Notable Names for January: Zora, Edith and Eli

Notable Names for January: Zora, Edith and Eli

By Kelly McDonald

2015 has finally arrived, but many berries are still seeking the perfect baby name! Here are a few great choices that are connected to the month of January, from sleek, gem-inspired appellations to monikers that are rising on the charts in Europe. Now is a great time to consider fresh January baby name options and search for famous namesakes; an inordinate amount of high achievers, from the literary to the athletic to the all-around brilliant, seem to have been born during this festive month.

Edith–A distinctively literary name that has recently become popular in England, probably via Downton Abbey, Edith is a ladylike choice that is gaining favor among some stylish Americans as well. Even better, the nickname Edie is both pretty and sophisticated. Edith Wharton, who was one of the most brilliant writers of the 20th century, was born on January 24th, 1862. Edith is a wonderful choice for parents who are hunting for a refined, elegant name that isn’t quite as popular as Catherine or Emma.

Edgar–Another literary option, Edgar is the name of the celebrated poet Edgar Allen Poe, who was born on January 19th, 1809. Edgar is a masculine choice with a couple of appealing nickname options, including Ed and Eddie/Eddy. Edgar is becoming more popular in the U.S., where it recently ranked at an impressive #286. Edgar is an interesting royal choice that is actually a lot more common than most parents think.

EliJanuary-born Eli Manning‘s full name is actually Elisha, but most sports fans know him by the streamlined short form. The name Eli has plenty of virtues; it’s short and strong, easy to spell, and isn’t quite as common as classics like James and Michael. Eli is currently popular as a standalone name; it is currently #43 in the U.S. and #34 on Nameberry. Eli may be a great choice as a nickname for a longer and more unusual first name, but as many parents have already discovered, it can definitely work on its own.

FranklinFranklin is a strong name that was once heard far more frequently than it is today. Not only is Franklin the name of an animated character on an eponymous children’s television show, it is the name of a much-admired American president and the surname of one of the most revered Americans of all time. The first is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was the architect of the New Deal and remains one of the most respected executives in chief of all times. He was born on January 30th, 1882. The latter is Benjamin Franklin, a true Renaissance man who was born in January 1706. Franklin is a solid boys name that calls to mind a number of great role models.

GarnetGarnet is both the January birthstone and a female given name. Garnets can come in a number of colors, the rarest being blue. It is a precious gemstone and a decidedly unusual moniker that would serve as a great middle-name choice for girls born in January, though adventurous types may also choose it as a lovely and distinguished first name.

January–Aside from obviously being the name of the month of January, this is also the first name of the actress January Jones, best known for playing Betty Draper on Mad Men. Like several other wintry-sounding names, January has gained some attention recently, perhaps because it bears some phonetic resemblance to more familiar choices like Janet and Janice.

Norman–Though the name Norman does bear a somewhat unfortunate resemblance to the word “normal,” that doesn’t mean parents should write it off. Norman is gaining steam on Nameberry and currently stands at a respectable #694. It is definitely an unusual choice at this point in time, but this would mean your little Norman would never have to worry about being one of many in a crowd! There are also plenty of famous Normans whom a little Norman could look up to, including the famed painter Norman Rockwell and the writer Norman Mailer, who was born in January of 1923.

Zora/ZorahZora is a neglected Biblical gem most famously born by writer Zora Neale Hurston (shown), who was one of the founding members of the Harlem Renaissance movement. Hurston wrote the famed novel And Their Eyes were watching God, which is still widely read today. The name can also be spelled Zorah, though both spellings are lovely. A word of warning, however; Zorra is a pejorative term in Spanish.

About the Author

Elisabeth Wilborn

Elisabeth Wilborn

Elisabeth Wilborn can be found at her online homes You Can't Call It "It" and The Itsy Factor, and she has part-time residency at Nameberry and Apartment Therapy. In the real world she also enjoys painting, cooking, and raising her two little girls on their farm in Texas. \n