Friday, June 28, 2013

Double Letter Names - 2012 Girls

Have you ever considered naming your children with the theme of "double letter names"? Well, there would be a very wide pool for you to choose from if you did so desire. Looking at the Top 1000 for 2012, and assuming I counted correctly, there are 240 girl names with double letters. Out of those, quite a few are different spellings of the same name (there are 184 names after the spellings are combined) and there are quite a few -lynn, -ee, and -elle names. Among those and not, there are some great finds to consider! Here is a list of those that jumped out at me:


What about at the bottom of the list? Here are some double-lettered finds given to 10 girls or less in 2012:


I'm sure there are a TON of great double letter names in between the Top 1000 and the bottom of what's beyond the Top 1000. Maybe I will peruse them from time to time. In the meantime, what is your favorite double letter name for a girl?

I will post about the boy double letter names next week!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Diverted by a Name: Mireille

photo via IMDB

As I was looking at the names of the cast of World War Z, one jumped out at me. First, I wondered how to pronounce it. Then, I wondered why it's not used more. Yes, I was completely diverted by Mireille.

Mireille Enos is an actress, best known for her current roll in the television show The Killing. She is American on her dad's side and French on her mom's side, the latter half being the source of her name. Pronounced "mee-RAY", the name Mireille is French and possibly derived from the Occitan word for "to admire." Abby at Appellation Mountain has also highlighted the name, and more information on its origin can be found there.

The actress is one of five children: Mireille, Veronique, Ginger, Jongiorgi, and Raphael. And not only is she well-named, but she knows HOW to name... her daughter with husband and actor Alan Ruck is named Vesper Vivianne.

Besides the WWZ actress, numerous ladies have carried or carry the beautiful name, including author Mireille Guiliano, singer and actress Mireille Hartuch, film producer Mireille Soria, and opera singer Mireille Delunsch.

A lot of what I have read says that Mireille is considered a dated name in France. However, in other parts of the world, the name could be seen as fresh and new. If you like the feel of Mireille but are wary of the probable pronunciation issues, try other versions like Mirella, Mirelle or Mireya. Nicknames could include Mimi, Rae, Mia, Mira, or, if you want to stretch it, Millie.

What do you think of Mireille?

Info from TV Guide, Wikipedia, IMDB, and Behind the Name.


Monday, June 17, 2013

H Boy Names: Then and Now

In 1970, H boy names disappeared from the Top 100. One did not appear in the Top 100 again until 1993. What's the deal?

In 1880, there were nine boy names that started with H in the Top 100:


Between 1880 and 1970, two other H names entered the Top 100:


But they all slowly dissipated and disappeared altogether from the top after Henry fell out in 1970.

In 1993, Hunter appeared to save the H's. Hunter was the only H in the Top 100 until Hayden entered in 2002, and then Henry rejoined the elite in 2006. The three of them hung out in the Top 100 together until 2012, when Hayden fell off and Hudson joined the group.

As I discovered previously with the letter R, analyzing the history of names for a specific letter reveals some interesting trends. Henry is a classic that lasted the longest and then returned to the Top 100 after disappearing for 36 years, and Harrison is also currently climbing, but the other older H boy names have vanished in exchange for the new Hayden, Hudson and Hunter. Harvey and Hugh might slowly be turning things around, but the rest are still falling if they haven't already fallen out of the Top 1000 already. And check out the sounds... the new sound seems to be Hu- ("huh")... no more Her- or Ho-, and Har- with the "har" pronunciation is barely surviving with the possible resurgence of Harvey and with the "hare" pronunciation is surviving with the rise in Harrison. The only surprise to me is that Harry keeps decreasing in popularity. Maybe it's due to the movement away from nicknames as given names, because Henry and Harrison are on the rise again; some parents may choose to go with one of those and use Harry as a nickname.

What is your favorite H boy name? Are there any of the "old" names you would like see return to the top?

Note: For a look at the history of H girl names in the Top 100, click here.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Miss USA 2013

I do not watch beauty pageants, but I do go through the names of the contestants. :) Here are the ladies that will be competing for Miss USA on Sunday!

Mary Margaret - Alabama
Melissa "Lissa" - Alaska
Rachel - Arizona
Hannah - Arkansas
Mabelynn - California
Amanda - Colorado
Erin - Connecticut
Rachel - Delaware
Jessica - DC
Michelle - Florida
Brittany - Georgia
Brianna - Hawaii
Marissa - Idaho
Stacie - Illinois
Emily - Indiana
Richelle - Iowa
Staci - Kansas
Allie - Kentucky
Kristen - Louisiana
Ali - Maine
Kasey - Maryland
Sarah - Massachusetts
Jaclyn - Michigan
Danielle - Minnesota
Paromita - Mississippi
Ellie - Missouri
Kacie - Montana
Ellie - Nebraska
Chelsea - Nevada
Amber - New Hampshire
Libell - New Jersey
Kathleen - New Mexico
Joanne - New York
Ashley - North Carolina
Stephanie - North Dakota
Kristin - Ohio
Makenzie - Oklahoma
Gabrielle - Oregon
Jessica - Pennsylvania
Brittany - Rhode Island
Megan - South Carolina
Jessica - South Dakota
Brenna - Tennessee
Ali - Texas
Marissa - Utah
Sarah - Vermont
Shannon - Virginia
Cassandra - Washington
Chelsea - West Virginia
Chrissy - Wisconsin
Courtney - Wyoming

The one that catches my eye the most is from California... how much do I love Mabelynn!? Which sticks out to you?

Miss USA Logo from the website

Thursday, June 13, 2013

He Shoots, He Scores!: Hockey-Inspired Names

photo via Wikipedia

With the NHL Playoffs in its final round, I thought it was time to put together a post of hockey-inspired names, a la my baseball-inspired post. I admittedly don't know as much about hockey as I do about baseball, but research allowed me to gather the following for any hockey-enthusiasts out there.

There are several ways you can channel hockey when naming your child...

Player Names (this is just a small selection):

Crosby - Sidney Patrick Crosby is considered one of the best players currently playing. He plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Dionne - Marcel Elphège Dionne is one of the best scorers that never won a championship. He played the majority of his career with the Los Angeles Kings.

Gordie - Born Gordon Howe, he is regarded as one of the best hockey players of all time, nicknamed "Mr. Hockey." He played for the Detroit Red Wings and his career spanned 50 years, from 1946 to 1997.

Gretzky - Wayne Gretsky played most of his career with the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings. He is arguably considered the best hockey player of all time, nicknamed "The Great One", and his number #99 was retired by the entire league.

Jaromír Jágr - His name is so cool I had to include it in its entirety. He is from the Czech Republic (the J's in his name are pronounced like Y) and while he is currently with the Boston Bruins, he played most of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lafleur - Guy Damien Lafleur is considered one of the most popular players ever to play and had his most successful seasons with the Montreal Canadians.

Lemieux - Mario Lemieux played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and won several most valuable player awards for both the playoffs and the league as well as top scorer awards.

Lindros - Eric Bryan Lindros played most of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers and was one of the top scorers in the league. According to Wikipedia, the name Lindros is Swedish and means "rose of the linden tree."

Malone - Maurice Joseph "Joe" Malone played for the Montreal Canadians in the 1910s and 1920s and is know for being the only player to have scored seven goals in one game.

Mikita - Stanislav "Stan" Mikita played for the Chicago Black Hawks and was regarded as one of the best centers in the 1960s. He was born in the former Czechoslovakia.

Modano - Michael Thomas Modano, Jr. is probably the best American-born player ever to play in the NHL. He made hockey more popular in the south, as he played with the Dallas Stars and won a championship there.

Roy - Patrick Jacques Roy (pronounced "wah") was a highly successful goalkeeper (arguably the best) with the Montreal Canadians and Colorado Avalanche, and is the only player to have won the playoff's most valuable player three times.

Arena and/or Team Names:

Blue - St. Louis Blues

Bruin - Boston Bruins

Jet - Winipeg Jets

Joe Louis - The Joe Louis Arena is where the Detroit Red Wings play, and was named after the boxer Joe Louis who grew up in Detroit. It's a great double name.

King - Los Angeles Kings

Madison - The New York Rangers play at Madison Square Garden, named after its original location at Madison Square, which was named after the President James Madison.

Ranger - New York Rangers

Rexall - Where the Edmonton Oilers play, Rexall Place was named after the sponsoring company.

Rogers - Rogers Arena is where the Vancouver Canucks play and was named after their sponsor Rogers Communications.

Star - Dallas Stars

Hockey Terms, Positions or Related Items:

Art Ross - The Art Ross trophy is awarded to the top scorer of the National Hockey League each year. Art Ross' full name was Arthur Howey Ross and was one of the early great players of the game.

Bunny - Like an Annie in baseball, a "puck bunny" is a hockey groupie.

Butterfly - A stance the goalie makes to block the puck from going into the net.

Celly - A celebration after a goal.

Conn Smythe - The Conn Smythe award is given out the most valuable player in the playoffs of each year. Conn Smythe's full name was Constantine Falkland Cary Smythe and he was an NHL team owner.

Deke - When a player who has the puck moves in a way to fool the opponent enough to get past him (from decoy).

Hart - The Hart Trophy is awarded to the most valuable player in the league each year.

Hatty - A slang word used for "hat-trick", or when three goals are scored by one player in one game.

Ice - The surface ice hockey is played on.

Puck - The rubber disc that is hit around and used to score goals.

Slash - Swinging one's stick hard at an opponent; this is a penalty.

Stanley - The teams in the National Hockey League compete for the Stanley Cup, the name of the trophy given to the championship team.

Tilly - Another word for "fight."

Trapper - A term for the glove the goalie wears.

Wing or Winger - A position on the ice mostly set in the outer playing area.

Before there were the Western and Eastern Conferences, the NHL was divided into the much more interestingly-named Campbell Conference, made up of the Norris and Smythe Divisions, and the Wales Conference, made up of the Adams and Patrick Divisions.

And last but not least...

Miracle - "Do you believe in miracles?" Sportscaster Al Michaels asked that question at the end of the match between the United States and the USSR in the 1980 Olympics, in which the US team came out winners. The game is now called "The Miracle on Ice" as the Soviets were highly favored to win against the young and inexperienced Americans. With the Cold War also in full effect at the time, this game was truly an inspiring event for the United States. The name Miracle would be a great way of honoring the sport of hockey without a glaringly obvious connection. And as we learned recently, Mira is a cute way to shorten Miracle.

Do you have a favorite hockey-inspired name?

Some of the above information was gathered from Wikipedia.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nicknames as Given Names: 1912 vs 2012

Reviewing the names of 1912 has become a little series for the blog. I first took a look at word names, then at place names. This time, I am comparing the use of nicknames as given names in the Top 100 of 1912 vs 2012. Included in the following list are names that are also given names in their own right, but could be considered nicknames for longer monikers.

1912                 2012
Frank 9              Liam 6
Harry 16            Luke 37
Willie 22             Eli 44
Fred 26              Jack 46
Jack 28              Jace 86
Joe 36                Alex 98
Leo 49
Charlie 57
Sam 63
Ray 77

Annie 27              Mia 8
Elsie 42                Ella 12
Bessie 43             Lily 16
Eva 49                 Sophie 52
Nellie 59              Bella 54
Minnie 60             Alexa 57
Willie 61              Stella 62
Jessie 65              Lucy 66
Betty 66               Ellie 84
Lillie 67                Eva 86
Ella 69                 Molly 90
Mattie 70
Lena 72
Stella 73
Lucy 78
Jennie 81
Carrie 82
Fannie 87
Hattie 90
Mamie 95

The first thing you notice is that the number of nicknames given has decreased in 100 years. The second thing is that more nicknamey names have been given to girls than boys. On the girl's side, there are a few names that have stood the test of time, or have fallen since 1912 and made a reappearance: Eva, Ella, Stella, and Lucy... of course, all of those are considered given names as well. Only one boy name is on both lists: Jack. And finally, the popular -ie nickname ending for girls in 1912 has been traded for -y or -a.

What else do you notice in this comparison? Do you see a nickname from 1912 that you wish could make a comeback?


Monday, June 10, 2013

Inspiration from Place Names

Last week, I listed the place names found in the Top 1000 for both 1912 and 2012. I have often wondered if parents used place names because of the place itself or for other reasons entirely. If you ever ask me for name advice, I usually send a questionnaire to get some information from you because I like to find names that could have special meaning to you. A few of the questions I ask pertain to locations: where were you engaged, where were you married, and where you honeymooned. In the six years I've used this questionnaire, the answers to these questions never inspired the parent enough to use them, but it has always been a fun thing to research.

You may not think so, but it can be a very challenging thing, naming a baby based on a place name of significance to you. I love a lot of names that happen to be place names: Jasper, Georgia, and Helena are just a few. But unless you honeymooned in Geneva, were proposed to on the Hudson River, or love the idea of naming your son Boston after the city you were born in, choosing a name for your child inspired by a place you've actually been to and that means a lot to you may not be easy. In an attempt to name five babies based on place names that mean something to me, I give you a little piece of me.

1. Berlin - The first foreign city I ever called home is now one of my favorite places in the world. My son was born there, and I have a ton of great memories from the German capital. The only question is, do I prefer it for a girl or boy? I think it could go either way.

2. Kensington - I LOVE England. London is definitely a huge part of that love, but I feel London would be TOO obvious a choice in a name for my child. One of my favorite places to visit in London is Kensington Gardens, and while I wouldn't be drawn to this name otherwise, the place lifts the name up to one I would consider for my child. This is another name that could be used for a boy or a girl, but I prefer it for a daughter. Seeing that Kensington is quite the full name, it would be natural to want a nickname... I'm sure people would most likely use Kenzie, but I would rather use Kenny or maybe even Kenna, just to be different.

3. Pearl - I lived on Oahu, Hawaii for four years when I was a kid. I was also blessed to make a return visit with my husband before we had children. Pearl Harbor has always been a sobering and memorable place and using Pearl for a daughter would be a great way to remember the harbor and the sacrifices made there.

4. Camden - Growing up, I remember hearing of a girl called Shea, who was named after the home stadium of her dad's favorite baseball team. Ever since then, I have loved the idea of using a stadium name as your child's name to honor your team. Unfortunately, most stadiums are named after corporate sponsors these days, and it would be hard to explain whether the name is after the stadium or the sponsor. Lucky for me, my team is the Baltimore Orioles, who play at The Oriole Park at Camden Yards. I don't like the celebrity status this name now has, but to commemorate baseball, I would use it in a heartbeat.

5. Cashel - One of my favorite countries visited over the past couple of years has to be Ireland, where we toured several places including the Rock of Cashel. It's a cool-sounding name and gives a spiffy nickname in Cash, which also happens to be a surname in my family.

What five names could you use based on inspiration from places that mean something to you?


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Place Names: 1912 vs. 2012

Parents have been using place names as their children's names a lot over the years. I compared the Top 1000 for 1912 with 2012 and there seems to be an increase in place names given after 100 years. Quite a few of the names have stayed the same, but there are also a lot of new ones and old ones to consider. We don't know if the parents used the name because of the actual place, just because they liked the sound of it, or for a reason that has nothing to do with the place name at all. Quite a few of the names on the following list happen to be a place, but are better known as names in and of themselves (i.e. Eugene and Frederick). In any case, it's fun to compare the years and see how tastes have changed up top.

I tried to capture as many as I could, but it's possible I missed some.

Place Names in the Top 1000 for both 1912 and 2012 with Ranks (1912/2012)
Augustine 539/999
Austin 232/58
Clayton 169/261
Clinton 161/906
Conrad 327/738
Dallas 320/322
Eugene 41/740
Francisco 375/225
Frederick 51/536
Houston 518/941
Israel 457/252
Jackson 405/22
Jasper 262/264
Jefferson 498/615
Jordan 790/48
Mason 519/2
Orlando 478/461
Quincy 794/633
Salvador 796/548
Santiago 780/122
Troy 247/259

Adelaide 258/343
Carolina 622/430
Charlotte 91/19
Dixie 410/852
Georgia 101/298
Helena 308/560
Hope 493/220
Savannah 657/42
Victoria 150/28
Virginia 20/579

Place Names in the Top 1000 for 1912 only with Ranks
Casper 540
Chester 55
Clevelant 286
Columbus 492
Denver 532
Garland 300
Homer 98
Madison 732
Milan 811
Norman 61
Paris 986
Raleigh 480
Stanford 648
Sydney 359
Washington 874

Alberta 106
Augusta 288
Augustine 872
Carmel 669
Erie 836
Florence 12
Florida 680
Geneva 116
Marietta 424
Myrtle 50
Verona 594

Place Names in the Top 1000 for 2012 only with Ranks
Boston 538
Branson 691
Camden 156
Chad 588
Cullen 551
Dakota 334
Dayton 603
Eden 674
Judah 273
Kingston 210
Knox 368
London 537
Memphis 751
Phoenix 381
Princeton 735
Quinton 526
Rohan 602
Trent 380
Trenton 239
Zaire 964
Zion 235

Alexandria 205
America 904
Asia 794
Aspen 504
Bristol 431
Brittany 407
Brooklyn 29
Cambria 926
Chelsea 233
Cheyenne 319
Dakota 306
Dallas 901
Eden 164
Galilea 746
Heaven 321
Jordan 222
London 94
Madison 9
Malaysia 569
Milan 724
Paris 274
Phoenix 573
Samara 570
Shiloh 640
Sydney 78
Zion 778

Are there any of the 1912 place names you would like to see used more today? What is your favorite place name?


Monday, June 3, 2013

Rare Names in 1880

There are several interesting finds at the bottom of the Top 1000 in 1880. Because parents were using fewer names for their children (the majority of the babies born were given one out of about twenty names or so), the population was lower, and the possibility that less babies were accounted for, the bottom of the 1000 are names given to 10 babies or less. At the bottom, you can find unique choices like 6 boy babies named Friend, as well as names that will become much more popular in the future, like Jessica, which was given to 7 girl babies in 1880. It's so interesting to see how things change, and yet also stay the same (Math hasn't quite caught on as a given name).

Here is a little taste of the names given to 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 babies in 1880...

Doctor 10
Gideon 10
Hosea 10
Lincoln 10
Malachi 10
Valentine 10
Abel 9
Alden 9
Archer 9
Carson 9
Cullen 9
Doc 9
Jones 9
Llewellyn 9
Ludwig 9
Maxwell 9
Stonewall 9
Ashley 8
Butler 8
Ford 8
Hayes 8
Ivory 8
Jonah 8
Justin 8
Leopold 8
Price 8
Quincy 8
Randall 8
Romeo 8
Shade 8
Tilden 8
Troy 8
Woodson 8
Worth 8
Bruno 7
Creed 7
Duke 7
Golden 7
Hollis 7
Math 7
Rafael 7
Tyler 7
Adolph 6
Alpha 6
Arlington 6
Colin 6
Commodore 6
Coy 6
Cruz 6
Friend 6
Gary 6
Holmes 6
Kirk 6
Titus 6

Anastasia 10
Delilah 10
Diana 10
Fern 10
Florida 10
Juliet 10
Leonie 10
Paulina 10
Selina 10
Amber 9
Angelina 9
Annabelle 9
Doris 9
Elinor 9
Hope 9
Indiana 9
Ione 9
Kitty 9
Marcia 9
Patty 9
Paula 9
Arizona 8
Becky 8
Dove 8
Elena 8
Faye 8
Inga 8
Magnolia 8
Millicent 8
Pansy 8
Tabitha 8
Angela 7
Carol 7
Drucilla 7
Eugenie 7
Eve 7
Felicia 7
Hedwig 7
Jessica 7
Muriel 7
Patience 7
Rosanna 7
Tilda 7
Augustine 6
Aurora 6
Calla 6
Celestia 6
Cherry 6
Classie 6
Dinah 6
Eleanora 6
Evalena 6
Faith 6
Fidelia 6
Golda 6
Joella 6
Martina 6
Mercedes 6
Monica 6
Netta 6
Phyllis 6
Suzanne 6
Thea 6
Winona 6
Zelda 6

What are your observations from this list?