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Category: Historic Names

june14-judyg

By Denise K. Potter

The sixth month of the year includes the summer solstice along with the birthdays of lots of fascinating people —  big-screen stars, composers and artists, military and sports heroes, and one pioneering pacifist. The month itself has some serious mythological ties, having been named for the goddess of marriage.  Here are some of the best names connected to the month of June . One of them may even be perfect for your own little Junebug.

AudieAudie Leon Murphy was the most honored American military hero of World War II, awarded a total of 37 medals and decorations, including the Medal of Honor for his singlehanded attempt to hold off an infantry company of Germans for an hour in France in 1945. Today, Audie is more commonly used as a nickname for the girls name Audrey– that popular choice which is reminiscent of Old Hollywood glamour was Number 32 for girls last year.

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memorial14x

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The holiday we’re celebrating—originally called Decoration Day—was first commemorated in 1868, not long after the end of the Civil  War, the bitter, bloody battle between the North and the South that ripped the country apart.

Over the course of the war, more than a thousand soldiers reached the rank of general, six of whom, including Ulysses (born Hiram) S. Grant, went on to become U. S. presidents. And for our purposes, they provide us with a fascinating range of period names.

In addition to the expected profusion of Johns, Jameses, Williams and Thomases, we find many Latinate appellations such as Augustus, CassiusMarcellus, Gustavus and Theopholus; word names like Strong and Pleasant, and surnames Sullivan, Johnson and Jones.

From this cornucopia of intriguing choices, we pick 15 of the best:

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freya

Mythological names from a range of cultures are one of the hottest and most surprising baby name trends of recent years.

From Freya (that’s her in the picture) to Finn, Juno to Orion, ancient god and goddess names have begun populating modern nurseries and playgrounds.

What do you think of this style in general?  Do the personas and powers of the mythological figure factor into your liking of the names?  And what’s your favorite mythological name or names?

To jog your memory, here are our lists of Mythological Baby Names for Girls and  Mythological Names for Boys, along with a separate somewhat different list of Goddess Baby Names.

Which do you like the best?

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arika#2

By Arika Okrent

Arika Okrent is editor-at-large at TheWeek.com and a frequent contributor to Mental Floss. She is the author of In the Land of Invented Languages, a history of the attempt to build a better language. She holds a doctorate in linguistics and a first-level certification in Klingon. Thanks to Arika for permission to reprint this article from The Week.

Like a lot of people, I was entranced recently by this animated map of the most popular baby names for girls by state over the past 52 years. It shows how the country shifted from Mary to Lisa before giving over completely to Jennifer, after which the Jessica/Ashley and Emily/Emma battles eventually resolved into the current dominance of Sophia. The map was created by Reuben Fischer-Baum of Deadspin using baby name data from the Social Security Administration. The SSA website gives the top 1,000 boy and girl names (as reported on social security card applications) for each year from 1880 onward.

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may-archie

By Denise K. Potter

April showers bring May… baby names? The fifth month, along with tulips, orchids and apple blossoms, promises a number of colorful and exciting baby names, twelve to be exact, that denote its history. This month, it’s astronauts, record-breaking aviators, activists and Olympic athletes who grace the charts of notable May names. Take a look and see if maybe one might be a perfect match for any future Taurus or Gemini.

Alan—The first American to enter outer space, on May 5, 1961, was Alan Shepard, piloting the Freedom 7 spacecraft. This triumph took place during the era of booming technology that became known as the Space Race. The Irish name meaning “handsome, cheerful” is one of three popular spellings, along with Allen and Allan.

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