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Category: Spellings, Sounds and Initials

confused baby

Basil.

Elisabeth.

Giles.

Those are a few that perennially befuddle us. Even when we know how to pronounce them, we forget, or we encounter someone who pronounces them the other way.

Which name pronunciations are you unsure of? Either because the spellings are confusing, or because they’re pronounced different ways by different people, or because the pronunciations are counterintuitive, or you’re not familiar with their native cultures…..or, whyever.

We’ll try to help identify the correct pronunciations, and if we’re not sure, we can help each other!

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Unusual Baby Names: The Other A Names

baby names that start with A

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Everybody loves the letter A.

A is the most common first initial for baby names today.  Many of the most popular baby names start with A, including Ava, Abigail, and Amelia for girls, and Alexander, Andrew, and the Aiden constellation for boys.  And then there are all the fast-rising names that begin with A, from the Game of Thrones-inspired Arya to the biblical Asher to the hot celebrity names Anson and Azalea.

Why is A so favored?  The fact that it’s first may have something to do with giving it an image of primacy and importance.  And then there are the studies that say people whose names begin with A are more likely to earn As in school and may even live longer.

That makes a lot of good reasons to want to choose an A name for your baby.  But what are the best A names that are not overused or on their way to becoming too popular?

We combed the nearly 3500 unusual baby names that start with A on Nameberry to find the best choices below the Top 1000.  Here, our 100 favorites:

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Baby Name Trendspotting: Hello, Dolly!

posted by: Elea View all posts by this author
name trendspotting

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

Even though they didn’t make the top 20 list of names which had moved up the most in 2013, one thing I particularly noticed about the recent England and Wales data release was the number of “Dol” names that had shot onto the scene.

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O! Oh!..Those trendy o-ending girls!

o-end willow

We’ve long been loving o-ending boys’ names like Milo and Theo, but now we’re seeing that final vowel sound becoming a solid trend for girls. Except here names with the o-ending sound don’t necessarily end in ‘o’–it may also be represented by letters ow, oh or the French aux. Some prime examples: Marlowe has been a hot hit of late, and Isabeau is proving to be a more distinctive follow-up to the ubiquitous Isabel.

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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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