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baby boy names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Let’s say you’re naming a son.

You’re a buttoned-up kind of family, and the classics seem like the right route.

The only problem?

Your nephew is James, your favorite cousin is expecting a Henry, and William is your BFF’s #1 choice.  Charles was a frontrunner, except there’s already a little Charlie two doors down – and she’s a girl.

What’s a parent to do?  Go further back, of course.

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Baby Name Nicknames: Getting to Gus

posted by: Nook of Names View all posts by this author
gus2

By K. M. Sheard, Nook of Names

Do you like Gus as a short name, but are not so keen on Augustus and its related names August and Augustine?

Here are some alternatives!

Agastya — A name from Hindu mythology. Agastya is a name of Shiva, as well as the name of a legendary Hindu sage, believed to have received many of the earliest mantras which feature in the Rig Veda from Brahman. It is also the Indian name for Canopus. It comes from the Sanskrit, and is usually translated as ‘mountain-thrower’.

Angus — a classic and very old Gaelic name, from the Old Irish óen ‘one’ + gus ‘excellence’, ‘force’ and ‘courage’. The standard modern Gaelic form is Aonghas, but Aengus, Aonghus, Oenghus and Óengus are all known. In Irish myth Aengus is the God of love, youth and poetic inspiration.

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august

By Linda Rosenkrantz

August is here, and while it might not have as many related names as June or July, it still deserves its due.  August may be hot and humid, and bring with it tropical storms and hurricanes, but it’s also a time for holidays and getaways–and some distinguished baby names.

Before it was renamed it in honor of the Emperor Augustus for the Julian calendar, it was known as Sextilis, as it was the sixth month of the Roman calendar—but we’ll let that one alone as we examine some other month-related names for your August babe.

AugustThis has become the most popular month name for boys, now at Number 333; it was as high as 175 at the end of the nineteenth century.  Always popular in Scandinavia, August is currently 28 in Denmark, and it’s been chosen for their sons by such celebs as Mariska Hargitay and Dave MatthewsGarth Brooks used it for his daughter, but that seems to have been something of an anomaly, at least so far. Its use as a word name—with the accent on the second syllable—lends August a dignified, upstanding element.  Namesakes include two notable playwrights: August Strindberg and August Wilson. And it comes with a choice of two friendly nicknames: Augie or Gus.

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designer4

This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel checks the labels on designer kids’ clothes and finds some stylish, sassy name options.

Every year a few kids are named after high-end designers, like Armani and Chanel.  Despite their luxury brand status, the names tend to feel a little forced.  Chances are that a kid destined to graduate from a Dior couture layette to Gucci toddler gear would never wear a name so obvious.

But your kid’s closet or the racks at the local baby boutique could serve as inspiration for a baby name.  Designers aplenty have launched pint-sized versions of their runway-worthy duds.  Equally intriguing are the names of the many labels launched to help us dress our kids in the latest fashions.

Ever since Elisabeth started writing her style column, I’ve been thinking: yes, the stuff is great.  But aren’t those names equally worthy of attention?

GIRLS

AGATHA

ANAIS

ELIANE

FLORENCE

IRIS Iris + Ivy is another irresistible pair that could work as well for siblings as it does for a clothing line

IVY

HANNAHanna Anderson has been bringing Scandinavian style to the states for years.

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Boys’ Names: The Happy Ending

frenchS

Maybe contemplating the name Rufus sparked my revelation.  Or it might have hit me when I encountered an Otis.  Whatever the inspiration, I suddenly realized that my most-loved boys’ names end in the letter s.  Yep, almost all of them.

Amias?  One of my all-time underappreciated favorites.

Amadeus and MilesMusic to my ears.

Augustus, Octavius, Cassius, and Aurelius? Love, love, love, and love.

What is it about s-ending names that hold such appeal?

It’s true, I prefer their soft, sybillant ending to the harder –er ending that’s so popular right now for boys’ names.  Besides being more gentle, it feels a bit more surprising, intrinsically distinctive.

Many of my favorite classic boys’ names end in s: Thomas, James, Louis, Charles, and Nicholas.  And trendier choices of decades past, from Chris and Curtis to Dennis and Douglas to Ross and Russ to Jess and Wes, helped whet the overall appetite for s-ending names.

Some of the names that end in s are fairly fashionable today.  These include:

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