Sylvie: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on April 24, 2014

SylvieA while back, I asked if Sylvia was ready for a comeback.  My favorite response was from Liann: “I like Sylvia, but I LOVE Sylvie.”

Thanks to Elise for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.

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Chloe: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on April 23, 2014

ChloeShe rocketed from obscurity to the US Top Ten, imported from the ancient world by way of midcentury France.

Thanks to Jessica for suggesting Chloe as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Tenley: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on April 22, 2014

来日した世界選手権保持者オルブライト。後楽園アイスパレスにて撮影。

She won Olympic gold in ’56 at Cortina d’Ampezzo, with an unusual given name that sounds just right in 2014.

Inspired by the website established by Ms. Albright, our Baby Name of the Day is Tenley.

 

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Tansy: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on April 21, 2014

Tansy

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on August 30, 2011.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on April 21, 2014.  

She’s a floral choice as dear as Daisy, as unexpected as Azalea.

Thanks to Fran for suggesting Tansy as our Baby Name of the Day – and to Bertram Bergamot for suggesting she was due for an update!

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Sunday Summary: Easter Sunday edition

by appellationmountain on April 20, 2014

Sunday Summary

Happy Easter!  For those observing the holiday, I hope you have a thoroughly enjoyable day.

The other day I came across a name in a magazine: Lynya.  Lynya had written an article in a prominent women’s magazine, so presumably her unusual name had not been a stumbling block to a successful life.  But I was struck by the name – was it pronounced like Linnea?  Or like Lydia with an n?  Maybe something like Mariah?  Distinctive, yes.  Easy to wear?  Maybe not.

Unusual names always spark that curiosity in me – was it a respelling, an invention, a smoosh?  And yet, even the most unusual name is still probably not truly unique.  That’s why I got a kick out of this post.  Scroll down to #3!

The post is meant for a laugh, but it is kind of horrible to imagine a world where no one shares the same name, isn’t it?  At first it seems great – no accusations of name theft, no pressure to stick with popular picks like Ava and Mason, no guilt over failing to pass down family names like Morton.  But it also means no honor names, no hero names, and a need to be far more creative than most of us can imagine.

Still, I was delighted when How Many of Me? informed me that I am the one and only Abby Sandel.  There are three of my husband, one of my daughter, and one of my son – except that’s not right, because he shares his first and last name with his grandfather.

Elsewhere online:

  • Vi Delores and Sy Reed.  Those are some seriously short first names.
  • Daphne, Olga, Victoria, Stella Moira Shearer wore some great names!
  • Some of these vintage nicknames are among my favorites.  I especially like Ike, Bess, Kit, and Lulu.
  • Captivated by this list of medieval names from Portugal.
  • Such an interesting story about Rafael becoming Rafferty because these Australian parents thought it was a better fit.  And Anna makes a good point about the sisters’ names, too.
  • Baby Name Wizard talks about the generational switcheroo. While there are certainly women of all ages named Abigail, it is so VERY popular now that I suspect my name can potentially cause that kind of reaction.
  • A very long list of noun names, culled from the Social Security Administration data, by Roses and Cellar Doors.
  • Tabitha was one of my favorite names for years, thanks to re-runs of Bewitched.  Nice to see her getting some appreciation on Baby Names from the Bible.
  • From the wayback machine: Leandra was the featured name in 2009, followed by Priya in 2010, Callahan in 2011, and Delta in 2012.  One year ago, the featured name was Tamsin.

Oh, that reminds me – today marks my two year anniversary of being at the new and improved site!  Still lots of work to do, but it’s good to be settled in.

That’s all for this week!  As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week.

 

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Isabeau, Bowen, Boheme: Getting to Bo and Beau

by appellationmountain on April 18, 2014

Bo iconThere’s something stylish about a short name nowadays, and the bright Bo has quite a bit of appeal.

Spelled Beau, the name feels like a Southern gentleman – but also has history as a feminine ending in France.  There were 39 girl Beaus and 1059 boy Beaus born in 2012.

Bo is less formal – more of a nickname – but 19 girls and 285 boys born in 2012 had just Bo put on their birth certificate.

I suppose it’s also possible to think about Bow, as in the weapon and the package trimming, and Clara Bow, too.

But what if this name strikes you as too brief?  No worries!  There are plenty of formal names, both mainstream and not-so-ordinary – that lead to the nickname Bo or Beau, for a son or a daughter.

Getting to Bo: Girls

Boadicea, Boudicca – A warrior queen who led her tribe to victory against the Romans before finally meeting her end, Boadicea appears in plenty of artwork and literature.  The historical figure’s exact name is in dispute, as is the pronunciation.  But there’s a case to made for a first syllable Bo, and she’s a fierce name for a daughter.  I like her best as an unexpected middleElizabeth Boadicea, maybe?

Boheme – Blogger Rebecca Woolf added this name to the list when she named one of her twins Boheme Shalom back in 2011.  Boheme was daring, even outlandish, to some.  For me, it was the same kind of head-smacking, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment that I had when I saw the birth announcement for her older daughter Fable.  The français Boheme with her operatic overtones is so lovely and dramatic and, well bohemian, but then Bo is such a friendly, accessible short form.

Bonita – I almost put Bonnie on this list, but isn’t Bonnie a diminutive?  And can you nickname a nickname?  Well, I probably could.  But then I thought of Bonita, a retro, flirty name, the Spanish word for pretty. From Florida’s Bonita Springs to California’s Bonita Falls, there’s no shortage of places sharing this name.  A boyish Bonita could easily lop off the last few letters and answer to Bo.

Deborah – She’s in style hibernation at the moment, but classic Deborah could possibly lead to the nickname Bo.

Isabeau – Also spelled Ysabeau, she’s a rare French form of Elizabeth and Isabelle.  She’s getting some attention lately thanks to the Deborah Harkness All Souls trilogy, featuring powerful vampire matriarch Ysabeau, immortal vampire mother to Matthew.

Rainbow – Is this one too daffy for words?  More My Little Pony than actual human child?  I have my hesitations, but let’s say that Rainbow undeniably leads to this short form.

Getting to Bo: Boys

Abbot, Abbott – A handful of surnames include the right letter combination, if not quite the right sound.  File Abbot, Abbott, and Talbot under preppy possibilities that could lead to Bo.

Beau – Just Beau seems to stand on his own better than the two-letter version.  He seems all-boy to me, but Sarah Jane Morris and Ned Brower went with Beau Katherine for their 2014-born daughter.

Beauregard – He’s a surname derived from a scenic view – beau meaning lovely, and regard meaning to look at.  The first wave of baby Beauregards could honor Confederate Civil War General Gustave Beauregard, a Louisiana-born officer.  But I’m just basing on that on Gone with the Wind, where Ashley and Melanie really did name their son after the Ashley’s commanding officer.  The numbers suggest that Beau caught on later – inspired by the novel, the film, and later, The Dukes of Hazzard.

Boaz – He’s an upstanding fellow in the Bible, the husband of Ruth.  Plus his name means swiftness – a rather current meaning in our age of active names for boys.  He’s less expected than Noah, a smidge easier to wear than Nehemiah.

Bode, Bodie, Bodhi – After back-to-back baby Bodhis earlier this year, could this name be on the rise?  He’s most spiritual as Bodhi – awakened, from the Sanskrit.  But he’s a modern wearable in any of his forms.

Boden – There really is a Johnnie Boden, founder of the catalog/online retailer Boden and Mini Boden, a catalog I love as much for sharing the names of its mini models as its bright and cheery kids’ clothing.  It’s not quite like naming your kiddo Chanel, but Boden is definitely recognizable as a surname and a brand.

Bodhan, Bohdan – The Slavic name Bogdan means “given by God.”  In Czech, the ‘g’ becomes an ‘h’ and Bogdan becomes Bohdan – a reasonable way to get to Bo, with a rich heritage tie-in as well.  Similarly, I’ve come across a Sanskrit name, Bodhan, which could work equally well.

Bolivar – Looking for a hero name?  Simon Bolivar helped liberate South America from Spain.  Bolivia is named in his honor.  It’s originally derived from a place name, and many other places have been named in his honor.  Bolivar is also the name of Donald Duck’s dog, a large St. Bernard.

Bolton – Is this surname too tied to singer Michael Bolton?  Maybe … but he’s a place name-turned-surname, one that’s not far from popular picks like Dalton and Colton.

Bonaventure, Bonaventura – Originally a given name meaning good fortune, the Italian Bonaventura shifted to the surname spot, and became Bonaventure in French.  I appreciate his similarity to the word “adventure.”

Booker – Recently chosen by Thandie Newton for her son, Booker has a number of positive associations – the literary link, as well as early civil rights leader Booker T. Washington.

Boston - He’s a popular place name, and a possible way to get to Bo.

Bowen – I almost put Bowman on this list, too, but he feels clunky in a way that Bowen does not.  Football player Drew Brees has boys named Baylen, Bowen, and Callen.

Bowie – A hero name, thanks to David, and a sharp choice, thanks to the Bowie knife.

Robert – He’s a steady classic, relatively underused in recent years – the masculine equivalent of Deborah on this list.  If you’re naming your son Robert, Jr. – or maybe Robert III – Bo becomes a way to shake up this venerable name.

Would you use Bo, Beau – or even Bow! – as a given name?  How ’bout a nickname?  Which formal versions would you consider?

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Sian: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on April 17, 2014

SianShe’s more obscure than Jane, less familiar than Joanna.  But this feminine form of John could fit right in with stylish names for girls in 2014.

Thanks to Sian for suggesting her own name as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Zosia: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on April 16, 2014

ZosiaShe sounds clunky and modern at once, a name that seems like a name, but like nothing you’ve heard.

Thanks to Amanda for suggesting Zosia as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Siri: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on April 15, 2014

SiriShe’s the voice helping countless iPhone users answer an infinite number of questions.

Thanks to Angela for suggesting Siri as our Baby Name of the Day.

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Oliver: Baby Name of the Day

by appellationmountain on April 14, 2014

OliverOliverOliverOliverEditor’s note: This post was originally published on November 30, 2008.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on April 14, 2014.

From Charles Dickens to The Brady Bunch to a playground near you, this name has gone from literary to quirky to just plain everywhere.

Thanks to Lola for suggesting Oliver as our Baby Name of the Day.

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