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Monday, October 21, 2013

Northern Minnesota Real Names (Oct 13 and 20th)

Louis H
Thomas John
Tallon Raining
Benjamin Theodore
Bryton Phoenix
Bryson James
Ernest Leroy

Sophia Joyce
Piper June
Rowan Marie
Berit Emily
Freya Vivianna
Aria Lynn Marie
Charlotte Nancy
Mila Kaelynn Sam
Lanie Beth
Janaya Jo

Emily Rae and Elise Marie

Funny that two names that Nameberry recently listed as on the rise appeared this week (Freya and Louis). What do you think of a little girl named Berit?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Name Inspiration: The Little Mermaid Sisters

According to Disney, King Triton, ruler of the see in The Little Mermaid, is quite the naming buff (or maybe its his never-seen wife?). He has seven daughters, all with complex "A" names, ending of course in the main character Ariel. Her is some "under the sea" inspired names for you! 

Attina - A name with unknown origins, used infrequently. Possibly a take on Athena (Greek goddess of wisdom, strategy, and heroes. Possibly a female version of the ancient Macedonian name Attinas. Also a place name - there is an Atina, Italy, an Atina, Greece, and an Atina, Turkey (as well as an Atina, Ohio, because the U.S. loves to borrow place names). Or, just play on the common name ending/nickname Tina.

Aquata - With Aqua right in it, its hard to miss this beinga  play on the word for water (especially as it is assigned to a mermaid in this case). It is actually a Latin word meaning "having a watery constitution".

Adrina - This is a variant of the Latin name Adrienne, meaning "from Hadria".

Adella - A variant of the Old German "Adela" or "Adelaide", which all mean "Noble and Kind".

Arista - A Greek name meaning "the best", related to the word Aristocrat, comes in variant forms Aristella and Aristelle.

Alana - A derivation of the masculine Alan or possible old German Elaine. Depending on how you come to it, it could have many different meanings and is a rather modern version of the name.

Ariel - And here is the big one, the one that is officially a "Disney Princess". I was quite young when Little Mermaid came out and the movie was my very first reference for that name. I was astounded when I was bit old to meet a "real life" Ariel. I am pretty sure I can (and maybe should) write an entire post about using Disney Princesses names. Anyways, Ariel is Hebrew name meaning Lion of God, and originated as a boys name.

Would you use any of these names? I find Adella and Ariel quite appealing. Is there any great "a" names that fit with this group that you are surprised Disney didn't use? My own name, Amanda, fits into the song quite well but isn't exotic enough for a Mermaid!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Northern Minnesota Baby Names: Sept 29th and Oct 2nd

Maili Marie
Rayna Lynn
McKenzie Mae
Jaclyn Sara
Nora Jean
Addison Claire
Addison Grace
Adeline Elizabeth
Kathlin RaeAnn
Dorthea Senja
Elouise Janene
Adilynn Florence
Kayden Elizabeth

Mason Matthew
Tayton Daniel
Brayden Edward
Hunter Allen
Casheon Lane
Izack Matthew
Kendrick Allen
Braxton John

More rare names, many which of intrigue me - Maili, Senja, Tayton, and Casheon. Also many potential Addy/Addies were born with Addison, Addison, Adeline, and Adilynn. Also, some unique spellings with Janene, Izack, Elouise, Kathlin, Dorthea, and Jaclyn. Not made up certainly, but not the most popular versions either.

Friday, October 11, 2013

By the Numbers - Top 100 Girls Names 2012

It recently came to my attention that Stella is a top 100 name. Actually, it has been in the top 100 for three years already after a meteoric rise that started in 1998. I guess I was not the only one that found it to be a quirky, fun alternative to the extremely popular Ella. What this discovery made me realize is that I really don't know the top 100 names. I tend to look up rankings when I want to know something specific and haven't just looked at them in depth much. So, I am going to try to do a bit more of that.

It Starts With...
If all letters were created equal, each letter would have about 4 names in the top 100, but that is clearly not the case. The letter "A" is by far the most popular for girls in 2012, and probably as a general rule, the most common start of girls names. The other letters that are overrepresented are S, M, L, K,E, and C. I was surprised to find out there isn't a single "D" name in the top 100, so if you are looking for a unique initial, try Darcy, Dori, or Deanna on for size.

It Ends With...
Just another interesting break down about how popular various endings are. 

It Sounds Like...

 Depending how you look at it, there are either 5 or 6 names that are phonetically identical in the top 100. The last, Madelyn and Madeline, really depends on the parent's intentions, as they can be pronounced differently but not everyone does (to the chagrin of many naming nerds I am sure). As these names are effectively in the top 100 two times, they are even more popular than their ranking alone suggests. Also, if we could all agree on how to spell these names, five (or six) more names could be in the top 100. In that case, Maria, Brooke, Payton (wait! its another phonetic twin), Paisley, and Paige could squeeze in! Even Ruby may have squeezed in.

 Along with the identical spellings, there are also some names that are obviously related, even though they are distinct from another. They may share a sound or a nickname. This is obviously quite subjective. For awhile I had Aubrey and Audrey both on here, only one letter difference, but I decided to try to limit it more than that (similarly I removed the name family of Arianna, Ariana, and Aria). Once again, a name that appears on this list (or could if I broadened it) is more "popular" than even the top 100 ranking suggests. No one is certain how many "Maddie/Maddy"s there are in classrooms, or"Belle"s, or "Lexi"s, these nicknames may be much more common than their lengthened versions. As with all things with name popularity, its a matter of opinion whether having a Kaylee and Kayla in the bedroom is better than having two Kaylee's. It is something interesting to think about though!

WHAT? That is top 100?
What inspired this post was the discovery that Stella is in the top 100, but there are plenty of others in the top 100 that surprised me. These are the names women who are not name nerds may choose feeling like its unique and they have never heard it used on a child, just to realize once the child is born that the name is shockingly popular amongst newborns.  Of course labeling these names is again somewhat subjective, but a name is likely to feel like it should be on this list if its a recent arrival to the top 100, especially after a fast rise. Even if a name has been in the top 100 for a decade, it might have this "rare" feeling if it has longer history is of rarity. For example, Riley has been in the top 100 since 2002, over a decade, but has only been in the top 1000 since 1990. It had a fast rise. When the people who are currently choosing baby names (20-40 year olds) were forming their naming vocabularies, Riley was hardly on the name radar, it would have been very rare to know one. I did not go through and analyze every name this way, but I did go into names I had this "surprise" feeling about and pulled some numbers. After looking at some of the numbers, I found out some of the names that surprised me (such as Maya and Lydia) are probably just personal blind spots, but the below list is names that could be surprising based on their fast rise.

*Stella reappeared in the top 1000 14 years ago after a hiatus

In Summary
OK. Was this post nerdy enough for you? FIVE charts. It took a lot of time and effort. I do hope to complete it for the boys top 100 as well. I hope people find some use in it, I certainly learned a lot. I also wanted to say, I know a lot of times when I blog about names being popular it comes off as "negative". That tone is a result of my personal preferences. When push comes to shove, popularity is just one fact about a name that could contribute to someones choice to use it. Its good, in my opinion, to have all the facts when your choosing a name, and popularity is part of the puzzle, for better or worse!

What do you think? Were there any "surprise" names for you? Any names I found to be surprising that you thought obviously were popular? Would any of this information change your choice for a name?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Lois Clubs

Did you know there is a national club in the United States for people named Lois?

Its called Lois Club (straight to the point I guess). I learned this recently because they appeared in the local news. Yes, its not a very big city if you were curious. They made the news for inducting a new member that was 3 months old. 28 Loises got together to meet the newborn, who one RN said she had been looking for in her hospital's newborn ward form 35 years. The name Lois last peaked in 1930 at 17th. It steadily fell in popularity since then, falling out of the top 1000 in 1983, making the 35 year claim quite plausible. The SSA only lists names in state data if at least five were born in that state in a given year, and this has not happened in Minnesota since 1974, when six Loises were born.

Is Lois on the rise? The baby Lois in the story was  named after her Grandma. Lois is a true vintage, and it has the popular culture tie in of Superman (Man of Steel was recently released here, though not to much acclaim). It also shares some sounds and traits with some more popular names such as Lucy, Lola, and Eloise. However, its not on the move just yet. Nationally there were 92 babies named Lois in 2012. Ten years ago in 2002 it was 83. That's not much movement! I guess we will just have to wait and see if the Lois Club is doomed to die out, or if its about to be reborn.

In related predictions... I am going to be watching out for Louise to enter the top 1000 names for the first time in the next few years. I am just hearing so much buzz about it, and again it shares sounds and traits with many other rising names. There were 5 born nationally in 2002, and 152 in 2012... a bit more movement, though it still has a a ways to go! Last year name #1000 was Katalina with 251 births.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Northern Minnesota Real Names (Sept 15th and Sept 22)

Easton James
Mason Matthew
Avery Allen Daniel
Riker Richard
Cole Christopher
Gavin Michael
Henry Joseph
Alex Jon
Noah Russell
Axel Charles
Jesse Jon

Quinn Eileen
Abigail Zoe
Ella Christine
Elsie May
Aurora Naomi
Liari Quinn
Clara Rose
Anastasia Paige
Bella Marie
Salina Rose
Piper Dagny
Ellie Mae Miranda

With Ella, Elsie, and Ellie, you can see the "EL" trend is alive and well, but people are putting their own twist on it. I do wonder if Ellie Mae Miranda will go by the double-barrel first name Ellie Mae, which is lovely. Dagny is an interesting middle name choice - quirky, fun and gender neutral, it is an old Norse name meaning "New Day"I also noticed a lot of alliteration in the boys names - Avery Allen, Cole Christopher, etc. The two names from this week that are the most rare are Riker and Liari, drastically different feels but neither has ever been in the top 1000.