Category: Spellings, Sounds and Initials
This past week was different. Could we be ushering in a new era of D and E names? Or is it just coincidence that three celeb birth announcements for baby boys started with the letter D this week?
With favorites like Ella and Emma, it comes as no surprise that the letter E is currently the fifth most popular letter for girls’ given names in the US. For boys, D ranked #5 last year (behind J, A, C, and M) while E came in at #8.
What does that mean for expectant parents? If you’re after a truly stand-out name, it might be worth considering a lesser-used initial, like H, T, O, or F. Alternately, a really unusual name, like Avalon or Arden, isn’t so strange when lots of little girls are answering to Ava and Allison.
D and E names could hit that sweet spot – familiar, but not overused. Or they could be catching on, ready to eclipse A in the next few years.
Now, on to those great D and E baby names in news:
by Linda Rosenkrantz
Y is one of the loneliest letters in babyname land. I mean when’s the last time you heard someone say they were looking for a name starting with Y? Not that often, I bet! But if you extend the net across many cultures, you can pull together quite a respectable little group.
The rising star among them is surely Yvaine, a Scottish name meaning, appropriately, “evening star,” which came to the fore via Neil Gaiman’s book Stardust, made into a movie starring Claire Danes as the ‘fallen angel.’
Moving on, we’ll start with the two Y choices that have been used often enough in this country to reach the US Top 100:
Yvonne is one of the pair of Y names to make it to that inner circle, which she did through most of the 1930’s. She was on the list from 1892, and is still barely hanging on at Number 937. A dark and sultry name, kinda like the characters Yvonne De Carlo (born Peggy) played in lavish Technicolor epics—before she morphed into Lily Munster. Yvonne Craig portrayed Batgirl in the sixties Batman TV series
Yolanda is the second of two to rank in the Top 100, dropping in for four years in the sixties and seventies, though she’d been there lower on the Social Security list from 1905 to 2002. A name that appeared in several medieval romances, Yolanda was also borne by a Queen of Scotland and a sister-in-law of Henry VI of England. Yolanda is the Spanish language version of Violet, though it has an entirely different feel.
Over history, have American parents favored the soft or hard G sound for their children? I have put together the G names that have been in the Top 100 since 1880, and created a chart showing which names have been on top in each decade. And as an attempt to show things visually, I have also highlighted the names that begin with the hard G sound…
If last week’s baby name news was all about modern classic picks for boys, this week goes to the girls.
When I look at the list, I think this: we talk about names. We discuss their history and associations, their meanings and use.
But do we really fall in love with sounds? I’m drawn to the lilting l and the vibrant long a, the sharp v and the cool oo.
A friend is searching for baby boy names that start out long – three or more syllables long – and can be reduced to one-syllable nicknames.
If you’ve got a two-syllable last name, this is a good strategy. You end up with not one but two euphonic pairings. And your child has the benefit of a proper, even imposing formal name as well as a short, friendly, accessible nickname.
Some stylish options for long baby boy names with short nicknames: