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Category: Linda Rosenkrantz

placeverona

There’s no shortage of place names on the baby-name map. In the Top 300 alone, we find Sienna and Sierra, Camden and Trenton, London and Paris, not to mention Brooklyn, Austin, Sydney, Kingston, Hudson and Georgia. But what if you’re looking for a less traveled destination? Here are some fresher possibilities.

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ev2

By Linda Rosenkrantz

For some time now we’ve been seeing a profusion of soft El-starting names, from Ella to Eleanor, Eloise, Elliot, Ellery, Elodie, et al.  And now we’ve begun to notice some of her stronger, sharper, Ev-starting cousins coming into the picture, ranging from the ancient Eve to the nouveau Everest.

EveThe simple, strong, Biblical Eve is clearly the mother of this family of names, with remarkable vigor for a three-letter name.  It derives from the Hebrew word for “living” and was named by Adam ‘because she was the mother of all living,” and is now ranking at 558.  Clive Owen is among the parents of an Eve.

EvaEva, the Latin form of Eve, is now a Top 100 name, perhaps gaining from some Ava-overflow from Ava, and influenced by the popularity of Eva Longoria and a few other sexy stars. It’s a true international favorite—Number 7 in the Netherlands, 13 in Scotland and 25 in England, and is pronounced as, yes, Ava in several cultures. One Ev-name that isn’t getting much love is Eva’s pet form, Evita, which hasn’t shaken its string connection to the longtime Argentine First Lady, Eva/Evita Peron.

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Celebrity Names: The Mc’s and the Macs

mcmatthew

Most cultures have some word for names meaning ‘son of’—called patronymics– from the English son, the Danish sen , Armenian ian, and the Scottish and Irish, Mac and Mc. The latter two have made their way into first as well as surname use—as in Macauley Culkin, Mackenzie Phillips, McGeorge Bundy, and McCoy Tyner.These days, daughters as well as sons are given Celtic patronymics: Mackenzie (jump-started for girls by 80’s TV star Phillips, and used for her daughter by Harry Potter author J. K Rowling) now ranks at Number 71. Variant McKenzie is at 152, McKenna at 226, McKinley at 457, and the hybrid, non-Celtic McKayla at Number 701.Right now there are a number of Mc and Mac celebs on the scene, whose surnames could possibly be the next baby names. Well, maybe not McConaughey.

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quirkychara

By Linda Rosenkrantz

If you’re looking for a really unusual name, you might not have to look any further than your nearest library.

What follows is a melange of quirky character names—a mix of word names, surname names, nickname names, invented names–found in modern literature.  To keep it from going on into infinity, I’ve limited the list to mainstream twentieth century novels and plays, avoiding for the most part the often bizarre nomenclature of sci-fi and other genre lit.

Alivina Houghton, The Lost Girl, D. H. Lawrence

Amaranta Ursula, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Marquez

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loversguinevere-and-lancelot_e

Many of the world’s great lovers in myth, legend and history have highly romantic names—or so they have come to seem as the result of their provenance. From ancient Greek mythology to Anglo-Saxon, Irish, Persian and Italian lore, we find some intriguing names that– despite the often tragic fates of their bearers—continue to celebrate the power of love.

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