Monday, November 30, 2015

Literary Namesake Names

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November is National Novel Writing Month, and seeing as the month is coming to close, it's only fitting that we take a look at literary namesake names today. There are so many wonderful authors that you could look to for naming inspiration. I've only coved a few in this post--mostly writers with distinctive names or ones who are heavily associated with their names. Which ones would you add?

Agatha--Agatha Christie
Alcott--Louisa May Alcott
Anais--Anais Nin
Angelou--Maya Angelou
Astrid--Astrid Lindgren
Austen--Jane Austen
Beatrix--Beatrix Potter
Bronte--the Bronte sisters
Carroll--Lewis Carroll
Eliot--T.S. Eliot
Ernest--Ernest Hemingway
Fitzgerald--F. Scott Fitzgerald
Flannery--Flannery O'Connor
Franz--Franz Kafka
Gertrude--Gertrude Stein
Hawthorne--Nathaniel Hawthorne
Joan--Joan Didion
Jules--Jules Verne
Oscar--Oscar Wilde
Roald--Roald Dahl
Salinger--J.D. Salinger
Sylvia--Sylvia Plath
Tennessee--Tennessee Williams
Truman--Truman Capote
Wharton--Edith Wharton
Wilder--Laura Ingalls Wilder
Woolf--Virginia Woolf
Zora--Zora Neale Hurston

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

10 Dutch Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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We're talking about Dutch names for boys today--this list is full of short and sweet choices perfect for nicknames or own their own. Let me know your favorites in the comments.

Arjan- Arjan (pronounced AHR-yahn) is the attractive Dutch form of Adrian. Speaking of Adrian, he's at an all time high right now at #59, so Arjan makes a nice alternative if you want something less popular. Arje is a sweet nickname possibility.

Bas- Bas is quite trendy in the Netherlands, both on his own, and as a nickname for such names as Sebastiaan and Bastiaan--the Dutch variations of Sebastian and Bastian. Another, much more American spelling is Baz, which you might recognize as the name of esteemed director Baz Luhrmann.

Bram- Bram is a lovely choice--one of my very favorites. He's the Netherlands' answer to Abraham, and feels decidedly more modern. The Dutch can't get enough of Bram--he ranks #2 over there. Bram makes for an incredibly easy import into the United States. With names like Graham starting to make their way up the charts, I wouldn't be surprised to see Bram crack the top 1000 sooner or later. So grab him while he's fresh!

Mies- Calling all you nature mamas and papas: Mies means "son of the earth"--perfect for the child of planet-loving parents. He's originally short for Bartholomeus, meaning he could work as a nickname for Bartholomew, assuming you're not a fan of Bart.

Pim- It's no secret I love Pimm--for a girl. Well, the masculine form, Pim is a Dutch nickname for Willem and just almost as cute. If you're not feeling Will, Billy, or even Liam as a nickname for William, Pim is an intriguing and very unexpected option.

Rem- Unlike the Dutch, most American parents won't consider a name as short as Rem stand-alone. Fortunately, he can act as a nickname for Jeremy, Remington, and the like. Rem is a bit more masculine than the unisex Remy, if you are searching for an alternative.

Roel- Roel is the Dutch form of Roland--pronounced like "rule" in the Netherlands, but more likely "role" in America. He's a classy way to honor a Joel, Roland, Rudolph, or Orlando in your life.

Rutger- Rutger comes from Roger, and could be used as a contemporary update for him. Rutger could also be a fun way to honor your alma mater, provided you went to Rutgers University. The University in New Jersey was named after Colonel Henry Rutgers, who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Sander- Sander is the Dutch and Scandinavian nickname for Alexander, although he is considered a name in his own right as well. Sander, or even more so, Sanders would make an extremely topical choice right now, considering the impending presidential election, and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.

Thijs- Thijs (pronounced like "twice" without the "W") is another Dutch favorite, ranking at #15. He comes from Matthijs, the Netherlands' variation of Matthew. News anchor Matt Lauer subtly honored himself by naming his son Thijs--something only a name enthusiast would notice.


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers! I'm taking Friday off for the holiday weekend--see you next week!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Puritan Names Worth Considering

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We've all heard of those crazy Puritan names--Fear-God, Obedience, and what not--but that's not what I'm hear to talk about. Just in time for Thanksgiving, I've got a list of the more usable Puritan choices--many of them virtue or Biblical names. The Puritans had a big influence on the naming culture during the time of the Pilgrims, and thus, impacted early American (and even current) naming culture.

Adore
Alydea
Amity
Ashael
Azaliah
Charity
Clemency
Comfort
Concord
Constance
Dinah
Faith
Felicity
Fidel
Fidelia
Fidelity
Fortune
Gomer
Grace
Gracious
Honor
Hope
Hopewell
Jethro
Jolly
Joy
Justice
Kezia
Liberty
Lively
Love
Lovell
Loyal
Martha
Mercy
Moses
Nehemiah
Obadiah
Oceana
Oceanus
Patience
Peregrine
Priscilla
Promise
Prudence
Rejoice
Seraphim
Sincere
Tacita
Tacy
Thurgood
Trinity
True
Truth
Unity
Verity
Victory
Virtue
Winthrop
Zebedee

Friday, November 20, 2015

Best Unisex Names for Boys

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This list surprised me in many ways. The first is by some of the names. I never would have guessed that names like Dominique, Kimball, and Wynn are all more popular for boys (to be fair, they're all pretty close in terms of boy/girl usage). Second, this list is quite a bit longer than Monday's. I would have thought that there are more unisex names that are considered "for girls" rather than the other way around. Granted, I couldn't have thought of every unisex name, so there still could be more "girlish" ones, I suppose. Let me know what you think--are all of these better suited for the boys?

Abbott
Adrian
Aiden
Alex
Anchor
Angel
Ari
Ash
Ashton
Birch
Bo
Brady
Brighton
Cameron
Carlton
Casey
Cedar
Charlie
Chris
Christian
Cove
Dallas
Daryl
Devin
Dominique
Doran
Drew
Dylan
Elliot
Ellis
Evan
Gardner
Garland
Glenn
Gray
Finn
Flynn
Hart
Hayden
Jazz
Jordan
Jory
Joss
Justus
Keegan
Kimball
Kyle
Lake
Lane
Lincoln
Logan
Linden
Maguire
Mercer
Micah
Nico
Noel
North
Oak
Oakley
Parker
Paxton
Phoenix
Quincy
Ray
Reece
Reid
Ren
Rio
River
Rory
Rowan
Ryan
Sacha
Sam
Samar
Sawyer
Sean
Storm
Tate
Terry
Toby
Tony
True
Tyler
Wynn

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

10 Dutch Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Next up is Dutch Names! I've got a whole bunch of gorgeous choices for you all today. Let me know your favorites, and any names you might add.

Anouk- Ooh, the lovely Anouk! She's one of my favorites. She is the French and Dutch form of Anna, and would be wonderful for honoring anyone with an Ann- name. Anouk's second syllable typically rhymes with "nook," though some people say it like "fluke."

Daffodil- Yes, Daffodil is Dutch. She's an extremely uncommon flower name, and would cause much more of a stir than your average Lily or Rose. However, she makes for a very fun and whimsical choice--just don't let anyone call her Daffy.

Jetje- Jetje (said YET-yuh or YET-chya) is the Dutch variation of Henrietta. Even though the pronunciation isn't there, Jet or Jette would still work as a nickname. Jetje is cheerful and spunky--she's not quite an easy import, but it would be manageable.

Lissa- Lissa is a pan-European pick, with use in England, Greece, France, and the Netherlands. She's short for Melissa, but is much more modern than Missy. She could be used as a nickname for such names as Amaryllis, Elizabeth, Felicity, Melissa, Phyllis, and Wallis, or stand on her own.

Madelief- Those of you who know Abby have undoubtedly heard the name Madelief before. She's really only used in the Netherlands, where she ranks #122. Madelief is pronounced as she looks, MAD-el-eef, though if you're not a fan of the "leaf" sound, you could slightly alter it to say MAD-el-eeve.

Mariel- Mariel is a French and Dutch diminutive of Mary, who took cues from the once popular Muriel. She's most well known as the name of Mariel Hemingway, an actress from the famous family, though it's also the name of a town in Cuba. Mariel can also be spelled Marielle.

Rika- Like Jetje, Rika also comes from Henrietta (the Swedish form of which is Henrika, and the Dutch, Heintje). Unsurprisingly, she's used in both Sweden and the Netherlands, and is commonly used as a nickname for all sorts of -rika names, like Fredrika and Enrika.

Sanne- Sanne is a Danish and Dutch nickname for Susanna (which would be spelled Susanne there). She's pronounced SAH-na, and means "lily." She's perfect for honoring a Susan or Lily in your life.

Saskia- Saskia comes from the word "Saxon," a German tribe that took it's name from their word meaning "knife." That's not an entirely pleasant association, but odds are, not many people will know that. Saskia is both German and Dutch in origin, but is more popular in the Netherlands. She's most common in England, where she peaked at #125 in 1999--slightly dated over there, but very fresh for an American.

Verandia- Verandia is a unusual name--you won't find much information about her out there. She's the Dutch form of Verena, and lends herself to the nickname Randi. Her similarity to the word "veranda" is not necessarily a downside, but something I'd consider before choosing Verandia as "the one."

Monday, November 16, 2015

Best Unisex Names for Girls

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Don't let the title fool you--this post is not about the definitive "best" unisex names for girls. Rather, I've listed unisex names that are used more often for girls than they are for boys. All of them work for either gender, in fact, many of these names have extremely similar usage among both genders. Check back on Friday for the boys list!

Addison
Ariel
Ashby
Ashley
Aspen
Avery
Bailey
Blue
Campbell
Dakota
Dana
Day
December
Eden
Ellison
Emerson
Emery
Fallon
Finley
Harbor
Harley
Harper
Indiana
Izzy
Jess
Jules
Justice
Kendall
Kennedy
Kimber
Larkin
London
Mackenzie
Marlowe
Meridian
Merritt
Monroe
Morgan
Palmer
Paris
Peyton
Presley
Quinn
Rain
Reagan
Reese
Riley
Romy
Sage
Sailor
Sasha
Scout
Sheridan
Sky
Skylar
Sloane
Sparrow
Sutton
Taylor
Teagan
Tierney
Valentine
Yuki

Friday, November 13, 2015

Broadway Names

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Love musical theater? Why not give your baby a Broadway worthy name? All of the following come from the titles of Broadway musicals, past and present.

Abner--Lil' Abner
Adele--Adele
Aida--Aida
Allegro--Allegro
Alma--Alma, Where Do You Live?
Annie--Annie; Annie Get Your Gun
Anya--Anya
Babette--Babette
Beatrice--An Evening with Beatrice Lillie
Bess--Porgy and Bess
Billie--Billie
Billy--Billy Elliot
Birdie--Bring Back Birdie; Bye Bye Birdie
Brooklyn--Brooklyn
Carmelina--Carmelina
Carmen--Carmen Jones
Caroline--Caroline, or Change
Carrie--Carrie
Charity--Sweet Charity
Charley--Where's Charley?
Chris--Chris and the Wonderful Lamp
Christine--Christine; Marie Christine
Coco--Coco
David--King David
Dolly--Hello, Dolly!
Eddie--Very Good, Eddie
Edwin--The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Eileen--Eileen
Elsie--Elsie
Evangeline--Evangeline, or the Belle of Arcadia
Fanny--Fanny
Finian--Finian's Rainbow
Flora--Flora the Red Menace
George--George M.!; Sunday in the Park with George
Giovanni--Bravo Giovanni
Hattie--Panama Hattie
Hazel--Hazel Flagg
Henry--Henry, Sweet Henry; John Henry
Illya--Illya Darling
Irene--Irene
Jamie--Three Wishes for Jamie
Jane--Jane Eyre
Jerome--Jerome Robbins' Birthday
Jerry--Jerry's Girls
Jersey--Jersey Boys
Joey--Pal Joey
John--John Henry
Johnny--Johnny Johnson; Little Johnny Jones
Juan--Juan Darien
Jubilee--Jubilee
Juliet--Me and Juliet
Juno--Juno
Kate--Kiss Me, Kate
Kay--Oh, Kay!
Kean--Kean
Kelly--Kelly
Lennon--Lennon
Liberty--Miss Liberty
Lillie--An Evening with Beatrice Lillie
Mabel--Mack & Mabel
Mack--Mack & Mabel
Maddox--Red, White, and Maddox
Marie--Marie Christine
Marinka--Marinka
Memphis--Memphis
Merlin--Merlin
Millie--Thoroughly Modern Millie
Molly--The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Monty--The Full Monty
Nanette--No, No, Nanette
Paris--Paris
Peter--Peter Pan
Pippin--Pippin
Rex--Rex
Roberta--Roberta
Rocky--Rocky the Musical
Rosalie--Rosalie
Rose-Marie--Rose-Marie
Sadie--Sadie Thompson
Sally--Sally
Sammy--What Makes Sammy Run?
Sarafina--Sarafina!
Sawyer--The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Sweeney--Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tiffany--Breakfast at Tiffany's
Todd--Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tom--The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Tommy--The Who's Tommy
Venus--One Touch of Venus
Victor--Victor/Victoria
Victoria--Victor/Victoria
Will--The Will Rogers Follies

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10 Hindi Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Today we're talking all about Hindi names for boys. Every single name on this list would work well on an American or English-speaking child, so don't be afraid to use one!

Deshan- Deshan is an unpopular Hindi name meaning "of the nation." He'd be an easy import, considering his similarities to familiar names like Deshawn.

Dhani- Dhani is most recognizable as the name of George Harrison's son. Dhani Harrison is named after notes in the Indian musical scale, which is very fitting for a musician's child. There could be some confusion between Dhani and Danny, but as long as you stress the first syllable when introducing him to people, it shouldn't be too much of a burden.

Hari- Just as Dhani is similar to Danny, Hari sounds a lot like Harry. However, Hari has the attractive "A" sound that is found in Charlie, which gives him some style points. Hari is an alternate name for the Indian gods Vishnu and Krishna.

Kamal- Kamal is a cross-cultural name, with roots in Arabic and Hindi. He comes from the more feminine Kamala, a Hindu goddess name. Kamal has many meanings--in Arabic he's considered to mean "perfection," while in India is it said he means either "lotus" or "pale red."

Nalin- Like Kamal, Nalin also means "lotus." He's a popular name among Indian Buddhists, as the lotus symbolizes nirvana and enlightenment. Nalin is pronounced na-LEEN, and can also be spelled Naleen.

Narain- Narain--also spelled Narayan--is another name associated with the god Vishnu. He means "protector," and is also considered to be the name of the god of creation. A famous Indian actor goes by the name mononymously.

Rajah- Rajah means "prince" in Hindi, and is used as a title there (similar to the use of Prince in English). Rajah is a simple, but stylish name, and he comes with the nickname Raj. Most people will recognize it as the name of a character in the Disney movie Alladin.

Ravi- Ravi is the cheerful name of the Hindu sun god, and fittingly means "sun" in Sanskrit. He'd be extremely easy to wear in the U.S., though he hasn't caught on. The Dutch have taken quite a liking to Ravi though, as he ranks at #127 in the Netherlands.

Sarad- Sarad means "born in autumn," so if you're due within the month, put him on your list! All jokes aside, he's a very attractive name that could be worn by a baby born in any season. He does have similarities to the name Sarah, but the -d ending and alternate syllable pattern makes me think this won't be a problem.

Varan- Varan is a derivitave of Varuna, who is the Hindu god of water. Even though he's not the actual name of the god, Varan is probably a better choice for an American baby, as Varuna will sound too feminine to many ears.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Some Changes

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Hello everyone--I just wanted to deliver an official update about some changes that are going on around the blog. You may have noticed that I've started to feature banner ads on the sidebar. As my readership grows, this blog is a great opportunity for me to make some extra money, so I have decided to take advantage of that. Also, after years of trying, I've finally added links to the names on the "Boys Names" and "Girls Names" pages on the top bar. Now if you click on any name on those pages, it will take you to all the posts it's mentioned in. (Please let me know if any of the links don't work--I had to link thousands of names, so there's bound to be a few mistakes). I've also updated my About page to include the link to my Nameberry articles. Thanks for your patience everyone! Regular posting will resume on Wednesday.