Category: baby name Ruth

Rising Girl Names: 9 likely to soar

rising girl names

By Abby Sandel

Head to a kindergarten classroom today, and you’re likely to hear girl names like Sophia and Emma, Isla and Mila, Harper and Quinn. It’s a mix of long-time favorites and newer discoveries. Some are unisex and modern. Others feel surprisingly traditional.

But how about the kindergarten class of 2026? Or maybe 2031? Which rising girl names seem likely to soar – or quietly climb – in the next five to ten years?

We can get some insight by looking at the names that have gained in use most dramatically.

Most of these names won’t make that list, though. Instead, a mix of on-trend sound and just enough pop culture presence might transform these nine girl names into popular choices to fill classrooms of the not-so-distant future.

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Valentine's Day names

Ready for a sugar rush? Valentine’s Day means candy. From conversation hearts to truffles, there’s a sweet treat to tempt everyone. If you’re expecting a new addition right about now, plenty of those treats could inspire a child’s name, too. From names that mean sweet to those favorite candies that come packaged in heart-shaped boxes for February 14th, here are a dozen possibilities inspired by all things candy-coated and sweet.

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At the beginning of the year, we like to flip back the calendar a hundred years to see what the baby name landscape looked like a century ago. 1914 was a year in which World War I was in full swing, the year that President Wilson officially established Mother’s Day, Charlie Chaplin and Babe Ruth made their debuts, and saw the births of Dylan Thomas, Jonas Salk and Joe DiMaggio.But the babyname universe was relatively calm, as we can see by looking at the stable top dozen girls’ names. Here, they are, in order of their 1914 popularity, and what their status is today:

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Names That Sound Smart

photo by Alex Ho

One of my most vivid memories of writing our very first book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, is of Linda and me cracking up as we read aloud from our list of what we called Intellectual Power Names.  Frances, Ruth, Howard, Norman

We couldn’t help laughing.  We might as well have been making a list of nerd names.

When we reinvented the book as Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana, we abandoned the Intellectual Power names in the book’s Image section to talk more about classic names and unusual names and how those qualities influenced the world’s perception.

And I suppose we felt a bit squeamish about pegging names too closely with qualities like intelligence and attractiveness that have more to do with the person than with his or her name.  A Ruby or a Rylee, after all, may easily be every bit as smart as a Ruth.

But sometimes, I see a name and instantly think it sounds intelligent.  Makes me expect, if I met that person, that they would be smart — and not just smart, but studious, serious, cultured, intellectual.

So I decided it would be fun to update the Intellectual Power names, Nameberry-style, with a contemporary twist and sensibility.

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