Category: historic names

What to Name Your November Baby

By Meagan Burke

It’s sweater weather and scarf season as we welcome in the last month of fall. November gets its name from the Latin word “novem” meaning nine, as it was originally the ninth month in the Roman calendar. Let’s look to past Novembers for notable name inspiration.

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Newsy Names: Charmian, Colin & Gene

By John Kelly

This past September, we paid our respects to some of Hollywood’s greatest stars and marveled at a visionary’s dreams of the stars. Let’s have a look back at some of the big names in the news – and a look into what the origins of their names can illuminate about them.

Teresa

Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a Catholic saint this month. St. Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxihu. Anjezë is the Albanian form of Agnes, anticipated her spiritual calling: It’s Greek for “holy” or “pure.” St. Teresa chose her religious name after the 19th-century French nun Thérèse de Lisieux.

Some think Teresa comes from the Greek for “harvest” or “huntress.” Others think it is from the Greek Thera, the name of some volcanic islands in the Mediterranean. The story goes that the wife of St. Paulinus of Nola (354-431 AD) was born on one of those islands and so took her name from them. The origin is unclear, but Teresa is a well-traveled name – fitting for St. Teresa, who made her impact far and wide.

Colin

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made headlines by protesting the pre-game National Anthem over racial inequality. Many athletes have followed suit, which some consider a victory for Colin’s cause. Victory indeed: Colin is a French pet name for Nicholas, a Greek name that literally means “victory-people.” The Greek word for – and goddess of – “victory” is nike, which lives on in the athletic brand.

Gene

Acting legend Gene Wilder sadly passed away this month. Born Jerome Silberman, Wilder took Gene, a short for Eugene, after Eugene Gant, a character in a Thomas Wolfe novel, and Wilder after writer Thornton Wilder. Eugene is from the Greek Eugenios, “well-born” or “noble.” Jerome, meanwhile, is from the Greek Hieornymos, “holy name.” Gene Wilder came from a humble background, but as many remembrances made clear, he was a class-act as an artist and person. And his name will surely be long “worshiped” by his many fans.

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By Meagan Burke

In September we celebrate Labor Day, Grandparents Day, and the transition from summer to fall. Let’s look back to past Septembers and pull names from activists, explorers, and athletes. With names ranging from Hudson to Narcissa, we’ve got a list of notable namesake names to inspire you.

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10 Great Namesakes for your August Babe

By Meagan Burke

August is a month full of warm summer days, ripe fruit, and back-to-school preparations. There are many great names tied to notable August birthdays and events. This month we’ll pull inspiration from performers, athletes, and a delightful chef.

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Vintage Baby Names: Lost Boys of 1916

By Abby Sandel

In April, we looked at the vintage girl names of 1916, rarities still lingering in the attic. Now it’s time for vintage boy names from 1916! These choices weren’t chart-toppers one hundred years ago, but they were in the Top 1000, and in steady, regular use. Today, they feel surprisingly fresh, even modern. If you’re looking for a rare name with a history of use, these names could be the perfect pick for a son.

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