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Elisabeth Wilborn, creator of one of our absolute favorite blogs, You Can’t Call It “It,” imparts ideas on how to tie your child’s name to the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. You can also find Elisabeth at The Itsy Factor, or at home with her family in Brooklyn.

How happy I am to usher in the Chinese Year of the Rabbit.  It’s not a rat, a tiger, a snake or something equally frightful sounding.  It’s not a pragmatic pig nor an ox, as my own children claim, but a lovable cute bunny rabbit (we like to refer to the pig year as “the year of the golden boar” by the way– so much nicer).

Even if you’re not Chinese, don’t you suspect that after thousands of years maybe they’re onto something?  Not only does the rabbit sound sweet and cuddly, but it also happens to have some of the most pleasant characteristics associated with it.  Considered a most auspicious sign, your 2011 bon vivant will have good taste, good fortune, and live forever.  Or something like that. Those born in a rabbit year have an appreciation of beauty and make great artists and curators, favor peace over conflict, are demure, well-liked, and well-mannered.  A downfall may be that their taste for luxury borders on over indulgence, but being lucky with money, this likely won’t result in dire straits.  Above all, they have a tendency to be happy.

When the Chinese look at the moon, they see the hare standing underneath the cassia tree, grasping the elixir of immortality.  During the autumn harvest festival, Chinese children carry paper lanterns shaped like rabbits and climb up the hills to observe the lovely moon hare, which symbolizes the start of day and the yin of heaven. 

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What To Name Your Autumn Baby

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It’s the first day of  fall…the air is getting crisper, the days are getting shorter…the moment to think about the names of autumn.

Unlike spring, summer, and even winter, fall is not a season that immediately brings a bonanza of name possibilities to mind.  But when you think about it, there are almost as many autumn blooms as there are springtime ones, there are harvest deities, and a palette-full of fall colors, among other options.

So if you’re expecting a fall baby, and are looking for a name reflecting the season of their birth, there are lots of colorful choices to consider, beginning with:

The autumnal flowers and shrubs:

Trees known for their brilliantly colorful fall foliage:

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Nameberry commemorates Earth Day with this guest blog contributed by Elisabeth Wilborn, creator of one of our absolute favorite blogs, You Can’t Call It “It” Elisabeth, a writer, artist, and mom,  lives in Brooklyn, New York

April 22 has rolled around, and we remind ourselves yet again to care for the Earth– lest it forget to care for us. If you’d like your child to be ever mindful of the planet, consider sourcing his or her name from Earth gods and goddesses, from the Earth’s bounty itself, or from one of the great conservationists (with conveniently attractive surnames, no?).

Happy day!  Be good, and enjoy it.

EMBLEMS OF THE EARTH

GIRLS

AnonaRoman goddess of the harvest

Avani- Sanskrit, “earth”

Ceres- Ancient Roman, “to grow”,Roman goddess of agriculture

Demeter- Greek, “earth mother”, Greek goddess of agriculture

FloraRoman goddess of flowers

Francis- Italian saint reknowned for his connection to animals

Gaia- Greek, “earth”, and the goddess of the earth

GeorgiaGeorginaGeorgianna- Greek, “farmer”

Kun- Chinese, “earth”

LunaRoman goddess of the moon

Perpetua- Latin, “continuous”

Terra- Latin, “earth”

Vita- Latin for “life”

Zoe- Greek, “life”

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tree names

Now that just about every flower in the garden has been dug up and used by baby namers for at least a century, maybe it’s time to look beyond to their more imposing cousins. There’s a very big difference between the two:  Where most floral names are frilly and feminine, many, if not most, arboreal names are strong, sturdy, and much more  masculine.

The forest is  fairly unexplored territory; with the exception of a few names like Hazel, Olive and Willow, most of the standard tree names are just waiting to be discovered.  Here are some possibilities:

NAMES OF TREES

SUITABLE FOR GIRLS

ACACIA
APPLE
ASPEN
BAY
CASSIA
CHERRY
CINNAMON
CITRON
EBONY
HAZEL
HOLLY
JACARANDA
JUNIPER
LAUREL
LINDEN
MAGNOLIA

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Autumn Baby Names

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In what is fast becoming a nameberry tradition, we turn our attention to names of the new season.  If you’re expecting a fall baby, these choices might inspire you.

AUTUMNAutumn is ironically the hottest season name, the only one in the Top 100 where it’s maintained its status for over a decade now.  The name Autumn first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 1969, inspired by the hippie nature names and word names.  While it’s still attractive, however, it’s hardly fresh.

Names from other cultures that provide a newer route to Autumn include the Japanese girls’ names Aki and Akiko, the Turkish girls’ name Hazan, the Vietnamese Thu, and, in Chinese, Qiu for either girls or boys.

Fall month names are not quite as usable as those of the other seasons.

SEPTEMBER – Why are March, May, August and even January hot while September (along with October, November, and December) is not?  Maybe there’s something chilly about that “ber” ending.  Still, this has an attractive sound and is certainly unusual.  The Latin Septimus, which means “seventh son,” sounds a bit Harry Potter and is perhaps too redolent of things septic.  But Seven (lets forget that September is the ninth month, since we still have November to deal with) has potential.

OCTOBER – An equally unusual month name that gets an extra helping of cool from hipster writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, who chose it for their daughter.  Perhaps more attractive are the Latin pair Octavius and especially Octavia, both of which mean (as does October) “eighth.”  Other Octavius and Octavia variations you might consider: Octavian, Octaviana, Octavienne, the Italian Ottavio or Ottavia, or the nicknames Tavy or Tavia.

NOVEMBER – Certainly as usable as September and October, which is to say, not very unless you’re extremely adventurous.

Nature names that summon up an image of fall include tree names, particularly:

ASH (any of the Ash names – Asher, Ashley – relate)

BIRCH

BRANCH

CEDAR

FORREST

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