Category: Historic Names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Though its current associations might run more to barbecues, picnics and parades, Memorial Day conjures up a load of historic references dating back to its post-Civil War origins, as well as some more contemporary traditions.

There are several blogs-worth of noteworthy Civil War generals’ names alone—Alpheus, Americus, Cassius, Gustavus, Lafayette, Napoleon, Pleasant, Romeyn, for starters– but for now we’ve included just a few of the most intriguing, as well as some less obvious Memorial Day names associated with the holiday.

BLUE and GREYThe colors of the  uniforms of the Union and Confederate soldiers fighting the Civil War (the Confederate soldiers sometimes referred to the Yankees disparagingly as ‘bluebellies’),  Blue and Gray are among the current coolest of the unisex color names. Blue Ivy is the much-discussed name picked by Beyoncé and Jay-Z for their daughter; actress Jenna von Oy recently named her daughter Gray.

CATHAYCathay Williams—aka William Cathay—was one of many women who passed as men to serve as Civil War soldiers.  A former slave, she was the first African-American woman to enlist. Cathay is an evocative old term for China used by Marco Polo that could make an interesting choice—if it weren’t in danger of being constantly confused with Cathy.

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Little Prince Louis Special Report

By Clare Green

This week’s news is a royal baby name special – plus an unusual tough word name, and the names Kim and Kanye almost used.

Royal baby name: read all about it!

The biggest name story of the week is, of course, the British royal baby.

A week ago, we were on the edge of our seats waiting to find out the new prince’s name. On Friday, it was announced as Louis Arthur Charles, much to everyone’s surprise. Not that the names themselves are surprising: it’s more the repetition of one of his brother George’s middle names, Louis, and another Charl– name like his sister Charlotte.

By now, the public and the press have thoroughly dissected the name choice, and whatever you may think of it, Louis Arthur Charles feels almost part of the royal furniture now.

There’s been lots of comment about why the Cambridges chose Louis, from the obvious family connections to more tenuous links – like that Catherine wrote her university dissertation on Lewis Carroll’s photography, and used some of his pictures for an art exhibition in February. (Aside: if you had to name a child after something you studied for an assignment or thesis, what would you choose?)

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

Much to everyone’s amazement, from British naming experts to the betting public, Louis Arthur Charles is the name of the new British prince, Queen Elizabeth’s sixth great-grandchild and fifth in line to the throne.

After four days of nail-biting anticipation and speculation, the name of His Royal Highness Prince Louis (pronounced Lou-ee) of Cambridge was announced on Twitter by Kensington Palace. Louis was the distant tenth choice of prognosticators, who had put their money on Arthur, Albert, James or Alexander. The fact that Louis was already a middle name of older brother Prince George made it seem an even more unlikely choice.

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25 Perennially Popular OT Boy Names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Of the profusion of male names in the Old Testament, only 25 of them seem to have been consistently in the US Top 1000, year after year after year. And even those have fluctuated in popularity: a prime example being today’s Number one boy name Noah, which fell to as low as #693 in the early 1960s.

I thought it would be interesting to track these 25 names and trace the paths of their popularity from the time records started being kept, in 1880, beginning with current top-rated Noah and moving down to #878-ranked Reuben (which was far more common in 1880, at 147). I’ve also included the current Nameberry ranks, where Levi is tops at #16, to show where our community stands on this.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

As you well know, British royal name fever is at its peak, with barriers already in place around the Lindo Wing of London‘s St. Mary‘s Hospital. The bookmakers have been solidifying their odds, shifting the top three among Mary, Alice and Victoria for a girl. And berries have cast their votes.

Most of the current faves have fairly recent antecedents but if they had wanted to the Cambridges could have looked further back at some much more unexpected choices. Here are some first and middle names of ‘Princesses of the Royal Blood’, dating from 1714 on, all daughters, granddaughters, or male line great- grandchildren of a British Sovereign. Since none of them is on the bookies’ radar, they’d be perfect choices if you’re looking for a non-obvious choice with royal connections.

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