Welcome to the Nameberry Blog, daily baby name news and analysis by Nameberry's resident experts.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In the seventeenth century, for some of the most puritanical of the Puritans, even biblical and saints’ names were not pure enough to bestow on their children, and so they turned instead to words that embodied the Christian virtues. These ranged from extreme phrases like Sorry-for-sin and Search-the-Scriptures (which, understandably, never came into general use) to simpler virtue names like Silence and Salvation.
The virtue names that have survived in this country were for the most part the unfussy, one-syllable girls’ names with positive meanings, such as Joy, Hope, Grace and Faith. But then, in the late 1990s, a door was opened to more elaborate examples by the popularity of the TV show Felicity, and its appealing heroine. Felicity (also the name of an American Girl Colonial doll) reached a high point on the girls’ list in 1999, a year after the show debuted, leading parents to consider others long forgotten relics.
Here are the Nameberry picks of the twelve best virtue names:
- Amity—like all the virtue names ending in ity, Amity has an attractive daintiness combined with an admirable meaning—in this case, friendship. It could be a modernized (or antiquated, depending how you look at it) namesake for an Aunt Amy.
- Clarity—we like it much better than Charity or—oh no—Chastity. And Clare makes a nice short form.
- Clemency—Clemency, the name of a character in one of Charles Dicken’s lesser known Christmas novellas, The Battle of Life, can be seen as an offbeat alternative to Clementine.
- Constance was originally used in a religious context which has been lost over the years. There are many Constances found in history and literature: there was Constance of Brittany, mother of young Prince Arthur who appears in Shakespeare’s King John, a daughter of William the Conqueror, and characters in Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer and Dumas’s The Three Musketeers. Constance hasn’t been much heard in the 21st century—probably because of the dated nickname Connie. The Puritans also used Constant.
We’re expecting our first child, and we’re keeping the gender a surprise.
Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated! I’m due in early January.
The Name Sage replies:
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Not so long ago, the only names starting with the letters Au that were getting any traction were Audrey and Austin. But lately—have you noticed?—a lot more are now attracting attention. The once male name Aubrey is now in the girls’ Top 20, and then there are the members of the golden Aurelia family, several varieties of August, the word name Aura, the seasonal Autumn, and more.
By Abby Sandel
How far would you go to show your loyalty to your team?
You’ll buy season tickets, of course. Play the team’s signature song at your wedding reception? Maybe. Name your pet after a star player? Possibly.
But give your kiddo a name that clearly honors the team?