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Category: Trends and Predictions

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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Sibling Names: The latest from London

British sibling names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

We love combing the birth announcements in the London Telegraph for baby name trends and ideas.

Each time we issue a report, we look for a different focus — unusual names, fascinating middle name combinations — and today it’s sibling names.

While we hate to exclude singletons with such wonderful names as Aurelia Liliana Rosabel and Tiago Rafferty Redfern, the sibling names were even juicier.

Some observations: The newest vintage names being unpacked from mothballs in England are Martha and Herbert.  Some of the most charming combinations mix ethnicities (Emiko and Freddie) or match first letters (Orlando and Ophelia).  Out-of-the-box middle names include word names, place-names, and surnames such as Spark, Houston, and Allgood.

Oh, and, as usual, these British parents manage to find baby names that are distinctive and adventurous and gorgeous without resorting to (almost ever) strange inventions or kree8tiv spellings.

Our picks from the latest announcements:

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posted by: Prooffreader View all posts by this author
mythological baby names

By David Taylor, prooffreader.com

There is no doubt that mythological names from a variety of ancient cultures have become increasingly popular with baby namers. The graphics below will make this visually—and eminently—clear.

mytholgirls

mytholboys

 

As you can see, mythological boys’ names were pretty negligible until the mid-1990s, after which they’ve had quite an explosion, with boys named Phoenix, Odin and Ares leading the pack.

Girls were more often named after mythological figures in the past, but their use has increased as well, and the actual names have changed. In 1940, Minerva and Vesta were the most popular (a virgin Greek warrior goddess and a virgin Roman goddess of the hearth … I’ll let you draw any patterns from this). Now it’s Isis (certain to decrease in light of the news from Iraq these days), Thalia (which had quite a momentary spike in 1993) and Persephone. Also on the list is Eris, an unusual choice as she’s the Greek goddess of strife, who was pretty much responsible for the Trojan War.

Analyzing name categories like this is a unique challenge; the starting material is a simple list of names, with no indication as to what parents were thinking. Many names happen to be mythological, but exist as common names from other traditions (for example, Ora was a common girls’ name a century ago, and only coincidentally happens to be a Balto-Slavic goddess as well). To eliminate these cases, I limited the list to Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian names, since they were by far the most heavily represented in this American baby names database. (It’s too bad I had to eliminate the Celtic, but so many of those names are both mythological and common names, like Brigid and Dylan.)

The object of the exercise was to come up with a list of names that, all things being equal, prospective parents would probably have known were mythological, and that people their children meet might reasonably be expected to know are mythological. Therefore, names like Amon had to go; he’s an Egyptian god, but he’s also a Hebrew name. I made use of nameberry.com’s name origins database (with some confirmation rom others) to make judgment calls when a name’s mythological nature was unclear.

Of course, in a process like this, you can’t have an overall count, because the names are manually curated and the result would be extremely curator-dependent. Therefore, I charted the Top 10 names that were left after the culling, which of course is also curator-dependent, but far less so.

 

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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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