Monday, February 29, 2016

Full Names for Cal

Taylor Pemberton via Dribbble
Cal is one of those nicknames with the elusive cowboy-cool factor. He's effortlessly hip, so it's no wonder today's parents are loving Cal names. The following twelve names make excellent full forms for Cal.

Calbert- One of the more antiquated names on this list, but the nickname Cal livens him up a bit.

Calder- A creative name, thanks to artist Alexander Calder.

Caldwell- An English surname that would work just as well as a first.

Caledon- Caldeon derives from Caledonia (Latin for Scotland), and is most well known as a minor character in Titanic.

Calhoun- A jaunty Irish surname that means "from the narrow wood."

California- This place name swings slightly girl (9 uses in 2014 vs. fewer than 5), but with such low numbers, why couldn't California go boy?

Callaghan- This Irish surname is just waiting to be discovered. He's a great option if you like longer names for boys.

Callum- Sweet Callum is rising quickly up the charts. I think he'll break the top 700 come May.

Calton- Calton is a smoosh name with potential. Colton's at #65, so it's only a matter of time before parents go searching for alternatives.

Calvin- Classic, with a mischievous spirit (thanks to Calvin & Hobbes).

Macalester- A prestigious collegiate name that could answer to Mac, Cal, or Les (take your pick).

Pascal- A charming name that I'd like to see used more often.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Flower Meanings

via 100 Layer Cake-let
We all know the person who gave their daughter a flower name because of it's beauty, but have you ever considered basing the decision off of a flower's meaning? Back in the day, people used to send each other flowers to convey a message. Each flower has its own secret meaning. I chose some of the most name-worthy flowers and did some research on their symbolization.

Amaryllis--dramatic
Anemone--fragile
Aster--contentment
Azalea--abundance
Begonia--deep thoughts
Calla Lily--regal
Camellia--graciousness
Chrysanthemum--excitement, truth
Cosmo--peaceful
Daffodil--chivalry
Daisy--innocence
Freesia--spirited
Gardenia--joy
Ginger--proud
Heather--solitude
Holly--domestic happiness
Hyacinth--sincerity
Iris--inspiration
Ivy--fidelity
Jasmine--grace, elegance
Larkspur--beautiful spirit
Lavender--distrust
Lilac--first love
Magnolia--dignity
Marigold--desire for wealth
Peony--healing
Poppy--consolation
Rose--admiration, love, unity, purity, friendship
Violet--faithfulness
Wisteria--steadfast
Yarrow--good health
Zinnia--thoughts of friends


*all meanings taken from aboutflowers.com*
Note: these meanings are somewhat subjective and vary from site to site.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

10 Vietnamese Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

Kerstin Sterl via Dribbble
Names from Asian cultures are some of the trickiest to import into the English-speaking world. Many of them use sounds we can't pronounce, or have slightly "off" translations. However, Vietnamese uses an alphabet rather than characters, so many of their native names are ripe for American use. The following ten names would work very well on a mixed-culture baby, for first or middle names.

Cam- Though it may sound nickname-y to American ears, the name Cam is very much complete by Vietnamese standards. The Vietnamese version means "orange," like the fruit. She is the perfect Vietnamese-American name, since she's familiar in both countries.

Chau- Chau is a sweet and delicate Vietnamese name meaning "pearl." She shares this meaning with the Marg- names, so Chau could be a subtle way to honor both Vietnamese heritage, and Grandma Margaret.

Chi- Lovely Chi means "branch" in Vietnamese. The Igbo tribe in Western Africa also uses the name Chi, but there it means "spiritual being."

Hoa- Looking for an exotic alternative to Noa? Hoa is your girl. She means "flower," and unlike Noa, is strictly feminine.

Hue- While she might be considered a word name by American standards, in Vietnam, Hue is a well-known given name. She means "intelligence" or "lily."

Linh- Linh looks like she'd be pronounced like Lynn, but she is actually said more like LEEN or LEENG, depending on the region. Either way, she's an easy import. Like so many Vietnamese names, Linh has a lovely meaning--"soul."

Mai- Mai is one of my favorites on this list. She has roots in Japan and Vietnam, but the pronunciation varies slightly. The Japanese version is two syllables, MAH-ee, but the Vietnamese version sounds more like "my." Mai is one of the few Vietnamese names to ever break the top 1000--in the late eighties and early nineties she got as high as #793. Mai means "apricot blossom."

Phuong- Phuong is one of the most consistently popular names in Vietnam. If you live in an area with a lot of Vietnamese Americans, you've probably heard this one quite a bit (I know I have). Phuong actually have two meanings, depending on the accent marks. The more common spelling means "phoenix," while the other means "direction." Though they have slightly different pronunciations depending on the accent marks, in English, they'd both be said as "FOON"

Tien- Tien is a fantastic Vietnamese name. She's one that would translate well in America. She means "spirit" or "fairy," which is almost too adorable to pass up.

Yen- Speaking of wonderful meanings, Yen means "peaceful." I'm not usually a fan of Y names, but I really like Yen.

Monday, February 22, 2016

20 Unexpected Gemstone Names

Livi Po via Dribbble
Gemstone names are always fun, but once a name becomes as popular as Ruby, Jade, or Diamond, it begins to lose its gemstoniness, and sound more and more like an average name. Luckily, none of the following have reached that level of popularity (and dare I say, probably never will). These gemstone names are truly unexpected.

Agate- A beautiful veiny quartz. She's a great way to get to Aggie if you're not a fan of Agatha or Agnes.

Alexandrite- One of the birthstones for June. Perfect for a boy or a girl.

Amethyst- Famous for its purply hue. Lovely choice for a February-born daughter.

Aquamarine- A blueish-green gem, much like its name suggests. She makes a fun, surprising middle name,

Beryl- Beryl is a subset of minerals that includes emerald and aquamarine. As a name she sounds a bit outdated, but is moving into the "charming" territory.

Carnelian- A red-brown semi-precious gemstone. She makes an unusual way to get to the nickname Carnie.

Celestine- A blue mineral, also called celestite. Long time readers will know that Celestine is one of my favorite guilty-pleasure names for a girl.

Cinnabar- Cinnabar is a lovely red mineral often used in jewelry. The name can be used for a son or daughter, with the possibility of the nickname Cinna.

Citrine- A yellow gemstone that symbolizes success and prosperity. Every once in a while I hear of a girl named Citrine, and I'm always enchanted.

Garnet- January's gemstone. Garnet is one of the tamer gemstone names on this list--it fits right in with the baby names of today.

Heliotrope- A variety of Jasper, also called bloodstone. Even though its name suggests a purple coloring, its actually green and red. Heliotrope would make a lovely middle name for a daughter, plus, it's also a flower name.

Jacinth- Jacinth is a red-orange gem, and the Middle-English word for Hyacinth. She's the perfect addition to my collection of Jacin- names.

Moonstone- A gorgeous irridescent gemstone. Anyone else think this would make a positively dreamy name for a daughter? (no pun intended)

Morganite- A pink beryl, found in many a wedding ring. It puts a fun spin on the name Morgan.

Onyx- A shiny stone known for its jet black color. He's one of the few gemstone names that works especially well on a son.

Peridot- Peridot is a lovely green gem. It's no secret I love it as a name for a daughter, especially with the nickname Dot.

Quartz- Quite a popular mineral, but an uncommon Q name for either gender.

Sapphire- A royal blue gem rich in color. Not unheard of as a name, but certainly a surprising choice.

Topaz- A well-known mineral that comes in many colors. She makes a good name possibility for parents looking for something with that zesty "Z."

Turquoise- Turquoise is a beautiful stone that comes from Turkey.She's a color and gemstone name, which makes her twice as nice.

Friday, February 19, 2016

140th Westminster Call Names

Craig Jamieson via Dribbble This year's winner was a German Shorthaired Pointer named CJ
When we hear about show dog names, we most often are mentioning the outrageous, over-the-top, nonsensical monikers the dogs are referred to formally. Even though I get a kick out of these, I'm always more interested in the call names of the dogs, i.e., what they respond to outside the show ring. Hundreds of dogs participated in the 140th Westminster Dog Show this year, and I recording their names to list here (here's last year's post, if you're interested). This isn't a very large sample size, but it can give us some insight into how people name their dogs, and how it's so similar, yet vastly different from naming children.

Classic Dog Names
Bella
Charlie
Chloe
Gus
Henry
Hunter
Izzy
Louie
Lucy x2
Marley
Molly
Parker x2
Pepper
Sophie
Thor

Colorful Canines
Azul
Blue x2
Cadet
Mr. Blue
Sky

Cultural Choices
Blitx--"lightning" in Swedish
Devlin (g)
Gomez
Gretel
Hoja
Leandro
Mano
Ovidius
Pepe
Ronan
Saxon
Schilling
Sunito
Tuco

Currently Trending
Annabelle
Anouk
Beckett
Cyrus
Eli x2
Finn
Gia
Gideon
Juliet
Kit (b)
Leo
Olivia
Piper
Walker

Distinguished Gentlemen
Adrian
Alan
Andrew
Angus
Anton
Bradley
Casey
Chauncey
Falco
Griffin
Hank
Hector
Humphrey
Jango
Jason
Joshua
Lucas
Moses
Mr. Jones
Ned
Nelson
Preston
Remy
Richard
Stuart
Vito
Watson
Xavier

Food and Drink
Bacon
Brie
Kahlua
Monte Cristo
Patrón

Lovely Ladies
Clara
Creeda
Fiona
Gail
Grace
Etta
Kate
Lucia
Paola
Primrose
Summer x2
Vanessa
Vera
Victoria
Zora

Place Names
Cayman
Dixie
Fenway
Mexico
Orlando
Tennessee

Nicknames
Allie
Augie
Cal
CJ
CR
Danny
Duffy
Frankie (g)
Gabby
Gabe
Gedi
Gibbs
Jenny
Lumi (b)
Mack
Manny
Obie x2
Odgie
Ollie
Pandy (b)
Ricky x2
Robbie
Rocky
Rondo
Sally
Tilly
Toodles
Tubbs
Vinny
Zak

Notable Namesakes
Astaire
Fergi
Jackson--after Michael Jackson
Julia--after Julia Louis-Dreyfuss
Mick--after Mick Jagger
Peyton--after Peyton Manning
Robert Redford
Santana--after Carlos Santana
Windsor

Pop Culture Picks
Bond
Burberry
Indy (b)
Jedi
Leonard--after the Big Bang Theory
Neo
Peter Parker
Steelers--after the Pittsburgh Steelers
Wesley--after The Princess Bride

Word Names
Banner
Bingo
Bogey
Brazen
Chance
Cubit
Dart
Dynamite
Exquisite "Quizzy"
Flash x2
Frosty
General
Journey
Judge
Panda x2
Paparazzi
Pilot
Precious
Rain
Riot
Rocketman
Rumble
Rumor
Slick
Star
Striker
Tank
Toot
Trader
Vanity

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

10 Hungarian Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

Ferenc Petho via Dribbble
Were you guys as stoked as I was about last week's Hungarian Names for Girls? This group of guys is just as good for an under-the-radar, but alluring name. Let me know your favorites, and if you would actually consider any of these for a son.

Andor- Andor is an attractive name with both Hungarian and Norwegian roots. The Hungarian version is a variant of Andras, and peaked in 2007 at #92 on the charts. Andor makes a great alternative to all the And- names that so stylish, from Andrew to Anderson.

Bela- Bela is a Czech-Hungarian name, although in the Czech Republic it's sometimes considered feminine, while in Hungary it's a strictly masculine name. The Belas most Americans are familiar with are men, so despite the -a ending, I think this one is best suited for a boy.

Bence- I'm always looking for cool alternatives to Ben, and Bence is just that. He is traditionally a nickname for Benedek, as well as a Hungarian form of Vincent. On his own, Bence has been the number one Hungarian boys' name for over a decade. I think he'd be a lovely addition to the American name pool.

Dacso- Dacso is Hungary's handsome form of Daniel. He's uncommon, even in Hungary, but I think he'd be sweet on an American boy.

Erno- Like Andor, Erno shares Hungarian and Scandinavian roots, though this time with Finland. He's the Hungarian form of Ernest, a name American parents haven't embraced for years. If Ernie is too Sesame Street for you, Erno makes a great alternative.

Laszlo- Quirky, hipster favorite Laszlo is one of the most well-known Hungarian names. He's been in the Hungarian top 25 for over ten years, and currently stands at #19. Laszlo is going to catch fire in America one day soon (but he might never reach our top 25).

Ödön- Ödön is Hungary's version of Edmund, Spelled Odon, without the umlauts, he's the French form of Otto, and a variation of the Norweigan name Odin. Umlauts or not, he's an interesting and stylish choice for your baby boy.

Orban- I talk about the name Urban a lot, mostly because I'm disappointed in his lack of usability. The Hungarian form, Orban solves that conundrum, since he sounds less wordy. Yet he still is attractive and modern, two major criterion in baby naming of today.

Sandor- Sandor is Hungary's answer to Alexander, although he isn't pronounced quite the way he looks. Sandor is said SHAHN-dor, like it has an sh- in the front. For you Game of Thrones fans, Sandor is a name of one of the characters.

Vincien- Vincien, like Bence, is a Hungarian variation of Vincent. That means you can use Bence as a nickname for your little Vincien, though it will thoroughly confuse many people. Vincent is a classic name, holding steadfast in popularity, so it's always nice to consider some other options.

Monday, February 15, 2016

First Lady Names

Laura Worthington via You Work for Them
Today is President's Day in the U.S., so to honor the holiday, I thought we'd take a look at some noteworthy names of First Ladies. I picked ten I wanted to talk about, but there are obviously so many more I didn't cover. What is your favorite first lady inspired name?

Bird: Lady Bird Johnson 
Lady Bird Johnson, born Claudia Alta, was the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. She has perhaps the most unusual monikers out of all the First Ladies, a combination of her childhood nickname (Lady) and affectionate pet name (Bird). Bird makes quite a charming nature name, perfect for the middle position. Alternatively, make it the first name and use the nickname Birdie. 

Bess: Bess Truman
Bess Truman, wife of Harry S. Truman, was born Elizabeth Virginia. She was supposedly called Bessie during her childhood, as a nickname for Elizabeth. I can definitely see Bess coming back in style, especially when used as a short form for Elizabeth. Bessie, however, still reads "cow."

Dolley: Dolley Madison
James Madison's wife Dolley Madison has quite a mysterious name. Some have suggested that she was born Dorothea, others claim Dorothy, and some, just Dolley. The spelling of her name has also been the object of confusion, as documents vary between Dolley, Dolly, and even Dollie. Nowadays Dolley might hold too much baggage with the Dolly Parton association, but nevertheless, she's a sweet retro nickname.

Florence: Florence Harding
Florence Harding, wife of Warren G. Harding, was born Florence Mabel (what a combo!). She has a spectacular name that hasn't quite come into favor yet, despite similar -or- names like Cora and Nora rising in popularity.

Ida: Ida McKinley
Ida McKinley (no middle name) was the wife of President William McKinley. Her name, like many German names is very strong. With short, ends-in-a names being so in vogue, I'd like to see Ida back in the top 1000. 

Letitia: Letitia Tyler
Letitia Tyler was married to President John Tyler, who was first the Vice-President, and then the President of the United States. She vanished from the top 1000 in 1982, although she never broke the top 500. In this day and age, the similar Lettice or Lettie might be more favorable. 

Lou: Lou Hoover
Herbert Hoover's wife Lou was born simply Lou. Nowadays people assume a girl called Lou has a fuller name (Louisa, Lucy, maybe), but back in the late 1800s, this wasn't the case. I love the idea of using just Lou as a first name, but I know many of you won't agree with me. 

Lucretia: Lucretia Garfield
Lucretia Garfield, First Lady to James Garfield's President, was called Crete by those who were close to her. She dropped from the top 1000 in the late '70s, but like Letitia, never made it into the top 500. She might seem a little futsy to modern parents, but I think she's a fun way to get to Lu, Lulu, and the like.

Mamie: Mamie Eisenhower
Mamie Eisenhower was the wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. She was named Mamie Geneva, after the song Lovely Lake Geneva. Normally Mamie is considered a nickname for Margaret or Mary, but it's not extremely uncommon to see her as a given name. Mamie fits in with all the retro revivals of today, but is not likely to crack the top 1000 anytime soon, so go ahead and use her. Fun fact: Mamie Eisenhower had a sister named Mabel Frances who was called Mike.

Martha: Martha Washington
Martha Washington was the very first of the First Ladies to ever serve the United States. She did not have a middle name--Martha was born in 1731, where it was common practice to not give daughters middle names, since their maiden name would move to that position once they got married. Martha has been on a steady decline ever since the mid-century, but never made it out of the top 1000. I'm hopeful such a timeless name will begin to pick up steam soon.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day Round-Up

Madison Holmlund via Dribbble
Happy (almost) Valentine's Day everyone! As a tribute to my favorite holiday, I thought we'd take a look at some of my past Valentine and love-related posts.

February Names
For a broader, more subtle choice, why not name your baby after something that relates to her birth month? This post offers some advice about what to name a February babe.

Gods and Goddesses of Love Names
Gods and Goddesses associated with love make fantastic names for a baby valentine. I like Freya and Radha the best.

Romantic Word Names for Valentine's Day
In case you missed it, here is Monday's post all about which word names are best for a February 14th baby. They make wonderful middle names.

Same Meaning Sibsets
This round of Same Meaning Sibsets includes some options for a love-inspired set. My favorite is Esme, Kerensa, and Priya.

Valentine's Names
This post is all about names that have ties to love or Valentine's Day. So many good choices!

Have a lovely holiday everyone! XOXO

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

10 Hungarian Names You Never Thought of Using: Girls

Chris Agiasotis via Dribble
Hungarian names are not a subcategory we talk about often, but I was absolutely enchanted once I started researching them, These names blend Scandinavian simplicity and the harsh consonants associated with Eastern European names. I hope you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was. Who knew Hungarian names were this good?

Agi- Agi is the short and sweet Hungarian version of Agatha. Many Americans wouldn't dare use Agi on her own, but she makes a great nickname for all the Ag- names, including Agatha and Agnes.

Csilla- Csilla is an invented name--it was created by Mihaly Vorosmarty (a poet from the 1800s) for one of his poems. She looks like she'd be pronounced the same way as Cilla (which derives from Priscilla), but Csilla is actually said CHEEL-law.

Duci- Duci is a playful name that I could see gaining favor in the U.S. She's originally a nickname for Magdolna--the Hungarian form of Magdalene--but her similarities to names like Lucy and Dulcie make me think she can stand on her own.

Emese- Emese is quite a popular name in Hungary, ranking at #55 in her native country. She means "mother," making her a thoughtful yet subtle way to honor your mom.

Eniko- Eniko is another name created by Vorosmarty--what a great namer he was! However, Eniko is used more widely across the country. She peaked in 2006 at #32 on the Hungarian charts, and is currently down-trending, at #62 in 2014.

Etelka- Etelka is a rare Hungarian name. She's the feminine form of Etele, a male Hungarian name that comes from the Germanic Mythology name Etzel, which has ties to Attila. Whew! That's quite a lineage. Regardless, Etelka has a nice sound, and could fit in nicely with the babies of today.

Iren- Iren is Hungary's answer to Irene. She would be a lovely way to honor any of the Irene's in your life, and could answer to the nickname Ren.

Piri- Piri comes from Piroska (pronounced PEE-rosh-kaw), which may be the Hungarian version of Priscilla. If you're into cross-cultural names, she would also make a wonderful nickname for the Scandinavian Piritta.

Riza- In Hungary, Riza is a feminine variation of Theresa. However, the Turkish name Riza is masculine, and comes from the Arabic name Ridha. Not to worry though--almost any name ending in -a sounds feminine to American ears, so most (if not all) people will assume your Riza is a little lady.

Sarika- Sarika has a fascinating multi-cultural background. In Hungary, she's a version of Sarah. However, she also has Indian roots, where she is a variation of the Arabic name Sari. She's seen in other parts of Eastern Europe as well, making her a perfect choice for families of mixed backgrounds.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Romantic Word Names for Valentine's Day

Levi Fignar via Dribbble
Word names are always a good choice (especially when it comes to middle names), and I love the subtle whimsy of using one to play homage to the holiday that your baby was born around. The following romantic word names are perfect for a baby born any day this week.

Beau- Beau is an established name that no longer seems very wordy, which makes him the perfect inconspicuous Valentine's Day choice.

Bisou- Bisou is the French word for "kiss," but would sound charming and name-like to many American ears.

Chérie- Another French choice, "ma chérie" is a phrase meaning "my darling." How cute would that be on a little girl?

Cherish- A modern virtue name that reminds us of love and affection.

Crimson- This shade of red pops up all over the place in February.

Darling- Can Darling shed her pet-name status? For now, at least, she makes a great middle.

February- An unexpected month name that's fresher than April or June.

Fidelity- I think Fidelity will one day give Felicity a run for her money. Until then, she's an under-the-rader choice that connotates love and attachment.

Harp- One of the most romantic instruments, and a lovely alternative to Harper.

Heart- The symbol of Valentine's Day. For a less obvious spelling, go with Hart.

Holiday- More bold and obvious than most of the other names on this list, but there's nothing wrong with that.

Love- At it's essence, Valentine's Day is a holiday about love. How sweet would Love be on a February 14th born baby?

Poem- Poem is one of my favorite word names for any time of the year, but she works especially well around Valentine's Day.

Promise- Another up-and-coming virtue name with romantic undertones.

Rose- No other flower is as synonymous with Valentine's Day.

Sonnet- The most amorous type of poem, used regularly by Shakespeare.

Unity- Love unites two people, making Unity a sweet and subtle choice for a Valentine's Day babe.

Valentine- Of course, you could always get straight to the point with Valentine.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Shakespearean Names

Ben Didier via Dribbble
There's a reason everyone likes Shakespearean names--they signify class, romanticism, and intelligence, (most) without sounding too pompous or proper. If you're looking for one of these names for your son or daughter, I've compiled this list of the ones I deem most usable.

Girls
Adriana
Aemilia
Alice
Aliena
Angelica
Anne
Audrey
Beatrice
Bianca
Blanche
Calphurnia
Cassandra
Celia
Cleopatra
Constance
Cordelia
Cressida
Desdemona
Diana
Dionyza
Doll
Dorcas
Eleanor
Elizabeth
Emilia
Francisca
Gertrude
Helen
Helena
Hermia
Hermione
Hero
Imogen
Iris
Isabella
Jane
Jessica
Joan
Julia
Juliet
Juno
Kate
Katharine
Katherine
Lavinia
Leonine
Luce
Lucetta
Luciana
Margaret
Maria
Marianna
Marina
Meg
Miranda
Nan
Nell
Nerissa
Octavia
Olivia
Ophelia
Patience
Paulina
Perdita
Phebe
Portia
Regan
Rosalind
Rosaline
Silvia
Tamora
Thaisa
Thisbe
Timandra
Titania
Valeria
Viola
Virgilia
Volumnia

Boys
Aaron
Abraham
Adam
Adrian
Andrew
Ajax
Alexander
Alexas
Alonso
Angelo
Angus
Anthony
Antonio
Ariel
Arthur
Balthasar
Barnardo
Benedick
Benvolio
Berkeley
Bertram
Brandon
Caesar
Caius
Camillo
Cassio
Cassius
Cato
Charles
Christopher
Cicero
Cinna
Clarence
Claudio
Claudius
Cleomines
Cleon
Clifford
Clitus
Cloten
Corin
Cornelius
Curan
Curio
Curtis
Cymbeline
Davy
Demetrius
Denny
Dick
Dion
Duncan
Edgar
Edmund
Edward
Egeon
Emmanuel
Fabian
Fenton
Ferdinand
Flavius
Ford
Francis
Francisco
Frederick
Gardiner
George
Gerald
Gregory
Grey
Griffith
Harry
Hector
Henry
Horatio
Hubert
Hugh
Humphrey
Iago
Isidore
Jachimo
Jack
Jaques
James
Jamy
John
Joseph
Jourdain
Julius
Junius
Jupiter
Lennox
Leonardo
Leonato
Leonatus
Leontes
Lewis
Lorenzo
Louis
Lovell
Lucentio
Lucilius
Lucio
Lucius
Lysander
Macmorris
Malcolm
Marcellus
Marcus
Mark
Martius
Matthew
Mercutio
Michael
Montano
Morgan
Mortimer
Morton
Nathaniel
Ned
Nicholas
Nick
Nym
Oberon
Octavius
Oliver
Orlando
Orsino
Osrick
Oswald
Othello
Owen
Paris
Pedro
Percy
Peter
Peto
Philip
Philario
Philo
Polonius
Puck
Quince
Quintus
Reynaldo
Richard
Robert
Robin
Roderigo
Romeo
Ross
Sampson
Sebastian
Silvius
Simon
Smith
Stanley
Stephano
Taurus
Thomas
Timon
Timothy
Titus
Toby
Tom
Tranio
Travers
Troy
Valentine
Valerius
Varro
Vernon
Vincentio
Walter
Will
Williams
Willoughby

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

10 Portuguese Names You Never Thought of Using: Boys

Nilo Sadi via Dribbble
Portuguese is the third most common language in the world, yet compared to other cultures, they have relatively few uniquely Portuguese names. Many names have roots in both Spain and Portugal, neighboring countries with somewhat similar languages. However, these names are used all around the world, mostly in the countries that speak Portuguese natively. Go to Brazil, Mozambique, or even some parts of India, and these names will not seem so rare. But the U.S. hasn't quite jumped on the Portuguese name bandwagon yet, so I have a few suggestions to get us started.

Bento- Ask any American what they think of when they hear the word "bento" and they will respond with "bento box." While this Japanese style of lunch might inspire a few Bentos (though, it's more commonly heard on pets), chances are, if you meet a Bento, his name is the Portuguese variation of Ben.

Breno- Breno is the Portuguese form of Brennus, a Celtic name that insinuates royalty. He's a little less foodie than Bento, but more exotic than Ben. Breno Borges is a Portuguese footballer, and probably the namesake for many a Breno.

Carmo- In Portugal, Carmo is a unisex name, although it does come from the female name Carmel. The -o ending makes it read masculine to me, so I would choose to use Carmo on a boy. The original name, Carmel, means "garden" in Hebrew, and has ties to the Virgin Mary.

Isdro- Is- names are heating up for boys (possibly the next mini-trend?) and Isdro is a great one to add to that list. He's a more contemporary-sounding variation of Isidore, a name that hasn't been in the top 1000 since the 1920s. You could call your Isdro by the unisex nickname Izzy, but I also like the sound of Dro.

Leandro- Most American readers will want to pronounce Leandro the Spanish way--lee-ANN-droh. The Portuguese version varies only slightly--lee-AHN-droo--like adding an extra syllable to Andrew. He currently ranks at #784. I'll be curious to see if that number goes up this Spring.

Matteus- Matthew is one of those names that has a variant everywhere you go, and Portugal is no exception. Matteus is one of my favorite ones. He's short, easy to say, and a global pick--that's right, he also has roots in Norway and Sweden.

Nilo- Bored by the dated and frankly overused nicknames for Daniel? Use Nilo instead. He's a Spanish/Portuguese (and possibly Finnish?) diminutive, and the perfect length for a nickname. So there's no confusion, he does not rhyme with Milo, he sounds like NEE-low.

Rui- Speaking of global names, how about Rui? Surprisingly enough, he's used in Portugal, Japan, and China. However, he's most popular in Portugal, where he's ranked #52 (but falling). The Portuguese version is a variation of Roderick, which means "famous ruler."

Sansao- Sansao is my favorite name of today's list. He's uniquely Portuguese--their version of Samson--and I think he'd make a great American import. With Samson rising in popularity, I can definitely see Sansao becoming a more mainstream choice--if only he can get on peoples' radar screens.

Urbano- The name Urban would be so appealing, but I fear it's one of those word names that will never catch on, simply because he's too "wordy." But I can picture Urbano being a hit. He has an exotic yet familiar sound, and the wordiness of Urban is cut by the extra syllable. Two thumbs up for Urbano.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Full Names for Pia

Tolga Gezginis via Behance
Pia is a true multi-cultural name. She's heard in cultures all over the world, from Asia to South America, and in almost every European country. Pia is such a well-liked, easily translatable name--it's high time America took a page from the global handbook. However, I fear Americans think she's too short to stand on her own, so I came up with a list of possible full name options.

Olympia- Quite possibly the most obvious way to get to Pia. Olympia is gorgeous--stylish and modern with an Ancient Greek feel.

Olympiada- Olympia's even more extravagant sister. The nickname Pia is a good counterpart.

Pacifica- Reminiscent of the soothing ocean--in fact, she means "tranquil."

Pamelia- The Spanish version of Pamela, but much more contemporary thanks to the "Amelia" hidden inside. In today's world, Pia is a more fashionable nickname than Pam.

Pascasia- A lovely feminization of Pascale, Pia and Cassie are nickname options

Patricia- A name that definitely feels dated, but using the nickname Pia negates that.

Paulina- Possibly coming back into style thanks to star power. A Paulina called Pia would be charming.

Philippa- Pippa is usually Philippa's nickname of choice, but Pia works just as well.

Piala- This aged Celtic names perfectly lends herself to the nickname Pia.

Piritta- There are probably quite a few Pirittas called Pia--Piritta is a Finnish name, and you'll find many Pias in Scandinavia.

Portia- Portia doesn't have any obvious short forms, but Pia works as a contraction nickname for her.

Sepia- As colorful as Sienna, but with the added bonus of the nickname Pia.