Baby names: Just look around for summery ideas

Posted by Lorain County Moms

From Nameberry.com

Summer is one of the nicest times of year to have a baby, the warm weather and slow pace making it that much easier to relax into new motherhood (and, from your baby’s point of view, into life). Here, some names that summon the season:


As a seasonal name, Summer may not be your top choice. It’s feeling a tad shopworn after coming close to cracking the Top 100 in 1977; it’s been above number 200 for the past fifteen years. Autumn is more popular but Winter is cooler.

Summer also has three excellent months names that include several usable variations. These are:


The hip middle name du jour, was out of favor for many years but now is back in a big way. The name, and the month, are derived from JUNO, the Roman goddess of marriage and finances (great role model!) whose name got a big boost from the teenage heroine of the eponymous film. The related and obscure JUNIA is a New Testament name. Male versions include the Spanish JUNOT, popularized by Pulitzer winning writer Junot Diaz, and JUNIUS, Latin for “born in June.”


Julius Caesar gave his name to this month, which has spawned many attractive first name variations. JULIUS itself is being dusted off by a new generation of parents. JULIO is the attractive Spanish variation. For girls, JULIA is one of the most enduring and appealing classics, fashionable now. The French JULIETTE or English JULIET has a tremendous amount of style and grace, along with JULIANA. Sixties-style JULIE is the only variation on the wane.

Of course, in July you may want to choose holiday names such as AMERICA or LIBERTY.


All variations of summer’s last month, named for the emperor AUGUSTUS, are also stylish now: AUGUST (for girls as well as boys), AUGUSTINE and AUGUSTEN for boys, even the somewhat grandmotherly AUGUSTA for girls. And GUS is the new MAX.

Summer calls to mind many nature names, from LAKE to RIVER to DAISY to LILY to SKY and BIRCH.

But covering all of them is too much for the scope of one blog, so we’ll focus on names connected with the sea. The full list is here but some of the most intriguing examples are:

  • DENIZ, Turkish boys’ name that means sea.
  • DYLAN, Welsh god’s name that works for both genders, means “son of the sea.”
  • HALI, Greek name used for both boys and girls, though in English speaking country, its closeness in sound to Hallie et al may disqualify it for boys.
  • KAI, Trendy Hawaiian name that works for both genders.
  • MORRISEY, Irish name that means, oddly, “sea taboo” and has rocker associations
  • MORWENNA, Ancient Cornish name meaning “waves of the sea,” newly popular in Wales
  • MURPHY, Irish surname that means “hound of the sea” and works as well for girls as for boys.
  • NERIDA, Greek name that means mermaid.
  • NERISSA, Shakespearean name with Greek pedigree
  • OCEANE, Popular French choice for girls.
  • PELAGIA, Another obscure Greek beauty, name of several early saints.
  • SEATON, English surname meaning town by the sea
  • THALASSA, Greek sea goddess
  • Or you might want to go with one of these other names related to the sea: BAY, BEACH, CORAL, DUNE, PACIFICO, ROCKY, SANDY, SUNNY, TIDE

Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


Baby names: Ten classic names you never thought of

Posted by Lorain County Moms


We’re always coming across names on nameberry that we never thought of before, undiscovered gems that suddenly seem attractive and eminently usable for a real live person.

How come everyone flocks to Ava and Aiden, or even Avery and Atticus, when there are so many names like this hiding in plain sight? Beats us.

Here, the first in a series of names you might not have considered … but definitely should.

ABIJAH A Biblical name used in the Colonial times that can work for both boys and girls. Rhymes with Elijah, stands in for that name or Abigail.

AMORET Redolent of love, this unusual name comes from Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queen.” The character of Amoret represents married love, an ideal sentiment.

BATHSHEBA True, it’s a whole lotta name. But Bathsheba, which means “seventh daughter,” has a rich Biblical and literary history. Short form Sheba walks that intriguing line between being edgy and ready for prime time.

CIRCE Okay, so she was a siren who turned Odysseus’s men into pigs and lured the poor hero away from the patient Penelope. She also had a lovely name, pronounced sare-see, that would make a standout modern choice.

CORIN It may sound like a nouveau two-syllable boys’ name, but Corin has a Shakespearean pedigree.

ELEAZAR A Biblical boys’ name with more zest and distinction than the flagging Eli variations.

KETURAH Old Testament name she was Abraham’s wife post-Sarah that hasn’t been much used in the past few hundred years but has a rhythm and feel that’s appropriate for today. And in case you’re still looking for Biblical names you never heard before, Keturah and Abraham had six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

LORCAN If Logan and Aidan are megapopular, can Lorcan be far behind? Somehow, this Irish boys’ name meaning fierce has not achieved the notoriety of its compatriots. But smart parents will look to it as a fresh entry in that trendy crowd.

NICASIO Love Nic-names but tired of Nicholas? Then consider this Spanish choice that’s related to Nike.

PALADIN A French name that means “of the palace,” Paladin was a title of honor given to Charlemagne’s twelve best knights. That’s a name story any little boy would love taking to kindergarten. There was a fifties television show by this name.


Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


The baby name debates

Posted by Lorain County Moms

In honor of the rapidly approaching Father’s Day, we present today’s guest blogger Brian Sargent, the stay-at-home dad of now-four-year-old twin girls and a third-grader and the author of lookydaddy.com.

My wife and I knew it would be tough to name twin girls, so we assigned ourselves jobs. My wife’s job was to suggest possible names for consideration. My job was to say I didn’t like them.

Not to be immodest, but I did my job well.






“You’re not even trying, anymore, are you?”

I did my job so well that toward the end of my wife’s pregnancy, I began to fear for my life. With each passing week, in an attempt to sleep comfortably, my wife had stacked foam pads, sleeping bags, pillows, and even an air mattress on her side of our marital bed, and as the twins’ due date approached, I knew that all she would have to do was roll over in the middle of the night to literally crush the baby-name objections right out of me.

I kid, of course. My wife could have never rolled over without my help.

Finally, exasperated with the selfless way in which I saved my children from names that belonged to my ex-students or had too many Ys, this is what my wife did: She wrote down a list of her ten favorite names, posted it on the refrigerator, and informed me none of the names could be removed from the list unless they were replaced with better ones.

So there they stood: Ten names. Who knows where they came from? Some I recognized as my wife’s coworkers. Some may have been from TV shows. And some were there simply to make me wonder why I had ever thought my wife and I had enough in common to successfully raise a child together. And, unless I could come up with better, two of them would become my twin girls.

I never came up with better. The two girls currently pulling on my arms as I type, giving my spellchecker a run for its money, bear names that came from that list of ten. And you know what? It’s fine. In fact, it’s more than fine. When I look back on it, I’m not sure why I was such a jerk about the whole name-choosing process in the first place. My girls, my beautiful, wonderful Lila and Victoria, are beautiful and wonderful no matter what we call them. And besides, they turned out to be identical, so it’s not like we use their names anyway. Beats us who is who.

But, happily, neither of them are Hester.

—By Brian Sargent,  nameberry.com


Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


Girly names with tomboy nicknames

Posted by Lorain County Moms


A Nameberry visitor commented recently that she loved ultra-feminine proper names with tomboyish nicknames. That’s a sentiment we echo.

If you’re torn between girls’ names with a conventionally female image and ones that sound more androgynous, these choices have it all. They give you (and your daughter) the choice between going totally girly and sidestepping conventional gender identity, at least when it comes to your name.

Some very feminine names with tomboyish nicknames are:

Alexandra — Alex

Allegra — Al

Antonia — Toni

Araminta or Arabella — Ari

Augusta — Gus

Aurora — Rory

Bernadette — Bernie

Camilla — Cam

Catherine — Cat

Charlotte — Charlie

Christiana — Chris

Clementine — Clem

Cordelia — Cory

Daniella — Dani

Francesca — Frankie

Frederica — Freddi

Georgia — Geo

Harriet — Harri

Henrietta — Hank

Isabella — Izzy

Jessamine — Jessie

Josephine or Joanna — Jo

Julia, Juliet or Juliana — Jules

Lavinia — Vinni

Leonora — Leo

Louisa — Lou

Martina — Marti

Matilda Matti

Maxine — Max

Melania –  Mel

Michaela/Mikayla — Micki or Mike

Natalie — Nat

Natasha — Sasha

Nicole — Nicki

Philippa — Flip

Rosemary — Romy

Samantha — Sam

Stephanie — Stevie

Theodora — Teddi

Veronica — Ronni

Victoria — Vic or Tori


Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


British come up with uniquely quirky and charming baby names

Posted by Lorain County Moms

We all know, thanks to Princess Diana’s infamous wedding blunder, that British people like to use lots of middle names. But it’s not just about quantity: The multiple British names feel inventive and surprising, chosen less for any conventional notion of flow and more for individual considerations of style and family.

Thalia Violetta Carlisle? I would bet the nameberry farm that not a single child in America was given that combination of names last year….or maybe any year. It’s quintessentially British, and it works.

In the examples of recent British baby names below, you’ll notice that lovely antique first names are combined with surnames are mixed up with nicknames, and that once in a while a word name Rabbit, Reckless is stuck in, just in case things weren’t eccentric enough already.

Name aficionados will want to check out the birth announcements in the London Telegraph for hundreds more such goodies. Warning: This makes highly addictive reading. Do not undertake too close to bedtime.

In fact, there were so many amazing three-name examples that we had to offload some pretty wonderful two-name choices, such as Hector Foxx and Acacia Lola and Jemima Fleur. Another time.


Bay Mary Mason

Beatrice Isabella Catherine

Cecilia Katherine Ottilie (a sister for Romilly and Penleigh)

Christabel Charlotte Silvia

Dorothea Isobel Ann

Eilidh Anne Muir

Elisabeth (Elsie) Sarah Joyce

Elspeth Alice Eugenie

Evangeline Sophia Kate

Florence Elizabeth Avril

India Isabel Mary

Maizie Anne Patricia

Matilda (Tillie) Ivy Fiona

Millie Mary Holly

Pearl Amelia Rose

Phoebe Grace Florence

Ruby Anne Mora

Tatiana Adairia Lucy

Thalia Violetta Carlisle

Ursula Isabel Langdale

Venetia Elizabeth Thalia

Willow Serena May


Alexi William Martin Rabbit

Arlo Alexander Telfer

Barnaby Thomas Montgomery

Edmund Oliver Kynaston

Felix Michael Harry Lisle

Gruffydd Matthew Dylan

Gus Edward William

Hugo Edward Fleetwood

Ivo William Casimir

Joseph Saxon Wallace

Magnus John Kerr

Maximillian Arthur Bennett

Milo George Thomas

Oliver Konstanty Melville

Oliver Reckless Hyatt

Ralph William Milnes

Raphael Kenneth Vincent Windsor

Toby James Hedley

Wilbur Willis Benjamin

—By nameberry.com


Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


Twin names: Individual choices, same meaning

Posted by Lorain County Moms


The recent spate of celebrities having twins (they’re not really just like us, are they?) got me thinking about twin names. Now that you can no longer go for cutesy pairs like Merry and Joy or Tim and Tom, how can you find twin names that have a strong unifying element yet are distinct from each other, special in their own right?

One way: Search for names that carry a similar meaning, one that symbolizes something important to you or for your child, and then go on from that list to pick the two most compatible choices. I love playing with nameberry.com’s “search names by meaning” feature, which you should discover for yourself if you haven’t already. Clicking on any of the larger categories will take you to more specific name meanings: brilliant, for example, or red-haired. From there you can go instantly to a list of names with twin meanings.

Playing this name game myself led to some surprising and wonderful choices for twins … and beyond. Here, some great twin name ideas and their joint meaning. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, are you listening?


EWAN and SINEAD: gracious

ASHER and FELIX: happy

FEDERICA and MILO: peaceful

ESME and IMOGEN: beloved (this one is really perfect, I think)

AURELIA and FLAVIA: golden

ARABELLA and CALLISTA: beautiful

BLAKE and FINLEY: fair

JUDE and TAHILA: praise




CLANCY and KANE or LOUISE and WALTER or SASHA and OWEN: warrior

In case you’re Octomom, or just looking for a broader range of options, some meanings carry a range of compatible names that can be mixed and matched any number of ways. For instance:





Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


Baby names: Try out an exotic place

Posted by Lorain County Moms


Maybe it’s because we’ve been planning our summer vacation, but the idea of exotic place names sounds very appealing right now. Options can be found all over the map. A selection we’d like to visit, figuratively and literally:

AFRICA: Most obviously, the name of the continent, but there was also a Celtic queen named Affrica.

BIMINI: Caribbean Island name is cute and casual. Pronunciation: bim-in-ee.

BRAZIL: Also spelled Brasil, this Celtic saint’s name also references the South American country.

CUBA: Cuba Gooding Jr. put this one on the map (sorry, couldn’t resist). Another option: Havana.

JAVA: Java Kumala was chosen as the name for their newborn daughter by Josh Holloway of TV’s “Lost” and his Indonesian wife.

KYOTO: Kyoto means “capital city,” though the Japanese city is known more for its beauty than for being a center of government or industry.

MOROCCO: Rhythmic name of the north African country could work for boys or girls.

PACIFICA: This peaceful name relates to the Pacific Ocean.

PALMA: Palma de Majorca is a Spanish island city as well as a botanical name.

PERSIA: Though the country is now called Iran, Persia has more chops as a person name. Writer Louise Erdrich has a daughter named Persia (and one named Pallas).

QUITO: The name of Ecuador’s capital works better for boys than for girls: unusual for place names.

RIO: Devil-may-care name drawn from Brazil’s best-known city, better for boys but can work for girls too.

ROMANY: Actor Romany Malco popularized this name relating to Gypsy lands and culture. A fresher spin on Roman or Romy.

SAHARA: Hot, dry, exotic: a good place to go if you want to move beyond Sarah.

SAMOA: An unexpected choice from the South Seas.

SICILY: Everyone will confuse it with Cecily (and Cicely), but all you have to say is, “No, as in Italy.”


Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


Great, but underrated, baby names

Posted by Lorain County Moms


There are some names that, even now, after writing so much about the subject, I hear and think, “Wow, that’s a great name. I wonder why people don’t use that one more often?”

Sometimes, the answer is that a name was just too popular too recently for parents to appreciate its intrinsic wonderfulness: the lush Biblical Deborah is one that might fit in this category, though I didn’t include it in my 10 examples.

Other times, a name carries an unappealing association for enough people to keep it from becoming popular. And there are a dozen other reasons why a perfectly wonderful name just might not make it big — which can be good news for the parent in search of a name that’s both topnotch and undiscovered.

Here, 10 names we think are underrated right now:

BARNABY: This name scores high by virtue of feeling both energetic and classical, a rarity among boys’ names. The medieval English form of an ancient Aramaic name that means “son of the prophet” or “son of encouragement,” Barnabas was given as a surname to a biblical missionary named Joseph.

BRIDGET: The original Brighid was the ancient Irish goddess of poetry, fire, and wisdom, and the name in its many versions has been borne by a host of saints, servants, and one extremely curvaceous French actress. An Irish immigrant maid was commonly called a “Bridget,” an epithet that caused many young women to change their names to something more acceptable, like Bertha. But today, the original Bridget or Brigitte or Brigid or Birgitta is much more appealing.

DINAH: The Old Testament Dinah pronounced dye-nah was the daughter of Jacob and Leah whose story was popularized by the novel “The Red Tent.” The beauty of this classical name was obscured by so many similar and more popular versions: Dena and Deena and Diane and Diana. But Dinah, if you can get people to say it properly, remains a relatively undiscovered gem.

GREGORY: Gregory is one of those names that, like Deborah, was so popular in recent decades that parents tend to bypass it now: It peaked in 1962 and remained in the Top 50 through the late 1980s, though now it’s down to number 223. Greek for “vigilant” or “a watchman,” Gregory remains a name that’s both strong and friendly. The highly respectable name of popes and saints, it also carries the earthy short form Greg.

MARGARET: Margaret was so widely used for so long — it remained in the Top 25 from 1880 well into the 1950s — that it came to be seen as one of those quintessential old lady names, but not in a good way. Greek for “pearl,” Margaret has a rich, classic feel and was the name of many queens and saints. Another plus: a raft of great nicknames, from older choices like Peggy, Meg, and Maggie to new spins such as Maisie or Molly. The French Marguerite is very fashionable.

OLYMPIA: Why has Olivia achieved megapopularity while Olympia has languished? The mythological connection might be a negative, or is it something about that “limp” sound? Whatever: It’s a name of champions and the fewer people that realize that, the better it will be for the selective few discerning enough to choose it.

REUBEN: The sandwich connection may be what’s holding back this Old Testament name from catching up with megapopular brothers like Jacob and Benjamin. The stylishness of sister Ruby may give this name a boost. It’s a treasure for adventurous yet classical-minded namers … and it can even work for girls.

ROY: This name that means king has a mid-century cool-guy feel, thanks to Roy Orbison and Roy Rogers. It’s short, it’s simple, yet it stands out: What more could you want from a boy’s name? The next Ray.

TABITHA: Forever Samantha’s daughter on “Bewitched,” this exotic choice from the New Testament never became as popular as her mother. Like Keziah or Lydia, Tabitha is that rare Biblical girls’ name that remains distinctive yet feels totally appropriate for modern life. The nickname Tabby is cute, but the name really blossoms in its full form.

THOMAS: Thomas is not exactly an underused name, but it is an underrated one. So plain as to fade into the background, Thomas and Tom are masculine names that manage to be at once soft and strong, modern and traditional. Originally used only for priests, Thomas is Aramaic for “twin” and comes attached to many appealing figures, including Thomas Edison and Jefferson, Tom Sawyer and Hanks.


Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


These names are not gone with the wind

Posted by Lorain County Moms


Some authors have a genuine knack for character naming, usually spread over their entire oeuvre. In the case of Margaret Mitchell, it was all focused on her only novel — “Gone With the Wind” — whose character names still resonate today. The 1933 book (almost titled “Tomorrow is Another Day”) was an unprecedented smash, selling 30 million copies and winning a Pulitzer Prize, as was the movie, released in 1939 and receiving a then-record 10 Oscars. Its frequent revivals and TV screenings have kept it alive for later generations. So how have its characters’ names fared for babies over the years?


SCARLETT O’Hara. For four years following the debut of the film, Scarlett sneaked onto the bottom edge of the Social Security list. It took a glamorous young, modern movie star — Ms. Johansson — to propel it to the upper echelons. A stylish color name, it’s now in the Top 300 and sure to move higher.

RHETT Butler. So closely connected to the Clark Gable persona, it took Rhett a long time to make it into the mainstream, which it finally started to do in the 50s, along with similar names like Brett and Brent, all of which have pretty much faded.

ASHLEY Wilkes. At the time of the book’s writing, Ashley was very much a Southern gentleman’s name. It wasn’t until the early 1980’s that it really crossed the gender line, when it started to appear as female characters on soap operas like “The Young and the Restless.” Margaret Mitchell would have been shocked to see it become the No. 1 girls’ name in the United States in 1991.

MELANIE Hamilton Wilkes. The name of this sweet and noble character inspired a generation of Melanies. It jumped onto the list in 1938, no doubt because of the novel’s colossal success, and remains viable today.

INDIA Wilkes. The name of Ashley’s sister is one of the most distinctive in the book and movie. Heard to some extent during the Civil War period of the story, it dropped off the charts, coming back with the resurgence of place names in the 1980s and is still an exotically appealing choice.

BEAU Wilkes. The name of Ashley and Melanie’s young son was another strictly Southern name, hardly heard in the rest of the country despite its handsome image. It’s been picking up some steam in the last few years, chosen by several celeb parents.

BELLE Watling. Another name with an attractive meaning, it was for a long time associated with slightly wanton women like this one and Mae West-type seductresses, but now with the growing popularity of Bella, it has been making a comeback, especially as a middle name.

BONNIE BLUE Butler. Although this wasn’t her given name, everyone thought of it as that of Scarlett and Rhett’s little daughter, and Bonnie — yet another “GWTW” name that means pretty — had a long run on the pop charts, reaching No. 32 in 1942, and still hanging on in the Top 1,000.

EUGENIA Victoria Butler. The actual full given name of Bonnie Blue, Eugenia is an elegant Victorian name ripe for revival.


ARCHIE. A minor character with the kind of nickname name popular in the UK and beginning to catch on here, chosen by Amy Poehler and Will Arnett.

CARREEN and SUELLEN O’Hara, Scarlett’s sisters; Suellen began to be used the year after the film’s release, and came back split in two — as Sue Ellen on the popular nighttime soap, “Dallas.” Carreen, with all its double letters, never caught fire.

ELLA Lorena Kennedy. In the novel, the fashionably named Ella was Scarlett’s first daughter. She doesn’t appear in the movie, and neither does her son, WADE Hampton Hamilton.

EULALIE and PAULINE, Scarlett’s maternal aunts; Eulalie is a rich and rhythmic possibility.

And finally there is TARA, the name of the O’Hara ancestral plantation, which went on to become a fairly popular name choice — 60 years after the movie.


Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


(c) 2009, Nameberry.com

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.



Newest baby names: Clara is this year’s Claire

Posted by Lorain County Moms


Love a name but fear it’s overused? Think one name is stylish, yet want something even more stylish?

You’re not alone. Many parents are looking for names that are like those that have been popular and fashionable in recent years … but different. Something with a similar look and feel, but in an updated model.

For example:


BYRON is the new BRIAN

CHLOE is the new ZOE


CLARA is the new CLAIRE

CORA, DORA and FLORA are the new LAURA and NORA



EVELINE and EVELYN are the new EVA

EWAN is the new EVAN or OWEN


GEMMA is the new EMMA

HAVEN and EDEN are the new HEAVEN

IDA is the new AVA

IRIS, LILA and MILLIE are the new LILY

JOSIAH is the new JOSEPH

JOURNEY is the new TRIP (OK, maybe we’re just being clever here)

JULIET is the new JULIA

JULIUS and JULES are the new JULIAN


LOUISE is the new LUCY

LUKE is the new MARK

MACK is the new MAX and the new JACK, which is the new JAKE


MOSES is the new NOAH

OTTO and OMAR are the new OSCAR

PEARL is the new RUBY

POLLY is the new MOLLY

SARAI, SERA or SAHAR are the new SARAH

SCARLETT is the new BLUE

SUNDAY is the new FAITH


ZANE is the new ZACK


Nameberry (http://nameberry.com) is a baby-naming site produced by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, co-authors of nine bestselling baby name guides, including “The Baby Name Bible” and “Cool Names for Babies.”


(c) 2009, Nameberry.com

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.