Thursday, December 15, 2016

Elias, Silas, Titus, Tobias, Cyrus, Leonidas, Matthias....

It's pretty easy to come up with multiple phonetic trends for girls, but I've been trying to even things up and discover some for boys. Surnames, obviously: -ers, -sons, and -dens, but surely there's an alternative trend or two, right?
Well, I think I found one--"eye_as". The names listed in the title: all Top 1000, and all rising! It makes sense--"eye"-sounding names are trending all over the place for both genders, and the softer vintage-y -s ending makes some interesting and handsome combinations.
Can we find more? Of course! :D

  • Achaios (ah-kye-AHS, [ancient] Greek)--Latin form is Achaeus (ah-KYE-us). 
  • Aelius (EYE-lee-us, Latin)--poss. from Greek Helios, "sun"
  • Alkaios (AHL-kye-os, [ancient] Greek)--"strength". Latin form is Alcaeus (al-KYE-us). 
  • Amias (ah-MYE-as, English)--poss. from Latin "friend"
  • Aineias (eye-NAY-as, [ancient] Greek)--"praise". Latin spelling is Aeneas
  • Aias (EYE-as, [ancient] Greek)--original form of Ajax, prob. "eagle" or "earth"
  • Alphaios (AHL-fye-os, [Biblical] Greek)--from Hebrew, poss. "change, renew". Latin form is Alphaeus (al-FYE-us). 
  • Ananias (an-an-EYE-as, [Biblical] Greek)--from Hebrew, "Yahweh is gracious"
  • Argyros (ar-GYE-ros, [anglicized] Greek)--"silver"
  • Aristaios (ah-ris-TYE-os, [ancient] Greek)--"most excellent". Latin spelling is Aristaeus. [Greek god of rustic occupations: beekeeping, shepherding, cheesemaking, etc]
  • Astraios (AS-trye-os, [ancient] Greek)--"of the stars". Latin form is Astraeus (as-TRYE-us). [Greek Titan of the stars and astronomy]
  • Azarias (az-ah-RYE-as, [Biblical] Greek)--from Hebrew, "Yahweh has helped"
  • Caiaphas (KYE-ah-phas, [Hellenized] Aramaic)--poss. "valley, depression"
  • Caelius (KYE-lee-us, Latin)--masculine of Caelia/Celia, "heavenly"
  • Esaias (eh-SYE-as, [Biblical] Greek)--form of Hebrew Isaiah, "Yahweh is salvation". Other forms include Isaias (ee-SYE-as, Spanish) and Isaías (ee-ZYE-as, Portuguese). 
  • Euryalus (yoo-RYE-ah-lus, [anglicized] Greek)--prob. "wide sea" or "wide roaming"
  • Eutychus (yoo-TYE-kus, [anglicized] Greek)--"good luck"
  • Ezekias (ez-eh-KYE-as, [Biblical] Greek)--form of Hebrew Hezekiah, "Yahweh strengthens"
  • Gaius (GYE-us, Latin)--origin unknown. Other forms include Caius (KYE-us) and Gaianus (GYE-an-us).  
  • Hephaistos (HEF-eye-stos, [ancient] Greek)--Latin form is Hephaestus (hef-EYE-stus). [Greek god of fire, smiths, and craftsmen]
  • Iairos (YIGH-ros, [Biblical] Greek)--from Hebrew, "he enlightens". Latin spelling is Iairus
  • Josias (joh-SYE-as, [Biblical] Latin)--form of Hebrew Josiah, "Yahweh supports"
  • Kairos (kye-RAHS, [ancient] Greek)--"opportunity". Latin form is Caerus (KYE-rus). [Greek god of opportunity and luck; means "weather" in modern Greek]
  • Laelius (LYE-lee-us, Latin)
  • Linus (LYE-nus, [anglicized] Greek)--"flax"
  • Lycus (LYE-kus, [anglicized] Greek)--"wolf"
  • Ozias (oh-ZYE-as, [Biblical] Greek)--from Hebrew, "my strength is Yahweh"
  • Phaidros (FYE-dros, [ancient] Greek)--masculine of Phaedra, "bright". Latin spelling is Phaedrus
  • Phyleus (FYE-lee-us, [anglicized] Greek)--prob. "clan"
  • Quirinus (kwer-EYE-nus, Latin)--prob. "spear"
  • Tiberius (tye-BEER-ee-us, English)--from Latin "from the Tiber River"
  • Timaios (TIM-eye-os, [ancient] Greek)--"honored". Latin form is Timaeus (tim-EYE-us). 
  • Tiras (TYE-ras, [Biblical] Hebrew)
  • Traianus (TRYE-an-us, Latin)--original form of Trajan, origin unknown
  • Tydeus (TYE-dee-us, [anglicized] Greek)
  • Urias (yoo-RYE-as, [Biblical] Latin)--from Hebrew, "Yahweh is my light"
  • Zacharias (zak-ah-RYE-as, [Biblical] Greek)--form of Zachary, "Yahweh remembers"

(I can't seem to get away from the ancient boys' names, can I? Somehow I didn't expect that that's pretty much all this list would consist of......)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

-Lines from A to Z

Latin has had a lot of impact on our naming. There are certain constructions that we can instantly say "that's a girls' name": -etta, -ella, -ia, etc. The latter two are definitely trending right now, and I think the -lines are next, led by Madeline, Adeline, Caroline, and Emmeline. So of course I have to find more. :)
The vast majority are French in origin, traditionally pronounced "leen" and Anglicized to "lyn", but modern "line" pronunciations are arguably the most popular for today's trending -lines (although for a few, like Caroline, "line" has already predominant for centuries in English).
I set myself the goal of finding new fun -line names, but rather than a massive list, I'm limiting myself to one for each letter, and it has to be a name I've never mentioned on my blog before.
*cracks knuckles*
Here we go.
  • Azéline (ah-zay-LEEN, French)--from Germanic Adel-, "noble"
  • Berteline (behr-teh-LEEN-eh, Danish)--from Germanic -bert-, "bright"
  • Céline (say-LEEN, French)--form of Latin Caelina, "heaven", or of Marcelline, prob. "of Mars"
  • Deline (deh-LEEN, Swedish)--short form of Adeline
  • Esseline (es-seh-LEEN-eh, Dutch)--poss. from Germanic Ans-, "god"
  • Filine (fee-LEE-neh, Danish)--from Greek "love"
  • Gemeline (zheh-meh-LEEN, French)--prob. from Latin "twin" [also a surname]
  • Héline (ay-LEEN, French) / Heline (heh-LEEN, heh-LEE-neh, Scandinavian)--form of Helen
  • Iseline (ee-seh-LEEN, ee-seh-LEE-neh, Scandinavian; ee-zeh-LEEN, French)--from Germanic Isen-, "iron". 
  • Joceline (zhahs-LEEN, zhah-seh-LEEN, French)--feminine of Jocelyn [Jocelyn is masculine in French]
  • Kateline (KAT-eh-lin, [archaic] English; kah-teh-LEEN, French)--form of Katherine
  • Laureline (loh-reh-LEEN, French)--form of Laura [invented for a comic book heroine in the 60s, but caught on in real life]
  • Marcelline (mar-sel-LEEN, French)--feminine of Marcel [really, I haven't mentioned Marcelline on here yet? How is that possible?!]
  • Noéline (noh-ay-LEEN, French)--form of Noëlle
  • Ombeline (ohm-beh-LEEN, French)--prob. from Germanic Humbert, "bright warrior"
  • Péroline (pay-roh-LEEN, French) / Peroline (peh-roh-LEEN-eh, peh-roh-LEEN, Scandinavian)--prob. from Latin Petronilla, poss. "rock" or "rustic person"
  • Q. I should have known Q would sink me. Gah!
  • Roeline (roo-LEEN-eh, Dutch)--feminine of Roeland (Germanic, "famous land") or Roelof (Germanic, "famous wolf"). 
  • Sanceline (san-seh-LEEN, [archaic] French)--from Latin "saint"
  • Theoline (teh-oh-LEEN, French; teh-oh-LEEN-eh, Norwegian)--from Greek Theo-, "god", or Germanic Theud-, "people"
  • Ursuline (oor-soo-LEEN, French)--from Latin "little bear"
  • Veline (veh-LEEN-eh, Norwegian)--nickname for Vel-names, like Velaug (Old Norse, "promised sanctuary"), Velgjerd (Old Norse, "protector of the slain"), or Vellumine (archaic Norwegian, form of Wilhelmina)
  • Wendeline (ven-deh-LEEN-eh, Dutch, Swedish)--feminine of Wendel, "a Wend" ['Wend' was a term applied to various Slavic tribes over the centuries, origin uncertain]
  • X, Yeah, no X either. :(
  • Yveline (eev-eh-LEEN, eev-LEEN, French)--from Germanic Ivo-, "yew"
  • Zerline (tzehr-LEEN-eh, German; zur-LEEN, English; sehr-LEEN-eh, Scandinavian; zehr-LEEN, French)--form of Zerlina, a name invented by Mozart, poss. based on an old Yiddish form of Sarah

Sunday, December 4, 2016

F-abulous Names

Considering how many F-names seem to be trending (Finn and variants, Flynn, FordFisher, FletcherFelicity, Fiona, Freya), I'm surprised there aren't any except Faith in the SSA Top 100--and it's down at #91! After that, it's Finn for boys at #204 and Finley for girls at #209.
F-names were all the rage at the turn of the century (Frank, Florence, Frances/Francis, Fred, Ferdinand, Floyd, Faye, etc), and I think it's time for a comeback. ;)

(this turned into a much longer list than I had expected. How is it that there are so many F-names world-wide, but so few in use in the US?)

  • Faolán (FWEE-lawn, FWAY-lawn, Irish)--prob. "little wolf"
  • Faiz (FAH-eez, Arabic)--"victorious"
  • Fanuel (FAHN-oo-el, Scandinavian)--from Hebrew, "face of God"
  • Faramund (FAHR-ah-mund, Germanic)--"journey protection". Old Swedish form is Farmund.
  • Faris (FEHR-is, Arabic; FAH-rees, Bosnian)--from Arabic, "knight"
  • Farman (FAHR-man, Scandinavian)--"traveller". Also spelled Farmann
  • Faustin (foh-STAHN, French; FOW ['ow' like "now"] -steen, Russian)--from Latin, "lucky". Other forms include Faustyn (FOW-stin, Polish) and Faustino (fow-STEEN-oh, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish). 
  • Fen (FEN, Frisian)--nickname for Germanic frid names, "peace" [coincides with an English word for a type of wetland]
  • Ferapont (fyehr-ah-PAHNT, Russian)--from ancient Greek, "servant, caregiver"
  • Ferris (FEHR-ris, English [surname], Irish [surname])--from French, "ironworker", or a form of Fergus
  • Fife (FIFE, Scottish)--from the Scottish region, origin unknown. Also spelled Fyfe.
  • Finlo (FIN-loh, Manx)--"fair Lugh" [Irish god]
  • Finnegas (FIN-eh-gas, Irish [mythology])--poss. "Finn the Seer". Also written as Finegas or Finneces.
  • Finnvid (FIN-vid, [somewhat archaic] Swedish)--"Finn-tree" or "magician-tree"). Other forms include Finnevid (also somewhat archaic Swedish), Finnved (archaic Norwegian), and Finwith (old Danish, old Swedish)
  • Fishel (FISH-el, Yiddish)--"little fish" [also sometimes used as a nickname for Ephraim]
  • Fivos (FEE-vos, Greek)--modern masculine form of Phoebe, "light"
  • Flemming (FLEM-ming, Scandinavian [esp. Danish!])--"from Flanders" [probably ultimately from Old Frisian "of the flowing water"]. Also spelled Fleming
  • Flint (FLINT, English [surname])
  • Fordel (FOR-del, Norwegian)--from Germanic, "advantage"
  • Fosco (FOHS-koh, Italian)--prob. from Latin, "dark"
  • Fraser (FRAY-zher, FRAY-zer, Scottish, English)--also spelled Frazier
  • Fredmund (FRED-moond, Norwegian)--"peace protection"
  • Frey (FRAY, Danish, Swedish)--masculine of Freya "lord". Also spelled Frej.
  • Fulton (FUL-ton, English [surname])

  • Fabia (FAH-bee-ah, Latin, Italian)--other forms include Fabiana (fah-bee-AH-nah, Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish), Fabienne (fah-bee-EN, French), and Fabiola (fah-bee-OH-lah, Spanish, Italian).
  • Fadime (fah-dee-MAY, Turkish)--form of Fatima
  • Faina (fah-EE-nah, Russian)--poss. from ancient Greek Phaenna, "shining"
  • Faiza (FYE-zah, Arabic)--"victorious"
  • Fanchon (FAN-shawn, French)--nickname for Françoise/Frances
  • Fanélie (fah-nay-LEE, French)--form of Françoise/Frances or Stéphanie
  • Fara (FAH-rah, Italian, Scandinavian)--nickname for Germanic fara names, "journey"
  • Fausta (FOW ['ow' like "now"] -stah, Latin, Italian)--from Latin, "lucky". Other forms include Faustine (foh-STEEN, French), Faustina (fow-STEEN-ah, Latin, Italian), and Faustyna (fow-STIN-ah, Polish). 
  • Favonia (fah-VOH-nee-ah, Latin)--"favored"
  • Fedea (fed-eh-ah, Basque)--"faith"
  • Femke (FEM-keh, Dutch, Frisian)--nickname for Germanic frid names, "peace". [coincides with the Frisian word for "girl"]
  • Fenareti (fen-ah-REH-tee, Greek)--"shining virtue". Also transliterated as Fainareti
  • Fenna (FEN-nah, Dutch, Frisian)--another nickname for Germanic frid names, "peace". Also spelled Fenne
  • Feray (feh-RYE, Turkish)--poss, "radiance of the moon"
  • Ffion (FEE-on, Welsh)--"foxglove"
  • Fia (FEE-ah, Scandinavian)--short form of Sofia
  • Fiadh (FEE-ah, Irish)--"wild" or "deer"
  • Fiadhnait (FYAH-nat, Irish)--"fawn"
  • Fiamma (fee-AHM-mah, Italian)--"flame"
  • Fiammetta (fee-ahm-MET-tah, Italian)--"little flame"
  • Fiorenza (fee-oh-REN-tsah, Italian)--form of Florence. Other forms include Florentia (floh-REN-tee-ah, Latin; floh-REN-shah, English) and Florencia (floh-REN-see-ah, Spanish). 
  • Fira (feer-AH, Russian)--nickname for Esfir/Esther
  • Flavia (FLAH-vee-ah, Latin, Spanish, Italian)--from Latin, "golden, yellow". Other forms include Flavie (flah-VEE, French), Flavienne (flah-vee-EN, French), and Flaviana (flah-vee-AH-nah, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese).
  • Freydis (FRAY-dis, Norwegian)--"lady goddess". Another form is Frøydis (FROOY [somewhere between English "ay" and "oy"] -dis). 

  • Farah (FAH-rah, Arabic)--"joy". Also spelled Farrah
  • Firdaus (FEER-dohs, Arabic; fur-DOHS, Persian)--"paradise". Also transliterated as Firdos. [definitely unisex, although more common for boys, in Arabic; might be exclusively masculine in Persian]

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Very International Names (boys)

Boys turn!
Again, I decided to try and find out what are currently the most popular name families in the Western world. This data was compiled from the 2014 or 2015 (depending on what was available) Top Names lists from 16 countries (US, England & Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Belgium).
Variants of one name were mostly all grouped together--exceptions were if the names are generally thought of as distinct names (e.g. Jacob and James) or for nicknames that have multiple full forms (so Max was counted alone, not grouped with Maxwell, Maximo, or Maxmilian).
In total there were approximately 386 name 'families', not that far off from the girls' 408.

  • William/Liam/Wilhelm/Guillermo/etc--31 instances
    Lists without: Iceland
  • Lucas/Luke/Luca/etc--31 instances
    Lists without: Iceland, Hungary
  • Alexander/Alex/Alessandro/etc--29 instances
    Lists without: Finland
  • John/Sean/Ian/Johannes/Jan/Ivan/Evan/etc--29 instances (easily the most diverse set, BTW!)
    Lists without: Finland
  • Matthew/Matteo/Matias/etc--26 instances
    Lists without: none
  • Jackson/Jack--22 instances
    Lists without: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Spain, Italy, Hungary
  • Oliver/Alvaro/Ollie/etc--22 instances
    Lists without: Italy, Belgium
  • Jacob/Jake/Giacomo/etc--21 instances
    Lists without: Finland, Iceland, Hungary
  • Thomas/Tom/Tomas/etc--20 instances
    Lists without: Finland, Norway, Sweden, Spain
  • Daniel/Dan/etc--19 instances
    Lists without: none
  • Leo/Leon/etc--19 instances
    Lists without: Iceland, Italy, Hungary
Benjamin, Samuel, Eli, Louis, Nicholas, Joseph, James, David, Michael, Robert, and Theodore finish out the Top 20. (Okay, 22. There were ties)

And again, the country with the most 'unique' names was Iceland, with 40% of the Top 50 not appearing on any other top names list:
Guðmund, Gunnar, Dagur, Arni/Arnar, Bjarki, Kári, Andri, Jökull, Ásgeir, Baldur, Birkir, Hilmar, Elvar/Elfar, Björn, Haukur, Styrmir, Ari, Eyþor, Frosti, and Sindri

Hungary's Top 100 is just under 40% 'unique' names:
Marcell, Balázs, Zalán, Botond, Laszlo, Zsombor, Ákos, Attila, Nimród, Roland, Csaba, Zétény, Hunor, Ábel, Szabolcs, Kornél, Norbert, Bendegúz, Ármin, Tibor, Csongor, Imre, Soma, Brendon, Kende, Dénes, Csanád, Bertalan, Donát, Zente, Szilárd, Zsigmond, Dorián, Flórián, and Zénó.

Sweden's Top 100 is about 1/4 'unique' names--Arvid, Melvin, Edvin, Sixten, Albin, Gustav, Melker, Malte, Ebbe, August, Viggo, Colin, Loke, Wilmer, Vidar, Milton, Elton, Vilgot, Otto, Tage, Hjalmar, Maximilian, Algot, Linus, Ture, and Folke.

Spain's Top 100 is about 1/5 'unique' names--Sergio, Izan, Gonzalo, Bruno, Raul, Jesus, Aitor, Rodrigo, Asier, Unai, Ismael, Alonso, Biel, Gael, Ignacio, Nil, Saul, Aimar, and Yeray.

As expected, the English-speaking countries all share a lot of names. England & Wales has only two 'unique' names (Dexter and Ronnie), N. Ireland, Australia, and Canada each have 3 (Conan, Caolán, and Dáithí; Bailey, Mitchell, and MaxwellJeremy, Declan, and Emmett; respectively); and New Zealand has five (Arlo, Nixon, Ezra, Quinn, and Cohen). 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Very International Names (girls)

I'm amazed at how trends can spread across the globe. Yeah, Sophia is popular here in the US, but how is it also popular in like 14 other countries in the western world? Out of 16 countries I found current (2014 or 2015) data for (US, England & Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Belgium), only Iceland did not have a form of Sophia in its Top Names list. Most countries had more than more than one! What is it about Sophia?

Anyway, I set out to find which "name families" are most popular right now, and also see which country has the most unique names. :)
(this is compiled from the Top Names lists only--which are either Top 50 or Top 100, depending on the country--so for instance, if there's a variant of Mary at #51 on the Finnish charts, it wasn't counted)

  • Mary/Marie/Maria/Mia/Marion/Molly/etc--45 instances
    Lists without: Finland
  • Anna/Ana/Hannah/Nancy/etc--39 instances
    Lists without: none
  • Sophia/Sofia/Sophie/etc--35 instances
    Lists without: Iceland
  • Elizabeth/Elise/Elsa/Lisa/Eliza/etc--32 instances
    Lists without: none
  • Sarah/Sara/Sadie/etc--27 instances
    Lists without: none
  • Eva/Eve/Evie--25 instances
    Lists without: Norway, Sweden, Hungary
  • Isabella/Isabelle/Isabel/etc--25 instances
    Lists without: Finland, Norway, Belgium
  • Lily/Lilly/Lili/Lilja/Lilla/etc--24 instances
    Lists without: Spain, Italy
  • Ella/Ellie/etc--21 instances
    Lists without: Iceland, Spain, Italy, Hungary
  • Emily/Emilie/Emilia--21 instances
    Lists without: Spain
Julia, Alice, Katherine, Charlotte, Emma, Olivia, Helena, Amelia, Maya, and Rose round out the overall Top 20. 
There were approximately 408 "name families" total, although many are inter-related (Isabella is a form of Elizabeth, for instance, but they're generally treated as distinct names; same with Caroline and Charlotte. Ella/Ellie could be from Elizabeth, but it can also be from Helena/Ellen or Eleanor).

The country with the most unique names ('unique names' in this case being shorthand for "names without any variants appearing on any other top names lists") was by far Iceland, with nearly 1/2 of the Top 50:
Hekla, Birta, Sóley, Helga, Katla, Guðrún, Þórdís, Ingibjörg, Embla, Sigrún, Harpa, Hrafntinna, Steinunn, Unnur, Aþena, Fanney, Iðunn, Arna, Hrafnhildur, Snædís, and Vigdís. 

Spain's Top 100 is about 1/3 'unique' names:
Daniela, Valeria, Alba, Carmen, Ainhoa, Aitana, Marina, Candela, Laia, Ainara, Leire/Leyre, Nerea, Rocio, Vega, Jimena, Abril, Triana, Nuria, Aroa, Manuela, Mar, Mara, Africa, Naia, Noelia, Nahia, Naiara/Nayara, Elia, Arlet, Yanira, Fatima, Erika, and Mireia.

Finland's Top 50 is about 30% 'unique' names:
Venla, Aino, Helmi, Enni, Kerttu, Pihla, Hilla, Minea, Iina, Vilja, Sanni, Lumi, and Seela.

While Hungary, Sweden, and Italy are all around 1/4 'unique' names.
Hungary (Top 100): Boglárka, Csenge, Réka, Petra, Zselyke, Regina, Kinga, Szonja, Emese, Tímea, Tamara, Fruzsina, Eniko, Virág, Hanga, Dorottya, Dalma, Kinsco, Vanda, Kira, Zita, Ramóna, Bíborka, Boróka, Patricia, and Dzsenifer.
Sweden (Top 100): Ebba, Alva, Signe, Nova, Edith, Elvira, Tyra, Juni, Felicia, Meja, Moa, Livia, Stina, Lykke, Svea, Cornelia, Joline, Lo, Tindra, Novalie, Philippa, My, Hilma, and Linn.
Italy (Top 100): Gaia, Ginevra, Ludovica, Gioia, Asia, Serena, Benedetta, Ilaria, Federica, Cecilia, Flavia, Gloria, Diletta, Sveva, Lucrezia, Virginia, Agata, Celeste, Lavinia, Sabrina, Teresa, and Anastasia. 

On the other end, New Zealand has zero unique names. England & Wales has 2 (Aisha and Bethany), Australia has 3 (Indiana, Chelsea, and Eloise), while Scotland and N. Ireland each have 4 (Eilidh, Skye, Iona, and Hope; Eimear, Cora, Cassie, and Farrah; respectively).
Although it's not terribly surprising that the English-speaking countries all have a lot in common. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Taxonymy....nymy? (ferns)

Fern is kind of an odd name if you think about it. I mean, we don't call kids 'Algae' or 'Angiosperm' or 'Conifer' (although...Conifer could actually kind of work).
Ferns are a unique group of plants--they're complex with many different specialized cells, but don't have seeds or flowers, and instead reproduce with spores, like algae & fungi.
They're also not as large a group as the flowering plants, but I bet we can still find some fun potential names. :)
(all are genera, not common names)

  • Azolla
  • Ceradenia
  • Christella
  • Cyathea
  • Danaea
  • Davallia
  • Drynaria
  • Kaulinia
  • Lindsaea
  • Llavea
  • Marattia
  • Marsilea
  • Matonia
  • Mickelia
  • Mohria
  • Oleandra
  • Onoclea
  • Osmunda
  • Paesia
  • Pellaea
  • Pteris
  • Ptisana
  • Rumohra
  • Salvinia
  • Vittaria

Friday, November 4, 2016

Win-ning Names

Anybody else feel like Winnie-names might be starting to trend? I did a post on Winnie-names for girls a bit back (and somehow missed Elowen, my goodness!), and it recently struck me how much I like -win names for boys, as well.
Surprisingly, -win/wyn names are split about evenly for girls and boys in the U.S.; I expected them to be mostly feminine (although if you include -wen, the boys end up with a huge majority, thanks pretty much exclusively to Owen). 
Most turn out to be Welsh (where wyn means "white" or "blessed") or Old English/Germanic (where win means "friend"). Great meaning in both origins! :D
(many of the Old English names survive only as surnames today)

  • Aelwyn (ILE-win, Welsh)--"white brow". Also spelled Aylwyn
  • Alwyn (AL-win, Welsh, English)--from Welsh, poss. "white hillside"
  • Ashwin (ASH-win, Old English)--"ash [tree] friend" or "spear friend"
  • Baldwin (BALD-win, Old English)--"bold friend"
  • Berwyn (BEHR-win, Welsh)--"white top"
  • Brandwin (BRAND-win, Old English)--prob. "sword friend"
  • Brithwin (BRITH-win, Old English)--poss. "bright friend"
  • Burgwin (BURG-win, Old English)--"castle friend"
  • Caldwin (KAHLD-win, Old English)--poss. "cold friend"
  • Carwyn (KAR-win, Welsh)--"blessed love"
  • Cedwyn (KED-win, Welsh)--poss. "white woods"
  • Cenwyn (KEN-win, Welsh)--poss. "white ridge" or "blessed chief"
  • Christwin (KRIST-win, Old English)--"Christ-friend"
  • Cledwyn (KLED-win, Welsh)--poss. "blessed sword"
  • Colwyn (KAHL-win, Welsh)--poss. "enclosed thicket"
  • Cuthwin (KUTH-win, Old English)--"famous friend"
  • Darwin (DAR-win, English)--"dear friend"
  • Delwyn (DEL-win, Welsh)--"pretty + blessed"
  • Dilwyn (DIL-wyn, Welsh)--"genuine + blessed"
  • Dunwin (DUN-win, Old English)--"brown friend"
  • Edwin (ED-win, English)--"old friend" or "wealthy friend". An older form is Aldwin
  • Elwyn (EL-win, English)--prob. "noble friend", "old friend", or "elf friend"
  • Everwin (EV-er-win, Old English)--"boar friend". Another form is Irwin
  • Geldwin (GELD-win, Old English)--prob. "tribute friend"
  • Gerwin (GUR-win, Old English)--"spear friend"
  • Gladwin (GLAD-win, Old English)--"bright friend". Also spelled Gladwyn.
  • Goldwin (GOLD-win, Old English)--"gold friend"
  • Godwin (GAHD-win, Old English)--"god-friend". Another form is Goodwin.
  • Goswin (GAHZ-win, Old English; GOHZ-veen, German)--"Goth-friend"
  • Hadwin (HAD-win, Old English)--poss. "battle-friend"
  • Hartwin (HART-win, Old English; HART-veen, German)--"strong friend"
  • Heddwyn (HETH-win ['th' like in "the"], Welsh)--"blessed peace"
  • Hildwin (HILD-win, Old English)--"battle-friend". Another form is Hildewin
  • Kenwyn (KEN-win, Cornish [surname])--"white ridge"
  • Lewin (LOO-win, English)--"beloved friend". An older form is Lefwin
  • Merewin (MEHR-eh-win, Old English)--poss. "famous friend" or "sea-friend"
  • Merwin (MUR-win, English)--poss. from Merewin or Welsh Mervyn
  • Morwin (MOHR-win, Old English)--poss. "moor friend"
  • Ortwin (ORT-win, Old English; OHRT-veen, German)--"sharp-point friend"
  • Oswin (OZ-win, English; OHZ-veen, German)--"god-friend"
  • Rhydwyn (RID-win, Welsh)--prob. "white ford"
  • Rodwin (RAHD-win, Old English)--"famous friend"
  • Selwyn (SEL-win, English)--prob. "manor-friend" or "blessed friend"
  • Stanwin (STAN-win, Old English)--"stone friend" [yes, the reverse of Winston]
  • Tilwin (TIL-win, Old English)--poss. "good friend"
  • Wulfwin (WULF-win, Old English)--"wolf friend"

(As an aside, if you do prefer any of the "white/blessed" Welsh names for girls, changing -wyn to -wen generally gets you the feminine spelling. :) 
To complicate matters further, for some of the Old English "friend" names there are related feminine names, deriving from -wynn "joy", which usually became -wen in names that survived to Middle/early Modern English; e.g. Brithwen "bright joy"; Edwen "wealthy joy"The masculine -win names are traditionally feminized to -wina/vina, and the feminine -wen names often became -wina/vina as well!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Weird Name Journey: Isabella

Two major things alter names: time and translation. More than any other type of name, it seems, Biblical names have been subject to both. Today's WNJ is a prime example of that: Isabella.
If you're thinking, "um, Isabella isn't in the it?" you're sort of right.

Let's start with Elisheva. It's the name of a couple characters in the Bible, most notably the mother of John the Baptist. You probably know her as Elizabeth. When the Bible was translated into Greek, Elisheva became Elisabet, and then Elisabeth in Latin and English (in fact, many of the names we think of as "Hebrew" are actually Hellenized and/or Latinized forms). 
Provençal had problems with that final -th, however, so in Southern France, the name became Elisabel
It then spread to Spanish and Catalan areas, and then went through something called hypercorrection. Hypercorrection is when linguistic rules are overapplied, particularly to a word or name from a different language. In this case, Spanish speakers may have interpreted Elisabel as "el Isabel" ("the Isabel"), and dropped the non-sensical masculine 'el'. Alternatively, Catalan speakers may have heard Elisabel as "e l'Isabel"("and the Isabel"). Or both could have happened! But for whatever reason, Elisabel became Isabel as it left Provence. 
Isabel caught on like wildfire in the Middle Ages, becoming common throughout Europe. It was then re-Latinized (it wasn't exactly recognizable as a form of Elizabeth if you didn't know Provençal!) to Isabella

Sunday, October 30, 2016

No Relation.

Etymology can be a knotty field! I've been sort of mentally keeping track of muddled associations I've spotted on forums and baby-name sites, and finally decided to unravel them all (mostly for myself, but I hope others might enjoy, too). :)

Amelia and Emilia--Amelia is Latinized Germanic, meaning "work, vigor", while Emilia is from Latin, "competitor, rival". They may be pronounced nearly identically in English, but in many languages, they are quite distinct.

Cecelia and Celia--both are Latin, but Cecelia is from Caecilia ("blind") and Celia from Caelia ("heaven").

Eloise and Louise--both are French forms of Germanic names, but Eloise ultimately comes from Helewidis ("healthy and wide" or "healthy wood") and Louise from Chlodovech ("famous battle").

Ellen/Elaine/Helena and Eleanor--Helena is from Ancient Greek, prob. "torch". Ellen and Elaine are medieval English and French forms, respectively. Eleanor comes from Provençal Alianor, itself probably from a Germanic name, like Aldenordis ("old north").

Genevieve and Guinevere--both are medieval and Gallicized, but Genevieve is from Germanic Genovefa, prob. "tribe woman", while Guinevere is from Welsh Gwenhwyfar, prob. "white phantom".

Jerome and Jeremy--Jerome is Anglicized from Greek Hieronymos ("sacred name"). Jeremy is a medieval form of Hebrew Jeremiah ("Yahweh lifts up").

John and Jonathan--well, they're not completely unrelated: both are Hebrew and theophoric, but John didn't originate as nickname for JonathanJohn comes from Yehochanan ("Yahweh is gracious"), and Jonathan from Yehonatan ("Yahweh has given"). For some reason, John went through a lot more changes passing through Greek and Latin than Jonathan did!

Livia and Olivia--Olivia is a Shakespearean coinage, probably based either on Oliver or Olive (which are, incidentally, also unrelated to each other, see below), while Livia is a much older Latin name, poss. meaning "bluish, jealous".

Olive and Oliver--shockingly, Olive means "olive", taken almost directly from Latin ;) Oliver is Anglicized from French Olivier, itself from Old Norse Olaf/Áleifr ("ancestor's descendent") or from a Germanic name like Alfher ("elf warrior") or Aylward/Adalward ("noble defender").

Rose and Rosalind/Rosamund--although they're commonly interpreted as "beautiful rose" and "rose of the world", respectively, in Latin, Rosalind and Rosamund are not Latin names, but Germanic. The 'rosa-' part is actually derived from hros, "horse" (and there were many other Germanic -hros- names, but these two are by far the most well-known today): Rosalind is from Roslindis ("gentle horse"); and Rosamund from Rosmunda ("horse protection").

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Iras & Yras, Ilas & Ylas

Time for another installment of the short and catchy!
(first two here: Aias, Anas, & ArasIas, Inas, & Itas)
Since English is an outlier with our treatment of 'i's and 'y's, I'll be separating them by sound rather than by spelling. ;)
(and yes, many do have different pronunciations as well)

  • Cira/Sira (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)
  • Dyra (Swedish)
  • Fira (Russian)
  • Gvira (Hebrew)
  • Hira (Turkish, Arabic)
  • Ira (Russian, Greek, Basque) [separate derivations]
  • Kira (English, Russian, Japanese, Scandinavian) [multiple derivations]
  • Mira (English, Hindi, Slavic) [multiple derivations]
  • Nira (Hebrew, Russian) [separate derivations]
  • Rira (Persian, Japanese) [separate derivations]
  • Shira (Hebrew)
  • Tsira (Georgian)
  • Tyra (Swedish)
  • Vera (English)
  • Vira (Ukrainian)

  • Aira (Finnish, Estonian, Latvian)
  • Cyra (English)
  • Daira (Latvian)
  • Eira (Welsh)
  • Kaira (Estonian, Latvian)
  • Kayra (Turkish) [unisex]
  • Kyra (English)
  • Lyra (English)
  • Maira (Spanish, Portuguese, [ancient] Greek, Latvian) [multiple derivations]
  • Mayra (Spanish)
  • Myra (English)
  • Naira (Spanish, Aymara)
  • Saira (Indian [Urdu?])
  • Tyra (English)
  • Vaira (Latvian)
  • Yaira (Hebrew)
  • Zaira (Italian)

  • Cila (Portuguese)
  • Čila (Croatian)
  • Dila (Turkish)
  • Gila (German, Hebrew) [separate derivations]
  • Hila (Hebrew)
  • Ila (Hindi)
  • Jila (Persian)
  • Lila/Leela (Hindi)
  • Mila (English, Slavic, French, Portuguese, Scandinavian)
  • Nila/Neela (Hindi)
  • Phila ([ancient] Greek)
  • Shila/Sheela (Hindi)
  • Síle/Sheila (Irish, English)
  • Svila (Serbian)
  • Tila (Spanish, Scandinavian) [separate derivations]
  • Tzila (Hebrew)
  • Zhila/Zheela (Persian)

  • Aila (Finnish)
  • Ayla (Turkish, Scandinavian) [separate derivations]
  • Baila/Beila (Yiddish)
  • Gaila ([medieval] Basque)
  • Ila (English)
  • Isla (Scottish, English)
  • Kyla (English)
  • Laila (Scandinavian)
  • Lila/Lilah (English)
  • Lyla (English)
  • Maila (Estonian, Scandinavian, Portuguese)
  • Naila (Arabic)
  • Raila (Finnish)
  • Saila (Finnish)
  • Twila/Twyla (English)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Legendary Princesses

Oh, princesses. They've been a part of pop-culture for a while, and I'm happy that the idea of a less passive-damsel-in-distress type princess is finally catching on. In the spirit of this trend, here are some legendary princesses (and a couple queens) who were known for more than just getting saved and/or married off. :)

  • Æthelflæd (ATH-el-flad, Old English) of Mercia--"noble beauty". More modern form is Elfleda (elf-LEE-dah). 
  • Anahí (ah-nah-EE, Spanish), Native American--from Guarani, poss. "ceibo flower"
  • Aoife (EE-fah, Irish), Irish--"beauty". Her equally-awesome sister, with an arguably less-usable name, was Scáthach (SKAH-hahkh, prob. "shadow").
  • Awilda (ah-WIL-dah, [Latinized] Old Norse), Scandinavian--"elf battle". Also called AlfhildAlwilda or Alvilda
  • Brunhilda (broon-HIL-dah, Germanic) of Austrasia--"armor-battle"
  • Cordeilla (kor-DAY-lah, [literary] Middle English)--prob. from Welsh Creiddylad (krye-THUL-ad, poss. "heart-debt"). Also called Cordelia.
  • Cynisca (sin-IS-kah, [Anglicized, ancient] Greek)--"female puppy". Greek form is Kyniska (koo-NEES-kah). 
  • Disa (DEE-sah, Swedish)--from Old Norse, "goddess"
  • Eréndira (eh-REN-deer-ah, Spanish), Native American--from Tarascan, meaning unknown. Also spelled Erendira (eh-ren-DEER-ah). 
  • Gwendolen (GWEN-doh-len, [literary] Middle English)--poss. from Welsh, "white ring"
  • Heledd (HEL-eth ['th' like in "that"], Welsh)--poss. "salt" or "estuary"
  • Ness (NES, Old Irish)--prob. "not gentle". Also called Neas (NYAS, NAS), Neasa (NYAS-ah, NAS-ah), or Nessa (NES-sah). 
  • Razia (rah-ZEE-ah, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu), Delhi--poss. "happy, content". Also transliterated as Raziyya.
  • Tamar (TAH-mahr, Georgian; TAY-mar, English) of Georgia--from Hebrew, "palm tree". Also called Tamari (TAH-mah-ree). 
  • Wanda (VAHN-dah, Polish; WAHN-dah, English), Polish--prob. from "Wend" [a tribal name, itself poss. from Germanic "friend" or Old Prussian "water"]
  • Zenobia (zen-OH-bee-ah, [ancient] Greek), Palmyrene--poss. "Zeus-life" or from Arabic Zaynab (ZAY-nab, poss. "beauty")

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More Matronymics

Some time ago (5 years, apparently!), I did a post on matronymic surnames. Since then, I've found more! Although there are nowhere near as many matronymics as patronymics, there are still quite a few more than I'd realized. :)
Prime surname-formation time was the Middle Ages, and many of the listed women's names only survived in surname form.
*unless otherwise stated, the name etymologies are Old English or Germanic
**in source names with two forms stated, the first was a common medieval form, the second the more familiar modern form

  • Aldis, Edis--from Aldus ("old")
  • Ames--from Amice (Latin, "friend") [can also be from the masculine form, Amis]
  • AnnettAnning--from Anne (Hebrew, "grace") or Annis/Agnes (Greek, "chaste")
  • Ansteys, Anstice, Anstis--from Anstice/Anastasia (Greek, "resurrection")
  • Aylett--from Ailith ("noble war")
  • Ayliff--from Aileva ("noble gift")
  • Baseley, Bazeley, Bazell--from Basilia (Greek, "king")
  • Bedloe, Bedlow--from Bedelove (poss. "battle-love")
  • Belson--from Isabel (Hebrew, "my God is an oath") or Belsant (poss. "sword strength")
  • Drewett--from Drueta (feminine of Drogo, poss. "ghost")
  • Edney--from Idony (Old Norse, poss. "love again")
  • Ellett, Ellet--from Ellen (Greek, "torch")
  • Elvey--from Alviva ("elf gift")
  • Elvis, Elwes--from Helewys/Eloise ("famous war")
  • Ennever, Enever, Jenever--from Guinevere/Jennifer (from Celtic, "white phantom")
  • Evatt, Evett, Evetts--from Eva/Eve (Hebrew, "life")
  • Gillet, Gillette--from Gilia (feminine of Giles, Latin, "goat") or Gillian (Latin, "fuzzy-bearded" or "of Jove")
  • Goldburg--from Goldburga ("gold fortress")
  • Goodison--from Godith ("god-war")
  • Hawes--from Hawisia/Hawys ("battle-wide" or "battle-wood")
  • Hildyard, Hilliard--from Hildegard ("battle-protection")
  • Ingrey--from Ingrid (Old Norse, "beautiful Ing")
  • Issard, Izatt, Izett, Izzard--from Isolda/Isolde (poss. "ice-battle" or "iron-battle")
  • Jeeves--from Geva/Genevieve ("kinswoman")
  • Jennett--from Jane (Hebrew, "God is gracious")
  • Jewett, Jowett--from Julian/Gillian (Latin, "fuzzy-bearded" or "of Jove") [Julian was unisex, and more common for girls in medieval England]
  • Kimbro, Kimbrough--from Kinborough ("royal fortress")
  • Letson, Lett, Letts--from Lettice/Letitia (Latin, "joy")
  • Linney--from Linniva (poss. "linden-gift" or "shield-gift")
  • Loveday--from Loveday (you guessed it--"love-day")
  • Malkin, Marriott--from Mary (Hebrew, origin uncertain)
  • Mott, Tillett--from Matilda ("battle-might")
  • Parnall--from Petronilla (Latin, prob, "rock" or "rustic")
  • Quennell, Quinell--from Quenilda ("queen-battle")
  • Rain--from Regina (Latin, "queen") [may also be from masculine Germanic Ragin-names, like Reginald or Reinhard]
  • Ravenell, Ravenhall, Ravenhill--from Ravenild ("raven-battle")
  • Sealy, Seeley, Seely--from Sely ("blessed") [unisex, but more often feminine]
  • Seavers--from Sefare ("sea-journey") [may also be from Severus]
  • Sibley--from Sibyl/Sybil (Greek, "prophetess, oracle")
  • Sisley, Sisterson--from Cecily/Cecilia (Latin, "blind")
  • Stanbery, Stanberry--from Stanburg ("stone fortress")
  • Summerhill, Summerill--from Somerhild ("summer battle")
  • Swannell--from Swanhilda ("swan-battle")
  • Tiffany--from Teffan/Theophania (Greek, "appearance of God")
  • Wantling--from Wentliana/Gwenllian (Welsh, "pure-flaxen")
  • Winney--from Wenyeva ("joy-gift" or "friend-gift")
  • Whybray, Wyber, Wybrew--from Wigburg ("war fortress")
  • Wymark--from Wimarc (poss. "war-famous" or Breton " ??? -horse") [unisex]

As you can probably guess, this is still nowhere near comprehensive! It was a great excuse to find more fun medieval girls' names, and unexpected forms of some modern girls' names, though. ;)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Iamb What I Am (boys)

I've been wondering--why do we have so many iambic names for girls, but not for boys? (if you need a reminder, an "iamb" is a word/name with a 'weak' syllable followed by a stressed syllable. e.g. Denise, Renee, Marie)
Iambic names are often the go-to names for girls' middles, but boys don't seem to have that many options. I think we should try to remedy that. :)
(before we even start, yes, this list leans heavily French)

  • Achille (ah-SHEEL, French)--form of Achilles
  • Adair (ah-DEHR, English [surname])--form of Edgar
  • Adán (ah-DAHN, Spanish)--form of Adam
  • Aimé (eh-MAY, French)--masculine of Amy/Aimée
  • Alain (ah-LEN, French)--form of Alan
  • Aleix (ah-LEHSH, Catalan)--form of Alexis
  • Amir (ah-MEER, Arabic, Hebrew) [separate derivations]
  • Armand (ar-MAWN, French)--from Germanic, "army man"
  • Armel (ar-MEL, French)--from Old Breton, "bear-prince"
  • Arnaud (ar-NOH, French)--form of Arnold
  • Aviv (ah-VEEV, Hebrew)--"spring" [the season]
  • Benoit (ben-WAH, French)--form of Benedict/Bennett
  • Bohdan (boh-DAHN, Czech, Ukrainian)--from Slavic, "given by God"
  • Canute (kah-NOOT, English)--from Old Norse, "knot"
  • Charlot (shar-LOH, French)--masculine of Charlotte
  • Cornell (kor-NEL, English [surname])--form of Cornelius
  • Darnell (dar-NEL, English [surname])
  • Denzel (den-ZEL, English [surname])--also spelled Denzell
  • Eloy (eh-LOY, Spanish)--from Latin, "chosen". Also spelled Eloi (Catalan) and Elói (Portuguese). 
  • Emil (eh-MEEL, English)--masculine of Emily. French form is Émile (ay-MEEL).
  • Eugene (yoo-JEEN, English)--from Greek, "born good". French form is Eugene (oo-ZHEN). 
  • Fernand (fehr-NAWN, French)--from Germanic, "brave journey". Other forms include Ferran (fehr-RAHN [rolled Rs], Catalan) and Hernan (ehr-NAHN, Spanish). 
  • Gaspar (gahs-PAHR, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan)--form of Jasper/Casper
  • Gawain (gah-WAYN, English)--older form of Gavin
  • Gerard (jer-ARD, English)--from Germanic, "brave spear". French form is Gérard (zhay-RAHR). 
  • Ivan (ee-VAHN, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Czech, Polish, Slovak, Portuguese)--form of John. Spanish spelling is Iván.  
  • Javier (hahv-YEHR, Spanish)--form of Xavier
  • Jermaine (jur-MAYN, English)--from Latin, "brother". French form is Germain (zhehr-MAHN). 
  • Jerome (jeh-ROHM, English)
  • Jourdain (zhor-DAHN, French)--form of Jordan. Other forms include Jordán (hor-DAHN, Spanish), Jordão (zhor-DOW, Portuguese), and Yarden (yar-DEN, Hebrew).
  • Lamar (lah-MAHR, English [surname])--from French, "the pond"
  • Lazare (lah-ZAHR, French)--form of Lazarus, "God has helped"
  • Louis (loo-EE, French)--from Germanic, "famous battle". Other forms include Luis (loo-EES, Spanish), Luís (loo-EESH, Portuguese) and Loïc (loh-EEK, Breton).
  • Manuel (man-WEL, English; mahn-WEL, Spanish, Catalan, Italian)--form of Emmanuel
  • Marcel (mar-SEL, English, French, Catalan)--from Latin, poss. "of Mars"
  • Martell (mar-TEL, English [surname])--form of Martin, or from French "hammer"
  • Maurice (mor-EES, French, English)
  • Pascal (pas-KAL, French, pahs-KAHL, Dutch, German)--from Latin "Easter". Other forms include Pascual (pahs-KWAHL, Spanish), Pasqual (pahs-KWAHL, Catalan), and Paskal (pas-KAHL, Bulgarian).
  • Ramón (rah-MOHN, Spanish)--form of Raymond
  • Renard (reh-NAHR, French)--from Germanic, "brave advisor" [also means "fox" in modern French]
  • Rennell (ren-NEL, English [surname])--form of Reynold/Reginald
  • Ruslan (roos-LAHN, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian)--poss. from Turkish, "lion". 
  • Salim (sah-LEEM, Arabic)--"safe"
  • Sinclair (sin-CLEHR, English [surname])--"Saint Clair"
  • Stephane (stay-FAHN, French)--form of Stephen. Other forms include Stepan (stee-PAHN, Russian). 
  • Tyrone (tye-ROHN, English)--from Irish place-name, "Owen's land"
  • Yefim (yeh-FEEM, Russian)--masculine of Euphemia

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I've Got a Bad Feelyn' About This (2015)

I did the -leys a few months back, and I got a perverse urge to find all the -lyns as well.
So here they all are, alternate spellings combined (only the most popular is listed here), from most --> least common.

  • Adalynn (≈15000 babies)
  • Madelyn
  • Evelyn (≈11000 babies)
  • Brooklyn
  • Kaitlyn
  • Jocelyn (≈4700 babies)
  • Kaelyn
  • Raelynn
  • Emmalyn
  • Jaelynn
  • Jacqueline
  • Ashlyn (≈2000 babies)
  • Braelynn
  • Gracelyn
  • Jazlyn
  • Aylin
  • Roselyn
  • Rylan
  • Dylan (≈1000 babies)
  • Avalynn
  • Marilyn
  • Gwendolyn
  • Helen
  • Aislinn
  • Taelyn
  • Maelynn
  • Carolyn
  • Ellen (≈500 babies)
  • Skylynn
  • Angeline
  • Fallon
  • Shaelyn
  • Jessalyn
  • Aaralyn
  • Daelyn
  • Kylynn
  • Sherlyn
  • Annalynn (≈250 babies)
  • Breelyn
  • Jacelyn
  • Emberlyn
  • Azlynn 
  • Jadelyn
  • Magdalene
  • Lakelyn
  • Harlyn
  • Haylen
  • Irelynn
  • Kimberlyn
  • Brilynn
  • Coralynn
  • Scotlyn
  • Zailynn
  • Marlen
  • Berlin
  • Carlin
  • Krislyn
  • Courtlynn
  • Locklyn
  • Oaklynn
  • Natalynn
  • Makaylin
  • Declyn (≈100 babies)
  • Blakelyn
  • Yaslin
  • Lynn
  • Kendalyn
  • Amberlynn
  • Arlyn
  • Callan
  • Kahlan
  • Quinlan
  • Brecklyn
  • Kellyn
  • Laelynn
  • Jolynn
  • Bailyn
  • Kacelyn
  • Pailynn
  • Edelyn
  • Weslyn
  • Faelyn
  • Kashlyn
  • Joshlyn
  • Keelyn
  • Naydelin
  • Allyn
  • Jerilyn
  • Faithlynn
  • Everlyn
  • Graelyn
  • Brinlynn
  • Breslin (≈50 babies)
  • Hollyn
  • Yeilin
  • Christalyn
  • Milynn
  • Darlyn
  • Collyn
  • Andilyn
  • Macklyn
  • Hazelyn
  • Paislynn
  • Danilynn
  • Nolan
  • Hartlyn
  • Tylynn
  • Katilyn
  • Jennalyn
  • Deslyn
  • Mialynn
  • Novalynn
  • Kathlyn
  • Saralyn
  • Starlynn
  • Lauralyn
  • Taralynn
  • Lovelyn
  • Joycelyn
  • Timberlynn
  • Devlyn (≈25 babies)
  • Sharlyn
  • Evangelyn
  • Waylon
  • Valen
  • Merlin
  • Copelyn
  • Joplin
  • Brycelynn
  • Icelynn
  • Joylynn
  • Preslyn
  • Macelyn
  • Kenlynn
  • Brittlynn
  • Kaslynn
  • Brenlynn
  • Rocklyn
  • Emerlyn
  • Gracilyn
  • Jakailyn
  • Taitlyn
  • Zeppelin
  • Talon
  • Tesslyn
  • Hadalyn
  • Brendalyn
  • Summerlyn
  • Emlyn
  • Hadlyn
  • Leelynn
  • Noralyn
  • Veralyn
  • Aidalyn
  • Brandalyn
  • Mandolin
  • Daralyn (≈10 babies)
  • Adailyn
  • Llewellyn
  • Chaselyn
  • Kinlyn
  • Maizlyn
  • Mazlyn
  • Portlyn
  • Brexlyn
  • Chaslyn
  • Eslyn
  • Franklyn
  • Janalyn
  • Kamlyn
  • Keslyn
  • Karslyn (here and below 5 babies)
  • Kirklyn
  • Paitlyn
  • Thailyn

Apparently I haven't been keeping track in previous years, but that's ≈175 -lyn names (in about 1205 "unique" spellings), comprising 5.3% of all new baby girls born last year. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Primer: Ancient Greek Names

If you have any sort of background or interest in Ancient Greece, you've probably noticed that I've been rather inconsistent on pronunciation. Part of this is laziness, but another part (especially the further back in my blog you go) was lack of knowledge. I might go back and correct or clarify previous posts later, but for now, I'll just resolve myself to be better going forward!

This is not intended to be a thorough guide to Ancient Greek names, but it should be helpful for the newbie or for passing interest.

First, there are three ways to pronounce Ancient Greek names:
--reconstructed Ancient Greek (what most scholars believe the language actually sounded like)
--Latinized (how the Romans pronounced the names when they imported them)
--Anglicized (how we usually say them today, which is based off the Latinized versions)

The letters are mostly the same as English, but there are some exceptions:
  • A (Α, α) -- "ah" (like 'father') in Ancient Greek and Latin. In English, like "a" ('cat') or "ah" ('father') or "ay" ('play').
  • C (Κ, κ) -- always hard ('cat') in Ancient Greek and Latin. In English, like our C: hard before a, o, u ('cat'); soft before i, e, y ('cent'). Also soft before 'ae'.
    Latin didn't have the letter K, so older transliterations will have C. More authentic transliterations will use K (which English adopted directly from Greek).
  • G (Γ, γ) -- always hard ('gift') in Ancient Greek and Latin. In English, like our G: hard before a, o, u ('go'); soft before e, i, y ('gem'). Also soft before 'ae'.
  • I (Ι, ι) -- "ee" in Ancient Greek and Latin; in English, "ih" ('it'), "ee" ('see'), or "eye" ('sight'). Usually 'ih' if followed by two consonants, otherwise whichever is easiest to say, it seems. 
  • X (Ξ, ξ) -- "ks" in Ancient Greek and Latin; in English "z" at the start of a word ('xylophone'), "ks" otherwise.
  • Y (Υ, υ) -- "eu" in Ancient Greek (doesn't exist in English; think of the French 'u'); "ee" in Latin. In English, like I, basically a toss-up. 
  • U (Υ, υ) -- "eu" in Ancient Greek (doesn't exist in English; think of the French 'u'); "oo" in Latin; "oo" in English, or "yoo" when at the beginning of a word.
    (yes, the letter upsilon (Υ, υ) is written either Y or U. If after another vowel, it tends to be written as U, and as Y after consonants)
  • CH (Χ, χ) -- "kh" in Ancient Greek and Latin; "k" in English.
  • PS (Ψ, ψ) -- "ps" in Ancient Greek; "s" in Latin and English.
  • TH (Θ, θ) -- "t'h" in Ancient Greek and Latin (an aspirated T, rather like a 't'-sound followed immediately by a 'h'-sound); "th" in English ("thigh").
    (Interestingly, in Modern Greek, now pronounced "th".)

I've saved the two trickiest for last--E & O. Both are represented by two letters in Ancient Greek, and the pronunciation depends on which.
  • E can be either from epsilon (Ε, ε), which is short ('let'), or eta (Η, η), which is similar to the long English "ay" sound ('play'). When Anglicized, the eta says "ee" ('see'), and sometimes the epsilon does too.
  • Similarly, O can be either from omicron (Ο, ο), which is short ('cot') or omega (Ω, ω), which is long ('coat'). When Anglicized, both tend to follow English pronunciation rules.
    Names ending in -os are usually changed to -us in Latin and English.

Ancient Greek uses the following digraphs:
  • ai (αι) -- "eye". Written as ae in Latin, still pronounced "eye". Often ae in English as well, but then is pronounced "ee" or "eh".
  • au (αυ) -- "ow", like 'cow'.
  • ei (ει) -- "ay" in Ancient Greek and Latin, usually "eh" ('set') or "ee" ('see') in English. Often written as just e or i in Latin and English (e.g. Rheia --> RheaDareios --> Darius).
  • eu (ευ or ηυ) -- "eh-oo" in Ancient Greek and Latin, "yoo" in English ('Europe').
  • oi (οι) -- "oy", like 'boy'. Written as oe in Latin, and usually in English as well, but then pronounced "ee" (not to be confused with the name ending -oe, which is two separate vowels, οη or ωη).
  • ou (ου) -- "oo", like "boot". Often written as just in Latin and English (and in English, then pronounced "yoo" at the start of the word, like in 'Uranus').
  • yi or ui (υι) -- "oo-ee" in Ancient Greek and Latin, "ee" in English.

So, that was easy, right? :p On to stress!

--Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek used tonal stress, which is something that a native English speaker will have a hard time imagining, let alone pulling off! Most just approximate it by using the dynamic ("loudness") stress we Anglophones are used to.
(aside: stress is something that's generally quite lacking in pronunciation guides, and if you want a really in-depth look, I suggest this page:, which is amazingly thorough on stress differences in Ancient Greek and Latinized pronunciations)
If you happen to have the actual Greek spelling of the name, you can often quite easily tell where the stress is--many names have the stressed syllable marked with the acute accent (ά, έ, ή, etc).
If the name does not have the accents marked, it can get quite complicated since stress is dependent on word length and vowel length (really, the simplest way might be to just stick the Greek spelling into Forvo)!
  • Two-syllable names are usually stressed on the first. 
  • Greek often has final-syllable stress, particularly in names ending in -o, -is, -os or -us
  • If the name ends in -as, -on, -e, -ia, or -ea, it's usually the second-last syllable stressed (but not -eia, however! Those are stressed on the third-last).
    Remember that the vowel pairs -oe, -ia and -ea are separate syllables, so the stress would be on the oi, or e (Beroe = "beh-RAH-ay"; Delia = "day-LEE-ah"; Leucothea = "lyoo-koth-EH-ah").
  • With longer names, the third-last is usually a good guess, especially if the name does not fall into one of the previously mentioned patterns. 
We're used to Latinized pronunciations, so if it sounds awkward, you're probably pretty close. :p

--Latin and English
  • If you don't care about attempting Ancient Greek accent, and are content with Latinized or Anglicized, just stress the second-last syllable.
  • Common exceptions are when the name ends in -ia or -e (Eumelia = "yoo-MEL-ee-ah; Antigone = "an-TIG-on-ee"), or -ias, -ion, or -eus (Callias = "KAL-ee-us", Endymion = "en-DIM-ee-on", Proteus = "PRO-tee-us").
  • With names of 4 syllables. it's sometimes the third-to-last that's stressed (Eidothea = "ed-OTH-ee-ah"), but not always (Amalthea = "am-al-THEE-ah").

Here are a few names, showing common differences in the three pronunciation methods.

Ancient Greek
Psyche (Ψυχή)
Theseus (Θησεύς)
Kelaino / Celaeno (Κελαινώ)
Chryseis (Χρυσηἰς)
"krye-SEE-is" or "kris-AY-is"
Medousa / Medusa (Μέδουσα)

"Quick primer". Ha!
Well, hopefully that wasn't too confusing, and maybe a little bit helpful. ;)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

British vs. American, Part 2 (2015)

(part 1 here)
Oh, I am nervous. Here are the most popular American names that were not used at all in England & Wales last year.

  1. Brantley
  2. Waylon
  3. Brooks
  4. Gunner
  5. Gage
  6. Collin
  7. Garrett
  8. Rhett
  9. Lane
  10. Remington
  11. Barrett
  12. Landen
  13. Beckham
  14. Major
  15. Kamden
  16. Legend
  17. Jaxton
  18. Kolton
  19. Gerardo
  20. Chandler

  1. Kinsley
  2. Ximena
  3. Emery
  4. Londyn
  5. Raelynn
  6. Makenzie
  7. Kinley
  8. Daleyza
  9. Kylee
  10. Brynlee
  11. Brynn
  12. Jordan
  13. Journey
  14. Haley
  15. Raelyn
  16. Alondra
  17. Kaydence
  18. Blakely
  19. Allyson
  20. Kamryn
Yep, that's about what I was expecting. 

Here are the "most American" names that do appear on the full ONS list:

  1. Jesus
  2. Paxton
  3. Angel
  4. Josue
  5. Iker
  6. Cesar
  7. Weston
  8. Easton
  9. Jayceon
  10. Landon
  11. Grady
  12. Emiliano
  13. Graham
  14. Esteban
  15. Trenton
  16. Sawyer
  17. Enrique
  18. Princeton
  19. Jamison
  20. Tucker

  1. Allison
  2. Finley
  3. Jordyn
  4. Genesis
  5. Adalynn
  6. Makenna
  7. Lyric
  8. London
  9. Camila
  10. Ainsley
  11. Brinley
  12. Kylie
  13. Sawyer
  14. Malaysia
  15. Ryan
  16. Rylee
  17. Haylee
  18. Jaylah
  19. Presley
  20. Madilyn
Spanish names and surnames! Wow.

Still too weird, my British friends? Here are the most American names from the ONS Top 1000:

  1. Colton
  2. Silas
  3. Nolan
  4. Greyson
  5. Wyatt
  6. Ian
  7. Giovanni
  8. Colin
  9. Kenneth
  10. Karter
  11. Emmett
  12. Brayden
  13. Ryder
  14. Jayce
  15. Jeremiah
  16. Jase
  17. Avery
  18. Braxton
  19. Wesley
  20. Julian

  1. Avery
  2. Claire
  3. Addison
  4. Zoey
  5. Serenity
  6. Aubrey
  7. Vivian
  8. Kimberly
  9. Caroline
  10. Riley
  11. Melanie
  12. Ashley
  13. Brooklyn
  14. Bailey
  15. Jocelyn
  16. Andrea
  17. Morgan
  18. Paisley
  19. Brianna
  20. Trinity
Avery is on both lists again! Seems to be gaining quite a bit of popularity in the UK, too. Kind of interesting how we're both pretty into -y names for girls, but not always the same ones!

And just for fun again, here are the names that are used about evenly in both nations (by % of births in each, from the Top 1500ish):

  1. Denzel
  2. Harper
  3. Perry
  4. Peter
  5. Myles
  6. Kylan
  7. Massimo
  8. Benjamin
  9. Tate
  10. Kenny
  11. Bradley
  12. Kareem
  13. Quinn
  14. Martin
  15. Kane
  16. Darius
  17. Amar
  18. Tyler
  19. Aarush
  20. Simeon

  1. Nala
  2. Luella
  3. Lilah
  4. Ariya
  5. Mae
  6. Delia
  7. Stevie
  8. Siena
  9. Nadine
  10. Annabella
  11. Violet
  12. Anabelle
  13. Charlotte
  14. Noa
  15. Taya
  16. Arya
  17. Hannah
  18. Jennifer
  19. Melissa
  20. Thalia
Those are some pretty decent lists. Nice going, all. :)

Friday, September 30, 2016

British vs. American, Part 1 (2015)

Yay, stats! The British ONS recently released their name lists from 2015, so it's comparison time!

To start with, here are the most popular British names that did not appear at all on the full US lists:

  1. Albie
  2. Barnaby
  3. Osian
  4. Bertie
  5. Harri
  6. Teddie
  7. Mikolaj
  8. Dougie
  9. Oliwier
  10. Tomos
  11. Frazer
  12. Alby
  13. Wiktor
  14. Dominykas
  15. Gethin
  16. Tommy-Lee
  17. Herbie
  18. Kajus
  19. Ieuan
  20. Ralphy

  1. Ella-Rose
  2. Amelia-Rose
  3. Lily-Rose
  4. Lily-Mae
  5. Lilly-Mae
  6. Ffion
  7. Isla-Rose
  8. Lilly-Rose
  9. Ava-Rose
  10. Ellie-Mae
  11. Gracie-Mae
  12. Fearne
  13. Lilly-May
  14. Bella-Rose
  15. Bethan
  16. Ella-Mae
  17. Mia-Rose
  18. Ellie-May
  19. Ava-Grace
  20. Ava-Mae

Right. Hyphens. Somehow I always forget about those. In the US, those would appear as first and middle, or smashed together as one name. Let's pull those out.

(From the boys', just take out Tommy-Lee and add Bartosz to the end)

  1. Ffion
  2. Fearne
  3. Bethan
  4. Poppie
  5. Esmai
  6. Hettie
  7. Dolcie
  8. Orlaith
  9. Isobelle
  10. Eadie
  11. Florrie
  12. Saarah
  13. Efa
  14. Weronika
  15. Blanka
  16. Hetty
  17. Nancie
  18. Lowri
  19. Leja
  20. Cadi
Yep. Any of those names would be pretty distinct in the US! Here are the "most British" names that were actually used in the US last year. 

  1. Alfie
  2. Olly
  3. Fraser
  4. Freddie
  5. Vinnie
  6. Franciszek
  7. Archie
  8. Rupert
  9. Nikodem
  10. Harry
  11. Ioan
  12. Woody
  13. Barney
  14. Teddy
  15. Ralphie
  16. Jac
  17. Tomasz
  18. Rafferty
  19. Wilfred
  20. Lennie

  1. Darcey
  2. Darcie
  3. Orla
  4. Fleur
  5. Alicja
  6. Niamh
  7. Kitty
  8. Marnie
  9. Wiktoria
  10. Zuzanna
  11. Nieve
  12. Neave
  13. Jorgie
  14. Cerys
  15. Oliwia
  16. Poppy
  17. Imogen
  18. Pixie
  19. Pola
  20. Florence
I also always forget about Eastern European influence! I imagine we'll see a matching Spanish influence in the US. 

In case these are still a bit too obscure, here are the most British names from the US Top 1000:

  1. Harry
  2. Frankie
  3. Reuben
  4. Louie
  5. Toby
  6. Tommy
  7. Harley
  8. Bobby
  9. Stanley
  10. Charlie
  11. Theo
  12. Ronnie
  13. Jamie
  14. Sonny
  15. Alfred
  16. Lewis
  17. Callum
  18. Billy
  19. Finley
  20. Oscar

  1. Evie
  2. Rosie
  3. Esme
  4. Matilda
  5. Freya
  6. Millie
  7. Martha
  8. Maisie
  9. Nancy
  10. Amelie
  11. Mollie
  12. Holly
  13. Phoebe
  14. Jessica
  15. Elsie
  16. Isla
  17. Bonnie
  18. Thea
  19. Frankie
  20. Sienna
That is a lot of "-y/ie" names, for both genders.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


You might have noticed that there is new generator button!
I've been fascinated for a while about what makes a good "smash-name". Although many people think they hate them, there are quite a few that predate the current -ley & -lyn craze (Marlene, Marilyn, Rosanna, etc), and that aren't even thought of as "smash-names" anymore.
I set out to try and come up with more classic-sounding, potentially usable smash-ups, and decided eventually to just make a new generator out of it.

It's definitely still a work in progress (for instance, I've yet to come up with an elegant way to avoid names like 'Annanna' or 'Lauranora'), but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

My favorite "new" names include Margalise, Gretaflor, KatheloreEvalou, and Tildalise. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

No Alternates Allowed! (2015, boys)

Boys turn! Here are the names from the Top 1000 that did not have any alternate spellings last year.
(from most--> least popular)

  • David
  • Hunter
  • Charles
  • Thomas
  • Parker
  • Jose
  • Sawyer
  • Juan
  • Diego
  • Jesus
  • Timothy
  • Richard
  • Jude
  • Abraham
  • Grant
  • Alejandro
  • August
  • Paul
  • Peter
  • Jorge
  • Javier
  • Travis
  • Fernando
  • Seth
  • Manuel
  • Mario
  • Archer
  • Arthur
  • Troy
  • Walter
  • Tobias
  • Edgar
  • Enzo
  • Sergio
  • Walker
  • Alexis
  • Nash
  • Roberto
  • Pedro
  • Porter
  • Romeo
  • Pablo
  • Warren
  • Bruce
  • Theo
  • Dexter
  • Chandler
  • Keith
  • Enrique
  • Jonas
  • Hugo
  • Ronald
  • Harvey
  • Albert
  • Donald
  • Raul
  • Julio
  • Sullivan
  • Rodrigo
  • Davis
  • Moises
  • Jaime
  • Atlas
  • Ahmed
  • Saul
  • Arjun
  • Arlo
  • Arturo
  • Gustavo
  • Hank
  • Otto
  • Alberto
  • Moshe
  • Sam
  • Larry
  • Trent
  • Mauricio
  • Alfredo
  • Joe
  • Byron
  • Alvin
  • Duke
  • Lance
  • Santino
  • Orlando
  • Aldo
  • Maurice
  • Bryant
  • Noe
  • Salvador
  • Nelson
  • Ernesto
  • Kelvin
  • Memphis
  • Guillermo
  • Terry
  • Fletcher
  • Morgan
  • Valentino
  • Langston
  • Flynn
  • Bruno
  • Rodney
  • Tomas
  • Harper
  • Chaim
  • Amos
  • Vicente
  • Ben
  • Ford
  • Briggs
  • Wayne
  • Joey
  • Vance
  • Dash
  • Stetson
  • Harry
  • Channing
  • Duncan
  • Anders
  • Harold
  • Rene
  • Vincenzo
  • Castiel
  • Eugene
  • Miller
  • Heath
  • Amare
  • Hugh
  • Maximo
  • Magnus
  • Santana
  • Abdiel
  • Reginald
  • Benton
  • Urijah
  • Denver
  • Thatcher
  • Alvaro
  • Craig
  • Dario
  • Santos
  • Alfred
  • Tyrone
  • Valentin
  • Turner
  • Ignacio
  • Rodolfo
  • Steve
  • Boone
  • Gibson
  • Rolando
  • Sutton
  • Salvatore
  • Yadiel
  • Todd
  • Truman
  • Gilbert
  • Brixton
  • Bishop

If you feel like that's a lot longer than the girls' list, you're right. 159 alternate-free names for boys in the Top 1000......51 for girls. *sigh*

Thursday, September 22, 2016

No Alternates Allowed! (2015, girls)

I missed 2014! Shame on me!
I can't guarantee these names to be misspelling-proof, but here are the names from the Top 1000 that have no alternate spellings (well, none given to 5 or more girls, at least).
(from most --> least popular)

  • Harper
  • Rose
  • Hope
  • Sawyer
  • Olive
  • June
  • Ruth
  • Amanda
  • Elle
  • Juniper
  • Alejandra
  • Eve
  • Virginia
  • Gloria
  • Fernanda
  • Angelique
  • Guadalupe
  • Demi
  • Magnolia
  • Zelda
  • Dulce
  • Meadow
  • Alma
  • Monroe
  • Liv
  • Paola
  • Royal
  • Chaya
  • Hunter
  • Martha
  • Estrella
  • Salma
  • Brenda
  • Clementine
  • Nancy
  • Joyce
  • Holland
  • Barbara
  • Paulina
  • Paula
  • Paloma
  • Louisa
  • Belen
  • Vienna
  • Esperanza
  • Judith
  • Cordelia
  • Ingrid
  • Luz
  • Heather
  • Abril

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nature in Other Languages

It's probably pretty obvious by now that I love nature names. And of all the nature-y posts I've done so far, I think "Plants in Other Languages" is probably one of my favorites. Naturally, I've now decided to try another along those lines, but widening the field to all nature word-names. :) And so, here are translations of the 12 most common nature-names in the US (minus the plant-names).
*Asterisks indicate the name is already in use in that language, and, unless otherwise indicated, feminine.

  • Sabana (sah-BAH-nah)--Spanish
  • Safana (sah-FAH-nah)--Arabic
  • Savana (sah-VAH-nah)--Greek, Italian, Portuguese
  • Savane (sah-VAN)--French
  • Savanne (sah-VAH-neh)--Dutch, German, Norwegian
  • Savanni (SAH-vahn-nee)--Finnish

  • Aki (ah-kee)--Japanese* [many other kanji/meanings also, some unisex or masculine]
  • Automne (oo-tawn)--French*
  • Esen (EH-sen)--Bulgarian, Macedonian
  • Fómhar (FOH-var)--Irish
  • Güz (gooz)--Turkish*
  • Jesień (YESH-en)--Polish [*surname]
  • Ósen (OH-seen)--Russian
  • Payiz (pah-EES)--Persian
  • Sharad (SHAH-rad)--Hindi* [masculine]
  • Stav (stahv)--Hebrew* [unisex]

  • Gealán (GAL-awn)--Irish
  • Selas (SEH-las)--Greek

  • Odem (oh-dem)--Hebrew
  • Rubiini (ROO-bee-nee)--Finnish
  • Rubin (ROO-been)--German, Danish, Hungarian, Polish, Norwegian, Swedish (and probably others)
  • Rubino (roo-BEE-noh)--Italian [*surname]

  • Giada (JAH-dah)--Italian*
  • Jade (zhahd)--French*
  • Jade (YAH-deh)--German, Finnish
  • Jade (ZHAH-thee [th like in 'this'])--Portuguese*
  • Jade (HAH-day)--Spanish
  • Nephritis (nef-FREE-tees)--Greek

  • Aven (AH-ven)--Breton
  • Fluss (floos)--German
  • Ibai (ee-bye)--Basque* [masculine]
  • Nadi (NAH-dee)--Hindi
  • Nahar (NAH-har)--Arabic [*same spelling is a surname, but stressed on the second syllable, and means "day"]
  • Nahar (nah-HAR)--Hebrew* [unisex]
  • Reka (REH-kah)--Russian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Slovene
  • Rika (REE-kah)--Ukrainian
  • Río (REE-oh)--Spanish, Galician
  • Rivière (reev-YEHR)--French [*surname]

  • Elokuu (EH-loh-koo)--Finnish
  • Eost (AY-ohst)--Breton
  • Lúnasa (LOON-uh-sah)--Irish

  • Biyu (bee-yoo)--Mandarin*
  • Diaspro (dee-AHS-proh)--Italian
  • Jasma (YAHSH-mah)--Russian
  • Jaspe (zhasp)--French
  • Jaspe (ZHAZ-pee)--Portuguese
  • Jaspe (HAHS-pay)--Spanish
  • Jaspis (YAHS-pis)--German, Dutch, Finnish, Polish, Norwegian, Czech
  • Yeşim (YESH-im)--Turkish*

  • Été (AY-tay)--French
  • Haf (hahv)--Welsh*
  • Kesä (KEH-sa [short a, like in 'cat'])--Finnish [*surname]
  • Léto (LEH-toh)--Czech, Russian
  • Ljeta (LYEH-tah)--Belarusian
  • Natsu (naht-soo)--Japanese* [usually combined with another character]
  • Samhradh (SOW-rah)--Irish, Scottish
  • Sayf (sah-eef)--Arabic
  • Suvi (SOO-vee)--Estonian, Finnish*
  • Uda (oo-dah)--Basque*
  • Udara (oo-dah-rah)--Basque*
  • Verano (vehr-AH-noh)--Spanish
  • Verão (vehr-OW)--Portuguese
  • Zomer (ZOH-mer)--Dutch [*surname]

(I actually had to leave out the next two here, sorry--Brooks because plurals are tricky, and Sienna because there just isn't a word for it in most other languages!)

  • Bromach (BRAHM-akh)--Irish, Scottish
  • Ju (joo)--Chinese [*surname, but with different characters/meaning]
  • Varsa (VAHR-sah)--Finnish

  • Ambra (AHM-brah)--Italian*
  • Ambre (AWMbr)--French*
  • Kohaku (koh-hah-koo)--Japanese* [unisex]
  • Meripihka (MEHR-ee-pee-hkah)--Finnish
  • Ómra (OHM-rah)--Irish
  • Rav (rahv)--Norwegian

  • Ascua (AHS-koo-ah)--Spanish
  • Brasa (BRAH-sah)--Spanish
  • Brasa (BRAH-zah)--Catalan, Portuguese
  • Favilla (fah-VEEL-lah)--Latin
  • Jamra (ZHAM-rah)--Arabic
  • Kekäle (KEK-al-ay)--Finnish
  • Pruna (PROO-nah)--Latin
  • Sintel (SIN-tel)--Dutch
  • Thraka (THRAH-kah)--Greek

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Western Names 1: Surfer Names

A while back, I did an analysis of "Southern" names, and after recently returning from SoCal, was inspired to do one for Western names as well.
Instead of the entire "Western" region, I'm only doing the Pacific Western states (CA, OR, WA, AK, HI), but I imagine I'll tackle the Mountain Western states sometime soon as well.

Here the "most Pacific" names (by % of babies given that name) from the Pacific states' combined Top 1000:
  1. Makoa
  2. Kekoa
  3. Keoni
  4. Koa
  5. Arley
  6. Kainoa
  7. Arman
  8. Everardo
  9. Noa
  10. Sunny
  11. Arvin
  12. Salvador
  13. Madison
  14. Ulises
  15. Emiliano
  16. Nikita
  17. Rigoberto
  18. Gonzalo
  19. Octavio
  20. Ernesto
Nice to see several Hawaiian names. <3
  1. Izel
  2. Sequoia
  3. Jaylene
  4. Emi
  5. Citlali
  6. Xitlali
  7. Darlene
  8. Adilene
  9. Jayleen
  10. Vicky
  11. Arlene
  12. Hana
  13. Yaretzy
  14. Julieta
  15. Itzel
  16. Maribel
  17. Belinda
  18. Noemi
  19. Darla
  20. Jaylah
Okay, I was expecting lots of Spanish names. I was not expecting all those "leens"!

To narrow things a bit further, from the Pacific Top 500:
  1. Salvador
  2. Emiliano
  3. Ernesto
  4. Damian
  5. Francisco
  6. Ruben
  7. Joaquin
  8. Ismael
  9. Saul
  10. Esteban
  11. Andy
  12. Gustavo
  13. Adan
  14. Vicente
  15. Armando
  16. Alfredo
  17. Maximiliano
  18. Mateo
  19. Valentino
  20. Sergio
  1. Jaylene
  2. Jayleen
  3. Hana
  4. Julieta
  5. Itzel
  6. Noemi
  7. Jaylah
  8. Aileen
  9. Guadalupe
  10. Monserrat
  11. Yaretzi
  12. Aimee
  13. Esmeralda
  14. Julissa
  15. Kenia
  16. Paloma
  17. Frida
  18. Montserrat
  19. Irene
  20. Kassandra

And finally, the most Pacific names from the states' Top 100:
  1. Damian
  2. Mateo
  3. Diego
  4. Jesus
  5. Ivan
  6. Santiago
  7. Angel
  8. Leonardo
  9. Julian
  10. Miguel
  11. Adrian
  12. Juan
  13. Carlos
  14. Jose
  15. Luis
  16. Nathan
  17. Sebastian
  18. Aaron
  19. Giovanni
  20. Elias
  1. Valerie
  2. Ximena
  3. Delilah
  4. Alina
  5. Camila
  6. Valeria
  7. Alexa
  8. Melanie
  9. Luna
  10. Natalia
  11. Amy
  12. Athena
  13. Valentina
  14. Andrea
  15. Nicole
  16. Samantha
  17. Sofia
  18. Jasmine
  19. Melody
  20. Victoria
I might be biased, but I think those are pretty great lists! Love all those multilingual names. 

For comparison's sake, here is the Pacific Top 10, alongside the National Top 10:


And should you be interested in the full Pacific Top 1000, it is here, in Google Sheets. :)

I also wanted to go a bit further this time, and see what names appeared only in the Pacific states, but the results were much smaller, and more obscure, than I'd expected. They were also all in either CA or HI.
CA: Harut, Gevork, Mher (boys); Serly, Maneh, Jazzleen, Anmol (girls)
HI: Lawaia, Kiai (boys); Hilinai (girls)

So, I settled for finding the most disproportionately common (by %) names in each state. (So, for instance, you're about 8x more likely to run into a Narek in CA than in the rest of the US as a whole)
CA: Narek, Sahib, Arley, Everardo, Sunny (boys); Raylene, Izel, Avleen, Arleen, Jazlene (girls)
HI: Kaeo, Kaimana, Ikaika, Makoa, Kaizen (boys); Lilinoe, Mahina, Anela, Kalena, Kalea (girls)
AK: Paxson, Killian, Ronan, Gideon, Walter (boys); Aurora, Juniper, Sage, Cassidy, Kinley (girls)
OR: Sage, Soren, Malakai, Kellen, Arlo (boys); Opal, Juniper, Faye, Louisa, Esme (girls)
WA: Soren, Anton, Anders, Maxim, Odin (boys); Roslyn, Pepper, Linnea, Opal, Bentley (girls)

I came across a couple interesting quirks:
--Firstly, I initially narrowed my search for "most representative" to the top 2/5 of names for each state (the lists vary in length quite a bit, with the largest, CA, having 14x as many names as the smallest, AK), but I just had to stretch that a bit in Alaska so I could include Paxson.
There were 33 Paxsons born in the US last year. 10 were in AK. 10! 1/3 of all new Paxsons were born in 4th least populated state.
--Secondly, by the indecisiveness of Oregon parents, and/or some oddity in how Oregon birth certificates are filled out, over 60% of babies officially named Unknown in the entire US were born in OR.

And no, the few repeating names are not errors; those names are just much more concentrated in both states for whatever reasons.

So what sort of names are the "least Pacific"? Turns out, modern creative spellings and innovations: Brantley, Braylon, Brycen, Landyn, Karter; Kennedi, Ryleigh, Londyn, Brynlee, Kayleigh, and the like.