Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Back to the Beginning

I know I say it a lot, but I'm amazed at how much names can change over time. While a few of our most popular names haven't changed much in the centuries (or decades...or less) since they were coined, many are quite old, and practically unrecognizable from their original forms.
This is mostly a "just for fun" post, but who knows?, maybe we'll find some usable alternatives to popular names. ;) See if you can guess them all!

Boys (2011, using the combined-spelling rankings):
1. Áedán
2. Jayden
3. Ya'aqov (via Iacobus)
4. Jackson
5. Mason
6. Kayden
7. Mikha'el
8. Willahelm
9. Eytan/Eitan
10. Noach
11. Alexandros
12. Daniyyel
13. Eliyyahu
14. Mattityahu
15. Antonius
16. Christophoros
17. Kalev
18. Yehoshu'a
19. Liam
20. Braden
21. Ya'aqov (via Iacomus)
22. Andreas
23. Dawid
24. Binyamin
25. Yosef

Girls (again, 2011, using combined-spelling rankings):
1. Sophia
2. Elisheva (via Elisabel)
3. Olivia
4. Emma
5. Chloe
6. Aemilia
7. Chawwah
8. Avigayil
9. Madison
10. Kaylee
11. Zoe
12. Miryam
13. Magdalene
14. Addison
15. Hayley
16. Lily
17. Alberich (masc.)
18. Reilly
19. Aaliyah
20. Leila
21. Natalia
22. Ariadne
23. Elisheva (via Elisabet)
24. Brooklyn
25. Aikaterine

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Double Trouble

So, I was browsing the SSA database, wishing that the 2012 stats were out (three more weeks?!? GAH.), and came across the most common twin names. I know I've seen this before, but I never really looked too hard. I mean, statistically, the most common names for kids overall are still going to be pretty common for twinsies, too, right? Partially.
What I failed to consider is the common proclivity towards "matchy" names. What seems to happen quite frequently is for one twin to get a popular name, and the other to get an uncommon "match". Names that are quite uncommon overall are disproportionately more common for a twin.
Now, the data isn't perfect, of course--it only shows most common twinsets.  So, a name like Kaylee, which has dozens of spelling in use, doesn't rank highly at all. Also, a name could theoretically be in use frequently, but not paired with any one name particularly often. It wouldn't show up in these rankings either.
So, with those limitations in mind, here're some interesting stats:

The most common twin pairs are: Olivia & Sophia, Madison & Mason; Daniel & David.
However, if you break the pairs up:

G/G Names B/G Names B/B Names
Olivia 142 Mason 70 Jayden 120
Sophia 142 Madison 60 Logan 98
Emma 120 Ethan 49 Ethan 91
Isabella 91 Emma 44 Joshua 90
Ava 74 Isabella 39 Jacob 89
Abigail 60 Olivia 39 Isaiah 85
Madison 58 Abigail 38 Andrew 69
Ella 57 Jayden/Jaden 37 Alexander 67
Makenzie/Mackenzie 88 Jada/Jayda 36 Benjamin 67
Gabriella 48 Addison 26 Nathan 66
Faith 46 Aiden 25 Matthew 65
Makayla 40 Alexander 25 Daniel 58
Emily 34 Sophia 24 David 58
Hope 33 Emily 22 Jordan 53
Hailey/Haylee 31 Chloe 21 Noah 53
Heaven 29 Jacob 20 Elijah 52
Nevaeh 29 Ava 19 Michael 52
Mia 26 Michael 19 Isaac 47
Addison 24 Andrew 18 Nicholas 46
Elizabeth 22 Owen 18 Aiden/Ayden 42
Hannah 18 Zoey 18 Evan 39
Avery 15 Zachary 17 Lucas 39
Arianna 14 Isaiah 14 Jeremiah 33
Brianna 14 Jackson 14 Anthony 31
London 14 Ella 12 Jaylen 26
Paris 14 Taylor (g) 12 Mason 26
Grace 13 Tyler 12 Justin 25
Kaylee 13 Landon 11 Kayden 25
Samantha 13 London 11 Landon 25
Anna 12 Morgan 11 William 24
Chloe 12 Oliver 11 Caleb 23
Evelyn 12 Benjamin 9 James 23
Reagan 12 John 9 John 23
Riley 12 Mackenzie 9 Josiah 21
Zoey 12 Matthew 9 Luke 21
Sarah 11 Michelle 9 Chance 20
Jayla 10 Adrian 8 Chase 20
Katherine 10 Adriana 8 Hayden 20
Kayla 10 Charlotte 8 Hunter 20
Morgan 10 Elizabeth 8 Gabriel 19
Mya 10 Henry 8 Joseph 19
Natalie 10 Isaac 8 Samuel 17
Nicole 10 Jayla 8 Christian 16
Serenity 10 Samuel 8 Christopher 16
Trinity 10 William 8 Brandon 15
Autumn 9 Blake 7 Bryan 15
Sophie 9 Brooklyn 7 Liam 15
Summer 9 Caleb 7 Jason 13
Valentina 9 Colton 7 Maddox 13
Valeria 9 Connor 7 Garrett 12
Jack 7 Gavin 12
Jordan (b) 7 Henry 12
Natalie 7 Jeremy 12
Nathan 7 Jonah 12
Robert 7
Trinity 7
Tristan 7
Zane 7
Austin 6

Most of the names aren't too surprising. Logan, however, is ranked either #20 or #26 (depending on whether you prefer the SSA ranking or the NameNerds rankings). Why is it so much more popular for twins? Because of its matchy-ness with other names--particularly Landon, Lucas, Luke, & Liam. Hope is down in the 200s, but it's commonly paired with Faith. Jayda/Jada is fairly uncommon as well, but is frequently paired with Jayden/Jaden & Jordan.

David & Daniel are the most common twinset for boys...but they only appear paired with each other! There are a few of these sets--Heaven & Nevaeh, London & Paris, Reagan & Riley, Jayla & Kayla, Summer & Autumn, Valentina & Valeria; Blake & Brooklyn, Taylor (g) & Tyler; Chance & Chase, Hayden & Hunter, Christian & Christopher. Unsurprisingly, "matchy" names are more common for g/g sets.
(It's a bit depressing, actually.)

I also find it interesting that of all the unisex names, only Jordan shows up as only male. Jordyn is a fairly popular name, so I'm at loss as to why it doesn't appear in twin-sets often.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Nick/Niko

It's funny how when asked for classic boys' names, we have a tendency to list names we know from our generation. Jason, Andrew, Ryan....and yes, Nicholas, all seem to be considered "classic". And yet, they're all very trendy to the 80/90s! While having an out-of-style name somehow isn't has horrible for guys as it is for girls, there are still quite a few nice substitutes for a little Nick. Nico/Niko is starting to gain use as a full name in its own right, too.

  • Aniketos (ah-NEEK-eh-tohs, Greek)--"unconquerable"
  • Besnik (BES-neek, Albanian)--"faithful"
  • Domenico (doh-MEN-ee-koh, Italian)--form of Dominic
  • Nicanor (nee-kah-NOHR, English, Spanish)--from Greek, "victory"
  • Nikifor (nee-KEE-fohr, Polish, Russian)--from Greek, "carrying victory".
  • Nicodème (nee-koh-DEM, French)--from Greek, "victory of the people"
  • Nicomedo (nee-koh-MEH-doh, Italian)--from Greek, "thinking of victory"
  • Nikhil (nik-HIL, Hindi)
  • Nikias (nee-KEE-as, [ancient] Greek)
  • Yannick (yah-NEEK, Breton, French)--form of Yann/John

Monday, April 15, 2013


And now you can see what I've been wasting my time with! Just for fun, of course--
The Celebrity Baby Name Generator!
Just the girls' is functional for now, but since I've got it working finally, the boys' side shouldn't take too long.

As much as we all make fun of ridiculous celeb baby names, I am a bit jealous of them. There are tons of names I would use in a perfect world, but celebs don't seem to have those limitations. They're in a different world, and let's face it, the names they choose often reflect that.

I've tried to avoid names that are super-unique to one celebaby ("Inspektor", "Audio", etc), and just capture the general style. If there's any specific name you don't see that you feel should be added to the pool, please let me know!

Many resulting names are probably usable by you & me; others....probably not. ;)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Same Name?!?--Mini Grab Bag II (boys)

  • Aubrey (AW-bree, English))
    • Alberico (al-BEHR-ee-koh, Italian)
    • Auberon (OH-behr-on, French)--Also spelled Oberon.
    • Avery (AY-ver-ee, English)
  • Isaac (EYE-zak, English)
    • Isaak (EE-sahk, German, Scandinavian; ee-SAAHK, Russian)
    • Izaak (ee-ZAHK, Polish)
    • Izsák (EE-zhahk, Hungarian)
    • Sahak (sah-HAHK, Armenian)
    • Yitzhak (yeets-KHAHK, Hebrew)
  • Noah (NOH-ah, English)
    • Noach (noh-AHKH, Hebrew)
    • Noak (NOH-ahk, Swedish)
    • Noé (noh-AY, French, Spanish, Portuguese)
    • Noe (NOH-ay, Italian)
    • Nojus (NOY-us, Lithuanian)
  • Xavier (ek-ZAYV-yer, ZAYV-yer, English)
    • Javier (hah-vee-EHR, Spanish)
    • Ksawery (ksah-VEH-rih, Polish)
    • Saverio (sahv-EHR-ee-oh, Italian)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bi-cultural Names--Greek/English (girls)

Direct transliteration ("spelled" the same), with (usually) small pronunciation difference:
  • Alexandra--English, al-eks-AN-drah; Greek, ah-leks-AHN-drah
  • Alexis--English & Greek, ah-LEKS-is [usually masculine in Greek]
  • Anastasia--English, an-nah-STAYZH-yah, Greek, ah-nah-stahs-EE-ah
  • Anna--English, AN-nah, Greek, AHN-nah
  • Antonia--English, an-TOH-nee-ah;Greek, ahn-toh-NEE-ah
  • Athena--English, ah-THEE-nah, Greek, ah-thee-NAH
  • Chloe--English, KLOH-ee; Greek, KHLOH-ee
  • Christina--English, kris-TEE-nah; Greek, khrees-TEE-nah
  • Dorothea--English, doh-roh-THEE-ah; Greek, doh-roh-THEH-ah
  • Georgia--English, JOR-jah; Greek, yohr-GEE-ah
  • Iris--English, EYE-ris; Greek, EE-rees
  • Lydia--English, LID-ee-ah; Greek, lih-DEE-ah
  • Maria--English & Greek, mah-REE-ah
  • Marianna--English, mehr-ee-AN-nah; Greek, mah-ree-AHN-nah
  • Marina--English & Greek, mah-REE-nah
  • Martha--English & Greek, MAHR-thah
  • Melina--English & Greek, meh-LEE-nah
  • Petra--English & Greek, PET-rah
  • Selene--English, seh-LEEN, seh-LEE-nee; Greek, seh-LEE-nee
  • Stella--English & Greek, STEL-lah
  • Theodora--English, thee-ah-DOHR-ah, theh-ah-DOHR-ah; Greek, theh-ah-DOHR-ah
  • Vera--English, VEHR-ah, VEER-ah; Greek, VEHR-ah

One/two-letter difference:
  • Agatha--English, AG-ah-thah; Agathe--Greek, ah-gah-THEE
  • Agnes--English, AG-nes, Agni/Agne--Greek, ahg-NEE
  • Angelica--English, an-JEL-ih-kah; Angeliki--Greek, ang-yeh-lee-KEE
  • Barbara--English, BAR-bah-rah; Varvara--Greek, vahr-VAHR-ah
  • Calliope--English, kah-LYE-ah-pee; Kalliope--Greek, kal-YOH-pee
  • Coralie--English, KOR-ah-lee; Koralia--Greek, koh-rah-LEE-ah
  • Corinna--English, koh-RIN-nah; Korina--Greek, koh-REE-nah
  • Elizabeth/Elisabeth--English, eh-LIZ-ah-beth; Elisavet--Greek, eh-lee-SAH-vet
  • Ellen--English, EL-en; Eleni/Elene--Greek, el-EH-nee
  • Irene--English, eye-REEN; Eirene--Greek, ee-REE-nee
  • Isadora--English, iz-ah-DOH-rah; Isidora--Greek, ee-see-DOH-rah
  • Joanna--English, joh-AN-nah; Ioanna--Greek, yoh-AHN-nah
  • Louisa--English, loo-EE-zah; Louiza--Greek, loo-EE-zah
  • Magdalena--English, mag-dah-LEE-nah, mag-dah-LAY-nah; Magdalene/Magdalini--Greek, mag-dah-lee-NEE
  • Penelope--English, peh-NEL-oh-pee; Pinelopi/Penelope--Greek, pee-neh-LOH-pee
  • Philippa--English, FIL-ip-pah, fil-IP-pah; Filippa--Greek, FIL-ee-pah
  • Phyllis--English, FIL-lis; Fyllis/Phyllis--Greek, FIL-lis
  • Sarah--English, SEHR-ah, SAH-rah; Sara--Greek, SAH-rah
  • Sophia--English, soh-FEE-ah. Sofia/Sophia--Greek, soh-FEE-ah
  • Tabitha--English, TAB-ih-thah; Tavitha--Greek, tah-vee-THAH
  • Zoe--English, ZOH-ee; Zoi/Zoe--Greek, zoh-EE
Larger difference, but still recognizable:
  • Cleo/Clio--English, KLEE-oh; Kleio--Greek, klee-OH
  • Constance--English, KON-stants; Konstantia--Greek, kohn-stan-TEE-ah
  • Cynthia--English, SIN-thee-ah; Kynthia--Greek, kin-THEE-ah
  • Denise--English, deh-NEES; Dionysia--Greek, dee-ah-NEE-see-ah
  • Eugenia--English, yoo-JEN-yah, yoo-JEEN-yah; Evgenia--Greek, ev-gen-EE-ah
  • Katherine--English, KATH-er-in; Aikaterine--Greek, eye-kat-eh-REE-nee
  • Nicole--English, nih-KOHL; Nikoleta--Greek, nih-koh-LEH-tah
  • Phoebe--English, FEE-bee; Foivi/Phoibe/Phoebe--Greek, FEE-vee
  • Stephanie--English, STEF-ah-nee; Stefania--Greek, steh-fah-NEE-ah
  • Veronica--English, veh-RON-ih-kah; Ferenike--Greek, feh-reh-NEE-kee

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Iamb What I Am

Confused? That's okay, I had to double-check that I was using the right term, too. If your remembrance of high school poetry is even worse than mine--an 'iamb' is a segment of verse that consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.
English names mostly don't fit, but a few do--Marie, Nicole, Renee, Elaine, Louise, Diane, Christine, Michelle, Yvette, Danielle, Yvonne (note the French origins!). Iambic names often get relegated to the middle name slot--they tend to "flow" better that way, since most English names are stressed on the first or penultimate syllable.
And so, here's a bunch of names that would make good middle names (excluding the ones on the fantastic NameNerds' page on middle names). Unsurprisingly, a few certain languages make up the majority!

  • Agathe (ah-GAHT, French)
  • Aimée (eh-MAY, French)--form of Amy
  • Aline (ah-LEEN, French)--form of Adeline/Adele/Alice
  • Andrée (ahn-DRAY, French)--feminine of Andre/Andrew
  • Anouk (ah-NOOK, Dutch, French)--form of Anne/Hannah
  • Arlette (ahr-LET, French)
  • Arline (ar-LEEN, English)
  • Aurore (oh-ROHR, French)
  • Aviv (ah-VEEV, Hebrew)--"spring" [unisex]
  • Axelle (ahk-SEL, French)
  • Aylin (eye-LIN, Turkish)--"moon halo"
  • Aysel (eye-SEL, Turkish)--"moon stream" [fig. "Milky Way"]
  • Aysun (eye-SOON, Turkish)--"beautiful as the moon"
  • Azar (ah-ZAHR, Persian)--"fire"
  • Belén (beh-LEN, Spanish)
  • Benoite (ben-WAWT, French)--feminine of Benoit/Benedict
  • Beste (bes-TEH, Turkish)--"melody"
  • Cécile (say-SEEL, French)
  • Ceren (jeh-RAHN, Turkish)--"young gazelle"
  • Chenda (chen-DAH, Khmer)--"intellect"
  • Christelle (krees-TEL, French)--form of Christine
  • Clémence (klay-MAWNS, French)
  • Clotilde (kloh-TEELD, French)
  • Colleen (kol-LEEN, English)
  • Cosette (koh-ZET, French)
  • Danielle (dan-YEL, English, French)
  • Delphine (del-FEEN, French)
  • Dilan (dih-LAHN, Turkish)--"love"
  • Emel (eh-MEL, Turkish)
  • Esen (eh-SAHN, Turkish)--"wind"
  • Evren (ehv-RAHN, Turkish)--"the cosmos"
  • Florette (floh-RET, French)
  • Georgette (johr-JET, English; zhohr-ZHET, French)
  • Georgine (johr-JEEN, English; zhohr-ZHEEN, French)
  • Ghislaine (gee-LEN, zhees-LEN, French)--form of Giselle
  • Haydée (eye-DAY, Spanish)
  • Hazan (hah-ZAHN, Turkish)--"autumn"
  • Helene (heh-LEEN, English)
  • Hélène (ay-LEN, French)
  • Ilkay (eel-KYE, Turkish)--"new moon"
  • Inès, Inés (ee-NES, French, Spanish)--form of Agnes
  • Irene (eye-REEN, English)
  • Irène (ee-REN, French)
  • Isaure (ee-ZOHR, French)
  • Iseult (ee-ZOOLT, French)
  • Izar (ee-SAHR, Basque)--"star"
  • Jacinthe (zhah-SENT, French)--form of Hyacinth
  • Janine (jah-NEEN, English)
  • Jolie (joh-LEE, English)--from French, "pretty"
  • Josée (zhoh-ZAY, French)--feminine of Joseph
  • Josette (zhoh-ZET, French)--another feminine of Joseph
  • Kiraz (kih-RAHZ, Turkish)
  • Laleh (lah-LAY, Persian)--"tulip"
  • Lawan (lah-WAHN, Thai)--"beautiful"
  • Lenore (len-OHR, English)
  • Lilou (lee-LOO, French)
  • Lior (lee-OHR, Hebrew)--"my light" [unisex]
  • Liron (lee-ROHN, Hebrew)--"my song/joy" [unisex]
  • Lore (loh-REH, Basque)--"flower"
  • Lucrece (loo-KREES, English)
  • Lucrèce (loo-KRES, French)
  • Lujayn (loo-ZHAYN, lu-JAYN, Arabic)--"silver"
  • Mairéad (mah-RAYD, Irish)--form of Margaret
  • Malai (mah-LYE, Thai)--"garland of flowers"
  • Marine (mah-REEN, French)
  • Marise (mah-REEZ, French)
  • Meital (may-TAHL, Hebrew)--"dew drop"
  • Méline (may-LEEN, French)
  • Merav (meh-RAHV, Hebrew)
  • Mercé (mehr-SAY, Catalan)--"mercy"
  • Morgane (mor-GAHN, French)
  • Mylène (mee-LEN, French)
  • Nahid (nah-HEED, Persian)--"pure, immaculate"
  • Nasrin (nahs-REEN, Persian)--"wild rose"
  • Nimet (nih-MET, Turkish)--from Arabic, "blessings"
  • Nuray (noo-RYE, Turkish)--"bright moon"
  • Noelle (noh-EL, English)
  • Odette (oh-DET, French)--feminine of Otto
  • Osanne (oh-ZAHN, French)
  • Pari (pah-REE, Persian)--"fairy"
  • Parvin (pahr-VEEN, Persian)--"Pleiades"
  • Pascale (pas-KAL, French)--from Latin, "Easter"
  • Perrine (peh-REEN, French)--feminine of Pierre/Peter
  • Pilar (pee-LAHR, Spanish)
  • Ravid (rah-VEED, Hebrew)
  • Rayen (rah-YEN, Spanish)--from Mapuche, "flower"
  • Régine (ray-ZHEEN, French)--from Latin, "queen"
  • Remei (reh-MAY, Catalan)
  • Reyhan (ray-HAHN, Turkish)
  • Romane (roh-MAHN, French)
  • Roser (roh-ZAY, Catalan)--"rosary"
  • Rosine (roh-ZEEN, French)--form of Rose
  • Sabine (sah-BEEN, French)
  • Sahar (sah-HAR, Persiah)--"dawn"
  • Shirin (shee-REEN, Persian)--"sweet"
  • Sibéal (shih-BAYL, Irish)--form of Isabel
  • Sivan (see-VAHN, Hebrew)
  • Soleil (soh-LAY, French)--"sun"
  • Sothy (soh-TEE, Khmer)--"intelligence" [unisex]
  • Sylvaine (seel-VEN, French)
  • Tamar (tah-MAHR, Hebrew)--original form of Tamara
  • Terese (teh-REES, English; teh-RAYS, Swedish)
  • Tiphaine (tee-FEN, French)--form of Tiffany
  • Vered (veh-RED, Hebrew)--"rose"
  • Vérène (vay-REN, French)
  • Victoire (veek-TWAWR, French)
  • Zareen (zah-REEN, Persian)--"golden"
  • Zhaleh (zhah-LAY, Persian)--"dew"
  • Zivit (zee-VEET, Hebrew)--"radiant"
  • Ziynet (zee-NET, Turkish)