Obscure Saint Names for Boys: Part I


If you think choosing a saints’ name for your son means sticking with a tried-and-true choice like John, Matthew, or James, you’re half right. While many of the saints’  names are familiar choices, there are more than 10,000 saints, and more are named regularly. This is good news for parents eager to find an unusual name […]


Twenty Great Goth Baby Names

Goth Baby Names

  Happy Halloween! While we’re celebrating this spooky season, let’s pause and take a look at some of the baby names that might be exactly right for a baby born on October 31st. In years past, we’ve talked about plenty of names with ties to this fall festival. There were Witch Names and Names from Monster […]


Clover, Dior, and Parker: Harper’s Sisters

Harper's Sisters

Harper is a sensation, a fast-rising surname name with musical appeal.  A long list of high profile birth announcements have boosted Harper’s use, from Shonda Rhimes to the Beckhams. Visit a playground nowadays, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear the name.  Harper has soared from #887 in 2004 to #118 in 2010 to #16 in […]


Clara, Clarity, and Clarion: Claire Names


This post was originally published on April 9, 2012, for my mother, Clare.  It was substantially revised and re-posted on October 3, 2014 for her namesake’s sixth birthday.  In my Italian family, children were traditionally named after grandparents.  When you reached girl or boy #3, it was time to move on to honoring great-aunts and great-uncles. The result?  Those […]


Gorgeous Girls: Names for Wicked Stepsisters


We all know the story of Cinderella.  The pumpkin coach, the footmen mice, the handsome prince and the slipper, left behind when the clock strikes twelve. It’s an enduring tale, with roots in the ancient world, and open to frequent reinvention.  I’m fascinated by Marissa Meyer’s reboot, Cinder, the first book in The Lunar Chronicles. Meyer […]


Aria and Lyric: Musical Baby Names

Musical Baby Names

Baby name inspiration can come from anywhere, and plenty of children have been named for popular songs, from Geneva to Elise. Names of musicians are a rich source of possibility, too, from quirky retro names like Otis to swaggering moderns like Jagger. But how about musical terms?  We’re mad for nature names, and literary noun […]


Ten Unexpected Nicknames for Charles


Charles is an impeccable classic – regal and creative at once.  Nicknames for Charles are plentiful.  Default nickname Charlie is an every-boy staple, while the other go-to, Chuck, feels casual and cool. But what if you’re after something a little less popular?  Formal name Charles ranked #57 in 2013, while Charlie was #233 for boys […]


Amelia’s Sisters: Girl Names Ending in lia

Amelia's Sisters: girl names ending in lia

There’s something about Amelia: vintage, feminine, lady-like.  No wonder she’s quite popular, reaching the US Top 100 in 2004, and climbing to #17 in 2013. Let’s take a look at Amelia’s sisters: longer girl names ending in lia. Like Amelia, most of these names have significant history.  But many of them are far more obscure. That’s not […]


1980s Names for Girls: Inspired by TV

Facts of Life (television)

We’ve been talking 1980s names all week!  Last year, we wrapped up our timewarp series by looking at Girls’ Names from 1980s Movies. This year, let’s turn to the small screen. Television was different during the Reagan years: fewer channels.  A better chance that a struggling series might have a season or two to find […]