Category: Spellings, Sounds and Initials

Great Girl Names: I spy with my little I

By Linda Rosenkrantz

I never cease to be intrigued by the fact that no only do names go in and out of style, but letters do too.  And especially vowels.  And especially vowels at the start of names.

We’ve had a long period of names, particularly girls’ names, beginning with the letter A, which was followed by E-names for both girls and boys, and lately parents have been showing their love for names started with O.

But the letter I has had a pretty paltry presence on the SSA list. There are only 16 I-initialed girls name out of the 1000 total, and of those, four are Isabel-related, and just Iris, Ivy and Isla in the Top 150, and Ingrid and Iliana just hanging in in the Top 900s.

But there are still a number of I candidates for success—or there for the taking for those avoiding popular examples.  Here are some recommended off-list possibilities:

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Baby Names: The gender reshuffle

By Eve Newman

What actually makes a name female or male? Most names seem to have been assigned a strict gender based on previous usage, but recently more and more we are seeing boy’s names used for girls and girl’s names used for boys.  You could say this is the age of the gender reshuffle.

We make assumptions about the gender of unusual and unfamiliar names based on similarities between them and other names that are maybe more familiar to us, so many of us may take one glance at names such as the Nigerian Ajani, and add them to our girls list (due to the long ‘a’ sound in the middle and the -ee sound ending that also appear in typically ‘girly’ names such as Lana and Emily), when, if we researched a little more, we’d find out that they are typically used for boys in their native cultures. This is how ‘namenapping’ between genders starts – with names that most people are unfamiliar with. If I met a little girl named Ajani, I probably wouldn’t even give it a second thought since I’d have no strong gender assignment in my mind, but this gender swapping opens a gateway to more familiar names being used on different genders.

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Baby Name News from Around the Globe

By Katinka

This week’s news includes the latest name data from Denmark, surprising stats from France, and a defense of the delightfully… well, ordinary.

 What’s Hot with the Danes?

 Juhu! Denmark’s office for national statistics has released its annual baby name data for 2017! Here you can see the top 50 names given to boys and girls born last year, together with the total number of babies receiving each name, and the 2016 rankings for comparison.

And while the top 5 or so names for each gender come as little surprise (think Emma, Ella, Sofia; William, Noah and Lucas), there are some little-known gems further down the list — like nature names Lærke, Mynte and Storm, or rejuvenated antiques like Malthe, Villads and Asger.

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X, Y, Z Take Middle Place

X, y, and z are the trendiest middle letters in baby names today.

X appears in the middle most often in boys’ names: all the Alex, Max, and Jaxon variations.

Y stands in for just about any other vowel, as in Londyn and Myles, and also can help clarify pronunciation as in Layla.

And z can either act as a zesty s or give a classic name like Eliza or Ezra some subtle zip.

Here are some of the most popular names with x, y, or z in the middle today.

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By Clare Green

This week’s news includes bold middle names, spelling disputes, Disney villains, and dreamy French siblings.

Soccer star names: Edson and Keylor

The soccer World Cup kicks off today, so let’s start with some soccer-inspired names.

The name Keylor was virtually unknown until 2014, when Costa Rican player Keylor Navas appeared in the last World Cup and joined Real Madrid. Now it’s big in Spain and Costa Rica,  and it was given to 75 boys in the US in 2017. You could think of it as a fresh take on Taylor. Do you think it could catch on beyond sports fans?

In Scotland, the grandson of a top player and manager was named Edson Thunder. Edson is the birth name of legendary Brazilian player Pelé (himself named after Thomas Edison, with a twist). I don’t know the story behind Thunder, but it makes a fantastic bold middle name.

Moving from soccer to golf: Ryder is one of the most popular surname names around, but how many parents were inspired by the Ryder Cup? More than you might think.

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