Category: baby name Frost

17 Medieval Hipster Names

Medieval hipster names

By Arika Okrent

Looking for a unique name with some historical cachet? The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources is the place to go. It is a hefty work of scholarship that “aims to contain all given (fore, Christian) names recorded in European sources written between 500 and 1600, less the names of historical/non-contemporary people and names occurring only in fictional literature or poetry.”

The dictionary so far has over 1000 names, documented with citations and etymologies. They are constantly adding to the collection, planned in two phases, first looking at Western Europe and Hungary and then Eastern Europe. They also maintain an active blog with interesting facts about medieval naming practices and a “Mystery Monday” feature, covering documented names that have uncertain etymologies.

Here are 17 medieval names that would make great hipster baby names today.

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snow baby names

by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz/Nameberry

Our friends over at Today Parents asked us to write about names for babies born during the massive blizzard in the Northeast US this week.  If you’re expecting a baby during the current Snowpocalypse – or are just thinking you might put those snow days to good use in trying for one – you may want to find baby naming inspiration in one of these snow-themed choices.  

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Out-of-the-box word  baby names are highlighted in the Nameberry 9 this week, unearthed as always, by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain.

It’s been another big week for noun names.  They were all over Hollywood gossip blogs, and appeared in plenty of workaday birth announcements, too.

There’s no doubt that this is a rich category.  Flower names make us consider trees – meet my daughter, Lily, and my son, Cedar.  Weather and birds feel like inexhaustible sources of inspiration.  There are the old school, Puritan-era virtue names, but also more recent innovations, rich with meaning.

Sometimes the influence is more subtle.  Surname Brooks is preppier than River, but both bring to mind the great outdoors.  Clementine and Olive have been used for so long we consider them names, but they’re both on the upswing today, lifted by the trend.

May, June, and August are mainstream, but I’m not so sure about January, and it is always surprising to hear September, October, or NovemberApril is definitely a noun name, but Avril is cooler.  And if Avril is an option, how about Janvier?

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Winter baby names are, quite literally, cool. While summer names can be sultry, spring names fresh and autumn names colorful, the increasingly trendy wintry names have an image that is crisp and clear, white and snowy. Some of these cold-climate names are fairly obvious—Winter being the extreme example– while others are a bit more subtle, ranging from calendar months to ski resorts to weather conditions to international twists.

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Poet Names: Chaucer, Cullen & Kipling


It’s National Poetry Month, the perfect moment to celebrate the bards and bardesses of the past and present, a surprising number of whom just happened to born with birth-certificate-ready surnames. In addition to those below, there are other great choices like Auden, Eliot and Emerson, Lowell, Millay, Nash, Owen, Poe, Reese and Schuyler, but we’ve picked what we think are the best poet names for now.

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