Category: Meanings of Baby Names

By John Kelly

The sun is about to enter into Sagittarius, whose zodiac symbol is the archer. Perhaps it’s in your stars to find an archery-inspired name for your newborn. If so, we’ve got quite the ‘quiver’ of names for you to consider—and sorry, but we don’t mean Katniss or Legolas, as much as we love these fictional arrow-slingers. Here are 11 amazing Sagittarius baby names.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

Before we dig into our turkey and cranberry sauce, sprouts and yams and pumpkin pie, it’s always a nice tradition to stop and take stock of our blessings, sometimes sharing them around the table. And maybe this is a good time too, to consider some Thanksgiving baby names that embrace the very meanings of blessing, grateful, and thanks.

These twelve names may come from many different cultures, from Italian to Jewish to Welsh to Zimbababwean, all embracing the universal warmth of gratitude we feel for the blessing of our babes..

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Some Surprising Surnames to Consider

Surname names

By Katherine Morna Towne

I spent much of last winter devouring a book called A Dictionary of English Surnames, by Reaney and Wilson, which presents family names used and recorded in England dating from back to when surnames first started being documented there (after the Norman Conquest in the eleventh century) up to the present day.

I was surprised and delighted by the meanings and/or origins of so many of the entries, several of which seem to cater neatly to the modern desire for creative first names, interesting nicknames, and offbeat ways of honoring relatives or other important people. In addition, their deep roots and historic usage give them a gravitas that other unusual names sometimes lack.

Here are some of my favorites:

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By Kathleen McIntosh

With two new Harry Potter extensions, A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic, set for release on October 20, this is a good time to revisit some of J.K. Rowling’s most cleverly-named characters.

Many names are references or wordplay that, had we been aware as children, reveal that character’s role or personality. Take note, writers: you can really pack a punch with your characters’ names. It’s the kind of clever detail that makes you say “aha!” as a teenager or adult, that engages you, and surprises you years after the fact.

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Are you named after anyone?

Parents have been naming babies after other people since they started naming babies. No other naming tradition has endured and thrived across so many different cultures and time periods. The exact approach varies — many Jewish families, for example, name babies after deceased relatives, and WASPs often name the firstborn son after the father — but the basic idea remains the same.

We asked you, a few weeks ago, what you thought of cross-gender namesakes for kids born today. But a super-hot thread on the Nameberry forums made us curious about you, our beloved Berries. Were you named after someone?

It doesn’t have to be a relative. Maybe you were named after Isabel Allende, Rosa Parks or Amedeo Modigliani! Nor does it have to be your first name — we’re certainly interested in your middle name as well. We want to know it all!

We’re also curious about how you feel about your namesakes. Do you feel a kinship with them? Have they influenced your own behavior?

Let us know your answers in the comments, and continue the conversation on Twitter or Facebook!

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