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Presidential Names: Which ones went viral?

posted by: Nick View all posts by this author
presidential names

By Nick Turner

Like millions of Americans, I was riveted by the Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts that aired this month on PBS. (I didn’t manage to watch all of 14 hours, but I hope to catch up eventually.)

I adore the first names in the Roosevelt family tree (Alice, Anna, Edith, Eleanor, Elliot, Ethel and Theodore are probably my favorites). But the documentary also got me thinking about Roosevelt itself, which the family’s charisma helped turn into a surprisingly common baby name.

In 1905, when Teddy Roosevelt was beginning his second term as president, his surname became the 91st most popular baby name in America. At the time, Roosevelt ranked higher than Stephen, Jacob, Alexander, Patrick or Philip.

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Jewish New Year

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The surprise top name for boys in 2013 was the Old Testament Noah, followed by the not so surprisingly high-on-the-list Jacob, Ethan, Daniel, Benjamin, David, Joseph, Joshua and Samuel—in other words many of the same biblical boys’ names that have been recycled for eons.

I thought that today, in commemoration of the Jewish High Holy Days, we would shake things up a bit and look at some Bible names that aren’t even in the Top 1000, but might be worthy of some consideration

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confused baby

Basil.

Elisabeth.

Giles.

Those are a few that perennially befuddle us. Even when we know how to pronounce them, we forget, or we encounter someone who pronounces them the other way.

Which name pronunciations are you unsure of? Either because the spellings are confusing, or because they’re pronounced different ways by different people, or because the pronunciations are counterintuitive, or you’re not familiar with their native cultures…..or, whyever.

We’ll try to help identify the correct pronunciations, and if we’re not sure, we can help each other!

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posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author
matching names

by Angela Mastrodonato, Upswing Baby Names

Did you give all of your dolls perfectly coordinating names as a child? Maybe you had dolls named Sandra and Chandra. (OK so you probably didn’t name your dolls Sandra and Chandra; this is just a random example. Please go with it.) Maybe once you became a teen that same combo grated on your nerves.

Opinions vary widely on how much sibling names should match. And the rules can be different for same gender vs. opposite gender siblings and twins.

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Unusual Baby Names: The Other A Names

baby names that start with A

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Everybody loves the letter A.

A is the most common first initial for baby names today.  Many of the most popular baby names start with A, including Ava, Abigail, and Amelia for girls, and Alexander, Andrew, and the Aiden constellation for boys.  And then there are all the fast-rising names that begin with A, from the Game of Thrones-inspired Arya to the biblical Asher to the hot celebrity names Anson and Azalea.

Why is A so favored?  The fact that it’s first may have something to do with giving it an image of primacy and importance.  And then there are the studies that say people whose names begin with A are more likely to earn As in school and may even live longer.

That makes a lot of good reasons to want to choose an A name for your baby.  But what are the best A names that are not overused or on their way to becoming too popular?

We combed the nearly 3500 unusual baby names that start with A on Nameberry to find the best choices below the Top 1000.  Here, our 100 favorites:

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