Friday, July 31, 2015

Nautical Names

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I profiled Beachy Names last week, and while this is a similar post (a few names overlap), Nautical Names are much different. Beachy Names have a laid back, summery feel, where as Nautical Names are much preppier, and less nature-y. Which do you prefer? Let me know.

Anchor- The symbol of preppiness everywhere, Anchor makes a wonderful name for your strong, sea-loving son or daughter.

Beacon- As in lighthouse. I've talked about Beacon many times before (here, here, here, and here) with the hopes of convincing people to use it. No luck yet, but I'm still hopeful.

Catalina- A Catalina is a type of yacht, and arguably, one of the most usable names on this list. No one would blink an eye at a baby named Catalina, or, at least I wouldn't.

Crew- All boats need a crew, so why not have it be your son? He's short, punchy, and with similarities to names like Cruz, makes a spectacular nautical name.

Harbor- Harbor is a name I'm always telling people to use. It can be used on a boy or girl, and it's the best alternative to Harper.

Marina- Some people park their boats in the Harbor, others, the Marina. Sibset potential? Marina is very graceful and feminine--qualities not often found in preppy or nautical names.

Nautica- Sometimes names with subtle connections are in order, and other times they are not. Nautica falls into the latter camp, as she is merely one letter away from being "nautical."

Navy- Navy and white are the two most nautical colors, but unfortunately White doesn't work as a name. But Navy is a lovely name, so long as you convince people it's after the color, not the branch of military.

Sailor- Even though Christie Brinkley named Sailor back in 1998, the name has only recently experienced mega-gains. Sailor is a unisex name, but is currently used for girls 90% of the time.

Sea- Sea is one of my very favorites. She's ethereal and whimsical and oh-so-lovely.

Skipper- A skipper is a captain of a boat, as well as Barbie's little sister. That makes me see it as more of a girls name, but I suppose it would also work well on boys. Skip, Skippy, and Kip are some possible nicknames.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

10 African Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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I talked a lot about meanings in last Wednesday's post, and today will be no different. African names have some of the best meanings, which can add a special level of connection to your child's name. Take a look, and as always, I want to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Ade- Ade is a short and sweet name that would be lovely on his own or as a nickname. More mainstream full name choices include Adam, Adler, Adrian, or Aiden.

Bayo- Bayo is a unisex name meaning "joy has found us." How simple and delightful--it's exactly the message I would want to give my baby.

Garian- Garian is a place name--it's a town in the African country Libya. Even though most people have never heard of him before, he's the name on this list that would be easiest to wear as an American child.

Haji- This Swahili name is especially popular among Muslims, as he means "born during the pilgrimage to Mecca." Haji would be a nice way to incorporate your heritage and religion into your son's name.

Ibo- I'm a sucker for a short name, so it should come as no surprise that I'm enchanted by Ibo. He means "my people," which is charming.

Iniko- I didn't include him on my Full Names for Nick post, but I should have, because Iniko easily lends himself to Nick or Niko. Plus, he's way more interesting that Nicholas. 

Kito- Kito is cute, rather nickname-y Swahili name that means "precious jewel" (as seen on Monday). If you don't like the idea of Kito as the full name, he'd be a wonderful short form of Christopher.

Kwame- Every time I see the name Kwame, my mind immediately goes to Ja'mie, Private School Girl, the funniest TV show I have ever seen. It features an endearing character named Kwame, which convinces me that this Ghanian name is very usable.

Odion- Odion is pronounced oh-dee-OHN, and is commonly used on the first born twin, as that is his meaning. He's Nigerian in origin, but I could definitely see him on an American child.

Zikomo- While name meanings don't actually have an effect on childrens' personalities, it certainly doesn't hurt to try. If you want a polite, well-mannered child, Zikomo could be the name for you. He means "thank you," one of the first phrases we try and teach our children.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Same Meaning Sibsets: Part Five

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Time for Part Five! I'm really excited about today's list, especially the sibsets under Gold. The names are wonderful, and the meaning is a fun one. Enjoy!

Adamina + Fairchild
Aiko + Rai
Donnan + Lundy
Evelyn + Miriam
Hanako + Machiko
Haruki, Keiko, + Umeko
Mika, Naoko, + Sachi
Sachiko + Tamako

Aurelia + Cressida
Eldora + Ophira
Flavia, Melora, + Zorina
Gilda + Tawny
Xanthe, Zariza, + Zehavi

Bijou + Sapphira
Kito + Tamayo
Soraya + Takara

Conlan, Dooley, + McKinley
Curran + Finley
Rodion + Sweeney

Anju + Katana
Annora, Merida, + Timaeus
Brian + Timothy
Nabila, Kanye, + Sade

Asha, Nadia + Raja
Esperanza + Taraji

Friday, July 24, 2015

Beachy Names

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Summer is in full swing, and what better time than now to give your child a beachy name? Here are my favorites.

Blue- The color of almost everything at the beach, from the waves to the sky.

Coral- A cute, retro spin on the trendy Cora.

Cove- A cool, up-and-coming nature name for boys.

Dune- A unisex name (also spelled Doon) that conjures up images of the sand hills.

Harbor- For those of you who want a beachy alternative to Harper.

Lake- In Chicago we swim at the lake, so this will always have a beachy feel to me.

Marine- Chicer and more unique than Marina. Marine is very trendy in France.

Oceane- One of my favorite water names. This French name is pronounced oh-SHAY-ahn.

Palma- Palm trees remind me of beach vacations, and Palma reminds me of palm trees. Perfect.

Pearl- The best ocean treasure.

Roxy- Roxy is a cute swimwear company based in California. She's usually used as a nickname for Roxanne, but your beach babe can rock it on it's own.

Sandy- Dated, but most definitely beachy.

Sea- Sea is another one of my favorite water names. She's absolutely lovely. Use her on her own, or as a nickname for Season.

Sky- The beach isn't all about the sand and water--the sky is beautiful as well.

Summer- The best time to go to the beach.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

10 African Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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African names are so stunning--gotta love all those long vowels--but are widely underused across America. And what a shame, because look at all these great ones! Here are ten dazzling choices beyond Nia and Zahara.

Behati- Behati is the African version of Beatrice, and most notably, the name of Adam Levine's supermodel fiancee. Could that be enough to propell her into the top 1000? As of right now, it's doubtful.

Eshe- Many of us look for names with beautiful meanings, and Eshe has just that--"life." I didn't include Eshe on this list, but you might consider her for a same meaning sibset. Eshe and Ava, maybe?

Fayola- Faye recently made it into the top 1000--albeit, at #908--and I expect to see a slow and steady rise from her. Fayola makes the perfect full name, and you'd be ahead of the trend.

Kessie- I've said this before, but this time I really mean it. Kessie has the absolute best meaning I have ever heard. Ready? "Chubby baby." Ahhh! Use Kessie as a nickname for Keziah if you find her too nickname-y.

Maisha- Maisha is a name with a couple different pronounciations and origins. The first is the Swahili way, my-EE-shuh. Pronounced MIESH-uh, she's a Bengali name. Both are lovely, though I hear the former much more often. Other, more popular spellings include Myesha and Myisha.

Masika- The only association most people have with this name is Masika Kalysha, model and star of Love & Hip Hop. She seems relatively new to the scene--with a bit more notoriety, I believe her name could become very popular.

Neema- How sweet is Neema? She has a gorgeous sound--one that would be right on trend in this age of Ninas and Mias.

Nemy- Very similar, yet with a whole different feel is Nemy. Contrary to her looks, she does not rhyme Remy, but rather, is pronounced NEE-mee. Nemy could be used as a nickname for Neema, but I enjoy the casual, carefree vibe of using her as the full name.

Safiya- Safiya is an African (and Arabic and Turkish) name that has a history of use in the Muslim community. She sounds like an offshoot of Sophia--and believe me, she would be confused for one--but the two are not related.

Tisa- Tisa is a cute and chirpy name usually reserved for the ninth born child in African families. I'm a fan of bending naming rules--so use her for whatever child you want--but I do think it'd be cute on the ninth born grandchild, or something along those lines.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Catalog Names: Mini Boden, Fall 2015

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I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this list. Some of my favorites are on here! Nell, Poppy, Reid--I'm in love. Tell me your favorites--and please note, the spellings are all correct ;)

Willow (x2)


Friday, July 17, 2015

Celestial Names: Constellations

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Ever thought of looking towards the night sky for baby name inspiration? Constellations have wonderful names--I've picked out the best and most useable to list here today.




Wednesday, July 15, 2015

10 English Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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This new series has gotten a great response so far. I'm glad you all like it as much as I do. Today we're on English names for boys--there's one for every comfort zone.

Auberon- Auberon is a nice option for parents looking for a more delicate, not hyper-masculine name. He derives from Aubrey, so he has potential to be an honor name as well. 

Benton- Yes, there are many ways to get to Ben. But Benton is one of the most attractive of the bunch. Plus, he's easy to pronounce and spell, so there'd be little to no confusion. 

Hobson- Hobson has a delightfully British sound, but I think he'd do well in America. He comes from Robert, and hasn't been in the top 1000 since 1900. As a bonus, the nickname Hobbes has a innocent and playful feel, thanks to Bill Watterson's comic books. 

Hyde- Has Hyde given up his Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde association? My first thought is the Chicago neighborhood Hyde Park, but I am a native Chicagoan. I like Hyde's short simplicity and surname feel. He'd be wonderful as a middle, and perhaps as a first name if you're undeterred. 

Jem- What do you guys think of Jem? Personally, I see him as a lovely nickname for James, Jeremy, and the like. But I worry he sounds too feminine for American ears. I would LOVE to see someone use Jem on a son--please tell me if you do. 

Ogden- I talked about Ogden in my O Names post back in December. He's still one of my favorites--wouldn't the nickname Oggie be so cute?

Palmer- I always find it interesting which names gain favor, and which ones are left behind. Palmer is definitely one of the latter, though similar names like Parker and Porter have had major success. The palm association makes him ideal for an Easter or summertime baby. 

Shaw- Shaw is another name I wonder about all the time. He's uncomplicated, neat, and a surname name. Why haven't people discovered him? With the Seans, Shauns, and Shawns of the world preparing to become parents, maybe Shaw will see a resurgance. 

St. John- Quite possibly the best baby name trivia question ever: How do you pronounce St. John? Ask anyone on the street, and they'll give you a funny look and say (SAINT-JON). Anyone who's thoroughly examined a baby name book will tell you, nope, it's SIN-jin. How's that for confusing? Fortunately, if you named your baby St. John, you could pronounce it however you please--there aren't enough of them in America for it to be "wrong." If you did choose to pronounce it the traditional way, be prepared for a lot of correcting. 

Tad- Let's end on a more usable one. Tad is nickname for Theodore (originally Thaddeus), which is great if you love it, but can't get behind Theo or Teddy. People seem to have trouble finding ways to honor Todds, but his similarity to Tad makes me think that this could work. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Same Meaning Sibsets: Part Four

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These same meaning sibsets are some of my favorites to make. I know you guys like them too, and I want to know what meanings you'd like to be featured. Tell me in the comments below, and it might be in the next SMS post!

Banning + Venn
Beal + Finley
Justin + McKinley

Aloisia + Clothilde
Estes + Roald
Filmore + Roger
Herbert, Roland, + Rudy
Orlando + Rowena

Edan, Haco + Nuri
Egan + Hayden
Tyson + McCoy

Florence + Thalia
Florin + Umar

Fayola + Tarot
Felicity, Gadiel + Halona

Alden + Cara
Baldwin + Bellamy
Connelly + Darwin
Edwin, Ruthie, + Winnie
Khalil + Rafiq
Nadim, Sadik, + Yadira
Raya + Samir

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hipster Baby Name or Hipster City: International Edition

One of my most popular posts is Hipster Baby Name or Hipster City? Now I'm bringing it back, but this time we're going outside of the states. What exactly is a hipster baby name? Hipster baby names seem too quirky, old fashioned, or extreme for yuppie parents. In fact, they're probably names you never would have thought of. The trickier part is identifying a hipster city--I had some trouble with it myself. For the purpose of this post, a hipster city has to be well-known for housing trend-setting twenty-somethings. I know that every city has a hipster neighborhood, but to be a real HC, it has to go beyond that (Tip: the bigger the city, the more likely it is to be a hipster city). Good luck on the quiz, and make sure to come back after the jump to read my justifications.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

10 English Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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English names are always popular in America, due to the fact that there is no language or pronounciation barrier. However, trends in Britain are very different from those on this side of the pond. I've picked ten very British names for this list today--any of which would be right at home in America.

Araminta- Araminta is one of those quintessentially English names. She's long and regal, but in true British style, comes with a spunky nickname--Minty.

Cicely- Cicely is the English form of Cecilia. Switch the i for an e, and you have Cecily--who's poised to break into the top 1000. Or, spell her Sicily, and she becomes an Italian place name.

Ginny- Sweet Ginny was long ago replaced by Jenny, though I believe she may be making a comeback. I've met more than one young Ginny at my job, and she sounds very fresh. In these days where we're tired of Jennys and Jennifers, might Ginny be the perfect solution?

Halsey- Halsey is an undiscovered gem. She's a great alternative and honor name for Hallie and Holly, and she fits right in with the preppy surname trend.

Jennison- Like I said before, people are so over Jennifer (well, not everyone, she's actually still at #220). Jennison is a more contemporary option, and shares many of the same sounds--she's honor name material.

Jessamy- If Jessamine is a little much for you, try Jessamy. This less formal variation is bright and chirpy. She means jasmine flower, which is fantastic if you need to honor a Jasmine.

Norabel- If you're looking to expound upon Nora, but aren't a fan of Honora, Norabel could be the right name for you. She's quirky and cute--and much more interesting than Annabel. Best of all, as a smush name, she has a whole new meaning--beautiful light. Can't get much better than that.

Ouida- I always like to throw a polarizing name into the mix. You're either going to love Ouida, or you'll hate her. She's a diminutive of Louisa and Ouisa, and pronounced WEE-dah. Ouida requires a brave namer, but I think she'd be an amazing addition to many European inspired sibsets (Tilda and Ouida, Romy and Ouida?)

Romilly- Speaking of Romy, my favorite full name for her is Romilly. She was originally a boy name, but now would only be considered for a daughter. Romilly couldn't be more perfect for Italian-English families, considering her British roots and meaning of "man of Rome."

Tamsin- Looking for a good name for a twin? Try Tasmin, as that is her meaning. She comes from Thomasina, a name that's almost never used today. If you must use a nickname, Tamsy is much more modern (and more British) than Tammy.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Jul- Names

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As it is the first full week in July, it seemed only fitting to do a post on names with the Jul- prefix. They're wonderful for a baby born any time of the year, but it can also make a special connection between their name and birth month.

Jules--cute, but I prefer it on boys.
Julha--July in Portuguese.
Julia--classic and classy.
Julianna--an elegant, tasteful choice.
Julianne--she's growing on me, thanks to Julianne Moore.
Julianita--quite a mouthful.
Julie--heading into grandma name territory.
Julieta--we love Juliette, so why not Julieta? She's lovely.
Juliet(te)--Peoples' Choice Award for favorite Jul- name.
Julina--not one you hear often, but very pretty.
Juline--the -line suffix is pretty dated, but Juline was never popular, so you could get away with it.
Julinka--the Hungarian version of Julia has a quirky feel that I adore.
Julissa--this way you can use Lissy as a nickname.
July--I love July! She's my favorite underused month name.

Jules--so handsome and European.
Julian--on the rise and poised to break the top 40.
Juliano--Julian with some added Latin flair.
Julio--Doesn't he just make you think of that fabulous Simon & Garfunkel song?
Julius--not quite as popular as the similar Julian, but nevertheless, he's on the up and up.