Category: Classic Baby Names

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nursery rhyme names

With their lilting rhythms and catchy rhymes, nursery rhymes have delighted successive generations of children since the first publication of Mother Goose in the 1700s—though the original meanings, some of them political, have been lost. (Who knew that ‘Ring Around a Rosy’ referred to the Great Plague of 1665?) The names used very much reflected the small stockpot of those in current use —so a preponderance of Marys, Sallys, Bettys, Jacks, Georgies, Peters, Toms and Tommys, Billys and Willies–but there were a few more original names, and here are a dozen of the best.

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A Sad Farewell to The Nook of Names

farewell nook of names

It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of our most treasured contributors, K. M. Sheard.  Kay ran the delightful website, Nook of Names, and was the author of a giant, encyclopedic compendium of name information, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Nameswhich we have found to be an invaluable resource.

In tribute to the memory of Kay, here again is one of her characteristic Nameberry blogs–with its unique mix of scholarship and humor, first published in 2013.

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classic boys' names

Last week we asked you to name your favorite classic name for girls; now it’s the boys’ turn.

What’s your favorite classic boys’ name?  Do you prefer one of the classic classics such as James or William or a fashionable classic such as Henry or (thanks to England‘s young prince) George?

There are quiet classic boys’ names such as Robert and Richard and John, no longer quite in style yet undeniably classics.  And then there are trendy names such as Noah and Sebastian that may or may not qualify as classics in your book.

What’s your very favorite classic boys’ name?  And yes, sure, you can mention more than one.

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classic girls' names

There are so many gorgeous classic girls’ names to love — from the classic classics like Katherine and Elizabeth to the fashionable classics such as Clara or Juliet.

Then there are the quieter classics such as Ruth and Helen and Mary, a bit sleepy at the moment, as well as new favorites that may or may not qualify as classics: Hazel, or instance, or Beatrice.

What’s your very favorite classic girls’ name?  And yes, sure, you can mention more than one.

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literary baby names

By Joanna Walker

Geoffrey Chaucer has been described as the father of English literature, so who better to turn to for name inspiration?

Chaucer was writing in the Middle Ages, between 1343 and 1400, and the Greek myths he alludes to are far older. Jacqueline de Weever has created a dictionary of the names in Chaucer’s works, found at: http://www.columbia.edu/dlc/garland/deweever/menu.htm. Some of the names are clearly too awkward for modern use. For instance, teaching 4-year-old Cresseyde to spell her name would be an extremely daunting task, Ceyx and Dictys could give rise to rather risqué pronunciations and although Cutberd or Huberd would make awesome pirate names, they could cause sniggers in the classroom. Many of Chaucer’s names are still in current usage and, for those that are not, we have selected eight names worthy of resurgence.

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