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Terrific T-Names: The Nameberry 9, from Tansy to Thatcher

T

This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel points out the large proportion of names in the news that start with the letter ‘T’.

Why is it that certain letters have their day in the sun? Even before reality television gave us the Duggar and Kardashian clans, J and K had been having their moment. Lately, H is on the rise, thanks to Hannah and Harper and Henry. Now Huxley, Henley, and Hattie are poised to follow.

Other letters seem to hang in limbo. We haven’t heard much from T lately. Classics like Thomas and Timothy hibernate, while James and Henry take center stage. Names that should have caught on remain relatively underused. Tamsin, Tilda, Tennyson, Tenley, Tate, Trixie, Tess – lots of possibilities have never gotten quite as much attention as you might expect.

But this week could change things, as two sets of celebrity parents embraced the letter T. This week’s nine newsiest names are all tremendously terrific T options.

TheodoraRobbie Williams promised that he and wife Ayda Field wouldn’t choose an outlandish appellation for their daughter, and the pop singer kept his word. Instead, the couple went with an ancient choice, worn by empresses and saints. And yet Theodora fits right in with Isabella and Alexandra, and offers plenty of nickname possibilities.

Thora – It just so happens that Theodora is on my personal shortlist for a second daughter, and this is my favorite short form. It’s not traditional – Thora is a separate name, with Old Norse roots – but if Cordelia can be Cora, why couldn’t Theodora answer to Thora?

Teddy – The Williams-Field family is going with the nickname Teddy for their daughter. It prompted a few headlines about crazy celebrity baby names, but that’s not quite fair. It’s already been worn by Kim Raver’s character on small screen name factory Grey’s Anatomy. Besides, boyish nicknames for girls are nothing new, and the occasional girl answering to Teddy doesn’t change the fact that it remains a great nickname for Theodore and Edward.

Tucker – The other big celebrity birth announcement of the week was Melissa Joan Hart’s third son. She and musician Mark Wilkerson are the parents of Mason Walter, Braydon Hart, called Brady, and Tucker McFadden. The couple is so on-trend with their older boys’ names. Does this mean Tucker is the new Tyler? Or are his rhyming possibilities too extreme?

Turner – If not Tucker, then how about Turner? He’s free of Tucker’s baggage, but has the same great surname style. Plus, he brings to mind heroic Will Turner, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame. The swashbuckling movie franchise certainly helped Jack. Turner has hovered on the edge of the US Top 1000 for more than a decade.

ThatcherJust as Tucker’s arrival was announced, that sharp-eyed spotter of real world birth announcements, Names for Real, turned up Thatcher Levi. Like Tucker and Turner, it’s an occupational surname with great style. Depending on your frame of reference, Thatcher is either the UK’s Iron Lady, and a nod to 1980s politics, or another big screen reference – the late Heath Ledger played peasant-turned-jousting-champion in A Knight’s Tale.

Tressa – The same post at For Real Baby Names welcomed Tressa Marie. I first heard Tressa in Elea’s guest post about Cornish baby names. Tressa means third. She has more bite than Tessa alone, and feels less expected than the enduring Theresa.

TillaryDo you find yourself shopping and name-spotting at the same time? Tillary has popped up in the J. Crew catalog and the West Elm showroom. It’s a street name in Brooklyn, in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. She’s an update on Hillary, a creative way to get to Tilly, and a sister for Bellamy.

TansyUpswing Baby Names asked us to weigh in on our favorite underused botanical name. The humble tansy isn’t the showiest of blooms, but she’s a pretty plant, a cousin for Daisy. Zinnia and Camellia are ahead in the poll, but my vote goes to Tansy.

Do you like any T names? And what nickname would you suggest for Theodora?

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