Names Searched Right Now:

Category: Christmas names

Winter Baby Names: From Amethyst to Zohara

winter

It’s the first day of winter–and plummeting temperatures and shorter days mean just one thing at Nameberry: it’s time to revisit  and update our annual survey of winter baby names. Just a few years ago, we might have said that Winter was the season least friendly to names, whereas now it seems to offer the newest choices for the adventurous baby namer.

Why?  Two reasons:  Nicole Richie choosing Winter as one of the middle names for her high-profile little girl Harlow and then Gretchen Mol using it as her daughter’s first, plus January Jones, beauteous star of the hit show Mad Men.

Winter is the season name that’s seen the least amount of use over the years, yet one that holds the most potential for boys as well as girls.  Translations of the seasonal name include the French Hiver (pronounced ee-vair), Italian Inverno, and in Spanish, Invierno.   In Dutch and German, it’s still Winter and and in Swedish, the comical-sounding (to the English speaker’s ear) Vinter.

Read More

Christmas Baby Names

xmasbaby4

It’s now an annual nameberry holiday tradition, presenting the comprehensive   blog written for us by Elisabeth Wilborn, creator of the wonderful name blog youcantcallitit.com, so here it is!

Christmas seems to arrive sooner every year. Once again, I am running frantically to cross things off the list, get the baking done, trim the tree (first we have to get that tree…), and find the ever elusive Christmas stockings before it’s too late. Some may have bigger –or smaller– things on their minds this season. An impending birth, perhaps? If your new child shares a birthday with the most famous baby in the world, you may be tempted to incorporate the season somehow into their name. There’s a lot more to holiday baby naming than Nicholas and Noel. Here are a few ideas that might help broaden the list:

Names related to the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus:

Balthasar, Balthazar- One of the Magi

Casper, Gaspard, Jasper- While he doesn’t appear in the Bible, this is also said to be the name (here in several versions) of one of the three wise men

Christian, Christine, Christina, Christopher, Christabel (girl) and Cristobal (boy) – Followers of Christ

 Emmanuel for a boy, or Emmanuelle, for a girl

Epiphany- For the celebration just following that commemorates the visit of the Magi

Estelle, Estella, Estrella, Esther, Seren, Stella- All have meaning related to “star”

Eve- For the night before

Jesus

Joseph, Josepha, Josephine (also cognates Giuseppe and Jozef)

Yeshua- Other versions of the name Jesus

Maria, Mary- The mother. Miriam is also etymologically linked to this name

Melchior- The third king to visit Jesus

Natalia, Natalie- Derived from natal which means “birth”, Natale is the Italian word for Christmas; Natasha is an Eastern European nickname for Natalia

North- After the guiding North Star

Theodore/a, Dorothea, Dorothy- “Gift of God”

Virginia- There are any number of names that represent the Virgin Mary. Plus you can say to her, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Read More

Christmas Names: Beyond Nicholas and Noel

christmas-babies_87289-1280x800

By Elisabeth Wilborn

Christmas seems to arrive sooner every year. Once again, I am running frantically to cross things off the list, get the baking done, trim the tree (first we have to get that tree…), and find the ever elusive Christmas stockings before it’s too late. Some may have bigger –or smaller– things on their minds this season. An impending birth, perhaps? If your new child shares a birthday with the most famous baby in the world, you may be tempted to incorporate the season somehow into their name. There’s a lot more to holiday baby naming than Nicholas and Noel. Here are a few ideas that might help broaden the list:

Names related to the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus:

Balthasar, Balthazar- One of the Magi

Casper, Gaspard, Jasper- While he doesn’t appear in the Bible, this is also said to be the name (here in several versions) of one of the three wise men

Christian, Christine, Christina, Christopher, Christabel (girl) and Cristobal (boy) – Followers of Christ

 Emmanuel for a boy, or Emmanuelle, for a girl

Epiphany- For the celebration just following that commemorates the visit of the Magi

Estelle, Estella, Esther, Seren, Stella- All have meaning related to “star”

Eve- For the night before

Jesus

Joseph, Josepha, Josephine (also cognates Giuseppe and Jozef)

Yeshua- Other versions of the name Jesus

Maria, Mary- The mother. Miriam is also etymologically linked to this name

Melchior- The third king to visit Jesus

Natalia, Natalie- Derived from natal which means “birth”, Natale is the Italian word for Christmas; Natasha is an Eastern European nickname for Natalia

North- After the guiding North Star?

Theodore/a, Dorothea, Dorothy- “Gift of God”

Virginia- There are any number of names that represent the Virgin Mary. Plus you can say to her, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Names connoting light:

Claire

Clara- Also the little girl in the Nutcracker, who in some versions is referred to as Mary or Maria; her brother is Fritz

Read More

Christmas Baby Names: More, please!

elfbaby

Last week our guest blogger Elisabeth Wilborn offered a great yuletide menu of names that was both inclusive and imaginative, covering all the bases from religious to seasonal to spiritual.  At the risk of being accused of overkill, I thought I’d offer a few quirkier ideas, which are tied less directly to the holiday.

One of them is to look at some first and last names that have appeared in classic Christmas movies, ranging from the vintage It’s a Wonderful Life to the more recent Elf. Some examples:

BAILEY ……..It’s a Wonderful Life

BELLE ………A Christmas Carol

CLAIRE …….Scrooged

CLARENCE ..It’s a Wonderful Life

DUDLEY ……Christmas in Connecticut

ELIOT ……….Scrooged

FAN ………….A Christmas Carol

FELIX ……….Christmas in Connecticut

FRED ……….Miracle on 34th Street

GEORGE ……It’s a Wonderful Life

JACOB ………A Christmas Carol

JEFFERSON ..Christmas in Connecticut

JOVIE ………..Elf

MARLEY …….A Christmas Carol

PRESTON …..Scrooged

RALPH ……….A Christmas Story

TIM …………..A Christmas Carol

VIOLET ……..It’s a Wonderful Life

ZUZU ………..It’s a Wonderful Life

Another possibility, even more of a stretch, could be various shades of the Christmas colors, red and green:

ALIZARIN

BERYL

CARMINE

CELADON

CRIMSON

EMERALD

JADE

NILE

SCARLET

VERDE

VIRIDIAN

Then, in addition to the Cedar and Pine that Elisabeth mentioned, there are several other Christmas tree names:

BALSAM

CAROLINE

CYPRESS

DOUGLAS

FRASER

SAPPHIRE

SPRUCE

VIRGINIA

And finally Christmas-season baby namers can consider one of the more exotic variations of Mary or Joseph:

MAIRE

MAIRI

MALIA

MANON

MARIELLE

MARIETTE

MARIKA

MARISKA

MARJAN

MIRJAM

MITZI

MOIRA

or

GIUSEPPE

JOOSEF

JOSE

JOSEBA

JOSEF

JOZA

JOZIO

Oh, and what about Santa‘s reindeer’s names?  Where did those funky names come from?  It seems that the Night Before Christmas poet Clement C. Moore gave a lot of thought to his choices,  picking names that imply speed, grace, power, and strength.  We wouldn’t recommend Donner or Blitzen or Prancer.  Comet, Cupid, Vixen–barely possible.  A little more conceivable: Dasher and Dancer.

Read More

How To Name Your Christmas Baby

Christmas Baby Names

Guest blogger Elisabeth Wilborn, of the wonderful name blog You Can’t Call It “It”!, treats us to a festival of names for Christmas babies.

Christmas seems to arrive sooner every year. Once again, I am running frantically to cross things off the list, get the baking done, trim the tree (first we have to get that tree…), and find the ever elusive Christmas stockings before it’s too late. Some may have bigger –or smaller– things on their minds this season. An impending birth, perhaps? If your new child shares a birthday with the most famous baby in the world, you may be tempted to incorporate the season somehow into their name. There’s a lot more to holiday baby naming than Nicholas and Noel. Here are a few ideas that might help broaden the list:

Names related to the Holy Family and the birth of Jesus:

Balthasar, Balthazar- One of the Magi

Casper, Gaspard, Jasper- While he doesn’t appear in the Bible, this is also said to be the name (here in several versions) of one of the three wise men

Christian, Christine, Christina, Christopher, Christabel (girl) and Cristobal (boy) – Followers of Christ

Emmanuel for a boy, or Emmanuelle, for a girl

Epiphany- For the celebration just following that commemorates the visit of the Magi

Estelle, Estella, Esther, Seren, Stella- All have meaning related to “star”

Eve- For the night before

Jesus

Joseph, Josepha, Josephine (also cognates Giuseppe and Jozef)

Yeshua- Other versions of the name Jesus

Maria, Mary- The mother. Miriam is also etymologically linked to this name

Melchior- The third king to visit Jesus

Natalia, Natalie- Derived from natal which means “birth”, Natale is the Italian word for Christmas; Natasha is an Eastern European nickname for Natalia

North- After the guiding North Star?

Theodore/a, Dorothea, Dorothy- “Gift of God”

Virginia- There are any number of names that represent the Virgin Mary. Plus you can say to her, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Names connoting light:

Claire

Clara- Also the little girl in the Nutcracker, who in some versions is referred to as Mary or Maria; her brother is Fritz

Eleanor, Eleanora, Leonor, Lenora, Nora

Helen

Lucia, Lucian, Lucius, Lucy, Lux

The Angelic:

Angel, Angela, Angelica, Angelika, Angelina

Gabriel- Angel who broke the news to Mary that she was pregnant; Gabriella, Gabrielle

Hermione- “The messenger”

Malachi- “My messenger” or “my angel” in Hebrew

Michael- Another of the seven archangels, and a good choice if your loved one is away in battle, as he is patron saint of soldiers

Serafina, Seraphine- From the highest order of angels, the seraphim, and with the slightly ironic meaning “fiery”

Names that recall the spirit of the season:

Faith, Fidelity

Felicia, Felicity and Felix

Gloria, Glory

Hope

Joy

Merrily, Merry

Pax

Meaning “dove”, the symbol of peace:

Colombe

Columba

Dove

Jemima

Paloma

Greenery:

Berry

Cedar

Celyn- Welsh for “holly”

Elm

Holly

Ivy

Juniper

Pine

(Mistletoe and Poinsettia are other possibilities, though I can’t get behind either one)

Related to the season, as it is in the northern hemisphere:

Bianca, Blanca- “White” in Italian, Spanish

Blanche- French for “white”

Eira- Welsh for “snow”

Lumi- Finnish for “snow”

Neige- “Snow” in French

Nevada- “Snow-capped” in Spanish

Nieves- “Snow” in Spanish

Robin

Snow

Solstice

Winter

Yuki, Yukiko- Japanese, “happiness + snow”, and “happiness + snow + child”

Yule- Winter festival

For Posterity:

Bell, Belle

Carol

Christmas

Claus, Nicholas, Nicola, Nicole- For jolly old St. Nick

December

Noel, Noelia, Noelle

Rudolf ;-)

I wish you all the best if you are naming your little one this Christmas. A great name is one of the best gifts you can bestow. It’s a start, anyway. Happy Holidays!

Elisabeth Wilborn is an artist and writer who lives with her young family in Brooklyn, New York.  To help quench your baby name thirst, check out her blog exclusively devoted to names, youcantcallitit.com.

Read More