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Creative Baby Names

When Matthew McConaughey chose the name Levi for his son, he was, in a subtle way, naming the baby after himself.  How so?   Because in the New Testament, Matthew and Levi are two names for the same person.

There are many other such pairs of names with close  connections that aren’t immediately evident, whether they be  different ethnic versions of the same name, double identities for the same person, having historic or literary ties, or as sharers of linguistic elements.  Being aware of this can be a useful tool for baby namers seeking not-too-obviously linked twin or sibling names or, like McConaughey, another less egoey version of your or your spouse’s name.

And of course it could also come in handy when looking for a more modern substitute namesake for a fustily-named family member.  As much as you may have  adored your Grandpa Roland, for example, you still might prefer the more dashing Orlando for your baby boy.

Here are a few examples, though of course there are countless other ethnic-switching possibilities out there:

GIRLS

AURORA has the same meaning as DAWN

AVELINE means HAZEL

AZENOR is the Breton form of ELINOR

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Jewel Names for Your Little Gem

lonestar1-2Back in the Gay Nineties–the 1890s, that is–there was a major craze for flower names, with Rose, Daisy and Lillie high on the popularity lists. Concurrent with that, there was a mini-fad for jewel names, as in Ruby, Pearl and Opal. Today, history does seem to be repeating itself. Not only are we seeing a name garden blooming with Roses, Lilys and Daisys, but also more exotic blossom names like Jasmine, Violet, Lilac, Poppy, Azalea, Lotus, Aster, and Zinnia. And there are signs of a jewel name revival as well, more colorful than the dated Crystal and Diamond: Ruby is a hot hipster name, Pearl was picked by SNLer Maya Rudolph, and Opal is the name of kid characters in several recent movies.

In the jewelry case, there’s a wide variety of both common (Coral, Amber) and unusual names. First, there are the modern birthstone names (others were used in the past), which could be tied to the baby’s birth month:

GARNET for January
AMETHYST for February
AQUAMARINE for March
DIAMOND for April
EMERALD for May
PEARL for June
RUBY for July
PERIDOT for August
SAPPHIRE for September
OPAL for October
TOPAZ (yellow) or CITRINE for November
TOPAZ (blue) or TURQUOISE for December

And here are some others that might be up for consideration:

ADULAIA
ALAMANDINE/ALMANDINE
AMBER
BERYL
CARNELIAN
CORAL
GEUDA (pronounced gay-oo-la)
HYACINTH ( a flower AND a gem name)
IRIDOT (an old name for opal)
JACINTH
JADE
JASPER
LAPIS LAZULI
LARIMAR
MATARA
ONYX
QUARTZ
VIOLANE
ZIRCON

And then there are some interesting foreign variations. Bear in mind that since Margaret means “pearl,” any one of its many offshoots could be considered a gem name–I’ve just included a couple..

AMBRA (Italian for amber)
BIJOU (French for jewel)
BIYU (Chinese for jasper)
EMERAUDE (French for emerald)
ESME (Persian for emerald)
ESMERALDA (Spanish for emerald)
FAIRUZ/FAIRUZA (Arabic for turquoise)
GEMMA (Italian for gem)
GIADA (Italian for jade)
GRETEL (German for pearl)
GRIET (Dutch for pearl)
JUMANA (Arabic for pearl)
MARIT (Scandinavian for pearl)
PENINA (Henrew for pearl)
PERLA (Spanish and Italian for pearl)
PERLE (French for pearl)
PHAILIN (Thai for sapphire)
RURI (Japanese for emerald
SAPPHIRA (Greek for sapphire–in Hebrew it’s spelled with one ‘p’)
SHINJI (Japanese for pearl)
ULA (Celtic for gem of the sea)

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