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Category: Guest Bloggers

Science and the Sounds and Shapes of Names

sounds of names

By David Sidhu

Guest blogger David Sidhu shares some of his fascinating research on the personality traits people associate with certain names. And if you’d like to delve further into the subject, he’s provided some references at the end.

What’s in a name? Is there any scientific reason to expect that we might associate certain kinds of information with a name, based on the way it sounds or feels to pronounce? Yes! It seems that certain kinds of names are associated with not only particular shapes, but also personality traits!

But, before we get to names, we have to take a few steps back, to 1929, when Wolfgang Köhler first claimed that certain made up words (or “nonwords”) might go along better with certain shapes. He suggested that if people were presented with two shapes: a round one and a spiky one, and told that one was a “baluma” and one was a “takete,” everyone would naturally pair “baluma” with the round shape and “takete” with the sharp shape. His assertion has since been demonstrated experimentally a number of different times: people associate nonwords like “bouba”, “maluma” or “luna” with round shapes; and nonwords like “kiki”, “teetay” or “paka” with sharp shapes. This has come to be known as the “Bouba/Kiki Effect.”

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Duana Berry Juice profile image

The Name Trend That Isn’t

posted by: Duana View all posts by this author
instagram baby names

Duana Taha writes the Duana Names column for the website Lainey Gossip, where this piece first appeared. She last wrote for Nameberry on wishing she and her husband had signed a baby name prenup.

The idea that people are naming their children after Instagram filters.

Let me be clear, I don’t buy this at all. It’s a great headline, but it’s just preposterous. I feel the kind of rage that Millenials must feel when they read yet another disparaging headline about Millenials (PS – according to some scales, I am a Millenial. This confounds me).

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Brit + Co Berry Juice profile image

12 Thanksgiving Games Kids Will Love

posted by: Brit + Co View all posts by this author
Thanksgiving Games

Thanks to our friends at Brit + Co for sharing.

By Ashley Taylor, Brit + Co

While you’re busy wracking your brain for ways to keep the kiddos occupied on Thanksgiving, don’t just limit your options to puzzles, board games and a bunch of complicated rules. Some of the most fun you can have will only require items you already have around the house. Keep everyone (including the adults) entertained with one of these 12 simple but endlessly entertaining Thanksgiving games.

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posted by: Elea View all posts by this author
B2-QUEENBESS

By Eleanor Nickerson of British Baby Names

Brits love diminutives. We use them, often automatically, to shorten names in a familiar way, and they have been essential for centuries as a way of distinguishing individuals with the same name. We love them so much, many of them have now been elevated into full-name status, and happily litter the Top 100.

The most common are two-syllable, ie/y-endings we know and love well; Isabelles are Izzy, Olivers are Ollie, Katherines are Katies and Fredericks are Freddies.  But more and more, parents are looking to a more brisk and quirky style of diminutive. Edwards are often Ned, rather than Eddy; several Henrys are Hal, and Christophers are the striking Kit rather than Chris.

With this niche trend in mind, here is a rundown of some one-syllable diminutives that have become overlooked since they were developed in the Middle Ages. Several of them, perhaps surprisingly, were unisex.

Bess

In the 16th century Bess was a popular nickname for Elizabeth. You could almost say that it was the diminutive for the name, as the most famous bearer, Elizabeth I, was known fondly as “Good Queen Bess“. It began to lose favour in the 18th century, but was revived as Bessie in the 19th. In some instances, Bess was also used as a diminutive for Beatrice.

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Boys’ Names: 10 New Favorites

new boys' names

by Esmeralda Rocha

In Part one of our blog on names new to the Nameberry database, we discussed highlights of our recent additions to the girls’ database. Part two focuses on our favorite ten additions to the boys’ name database.

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