nice sibset together. Take a look.

Astrid + Ingrid
Aoife + Calla
Callie + Bonnie

Charles + Frances
Caroline, Darby, + Lottie

Felix, Asher, + Blythe
Ada + Felicity
Gwyneth + Hillary

Chaya + Evie
Ava, Liv, + Zoe
Vivian + Zenaida

Nell + Liora
Elena, Lucy, + Nora
Helena + Lucinda
Lux + Orly
Eleanor + Lucian

Alfred + Sophia
Aldo + Ramona
Raymond + Shannon

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

10 U Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Here's where it gets difficult. The back end of the alphabet. U was particularly challenging, but I'm glad I put together this list. I found a lot of new names I hadn't heard of before. Check it out.

Ulani- Ulani is such a pretty name. I love the -lani suffix. She would be great if you love Leilani, but not her popularity.

Uli- Uli is simple and sweet. I first fell in love with the name while watching Project Runway in 2006. Designer Uli Herzner is from Germany.

Ulla- She doesn't quite rival Ella, but Ulla (OO-lah) could make a very good alternative. She has Norse roots and means "determination."

Uma- Uma Thurman hasn't inspired anyone to use her name, and that's a shame. Uma is classy and feminine--a perfect combination.

Umaya- Maya is still very popular at #72, but that level of trendiness might turn some parents away. Umaya is an alternate spelling of Amaya (#235), and has never been in the top 1000.

Umbria- Umbria is my favorite of the list. She's a gorgeous region of Italy, and has some of the most delicious food. Umbria has that stylish -bria ending, which makes her perfect for a baby born in 2015.

Umbrielle- Umbria not enough for you? Try Umbrielle. She may look like a made-up variation of Gabrielle, but she has old Latin roots. Umbrielle is a little long though, so you might want to consider nicknames like Uma, Bri, or Ella.

Umeko- Umeko is one of my favorite Japanese names. She means "plum-blossom child," which is the most darling meaning I've ever heard. Plus, it gives you an excuse to call her Plum.

Umina- Umina is a variation of Amina, which ranks at #620. I happen to prefer the Umina spelling, which has never been in the top 1000.

Una- People are more familiar with the Irish spelling Oona, but the slimmer, more phonetic Una might appeal to more parents. She means "one" in Latin, making her perfect for a first born daughter.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Full Names for Loie

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What do you guys think of the name Loie? She's not popular at all, but I do know a few girls with the name. Loie can be used on her own, but she's mostly a nickname. There are so many full names she can be a nickname for, and I've listed the best ones right here.

Bellona- This sweet Italian girls name can be nicknamed Bell or Loie.

Carlotta- The more trendy nickname would be Charlie, but I prefer the unexpected Loie.

Clover- One of the sweetest nature names. Loie is a great nickname if you don't like Clove.

Elodie- Loie is a much less popular nickname than Ella or Elle.

Eloise- I love the idea of an Eloise called Loie.

Harlow- She probably doesn't need a nickname, but Loie is a good option if you want one.

Lois- Lois may sound a little grandma-ish to you, but with a nickname like Loie, she's a fresh and viable option.

Lola- A lovely yet popular name. Loie makes her stand out.

Lolita- The stigma surrounding Lolita is unfortunate--she's a gorgeous name. She is definitely usable with a nickname like Loie.

Lotus- Lotus is an exquisite floral name. Loie might be her only nickname option.

Malone- Malone has a masculine, tomboy feel, so Loie is perfect for when you want a softer sound.

Marlowe- Marley and Loie both work as nicknames for the fast rising Marlowe.

Paloma- Paloma is one of the prettiest names. Loie makes a wonderful nickname.

Penelope- There are so many nickname options for Penelope, but Loie is one of the most unexpected.

Sloane- Do you love Sloane, but not her lack of nicknames? Loie works perfectly.

Willow- Loie is a great nickname for the beautiful Willow.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Similar Usage Stats: Sophia

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The main reason people are afraid to use popular names is because they don't want their child to be "one of many." Mom grew up as "Jennifer P." and would hate for her son or daughter to have to do the same. In actuality, popular names are getting used less. Last year, Sophia was only used for 1.1039% of baby girls. I thought we'd take a look at names with similar usage (percentage wise) to Sophia, so we can see how "popular" she really is. 

2005, Emma (2)

1995, Sarah (5)

1985, Megan (10)

1975, Stephanie (9)

1965, Donna (7)

1955, Sharon (15)

1945, Donna (17)

1935, Joyce (12)

1925, Elizabeth (10)

1915, Marie (11)

1905, Ethel (12)

1895, Bertha (11)

1885, Grace (14)

As you can see, starting in the 1980s, people started using top names less and less. During the 100 years before that, popularity of the top names were very high (Mary was used on almost seven percent of baby girls in 1885). Jennifer was given to four percent of girls at her peak, which means there were four times as many Jennifers born in 1974 than Sophias born in 2014. So don't worry. If you love a popular name, it's pretty safe to just go for it. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

10 T Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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You guys ready for T names for boys? Let's get right to it.

Tabor- Tabor is a common Hungarian name that would work well on an American baby. He would also make a nice middle name.

Talbot- He may sound a little posh for your liking, but the nickname Tal balances him out.

Taurus- If your baby is born under the sign of Taurus, it might be fun to consider his astrological sign as a name. With names like Justus and Magnus, Taurus fits right in.

Teague- I love Teague. He's simple and concise, but holds his own. Use Teague if you want a short, nicknameless name.

Teal- Color names aren't too common for boys, but Teal is one to consider. Similar option: Zeal.

Thane- Thane is one of those names that you'd think would be popular, but hasn't caught on yet. We love Shane and Zane, so Thane seems like the next logical step.

Theron- Theron peaked in 1910, so he's overdue for a revival. If he gets used by a celebrity, that would send him back into the top 1000.

Thijs- The pronunciation is less confusing than it looks--(TICE). He's a great Dutch boy name, and with a bit more use, he could be an easier pick for an American baby.

Tobin- Toby is an adorable nickname, but Tobias isn't everyones cup of tea. Tobin is a bit more contemporary, but still has some history.

Tor- Thor is pretty intense for a baby--or any man, for that matter. Tor is a softer pick, with the same Scandinavian roots.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Full Names for Tilly

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Tilly is one of the sweetest nicknames for girls. Tilda has been a recent favorite of mine, and I think Tilly is a darling nickname for her. If you'd like to use this (very British) nickname, I've come up with a list of possible full names for your little Tilly.

Bertilde- She may not be the most fashion-forward name on this list, but Bertilde would make a lovely way to honor a Robert, and you get to call her Tilly.

Chantilly- Chantilly is a type of French lace that works wonderfully as a first name. She has a fun, whimsical spirit.

Clotilde- Clotilde would be a rare pick for an American baby--she's gotten fewer than five uses ever since the 1980s. Tilly makes her modern and usable.

Domitilla- Looking for an interesting way to honor a Dominique? Look no further than Domitilla. She's lengthy and exquisite, so the chirpy nickname Tilly is a perfect balance.

Matilda- The classic full name for Tilly is on the rise. She only ranks in the 600s, but be careful--hipster neighborhoods are known to have quite a few Matildas.

Ottilie- It can be hard to find a long girl name that doesn't scream "princess," but Ottilie is just that. Tilly (or Tillie) is the obvious nickname.

Tallulah- She's a little bit of a stretch, but Tilly is so close to Tally. If you don't love Lu- nicknames, Tilly is a great option.

Tilda- Tilda is a diminutive of Matilda, but makes quite a statement on her own. Tilly is her best (and only) nickname option, if she even needs one at all.