Category: regional name trends

The Scottish Registry General’s Office has released the country’s most popular names for 2009, showing very little change at the top.  Jack and Sophie remained in first place, and the girls’ list wasn’t so dissimilar to ours, with Olivia, Ava, Emily, Chloe and Emma all in the top ten, along with Lucy, Katie, Amy and Erin.  For the boys, there were long-term Scottish favorites heading the list: Lewis, James, Liam, Logan, Ryan, Cameron and Callum (which would have been higher if merged with the Calum spelling) coming up behind Jack, plus the biblical Daniel and Aaron.

It gets more interesting as you look at some of the names that are rising choices for Scots parents.  One of the biggest leaps was taken by Miley (tailed by Mylea, Mylee, Mylie and Myley), which jumped 190 places, showing Hannah Montana‘s tremendous international clout.  The biggest climber for the boys was Owen, which is also moving up in the US.

Some of the other noteworthy names on the rise in Scotland–showing a persistent preference for nickname names:









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The New York City Health Department released its list of most popular names of 2008 today–at last–with some pretty interesting results.  (It reminded me of the old Jennifer & Jason days–before the Social Security Administration was compiling a national list, when Pam and I used to have to contact –and sometimes plead with–the Health Departments of all fifty  states for their figures and laboriously construct our own master list–and I recall that New York State and City were always the last to straggle in.)

For a long time–and especially considering the City’s hip reputation–New York‘s list was surprisingly conservative, with Michael, Ashley and Emily lounging in the top spots year after year.  That changed somewhat in 2007, when Isabella and Sophia tied for Number One.  This year, the more modern Jayden joined Sophia at the head of the list, bringing New York finally and  fully into the 21st century.

Here are the Top Ten names for both genders:

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California Desert Names

Guest blogger Susan Chesney writes about the evocative place and nature names of the California desert.

One of my favorite places is the California desert, because in that silent place there are many secrets.  Most people drive through the desert as fast as they can with their windows up, radios blaring, and air conditioners on. They don’t know about the gray-green sagebrush that grows in little clumps away from the highway, and that hidden among the clumps might be a bleached antler, lying in the sand. What if they knew that outside the town of Bishop, there are several hot ditches, natural and soothing hot springs, waiting to be soaked in, free of charge? Or what about this secret: that the desert is unpolluted– there is very little trash and the skies are a deep blue. I love the mirage effect out in the desert. There is a blend of haze and heat that shimmers and is mystical. In the movie “Lawrence of  Arabia”, when asked why he loves the desert, Lawrence replies, “Because it’s clean.”

Among the precious secrets of the California desert is the treasure trove of names that dot the landscape along with the cactus, lizards, and Joshua trees. There are little towns, rivers, lakes, hills, plants, animals and even colors in the desert that can provide inspiration for babies’ names. Some of these names are comfy or even popular like Owen and Joshua. Others are vintage, offbeat and quirky such as Aberdeen and Rosamond. So let’s wander out under the cottonwood trees that grow next to the crick (creek), set up some lawn chairs, and talk about California desert names.

Some place names from the California Desert:

ALABAMA – the Alabamas, hills that are older than the High Sierras

ABERDEENAberdeen trailer park

BERNARDINO – San Bernardino County, goes all the way to the Nevada border

BISHOP – biggest town in the Owens valley

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Vampire Baby Names

Nameberry intern and guest blogger Danielle Miksza loves all things vampire, including the strange and wonderful world of vampire baby names.  She enlightens us on the options.

Vampires seem to be everywhere these days: in books and movies, on television and the internet, even occasionally living next door.  As a twenty year-old who believes Halloween should be declared a national holiday, I can’t help but be consumed by the vampire craze.

One reason for my vampire obsession is that they are portrayed as dark and lonely creatures nobody quite understands.  As an only child, I was often lonely growing up.  I did odd things such as talk to myself or giggle at absolutely nothing.  People were a bit unnerved by me and kept their distance.  So yes, when I read about a vampire feeling like an outcast from the rest of the world, I have an idea of what that feels like.

More reasons for my vampire fanaticism: I stay up all night; I hate the sunlight, and garlic does not agree with me. Who knows? I could be a bit of a vampire myself.

Once you look past the fangs and blood lust, vampires are actually quite attractive. Who could resist a guy with incredible strength, gorgeous eyes, pointy yet very white teeth, and a handsome name? Stephenie Meyer gave us girls one of the greatest gifts of all in her series Twilight: Edward Cullen. Just the thought of that immortal makes me light-headed. He’s rich. He’s gorgeous. And he’s telepathic. How often do you come across guys like that?

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New York Baby Names

Journalist and New York City mom Laura Dunphy reports that the pressure is on for Gotham parents to choose baby names that are more creative, more unusual, cooler than those anyone else is using. But no matter how hard you try, you still might not make it.

Ah, New York, New York.  If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.  And if you can name your baby here without needing therapy or Xanax, then I applaud you.

That’s because like everything else in NYC, baby naming is intense.  If most people think naming children is a pleasant activity, like badminton or a picnic, Manhattanites treat it as a competitive sport, like rugby or bond trading.

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