our family names

names of our family members that would be contenders or inspirations
  1. Abram
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "father of multitudes"
    • Description:

      Abram was Abraham's original name in the Bible; it's more user-friendly but with a bit less gravitas. And it does offer that cool nickname Bram, as well as the friendly Abe. After some early American usage, in 1936 Abram completely disappeared for nearly forty years, until its return in the 1970s.
  2. Bjorn
    • Origin:

      Swedish
    • Meaning:

      "bear"
    • Description:

      Bjorn is one of the most recognizable Scandinavian names, thanks in large part to tennis great Björn Borg, winner of five consecutive Wimbledon singles titles and six French opens and something of a rock star figure.
  3. Clifford
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "lives near the ford by the cliff"
    • Description:

      Clifford is beginning to overcome a slightly stodgy intellectual image and showing signs of possible revival. Kids might or might not like the association with the big red dog. In England, the Clifford family was a powerful family in the Middle Ages. In this country, it was well used for most of the twentieth century, peaking at Number 57 in 1909, but a Top 100 name through 1950. Most prominent American bearers: playwright Clifford Odets and jazz trumpet great Clifford Brown.
  4. Erik
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Eric, Old Norse
    • Meaning:

      "eternal ruler"
    • Description:

      K can substitute for C at the end of a name too, as in this example of Erik as a spelling variation of Eric. Or is it the other way around?
  5. Hayley
    • Jesse
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "gift"
      • Description:

        King David's father turned 1980s cowboy, Jesse is now down in popularity. The name is associated with a wide variety of bearers, from outlaw Jesse James to Olympic athlete Jesse Owens to activist Jesse Jackson to current actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jesse Eisenberg. The spelling Jesse is more usual as a boys' name while Jessie is more traditional for girls.
    • John
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "God is gracious"
      • Description:

        John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for 400 years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s. Then American baby namers finally seemed to tire of this straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names, replacing it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian.
    • Leslie
      • Origin:

        Scottish
      • Meaning:

        "garden of holly"
      • Description:

        This Scottish place name and surname was more popular for boys in the US until the mid-1940s; in the UK, the Leslie spelling is predominantly masculine, with Lesley widely used as the feminine variant. Now ranking in the mid-400s for girls and not at all for boys in the US, it could be time to bring this smart, subtle nature name back, especially considering the current popularity of -ley names for both sexes.
    • Lynn
      • Origin:

        Diminutive of Linda or Welsh
      • Meaning:

        "lake"
      • Description:

        Lynn arrived in the 1940s, spinning off from the wildly popular Linda, to become a top midcentury middle name. Now, Lynn's in limbo.
    • Mark
      • Origin:

        Latin
      • Meaning:

        "warlike"
      • Description:

        Mark has the rare appeal of a strong, sleek name with a minimalist modern feel and ancient roots. The name Mark is taken from the Roman god of war Mars, also the namesake of the planet.
    • Nathan
      • Origin:

        Hebrew
      • Meaning:

        "given"
      • Description:

        Nathan is an Old Testament name that's ranked among the Top 100 names for boys for 50 years, and could well stay there for another 50. Strong, solid, and attractive, It's a name familiar to every schoolchild through Nathan Hale, the Revolutionary War spy.
    • NICOLE
      • Peggy
        • Origin:

          Diminutive of Margaret, Greek
        • Meaning:

          "pearl"
        • Description:

          Just when we had written off Peggy as the eternal perky, pug-nosed prom-queen she projected from the 1920s into the fifties, along came Mad Men, with intriguing mid-century characters with names like Joan and Betty--and Peggy, causing a bit of a re-think. MM's proto-feminist Peggy Olson was followed by Amy Adams's strong Oscar-nominated Peggy Dodd character in The Master.
      • Robert
        • Origin:

          English from German
        • Meaning:

          "bright fame"
        • Description:

          Robert was the Number 1 boys' name in the US in both 1925 and 1950, and in fact was in the Top 25 for more than a century, giving it true classic status. Strong if not quite stylish, Robert remains in the Top 100 for baby boys as a family favorite.