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The Story of O Names: Then and Now

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o---letter

By Kelli Brady of  NameFreak!

Apart from the letter ‘U’, ‘O’ is the least likely vowel to be used at the beginning of names. In fact, there have been zero ‘U’ names in the Top 100 since 1880. On my blog I have already looked at I names, and putting together posts on’ A’ names and ‘E’ names is a daunting task at this point, so, without further ado, the ‘O’ names!

In 1880, there were three ‘O’ boy names in the Top 100: Oliver, Oscar and Otto. While Otto fell out after 1898 and Oliver became sporadic from 1897 until it fell out after 1903, Oscar stayed on top through 1925. Otis also made some appearances in 1899, 1905 and 1909, but from 1926 through 2001 there were no ‘O’ boy names in the Top 100. In 2002, Owen appeared and remains so currently. Oliver returned to the Top 100 in 2009 and also remains.

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grandmaviolet

If you don’t have a beloved Gran of your own to name your baby after, how about looking for some outside inspiration from a pop culture Nana?  Here’s a list of TV grandmothers, from the maternal to the monstrous (looking at you, Livia Soprano), the chic to the crotchety, whose names were seen as elderly at the time of their shows’ creation—from the 1950’s to the present—but which have become totally baby friendly today.

Here, the Nameberry picks of the 20 best Grandma TV baby names:

Adele   True Blood

Thanks in large part to the single-named British singer, Adele popped into the Top 1000 last year at Number 627 and we expect to see it ranking considerably higher on the new list to be released next month.  Molly Ringwald used it for her daughter in 2009.

Bea  That ‘70s Show; Bee  The Andy Griffith Show

Bea and Bee have come a long way from Opie’s Aunt Bee (who was actually a surrogate Grandma, but let’s not get technical), because of the newfound popularity of Beatrice and Beatrix

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abbymarigold

In this turned-around pre-holiday week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel offers her baby name wish list, as well as her picks of the newsiest Nameberry 9 names.

With the holidays in full swing, I thought it was time for a wish list.

I’d love to magically know how to pronounce every child’s name at first glance.

A crystal ball to find out which noun names will wear well, and which just plain won’t work.  Or, alternately, a detailed explanation as to why Pilot and Apple still seem outrageous while Chase and Genesis are mainstream.

A trip to the most fashionable of playgrounds in Paris and the ability to speak fluent French in order to grill expectant mamans about their favorite baby names.  Cosette probably isn’t one of them … but in Pittsburgh or Pensacola, I think she could be a smash.  Or wait, maybe I’ll visit Toronto, because their list is just different enough from the US to pique my curiosity.

A promise that there will be a bunch of fabulously named starbabies every week … never mind, Santa – we have Claire Danes!

The nine baby names that inspired my wish list are also this week’s nine most newsworthy appellations:

Calin – Television veteran Samaire Armstrong is a new mom.  She welcomed son Calin a few days ago.  But t riddle me this: does Calin sound like Caylen, Colin, or Calvin without the v?

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britflorence

Eleanor Nickerson, of the wonderful blog British Baby Names, offers her predictions of the names that will succeed today’s trendiest in England and Wales.

The Next Olivia

Olivia was the supreme queen of girls’ names in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in England and Wales, and was only marginally beaten by Amelia to the number 1 spot in 2011. It entered the Top 100 for the first time in the late 1980s, and has been in the Top 10 since 1999. Further down the ranks, Eliza stands at #62.  Like Olivia before, Eliza has not ranked in the Top 100 for a century, but is now steadily rising.

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brit topgirls2009

At long last, the official list of the most popular names for baby girls and boys born  in England and Wales in 2009 has been released.  And, to cut to the chase, here are the Top 10 for each gender–all of which were there last year, with several remaining in the same spot:

GIRLS

  1. Olivia
  2. Ruby
  3. Chloe (up 3 places)
  4. Emily (down 1)
  5. Sophie (up 2)
  6. Jessica (down 1)
  7. Grace (down 3)
  8. Lily
  9. Amelia
  10. Evie

BOYS

  1. Oliver (up 1)
  2. Jack (down 1)
  3. Harry (up 1)
  4. Alfie (up 2)
  5. Joshua
  6. Thomas (down 3)
  7. Charlie
  8. William (up 2)
  9. James
  10. Daniel (down 2)

So Jack hit the road, after reigning as #1 for 14 years–though he was still on top in Wales and some areas of England.  But it’s interesting to note that if the 12 different spellings of Mohammed that were listed separately had counted as one name, it would have topped Oliver.

The biggest climbers in the Top 100 were Maisie for the girls and Austin for the boys.  There were also regional differences (Isabella in London‘s Top Ten, Seren #3 in Wales) and seasonal (Holly was the favorite name for the month of December).

The Royalist spirit was reflected in the naming of 16 Kings, 68 Princes, eight Dukes, 11 Earls, four Barons and four Lords, as well as 12 Queenies, seven Queens, 109 Princesses and five Ladys.

There were only six new boys’ names in the Top 100:

  1. Aiden
  2. Arthur
  3. Frederick
  4. Jude
  5. Stanley
  6. Austin

…replacing Blake, Jay, Billy, Corey, Zak and Sean.  Showing the greatest rise within the Top 100: Lucas, Sebastian, Aidan, and Noah.

New entries in the girls’ Top 100 were Heidi, Sara and Mya, replacing Maryam, Alicia, Courtney and AbbieMaisie was the highest climber within the Top 100, followed by Lexi, Layla and Aimee.

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