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animal names for babies

by Pamela Redmond Satran
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.

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state names

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.

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virtueboy2

By Linda Rosenkrantz

When we hear the phrase ‘virtue names’ we tend to think first and foremost of the girls—Faith, Hope and Grace, Prudence and Patience.  But some parents are beginning to acknowledge that there are good boys as well as girls, and considering some of the old male virtue names that have been off the grid for decades, and would make especially meaningful middles.

Abel – Okay, Abel is more biblical name than virtue, but its modern appeal hinges on its literal meaning of ready, willing, and….   Plus Abel (or Able) is such an excellent all-around virtue.

Constant—Whereas the feminine Constance has long been in common usage, Constant never has in this country—although it is heard in France. Much more usable here is Roman emperor/papal/video-game name Constantine, which has been on the US list sporadically since the nineteenth century.

Earnest/ErnestHard to resist starting this off with “the importance of being earnest”—but Earnest, condensed to Ernest can definitely be considered very much a virtue name.  This country was at one time filled with Ernies—Ernest was a Top 25 name in the 1890s and stayed in the Top 50 through 1956, while the Earnest version was also a well-used early option, as high as Number 107 in 1907. And Ernest certainly has his share of notable namesakes, most famously Mr. Hemingway.

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bbg11

We’re happy to announce the birth of our third Nameberry Guide ebook, Best Baby Names for Girls! In it we’ve selected from the over 20,000 girls’ names on Nameberry the 650 choices we think most likely to succeed at containing the perfect choice for your baby daughter. Now we’re going even further. We’ve winnowed that 650 down to a single representative entry plus two runners-up in a dozen popular categories, with a taste of what’s said about each one in the book. Get your copy to see the full list today!

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jazzella

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The connection to the haunting voice of a well known jazz or blues singer definitely adds an element of –well—rhythm and blues—to a name’s image, an extra infusion of richness and pizzazz. Boyish Billie takes on new depth when listening to Lady Day, Etta goes from fusty to soulful via the “At Last” singer James.  Here then,  the Nameberry Picks of the jazziest ‘girl’ jazz singer names.

BILLIE

Billie Holiday, one of the greatest and most tragic jazz singers of all time, was born with the name Eleanora and took her professional name from an actress she admired called Billie Dove—who was originally Bertha.  Billie is a tomboyish nickname name that was in the Top 100 from 1928 to 1935, and now seems to be making a return—Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane have a young daughter named Billie Beatrice.

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