Monday, August 31, 2015

Middle Name Round-Up

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It's the last day of August, and sadly, the last day of our Middle Name Month. As I've shown you this month, almost any name makes a great middle name. In fact, many of us consider names for the middle position that we would never dream of using as first names. I've compiled a list of lists--all past posts of mine that include wonderful middle name options for boys and girls. Happy naming!

Nature Names
Nature names are widely appealing, and they make up some of the most popular middle names. These lists offer many more options beyond Rose, and they might even take you in an unexpected direction (fruit and veggie names, anyone?)

Fruit and Vegetable Names:
My favorite middles: Fig, Huckleberry, and Plum
Herbs and Spice Names
My favorite middles: Artemisia, Nigella, and Quassia
Squash and Pumpkin Names
My favorite middles: Cocozelle, Kuri, and Valenciano
Tree Names
My favorite middles: Ash, Birch, and Hickory
Unexpected Flower Names
My favorite middles: Anemone, Larkspur, and Petunia

Out-of-the-Box Names
If you're a more cautious namer, there's no better place for an out-of-the-box name than the middle. Out-of-the-Box Names are free-spirited and whimsical, and--in my opinion--make the cutest middle names.

Camera Names
My favorite middles: Kodak, Leica, and Olympus
Car Inspired Names
My favorite middles: Alfa, Lotus, and Tesla
Fashion Trends as Names
My favorite middles: Chevron, Dot, and Peplum
Holiday Names
My favorite middles: Holiday, Season, and Yule
Pattern Names
My favorite middles: Gingham, Grain, and Tartan
Royalty Inspired Names
My favorite middles: Baron, Noble, and Royal
Sports Names
My favorite middles: Cricket, Derby, and League

Virtue Names
Perhaps the most enduring middle name trend is virtue names. Nowadays we see plenty of girls with Grace in the middle, though in the past picks like Joy, Faith, and Hope were also popular. These lists offer some more modern choices.

Modern Virtue Names for Girls
My favorite middles: Divinity, Hero, and Virtue
Modern Virtue Names for Boys
My favorite middles: Candor, Reason, and Zeal

Word Names
Like out-of-the-box names, word names can be very playful when used in the middle. They range from conservative to offbeat, but all of them are delightful.

Beachy Names
My favorite middles: Dune, Marine, and Oceane
Calendar Names
My favorite middles: Season, Tuesday, and Winter
Day Names
My favorite middles: Asa, Dia, and Early
Nautical Names
My favorite middles: Beacon, Sailor, and Sea
Night Names
My favorite middles: Dream, Moon, and Story
State Capital Names
My favorite middles: Augusta, Helena, and Honolulu

Friday, August 28, 2015

Word Names


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Word names make great middle names. We see it all the time with celebrities--Charlie Ballerina, Sparrow James Midnight, Buddy Bear, etc. But you don't need to be a celebrity to go big in the middle. The best part about middle name is that they are just that: in the middle! They aren't used on a regular basis, so have fun with it. I've got 150 options here, ranging from the safe and easy to the truly outrageous. It's all after the jump.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

10 Greek Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Today is all about Greek names for boys, so lets get right to it! You know the drill.

Ajax- Ajax has two common associations: Ajax the Great and Ajax the cleaning product. If you can get past the latter, he is a strong and heroic Greek name, and a unique way to get to Jax.

Calix- Calix is one of the few male names that derived from a female one. In this case, he comes from Calixta, which means "most beautiful." If you're looking for a novel name featuring the letter "X," Calix is a wonderful option.

Castor- The ultimate astrology themed twinset? Castor and Pollux, obviously. They are the twins of the Gemini constellation. Castor is the more usable name of the two, especially in America. And if the oil association bothers you, just think--would it stop you from using Olive?

Ezio- Ezio is by far my favorite of today's list. He's pronounced EYH-tzee-oh, and is quite the hit in France. He means "eagle," making him the perfect name for a Greek-American.

Linus- Yep! Linus is a Greek name. If it weren't for the Peanuts association, Linus would be so darn popular (a la Silas, Elias and Jonas) that I wouldn't need to include him on this list. They seem to like him in Northern Europe though.

Nikos- A more handsome, contemporary version of Nick. Nikos feels much more Greek than the similar Nico, yet is still extremely wearable.

Osias- Is this some biblical name you've never heard of? Nope, though he sure sounds like it. Osias (also spelled Ozias) is right on trend, plus, he comes with the cool nickname Ozzie.

Pan- I love cute little short names, so yes, I'm falling for Pan. My only hesitation is that in America, where many people speak Spanish, he would literally mean "bread." Is that a deal breaker?

Ptolemy- The Pt- of Ptolemy might be hard for a kiddo to understand, but that's no reason not to use this name (I had trouble grasping the fact that a ph makes an "F" sound). The most famous Ptolemy (actually Claudius Ptolemy) was a jack of all trades, specializing in math, astronomy, poetry, and astrology.

Theon- Another name that appeals to mathematicians in Theon. He was a famous math teacher, and his daughter was the first female mathematician. He is also a character on Game of Thrones, if that's more your scene. Theon is similar enough to Theo so he feels familiar, yet different enough so he feels inventive.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Middle Name Survey

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Hello everyone! Today's middle name post is more of a middle name survey. In fact, that's exactly what it is. Please take the quick survey below--with enough responses I can glean some statistics from the data. Feel free to submit other forms with the middle names of your children, parents, siblings, etc. Thanks so much! I'll see you back here on Wednesday for Greek Names for Boys.



*UPDATE* This survey is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated--I was blown away with hundreds of responses!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Best Middle Names for Girls

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As I mentioned on Monday, the best middle names are those of which the second syllable is stressed. Some of the most popular nicknames for girls follow this pattern--think Marie, Nicole, Louise, Michelle, etc. This list contains all of the girl names I could think of that fit the description, though I'm sure I missed a few. Let me know your favorites (I'm partial to Marais).

Abril
Adele
Aldine
Aline
Amor
Anouk
Berlin
Bernice
Boheme
Brianne
Brielle
Calais
Camille
Capri
Caprice
Cecile
Celeste
Celine
Cerie
Cerise
Chanel
Chantel
Charlene
Charlize
Ciel
Citron
Clarice
Clotilde
Colette
Colleen
Danielle
Danit
Delphine
Deneb
Eileen
Elaine
Elise
Estelle
Faustine
Geneve
Georgette
Giselle
Harpreet
Helaine
Iman
Ione
Irene
Janelle
Joanne
Jolie
July
Justine
Kathleen
LaRue
LaSalle
LaShay
Leanne
Louise
Lourdes
LuAnn
Lucille
Maelys
Malone
Marais
Marie
Marin
Marine
Matisse
Maureen
Maxine
Michelle
Miel
Molloy
Monet
Monroe
Nanette
Nicole
Pauline
Quebec
Raquel
Renee
Rochelle
Roisin
Rosette
Sabine
Serene
Shalom
Shirin
Simone
Siobhan
Solange
Soleil
Tabit
Tamar
Therese
Unique

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

10 Greek Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Greek names are some of the most beautiful--though I might be biased: Sophia is Greek. Nevertheless, I do really like the list I've created today, so take a look, then tell me what you think.

Beta- Beta is the second letter of the Greek alphabet and a widely used tech term. She's synonymous with being second, making her perfect for child number two. Add a syllable and you get Beata--another pretty European name.

Circe- Circe is one of my most favorite C names (behind Clementine), and it's always surprised me that she's not used more often. She means "bird," which I think is just adorable.

Cybele- Cybele (that's SIB-el-ee, though I've also heard sib-EL-ee) is the best name for a strong, powerful, feminine woman, as she means "mother of all gods." She's the goddess of fertility, health, and nature--quite the trifecta for a baby girl.

Eleni- Much like the more familiar Elena, Eleni originally comes from the name Helen. She is quite popular in Greece, and I hope to see her catch on in the United States. With Elena poised to break the top 100, it's quite possible people will begin to look for alternatives--my pick is Eleni.

Evanthia- Evanthia is the Greek version of Evanthe, and she's absolutely stunning. It's difficult to find much information about her. You can seldom find her in a baby name book. Maybe she's meant for those who like a little bit of mystery in their lives.

Hero- I feel like I rave about Hero all the time. There's just something about her. She strikes me as a feminist name, i.e. Hero not Heroine, and girls can be heroes too! Catch my drift?

Lilika- While she might seem like a variation of Lily, Lilika actually stems from Evangelia. That doesn't mean that you can't use Lili as a nickname though, infact, that would be pretty cute.

Petra- There are plenty of ways to honor a Peter (some I've profiled lately), but Petra is one of my favorites. She's definitely a pan-European choice--Petra is most popular in the Czech Republic, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Sophronia- Sophia for brave namers. Sophie seems like the obvious nickname, though Phronsie and Frona are two more unique options. I'm very intrigued by Sophronia--anyone else feel the same way?

Theodosia- Theodosia is another name I've talked about before. She is a mouthful, but I actually think she is usable. In part due to her nicknames: the androgynous Theo or cutesy Dot.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Best Middle Names for Boys

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What makes these the best middle names for boys? The secret is in the syllable pattern. Two syllable names with the second syllable stressed flow with any name--long or short. This makes them some of the most popular options for middle names, though many people can't articulate what makes them like a particular combo or middle name (like I said, it's the syllable pattern). I've listed as many options as I can think of here. Any that I missed? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Abdul
Ahmad
Amir
Andres
Aziz
Cadell
Cornell
Darnell
Durand
Duval
Emile
Eugene
Hamal
Hakim
Haroon
Hasan
Ivan
Jamal
Jerome
Joaquin
Jose
Khalil
Lamar
LaRue
Lorenz
Luis
Maguire
Malone
Manuel
Marcel
Mathis
Maurice
Maxim
McCoy
Miguel
Monroe
Nadeem
Pascal
Pascoe
Pierre
Quebec
Quennell
Ramon
Raul
Samir
Sandeep
Stefan
Tariq
Terrell
Tomas
Tullier

Friday, August 14, 2015

Long Middle Names: Girls

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Long middle names can sound quite fantastical on girls, especially when paired with a long first name. But even if the first name is relatively short, the long middle name always does a nice job of balancing it out. I have 100 three syllable names that make lovely middle names for you to look at today. Of course, there are many more that did not make this list, so tell me--on this list or otherwise--what's your favorite long middle name for a girl?

Abigail
Alaska
Alouette
Alyssa
Amandine
Amelie
Anais
Annabel
Anneliese
Ariel
Augusta
Aurora
Beatrice
Bonita
Cameo
Carissa
Carmela
Cassandra
Cecilia
Celestine
Clarissa
Claudia
Clementine
Coralie
Dahlia
Dominique
Elena
Eloise
Emily
Eulalie
Francesca
Gabrielle
Geneva
Genevieve
Gloria
Helena
Hollister
Imogen
Isabeau
Joanna
Josephine
Jubilee
Juliette
Juniper
Kerensa
Keziah
Lavender
Leona
Liatris
Lilia
Linnea
Lolita
Louisa
Lucinda
Madigan
Margaret
Maria
Marigold
Marina
Marisol
Melody
Meredith
Mignonette
Mirabel
Naomi
Nigella
Ottilie
Paloma
Peridot
Pomeline
Querida
Quintessa
Reverie
Romilly
Rosalie
Rosemary
Salome
Santana
Saskia
Sienna
Sierra
Simona
Sophia
Umbria
Verity
Veronique
Vienna
Viola
Violet
Virginia
Vivian
Ximena
Zahara
Zinnia

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

10 Scandinavian Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Last week I told you all about my love for the slim, trim Scandinavian name. That's exactly what you'll find here--no name is over two syllables long. If you are a fan of short names, the Scandinavians have got you covered. Take a look.

Espen- Espen--with his similarities to the name Aspen and favorite sports network ESPN--strikes me as the perfect name for a Scandi-American child. Even better if there are Osborns in your family--he comes from Asbjorn, from which Osborn derived.

Folke- It's no secret that hipsters love anything "folk." Folk music, folk dancing, folk festivals--you name it. So why not use it as a name for their son? Folke (with that extra "E") is an old Scandinavian name. Plus, he means "people's guardian."

Frey- When novel names become suddenly trendy, people tend to tire of them quickly. That's what happened to me and Gray/Grey. Years ago when parents first started bestowing their children with the name, I thought, "what a wonderful idea!," "how cute!," and "so creative!" Now it bores me to tears. Frey is a spectacular alternative. He's fresher, edgier, and practically unheard of. Use him instead of Grey, please.

Jens- The Jennifers of the world have exited their child-bearing years, meaning, in the next ten years or so, they will start becoming grandmothers. Jens would be spunky way to honor Grandma Jennifer--but even if you don't know any Jennifers, Jennys, or Jenns (I would be shocked), Jens still makes a fantastic name for a son.

Lars- Sweet sweet Lars is one of my all time favorites. He sounds so kind and gentle (though maybe Ryan Gosling's character in Lars and the Real Girl is coloring my perception). If you prefer him as a nickname, he works as a short form of Laurence or Larson/Larsen.

Oslo- Oslo is the capital of Norway, and a great candidate for the name of your baby boy! Some people argue that he's not "name-y" enough, but Oslo shares a likeness to Oswald, Otto, and Lazlo, so I beg to differ.

Per- Per is the Scandinavian form of Peter. He's pronounced exactly as he looks--though if you're seeking the PEER pronunciation, Peer is another option. Pelle--even though it is longer--is the original nickname for Per, though he is actually more popular in his own right.

Timo- I've been LOVING Timo lately. He's familiar yet unusual, easy to pronounce, and an all-around lovely name. You could use him as a nickname for Timothy, but I much prefer him on his own. Timo would make a nice honor name, though.

Thoren- Thoren is an elaboration on the Scandinavian god name Thor, and also a surname. People who like Thor and Tor but want a longer name to fall back on should strongly consider Thoren.

Viggo- Viggo is a cool, strong name that would be easy to use in America. He's currently most popular in Sweden, where he ranks #45, though his popularity peaked in 2009 at #26. Funnily enough, he doesn't even rank in Norway, his country of origin.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Long Middle Names: Boys

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Last week was all about the short middle name. This week we're talking long. Three syllables long. Three syllable names are not as easy to come by for boys, but I have 100 for you to take a look at. Whether you want a long middle to go with a short first name or you just want an extremely regal sounding name, I have the perfect name for you.

Abraham
Adrian
Alarik
Alberto
Alistair
Anderson
Angelo
Anthony
Augustine
Barnaby
Benedict
Benjamin
Caraway
Charleston
Christopher
Dakota
Damien
Dmitri
Dominique
Elijah
Elliot
Esteban
Florian
Francisco
Harrison
Isaiah
Isodore
Jameson
Javier
Josiah
Julian
Julius
Killian
Leander
Lorenzo
Lysander
Malachi
Marius
Matteo
Maximus
Mordecai
Nathaniel
Nicholas
Nicolai
Oberon
Orion
Oliver
Orlando
Peregrine
Phineas
Rafael
Rafferty
Reginald
Ricardo
Romeo
Salvador
Sebastian
Sheridan
Simeon
Solomon
Sylvester
Theodore
Ulysses
Vladimir
Washington
Wellington
Whittaker
Willoughby
Xavier
Zachary

Friday, August 7, 2015

Short Middle Names: Girls

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With Americans' fascination of long, extravagent first names for girls, many parents are looking for something much shorter to put in the middle. I've put together a list of 100 single syllable names for girls, any of them are perfect for the middle position. There's something for everyone on this list, whether you prefer classic, quirky, or cutesy names. Tell me in the comments: which ones would you use?

Anne
Bay
Bee
Belle
Bess
Beth
Bette
Bex
Biet
Bird
Blair
Blake
Blythe
Bo
Bree
Bren
Britt
Brooke
Brynn
Cass
Cat
Claire
Clove
Dell
Dot
Dru
Elle
Em
Eve
Faye
Fleur
France
Gem
Grace
Greer
Gwen
Harp
Hayes
Hope
Jade
Jane
Jean
Jen
Jess
Jette
Jewel
Jill
Jo
Joan
Joss
June
Kate
Kath
Kay
Kit
Lane
Lark
Lee
Lex
Lise
Liv
Lotte
Lou
Lune
Lux
Luz
Lynn
Maeve
Mai
Maude
May
Meg
Mel
Nan
Nell
Noor
Paige
Pearl
Pimm
Plum
Poe
Pomme
Prune
Quinn
Rae
Rose
Roux
Ruth
Scout
Shae
Sloane
Sol
Sue
Tate
Tess
Val
Vale
Viv
Wynne

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

10 Scandinavian Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Scandinavian names are some of my favorites. I love their minimalism--it's very reflective of the culture. Scandinavian names can make great imports. It's easy to picture American children with many of the following names. Let me know which ones you like.

Annalie- She may look like an alternate spelling of smoosh name Annalee, but Annalie is actually the Finnish form of Hannah. She's definitely a fresh substitute.

Freja- Freja is a beautiful Danish name--one of my favorites. In Norse mythology, Freyja is the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Another, more American friendly spelling is Freya.

Hedda- Hedda was originally a short form for Hedvig, the Scandinavian form of the German Hedwig. She's obviously much cuter, so use her on her own. No need to name your daughter Hedvig.

Linnea- Linnea is a gorgeous name with a scientific background. She comes from the surname of Carl Linnaeus--a botanist, physician, and zoologist who created the modern method of scientifically naming organisms. For a biology themed sibset, try Linnea and Darwin.

Malin- This contraction of Magdalene is simple, not overly feminine, and easy to pronounce and spell. Mallin is another possible spelling, though Malin is the traditional Scandinavian.

Marit- I met my first Marit the other day, and she made me fall in love with her name. She's a variation of Margaret, and has ties to Norweigan royalty.

Pirjo- I understand that Pirjo (pronounced PEER-yo) might not be the easiest name to wear as an American girl, but she's too cute (and wonderfully Scandinavian), so I couldn't pass her up. She's a diminutive of the Finnish Piritta, a variation of Birgitta. It's kind of a stretch, but Pirjo would make an adorable nickname for a Bridget.

Signe- Signe--also spelled Signy--is also a name from Norse mythology. Signy (with an accent over the Y) is the twin of Sigmund and the wife of Siggeir. In Sweden and Norway, Signe is pronounced SEENG-nee, however in Denmark is it said more like SEE-nee.

Sunniva- The cheerful Sunniva--that's SOON-ee-vah--means "sun's gift." Sunny, Eva, or Evie make lovely nicknames, though I like her in her whole form.

Tove- Tove is quintessentially Scandinavian. She's best known as the name of author and illustrator Tove Jansson, the creator of the Moomin series (pictured above). Tove is pronounced like Tova, which is an alternate, easier spelling for the English-speaking.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Short Middle Names: Boys

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Happy August! After writing my post on Middle Name Statistics, I became obsessed over middle names. So, I've designated August as Middle Name Month. All month long we will be talking about middle names (with the exception of Wednesdays--our series will continue). Let's start off with 100 single syllable names for boys.

Ash
Bas
Beck
Blaine
Blake
Bo
Bram
Brooks
Cal
Charles
Clay
Cliff
Clyde
Dash
Dex
Drake
Eames
Ed
Finn
Fitz
Fritz
Fox
Gabe
George
Gray
Gus
Hal
Hall
Hank
Hart
Hayes
Heath
Huck
Hugh
Jack
James
Jay
Jed
Jem
Jet
Joe
John
Joss
Jude
Jules
Kai
Keats
King
Knox
Lane
Lars
Lee
Leif
Lex
Link
Lou
Mack
Max
Mead
Mo
Nash
Nat
Ned
Neil
Pax
Penn
Pierce
Pip
Quinn
Rafe
Ray
Reid
Rex
Rhodes
Rhys
Ridge
Rome
Royce
Sal
Sam
Shaw
Teague
Thane
Thijs
Todd
Tor
True
Van
Venn
Walt
Webb
Wes
Wolf
Xan
Yale
Yann
York
Zed
Zeus