Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favorite Posts of 2013


Happy New Year! 2013 has been a very exciting year for NameFreak! and I expect that 2014 will be even better. Posts have not been as plentiful over the past several months due to the holidays, travels, visitors, and a project I am working on, the last of which I hope to share that with you next year. But for now, a little recap in the form of a list: my seven favorite posts from 2013...

7. Inspiration from Place Names - I love finding names from inspiration. And since I also love to travel, this was a fun post to write. What inspiration can you find from places you've been?

6. Names Over Three Generations - It's still lacking the cool graphic, but the information from this analysis is quite compelling.

5. Where Are They Now? - A Final Look at 1911's Top 100 - The last look at a series I worked on at the end of last year, this post sums it all up and makes some interesting observations about the names from 100 years ago to today.

4. G Names: Then and Now - My favorite of all the "Then and Now" posts due to the pretty visual the research creates. Do you prefer the hard G or the soft G?

3. From Feminine to Unisex - One of the things I discovered in the research I've been doing on the history of popular names is the change of preference from feminizing masculine names to actually using masculine names. It was a fascinating discovery and makes me wonder if the trend will ever reverse?

2. Little Women - A Sibling Study - It was really enjoyable to see the similarities between the fiction and the non-fiction in Louisa May Alcott's masterpiece and to contemplate her motivations in naming the characters.

1. Play Ball!: Baseball-Inspired Names - It's probably no surprise that this is my favorite post of the year, and probably of the entire blog so far. It is also one of the posts that has received the most hits. I love baseball and I love names... this post puts the two together.

Thank you for continuing this adventure with me! Wishing you a wonderful 2014!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Frozen and Hans Christian Andersen

Image via imdb.com

I seriously loved Frozen. I will not go into why I loved it in case you haven't seen it yet, but just know it's... unique.

Did you know that Frozen is based off of The Snow Queen, written by Hans Christian Andersen? Did you realize that a few of the names from Frozen are from HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN?

Hans - love interest for Anna
Kristoff - helps Anna get to her sister
Anna - sister of the Snow Queen

As for the other characters of Frozen, we cannot get any better:

Sven - the reindeer
Olaf - the snowman
Kai - servant in the royal house, but also one of the original character names in HCA's The Snow Queen
Gerda - servant in the royal house, but also one of the original character names in HCA's The Snow Queen
Oaken - runs a trading post
Sitron - Hans' horse; while his name is never mentioned in the film, the director announced his name on her Twitter account; Sitron is Norwegian for "lemon"

And last, but certainly not least, is the Snow Queen herself, Elsa... in my humble opinion, the most fascinating character in Frozen (and possibly the entire Disney library). The name Elsa is a short form of Elisabeth, and has usage in German, Swedish, Finnish, and Italian. All of the names in the movie have Norwegian usage, and Elsa is very popular in the next country over, Sweden. Currently ranked #551, it is on the rise in the United States along with Elsie (currently #397), and I wonder if its popularity will jump significantly in the United States in 2014.

Do you think the movie will inspire parents to use these names? Which is your favorite?

And for fun, what other names can we get from HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN? Use the letters or just use the names as inspiration. Get creative! Here are just a few I thought of...

Tiana (chrisTIAN Andersen)


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The -ette's

Image via Wikipedia

I recently returned from a fabulous vacation where I was surrounded by people from other countries. I heard several names of course, but one that stuck out to me was Lambette. Lambette was a young French woman, probably in her 20s, who didn't speak English or else I probably would have asked her about her name. I cannot find much use of the name online, and while there were five boys named Lamb in the United States in 1924, there have been no recorded uses of Lambette. Interesting.

This inspired me to look up names ending in the lovely -ette. Just as Lambette was French, the -ette suffix has a very French feel, probably because most of the names are French diminutives. Words ending with -ette are also diminutives, such as kitchenette, which is a small kitchen and novelette, which is a brief novel or long short story. While some may see this as an inferiority or insignificance, I personally love these names, and I am astounded to find that they do not seem to be used as much currently. I mean, they provide for the great nicknames of Etta and Ettie!

I've compiled a list of -ette names from the 2012 list. Some are alternative spelling of other names, some are oldies but goodies, and some are just unique...

Amorette 8
Annette 213
Antoinette 82
Arlette 142
Bernadette 82
Bette 5
Bridgette 189
Chrisette 48
Claudette 11
Colette 424
Cosette 85
Danette 7
Evalette 12
Everette 12
Georgette 23
Jeanette 105
Jette 15
Josette 51
Juliette 1025
Lisette 65
Lizette 104
Lovette 10
Lynette 100
Nanette 13
Nicolette 158
Odette 40
Paulette 85
Scarlette 264
Suzette 38
Violette 104
Yvette 152

In 2012, the only exclusively male name ending in -ette is Lafayette, which was given to 15 boys. Lafayette is popular in the United States due to the French general who aided the US during the Revolutionary War. So, while the name may not be a French diminutive, it is French.

Historically, there were more -ette names in the Top 1000 than there are now. In 2012, the only -ette names ranked are Juliette #310, Collette #659, and Scarlette #956. One hundred years ago, there were 17:

Jeanette #159
Antoinette #181
Jeannette #192
Annette #241
Bernadette #359
Harriette #408
Juliette #493
Margarette #586
Everette #601 (boy)
Antonette #659
Violette #666
Bette #712
Janette #727
Lafayette #729 (boy)
Yvette #747
Laurette #876
Burdette #952

Fifty years ago, there were 27:

Annette #71
Jeanette #158
Yvette #170
Lynette #251
Antoinette #280
Bernadette #285
Paulette #321
Jeannette #333
Nanette #347
Suzette #388
Janette #414
Lynnette #437
Colette #438
Bridgette #453
Danette #462
Nannette #540
Claudette #586
Ivette #668
Georgette #717
Everette #723 (boy)
Antionette #799
Collette #857
Lanette #881
Evette #887
Brigette #895
Juliette #901
Babette #939

The number of -ette names in use has definitely decreased of late. Another interesting thing to note is the change in which -ette name was/is the most popular...

Jeanette/Jeannette 1880-1945
Paulette 1946
Jeanette 1947
Paulette 1948-1949
Jeanette 1950-1955
Annette 1956-1978
Jeanette 1979-1992
Nicolette 1993-1998
Lizette 1999-2000
Juliette 2001-2012

What do you think of -ette names? Are they "old" or dated? What is your favorite -ette name?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Name Madness 2013 Winners!

Image via Wikipedia

Five weeks ago, we started with 64 European names and now we have our winners! After the 97 votes were counted, the results were not as close as I would have guessed...

Anastasia 37%
Matilda 63%

Callum 57%
Ronan 43%

Congratulations to Matilda and Callum!

Matilda had to get past Milena, Natalia, Linnéa, Thea, and finally, Anastasia to claim the title for the girls. She met her fiercest competition in the fourth round against Thea.

Callum passed Bram, Bendt, Aleksi, Enzo, and finally, Ronan to claim the title for the boys. He met his fiercest competition in the first round against Bram.

Western European names came up with the victory for both boys and girls. What do you think? Is this the final outcome you predicted?

Thanks again for making this a fabulous tournament with both your name suggestions and votes! I'm already looking forward to deciding next year's theme and candidates!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Heisman Trophy Winners

Image via Wikipedia

The list of nominees for this year's Heisman Trophy was announced the other day, and I don't know about you, but the most interesting nominee isn't AJ, Tre, Johnny, Jordan, or Andre. It's Jameis. Where did that come from? I cannot find anything on it, and if you don't know anything about me yet, you should know that when my curiosity is piqued, a post usually happens. What other great names can we find among Heisman Trophy winners?

One more thing about the current nominees... AJ's given name is Raymond Anthony McCarron, Jr. I love surprises.

On to the list. Here are the names of past Heisman Trophy winners. Maybe you college-football-loving parents out there can find a gem that works for you...

1935 - John Jacob "Jay" Berwanger (Chicago)
1936 - Lawrence Morgan "Larry" Kelley (Yale)
1937 - Clinton E. "Clint" Frank (Yale)
1938 - Robert David "Davey" O'Brien (Texas Christian University)
1939 - Nile Clarke Kinnick, Jr. (Iowa)
1940 - Thomas Dudley "Tom" Harmon (Michigan)
1941 - Bruce P. Smith (Minnesota)
1942 - Frank Francis Sinkwich, Sr. (Georgia)
1943 - Angelo Bortolo Bertelli (Notre Dame)
1944 - Leslie "Les" Horvath (Ohio State)
1945 - Felix Anthony "Doc" Blanchard (Army)
1946 - Glenn Woodward Davis (Army)
1947 - John Christopher "Johnny" Lujack, Jr. (Notre Dame)
1948 - Ewell Doak "Doak" Walker, Jr. (Southern Methodist University)
1949 - Leon Joseph Hart (Notre Dame)
1950 - Victor Felix "Vic" Janowicz (Ohio State)
1951 - Richard William "Dick" Kazmaier, Jr. (Princeton)
1952 - Billy Vessels (Oklahoma)
1953 - John Joseph "Johnny" Lattner (Notre Dame)
1954 - Lino Dante "Alan" Ameche (Wisconsin)
1955 - Howard Albert Cassady (Ohio State)
1956 - Paul Vernon Hornung (Notre Dame)
1957 - John David Crow (Texas A&M)
1958 - Peter Miller "Pete" Dawkins (Army)
1959 - William Abb "Billy" Cannon (Louisiana State University)
1960 - Joseph Michael "Joe" Bellino (Navy)
1961 - Ernest "Ernie" Davis (Syracuse)
1962 - Terry Wayne Baker (Oregon State)
1963 - Roger Thomas Staubach (Navy)
1964 - John Gregory Huarte (Notre Dame)
1965 - Michael Lockett Garrett (University of Southern California)
1966 - Stephen Orr "Steve" Spurrier (Florida)
1967 - Gary Joseph Beban (University of California Los Angeles)
1968 - Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson (University of Southern California)
1969 - Loren Everett "Steve" Owens (Oklahoma)
1970 - James William "Jim" Plunkett (Stanford)
1971 - Patrick Joseph "Pat" Sullivan (Auburn)
1972 - Johnny Steven Rodgers (Nebraska)
1973 - John Cappelletti (Penn State)
1974 & 1975 - Archie Mason Griffin (Ohio State)
1976 - Anthony Drew "Tony" Dorsett (Pittsburgh)
1977 - Earl Christian Campbell (Texas)
1978 - Billy Ray Sims (Oklahoma)
1979 - Charles Raymond White (University of Southern California)
1980 - George Washington Rogers (South Carolina)
1981 - Marcus LeMarr Allen (University of Southern California)
1982 - Herschel Junior Walker (Georgia)
1983 - Michael T. "Mike" Rozier (Nebraska)
1984 - Douglas Richard "Doug" Flutie (Boston College)
1985 - Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson (Auburn)
1986 - Vincent Frank "Vinny" Testaverde (Miami)
1987 - Timothy Donell "Tim" Brown (Notre Dame)
1988 - Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State)
1989 - Andre Ware (Houston)
1990 - Ty Hubert Detmer (Brigham Young University)
1991 - Desmond Kevin Howard (Michigan)
1992 - Gino Louis Torretta (Miami)
1993 - Charlie Ward, Jr. (Florida State)
1994 - Rashaan Iman Salaam (Colorado)
1995 - Edward Nathan "Eddie" George, Jr. (Ohio State)
1996 - Daniel Carl "Danny" Wuerffel (Florida)
1997 - Charles Woodson (Michigan)
1998 - Errick Lynne "Ricky" Williams, Jr. (Texas)
1999 - Ronald "Ron" Dayne (Wisconsin)
2000 - Christopher Jon "Chris" Weinke (Florida State)
2001 - Eric Eugene Crouch (Nebraska)
2002 - Carson Hilton Palmer (University of Southern California)
2003 - Jason White (Oklahoma)
2004 - Matthew Stephen "Matt" Leinart (University of Southern California)
2005 - Reginald Alfred "Reggie" Bush, Jr. (University of Southern California) *vacated
2006 - Troy James Smith (Ohio State)
2007 - Timothy Richard "Tim" Tebow (Florida)
2008 - Samuel Jacob "Sam" Bradford (Oklahoma)
2009 - Mark Ingram, Jr. (Alabama)
2010 - Cameron Jerrell "Cam" Newton (Auburn)
2011 - Robert Lee Griffin III (Baylor)
2012 - Jonathan Paul "Johnny" Manziel (Texas A&M)

It's probably no surprise that the most popular Heisman Trophy winner name is John/Jonathon/Johnny.

What name catches your eye on this list? I couldn't help but be diverted by Nile.

Information from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Name Madness 2013 - FINAL ROUND

Bingo Number 64

Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

We started with 64 names... 32 girl names and 32 boy names... from all over Europe. And now we are finally down to the final!

Wow. The contests between the girl names in Round 4 were TIGHT. In the end, there were 85 responses and there were hardly more than three or four votes between the names in both match-ups throughout the week. Match-up #1 ended with a one vote difference. The contests between the boy names were not as close, but I think the results leave a very interesting final! Here are the results to Round 4:

Anastasia 51%
Imogen 49%

Matilda 52%
Thea 48%

Callum 71%
Enzo 29%

Luka 39%
Ronan 61%

Did you think Anastasia would come out ahead of the popular-with-baby-name-lovers Imogen? And how about Matilda coming out ahead of short-but-sweet Thea? Meanwhile, Callum put a beating on the Italian/French Enzo, and Ronan quietly ends up in the final after taking out the immensely-popular-in-Europe Luka. Are you surprised with the results? Shocked? Disappointed? Thrilled?

SO... here's the FINAL:

Anastasia vs. Matilda. A name more popular in the eastern part of Europe vs. a name more popular in the western part of Europe.

Callum vs. Ronan. A name almost strictly used in the UK and Ireland (but is slowly rising in the US) vs. a name almost strictly used in Ireland.

Do you know what you are going to vote for???? Your response may be automatic or it may take some thought, but in any case, it's time to vote!

You have until Sunday, December 15 to vote. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Winners of Name Madness 2013 should be published on Monday, December 16. Have fun!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Name Madness 2013 - Round 4

Number 4
Image by David Wilkinson via Flickr

Thank you to the 93 people who voted in Round 3! There were a lot of tight contests and no runaway winners. It just keeps getting better and better! Here are the results...

Anastasia 53%
Eleni 47%

Élodie 43%
Imogen 57%

Linnéa 47%
Matilda 53%

Saoirse 40%
Thea 60%

Aleksi 39%
Callum 61%

Enzo 60%
Gustav 40%

Luka 57%
Otto 43%

Raphael 40%
Ronan 60%

All I have to say is... *sniff* Otto. :(

We are down to the Elite Eight! There is still a wide variety of names left in the contest... did you think these would be the final eight?

You have until Sunday, December 8 to vote. Please vote only once and for only one name in each match. Winners of Round 4 and the ballot for the FINAL should be published on Monday, December 9. Have fun!