Category: Berry Juice
By Jane Ní Chaoimh
There are many Irish place names that could happily be used as baby names — in the US or elsewhere–of which this list is just a sampling. I have chosen names which are easily pronounced outside of Ireland and which have a positive meaning or origin. I’ve purposely omitted some well-known options (Kerry, for example, which probably suggests politics – à la US Secretary of State John Kerry – more than the Emerald Isle, at the moment!). Several of these could also fit into the nature name category (river names and so on).
Ever wonder which name has been given the most overall? Of course I have! To satisfy my curiosity on the matter, I totaled the raw numbers of all names ever recorded by the SSA since the data has been collected (1880). I must say the results are very interesting!
Since more than 38,000 names have been given to boys and 64,000 names have been given to girls over the years, it is not possible for me to include all of them here. What I did include are the top 25 names as well as any of the #1 names not included in the top 25 and those that have been in the Top 100 every year since 1880.
Looking at names that were popular in the early days of the U.S. gives us a chance to reflect on how much we have changed and evolved over the last two centuries. We are clearly more multicultural as a society in terms of how many different countries, languages, ethnicities and cultural traditions we draw from in choosing names for our children.
Most of the common names in the early nineteenth century in this country came from the British tradition, and in fact, the lists of popular names would be almost identical for England and America. And yet names were chosen from some of the same sources as today: family histories, celebrities, religious traditions and popular entertainment. The lack of variety or originality of the name lists from this period belies the fact that names were chosen to denote respectability rather than the individuality valued today.
If the Nameberry forums had an ambassador, Rollo (also known as Margot, or Carolyn Margot) was it. Carolyn Margot Delohery hailed from Sydney, Australia, but her goodwill, sensibility, and unmatched enthusiasm for names extended to online namers around the world. She died on June 14, 2014.
As much–or more–than any member of the Nameberry community, Rollo was especially passionate about certain names—ardent, romantic girls like Dorothea and Zoraide; new masculine classics like Christian and Hunter. She joined when the site was in its infancy, in 2008. But her contributions weren’t just about name choices; in discussion posts public and private she followed William Penn’s old dictum to carry out “any good thing I can do to any fellow being.” The doting grandmother-of-five and mom-of-two often chimed in with gentle and relevant words of encouragement for her fellow name folk, earning her a well-loved place here.
In remembrance of Rollo, here are a few of the names she loved best.
By Tara Ryazansky
When Lil‘ Kim named her new baby Royal Reign, I was taken aback for a second by this bold combo. I mean, a regal name makes sense for the queen of hip-hop and all, but it got me wondering –do aspirational names rule or are they a dying trend?
When I say aspirational names, I am not talking about names with a slight royal connection that gives them an air of wealth and importance. Nothing as subtle as a queenly namesake like Victoria or with a lofty meaning like Casper, which means “wealthy man”. I am talking about the more literal choices, such as Cash and Diamond, King and Prince, that try to project grandeur and luxury.