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Category: Meanings of Baby Names

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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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.”

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What To Name Your Winter Baby

winterbaby4

At Nameberry, plummeting temperatures mean just one thing: it’s time to revisit our annual survey of winter-related names.

Just a few years ago, it might have been fair to say that Winter was the season least friendly to names, while 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 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.  Variations include Winters, Wynter, and (please don’t) Wintr.  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.

In mythology, winter was said to be caused by Demeter in grief over the loss of her daughter Persephone, consigned forever to the underworld (but rising again as a baby name, with or without the pronunciation of the final long e).

December, still a highly unusual month name yet certainly a usable one, means ten.  Other versions you may want to consider: Decima, name of the Roman goddess of childbirth; Decembra, Decimus, or DecioDecember’s flower is the narcissus or holly, suggesting the names Narcissa (difficult at best) and Holly (already a bit worn at the edges).  December gem Turquoise can work as a name, as can Aqua or its Turkish equivalent Fairuza.   Red, however, seems more suitable as December’s color, which leads you to a whole spectrum of great names, from Scarlett to Crimson to Rufus and Rory.

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