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posted by: Elea View all posts by this author

By Eleanor Nickerson, British Baby Names

The major headline for British baby names in the last decade has undoubtedly been the rise of diminutives as given names. Alfie, Archie, Charlie, Tommy, Evie, Millie, Maisie and many others are boundless in our playgrounds as parents opt for cheerful and breezy short forms. But this phenomenon is certainly not confined to the English language — Wales has also been getting in on the act of reviving vintage pet forms and putting them ‘up front’ on birth certificates.

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By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

There are dozens of ways to slice and dice baby names.  Classic or hipster, modern or vintage.

But here’s a divide that cuts across style categories: is the name on the birth certificate the name intended for daily use?  Or is it more of a jumping off point, the source of a nickname that will actually be what you call your kiddo 99% of the time?

The first group are WYSIWYG baby names: What You See (on the birth certificate) is What You Get (in real life).  Jack is called Jack, Sadie is Sadie, and how could Ellie answer to anything else?

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The Many Faces of Kate

girl name Kate

The strong, straightforward Kate (along with her variations) is the most popular nickname for the perennial classic Katherine today, often standing on its own. Some of the world’s most famous women bear the name Kate, which is popular in the US, England, and Ireland. The nickname even has Shakespearean antecedents, in The Taming of the Shrew – “You lie, in faith; for you are call’d plain Kate, And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst.” How do you get Kate from Katherine, a Greek name meaning pure? One theory is that it’s derived from Hecate, the goddess of magic. The name Kate, ranked in the U.S. Top 200, seems to work magic of its own. Take a look at some of the most famous Kates.

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Baby Name Nicknames: Getting to Gus

posted by: Nook of Names View all posts by this author

By K. M. Sheard, Nook of Names

Do you like Gus as a short name, but are not so keen on Augustus and its related names August and Augustine?

Here are some alternatives!

Agastya — A name from Hindu mythology. Agastya is a name of Shiva, as well as the name of a legendary Hindu sage, believed to have received many of the earliest mantras which feature in the Rig Veda from Brahman. It is also the Indian name for Canopus. It comes from the Sanskrit, and is usually translated as ‘mountain-thrower’.

Angus — a classic and very old Gaelic name, from the Old Irish óen ‘one’ + gus ‘excellence’, ‘force’ and ‘courage’. The standard modern Gaelic form is Aonghas, but Aengus, Aonghus, Oenghus and Óengus are all known. In Irish myth Aengus is the God of love, youth and poetic inspiration.

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Nickname Names for Boys


by Pamela Redmond Satran

A friend of ours recently named his baby Jake.  Not Jacob, just Jake.

Why name the kid Jacob, he and his wife reasoned, when they weren’t really crazy about it and intended to call the little boy Jake all the time anyway?

Nickname names have become increasingly popular and fashionable for children of both sexes over the past handful of years, in both the U.S. and the U.K.  They’re evidence of a new informality along with a rebellion against putting a formal name on the birth certificate just because you’re supposed to.

Popular nicknames names for boys in the U.S. include the following, all in the Top 350:

Liam (6 — originated as a short form of William)

Jack (46)

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