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Category: Ruby

unionjackgirk

At the beginning of this year, the UK ‘s Office for National Statistics let it be known that they wouldn’t be issuing their annual lists of most popular names due to recessional budget cuts, and a collective moan was heard across the name-o-sphere.  (Can you imagine what would happen if our Social Security list didn’t appear one Mother’s Day?)

Well, I don’t know what happened–maybe the uproar was too deafening–but suddenly,  nine months later, their lists of top 100 boys and 100 girls names  in England and Wales have now materialized.  Definitely a case of better late than never.

Once upon a time I used to think that, since we share the same language, the Yanks and the Brits would have similar taste in names.  That was before I married a Brit myself and it came to naming our daughter, when I saw just how different our perceptions of most names were.  And though things have evened out to some degree with the rise of the Internet and the international sharing of opinions, looking at the top English girls’ names today (we’ll take up the boys’ next week), we can see that there is still quite a divide. 

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Colorful Crayon Names

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Most of us, as kids, lived in a world colored by crayons, and for those of us fascinated by words and names, those assigned to the different hues in the big 64-crayon Crayola box were particularly evocative.  I can still remember, as a little girl,  being intrigued by such mysterious names as Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber.

These memories were reawakened by a communique from our inspired creative contributor Nephele, when she wrote:

“Perhaps one of the fondest childhood memories shared by many of us is that of opening up a fresh box of crayons.  What a joy to the senses it was to experience that clean scent of wax and the beautiful sight of those colorful rows of pointed tips awaiting one’s creative process.  Adding to the delight was the fact that one’s crayons bore wonderful individual names on their wrappers, such as “Periwinkle” and “Cadet Blue.”  With such names, how could a child not help but personify her crayon friends?

‘Crayola’ was synonymous with ‘crayon’  in my childhood days, as it pretty much is today.  The bonus for today’s children is that the Crayola company now includes, along with English, both French and Spanish language versions of their crayon names on the wrappers of each crayon–providing even more name choices for one’s crayon companions!”

Here is Nephele’s list of crayon names which might also make pleasing names, with a few additions by Nameberry:

ALMENDRA (Spanish, “Almond“)

CERISE

CERULEAN

FERN

FUCHSIA

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Maybe there are certain kinds of names that you really like–flower or color names, say, or virtue names– but you’re reluctant to use one of the more obvious examples, the epidemically popular ones, attractive though they may be.  Well, there’s no reason you have to limit yourself to those few; more and more parents are digging deeper into those appealing categories and coming up with  newer sounding choices.

Take flower names. If you want to move beyond Rose, Daisy, Lily and even Poppy and Violet, you might consider these more exotic blooms that are beginning to come into their own:

AMARYLLIS

ASTER

AZALEA

HYACINTH

IRIS (not exotic, but long neglected)

JONQUIL

LILAC

LOTUS

MARIGOLD

PRIMROSE

TULIP

Similarly with gems–Ruby, Crystal and Jade aren’t the only jewels in the case.  Consider:

AMETHYST

EMERALD

OPAL

PEARL

SAPPHIRE

TOPAZ

TURQUOISE

And speaking of Turquoise, there are also some richly hued colors beyond Scarlet and Siena:

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OOH-LA-LA, TALLULAH!

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Last week we talked about the la-la part of oo-la-la names, but it seems that a large proportion of currently hot names have the cool oo sound as well. Maybe it’s because the names do share the sound with that c-word (not to mention oomph, and it’s also just a stone’s throw away from cute),  but in any case, as namiacs who parse these trends down to a single syllable, we offer a list to prove our point.

The oo sound can be reached via several vowel routes: oo, u, ou, ew, eu and ue. Here are some examples of oo names that are currently in favor or possible comers:

GIRLS

ANOUK

BIJOU

DOONE/DUNE

DJUNA

FINULA

JULIA

JULIET

JUNE

JUNO

LILOU

LOUISE/LOUISA/LUISA

LUCIA/LUCIANA

LUCIENNE

LUCINDA

LUCY/LUCIE

LOUELLA/LUELLA

LULU

LUNA

OONA/UNA

PRUDENCE

RUBY

RUTH

SUSANNA

TALLULAH

TULIP

UMA

BOYS

BOONE

CLOONEY/CLUNY

CREW

CRUZ

DOUGAL

DREW

ELIJU

JUDAH

JUDE

JULIAN

LEWIS (hot in Scotland and England)

LUC/LUKE

LUCAS

LUCIAN/LUCIANO

REUBEN

ROONE/ROONEY

RUFUS

ZEUS

ZUMA

EITHER

BLEU, BLUE

LUCA

PERU

RUDY

TRUE

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Jewel Names for Your Little Gem

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Back in the Gay Nineties–the 1890s, that is–there was a major craze for flower names, with Rose, Daisy and Lillie high on the popularity lists. Concurrent with that, there was a mini-fad for jewel names, as in Ruby, Pearl and Opal. Today, history does seem to be repeating itself. Not only are we seeing a name garden blooming with Roses, Lilys and Daisys, but also more exotic blossom names like Jasmine, Violet, Lilac, Poppy, Azalea, Lotus, Aster, and Zinnia. And there are signs of a jewel name revival as well, more colorful than the dated Crystal and Diamond: Ruby is a hot hipster name, Pearl was picked by SNLer Maya Rudolph, and Opal is the name of kid characters in several recent movies.

In the jewelry case, there’s a wide variety of both common (Coral, Amber) and unusual names. First, there are the modern birthstone names (others were used in the past), which could be tied to the baby’s birth month:

GARNET for January
AMETHYST for February
AQUAMARINE for March
DIAMOND for April

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