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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Harry Potter Alphabet: G is for Gilderoy

Gabrielle - Gabrielle is not exactly uncommon, but its not over used either. It is, of course, a French female version of Gabriel, which is Hebrew in origin and means "hero of god"  (Gabrielle Delacour)
Ginny/Ginevra - I already discussed this name somewhat in my How To Get your Nickname: Ginny. It is an Italian version of Jennifer, meaning fair or smooth. It is actually really growing on me... funny how names do that! (Ginny Weasley)
Gladys - An old name that has largely fallen out of use, perhaps due for revival? Gladys makes me think of the flower Gladiolus, but it is actually a name of many origins - perhaps a feminine version of Claude, meaning "lame", perhaps French meaning "sword" (Gladys Gudgeon)
Griselda - Reminiscent of a fairy tale somehow, this is an old German name meaning "dark battle". Shortens to the more popular "Zelda" (Madam Griselda)

Gilderoy - Another name that seems reminiscent of stories, Gilderoy is a variant of Gilroy, which is Gaelic and means "son of a red head"  (Gilderoy Lockhart)
Godric - This Old English name means what it sounds like - god or ruler. It feels like an old knights name to me. Quite romantic. I can see myself using it! (Godric Gryffindor)
Gideon - This name meaning powerful warrior is biblican in origin, and rising in popularity. It has gone from non-ranked to 412 in the last 15 years.  (Gideon Prewitt)
Gilbert - Has this name yet overcome the movie What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Not statistically, it has been dropping in popularity since 1930, but has yet to fall out of the top 1000. I like the nickname options of Gil or Gilly (couldn't Gil also be for Gilderoy though... hmm perhaps this deserves its own post). Gilbert is old French in origin and means bright promise (Gilbert Wimple)

More common names that I chose not to discuss:
Gregory (Gregory Goyle)
Geoffrey (Geoffrey Hooper)
George (George Weasley)
Graham (Graham Pritchard)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saint Patrick's Day - Solute to the Irish

While we think of Irish names as being Patrick, Brian, Caitlin and Ciara, or unpronounceable Gaelic gems like Aithche, Moirna, and Nuadha, in reality Irish families are naming their kids many of the same things American's are, with a few exceptions. What names are actually popular in Ireland right now?

Pretty typical over all. although of course you wont find Harry, Ryan or Chloe anywhere near the top 10 here in America. If you are looking for something a big more exotic though, you do not have to venture far outside the top ten. For boys, Oisin, Cian, Darragh, and Cillian all come in the top 25, while for girls Aoife, Caoimhe, and Saoirse make the same cut.

The Boys
Oisin - Pronounced "oh-sheen", this name is from Gaelic mythology, son of a legendary warrior and a goddess. The name means "little deer"

Cian - Pronounced "Key-in", this name means ancient or enduring. While not currently in the top ten, it has been in the past and is on a down swing in popularity.

Darragh - Pronounced "die-rah", this name means fruitful or fertile. This is also used as a girls name with alternate spelling Daire or Dara.

Cillian - Pronounced like Killian, this name makes me think of the beer (Killian's Red). It means "associated with the church". There is a St Cillian who left Ireland to convert German tribes.

The Girls
Aoife - Pronounced like Ee-Fa, this is Irish spelling of Eva. It means Beautiful, Radiant, or joyful.

Caoimhe - Pronounced like "Key-vah", this is a female version of Kevin and means "gently, beautiful, preciuos".

Saoirse - Pronounced "sir-sha", this is a "word as a name, it is the Gaelic word for freedom or liberty. Its use as a name is relatively new and is very patriotic.

I also though, just for fun, why not pull the stats for Northern Ireland? So here those are! Very similar, but not identical, to those of Ireland.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Names that Cars Ruined for Me

There are literally thousands of car models in the world, some more famous or infamous than others. Therefore I guess its no surprise that car names overlap with baby names. The follow is a list of some names that I actually really like but probably would never use because they have become car names.

Cayenne - Here is a unique name that is a type of hot pepper, and more recently the name of a Porsche. My husband and I actually both liked this for a girls name when I was pregnant, but crossed it off due to the car association, so really this is the name that inspired this post! I do not think this particular car will be long lived, but the timing was just poor for when we were choosing a name.

Pacifica - Recently featured as the name of the day at Appellation Mountain, a Chrysler Pacifica is the type of car I am driving right now. Its unfortunate, because I think its actually a really beautiful girls name and has a nice long history of use (its not just a place name!). Once again, like the Cayenne, this model is not long lived, but as I drive one, the name is unusable.

Taurus - This is the most "typical" car on the American roads. The Ford Taurus. It was THE Sedan for a long time, so unlike the first two options the assocation with the car is here to stay. Taurus is also a zodiac sign, and a boys name meaning bull in Latin. It is also related to the saint's name Taurinus. I think this name might gain some popularity if it were not for the car, especially with the trending "s" ending.

Ford - This could easily be a great "last name as first name" or a presidential honor name, if it were not for the car company. When I see Ford these days. I think "Fix Or Repair Daily".

Bentley - I actually DO know a guy named Bentley. The name is strongly associated with the brand, but it is a luxury brand so the association is not as negative as it might be for some other cars.

Shelby - Here is another case where the association might be OK because it is not negative. The Shelby Cobra might actually be a car that is worth naming a little girl after!

Other "car" names I considered putting in this post but did not quite make the cut: Denali, Acadia, Odyssey, Sonata, Elantra

Do you like any of these "Car" names? Does it matter that they are associated with a car? Did I miss any obvious ones? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

How to Get Your Nickname: Millie

 The nickname Millie, traditionally a nickname, recently has made it into the top 1000 on its own as a given name, ranking 816th in 2011. If you think its cute, but prefer to keep it as a nickname, here are some longer names it can come from.

Amelia - By far the most popular/trendy option, ranked 30th in 2011. It is Latin and Old German meaning "industrious, striving". Closely related names that are also options would be Emily, Emilia, Amalia,or Amelie. Emily is very common in the U.S. and has been for ages. However, using the nickname for it would give it a new twist.

Amil - This is a form of Amy meaning "beloved". It is so short and sweet it may not need a nickname at all, but the option is there.

Camilla/Camille - Camilla is a Latin name meaning "helper to the priest". The most popular spelling/version is actually Camila, ranked 48th. Spellings with a "k" are also an option (Kamille/Kamilla etc).

Mildred - Mildred, of Old German origin, means Gentle Strength. There is a Saint Mildred who was known for kindness. Mildred has not been in the top 1000 since 1984, it was most popular from 1915-1920, when it ranked 5th. I try to be positive about most baby names, but I had to admit this is one of my least favorite baby names out there. This name is actually what inspired this post, because I think Millie is adorable, but could not bear the idea of Mildred. The reason for my dislike - the like sound word "Mildew" and the inclusion of the syllable "dred" (just like dread). That said, it is a perfectly good name and has a nice strong meaning.

Millicent - With Old French origins meaning "brave and strong," Millicent has never been in the top 400 names, and hasn't been in the top thousand since 1965. For some reason, it reminds me of the evil queen in Disney's version of Sleeping Beauty, but her name is actually Maleficent, so its not really that close of a connection.

Milana - This is a slavic name meaning "favored". The very similar Miliana is of Latin/Spanish origin and means eager.

Milagros- Like Miliana, Milagros is Spanish, meaning miracle. With Miracle becoming a popular "word as a name" name in many communities, Milagros could fit in well.

Vermillion - When I discussed red names, I labelled Vermillion as having a more masculine feel to me, but really it could work quite well for a girl and Millie would be the perfect nickname.

Do you like the nickname Millie? Would you use it as a given name, or opt for one of the above options? I think my favorite is Camille.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Name Rainbow: Orange

Welcome to any new readers that may be visiting! And much thanks to Disney Baby for including me in a list of The Best Blogs for Baby Name Inspiration! I was pleasantly surprised to see so much traffic from a new source! Onto the baby names...

Orange is my favorite color. There are some great name options if I decide this is an inspiration to name our next child! The interesting thing about shades of orange is that many of them are actually the names of something else as well. When we did red names we had "Cherry" (or Cerise) red, but there were also many shades unrelated to a tangible red object. Orange does not have the same number of "unique" shade names. In fact, of the list below, only ONE is not also the name of a fruit, spice, mineral, or flower! 

Tenné/Tenny/Tawny - This brownish shade of orange is used by sports clubs, schools, and even the South African army at one time. Tenny is cute and has a nickname sounds. Tawny has a history of use as a name for girls and has a nice ring to it.

Rust/Rusty - This strikes me as a "cowboy" name as my sister would call it, goes with names like Dirk, Wayne, Tex and Colt/Colton. Rusty was a ranked baby name in the U.S. from 1946-1995, topping out at 328th in 1961.
Amber - One of the more common "orange" color names, a semi-precious gem formed when tree resin petrifies. Amber was pretty popular back in the 80s and early nineties, currently ranked 260th. It might be a "Mom" name now, but its still beautiful.
Amber can come in a variety of shades.

Saffron - Commonly known as the most expensive spice, Saffron is derived from a Crocus. It would make a lovely name for boy or girl, though I particularly like it for a girl because for some reason I think of nicknaming her Sassy. (Though with Seb for Sebastian, and Sep for Septimus or Guiseppi and Sef (occasionally) for Joseph, a little Saf would fit in quite well).
Poppy - A beautiful vibrantly orange flower, Poppy has never been a top 1000 names, which sort of suprises me. It does have a "nickname" ring, but there are plenty nicknames that are ranked.
Ginger- I debated what color to put Ginger under. My husband thinks of it as red (as it is a nickname for red heads), it can be pink when pickled, yellow when ground and dried, with all that in mind I put it under orange. The main problem with using Ginger as name IS the fact it is derogatory slang for a red head. That said, it has quite a history of use.

Pumpkin - This might be a bit of a stretch as a given name, but many previously "term of endearment" words have been used before.
Persimmon - While unique, I really like this option for a boy. While it is pronounced differently, (per- sim - um), it visually has the name Simon in it (pronounced Sigh-mon). You could use Simon as a nickname, or Pers. For a girl, nickname Simi. 
Clementine - I have been a fan of this name since seeing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in college, a unique movie about love and memory. It is a name that everyone has heard but no one thinks of - thanks to the song "Oh my Darling Clementine". Admittedly not the most happy song. Clementine has not been in the top 1000 since 1953. but I knew a couple Clementine's born in the past year or two and I think its about to surge and make a reappearance.
Tangerine - If Clementine can be a name, why not Tangerine? Yes, a bit more of a stretch again. but still seems quite viable to me.

All the names above are actual shades of orange, or closely associated with a shade of orange. Below are three other options, all "real" names that have a connection to the color orange somehow. Coincidentally, all of them are girls names.
Lantana - A county in Florida, but also a small flower that can sometimes be orange. (Kind of a double orange meaning to me since Florida is known for oranges). Possible nicknames Lana or Ana.
Nerola- An Italian name meaning "orange flower"
Valencia - A type of orange (named for the region they come out of), or a girls name of Latin origin meaning "strong and healthy".

Do any orange names appeal to you?