Category: Boy Names

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

They chose a name for Lucy’s brother, but now they’re having doubts. Should they reconsider the name that got away?

Kelsey writes:

We’re due November 24 with a boy. My husband and I decided to name our son Callahan Samuel and call him CalSamuel is a family name, so that part is sticking.

We both loved Cal, but I wanted a longer name.

Calvin, Callen/Callan, Callum, Callix, etc. were all ruled out for various reasons. We settled on Callahan – handsome, rhythmic, great meaning. But recently I’ve started having second thoughts.

Some people pronounce Cal and it sounds like “Cow.” Now I hear it like that everywhere, despite my efforts to specifically enunciate.

Our daughter is Lucy Jane.  I love her full name. Straightforward, flows nicely, didn’t crack the top 50 in popularity at the time.

Callahan Samuel just doesn’t have that same impact. It feels very different. maybe TOO different.

We also liked Owen for a really long time, but we know three babies born in the last year with that name, and it lost its allure for me.

My husband recently admitted he doesn’t love the name Callahan. He loves Cal, but cringes a bit when he hears Callahan. However, he is so rooted in identifying this baby as Cal that he feels like picking another name would feel weird, unless we went back to another name we considered.

That name is Jack, one of my husband’s favorites. I now find myself thinking about that name a lot.  It feels like a name a kid can grow with, and seems to go hand-in-hand with Lucy.

I vetoed Jack for a number of reasons. It’s a 4-letter name just like Lucy.  Is that a pattern for all future children? Also, it’s a J name, and my husband has a J name. I wanted everyone in our family to have their own initial. Lastly, doesn’t Jack Samuel sound a little bit like Jack Daniels?

Regardless, I just can’t stop thinking about the name Jack and questioning Callahan.  I feel so confused right now… Do you have any fresh name suggestions or insights into either side of the debate?

The Name Sage responds:

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

It’s become a Nameberry tradition, almost since the beginning to celebrate occupational names on Labor Day. This year we’re not only featuring those whose original occupations might no longer exist in the modern world, though they’re all good, wearable, sometimes trendy names, but also some of the more current occupational word-names which seem to be popping up with increasing frequency.

Right now, the usual, perhaps overworked, suspects populate the upper reaches of the popularity list, with Mason at #7.  Followed by the er-ending faves Carter, Hunter, Cooper, Ryder, Tucker, Archer, Sawyer, Gunner, and Tanner, all of which are in the Top 300.

But how about some of the more unusual ones that haven’t been heard quite so often?  Consider these:

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Nicknamed Starbabies: Boys edition

by Linda Rosenkrantz

We recently looked at the nickname names celebs have been giving their daughters and of course there was an equal number of casual, colloquial names bestowed on their brothers. In the case of the boys, we see more mid-20th century monikers, including some that are pretty tough guy, if not badass (looking at you, Buster and Spike)– and not as many Victorian valentines.

This is definitely a trend that is celebrity-sanctioned.

ACEa nickname once reserved for daredevil pilots, card sharks and the occasional gangster is now a respectable and hot full name for boys. It’s #290 on the US charts, 159 on Nameberry and—sorry–#50 for dogs. Natalie Appleton, Jennie Fitch and Casey Daigle, Tom Dumont,  and Jessica Simpson are a few of the celebs holding Aces in their hands.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

The list of popular Dutch baby names is certainly a fascinating mix. In addition to names that are currently well-liked around the globe, like Liam and Noah, and Emma and Ella, there are the Dutch versions of classic names (Roos for Rose and Saar for Sarah), plus a few names that wouldn’t go over well elsewhere (girl names Pip and Puck). But what distinguishes the Dutch list most of all is the preponderance of one-syllable nickname names that are unique to their nomenclature.

Here are some of the most interesting names for girls and boys that are popular in the Netherlands.


ANOUKwas chosen by Ewan McGregor for his daughter, name of the lead character in ‘Chocolat’, #189 on NB

AYA#790 in the US, 89 in Spain, multi-cultural

BRITTshortened form of Birgit and Brittany

ELIF—Turkish name of novelist Elif Batuman, author of ‘The Idiot’

EVI#11 in the Netherlands in 2015

FENNA#12 in Netherlands, a short form of Fredericke, also Fenne

FLEURFrench for flower, has Harry Potter and ‘Being Human’ cred, #12 in Holland

ISAMulti-cultural, Top 20 in the Netherlands, short form of all those Isa-starting names

LIVmeans ‘life’, associated with Liv Tyler (named for Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann), used by Julianne Moore and Bar Rafaeli for their daughters, character in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and “iZombie’, #675 in the US, #16 in the Netherlands, 375 on NB

LOTTE#9 in the Netherlands, singers Lotte Lenya and Lehmann distinguished bearers

MANON—popular in film and opera, #4 in France, 9 in Belgium, 836 on NB, used by Damian Lewis for his daughter

MARIT—means ‘pearl’, #305 in Germany

MERELmeans ‘blackbird’, a Top 100 name in the Netherlands

MILOU#32 in the Netherlands, Malou is also popular

NOA#15 in the Netherlands, 10 in Spain,728 in the US, 482 on NB, a character on ‘Code Black

ROOSthe Dutch form of Rose, #20 in the Netherlands

SAARDutch variation of Sarah, #8 in the Netherlands, and moving up

SANNE—diminutive of Susanne, pronounced sah-na, #19 in the Netherlands, Senna is also popular

SUZEanother nickname name for Susanne, Top 70 on the Dutch list

VEERLE–#68 in the Netherlands, Veerie is also popular

YARA–#22 in the Netherlands, 443 on NB, means ‘small butterfly’ in Arabic, the sister of Theon in ‘Game of Thrones’


BASdiminutive of Bastiaan and Sebastian, popular on its own, as is Baz

BJORN#953 in the US, #512 on NB, familiar via Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg, character in ‘The Hobbit’

BRAMAnother popular nickname name, now at #11 in the Netherlands, 481 on NB, made famous by Dracula creator Bram Stoker

CASPERParticularly popular in Scandinavia and Holland, character in Henry James’s ‘A Portrait of a Lady’, #194 on Nameberry, 85 in the Netherlands and 51 in Sweden

DAANThe Number 1 boy name in the Netherlands in 2016

DJONNO—A place name in Norway; as in Djuna and Django, the D is silent

DUUK—Pronounced as Duke, it’s #86 in the Netherlands, while Luuk is #7

FLORISA royal boy name in the Netherlands, where it ranks at #42

JENSDutch/Scandinavian version of John/Johannes is #37 in the Netherlands

JEROENThe Dutch version of Jerome is more popular than the English one.

JOOSTMeaning ‘just’ and pronounced, like most Dutch names, as starting with ‘y’, it’s on the popularity lists of both Holland and Germany

JORANA popular Dutch form of George (others are Joeri and Jorgen)

JORISA Top 100 name in both the Netherlands and Germany

MEESA diminutive of Bartholomeus, up at #12 in the Netherlands

MILAN—A place name now ranked at #463 in the US, it is much further up in the Netherlands, where it’s #5. A notable bearer is Czech writer Milan Kundera, author of ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’, while another writer, Salman Rushdie,chose it for his son, as did singer Shakira and footballer Gerard Pique.

OLIVIERFrench version of Oliver, a character name on ‘Orphan Black’ is very popular in the Netherlands.

SANDERA common European short form of Alexander, is a standard in the Netherlands

SEM#3 in the Netherlands in 2016, Dutch form of biblical Shem; the similar Senn follows at #49

STIJN—another short form of longer names—Constantijn and Augustijn—ranks at #12 in the Netherlands

SVENSven is now more popular in the Netherlands than in its native Sweden, and it’s 775 on Nameberry.

WILLEMThe familiar form of the classic William, known elsewhere via painter de Kooning and actor Dafoe, is 51 in the Netherlands and 621 on Nameberry

XAVIA rising diminutive of Xavier, Xavi is #57 in the Netherlands

Anyof these Dutch names appeal to you?

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Boys’ Names for Girls

boy names for girls

By Pamela Redmond Satran

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were hardly the first parents to use a boys’ name for a baby girl when they named their daughter James. But they helped popularize a trend that includes Jessica Simpson‘s daughter Maxwell, Mark Zuckerberg’s baby girl August, and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’s little girl Wyatt.

Thousands of American baby girls were given boys’ names, or names closely associated with male figures, last year. We’re not talking about gender-neutral names such as Riley and Robin, Blue or North that work equally well for children of both sexes. We’re talking about the female equivalent to naming a boy Sue.

So why is it okay, even fashionable and attractive to name a girl James but not to name a boy Jane or Sue? Why indeed, say some. Where some believe that naming your daughter Ezra or Declan is a feminist act, others claim it’s actually sexist, given that it’s hardly considered cool or cute to give traditionally female names — Elizabeth, say, or Maeve — to boys.

Love the practice or hate it, boys’ names are being given in ever greater numbers every year to girls. We combed the social security lists to find male names that rank below the Top 1000 but were given to at least 20 baby girls in 2017. The statistics represent number of baby girls who received each name in 2007 compared with ten years later, showing increases of double, triple, ten times — even 89 times in the case of Jupiter — in the number of girls given these traditionally-male names.

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