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Double First Names: Mary Ann and Peggy Sue

double names

By Elisabeth Waugaman

The term ‘double names’ refers to the use of two separate first names as one, such as Billie Jean or Mary Jane or Billy Bob .

The practice developed for a variety of reasons. As populations grew, names necessarily became more complex in order to distinguish individuals from each other. Physical descriptions, occupations and locations of specific individuals became last names, as in John by the tower (John Tower), John the short, (John Short), John the Baker (John Baker).

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Night Names: Heavenly celestial choices

night names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Night and Day names. They’re as different as …well…night and day. Morning and afternoon names can be bright and sunny, while nocturnal names can have an air of subtle mystery.

What do we mean by night names? There are those that literally mean night, or born in the evening, there are astral names that relate to the starry night sky, lunar names associated with the moon, and god and goddess names connected with any of the above.

Here are some of the most usable:

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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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posted by: Nephele View all posts by this author
musical baby names

By Nephele

The character names to be found in the comical, light operas of Gilbert & Sullivan, for the most part, represent names that Victorian society either found to be fancifully appealing (as in the fairy names from Iolanthe) or absurdly amusing (as in the faux Japanese names from The Mikado). By comparison, some G&S character names may seem a bit mundane to us.

But viewing a rousing performance of The Pirates of Penzance could do much to redeem such names, as one finds oneself charmed by the dutiful and beautiful Mabel, or one cheers the “piratical maid of all work,” Ruth, who is later transformed into a feminist swashbuckler in her own right.

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boys' names 2014

by Pamela Redmond Satran

There’s a new class of boys’ names trending today that has a short clipped sound, contains only one syllable, is undeniably masculine yet not traditionally so.  Many of these boys’ names barely existed a generation or two ago: They’re definitely not your father’s or grandfather’s baby names.

But in some ways, they are the heirs to names like Glenn and Craig and Sean that took over in the 1960s and 70s from the traditional Bills and Toms.  They seek to reinvent masculinity while preserving qualities like strength and energy.

There are names with more conventional roots that you might consider part of this new brigade of short boys’ names: I’m thinking of such popular, stylish choices as Finn and Jack, Max and Jude.

But I’d like to focus today on those boys’ names that are newer and, some may say, fresher than Jack or Jude.   In 1970, most of these boys’ names barely squeaked onto the Social Security extended list, given to only a handful of baby boys.  Today, most are on the Top 1000, many of them moving up quickly.

The new boys’ names on the block include:

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