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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Harry Potter Alphabet: J is for Janus

When I was younger, J was one of my favorite naming letters. It is the reason I love the name Benjamin. Now, a bit older, and I actually find J to be a challenge for naming, and it appears that I am not alone - JK Rowling only used six "J" names in her books, and some of these are a stretch - one is a surname, and one is a middle name.

Justin - Justin is an old Latin name, related to the name Justus, and the word Justice. It means "just, upright, and righteous". Most popular in the late 80s/early 90s, the name is still in the top 100, but on the decline.  (Justin Finch-Fletchley)

Jack - American is no stranger to Jack. This exact variant has been in the top 100 since 1996, and other versions (Jackson, Jax, Jaxon, etc) also all have had recent popularity. Jack is originally a nickname for John, but broke off on its own a long time ago. (Jack Sloper)

Jane (Deloris Jane Umbridge) - Jane is very popular as a middle name currently. (So popular I have feared when making my own name decisions that it is this generation's version of Lynn. You would be astounded by how many women my age have the middle name Lynn). Despite its middle name popularity, it is ranked rather low (mid 300s) as a first name. The saying tied to the name is "Plain Jane", and I have seen several women worry that they "like the name, but is it too boring?". I don't think its boring at all. I think its classy, and sometimes, simple is exactly what we need.

Jordan (Lee Jordan) - So, Jordan is actually used as a surname in Harry Potter, but fans now that this character rarely goes by his first name Lee. The voice of Professor McGonnagal shouting Jordan still echoes in my ears. Jordan is one of my favorite gender-neutral names. (OK... it actually might be one of the only gender-neutral names I like!). It has been in the top 1000 for awhile, but really took off as a boy's name in the 80s (right around the time Michael Jordan entered the scene... coincidence? I think not...).

James (James Potter) - Regal, Biblical, and overall, classic. James reached its all time low of popularity in 2010... when it hit 19th. That's right, since 1880, James has never fallen out of the top 100. Talk about a perennial.

Janus (Janus Thickey) - This boys name Janus is an old Latin name, also the Roman god of doors. It means "gateway". Similar sound female names, like Janet, Janice, and Janelle are a bit out of fashion. Does that mean Janus is outdated, or due for a comeback? (Janus Thickey)

So what do you think? Is there a James or Jane in your future? What about the more unique Janus? Did Rowling do "J" justice?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Get Your Nickname: Carlie

In 2012, 2287 girls in the US were named some version of Carlie. The most popular spelling is Carly, followed by Carlee, Carlie, Carley, and Carleigh in that order. A similar name, Carla, is also ranked in the top 1000. Love the sound of Carlie but want to give your kid a more formal option? Try on the names below for size...

Charlotte - Growing in popularity, and most recently coming at 19th, many mom's are choosing this with the nicknames of Charlie or Lottie in mind, but Carlie is just as fitting!

Charletta - If Charlotte is getting too popular for your taste, you could try this variation.

Caroline - Carlie is a more updated nickname for this old classic then Carol. Just as with Charlotte and Charlette, Carolina is also an option (or Carolin).

Carabella - Belle names are all the vogue, (in fact this blog at Baby Name Wizard lists 146 Belle names that made it into the public SSA records in 2012), so why not Carabelle? It could have a great meaning too - beloved beauty.

Carlicia - This is probably one of the most direct routes to Carlie, along with the slight variations of Carlisa and Caralisa.

Charlene - I am not sure this name is quite ready for a comeback. It was most popular in 1949, when it reached the rank of 100th, but has declined since then and fell entirely out of the top 1000 in the 2000. But if you want to use it as an honor name, Carlie could be a great nickname.

Carmella - A more feminine frilly version of Carmen.

Caraliesa - This is especially good for people who love the sound of Carlie but want something more formal! A similar option is Caralie.

Scarlett/Scarletta - It is always hard to identify the names that have the nickname in the middle, but this one is obvious. Currently ranked 61st, it is a trendy choice, but the nickname Carlie could offer another twist.

So what do you think? Any of these worth considering?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Northern Minnesota Real Names (January 2014)

Dom Kenneth
Luca Christopher
Orlando John
Robert Allert-Nordman
Dominic Robert
Fisher Kelvin
Jacob Benjamin
Morrison Lawrence
Jaden Elias
Jaxon Timothy
Bennett Robert
Caleb Joseph
Lucas Stephen
Damasio Tony
Cohen Robert
Roman Cameron
Rhett James
Parker Joseph
Ward William
Eirik Harold William

Olivia Genevieve
IraRose Reign
Riley Marie
Maizie Mae
Isla Denise
McKinlee Anne Marie
Willow Barbara-Kit
Chelsea Fay
Isla Kathleen
Karly Kathleen

Any comments? Two Isla's in one month. I knew this name was on the rise, maybe is climbing faster then we would have suspected!! Also, a lot of double middle names - and hyphenated middle names, something I hadn't really considered.