Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome to NOVember!


As we enter into November, I wonder about the likability of the month's name as a baby name. So, I look into the history of it, as well as the history in general of names that begin with the letters N-O-V.

First, let's look at meanings. November means "ninth month" and was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar. The meanings of names that begin with Nov- usually include "new" or "young".

Now, let's look at popularity throughout history. I checked every 10 years since 1881 and listed each name that begins with Nov- along with the number of babies born with that name:


Nova 13
Novella 13

Nova 23
Novella 28
Novie 8

Nova 36, 5
Novella 63
Novie 8

Nova 91, 5
Noval 5
Novel 6
Novella 140
Novelle 7
Novice 9
Novie 10

Nova 75, 7
Novella 90
Novie 5

Nova 35
Novella 74

Nova 33
Novel 7
Novella 53

Nova 23
Novella 37

Nova 46, 6
Novella 32
November 6

Nova 53
Novella 6
Novia 7

Nova 20
Novella 7
Novia 7
Novian 15

Nova 86, 19
Novalee 62
Novaleigh 6
Novali 5
Novella 7
November 16
Novia 6

Nova 29341
Novah 216
Novak 19
Novalea 7
Novalee 83
Novaleigh 15
Novali 6
Novalie 12
Novalynn 8
Novella 33
November 30
Novia 7

Nova and Novella have a constant presence over recorded history. Novalee, and it's various spellings, has been around since 2000, probably due to the book by Billie Letts and the subsequent movie starting Natalie Portman, Where the Heart Is, in which the lead character is named Novalee Nation. Other names I saw in the annual lists that weren't used in the years above are Novalene, Novaline, Novaly, Novena, Noveta, and Novis.

November first appeared as a given name in the 1970s, but has only recently started to make a scene (albeit a small one). The thirty Novembers born in 2011 are the most born in any year. Visually, I think it's a beautiful name and it has a pretty nickname in Ember. Out of all the Nov- names, I like Novalene or Novaline in terms of sound. But overall, I really love Novella. It is a word name literature-enthusiasts would love (a novella is a narrative that is shorter than a novel but longer than a novelette), flows nicely, and has the always attractive "ah" ending we love for our girls.

For boys, Novian has a strong sound to which people who like Adrian or Damion might be attracted.

What do you think of November as a given name? Which of the Nov- names is your favorite?



  1. I like how there's always been some Nova's (and Novia & Novella, which really need some more love). They're really great names, and perfect for November. I'm glad Nova broke into the top 1000.

  2. I was thinking of NOV names and came up with some options not on your lists:
    Novi, Novette, Novetta, Novy, Novann, Novani. Since I have a November birthday it interests me. Actually I like Novani. I do love month names as my middle name is June and my mother's middle name was Mae. I always thought that was kinda neat. I do love this blog Kelli.


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