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Category: baby name Justice

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

When we hear the phrase ‘virtue names’ we tend to think first and foremost of the girls—Faith, Hope and Grace, Prudence and Patience.  But some parents are beginning to acknowledge that there are good boys as well as girls, and considering some of the old male virtue names that have been off the grid for decades, and would make especially meaningful middles.

Abel – Okay, Abel is more biblical name than virtue, but its modern appeal hinges on its literal meaning of ready, willing, and….   Plus Abel (or Able) is such an excellent all-around virtue.

Constant—Whereas the feminine Constance has long been in common usage, Constant never has in this country—although it is heard in France. Much more usable here is Roman emperor/papal/video-game name Constantine, which has been on the US list sporadically since the nineteenth century.

Earnest/ErnestHard to resist starting this off with “the importance of being earnest”—but Earnest, condensed to Ernest can definitely be considered very much a virtue name.  This country was at one time filled with Ernies—Ernest was a Top 25 name in the 1890s and stayed in the Top 50 through 1956, while the Earnest version was also a well-used early option, as high as Number 107 in 1907. And Ernest certainly has his share of notable namesakes, most famously Mr. Hemingway.

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Word Names: Names with real meaning

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Not since the Virtue Names of the Puritans have so many new words morphed into names. In recent years we’ve seen everything from the ridiculous (Peanut, Pirate) to the sublime (Serenity, Dream), and lately there’s been a rush of new weather, seasonal, and directional names. What’s next? Here are a few possibilities.

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