quinta-feira, 15 de Maio de 2014

Update On Previous Names In Trend (4)

So it's that time of the year where I take a look back at all those names that featured in my Name In Trend segment, and see if they are still trending. If they fall in the rankings for 2 consecutive years, or if I feel they have been stalling for several years, I drop them from this update.


Climbed over 20 places in the last year, and its very close to entering the top 100 for the first time. It'll get the for sure, as this name seems to be loved by everyone right now.


It's now up to #87, it's highest peak yet. I don't think this is the last time we'll see this name climbing, it's very on trend.


Dropped 3 places to #103, so its stay in the top 100 was very brief, only a year. Are people moving on to Ryker instead?


Zooming up the charts, its now officially in the top 300. This is my favorite spelling of the name, since it looks like an occupational name, as in a kart driver.


After stalling in 2012, it dropped for the first time in 2013 to #81. I think the fact that the original Teen Mom is no longer on air has something to do with it. We'll have to wait and see if it can reclimb, or if its down down down from here. I hope not, its a relatively new name in the top 100, so it's still fresh to me.


It's now sitting pretty at #88, and shows no signs of slowing down. I think as long as country singer Easton Corbin brings attention to this name, it'll keep on climbing.


Not yet #1, but it was super close to getting there this year, only around 80 babies away from Noah. I'm not surprised since I hear this name everywhere. Add to it all the boys named William who probably go by Liam, and it's really one the most overused name right now.


Climbed approximately 40 places to #119 in 2013, this is a serious contender for the top 100 when next years list comes out. Again, it has a very popular celebrity bringing attention to the name, in this case, singer Brantley Gilbert.


This one is red hot. Its now safely in the top 100, at #80. Could this one be rising because of singer Brad Paisley? It's a possibilty.


It fell for the first time, albeit only 6 spots. However the alternative spellings Journee and Jurnee are both still very trendy, so maybe that's why this one is struggling to climb?


Massive. That's all I can say about this one. From #91 last year to #40 this year, you just know this one is heading for the top 10. And it will be a welcome addition, because oddly the girls top 10 is quite stale right now.


After climbing every year and making it's way to the top 20 in 2012, it finally dropped 4 places last year. My guess is that people are undecided whether they like Zoey or Zoe better, so until people stick with one, these 2 spellings will battle each other.


This one is also making big moves inside the top 100, and is now at #42. This is the trendy name that parents that like classics for their daughters, wouldn't hesitate to use. It just appeals to a broad variety of namers.

No longer trendy: Rhys, Jayden, Nevaeh, Khloe.

sexta-feira, 9 de Maio de 2014

2013 Most Popular Baby Names

So the new list is out, and Jacob is finally off the top spot after a 15 year reign. Thank god for that. However, that is pretty much the only great news I have, at least from my perspective. Most of my favorite names aren't taking off, and the "same old same old" names are still hogging pretty much most of the boys rank.

The top 10:


1. Noah
2. Liam
3. Jacob
4. Mason
5. William
6. Ethan
7. Michael
8. Alexander
9. Jayden
10. Daniel


1. Sophia
2. Emma
3. Olivia
4. Isabella
5. Ava
6. Mia
7. Emily
8. Abigail
9. Madison
10. Elizabeth

So unlike what I predicted, Liam didn't take the top spot, instead Noah narrowly beat it to become the new #1. It might provide a fight for next years #1 too with the movie Noah making an impact recently.The only newcomer to the top 10 for either gender is Daniel, after a one year absence. Seriously? It needs to go.
2013 was definitely the year the -ayden trend began to decline - fast. The only ones still putting up a fight are Kayden and Zayden, which happen to be my favorites out of the lot.
Like I predicted, Jayceon made a huge debut in the top 1000, but even I am shocked to see just how well it performed. VH1 seems like a good source for trendy names.
Leaving the top 100 are Carlos, Bryson, Alex and Ryder. I'm surprised at Ryder, it only lasted for a year. Replacing them are Lincoln, a popular celeb baby name with a movie to boot, Camden, super common amongst celeb babies, Jase, which is the name of one of the dudes from Duck Dynasty, and Jaxson, a popular alternative spelling of a trendy overused name.
It's a sad day when the name King is about to eclipse Kingston. Poor Kingsley near the bottom of the top 1000 should be the one in the top 200, not that pretentious title name. I swear some parents need to be questioned on some of their choices.

For the girls, things are a lot more interesting, as usual - those are the perks of not having to name your daughter after mom. Boys named after dads is still sadly a very common practice, and pretty much the only reason names like Michael, Christopher, Robert, Charles or John are still so popular, because their shine and personality was lost a long time ago.
Sophia is still number one but her numbers are already decreasing, could Emma return to the top?
Sadie and Penelope are making big waves, probably because of Duck Dynasty and a certain Kardashian, respectively. Twin sisters Nora and Cora are also zooming up the charts, I suspect Cora will join Nora in the top 100 soon.
Charlotte is just outside the top 10, I think it will get its time to shine next year, and Amelia breaks the top 20. Both are very popular over in the UK, maybe we're following their trends this time?

A bucketload of unisex names seem to be climbing for girls and stalling or falling for boys. I'm sad because it proves once again that parents drop a boys name when it starts getting popular for girls. On the other hand, a very popular boy name can keep climbing on the girls side, take a look at Parker, Carter, Hunter, Dakota or Blake for example.

Overall, things are not going my way. I even checked my favorites outside the top 1000, and all of them are falling and getting away from the threshold to enter the ranking.

sábado, 26 de Abril de 2014

Name In Trend: Paisley

The unisex name Paisley is of scottish origin and it means "church". Paisley is actually a place name, of a scottish town near Glasgow. The paisley pattern, which involves a persian inspired design, originated in that town, famous for its weaving industry in the 19th century. Now of course everyone will immediately think of the fabric, rather than the town, but I guess it's not a terrible association. The name in recent years has been embraced by parents of little girls, maybe because the design is quite girly, and it has even been used by celebs like Jennie Finch.

Check out the popularity of Paisley through the years:

So the name first popped on the ranking back in 2006 at #835. It has been climbing sharply ever since, reaching its current peak at #104 in 2012. I think it's almost guaranteed to be top 100 when the new list comes out in May. Paisley has been featured prominently in shows like Toddlers & Tiaras, which is known for boosting trendy names even further, and at a rapid pace. How high can it go before it eventually becomes dated? Trendy names normally have a short life span, so I think it might climb for a few more years, five at most, and then begin to drop.

What do you think of the name Paisley? I don't think it's too bad, but I don't think it'll age that well. That's the case with most "cute" names for girls. But it definitely fits in with todays modern names and styles, and so it doesn't surprise at all that it's getting crazy popular. However, I don't expect it to be the new Hailey, I think that one will stick around a lot longer, since it has a broader appeal.

Similar names include: Hailey, Leslie, Chesley, Kinsley, Kaylee
Alternative spellings include: Paizley, Payslie, Paislee, Payslee

sábado, 12 de Abril de 2014

Names In Spotlight: Space Names

Don't you just love to gaze into space, or look at some of it's beautiful pictures? Well, space also possesses some incredible names, that could perfectly be used on a child. A lot of space names are inspired by mythology, so they are old names that were then applied on space objects. A few are just modern space names and terms that have some serious potential as baby names, and a few have space related meanings. Overall, there are hundreds of them, so I had to pick and choose and select some that I think are ready to use, and some that I feel are too interesting to go unnoticed. So sit back, and enjoy the ride, because it's a long one!


Andromeda - Surely you've heard this one before. Andromeda is of course, our nearest galaxy, it is of greek origin, and means "leader of man". It's quite a grand name for a little girl, but if you want a strong legit girl name, this one is perfect.

Astrid - This was the name used by two swedish microsatellites to study some space features. Astrid is of scandinavian origin and means "beautiful goddess". I adore this name, there aren't many female names ending with the letter "d", and I feel this is one of the most usable ones.

Aurora - Some of the most beautiful space pictures feature the aurora borealis in the northern hemisphere, with its sci-fi green lights, truly magical. Aurora of course means "dawn", and is the name of the roman goddess of sunrise. This name has a lot going for it, from its roman roots, to its nature and space meanings, to its Disney connection, to its many possible nicknames. You really can't go wrong.

Aysel - Meaning "moonlight" in turkish, Aysel is definitely one of the most obscure choices here, but it is used as a female names in certain european countries. One of the Eurovision winners recently is named Aysel, and she hails from Azerbaijan. I think it's got a nice ring to it, similar to Rachel and Mabel.

Bellatrix - You want your daughter to be a star? Then how about naming her an actual star name. Bellatrix looks really futuristic with it's quirky "x" ending, but if you break the name down it's actually not that over the top. First of all, it starts with "bella", so it could be seen as a valid alternative to that name. Second, it's not too different from Beatrix, a pretty classic girl name. Bellatrix just pushes it a bit further, spicing those names a bit.

Calypso - Girl names ending in "o" are hard to find, much harder than boy names ending in "a" because those are common in many languages. However these types of names are out there, and nothing better than to look at the jovian system to find them. Calypso is one of the main moons of Jupiter, meaning "she who hides", and is of greek origin. Calypso is fun to say, it has the cute nickname Callie built right in there, and is just unlike any other common name, girl or boy.

Celeste - This wont come as a surprise to many, the term "celestial body" should give you a hint. Celeste is of latin origin and means "heavenly", and was quite common with early christians - there is a male equivalent, Celestin. Celeste is not a common name, but hardly unknown, its been consistently used for a while now. It's classy and age appropriate, and you're not taking a huge risk. A safe choice.

Elena & Elaine - Both of these names are of greek origin meaning "ray of sunshine", and they are both variants of Helen. Personally I like Elena much better than Elaine, but it is getting quite popular and has given birth to some questionable alternative spellings. Elaine is less common, but I wouldn't bet on it staying underused for long. Both are really sweet names, well known, and timeless. 

Eris - The new millenium has been an incredible era for discovering new space objects in our solar system. It's also been kinda revolutionary by shaking up some of the concepts we thought were fact. Remember when Pluto was a planet? Well thanks to the discovery of Eris, and after her several other similar small objects beyond Pluto's orbit, the international space community decided to demote Pluto to dwarf planet status. Don't be sad, he now has several brothers and sisters, Eris being one of them. The name is of greek origin, and in mythology Eris was the goddess of discord, which seems appropriate considering the debate that went on surrounding Pluto's status. Eris is quite similar to Erin, so the usability is super high, and would be a cool way to honor an Erin or an Aaron. Personally, I find it quite pretty.

Esther - This is a persian name, and one of its meanings is "persian star". Esther is one of those old lady chic names that hasn't really been away, but it hasn't been getting popular either. So if you're looking for a name that is well known, but isn't going to blow up anytime soon, this is a good choice. I think it sounds like a strong baby girl name, and one that will age well.

Gaia - A lot of people ask if Earth has a name, and the answer is, it does. This is one of them, another one will be appearing further down. Gaia means "the earth" and it is of greek origin. I'm gobsmacked that this name is still so unpopular considering how well used Maya, Kaia, Isla, are. Gaia can also be a place name, it is a city in Portugal, home to port wine. This is a lovely name and is a great alternative to the names I mentioned beforehand.

Galaxia - Well the connection here is obvious right? Galaxia is the spanish and italian name for "galaxy", and would make a fun name, even as a middle. Of course you could go with Galaxy, for a girl or a boy, but I feel Galaxia is less likely to cause a reaction if you're wary of what others might think. Still, Galaxia is hardly a safe choice, and is one for the brave namers out there. For a boy I suggest Galax, the swedish name for it.

Gamma - Yes, i'm talking about those deadly cosmic rays, named after a greek letter. Think about it, Gamma does sound like a cute girl name right? Sort of a cousin to Gemma and Emma. If you want a name that probably no one else in the country has, a real unique choice, Gamma is definitely one to keep your eyes on.

Halley - Your first thought might be Halle Berry, but spell it with a "y" at the end, and its a surname that eventually was used on a comet. The name actually spiked for girls and boys at the time of the comet's passage. Today this name fits perfectly in the schoolyard, with all the Callie's and Molly's running around. I think this particular spelling looks a tad masculine, but it works for both genders I suppose.

Juno - As a girl's name (there are male roots too), Juno is of latin origin and means "queen of heaven". In space, Juno was the attributed name to one of Jupiter's moons. This is a great, fresh, spunky alternative to June, and it's rarely used in the US. I do hear about it more nowadays, but it seems to be making a very slow impact.

Luna - This is one of the most common names on the list, but it's a great one. Luna is the spanish term for "moon", and again, if you feel that our "moon" deserves its own name to distinguish itself from other moons, remember, she has several, including Luna. It's even used in certain english terms, like "lunar eclipse". This is a fun, short name, and a rising star in the rankings.

Maia - It's a greek name and it has 2 meanings, "mother" and "brave warrior". Up in the sky, it's the name of a star. Spell it with a "y", and its an incredibly popular first name, but it also loses is space link. Personally, I feel this spelling is the best, it just looks better. But that of course is just my opinion. Of course, they are all the same name when you say them out loud, so you'd be picking a very common one. But if that doesn't bother you, go for it!

Nebula - In astronomy, a nebula is basically an interstellar cloud composed of various gases. They produce some amazingly beautiful space pictures. As a name, it is of greek origin meaning "mist", so it is also a nature name. Nebula has everything going for it, it looks and sounds great, easy to spell and pronounce, and is a crazy cool moniker. I've got to admit this is one of my favorites.

Nova - A nova is an explosion that occurs in a star, of cataclysmic proportions, producing a very bright light while it releases energy. More notoriously, it's the latin name for "new". This is a name that has been getting buzzworthy recently, after being absent from our minds for a very long time. It was recently featured as the name of one of the babies on Teen Mom, so it might be making a potent return to the SSA charts, which is just so fitting given its astronomical meaning.

Nysa - This is a greek name meaning "ambition", and it is also the name of a group of asteroids. It rhymes with Alyssa, and not with Lisa or Liza. It's short and sweet, and very usable. The only problem might be pronunciation issues, but that's just a small bump on the road. Once people learn your name, they'll say it correctly from then on.

Odyssey - Well we all know about Homer's Odyssey, but what about man's space odyssey? It really is discovering a new world, or more accurately, new worlds. Our journey through space is the pillar of 21st century exploration, an ongoing experience that will continue for as long we exist as a species, since space is said to be infinite. Our odyssey in space has opened our horizon to new worlds, new concepts, and even new knowledge about our very own home here on Earth. As a first name it might be a bit over the top, but as a middle?  Flawless.

Ophelia - Surprised to see this name here? We all know about this name's tragic roots in Shakespeare's Hamlet, but there are many other sources of inspiration that are more fortunate. It's a greek name with a positive origin, meaning "help" or "helper". And in the sky, it's the name of one of Uranus' moons. I love this name and its latin counterpart Ofelia (which to me sounds slightly different, "oh-fell-ee-uh"). It's incredibly underrated, but it's usage has been rising in recent years, even though its not anywhere close to debuting in the top 1000 SSA list. It would make a great name to pay tribute to someone who spent their life helping others - whether they were a nurse, doctor, firefighter, soldier, etc - without being obvious.

Rhea - Mia is so popular, why not be a little bit more creative and go with Rhea? Yes, they rhyme. It's a greek name meaning "flowing", and it's one of Saturn's moons. It also has a connection to nature, being the name of a river in Wales. I think this name is gorgeous, but I guess the pronunciation might cause a problem. Not even the pronuncation per se, but more people spelling it differently, like Ria or Rea (both legit names by the way). Still, it's a charming name.

Sedna - This is the name of one of the most distant and coldest objects in our solar system, most likely a dwarf planet. It was named after the Inuit goddess of the sea, thought to live at the bottom of the frigid Arctic ocean. This would make a great name for a baby born in Winter time, given it's strong bond to the coldness, or maybe for a baby born in a traditionally cold city or region. I feel this one could fit right in with today's naming styles, but still stand out amongst a crowd of safer names.

Seren - Do you think naming your daughter Star or Starr is too tacky? Well why not go for a less obvious route, and pick Seren? It means "star" in welsh. Dont confuse it with Serena since they share no connection. I feel this name could be used to spice up Sarah, since they sound very similar. Or maybe as a way to honor someone named Sarah. Regardless, it would make an interesting girl name, and it's frills-free.

Soleia - Love the name Soleil but feel it's just too much? How about Soleia then. It's a variant of Soleil, and more credible as a female name. Most of us know Soleil is the french name for "sun", and that's a male noun. Soleia makes for a more legit female variant, and sounds much prettier imo. It's just absolutely stunning, and has numerous nickname oportunities, from Sol, to Sollie, to Leia, like the princess. If you choose the nickname Sol, that is the portuguese and spanish name for "sun", so you'd be keeping the space connection whether you opted for the full name, or the nickname.

Stella - Meaning "star" in italian, this name has really taken off recently and has become extremely popular. The -ella ending makes it blend in with several other popular girl names, which is part of the reason why it's become trendy this decade. I feel Seren would be a cooler way to get to "star", but if you prefer a safer choice, Stella is spot on.

Terra - Remember when I said there was another name for our Earth coming up? First was Gaia. Now meet Terra. It is the latin equivalent of "Earth", also used in portuguese to designate our home planet. This would make a fabulous name for someone who wants to give Theresa a little twist, or honor a grandpa Terrence. The only iffy thing about this name would be people mistaking it for Tara, because they share the same pronunciation for a lot of us. Personally I pronounce Tara differently, like "tar-uh". Other than that, Terra is a ready to use name, if Sierra can take off, why not Terra?

Thebe - This is another one of Jupiter's moons, named after a mythological nymph. I really like Th- names for girls, and Thebe is no exception. People might mistake it for Phoebe, but other than that it's a very easy name, and quite soft sounding.

Ursa - Surely you've heard of Ursa Mino and Ursa Major. Those are constellations. As a name, it's a variant of Ursula which means "little she-bear". The constellation of Ursa Major has been seen as a bear by many civilizations. In greek mythology, it is believed that Ursa Major was Callisto, a girl who was turned into a bear by jealous Hera, and then put in the sky by Zeus along with her son Arcas, known as Ursa Minor. If you feel Ursula these days is too much of a sea witch, then Ursa is a great option for you.

Vela - It is the name of a constellation in the southern sky, and a latin name for "sails of a ship". In portuguese, it also possesses the meaning of "candle". I find this one extremely usable considering how everyone loves and uses Bella in droves. Vela is a great alternative without compromising too much, and it starts with the letter V, which I feel is gaining momentum right now, at least for girls.

Xia - In chinese, this name means "glow of the sunrise", so its essentially related to Aurora and Dawn. Mia is kinda overdone, so why not jump on the Xia train? You could pronounce this name like "see-uh" or "shee-uh", since the chinese pronunciation lies somewhere between both sounds. If you go with the "see-uh" pronuncation, remember there is a singer that is becoming well known amongst the public named Sia, so you might get the S spelling when you say it to other people.

Zirka - Dont you just love Z names? I just had to find one for girls that somehow connected to space. There were quite a few ones actually, but Zirka ended up being my favorite. It means "star" in polish, and again, would be a subtle way to get that meaning without using the name Star. Of course if you prefer the english equivalent, go for it, it's your baby and it's up to you. Zirka is supposedly pronounced with a long "ee" sound, but I guess in the US you could choose what pronunciation you prefer / feel more comfortable with.


Apollo - This was the ancient greek name for the planet Mercury, but it's connections to space dont end there. Several american space missions were named Apollo, as well as the spacecraft used for them. It is the name of a crater on the moon, and of an asteroid. Now, it's also a celeb baby name thanks to Gwen Stefani naming her son Apollo Bowie Flynn, which I totally love (especially Bowie). It is a greek name, meaning "destroyer", and in greek and roman mythology Apollo was the god of music, light and poetry, and he used to drive the sun across the sky in a carriage - another space connection. Apollo is not a name that I love, but it's fresh and fun, surrounded with history and mythology. I suspect we'll be hearing this one a lot more in the future.

Astro - Look no further than the root of the word "astronomy", to find a fun name for your kid. As a prefix, astro means "pertaining to the stars or celestial bodies", hence astronomy being the actual study of those celestial objects. If you love surprising -o names that are flying under the radar, then this one is a great choice.

Atlas - An atlas is of course a map of the Earth, but there are other atlases of other planets in the solar system. As a given name, Atlas is of greek origin meaning "to carry". I used to think this name was a bit too out there, but recently people have come around to embracing Atlas, so it's not as over the top as it used to be, and it can be taken seriously. Of course your kid might get a snarky comment at school when they study maps, but I feel they will find it really interesting and wish they had a cool name like Atlas, rather than being one of many of their own name in the class.

Blazar - These are jets blasted directly towards Earth from the center of active galaxies. Do you like Blaze or Blaise but want to give it a little something more? Blazar would make a very cool choice. The only problem might be confusing this name with blasers (jackets), or even blazers (a type of rifle). Still, it just sounds so badass in my opinion. This name is blazin' hot.

Comet - I think you know what comets are, but in case you dont, they are icy bodies from our solar system that, when passing close to the sun, they heat up and outgas, leaving a visible tail. It might seem a bit too much to be used as a first name, but think about, it's just a word name. Kids are named River, Rain, Sky (cough), heck even Star, Rocket and Sun, so Comet isn't that much of a stretch. I think it's cool, in a quirky kind of way.

Cosmo - This is an alternative word for the universe, hence why cosmology is the study of the universe. It may also mean "space travel" and "outer space" according to some sources. Cosmo as a given name is of italian and greek origin meaning "order, harmony, beauty". The first thing a lot of people will think is Cosmo Kramer, the odd character from the sitcom Seinfeld. But since that show is hardly a reference for today's kids, a boy named Cosmo will probably get no references to that character.

Cygnus - As a constellation in the northern sky, it was named after a character in greek mythology. The name is derived from the greek word for "swan". I feel this name has some potential: similar monikers like Cyrus, which is taking off in the charts, and Magnus, which is getting some Hollywood love, are proof of that. It could be part of a new naming trend a few years down the road.

Dara - This is the cambodian term for "star", used for both genders. As a biblical name, Dara was a descendent of Judah known for his wisdome. This name is really underused in the US, but in Northern Ireland it's in their top 100 for boys. At first it might seem too feminine sounding for american ears, but a lot of male names end in the "ah" sound, and even lookalike Dana was used on men. I think its usable.

Draco - No, it's not related to Dracula. As a space moniker, it is the name of a constellation, and also of a dwarf galaxy orbiting our very own Milky Way. It is a variant of Drake, and it means "dragon". A few years ago, it also became a celeb baby name, thanks to Danica McKellar. I've gotta say, not a big fan of this one, I guess for me it's just too close to Dracula in sound. But if you don't get the same vibe from the name, and you love it, go ahead.

Eclipse - An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when an object passes in front of the other, having it temporarily obscured. The two most known events related to this are the solar eclipse and the lunar eclipse. This one is definitely for an adventurous namer, or for a parent who is passionate about astronomy and the eclipses. However as a middle name choice it definitely becomes more usable for most people.

Galileo - Even if you aren't a space lover, you have probably heard this name around. And why, you may ask? Well, because Galileo Galilei was the name of one of the most famous astromers. He built the first astronomical telescope and confirmed Copernicus' theory that the planets revolve around the sun, amongst other achievements. There is also a spacecraft that has been baptized after him, as well as several items related to astronomy. I'm surprised the female counterpart Galilea has experienced a recent boost but Galileo, who has so much going for it, hasn't. Heck even the nickname possibilities seem endless, from spunky Gal to plain Leo (also a space name).

Ganymede - The moons of Jupiter are wondefully named, don't you think? Ganymede is a majestic name, fitting for the largest moon in our solar system, and the only of Jupiter moons to be named after a male mythological figure. It's not the most usable space name out there, but it's definitely not too much to handle. It sounds quite spunky.

Harlow - What's this name doing in the male section you ask? Well, that's because it used to be a male name. And no better evidence than astronomer Harlow Shapley, who correctly estimated the size of our galaxy and the position of the sun within it, back in the 20th century. Harlow does sound masculine to my ears, and is very similar to Marlow, also used as a male name. I feel adding and extra "e" makes both these names look more feminine, "ow" vs "owe". But of course, many disagree and that is why Harlow is now taking off for girls, mostly because of Nicole Richie used it for her daughter. However, because this is entirely a space name because of a real man, I just couldn't place the name on the female section, it would be quite disrespectful. If you like unisex names, Harlow can work on a boy.

Jericho - This name has one of the coolest meanings: "city of the moon", and it's of arabic origin. Don't you just love the meaning? When I found out it made me love this name even more. Jericho is trending upwards for boys, but it's still very underused, and could use with some appreciation. I feel a lot of people say they like or love it, but few end up using it. It's too bad, because it's a very interesting name, with loads of nickname options, from playful Echo, Ricko and Jecko, to plain old Jo, Eric and Jeri. All styles in one name.

Jupiter - Yes, this is the only planet name I've included on this list, simply because I feel everyone is already aware of the planet names and so they're less suprising. However, I had to include Jupiter because I think it's the most usable one out of all the planets. It is a latin name meaning "supreme god", and in roman mythology he was the sky god, equivalent to the greek Zeus. How cool would it be to name a little boy Jupiter? It's just fabulous. Grand for sure, but definitely not a name to be embarassed by, more likely it would be a name to feel empowered by. And if you think there's no similar name out there that's currently being used by people, think again, the flower name Juniper is currently turning heads and getting more popular.

Kale - It is the name of another one of Jupiter's moons, and no, they didn't name it after the vegetable. Kale is of english and old germanic origin, and it means "free man". There seem to be 2 common spellings of this name in the top 1000, Kale and Kael. The first is more straightforward, but if you don't want people to connect the name to a herb, Kael might be a better option. Either way, Kale is extremely usable, short, simple and fresh.

Kuiper - Pronounced "kai-per", not "kooy-per", the Kuiper Belt is a very large region in space between Neptune and our nearest star, consisting of small celestial bodies like asteroids and dwarf planets. It was named after the astronomer Gerard Kuiper. As a name, its roots are dutch, and it's a occupational name for a cooper. Pronunciation might be an issue, but some people still spell the name Skyler the original way, Schuyler, so I guess it can be usable.

Lynx - An animal name and a space name? Actually it's 2 in 1, because this constellation was named after the feline. Most animals names stay unnoticed, unless they are birds. You may hear of a guy named Lion or Tiger, but they are very rare. Still, there is something about Lynx that to me makes it more usable than the rest. Maybe its that fabulous "x" at the end that I just love. Regardless, it would make one ferocious baby name.

Meteor - Everyone knows what a meteor is, also known as "shooting star". They are also blamed for the extinction of the dinosaurs. When these rocks enter the Earth's atmosphere, it may look pretty in the sky, but if they hit the Earth, it can cause some damage (and are then named meteorite). I think this name is quite appealing, but again, like kids named Stone or Cliff, it's not for everyone, and it will certainly cause an impact, no pun intended.

Neutron - A neutron star is the name given to the stellar remnant that resulted from the gravitational collapse of a massive star during a supernova. Sounds complicated right? Well, imagine the mass of a huge sun being compressed to the size of a city. Because of that, they are the smallest stars in the universe, but have huge masses. Neutron is a very well known name for cientists, and all kids will hear this name once they start learning chemistry and physics. However, if that causes no issue for you, the light should be green.

Orion - Definitely up there as one of the most usable space names, Orion is the name of a constellation, and its a name of greek origin meaning "rising in the sky, dawning". How space appropriate. Personally there really is nothing about this name that I think could cause problems, even the pronunciation seems to have become common knowledge for most people, as its a somewhat common boy name. Could be used as a name to honor someone named Ryan, given how similar they sound.

Phoenix - I just love this name, so I had to see if there was something space related to this name, and there was. Phoenix was the name of a robotic spacecraft used on a space exploration mission to Mars. Its a greek name meaning "dark red", and also widely known as a mythical bird that rises from its own ashes after dying, symbolizing immortality. Last but not least, it's also the name of the capital city of Arizona. Therefore, it's a space name, a nature name, a color name, a spiritual name, and a place name. And you still ask me why I love Phoenix? It's just wholesome.

Quasar - Known to scientists as the brightest objects in the sky, quasars are compact starlike celestial bodies with a power output greater than our whole galaxy. They are also believed to be the oldest and most distant objects in the universe, which makes their brightness even more impressive. Fascinating stuff, right? Good Q names are hard to discover, but I think I hit the jackpot with this one. It's the epitomy of badass and cool. It even sounds like a proper real name, you know what I mean? I definitely recommend using it.

Razzo - Ever wanted to say "rocket" in italian? Well, it's "razzo". It's not the most conventional name out there, but I definitely think there are some great qualities in it. Raz makes a fabulous nickname, and who doesn't love that zippy double "z" in there? And the cherry on top - it ends in a bright "o" sound. Very bubbly name.

Titan - This is a big name for sure. In space, it's the name of one of Saturn's moons, the only moon with liquid seas on the surface. It was named after the titans, who in mythology were a race of powerful deities, descendants of Gaia and Uranus. As a noun, it means big or large, and is applied to mean a person or thing with great strength, intellect or importance. So this is the grandest of grand names. No wonder it is also getting more used lately, debuting in the SSA list in 2012, keeping up with his "big" brothers: Major, Messiah and King.

Uzay - The turkish language has some great space names, and Uzay is one of the them, meaning "space". So really, there is nothing on this list that comes as close to being a space name, like Uzay. Saying it out loud, it sounds similar to Jose, but with a twist. A twist so big that they happen to share no letters in common. Still, if you like the sound of Jose, but dont want your kid to be one of many in his class, then Uzay is a terrific substitute.

Vega - This is the name of a star, and as a given name it is of spanish origin, meaning "meadow". It is also the name of a popular Street Fighter character, from Spain. I really like this one, it has several features that appeal to me. I like its nature connection, making it a light and sweet name, but then it's also a fictional fighter's name, making it hard and tough. The best of both worlds I suppose. Plus it ends in "a", which I really like on boys, because there aren't many of them being used in America.

Wakusei - Looks really exotic don't you think? It's the japanese name for "planet". Pronunciation might be an issue, but I quite like the way it looks. Japanese names are normally very vowel heavy, which I appreciate, it makes them sound youthful and fun. I guess if you want to pay homage to someone japanese, or if you simply love japanese names or japanese culture, it could be one for you to consider.

Xenon - This is a gas that occurs in minimal quantities in our atmosphere, although it is more common in other areas of our universe. This environmentally friendly gas is used for a variety of things, from anesthesia to lights, and it's the preferred propellant for ion propulsion of spacecraft, being recently used for NASA's Dawn spacecraft. Xenon is a simple name, but it has something special: it starts with the letter X. If you're like me, that makes it extra special. Basically it's Lennon with an "x", and if that name can become popular, why can't Xenon? I think it's ultra cool.

Ymir - It is one of saturn's irregular moons, and it's named after a character is norse mythology, with many connections to ice and frost. A possible meaning may be "giant", which makes the name of the moon quite appropriate given the massive size the planet it orbits. The only issue I think this name might have is people might spell it with the letter "i", but again, it's the case of correcting them once, and they'll know from then on how to spell it. It sounds like Amir, but looks cooler and it's certainly more unique.

Zeke - You're probably questioning yourself "how is this name space related"? Well, apart from being a common nickname for Ezekiel, it's also the arabic name for "shooting star". Isn't that wonderful? Now you can use this name and not allow yourself to be harassed by some people that love giving parents a hard time for using nicknames (not that I care, some nicknames are great and work well by themselves). In case anyone asks, just say it's word name for a celestial object. I've always liked Zeke on it's own, but finding out this new meaning just made me like it even more.

Zenith - A few years ago I featured this name as one of my Name In Spotlight, and now it's back again in another feature. Zenith is of arabic origin meaning "the highest point". In english, it's used in geography and astronomy as a point in the sky that is directly above you. It can also be used to designate when a celestial body, like the sun, reaches its highest point during its apparent orbit across the sky. It's quite an inspirational name, ambitious too. It's wanting the very best for your kid, for him to reach the highest highs and accomplish amazing things. Only 8 boys received this name in 2012, shocking. I'm still in love with this name like I was back when I wrote about it 4 years ago.

If you want to search for more space related names, I can guarantee you, there are a gazillion more you could use. Fortunately our scientists have been picking interesting names to describe space phenomena, or to baptize new objects in our universe. This gives us a really fascinating list of possible baby names, and if you're like me and always loved everything about the universe, they make some serious candidates for a future kid.

Which ones were your favorites? Do you have any other space names you like not featured here? Share them with me please.

quarta-feira, 2 de Abril de 2014

Name In Trend: Declan

Declan is an irish names that means "full of goodness". It is the name of a saint, and it's the birth name of singer Elvis Costello.

America has always been a country that loves to import exotic names from other countries, especially Irish names. Could the rising star Declan be the latest irish import to make a big impression for the next couple of decades? Perhaps. Let's see how it's been performing so far in the SSA ranking:

Declan first popped up on the list in 1998, at #712, so relatively high for a debut. Since then, the name has made gradual increases, reaching #143 in 2012. The gains have been rather impressive in the past couple of years, so it should be in the top100 relatively soon, probably in a year or two.

Declan is a masculine name with a soft sound, a balance that is not easy to find, and that parents love for their boys. Think about other popular irish male names like Kevin, Ryan, Brandon or Aidan, for example. So it's no surprise that Declan could follow in their footsteps and become the next big thing.

Alterative spellings include: Deklan, Declen, Declin, Declyn, Deklen, Deklin, Deklyn.

Similar sounding names: Devin, Devlin, Deegan, Dylan, Daelan, Kellan, Beckham, Darren.

domingo, 30 de Março de 2014

Names Of The Year 2013

This year my predictions for the 2013 list is a little late, but as long as it's before the list is out, it still counts, right? Anyway, the year 2013 has brought us some interesting and buzzworthy celeb baby names, but little (as far as I can see) in terms of new character names on tv shows - the same old same old are being used instead. But enough about my disappointment in tv names, let's go to the predictions.

For boys:

- I think this will definitely be the year Jacob finally loses its crown after a long and snoozeworthy 14 year reign. The battle will be between Mason, who lost out by a tiny margin last year, and the new "hear it everywhere" name Liam. I wouldn't be surprised if Liam leapfrogged Mason and ended up at #1, but I'm still sticking with Mason being at the top, at least for a year.
- Aiden and Jayden should continue their downward trend, with possibly Aiden dropping out of the top10, but I wouldn't bet on that just yet. There really is no new name I see climbing into the top10 for 2013, maybe Elijah, but my prediction is the top10 will consist of the same names as last year, with a little shuffle between them.
- I expect Isaac, Carter, Henry, Eli, Levi, Oliver, Jaxon, Jace, Grayson and Hudson to ascend sharply inside the top100, they are inescapable right now.
- Dont expect any "classics" to drop out of the top 100 anytime soon. After following birth announcements in various sites the past year, I've noticed that about 80% of the kids named Michael, Christopher, John, James, William, Joseph, Charles and Robert are named after their fathers. The biggest culprit? Christopher - I'd say that one is above 90%. It's too bad that this practice is still so widespread, it's the main reason why the male rank is still very stale and predictable.
- My best bet for top 100 debuts are: Jaxson and Miles, with a smaller chance of Axel, Lincoln, Camden or Brantley getting there too, but definitely not all four.
- It's very hard to predict what the biggest climbers inside the top 1000 will be, but I think Cash, Jase, Maverick, Kayson, Remington, Cyrus, Major, Jaxton, Ace, Zayne, Flynn, Brentley and Graeme will get significant boosts for a variety of reasons.
- I'm not entirely sure how much of a lift George will get after becoming the newest royal baby name. I think certainly a rise is on the cards, but not a top 100 status. At least not yet. The name is still in the "dated" category for a lot of american parents, unlike in the UK where it's a reliable classic and much more popular amongst newborns.
- Predicting the top 1000 debuts is always tricky because the numbers at the end of the list are quite small, with many names being close to the threshold and therefore the list of potential debuts is enormous. After some digging I think the following have a very good chance of making a splash: Baylor, Brantlee, Royal, Gionni, Grey, Jayceon, Trayvon, Jordy, Ares, Zayn. A lot of these are easy to see why.

For girls:

- Sophia will definitely keep it's number 1 status, but I don't think the numbers will increase that much this time around. The gap between her and the #2 will still be quite big though.
- I believe Elizabeth will get booted off the top 10, and be replaced by Avery. Aubrey may get in there but I think it'll just miss out, mostly because there are some very popular alternative spellings masking it's true popularity.
- Making big gains in the top 100: Harper, Genesis, Aubree, Scarlett, Aria, Naomi and Violet. I wouldn't be too shocked if Harper actually made it all the way into the top 10.
- Since the girls rank moves at such a fast pace compared to the boys (having less number of babies getting a top 100 name helps increase the fluidity up and down the chart), I expect there to be at the about 4 new debuts inside the top 100, but I wouldn't rule out even more. It's just that last year was very busy, so I don't expect this years turnover to be quite as impressive. Still, I see Paisley, Nora, Penelope and Mila as certain. Fighting for a the last seats available, if there are any, will be Brielle, Alice, Hadley, Elena and Cora.
- Names I will keep an eye on as possible big movers outside the top 100 are: Aurora, Kinsley, Tessa, Journey, June, Sloane, Malaysia, Elsa, Nova, Pearl, Winter, Everly, Monroe and Collins.
- Top 1000 debuts and returns will probably include the following: Wren, Carter, Ivory, Sutton, Mabel, Nala, Selene, Margot, Kataleya, Batsheva, Rosie, Penny. So something for everyone it seems.

So do you agree with my predictions? Are yours similar to mine? What names do you think will shine that I haven't mentioned? Let me know in the comments or on facebook

sexta-feira, 21 de Fevereiro de 2014

Name In Spotlight: Bodhi

Bodhi is a sanskrit name that means "to awaken or become enlightened". It is also a nature name, thanks to the Bodhi tree, which has a spiritual connection to Buddhism - it is believed that the Buddha sat under this tree to reach enlightenment, where you obtain full comprehension of life, especially your own.

It has a very mystical feeling, one of those religious names that sounds very intriguing, but modern and appealing at the same time. This week, Bodhi has been on the spotlight alot - two celeb baby boys were given this name, and both children had some unusual middle names too: Rain and Ransom.

Bodhi is quite likely my favorite boy name ending in the letter "i", along with Kai. I love my nature names, because they are connected eternally to the earth and to the universe in general, and many of them evoke an image of tranquility and peace, such as River, Bay, Leaf, Sky - but Bodhi takes the cake as the ultimate peaceful nature name for everything that is stands for. You can picture a boy named Bodhi being very centered, focused, mannered, honest, down to earth, and empathetic. At least I can.

Bodhi has always been off the radar to most parents, it had its first taste of success back in 2010 when it entered the SSA top 1000 chart for the first time, but it's stalled somewhat since then, resting at #894 in 2012. Could this surge of celebrity baby boys being named Bodhi finally boost it up the charts faster? Even though I like my favorite names relatively underused, Bodhi has a lot of potential and deserves more lovin', so I'm hoping it does get more attention by the rest of us. I mean, what's there not to like about it? There is an alternative spelling, Bode, which I'm not a fan of at all because of the pronunciation issues it might have (people might rhyme it with "code"), it loses its nature name status, its peaceful image, its historical connection, and its just a letter away from "body". Bodhi to me just looks more complete, more of a real name.

What are your thoughts on Bodhi? Yay or nay? Can you picture this name in the top200 in a decade? Or is it destined to be an underdog? Tell me.

sábado, 4 de Janeiro de 2014

Celebrity Baby Names of 2013 - Review

Another new year rolls in, and as usual, I start off with my review of the celeb baby names from the previous year. 2013 did brought an interesting mix of names, some trendy choices, some unexpected ones too, as well as the obligatory boy names on girls. Overall, I did like them more than the 2012 choices.


Ellis James - Like I always say, if you have two names you wanna use, one of them is part of the unexpected underrated category, and one is part of the overused classics category, and you're unsure in which order to put each name, I'll tell you: keep the most interesting name first, the more common one second. It's such a waste when great underused names are wasted in the middle. I do love Ellis.

Milan - Often thought of as a place name, which it can be, but it is also a hebrew name, with a different pronunciation than that italian city: MEE-lan. I didn't know what to expect from Shakira, but I do approve of this choice.

Greyson James - Greyson seems to be the new rising star over the past years, and one I like quite a bit (preferably spelled Grayson). James is the typical filler middle (and first) name, so don't really care for it.

Knox Addison - Ever since the Jolie's used Knox, the name has spread like wildfire, but yet is not at a point where your hear it everywhere everytime. It's that familiar face you don't see too often, one that you enjoy encountering. Addison is a male name that has made a switch to the female side, so I'm always surprised yet thankful when they make the reswitch, even if it's as a middle name. I love the flow of the name too.

Rekker Radley - Quite a tough name, don't you think? While it's not spelled "wrecker", it does sound the same, and as I dont like violent names, it gets a thumbs down from me. However, I do really like Radley, so it evens itself out.

 Jax Copeland - I just adore the name Jax. It's weird that I can't stand Jack, maybe for all those not-so-appropriate things the name is associated with, but I do like Jax. And I like that they went with just Jax, and not the overused Jackson/Jaxon. Copeland is a fine and interesting middle name too.

Phaedra - Wow did this name get a lot of hate. And I'm totally feeling you guys, because if I wasn't against it, then I would consider myself a hypocrite. But what you feel about a boy named Phaedra is what I feel about most boy names that are used on girls, which end up becoming so common for the pink gender that they end up as female names permanently. The difference is, that boy names on girls is a very common practice since at least the early 20th century, and we've become numb to it, unlike girl names on boys. Or maybe we just accept tomboys better than feminine boys...

Jett Riviera - Jett is one of those names that I've grown to like. It's spunky and different. Riviera is such a unique middle name, that evokes the image of serenity due to the nature tie-in, and class (French Riviera anyone?).  Great choices.

Daxel Vaughn - Let me get this out of the way already: I do not like the name Vaughn. Yes, there's nothing wrong with it, but sometimes you can't help what you feel towards a name. Daxel I'm not sure if its made up or not, but I prefer just Axel.

Xano William Varela - Xano is an obscure nickname for Alexander, and I'm glad they chose that rather than Alex or Xander. William, if some years ago was one of the few overused classics I could tolerate, is now on my last nerve because I keep hearing it more and more.

Valentin Francesco - A very latino name. I actually think I like Valetin better than Valentine, but both are 2 of my favorite V names for boys - they certainly beat Victor or Vincent by a mile. Francesco, well, it's a nice middle name. I do wonder if we'll see a surge of Francis related names on the new SSA list due to the new pope.

Quinnlann Clancy - Way to many n's for me, Quinlan would be much better, or just Quinn. Clancy is a cute, sort of dorky name. See, now those are the type of old male names that should be used more often, not Matthew...

Maxwell Haze - After a spike in girls named Maxwell last year, I'm glad things are back to normal this year. Maxwell is a fine male name, and I do prefer, in this case, the full name over the nickname Max. Maybe because it's used on pets so much? I have heard of a Maxwell that goes by Welly, which I find much cuter. Haze is a rather intriguing middle name that you don't hear that often, if ever.

Klay Anthony - I don't really care for Klay, whichever way you spell it. But at least it doesn't bore me, so it's not all bad. Anthony is fine in the middle spot.

Axl Jack - One of the most talked about baby names, and I do also hear Apple Jack in it, which is why I really dont like it. It's weird. I do like Axl, but spelled Axel, however I can't stand Jack. Meh.

Camden Quinn - The most overused celebrity male name of 2012, makes a comeback in 2013. Still, I'm not yet fed up of Camden, and it's one of my favorite C-names for boys, and there aren't many of those for me. I still love Quinn for a boy, so this is a thumbs up from me.

Theodore Ignatius - I never liked Theodore, I always prefered just plain Theo. However, the full name has been growing on me recently, so I don't mind it anymore. However, I still dislike male names ending in -us, they just sound so ancient Rome, that I just can't get over it. Ignatius is no exception.

Ace Knute - Everyone was wondering what Jessica Simpson would name a son after giving her daughter a very masculine first name. She came up with Ace. Ace? It could be worse, but it could also be better. I just don't care for it, or the middle name, and the combo doesn't flow too well.

Thatcher Bray - While I do love a lot of -er names, Thatcher is not one of them. Maybe the political reference is too strong, I dunno. Bray feels like there is something missing.

Shooter Sandhed Julian Jr - Violent names get an immediate thumbs down from me, so this one is a no no. Plus, he's a junior, which is my number one baby name pet peeve, I just don't think sons should be named after fathers, especially those still alive. If you want to pay tribute, use it as a middle name. Give your son his own identity.

Dekker Edward - What's with the -ekker boy names lately? Well, at least this one is a bit better than Rekker. It looks very futuristic, but Edward tames it a bit.

Lincoln Marshall - I've always really liked the name Lincoln, even now, when it's becoming more popular than ever. Marshall is an ok name, just that.

Vernon Lindsay - This is the second time a celebrity has used the name Lindsay on a boy in the past 1 or 2 years. We just need that extra bit of courage to slap it on as a first name now. And that is all I like about this combo...

Kane Ren - I prefer Wren over Ren, but still, it's a nice middle name. Kane is a good first name, nothing too crazy, but at least it's still somewhat underused.

Bear Winslet - And here comes another Bear... I still don't like it, no matter how much time passes. Winslet is by far my favorite of the too, but I think I like it better on a girl.

Valor - It's so rare to meet a boy with a virtue name, so when they do come about, it's so surprising and refreshing. Thumbs up!

Logan Vincent - Nothing to shout out about here. Logan is a fine popular name, Vincent is an ok middle name. Doesn't make my head turn.

Hartley Eric - I do know of a boy named Hartley, so I do have an association with this name that already makes me like it. I think its more preppy and buttoned up than Harley, which seems more sporty, maybe because of wakeboarder Harley Clifford or celeb trainer Harley Pasternak. Eric is bland, but it's in the middle, so it's ok.

 Sebastian Oscar - Sebastian is rising super fast in the popularity charts, yet all I can think of is that crab from The Little Mermaid. I don't care for it. I also think it's rising fast because of the latino population, which are using it in droves. Oscar is decent as a middle name.

Ryker Mobley - First came Ryder, now we have Ryker. I do get the appeal, I think it looks and sounds cool, if a bit butch and aggressive. Mobley, is a nice middle name, but not something I would use.

Louis Augustus - So you've heard how I don't like -us names. Here is another one in the middle spot, and we have a first name that almost sounds like an -us name too. The flow of this name is terrible, and the is-us-us sound is everywhere. Don't like at all.

Quincy Xavier - This one I enjoy, a lot. Quinn and Quincy are my favorite Q- names for boys, and Xavier, while a bit overused, is still a name I like, maybe because names starting with the letter X are so cool and rare.

Joseph Frederick - I really dislike all names that are part of the category I like to call "overused classics", and Joseph is no exception. Next. Frederick is more interesting and nowhere near as popular, yet it's wasted in the middle spot. Still, it's not my style. Next.

Kaius Jagger - One of the last names of 2013, Kaius will be Skyler's little brother. While I did love Skyler (hello, my name is Skye), I'm a bit disappointed with Kaius. Kai, the nickname they've chosen, is so much better, again, the -us ending just doesn't speak to me. While this is unrelated to the name itself, Skyler is called Sky by his mom Rachel Zoe. Doesn't she think Sky and Kai are too close? Hmmm. Jagger is a cool middle name though, and has some swag appeal.


Paisley Faye - One of the trendiest names for girls in recent years, Paisley is everywhere nowadays. It's not one of those trendy names that I love, it's just ok. Faye however, I do think makes for a great middle name (and why not a first name again?)

Lula Rosylea - I don't like Lula. Why, you ask? Because in portuguese it means "squid". So yeah, not a fan.

Holiday Grace - Where to begin with Holiday... Am I the only one who has thought about all the jokes that could be made to this girl once high school comes around? It's just an easy name to make fun of.

Lily Georgina - I'm really over Lily at this point, it's probably my least favorite of the Lily related names. Lillian or Lilith sound much better to me. Georgina I dont like either, I think it's rather ugly. Again, I much prefer Georgia.

Sterling Diane - I dont like Sterling for a boy, let alone a girl. I just don't see the appeal of this name. Don't like Diane either, very dated.Thumbs down.

Elizabeth Mae - Classy, perhaps. But also plain and overused, both the first name and the middle name. Its like the equivalent to the male combo Alexander James, Daniel James, Michael James, etc.

Violet Grace Devereux - Violet is getting more and more popular, but it still retains it's beauty. It's not at a point where I'm just over it, like Lily. Devereux makes for an interesting middle name, balancing out the predictable Grace.

Rainbow Aurora - Back when I reviewed Rainbow as one of my Name In Spotlight, I liked it for its outlandish factor, and its nature link, which might be because my own name is also nature related. However, I also evidenced why Rainbow never made it big: the cuteness factor. People associate rainbows with kids, and I think even parents that go for the cute factor, want a cute name that could age well, and Rainbow probably won't. Still, I commend Holly Madison for her bravery, and I still love Aurora - at least she can go by that when she's older if she feels like it.

Penna Mae - There is Mae again... Its funny because I actually like it as a first name, but as a middle name it's just so overused. I dont even need to look at a ranking, I just know its common. Penna doesn't really do it for me either, Penny maybe, or better yet, Penelope. But Penna just falls flat.

Cricket Pearl - Cricket is such a polarizing name, you either love it or hate it. I dont like it, it's just weird, and not in a good way. Pearl is still a fab choice, classy but not overused, yet.

Charlotte Bryant - An interesting mix of overly feminine first name and and overly masculine middle. It does work for me, in an odd way.

Goldie Ryan - There's nothing here that I like. Goldie sounds like a pet name to me, and Ryan I just don't care for on girls.

Margaret Laura - Apparently Margaret will go by Mila, which is an interesting nickname choice. I much prefer Mila to Margaret, so I'm glad they went there. Laura is a good middle name.

Scout Margery - Some people dislike Scout because it's a made up name. Well I say all names were made up at one point in time, so that argument doesn't work for me. What I don't like about this name is its sound. Scout. It doesn't sound appealing to me. I do like Margery though.

Penelope Joan - Is Penelope the new "it" name in Hollywood? I do love it, so it deserves it's moment to shine. Joan works fine in the middle spot, no issues to report.

Saffron Rose Kiran - The No Doubt babies keep coming, and they all have such unique first names, I just can't wait for more of them to arrive. I just love Saffron, maybe because I also love Sapphire which is similar in sound. Kiran is an unexpected middle name, though I do wonder if its related to the male Kieran?

Vaunne Sydney - I'm not sure how Vaunne is meant to be pronounced, but I read it like Vaughn. And if you've read my reviews of the male names, you know I dislike Vaughn. So not only is it a name I dislike, it's being used on the wrong gender with a girlified spelling which I hate. Sydney has no appeal left for me, at least on girls. Thumbs down.

Margot - No middle name to report here, but I included this one because I really like Margot. I feel like it gets a lot of love online, but few people are brave enough to use it. There is a new sassy character on the TV show Revenge that answers to this name, let's hope it helps the number of Margot's being born.

Autumn James - I think Autumn is a beautiful name, and even though it's not my favorite season of the year, I think the name is really elegant and classy. James however, ruins the combo for me.

Lucy Thomas - What is it with the classic male names being used as middle names for girls lately? It just looks strange to me. I guess no name is untouchable.

North - As much as I adore Easton and Weston for boys, with the nicknames East and West, North just doesn't feel like a usable name to me. And I think the numbers will reflect it, as I dont expect this name to become popular anytime soon, if ever. Add to the fact that her last name is West, and it just feels like a joke to me.

Jett Ling - I would've given this name a pass if it was spelled Jette, which at least has some feminine atributes, however Jett is just such a cowboy-ish name, what on earth is it doing on a little girl?

Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina - Wow. That is a lot of middle names. First, let's start with Maud. I've always lumped this name in the "unlikely to make a comeback", but maybe I'm wrong? If it does, color me surprised. Daphne and Marina are two names that I like, and they balance out the two first names that I don't care about. Why couldn't they have been the first names instead? Love the name Marina.

Kaia Rose - I know both girls and boys with the name Kaia. I do like it, and prefer it on girls (as I prefer Kai on boys). Rose is a pleasant, if predictable middle name.

Winnie Rose - I feel Winnie is such a cute name. I guess it should be a nickname for something, but all the suggestions I've heard are not my cup of tea, so why not just Winnie?

Elsie Marigold - Elise is nice, but not as cute as Winnie. I prefer Elsa. Speaking of, I wonder if Disney's "Frozen" will give a Elsa the boost she deserves? Marigold is a great middle name, grand yet feminine at the same time.

Justice Jay - I love Jensen Ackles, but what the hell was he (or his wife) thinking? This combo sounds great, but for a boy...

Everest Hobson - And moving on to an even more masculine combo. Again, Everest to me sounds masculine, maybe because of the name Everett, and Hobson is definitely masculine with it's -son ending. Do not approve.

Carmen Gabriela - For all my life, I've always hated the name Carmen. It just sounded a bit too butch. But over the last few years I've grown to at least tolerate it. The combo is nice, and flows well.

Nora Kara - Speaking of combos that don't flow well, here's one. I like Nora and Kara on their own, but they dont go together at all. Both are just too similar to be paired up together.

Tallulah Anais - Such an outlandish name, I don't know what I think of Tallulah. Some days I really like it, others I don't. Today, I'm more on the positive side, so I give it my thumbs up. Anais is a lovely name, when pronounced correctly, which can be a problem.

Lincoln Bell - No. Just no. Lincoln should not be used on girls, there are no feminine qualities about this name. I also dislike the middle name spelt this way, a bell, really? Belle is much prettier.

Luna Encinas - Most names this year seem to have at least one flaw for me, there's not one that made me go "wow". In this case, Encinas ruins it for me, it's rather ugly. Luna is still fabulous though.

Actually, looking back at the list, I don't know if this was an improvement over 2012. It's a very mixed back, lots of names I dont like or care for, some names I love but are paired with others that I don't, so it's been hard to choose to my favorites and least favorites of the year. I could've extended the "worst" category for quite a bit if I wanted to, especially for girls, but in the end I had to cut a few bad names off the list, but keeping some sort of variety in them, whether it was just plain awful, boring, outrageous, terrible flow, etc.

Best Boy Names of 2013: Quincy Xavier, Knox Addison, Jett Riviera, Camden Quinn

Worst Boy Names of 2013: Louis Augustus, Shooter Sandhed Julian Jr, Bear Winslet, Joseph Frederick, Phaedra

Best Girl Names of 2013: Margot, Saffron Rose Kiran, Penelope Joan, Kaia Rose

Worst Girl Names of 2013: Goldie Ryan, Lincoln Bell, Sterling Diane, Vaunne Sydney, North

domingo, 1 de Dezembro de 2013

"Witches Of East End" Names

So there is a new supernatural show airing on Lifetime called Witches Of East End. Its based on a book series of the same name, and it a good show for fans of cheesy tv fodder like Charmed.
Like any name nerd, the first thing I notice whenever I watch something new are the names each character has, and Witches Of East End certainly has a few good ones.

The main characters:

Joanna - Joanna is the mother of the two younger women of the show, and also a big sister. Personally I feel Joanna is a bit dated and not ready for a comeback, but give it a few more years and and it might be the right time. It's definitely not one of those names that I feel is gone forever, it has potential to return.

Wendy - Wendy is Joanna's spunky and funny younger sister. She has a great relationship with her nieces and is kind of the heart and glue of the show, for me at least. Wendy is a cute name, and while I feel it is a tad dated, I can also picture it on a little girl, therefore I do think its usable for those of you who want to choose this name for a daughter.

Freya - She is the emotional and romance-driven daughter of Joanna. She struggles to choose between the 2 main guys of the show, and her storyline revolves around that. Her name was appropriately given, since in norse mythology she was the goddess of love and fertility. I'm starting to hear this name more and more these days, its a popular choice in the UK, and its only a matter of time before it becomes common in the US too.

Ingrid - She is Freya's sister, and is the more rational and nerdy of the two. I feel this name has been eternally popular in the UK, but always ignored in the US. Could things change in the future? There are not many common girl names that end in -d, so maybe that is a problem, but perhaps it's also a reason why this name can be charming too? It deserves more attention.

Dash - He is Freya's fiancé, and seems to be the guy that is well put together and has everything in control. I think this name fits right in with other trendy choices like Cash, and works well on its own. However, I prefer it as a nickname for Dashiell, it just gives it a little extra something.

Killian - He is Dash's brother, and is apparently Freya's soulmate from a previous lifetime. Killian is related to the awesome irish name Kelly and means "bright headed". Some people are put off by the "kill" initial, but I think it's easy to get past that and it doesn't stop this name from being ultra cool. Several boy names ending in -ian are in the top100, could Killian eventually join them?

The secondary characters:

Penelope - She is Killian and Dash's mother, and is so far the villain of the show. Penelope is a name that is on the rise, and is also a celeb baby name thanks to a certain Kardashian. For those of you who want to avoid popular names, Penelope might be one to scrap off your list, but if you don't care about popularity then you have a green light, it's certainly beautiful.

Athena - Athena is actually Penelope's real name in the series, and it is referenced sometimes on the show. Both names are greek in origin, and both were names featured on Homer's Odyssey, so maybe there is a deeper connection between the character and the mythology that we don't know yet? Athena is a name that has been climbing the SSA ranking recently, and it's easy to see why. Definitely a name to watch.

Harrison - Personally I'm not a fan of this name, because I feel like it will always be shortened to Harry, which I detest, at least with the american pronunciation. But I featured this name because clearly many people do like it, it is currently in the top200, and has been steadily climbing the popularity chart for the past 4 years.

Hudson - A newly arrived name to the top100, the future is looking bright for Hudson. Recently featured as one of my Name In Trend back in October, it's a place name, a nature name, and a "son" name. Those are three ingredients that make it one of the most modern and safe choices for today's parents. Like Penelope, if you want to avoid names that are becoming popular, you might want to find an alternative, if not, then you have picked a great name regardless.

The actors:

Mädchen: This is the first name of the actress that plays the character Wendy. Mädchen is a germanic name that means "young woman" or "girl" - it can also be spelled Madchen. Pronunciation should be "med-chun" rather than "mad", so it might be mispronounced in America, but either way, it's quite an intriguing name that you don't hear too often. Who knows, maybe parents who like Madison and Madeline could enjoy Mädchen too?

Enver Lief: Wow. A first name Enver with the middle name Leif. Now that is a crazy good name. Too bad this actor plays a character named Mike - how unfortunate, he deserved better. So yes, I decided to skip the overused and dated character name and focus on the actor's name instead. Enver is turkish in origin and means "handsome", and it fits right in with the -er endings trend for boys. It also could ride on the rising popularity of Ember, and now Ender thanks to the movie. Lief is scandinavian in origin and means "love", and is one of my favorite underused boy names, it deserves more "love", no pun intended. The curious thing is the actor isn't turkish or scandinavian, he's albanian. But this just proves you can borrow names from other cultures, after all, we live in a modern multicultural world, and Enver Lief would sound great for an american boy too.

So which names that I've chosen from the series do you like best?

quinta-feira, 28 de Novembro de 2013

Name In Spotlight: Jaxley

So I got asked by my best friend to do a search on a family name of his: Jaxley. I thought, wow, that is quite a cool name. But as I was trying to find info on this name, I realized this wasn't just a rare name, but almost non-existant. There are no records of it on any baby name sites, and there are only a few people that have it as a surname (and even less as a first name). Determined not to let my best friend down, I had to find at least something I could tell him about the name, and I did. A very likely source is that this name is related to or a variant of the place name Yaxley, which is also a Harry Potter name. Yaxley means "cuckoo wood", and during the 19th century, the county of Yaxley in Suffolk, England, was written as Jacheslea. It is very likely that from Jacheslea, people eventually arrived at the more pronounceable Jaxley.

The most interesting part of his family tree, was that Jaxley was used as a first name. It's not terribly surprising since surnames have been used as first names for a very long time, at least on boys. But definitely not ultra rare surnames like this one that seem to have popped out of nowhere. There were only a handful of people with the first name Jaxley, almost all most of them baby boys from recent years - however the name has never registered on the SSA extended list, meaning that there never have been more than 4 Jaxley's born per year, making it a super unique name.

I then thought to myself, how has this name remained so rare all of this time? Yes, its a very rare surname, but it's a name that would fit perfectly in today's classrooms and playgrounds - from the modern jax- initial, to the ever so popular -ley ending - it was made for today's parents that desperately want something cool but underused. I'm positive that if Jaxley was used by a celebrity, or appeared on a popular movie or tv series, it would explode in popularity. But then, maybe it's good to keep it a secret, for now at least.

Jaxley makes a fantastic alternative to the very overused Jackson / Jaxon, currently the 2nd most used boy name in America. You still get the spunky nickname Jax, but you get a full name that is very leftfield. So if you like Jack and its variants, but not their huge popularity, my recommendation is: use Jaxley.

Similar names are: Yaxley, Baxley, Huxley, Oxley, Jaxson

Alternative spellings include: Jaxlee, Jaxly, Jaxlie, Jaxleigh

What do you think of Jaxley? Do you think it would fit in with todays naming styles? Could it ever become popular?