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Category: nickname names

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Today’s guest blogger, Aussie Anna Otto, tells us what she sees ahead for Australian baby names in 2012.

Baby Name Trends from Australia for 2012

Nameberry has brought us the Jack City

Jack has been Top 100 since the 1980s, and solidly Top 10 since the 1990s. Attempts to replace him with cutesy short forms such as Archie are going well, but nothing beats the blunt one-syllable nickname that sounds like a man rather than a boy. Hence we have names like Bill, Joe, Bob, Sid, Frank and Dan turning up in birth announcements, and spotted on celebrity babies too. They’ve got Depression-era chic – perfect for the current mood of global economic gloom. Can any of them become the new Jack though?

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Nicknamey Names

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Let’s say you like the casual and peppy energetic feel of some nicknames, the short, relaxed sound of others, but you still want on your baby’s birth certificate a name that has roots and substance and meaning—one that will be accepted as a “real” name. There definitely is a category of names that allows you to have it both ways.

Let me modify that a little: Yes, quite a few of the names below did start historically as diminutives or pet forms of others—Nell emerged as a nickname for Eleanor or Helen and Cleo is, obviously, a short form of Cleopatra.  And some suffer from guilt by association–the biblical Jesse sounds an awfu lot like Bessie and Tessie.  But the point is that they have stood on their own for long enough to have their own substantive histories, not to be dismissed as ‘just a nickname.’

Here is a list of options that fill that bill—light in feel but strong on tradition.

GIRLS

Belle

Bess

Bonnie

Bree

Carly

Cleo/Clio

Daisy

Dixie

Dulcie

Elle

Gwen

Gwyn

Halle

Hedy

Heidi

Holly

Isa

Jenna

Jill

Jolie

Kate

Keely

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Nicknames: Where do you stand?

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Today’s Question of the Week is about where you stand on nicknames and nickname names.

There is a sliding scale of attitudes when it comes to nicknames: some people pick a name specifically to get to its pet form, others choose a name because it can’t be readily nicknamed, sometimes putting the nn right on the birth certificate. Where you you stand?

*I deliberately picked a name that would be hard to nickname.

*I prefer to call my child by his full name and encourage others to do so, difficult as it sometimes is.

*I chose a name to get to its nickname.

*I usually call my child by a short/pet form, one that I had determined at the same time I picked the name.

*I usually call my child by a nickname, which has evolved over time.

*My child has more than one nickname, used by different people.

*I gave my child a nickname name.

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undiscovered girl

The other day we offered eight fresh choices for boys, and now it’s the girls’ turn—girls’ names ranging from a rare botanical specimen to a nostalgic nickname to an undercrowded place name.

1–Acacia—This a a pretty and delicate botanical name that has hardly been heard in this country, though it ranked as high as Number 273 among girls’ names in Australia, where the Acacia is a common flowering shrub, in 2008.  Acacia has a heritage that dates back to ancient Egyptian mythology, in which it was considered the tree of life due to the belief that the first gods were born under a sacred Acacia tree.  There is also an eponymous fantasy novel, Acacia. Caveat: just don’t think about the other name of the Acacia tree—the Golden Wattle.

2–AmabelNot to be confused with Annabel (though it well might be), the lovely Amabel has been around since medieval times, and has appeared in a number of British novels, including Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death, and heard as well as among the English aristocracy.  Amabel gave birth to the shortened form Mabel, which has a much brasher image, and we think a name that means lovable, deserves more love than it’s gotten.

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Yesterday, we looked at the girls’ names, and today, as promised, it’s the boys’ turn.  Again, we present the Top 10 baby names for every letter of the alphabet—from Anthony to Zecheriah—compiled by nameberry’s own Nephele.  (The U.S. Social Security Administration’s complete names lists spanning a 130-year period were used in the tabulation of these special statistics.)

And again, there are some listings you might find surprising: even more nickname names, with Billy and Bobby both among the ten most popular ‘B’ names, Willie  the Number 3 ‘W’ name, and twice as many Larrys as Lawrences.  Almost a dozen Latino names appear, but no José (blame the profusion of other popular J-boys for crowding it out); and four different spellings of Zachary make the list.  As compared with the girls’ statistics, there are more top names racking up much greater numbers, with several of the male classics being given to two, three, four and even five million boys over time.

Here, the full roster of  Top 10 names for each starting initial:

A

1. Anthony 1,335,664

2. Andrew 1,192,233

3. Alexander 542,038

4. Arthur 518,307

5. Aaron 515,997

6. Adam 507,633

7. Albert 481,705

8. Austin 357,449

9. Alan 326,687

10. Allen 259,359

B

1. Brian 1,142,501

2. Brandon 705,063

3. Benjamin 626,514

4. Billy 379,598

5. Bruce 376,645

6. Bryan 356,776

7. Bobby 310,269

8. Bradley 286,800

9. Bernard 197,528

10. Barry 179,089

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