Category: Abby Sandel

Modern Virtue Names

Virtue

By Abby Sandel

Virtue names go way back. The Pilgrims brought them to Plymouth Rock. A handful of classics, like Grace and Hope, have almost always ranked in the US Top 1000.

But there’s a new kind of virtue name in vogue today: the modern virtue. These names are less specifically religious. True, there’s no shortage of names like Miracle and Messiah. But many of the modern virtue choices are word names that carry a great deal of meaning, but aren’t expressly about faith.

Instead, they’re about bravery, achievement, fairness, and peace. It’s easy to imagine any parent hoping their child will embody these qualities. No surprise, then, that these names are very much in use in 2016.

Actor turned director and activist Nate Parker and wife Sarah DiSanto are the latest high profile couple to choose a modern virtue name for their new arrival. Parker’s latest project is The Birth of a Nation, the story of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. The couple named their daughter Justice.

It’s time for a closer look at the modern virtue names that have become mainstream in recent years.

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Name Sage:Name plus nickname

Does looking for a great nickname PLUS a formal name they both love spell double trouble? They found exactly the right name for their firstborn, but now they’re struggling to narrow down the options for their new daughter.

Kate writes:

I am driving myself crazy trying to find a name for our baby girl due in October. Our son is named Oliver Mark. We call him Ollie. Our last name is a short W last name.

I prefer vintage names, while my husband is all over the place. We are nickname people, so whichever name we choose needs a sweet nickname to go along with it.

We have both always loved the name Abigail, however I don’t like Abby and it is too popular, so its been vetoed. The nickname Emmie is at the top of our list. We like Emilia, but I worry about a lifetime of having to correct her name as it sounds so similar to Amelia.

I also like Ruby, Matilda (Tilly), Eloise (Ellie), and Beatrice (Bea) – but my husband doesn’t like Beatrice. He also likes Penny (but not Penelope) and Aria, which just seems too trendy to me.

We both like Winifrid (Winnie), but I’m not sure if it is too formal for us, and having a W last name I don’t know if it plays.

Middle name possibilities are Kate (my name) as well as Clementine, which has been her nickname in utero (though maybe a bit too out there for a first name pick for us).

The Name Sage replies:

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boyish nicknames for girls

By Abby Sandel

When it comes to naming a girl in 2016, anything goes. Like your names elaborate, even frilly? Celebrity choices like Elizabella and Arabella might be for you. Prefer something borrowed straight from the boys? Celebs have named their daughters Wyatt and James, and names like Quinn, Logan, and Riley are popular for boys and girls alike.

Both trends represent extremes, but happily there’s a middle ground: the feminine name with a built-in boyish nickname.

Scrubs alum Sarah Chalke recently chose this approach for naming her new daughter with husband Jamie Afifi. They’re already parents to son Charlie Rhodes. Now the couple has welcomed daughter Frances, but they’re calling her Frankie. It’s an honor name, inspired by Sarah’s grandfather.

The mix of classic given name and a casual, gender-neutral nickname makes for a winning combination.

Let’s take a closer look at the name Sarah and Jamie chose, and some other great girl names in the same style.

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Baby Names: Spelling Counts

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts
baby name spelling

She’s found the perfect name for her Fall 2016 baby. But how to spell it? The Name Sage wades into the data to find the best answer – but wants to hear your opinion, too! 

Lindsey writes:

I’m trying to decide on a name for my little girl and I’m stuck.

The options are either just Calli or a longer version of the name, like Calianna. (You pronounce the –anna like Anna in Frozen.) Or maybe Calli (first name) with Anna (middle name) – except I might merge it into Calianna anyway.

I like short and simple, but I like the longer name, too. But will spelling be a problem? Pronunciation?

My name doesn’t really have nicknames, so it’s always been pretty simple! I’d love some input.

The Name Sage replies:

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Magical Baby Names from Harry Potter

Harry Potter names

By Abby Sandel

Are you ready to go back to Hogwarts?

On July 31st, the eighth installment in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will be released. A two-part stage play based on the story debuted in London’s West End earlier this summer.

Thanks to a successful #KeeptheSecrets campaign, there’s been little coverage of the new adventures for Harry, Hermione, and Ron, but we do know that all three characters return – along with many of our other favorites.

We’ll meet their children, too. The next generation was introduced briefly in Book Seven’s epilogue, so no spoilers here.

Instead, let’s look at – what else! – the Harry Potter baby names that have caught on (or not) in the nineteen years since we first met an eleven-year-old wizard named Harry Potter.

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