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Category: Historic Names

two aggies

By Linda Rosenkrantz

For what seems like forever, this pair of sainted sister names, Agnes and Agatha, have seemed like the quintessential starched, buttoned-up, high-lace-collared, mauve-dressed Great-Great-Grandmother appellations.

I’d like to propose that we let the unbuttoning commence.

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Literary Namesakes: Last names first

literary baby names

By Jackie, aka CallmeCalliope at namesplash 

Names most familiar as surnames are now prevalent in the Top 100; popular examples include Mason, Parker, Lincoln, and Madison. While the concept certainly isn’t new, surnames as first names are becoming increasingly fashionable, and parents are making more adventurous choices.

While digging through the family tree is one way to find a meaningful surname to use, culturally significant figures could serve as another source for namesakes. Here, I’ve sifted through the surnames names of some of the most famous and beloved writers to find those most wearable as first names. Though several of these names would make very unique choices, they still incorporate the popular sounds found in many other trending surnames. Choosing the surname of a favorite storyteller or poet also provides an opportunity to embed meaning and personal significance into a child’s name.

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Bad Girls with Good Names

bad girl names

Why is it that so many bad girls, from the biblical temptress to the modern Bond girl, usually have such pretty and beguiling names? Does that touch of evil give the name some added zing or does it taint it forever.…or does it have no effect at all? Here are some prime examples that span across that spectrum.

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What Names Are Ripe for Revival?

rsz_screen_shot_2014-06-04_at_32946_pm

You know who are the biggest berries of all?  That’s right, me and LindaEven if we didn’t work here, we’d probably spend all our time obsessively tooling around the site.

And though we wrote all the name entries ourselves, we’re constantly re-encountering names that we maybe kinda forgot existed and now appreciate anew.  Wow, we think.  That’s a cool one.  Wonder if it will ever come back?

This just happened to me with the name Cyrilla.  The boys’ equivalent Cyril is handsome if a bit effete for the modern world, though it may get rediscovered thanks to the revival of the similar Cyrus and Silas. But what about Cyrilla? That’s a cool old name that’s at once exotic and familiar, highly unusual — there were NO girls named Cyrilla recorded on the most recent Social Security list — yet not invented. Besides being the feminine form of the Latin Cyril, it’s also a botanical name for flowering plant found throughout the tropics.

So I nominate Cyrilla as a name that’s ripe for revival. What are some old names you think might become new again?

Photo of antique doll from Kathy Libraty’s Antiques at Ruby Lane.

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cowboy baby names

There’s just something about a cowboy name. So lean and lanky, with a relaxed, ambling swagger that calls up the (perhaps romanticized) romance of the Old West. From real life frontier heroes to the characters and stars of early movie westerns and 1950s TV shows, these names project a nostalgic image that’s pretty dang irresistible.

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