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By Linda Rosenkrantz

As Earth Day approaches, a commemoration that seems to get increasingly relevant with every passing year, we tend to think of names in shades of green. But there are also some rich brown-hued names related directly to the earth. So you might want to consider one of these earth-related options to reflect your concern for the environment.

Acajou—This reddish-brown color name may literally mean cashew in French, but is also the wood from the mahogany tree. Acajou would make a lively, surprisingly distinctive choice.

Armona—A name of Hebrew origin whose meaning is ‘chestnut brown’, Armona is also a place name in California

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Active Verb Baby Names for Leap Year Babies

active verb baby names

By Abby Sandel

Happy Leap Day! There are more than 10,000 babies born every day in the United States, and around 360,000 born worldwide. If you’re celebrating the birth of a child today, he’ll grow up with the rarest of birthdays.

It would be tempting to name your new leapling – that’s the term used for anyone celebrating a birthday on February 29th – according to the calendar. Names that mean rare could work. A name that refers to the number four would be fitting, too.

But here’s another idea: since we refer to February 29th by the energetic name Leap Day, how about an active verb name for a son – or daughter – born today?

They range from Top 100 choices to retro names to rarities, but any one of these baby names would convey an energy and excitement that’s just right for a Leap Year baby.

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7 Fresh Word Name Rarities

posted by: waltzingmorethanmatilda View all posts by this author
New word names

By Anna Otto, Waltzing More Than Matilda

Some vocabulary names are popular, like Poppy and Summer, while others are familiar, like Faith and Melody. Then there are the vocabulary names that are more unexpected. These are ten names I have seen (on Australians) this year – but only once. They are all real names, but comparative rarities.

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colonial children

By Linda Rosenkrantz

In the seventeenth century, for some of the most puritanical of the Puritans, even biblical and saints’ names were not pure enough to bestow on their children, and so they turned instead to words that embodied the Christian virtues.  These ranged from extreme phrases like Sorry-for-sin and Search-the-Scriptures (which, understandably, never came into general use) to simpler virtue names like Silence and Salvation.

The virtue names that have survived in this country were for the most part the unfussy, one-syllable girls’ names with positive meanings, such as Joy, Hope, Grace and Faith.  But then, in the late 1990s, a door was opened to more elaborate examples by the popularity of the TV show Felicity, and its appealing heroine.  Felicity (also the name of an American Girl Colonial doll) reached a high point on the girls’ list in 1999, a year after the show debuted, leading parents to consider others long forgotten relics.

Here are the Nameberry picks of the twelve best virtue names:

  1. Amitylike all the virtue names ending in ity, Amity has an attractive daintiness combined with an admirable meaning—in this case, friendship.  It could be a modernized (or antiquated, depending how you look at it) namesake for an Aunt Amy.
  2. Clarity—we like it much better than Charity or—oh no—Chastity.  And Clare makes a nice short form.
  3. ClemencyClemency, the name of a character in one of Charles Dicken’s lesser known Christmas novellas, The Battle of Life, can be seen as an offbeat alternative to Clementine.
  4. Constance was originally used in a religious context which has been lost over the years. There are many Constances found in history and literature: there was Constance of Brittany,  mother of young Prince Arthur who appears in Shakespeare’s King John, a daughter of William the Conqueror, and characters in Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer and Dumas’s The Three Musketeers. Constance hasn’t been much heard in the 21st century—probably because of the dated nickname Connie.  The Puritans also used Constant.

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A Lexicon of International Nature Names

posted by: emrys View all posts by this author
international nature names

By Kelsey Andersen

Nature has always been a spring (pun intended) that people have used for inspiration when coming up with names for their children. Many of them are heard time and time again, and the search for fresh alternatives never ceases. I know even in my own case, I’ve scoured the Internet for unusual scientific names for trees, flowers, and more for potential names. But what about nature names in other languages? This is an untapped source for new ideas. Here are some to get you started!

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