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Category: Isabel

I-Initial Names: Eyes on the ‘I’s’

letter-i

Now that Isabella is #2 on the list of most popular girls’ names, Isaac and Isaiah are in the Top 50 for boys, and names like Isla are heating up, we’re wondering if the letter ‘I’ just might be in line to become the next vowel du jour, moving up on ‘A’ and ‘E’.

This didn’t seem a very likely prospect a few years ago, when, as recently as  1995, there wasn’t a single name starting with ‘I’ in the Top 100.  On the plus side, this means that there is a whole letter-full of neglected, waiting to be discovered, rediscovered and ready-to-be imported names.  And it’s a nice initial for a child to have, straight and strong and tied up with identity and ego.

The following girls names are the most fashion forward, either already being appreciated or else on the cusp:

IDA

ILANA/ILEANA

IMOGEN/IMOGENE

INDIA

INDIANA

INDIGO

INEZ

INGRID

IRELAND

IRENE

IRINA

IRIS

ISABEL/ISABELLE

ISABELLA

ISADORA

ISLA

IVORY

IVY

And some still not in  the mainstream:

IANTHE

IDRA

IGNACIA

ILIA

ILONA

IMAN

IMELDA

INGA/INGE

IOLANTHE

IONE

IPHIGENIA

ISABEAU

ISEULT

ISHBEL

ISIS

ISMAY

ISOLDE

IVANA/IVANKA

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Children’s Book Names: From Aidan to Zoe

Baby Name Trends

While browsing through a recent issue of The New Yorker magazine, I came across an article about the current generation of picture books and their bratty protagonists.  It was illustrated by an image from a book called Finn Throws a Fit.  Aha, I thought, so juvenile authors are on top of current naming trends.  This impelled me to go running (figuratively) to my local Borders to seek further evidence.

One difference I noticed immediately was that there were more little human protagonists and fewer of the porcine (excluding Olivia), feline, canine, bovine, etc persuasion than there were in the past, and there were, as the article pointed out, a lot more angry children populating the pages, and a lot more preoccupation with poop and farts.

In terms of names, I was surprised to see that there was a book title containing almost every currently popular choice—almost as many as there are on the personalized pencils in the airport—a big upswing from the past.  Here are some titles all released since the turn of the century–and they’re just the tip of the iceberg!:

Girls

AVA and the Magic Tutu

CHLOE’S Snowy Day

CLEMENTINE

CONSTANCE and the Great Escape

ELIZA and the Dragonfly

HARRIET, You’ll Drive Me Wild

ISABEL’S Car Wash

My Name is Not ISABELLA

IVY and Bean

JUNIE B., First Grader

The Adventures of LAILA and MAYA

LILLY’s Big Day

Let’s Find LUCY

MAISY series

MERCY Watson series

Fancy NANCY series

OLIVIA

RUBY’S FALLING LEAVES

Silly SOPHIA

When SOPHIE Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry

TALLULAH in the Kitchen

I, TRIXIE

Goodnight, my sweet VIOLET

WILLA and the Wind, WILLA the Wonderful

WILLOW

ZOE‘s Tale, ZOE‘s Hats, ZOE and CHLOE on the Prowl

BOYS

AIDAN’S First Full Moon Circle

BARNABY Bear

BRAYDEN, BRAYDEN, Who Do You See?

COOPER‘S Lesson

DEWEY! There’s a Cat in the Library

DEXTER Gets Dressed

JAYDEN‘s Rescue

JULIUS, The Baby of the World

KYLE’s First Crush

LIAM Goes Poo in the Toilet

MILO series

MILTON’s Secret

OLIVER Who Would Not Sleep

OSCAR: The Big Adventure of a Little Sock Monkey

OTIS

OWEN

PHINEAS & Ferb series

Flat STANLEY series

WALTER the Farting Dog series

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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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