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Category: baby name January

Four-Syllable Names: A whole lotta name

4-syll

Maybe it has something to do with Harry Potter attuning our ears to long Latinate names like Bartemius and Xenophilius—after that, suddenly the four syllables of Tiberius and Cornelius or Persephone no longer seem too weighty for a modern little babe.

After all, Isabella is the Number 2 girl’s name– and other four-syllable names like Penelope, Amelia, Cecilia, Seraphina and Valentina are standing right in line to join her. So clearly, many parents today are looking for just such substantial names, just as others are seeking them out to balance a short, brisk surname.

Here are our Nameberry Picks of the 20 + freshest four-syllable choices on the table. (But do note that variations in pronunciation and/or speedy speech can sometimes elide four syllables into three.)

GIRLS

Araminta—a delicate and lovely name long used in England and just now making a limited debut in the US. Refreshing nicknames: Minta and Minty.

Calliope—an upbeat, energetic name combining an ancient Greek heritage—Calliope is the mythological muse of epic poetry–with the cheerful musical sound of the carousel instrument.

Dorothea and Theodora are reverse mirror images of each other, both meaning ‘gift of God’ and both newly stylish, both more feminine versions of  rising three-syllable names—Dorothy and Theodore.

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Winter Baby Names: From Amethyst to Zohara

winter

It’s the first day of winter–and plummeting temperatures and shorter days mean just one thing at Nameberry: it’s time to revisit  and update our annual survey of winter baby names. Just a few years ago, we might have said that Winter was the season least friendly to names, whereas now it seems to offer the newest choices for the adventurous baby namer.

Why?  Two reasons:  Nicole Richie choosing Winter as one of the middle names for her high-profile little girl Harlow and then Gretchen Mol using it as her daughter’s first, plus January Jones, beauteous star of the hit show Mad Men.

Winter is the season name that’s seen the least amount of use over the years, yet one that holds the most potential for boys as well as girls.  Translations of the seasonal name include the French Hiver (pronounced ee-vair), Italian Inverno, and in Spanish, Invierno.   In Dutch and German, it’s still Winter and and in Swedish, the comical-sounding (to the English speaker’s ear) Vinter.

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Winter Baby Names

winterboy

Just a few years ago, it might have been fair to say that Winter was the season least friendly to names, while now it seems to offer the newest choices for the adventurous baby namer.   Why?  Two reasons:  Nicole Richie choosing Winter as one of the middle names for her high-profile little girl Harlow, and January Jones, beauteous star of noteworthy new show Mad Men.

WINTER is the season name that’s seen the least amount of use over the years, yet one that holds the most potential for boys as well as girls.  Variations include WINTERS, WYNTER, and (please don’t) WINTR.  Translations of the seasonal name include the French Hiver (pronounced ee-vair), Italian INVERNO, and in Spanish, INVIERNO.   In Dutch and German, it’s still Winter and and in Swedish, the comical-sounding (to the English speaker’s ear) VINTER.

In mythology, winter was said to be caused by DEMETER in grief over the loss of her daughter PERSEPHONE, consigned forever to the underworld (but rising again as a baby name, with or without the pronunciation of the final long e).

DECEMBER, still a highly unusual month name yet certainly a usable one, means ten.  Other versions you may want to consider: DECIMA, name of the Roman goddess of childbirth; DECEMBRA, DECIMUS, or DECIODecember’s flower is the narcissus or holly, suggesting the names NARCISSA (difficult at best) and HOLLY (already a bit worn at the edges).  December gem TURQUOISE can work as a name, as can AQUA or its Turkish equivalent FAIRUZA.   Red, however, seems more suitable as December’s color, which leads you to a whole spectrum of great names, from SCARLETT to CRIMSON to RUFUS and RORY.

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Winter Baby Names: What’s Your Favorite?

winterbaby

We’ve noticed a lot of expectant parents find their way to nameberry searching for winter baby namesNicole Richie may have sparked the thought last year when she chose one of the winter baby names for her daughter, Harlow Winter Kate.  Or perhaps it was Mad Men‘s January Jones who trained the spotlight on the idea of winter names.

Names that symbolize winter (or say it straight out) might be thought of as a branch of day names, the ancient class of names used by some cultures in Africa and elsewhere based on the day or time of year a baby is born. These can denote a time of day (Morning, Afternoon), a day of the week (like Nicole Kidman’s Sunday), a month (we all know about June and August), a holiday such as Easter or Christmas, or a season, with Summer and Autumn being much more popular in the past than Winter.

Day names of all kinds are undergoing a revival as parents search for unique names that carry personal meaning. Since many of the parents flocking to nameberry right now are expecting over the winter months, this seems an appropriate topic for a nameberry poll. Of the newest, freshest choices for girls, what’s your very favorite?


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