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A Gift Name for your Bundle of Joy

bundle of joy names

A bundle of joy. A gift from above. These terms have been used ad infinitum to describe a newborn babe. So why not honor that concept by choosing a name that actually has the meaning of ‘gift’? There are a lot of them—many of them signifying ‘gift from God’—and here are a dozen of the best. And note that, since dora or doros means ‘gift’ in Greek, this encompasses a whole range of great names, from Theodore to Pandora.

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Classic Names: A trio of Theos

throose

The Theo family of names is moving on up, en masse.

The pater familias, Theodore, progressed thirty places this year on the Social Security list, rose 115% on Nameberry searches and was the only boy’s name to register more than once on our latest Quarterly Report, plus it’s been the choice of several celebrities, including Dallas Bryce Howard, Natascha McElhone and Ali Larter.

 It’s a name with so much to recommend it—as one of the classic names that has a lot more personality than many others, being serious but with a sense of humor, and boasting a choice of great nicknames.

In this country, Theodore’s history is very much tied to our youngest president ever, the ebullient, energetic, charismatic Theodore Roosevelt (who was a Theodore, Junior), the U.S. Chief Executive from 1901 to 1905. It was in that period that the name hit its highest peak, reaching Number 30 in 1904, then staying in the Top 100 until 1944. One thing that didn’t catch on, though, was his childhood nickname of Teedie.

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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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T

This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel points out the large proportion of names in the news that start with the letter ‘T’.

Why is it that certain letters have their day in the sun? Even before reality television gave us the Duggar and Kardashian clans, J and K had been having their moment. Lately, H is on the rise, thanks to Hannah and Harper and Henry. Now Huxley, Henley, and Hattie are poised to follow.

Other letters seem to hang in limbo. We haven’t heard much from T lately. Classics like Thomas and Timothy hibernate, while James and Henry take center stage. Names that should have caught on remain relatively underused. Tamsin, Tilda, Tennyson, Tenley, Tate, Trixie, Tess – lots of possibilities have never gotten quite as much attention as you might expect.

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