Wednesday, April 29, 2015

10 X Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

Image Credit
X is a neglected letter for the beginning of names. Sure we love it in the middle or at the end, but X hasn't caught on for starting any names. Hopefully this list will change your mind--I found some great X names.

Xana- The -ana ending may seem boring and overused to some, but beginning with the electric letter X makes Xana exciting and unique.

Xandria- She's a shortening of Alexandria that is usable in her own right. She's perfect for people who love the ending of Alexandria, just not the five syllables.

Xanthe- Xanthe is one of my favorite names. I've loved her for a long time, but she doesn't mesh well with my other top choices. She comes from the Greek word meaning "yellow," and is pronounced (ZAN-thee).

Xanthippe- Most of you probably heard Xanthippe for the first time on Netflix's The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She goes by Xan on the show, a nickname that makes Xanthippe much more accessible. Would any of you use her?

Xaverie- At first glance, Xaverie looks like a made-up mix of Xavier and Avery, but that's not the case. She's a French and Czech form of Xavier, and a variation of Xaviera. She'd make a great import to America--I could see Xaverie catching on.

Xenobia- Xenobia is another beautiful Greek X name. She's an alternate spelling of the more familiar Zenobia--the middle name of one of Tina Fey's daughters. I can't decide which spelling I prefer, what about you all?

Xia- Add Xia to the list of three letter -ia names for girls. With the popularity of Mia and Lia (and Fia and Pia catching on), Xia is one of the more usable names on this list.

Xiamara- Need a good full name for Xia? Xiamara is a wonderful option. She means "joyful deer" (how cute!), and could always go by the less exotic Mara.

Ximenia- Ximena is the most popular X name for girls at #162 in the top 1000. The one-letter-different  Ximenia doesn't even place. She's a nature name in Spanish--the Ximenia plant produces limes.

Xois- Historically, Xois is the capital of an Egyptian dynasty, but to American ears she just sounds like Lois with an X. She's definitely an unusual appellation, but I like that she comes with the nickname Xoie.

Monday, April 27, 2015

-ina Names

Image Credit
One of the enduring name trends of this century is long, extravagant names. It's not uncommon for parents to want a name that sounds glamorous, posh, or even "princessy." I've listed 70 of the most useable -ina names--all of them over two syllables--that would be considered quite regal.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Tree Names

Image Credit
Arbor Day greetings! Nature is a wonderful source of baby name inspiration--trees are especially great. I've noticed more and more tree names on babies lately--has anyone else? Let me know your favorites in the comments (I'm rather partial to Birch).

Acacia- Acacia is a stunningly beautiful name. At only #2257, I'm surprised she isn't more popular.

Ash- Has Ash officially gone to the boys? I definitely prefer him for a son, but I'm not sure everyone agrees with me. If you do like him for a boy, here's a list of full names.

Aspen- Nine times out of ten, people will first associate Aspen with the ski town. So if you want people to know you chose it for the nature connotations, I suggest having a nature (or even tree) themed sibset. I like Aspen, Linden, and Juniper.

Birch- Birch trees are some of my favorites, which might be why I love Birch as a name so much. It would be perfect for a middle name.

Cedar- Arguably the best part about nature names is that almost all of them are unisex. You can use the majority of these names on either a boy or girl, Cedar included.

Cypress- Cypress is the second of two place/tree names on this list. It is actually slightly more popular for girls, which surprised me. I thought it would lean boy because of the similarity to Cyrus.

Elm- Elmo may be off the table, but Elm makes a fantastic alternative. It also makes a great way to honor any Elmers in your life.

Hickory- I've never met a baby named Hickory. Or even heard of one, for that matter. However, it's not an uncommon dog name, and if you've ever looked at pet name data, you know that pet name trends tend to be a step ahead of baby name trends. Does that convince you to use Hickory?

Juniper- Juniper is on fire. She has only been in the top 1000 three years, but has skyrocketed all the way up to #648. That's a 227 place jump from the year before. Who knows where she'll be at in the 2014 data. Top 400, maybe?

Linden- Gender-wise, Linden is very apathetic. It's currently 55% female and 45% male. Spelled Lyndon (like LBJ), it's 89% male. Linden is a nice substitute for the oh-so-popular London.

Magnolia- Magnolia trees are gorgeous around this time--they have the prettiest pink flowers. She's also a lovely name, and has a lot of nickname options.

Maple- Maple and sound-alike sister Mabel are both on the rise here in the U.S. The former is much less trendy, at only #3284. Maple would make a great name for anyone's baby, but especially for syrup-lovers, Canadians, and tree-enthusiasts.

Oak- I never gave Oak much thought as a name until the beautiful LaTonya Staubs gave it to her son (a brother to River!). His full name is Oak Tullier (too-YAY), which is a perfect combo.

Olive- Olive was on my list for a long long time, until I began hearing too much of her (what should that be called--name fatigue?). I still think she's a very sweet, but at #290, she may be at risk of losing her hipster charm and becoming mainstream.

Pine- Strong, concise names for boys are having a moment. If you're a fan of this trend (like me), put Pine on your list. He's unique, on-trend, and a nature name.

Willow- Could Willow break the top 100 this year? She's at #155, and still rising, so there's a chance. If you're looking for a cool nickname for Willow, I suggest Loie or Billie.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

10 W Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

Image Credit
If I had to choose one letter to name boys with, it would be W. Warren and Walter are my current tops, but this list has opened up my eyes to some potential new favorites (I'm loving Walden).

Wagner- Wagner is a fairly popular surname, but he's rarely used as a first name. He's familiar, easy to pronounce and spell, two syllables, and ends in -er, so you can't lose with Wagner.

Walden- Any Henry David Thoreau fans out there? There's no better tribute to the esteemed author than naming your child after his most famous piece of work. Plus, Walden is right on trend, and super uncommon.

Wander- I was trying to think of interesting W word names for boys, and then it hit me--Wander. He'd be perfect for the child of travel-loving parents, either as a first or a middle.

Ward- Ward is what I would call cowboy-cool. He fits in with other country-western favorites like Colt, Jet, and Chase. If you want something a little longer, you could go with Warden (though the prison association is a little too much for me, personally).

Warner- Warner is a German surname that has a good history of use as a first name here in the U.S. He peaked in 1935 (at #445), but was around the 500 mark until the 1940s. If Warren isn't a usable option for you, consider Warner. He's an anagram of Warren, and sounds slightly more contemporary.

Weber- Weber is one of the best surname choices for a son. He's an occupational name meaning "weaver," and has the added bonus of the adorable nickname Webb.

Wheeler- Sensing a theme here? Wheeler is one I hear mentioned in the baby name community regularly, and I can see why. He's a unique and masculine surname name, but has a softness in him that none of the others have.

Willem- Willem is super rad--his only downside is that he will be confused for William. Willem is the Dutch form of William, but he's a lovely choice whether you are from the Netherlands or not.

Willoughby- The most intriguing full name for Will is Willoughby. Hands down. You can't really get a name more exceptional than this. He's understandably a little much for most people, but if you can handle Willoughby, by all means, go for it.

Winslow- Winslow is just darling--he's super sweet. He makes a great honor name for all those Winstons born around WWII.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Full Names for Evie

I was going through my archives the other day, and was shocked to find out that I hadn't done a post on Evie yet (!) Evie is one of my favorite cutesy nicknames for girls, and she has so many options for full names. If you're not a fan of any of the following, just use Evie on her own (that's how I prefer it).

Eva--At #88, Eva's rapid revival is plateauing. However, she will remain popular for years to come, and is a classy, sophisticated name for a daughter.

Evangeline--There's a plethora of nickname options for Evangeline, but Evie is by far the sweetest, most contemporary option. Evangeline means "good news," making her an adorable name for any baby girl.

Eve--Eve and Eva are so similar, yet there is such disparity in their popularity. Eva stands tall at #88, while Eve remains overlooked at just #490. The style gap has always been there. Eva peaked in 1900 at #33, and Eve was the most popular in 1907 at #414. Does this surprise anyone else? They are both beautiful names but the bottom line is if you prefer uncommon names, go with Eve.

Evelina--Want a princess-y sounding name? Just choose one ending in -ina. No other suffix for girls feels more fantastical. Evelina is not yet in the top 1000, but parents are noticing her charm--she is quickly rising up the charts.

Evelyn--This elegant, vintage beauty is our most popular of the list--#20 in 2013. If there are other Evelyns in your neighborhood, the nickname Evie could set yours apart.

Evening--I talked about Evening on Friday in my Night Names post. -ing names are not common choices for American parents, but the Eve- prefix (and accessibility to Evie) make Evening very usable.

Geneva--Ooh, I would love to meet a baby named Geneva. She's a unique yet known name, which is a combination many parents are looking for.

Genevieve--Genevieve ranks at #219, but I wouldn't be surprised to see her in the top 150 next month. That would be a long way to jump, so if it doesn't happen this year, expect Genevieve to break 150 in 2015. As far as nicknames go, Evie is much more modern than Gen.

Guinevere--Finally, we have Guinevere. She's seen as somewhat nicknameless, but Evie works perfectly. I also know a Guinevere who goes by Guinnie, if that's more your style.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Night Names

Image Credit
Last Friday I talked about Day Names, so today, I've got to talk about Night. This is my favorite of the two lists--night names are a little more mysterious.

Dream--I've never heard her used before, but I think Dream would make a very sweet name for a girl. My preference for obscure word names is to put them in the middle, but if you like it as a first, go for it.

Evening--Eve, Evie, and Evangeline are all currently trendy, so Evening seems like a logical progression. Plus, if you're baby is born after 5 o'clock, her name would be a nod to her time of birth.

Glow--Glow is a precious, ethereal name with ties to the night sky. Rubyellen of Cakies gave it to her youngest daughter, and I find it absolutely darling.

Leila--Leila means "night" in Arabic, so she's the perfect subtle pick for a night time baby girl. Layla is the more dominant spelling (#30 vs. #215), but Leila is the original.

Lila--Lila shares the same roots as Leila, but is not quite as popular. She currently ranks at #192, but is on a slow and steady slide downwards after she peaked in 2010.

Luna--Luna is such a magical name. She's mystical and feminine. Any girl named Luna is bound to be a stunner.

Moon--Moon is one of my guilty pleasure names. She's understated and gorgeous--Moon makes a great middle or first name.

Noir--Talk about mysterious and elegant names. Noir is just that. It could be used for a girl or a boy, though my preference is girl.

Stella--Stella means "star," so she's well-suited for a daughter born on a clear, bright night. If Stella is too trendy for you, try the vintage Estella or Estelle.

Story--Why not name your child after a favorite bedtime ritual? Story is super cute--on her own, or as a nickname for Astoria.

Twila--If your baby is born in the twilight hours, there's no better name for her than Twila. She's sultry and smooth, as well as an update to the old favorite Tyra.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

10 W Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

Image Credit
Calling all brave namers. This list is for you. Sure, some of these names are on the tamer side, but the rest of them--not for the faint of heart.

Wandely- Oh yes. Wandely. Never heard of her? Neither has anyone else, so you've got uniqueness covered. She has the same syllable pattern of such popular names as Natalie, so Wandely's not totally out of the fashion limbo. 

Waverly- If you're going for cuteness, Waverly might be the better choice. The Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place helped propel her into the spotlight. She's currently at an all time high of #1854, but I wouldn't expect to see her in the top 1000 anytime soon.

Wendeline- Wendeline (also spelled Wendaline, Wendoline, and Wendolyn), is a variant of Gwendolyn. But, with a name as scarce as this one, you get to make up your own rules. I suggest pronouncing her WEN-dah-line (rhymes with Caroline) for a modern, more unique form of the name.

Westerly- Directional names are all the rage, but Westerly is not often heard. Westerly is a unisex name, but the -ly suffix makes her a great one to consider for a girl. 

Whimsy- See what I mean? Naming your daughter Whimsy would take a lot of courage. She sounds like a name straight out of celebrity-land, but if you love her, go for it. On the other hand, you could always play it safe and stick her in the middle ;)

Willabelle- The syrupy, fantastical -belle names can be hit-or-miss, but I'm kinda liking Willabelle. She may be a bit over the top, but in this day and age, practically anything is useable. Willa is my choice of nickname. 

Winna- I was so incredibly happy when I discovered this name. I thought Winna was perfect. Then I realized she sounds like "winner" and my heart was broken. That doesn't make her totally unusable, but you better live in a place where they pronounce their R's. 

Winslet- Kate Winslet makes her surname an absolutely gorgeous and accessible option for girls. The sounds are slightly tomboyish, but the touch of Hollywood glam makes Winslet decidedly feminine. 

Wisteria- Wisteria is a beautiful flower and purple hue that you most likely recognize from your Crayola box. It's quite rare to find a four syllable name without an obvious nickname, but Wisteria fits the bill. 

Wynne- Wynn is a traditionally unisex name, but the extra E makes her much more girly. If you would prefer to use her as a nickname, some possible full forms are Gwendolyn, Wendeline, Winslet, and Winter. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Full Names for Gigi

Add caption
Gigi is one of those cutesy, double-barrel nicknames that everyone loves. She can be a nickname for so many names, it can be overwhelming to pick just one. I made a giant list for you today--take a look and tell me your favorites.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Day Names

Image Credit
Baby name inspiration can come from anywhere. Even the time of day your child was born. If you have (or plan to have) a daytime baby, consider some of the following names.

Asa--Asa means "born in the morning," so there's no better name for a daytime son. On top of that, Asa is very stylish right now, and has both Hebrew and Japanese roots. Perfect for families of mixed cultures.

Birdie--The early bird catches the worm--in this case, early Birdie. She's not popular at all, ranking at #3604, but I could see her becoming more mainstream in the near future.

Danica--Danica means "morning star," which is ideal for a baby born in the wee hours before dawn.

Dawn--Then again, you could always go with Dawn herself. She will soon be heading into grandma territory, so if datedness bothers you, I would use her as a middle.

Day--Day is another one that works better in the middle. Short, unisex word names are extremely popular for middle names right now, and Day fits all the criterion.

Dia--Dia is the Spanish word for Day, and works a little bit better as a name. With the popularity of Mia, Gia, and Lia, Dia would not be shocking as a first name.

Early--What better name for an early morning baby than Early? She's cute, upbeat, and a perfect way to honor an Earl.

Noon--Similarly to Day, Noon works best as a middle name. That's not to say you can't use it as a first--I would love to meet a baby named Noon (bonus points if he or she was actually born at 12).

Sunny--Sunny is an adorable, celebrity-endorsed name that would be lovely on a daytime baby.

I'm off next week for Spring Break, so I will see you all back here on the 13th. Happy Springtime holidays!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

10 V Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

Image Credit
V names may be getting trendy for girls, but they're far from popular with the boys. The first one on the top 1000 is Victor--and he's only at #101. You won't find many V boy names in use--which could be perfect if you want an uncommon name. Here are my picks for the 10 best V names outside the top 1000.

Van- He's concise, easy to spell and pronounce, and won't be confused for other names. That makes Van perfect, in my book.

Vardon- Vardon is a French surname that would translate easily to an American baby. For those of you who like nicknameless names, Vardon (or the alternate spelling, Varden) is a good option.

Vasco- If you need a name that would work in the United States and Latin America, Vasco tops my list of suggestions. He's got serious swagger and spunk.

Venn- Venn will always remind me of Venn diagrams (maybe because I'm still in high school), but that's not a bad association at all. He makes a great alternative to Ben--though that could be confusing at times.

Vermont- Hands down, Vermont is one of the most beautiful states in America. He would also make an unusual, yet super rad name for a boy. If you have some sort of connection to Vermont, it might be worth it to consider him for a son.

Vero- If you've been reading this series long enough, you know how much I love a short, ends-in-o name for boys. Vero is no exception. He sounds a lot like the slowly rising Vera, but has a more youthful feel.

Viggo- I can't even begin to tell you how much I adore Viggo. I'm definitely a sucker for Scandinavian names. He is modern and unique, yet people are familiar with the name. Viggo's a winner.

Ving- Ving has pizzaz and vitality. Sure, he's originally a diminutive of Irving, but Ving has potential. At the very least, he'd make a good nickname.

Vito- I don't put much stock into the meaning of names, but it can be an important factor for some parents. Vito means "life," which is one of the best meanings out there. Want to make a "life" meaning sibset? Check out this list. Vito and Liv, maybe?

Vlad- Vlad is kind of a tough sell. He's got some rough associations (to be fair, he has some good ones, too) and is rarely used in America. That being said, he has a nice sound, and would be a lovely choice if you have Russian heritage.