Category: Meanings of Baby Names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

We’ve just celebrated the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, signaling the start of summer, with its more leisurely rhythm of sun, surf and sandy beaches. Are you expecting a summertime daughter and still seeking her name? Maybe one that reflects the season of her birth, but doesn’t shout it out?  Here we’ve compiled a list of over two dozen more subtle choices, potential baby names that you may not have considered.

AINEPronounced AWN-ya, this is one of the most popular girls’ names in Ireland and comes onto this list via its role as an early Celtic goddess of summer—as well as queen of the fairies. And if we can learn to pronounce Saoirse, Aine should be a piece of Irish potato cake. It’s in the Top 100 in Ireland and the Top 1000 on Nameberry.

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By John Kelly

The Social Security Administration’s 2017 baby name data is now in, charting the Top 1000 names on its card applications for newborns dating back to 1880. They also help track our ever-changing tastes  and trends in baby names.

One of those trends suggests that we’re increasingly enamored with some lovely—and sometimes unlikely—girl names ending with -ley and and its variants. So move over Ashley. Everly has arrived.

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Girl Names: Long and Meaningful

by Abby Sandel aka The Name Sage

It’s an Ask the Name Sage first – a repeat customer! We helped them name their second daughter, and now it’s time to find a name for a third. 

Amy writes:

I’m baaaack!

I was the girl with 42 names on her list but couldn’t find one I really loved. I was thrilled you had chosen our letter because you helped us fall in love with the most perfect name for our baby: Carina Iris, a sister for Viviana Rose.

We are expecting our third baby girl in early September and now we have a new problem. Well … a few new problems!

We like feminine names that not super popular but are also familiar enough to pronounce. Because they’re long, we want to be aware of potential nicknames. And some names just seem to disappear when said with Viviana and Carina.

Meanings matter to us. Viviana is full of life and Carina is love. We will probably go with a floral middle name like Violet to tie in with her sisters’ names.

Our last name starts with an L and ends with an ‘ee’ sound. Names like Lilly would be hard to say.

Here are our favorites:

Evangeline – We love that it means “good news.” It’s long enough to stand up to our daughters’ names. But Eve and Evie are too close to Viviana’s nickname, Vivi. Lina seems close to Carina. Is there another option I’m not thinking of?

Genevieve – The meanings listed – “white wave” or “woman of the people” don’t appeal. Again, nicknames could be an issue, but I love the sound of Ginny.

Celia – It means heavenly, which I love, and nicknames wouldn’t be a problem. But is it too soft, or too different from our older daughters’ names?

We’ve also considered Emmeline, Scarlett, Adelaide, Aurora, Penelope, and Susannah.

New suggestions welcome!

The Name Sage replies:

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Unique Tree Names for Arbor Day

By Linda Rosenkrantz

With Arbor Day arriving this week, our thoughts naturally turn to trees and their names. I was quite surprised to find that this holiday has very deep international roots: the first recorded celebratory plantation dates back to 1594, in the Spanish village of Mondoñedo, where lime and horse-chestnut trees are still planted annually. Modern Arbor Day was launched in another Spanish village in 1805, celebrated with festivals and feasts. The initial American commemoration took place in Nebraska in 1872, when an estimated one million trees were planted.

But I digress.

Looking at tree names and seeing the usual suspects that have started to be transplanted onto baby birth certificates—Maple, Ash, Aspen, Cedar, Magnolia, Juniper, Willow, Olive, etc., I got intrigued by some of their scientific names, and found, yes, a forest of lovely, undiscovered new possibilities. Here are some of the most usable—forming yet another category of secret nature names.

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Hidden Nature Names for Earth Day

By John Kelly

On April 22nd, we observe Earth Day, celebrating—and fighting for the protection of—our wild and wonderful world. Nature has, no doubt, inspired many a majestic name, like Maple, River, or Meadow. But other potential baby names are less obvious, hiding nature in their roots. Here’s a mix from sea to sky and A to Z:

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