Category: Nameberry Picks
By Linda Rosenkrantz
M names for girls have been going through a kind of hiatus, with only two appearances in the current Top 50—Mia and Madison. That’s a far cry from the 00s, when there were six, and the 80s, when there were seven (Misty!).
So I think we’re ripe for an M-girl uprising, simply because there are such gorgeous choices waiting in the wings! Here are 15 of the very best, including a pair of offbeat florals and some sweet vintage nicknames.
The 100 best movies, restaurants, novels, jobs, apps – the world is full of lists cataloging the premiere picks of all kinds of things. So why not, we thought, baby names?
The question we asked ourselves: If an expectant parent today were limited to only 100 choices from which to name their child, what should those names be? Which names offer the best balance of appeal and distinctiveness, of authenticity and creativity, at this moment in time? Which names sound both adorable for a 2016 baby and seem most likely to serve her or him well into the 22nd century?
Are there other wonderful baby names out there? Of course, thousands of them. But if we can only have 100, these are our picks for the very best, and why they made the cut:
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In the seventeenth century, for some of the most puritanical of the Puritans, even biblical and saints’ names were not pure enough to bestow on their children, and so they turned instead to words that embodied the Christian virtues. These ranged from extreme phrases like Sorry-for-sin and Search-the-Scriptures (which, understandably, never came into general use) to simpler virtue names like Silence and Salvation.
The virtue names that have survived in this country were for the most part the unfussy, one-syllable girls’ names with positive meanings, such as Joy, Hope, Grace and Faith. But then, in the late 1990s, a door was opened to more elaborate examples by the popularity of the TV show Felicity, and its appealing heroine. Felicity (also the name of an American Girl Colonial doll) reached a high point on the girls’ list in 1999, a year after the show debuted, leading parents to consider others long forgotten relics.
Here are the Nameberry picks of the twelve best virtue names:
- Amity—like all the virtue names ending in ity, Amity has an attractive daintiness combined with an admirable meaning—in this case, friendship. It could be a modernized (or antiquated, depending how you look at it) namesake for an Aunt Amy.
- Clarity—we like it much better than Charity or—oh no—Chastity. And Clare makes a nice short form.
- Clemency—Clemency, the name of a character in one of Charles Dicken’s lesser known Christmas novellas, The Battle of Life, can be seen as an offbeat alternative to Clementine.
- Constance was originally used in a religious context which has been lost over the years. There are many Constances found in history and literature: there was Constance of Brittany, mother of young Prince Arthur who appears in Shakespeare’s King John, a daughter of William the Conqueror, and characters in Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer and Dumas’s The Three Musketeers. Constance hasn’t been much heard in the 21st century—probably because of the dated nickname Connie. The Puritans also used Constant.
Baby names with animal meanings, whether they come right out and announce them ala Fox or keep them secret, as with Yara or Poe, are an intriguing and fashionable group. They may appeal to animal lovers or parents who love nature names, or the animal meaning may be a happy bonus aspect of a name you already love. Here, our dozen favorite baby names with animal meanings.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
When it comes to picking a place name for your child, you could consider a continent like Asia, a country like India, a city like Vienna or Verona…or one of the select group of U.S. states that lend themselves to babies’ birth certificates. Here are the Nameberry picks of the best state names and how they came to be—with their mix of Native American, British and French origins.