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Category: Meanings of Baby Names

animal baby names

Animal baby names are a new group in the lexicon.

There’s Alicia Silverstone’s little boy Bear Blu.

Singer Erykah Badu has a daughter named Puma, and Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen named their now-grown son Wolf long before animal names were fashionable.

Bird names Lark, Hawk, and Wren are rising, and actresses Busy Phillips and Maura West both have small daughters named Birdie.

And then there are those animal baby names that don’t sound like animal names: Arthur (which means bear), Destry (war horse), and Paloma (dove).

Would you use an animal name for your child?  Why or why not?

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Good Names with Bad, Bad Meanings

lame child

A visitor to our forums posed this question to the Berries: Would you give your child a name, a wonderful name that you truly love, if it had a negative meaning? How meaningful is the root meaning of a name, anyway?

The name in question was Kennedy, a name that has so much going for it: illustrious relatives, a stylish surname feel, a rhythmic sound, and growing popularity.

Some websites will try to tell you that Kennedy means “royal” or “loving” but it doesn’t.  It means “misshapen head.”  And that is the problem.

Or it’s the problem when, in fourth grade, the teacher decides to have the class do oral reports on their names: Where they came from, what they mean.  And poor “misshapen head” is forced to announce her name’s unfortunate meaning in front of the whole class.

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abby-secret

In this week’s Nameberry 9, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel talks about names with some personal significance that’s not necessarily obvious on the surface.

Sometimes the craziest name becomes instantly charming the second we learn the backstory.  Meaning matters, and I’m always impressed when parents take the time to seek out names rich with personal significance.

Passing down family names is great, but this idea takes it one step further.  It’s a process of thinking about what’s important to your family.  Favorite places, artists, experiences that signify something about the pregnancy.  Think of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt’s middle name, inspired by architect Jean Nouvel, or Zuma Rossdale, possibly a nod to a Malibu beach important to his dad.

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twinnames

One of our favorite twin names blogs ever was on distinct names that had shared meanings: Esme and Imogen, which both mean beloved, for instance, or Asher and Felix, which mean happy.

So we’ve decided to reprise the idea with a whole raft of new pairs of twin names.   As before, the idea is to choose names that are compatible yet clearly individual — no shared first initials or other overly-obvious links — yet that are joined in a more subtle way by a common meaning.

In the girl-boy pairs below, the girl’s name goes first as per Nameberry style; in single-gender pairs, the names are organized alphabetically.

Anoush and Eulalia – sweet

Balthasar and Rex – king

Celeste and Juno  – heaven

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Happy New Year Baby Names

happy-new-year-boy

The ringing in of a new year brings with it a sense of fresh beginnings, a new dawn dawning, and bright hopes for the future.  And so with that in mind, and with our warmest wishes to all of you for a great year, we once again offer some names drawn from a variety of cultures that suggest  those very things–and all of them appropriate for a New Year’s baby.

NAMES THAT MEAN HOPE

AMAL

AMIL

ARRAYAH

ASHA

ESPERANZA

HOPE

NADIA, NADINE

NOZOMI

RAJA

SPERANZA

TARAJA

TIKVAH

VON

NAMES THAT MEAN DAWN

AURORA

DAWN

ORIANA

ROXANA/ROXANNE

SAHAR

ZARA

ZORA/ZORINA

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