Friday, December 18, 2015

Names from Christmas Songs

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Merry almost-Christmas everybody! This is my last post for 2015--I'll see you all back after the new year. Happy happy holidays, enjoy this list of Christmas song inspired names.

Blue--"Blue Christmas"
Blue is a lovely name, but I wouldn't name my child after a sad Christmas song.

Christmas--Take your pick of Christmas song!
Christmas is definitely out-there, but still a usable name. It's obviously featured in many a Christmas song (if not all of them).

Dominick--"Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey"
The song is a silly one, but Dominick is a very nice name. Spelling it Dominic gets rid of the former grocery store chain connection.

Drummer--"Little Drummer Boy"
A classic Christmas song and a very new name. You won't meet many baby Drummers around, but it does sound very on-trend.

Holly--"Holly Jolly Christmas"
Holly is not a particularly popular name, though I suspect usage increases in December. I love her as a nickname for the whimsical Holiday.

Joy--"Joy to the World"
Joy feels quite dated, but she's an understandable choice for a holiday-time baby.

Navidad--"Feliz Navidad"
Navidad is the Spanish word for Christmas (hence the song title) and also a Spanish variation of the name Natalia. Like Christmas, she's a bold choice, but perfect for a December 25th baby.

Nick--"Little Saint Nick"
Nicholas is a modern classic, and his main nickname gets plenty of use. The Beach Boys' song "Little Saint Nick" is a cute one to be named after.

Noel--"The First Noel"
Noel is another name that is heavily associated with Christmas time, and works for a boy or a girl.

Plum--"Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
You all know how much I love the name Plum, and the song from the Nutcracker ballet makes her that much sweeter.

Rudolph--"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
Rudolph would be a hard name to wear, even though the song promotes not teasing others. Go with Rudy instead.

Silver--"Silver Bells"
Silver is a daring color name that is slightly softened by the Christmas song association. The calming melody offers a nice balance to the sparkly, intense color.

Suzy--"Suzy Snowflake"
I hadn't heard this song until a few minutes ago. If you're not familiar, the song seems to have originated in Chicago, and may not have been widely known outside of the city (though I am from Chicago, and I had never heard of it). The name Suzy would feel retro-cool on a baby today, though I prefer the softer spelling Susie.

Winter--"Winter Wonderland"
Winter is name that's rising up the charts. She's the freshest of the season names, and comes with the adorable nickname Winnie. "Winter Wonderland" is a wonderful song to have your name in, as well.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

10 Hawaiian Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Mele Kalikimaka friends! Our last Wednesday post of 2015 is all about Hawaiian names for girls. Enjoy!

Ailani- Sweet, lyrical Ailani makes a lovely name for a baby girl--Hawaiian or not. She means "cheif," which is a strong and empowering sentiment.

Ekika- Ekika is the chirpy Hawaiian form of Edith. She's a fun and unusual way to get to Kiki, but still fits in with the three-syllable-ends-in-"A" name trend. Ekika is a downright cheerful choice--I'd love to see her used on a baby.

Huali- Huali may sound like she means "hula," but her real denotation is "pure, bright, polished, and gleaming." Either way, she's bound to conjure up images of the beautiful dance for some people. Huali is the name of an electric van company in China, but if you live anywhere else, she's more than usable.

Inoa- All you name nerds, are you looking for a name that sums up your obsession? Inoa could be your girl--she means "name" or "name chant." Noa is currently becoming more popular among girls--Inoa is a great way to use that name while distinguishing her from all the male Noahs.

Iolani- Unlike many other Io- names, Iolani's first syllable is pronounced like an "E," ee-oh-LAHN-ee. Her meaning is somewhat debated. Nameberry (my go-to for reputable information) says she means "hawk of royalty," while other sites claim "bird of heaven" or "to fly like a hawk" as her meaning. No matter what the case, Iolani definitely counts as a bird name, and a mighty one at that.

Kalea- Kalea is Hawaii's answer to Claire, though unlike her "light" sister, is said to mean "joy" or "happiness." She's a simply gorgeous name--one of my favorites back in the day. Kalea would wear well back on the mainland. I can see many parents embracing her--much like they have with Leilani.

Kilikina- I love a name that's fun to say, and Kilikina is just that! She's the Hawaiian variation of Christina, but feels like a more contemporary choice. Kiki or Kina would make cute nicknames.

Moanna- Moanna is a beautiful, beachy name meaning "ocean." She's quite similar to the Maori name Moana--meaning "sea"--which is also used in Hawaii. Moana is also the name of a princess in an upcoming animated movie.

Noelani- It wouldn't be a Hawaiian name post without three names that end in -lani. Noelani, though she means "heavenly mist" is an especially appropriate name for a baby born around this time of year. The easy-to-spot "Noel" makes her a Christmas name of sorts.

Silivia- Silivia seems like a made-up mash-up of Silvia and Olivia, but she's authentically Hawaiian. She is the Hawaiian form of Sylvia, and is said to mean "woman of the woods." Silivia is a unique and appealing name--I wonder if she'll ever catch on in the U.S.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Crooner Names

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Would you ever consider giving a December-born baby a holiday singer name? I like the idea--it makes a subtle connection between the name and time of year--much less conspicuous than Holiday or Yule (though I'm a fan of both of those). Let me know your favorites, and which names you would add.

Bing- Bing Crosby has one of the most classic Christmas albums of all time--after seventy years it's still on heavy rotation. Bing is a swanky old-fashioned nickname with a lot of potential. Kate Hudson used it as a nickname for her son Bingham.

Carey- Mariah Carey is the modern Christmas song queen, but her first name feels past its peak. Carey, on the other hand, feels unexpectedly fresh--on a boy. Carrie and Cari are girls of the past, but Cary, Carey, and Kerry are ready for revival.

Crosby- If Bing isn't your thing, you might want to try Crosby. He's an lively Irish surname with some serious style. Some people might associate Crosby with the character from Parenthood, but it's more likely they'll think of Bing.

Dean- Dean Martin is credited with popularizing the hit Christmas song "Marshmallow World" over ten years after it's debut. Martin was actually born Dino. As a name, Dean is rising in popularity in the U.S. and was at #221 last year.

Ella- Ella is one of those name that are so popular, most associations are just a wash. However, many a parent (and celebrity) have cited Ella Fitzgerald as the inspiration for their daughter's name. Her Christmas album is one of my very favorites--I play it all season long.

Fitzgerald- Ella's last name is much more distinctive--how often do you meet a baby with the first name Fitzgerald? Fitz is a cute nickname, though Fritz, Gerry, and Gerald are also options.

Frank- Frank Sinatra is about as classic as it gets. It's no surprise that his Christmas songs are still heard on radio stations all over the country (and he even has a spot on my eclectic holiday playlist). His first name, Frank, has the same sophisticated vintage feel to it--yet he's been falling in popularity for as long as the data's been kept.

Garland- Garland is a rare double-Christmas-connection name. Not only is it what we drape around Christmas trees and fireplace mantels, it's also the surname of Christmas singer extraordinaire, Judy Garland. Her most famous holiday song is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Gene- Gene Autry sang many of today's favorite Christmas songs, and even penned a couple himself. He's responsible for "Here Comes Santa Claus," and  popularized his versions of such favorites as "Frosty the Snowman," and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." That makes the clunky-cool Gene a Christmas hero name of sorts.

McCartney- Lennon and Harrison are fair game, so how about McCartney? Irish surnames are certainly popular right now, so I don't think it'd be a crazy choice, especially because of Paul. The Beatle wrote "Wonderful Christmastime" in 1979, and it's been a favorite ever since.

Nat- Nat King Cole's Christmas songs are a cherished tradition in many households. His most famous one is "The Christmas Song." All three of his names are worthy for a 2015-born child, but Nat is the simplest and most unexpected. Plus, like Garland, it has the extra Christmas connection of meaning "born on Christmas Day."

Presley- Who could forget Elvis Presley's wonderful collection of Christmas tunes? It's not the Holidays without "Blue Christmas" (or in my house--"Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me"). His first name is too strongly tied to the singer, but America has embraced Presley--especially for a girl.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Names from Christmas Movies

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There are so many classic Christmas movies out there, and many of them offer great inspiration for baby naming. I culled some of the most usable and interesting (first and last) names from beloved holiday films to share with you guys today. Let me know, would you consider naming a baby after a Christmas movie character?

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charlie
Linus
Lucy
Sally
Schroeder
Violet

Christmas in Connecticut
Alexander
Lane
Norah
Sloan
Yardley

A Christmas Story
Ralphie
Randy

Elf
Buddy
Jovie
Walter

The Family Stone
Everett
Meredith
Sybil

Home Alone
Buzz
Harry
Marv
Kevin

Holiday Inn
Daphne
Dixon
Francois
Gus
Lila
Mamie
Parker
Reed
Ted

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Cindy Lou

It's a Wonderful Life
Bailey
Bert
Billy
Clarence
Ernie
Eustace
George
Harry
Ruth
Tilly
Violet
Zuzu

Love Actually
Annie
Daisy
Jamie
Juliet
Natalie
Peter

Miracle on 34th Street
Doris
Fred
Granville
Kris

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Art
Audrey
Bethany
Clark
Ellen
Lewis
Margo
Rocky
Ruby Sue
Rusty

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Clarice
Hermey
Rudolph

Scrooged
Brice
Claire
Eliot
Frank
Lew

White Christmas
Betty
Emma
Waverly

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

10 Italian Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

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Today's Italian boys names aren't quite Romeos, but they have something even better--scarce usage. That being said, they do have their charms, and some are quite romantic. Take a look, and let me know what you think.

Alessio- Alessio is the Italian form of Alexis. He's not quite as dramatic as Alessandro, although if you like both, Alessio would work as a nickname.

Aurelio- You've likely heard of Aurelia, the Latin girls name steadily rising up the charts, but what about Aurelio? This just as attractive Italian name hasn't caught on for the boys yet. If you're a fan of color related names, Aurelio means "the golden one."

Brio- Brio is a unisex name in Italy, but the -o ending (rather than an "A") sounds more masculine to the American ear. Brio is a musical name, the definition being "vigor or vivacity of style or performance." He's an uncommon yet alluring music name--a difficult combination to find.

Carlo- With the popularity of Charlie, Charles, and Carlos being so high, it baffles me that Carlo isn't even in the top 1000. That puts him in the "uncommon yet familiar" category--a sacred place of baby name gems. Use them, and nobody will call you crazy, but there also won't be another one on your block.

Cassio- 
Cassio is a handsome Shakespearean name, coming from the play Othello. He's the Italian version of Cassius, so Cash could be a nickname if you so choose. Cassio's feminine form is Cassia--a cinnamon-like spice and modern day Cassandra.

Cecilio- Like his sister name Cecilia, Cecilio unfortunately means "blind." But that hasn't stopped thousands of parents each year from using them. Meanings aren't often talked about--or even known--so this is a minor issue, at most. Cecilio is very fashionable, and has a gentlemanly Italian feel.

Cosimo- Cosimo is a charming, sophisticated name waiting to be discovered. He comes from Cosmo, a more antiquated Italian choice. Cosimo means "the universe," perfect for night-sky loving parents.

Nino- Ooh, Nino! Ever since I watched the movie Amelie (one of my favorites) I swoon every time I see the name. Nino is a lovely, nickname style name that's gaining favor in many European countries (#26 in Switzerland!). He works as a nickname for any -nino name, but is just as delightful on his own.

Pellegrino- Pellegrino may remind people of the elegant bubbly water, but is that such a terrible association? He comes from Peregrine, which means "traveller" or "pilgrim," and is also a type of bird. Nino would make a cute nickname. If you need convincing, see above.

Silvio- Silvio is a common name in many parts of Europe, but unsurprisingly is most used in his country of origin--Italy. With Sylvia and Silvia increasing in popularity in the U.S., Silvio makes a friendly and usable option for a boy.

Monday, December 7, 2015

"Light" Names for Hanukkah

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Happy Hanukkah to all my friends and readers who are celebrating! Light is a very important theme and symbol of the holiday, so I thought we'd take a look at names that mean light today. It's a fun connection to have if your baby is born during these eight days of celebration. Names that are bolded also have Hebrew origins, for an extra Hanukkah link.


Girls

Azenor
Chiara
Elaine
Eleanor
Elena
Ellen
Helen
Helena
Laoise
Leora
Lucasta
Lucia
Luciana
Lucienne
Lucille
Lucinda
Lumiere
Luz
Lux
Nahara
Nell
Nira
Noor
Ori
Orit
Orli
Senara
Toula
Yetta
Zohara


Boys

Beacon
Deepak
Hikaru
Lito
Lucian
Luciano
Lucius
Meyer
Ori
Pradeep
Siraj
Uri
Valo
Zohar

Friday, December 4, 2015

Elf on the Shelf Names

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Do you have an Elf on the Shelf in your house? The tradition didn't exist when I was a kid, but it's so fun and whimsical--I wish it had! The Elf on the Shelf website lists the 20 most popular name for the registered elves--Nameberry did an comparison between elf names and baby names last holiday season, but I'm here to offer some more creative options for your elf. But first, the Elf top 20:

1. Buddy
2. Elfie
3. Jingle
4. Snowflake
5. Jingles
6. Jack
7. Charlie
8. Fred
9. Chippy
10. Sparkle
11. Elfy
12. Holly
13. Max
14. Twinkle
15. Jolly
16. Elvis
17. Bob
18. Clyde
19. Peppermint
20. Nick

How I wish I could see the full list!

The website also says that Cookie, Frisbee, Snowball, Sprinkle, and Tinsel are popular, and cites Oodle as a "unique" name belonging to 220 elves.

If you want an uncommon name for your family's Elf on the Shelf (that is, if you have a say in naming it), I have come up with some more creative ideas.

Blizzard
Chestnut
Cider
Cranberry
December (Ember could be a nickname)
Drummer
Eggnog
Evergreen
Fig
Garland
Holiday
Icicle
Ivy
Mistletoe
Mittens
Pax
Piper
Plum
Poinsettia
Popcorn
Season
Silver
Socks
Spruce
Stella
Toboggan
Winter (or Winnie)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

10 Italian Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

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Today we're talking about ten lovely Italian ladies. If you're in need of a glamorous name with a hint of mystery, these girls have got you covered. Take a look. 

Celestina- I'm a fan of any Celeste name, so naturally, I'm fond of Celestina. She's the Italian and Spanish form of Celeste, although in Italian, she's pronounced with a "ch" sound at the beginning. If you're looking for a long, romantic, unusual name, put Celestina on your list. 

Cosetta- Cosetta is an extreme rarity--she was given to four or fewer girls in the U.S. last year. For those of you searching for an almost unique name, Cosetta is a pleasant option. She's the Italian variation of the French name Cosette--almost instantly recognizable from the character in Les Miserables. 

Dicembre- Need an Italian name for your December-born baby? Dicembre would be perfect. She's scarcely used--both in America and in Italy. Like Cosetta, Dicembre is an almost unique choice. 

Domenica- Domenica is a lively, refreshing alternative to Dominique. She's a feminized form of Dominic, and works to honor any of the Dom- names. Nica makes a cute nickname, and is much more modern than Nicki. 

Eloisa- If Eloise is a little too "Plaza Hotel" for you, Eloisa could be the answer to your problems. She's just as sassy and retro, but doesn't carry the same mischievous little girl associations.

Graziella- Graziella is one of those names that is just so fun to say. She can be said with either three or four syllables, but in the U.S. it might be easiest to do four--grahtz-ee-EL-ah. She's a diminutive of Grazia, the Italian form of Grace. 

Isabetta- Elisabetta is a five-syllable mouthful, but fortunately her nickname Isabetta is more managable. She's very charming on her own, but Isabetta can also be used as a nickname for American favorite Elizabeth. She is perfect for families that pass down the name Elizabeth, but want a more distinctive nickname.

Leonida- There's been a lot of love for Leo names lately, especially on the boys side. Leonida is a gorgeous option for a girl. She's the Italian version of Leona, and also stems from the Greek Leonidas. 

Simona- Simona is a name used throughout Europe, particularly in Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. She's a nice option if you want a name that can honor a Simon, but is longer, or a bit more exotic than Simone. 

Vivia- No doubt about it, "V" is the hottest letter of 2015. We love names with Vs in them--Olivia, Vivian, Ava, Evelyn, etc. Vivia an undiscovered gem that will blend right in. She seems like she could have been made-up--essentially a mash-up of Olivia and Vivian--but trust me, Vivia is one hundred percent Italian.