Category: baby name Maisie


This week for her Nameberry 9 newsiest names, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel highlights some names that so unusual, they really off the grid!

Jacob and Sophia might still be on top of the US rankings, but any name nerd knows this for sure: names change.

Sometimes the changes are subtle.  In the late 1800s, Sallie was more popular than Sally.  In the 1950s, Kerry, Jimmie, and Lester were ordinary names for little boys, and their sisters were called Toni, Yolanda, and Marlene.

It’s easy to focus on the big stories – the headline-grabbing rise of Messiah and King, for example – but I like this quote from last week’s Oxford Dictionaries blog:

… it makes sense that we constantly adapt and expand our vocabulary to account for new concepts, events, inventions, etc. For example, we may invent new words, give existing words new meanings, or borrow words from other languages.

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Merry Month of May Baby Names


Are you looking for a name for your May baby?  How about the idea of  choosing one that incorporates the pretty sound of the month into her –or his– name?  One way would be to take the vintage smoosh route, with something like Annamae or Ellamae or Maybeth, but we think an unembellished choice would be better.

May and MaeYes, they sound identical, and share a sweet faded yet fresh flowery feel, but there are some slight—almost indefinable—differences in tone aMay started as one of the innumerable pet forms of Mary and Margaret, as well as a springtime month name along with April and June.   She’s represented in literature by May Bartram in Henry James’s The Beast in the Jungle and May Welland in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.  Actresses Emily Morton and Madeline Stowe named their daughters May, and Eric Clapton and Jodie Sweetin used it in middle place for theirs.

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Aussie Names: Big there, not here


In her guest blog, Anna Otto, of the popular site Waltzing More Than Matilda, introduces names particular to the land of Oz, explains their origins  and tells us why we might consider importing them.

Australia and the United States share many popular names and name trends, but here are some examples familiar to us that have never made the US Top 1000. A few are popular in Australia, several are fashionable, rising in popularity, or well-used, and a couple are notable for becoming the choice of hip parents. But can any of these names make it in America?  Some might just need a bit more exposure, while others are probably not as usable. Which do you feel strangely drawn to, and which simply bewilder you? 

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May Names: Mabel, Mavis & Mae


Today being the first day of the merry month of May, why not consider a name that starts with that upbeat, springlike syllable for your baby born this month?  Here are the most likely May names suspects.

MABEL –When Bruce Willis, who, with then-wife Demi Moore, was one of the original creative baby namers with older daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, recently named his baby girl Mabel Ray, he brought this vintage Victorian charmer further into the modern world orbit.  It had already been used by Chad Lowe, Nenah Cherry and Dermot Mulroney, as well as for the sitcom baby on Mad About You. Mabel—originally a short form of Amabel—could well join other ascending sassy showgirl names like Ruby and Sadie. Maybelle is rarely heard outside Nashville.

MACYMacy entered the popularity list in 1990—almost a decade after it had been noticed on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful—and has been well used ever since, a much more modern sounding replacement for the dated Tracy and Stacy, and more solid than the lacy Lacey.  Apart from the department store chain, the most noted bearer of the name, singer Macy Gray, was born Natalie McIntyre; Carmela Soprano/Nurse Jackie Edie Falco named her daughter Macy.

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Baby Name Mary

For the arrival of May, official month of the Virgin Mary, we revisit her name and some of its many variations.

May, as any Catholic schoolchild can tell you, is the official month of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.  Which might make Mary an appropriate name for a girl born this month, except after a 400 year run, Mary is more than ready for semi-retirement.

The good news is that you can hold onto Mary’s symbolic value by choosing one of her fresh, appealing variations.  And there are literally dozens of them, formal and breezily nicknameish, ultrafemme and down-to-earth.  Some of the options:

MADONNA – There’s only one Madonna – and it’s not the plaster one in the blue alcove at church.  The pop star has all but taken over this formerly holy name and rebranded it with a modern in-your-face sexuality.  Do you dare use it for your child?  Do you want to?  Maybe not yet, but with names like Elvis and Scarlett gaining widespread popularity a generation or two after the fame of their original bearers, we all might end up having grandchildren named Madonna.

MAE and MAY – A mere handful of years ago, Mae was a quintessential old-lady name, barely baby-appropriate, but today it feels as sweetly simple as a warm day in the sun.  Can be a short form for any of the Mary variations and also makes a good middle name.

MAISIEMaisie takes Daisy and raises it one.  An insouciant, charming name, Maisie can be given on its own or can be used as a short form for any of the Mary variations – or even for Margaret.

MAMIEMamie is sassier than either Mae or Maisie, though definitely in the same family.  An old-fashioned nickname that’s enjoying another day in the sun, Mamie was the name of President Eisenhower’s wife and is also the nickname of Meryl Streep’s actress daughter – both mother and daughter are properly named Mary Louise.

MANON – This French diminutive of Marie is very popular in its own right there and would make a distinctive and unusual choice here, but one with some genuine underpinnings.  Parents considering Manon should see the French film, Manon of the Spring.

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