Category: Meanings of Baby Names

By Meredith Testa

There was a major snowstorm where I live recently, which of course got me thinking about names for babies born in a blizzard. I couldn’t find any examples that mean “terrible timing, little one,” but some of the names below may work.

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For Valentine’s Day, names that mean love

With Valentine’s Day upon us, we turn to thoughts of love and romance.  Today we look at some of the names that have love embedded in their meaning, bringing an extra measure of tender feeling to your own little lovebug, names that go beyond the more obvious Amy and Aimee, with some international flair.

Amanda — A longtime favorite that retains its delicacy and popularity, Amanda rocketed to stardom in the 80s and is still at #316.  Her countless notable bearers include characters in Tennessee Williams and Noel Coward plays; her adorable French diminutive is Amandine.

Amias, Amyas — Another name beginning with the Latin prefix for love, this boy name is beginning to get some attention as a quasi-unique name with an attractive  sound and feel.

Carys — Cara means dear, and several names embody that meaning, including this sweet Welsh example that became known in the US when Catherine ZetaJones and Michael Douglas chose it for their daughter in 2003.

Davina — All names related to the Hebrew David mean beloved, and this includes the feminine forms Davida and Davina, the latter having appeared on the US list from 1968 to 1984. It is currently heard on the TV show Transparent.

Davis — Another member of David’s family, the more distinctive Davis is a surname form for boys that is currently climbing in popularity—possibly as a David namesake.  It now ranks at #474 nationally, and 222 on Nameberry.

Drury — This French surname name meaning dear one or sweetheart has an appealing sound, as well as an irresistible meaning. Drury Lane is a famous London street and theater.

Esme – This wonderful Salinger name gets its beloved meaning from a relation to the French Aimee. A Twilight saga vampire name, it’s a celebrity favorite, chosen by Michael J. Fox and others; Esmé ranks at a high #35 on Nameberry and 38 in England.

Kalila – A lovely, lilting Arabic name meaning beloved, Kalila is also the name of a range of mythical mountains. In 2015, 42 girls were given the name in the US.

Kerensa — This Cornish/Welsh name meaning love would make a nice, more exotic, update to Karen; it can also be spelled Kerenza.

Milena — Popular in Italy and several Slavic countries, and the birth name of actress Mila Kunis, Milena entered the US Top 1000 in 2012, and is now Number 760. Letters to Milena is a book of –yes—letters by Franz Kafka.

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Boys Baby Names: Spotlight on Oscar

By John Kelly

There’s a lot of Oscar buzz in the air. From the announcement of Academy Award nominees in mid January to the red-carpet ceremony in late February, we chatter about who will take home Tinseltown’s top trophies. But the name Oscar isn’t just the stuff of Hollywood legends, it turns out. Let’s have a closer look into this much celebrated, and much mythologized, name.

There are two main theories for the origin of the name Oscar. The first thinks Oscar comes from the Old English Osgar. This name literally means “god’s spear” or “divine spear,” conveying the sense of a “champion warrior.”

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The Very Best Water Names Now

By Aimee Tafreshi

As a Pisces, I have always been drawn to the water. Throughout baby-naming history, parents have gleaned inspiration from elements of nature. Names like Hazel, Meadow and Juniper have moved from the outdoors into the baby nursery. And beyond the trees and herbs, there are lovely names floating on nature’s surface. For the parent who feels most at home on, in or near the water, consider one of these aquatic nature names for your future beach baby.

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Happy Lunar New Year: Moonstruck names

baby names moon

By Linda Rosenkrantz

We’re approaching the Lunar New Year, otherwise known as the Chinese New Year, the most important holiday in the Chinese calendar. Based on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar, it falls each year on the second new moon after winter solstice—this year that’s January 28th.

Thus begins the Year of the Rooster, which some may find appropriate, but since there aren’t many baby names associated with that particular male bird, let’s commemorate the lunar aspect instead.

When we consider names related to the moon our first thoughts would probably be Luna, or the Zappa-esque Moon, or one of the ancient goddesses of the moon—Phoebe, Artemis, Diana, or Selene.

But how about the names of actual moons, of some of the many satellites rotating around the planets? Many of their names were taken from ancient Greek mythological figures (several of them lovers of Zeus)–particularly those around Jupiter and Saturn–while the names of Uranus’s twenty-seven moons have a decidedly Shakespearean bent.

Here are some of the best:

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