Friday, February 12, 2016

Names In the News: Cora and Louisa, Early Valentines

Hello everyone! I was searching through news articles for some names of Valentines Day babies from years past when I found this fascinating story instead! I was so excited when I read this cool article and saw the absolutely wonderful names!

On Monday in New Jersey, identical twin sisters Stephanie Edginton and Nicole Montgomery gave birth to baby girls just minutes apart in the same hospital!  Stephanie's baby girl was a little late in coming, originally due on February 5th. Nicole's baby girl was originally due on Valentine's Day but both babies made their arrival just under a week before February 14th. What special early Valentines these girls are! I think it's so cool that these cousins will share a birthday, just like their moms!

Stephanie and her husband welcomed their little girl named Cora Caron. Cora is a name that I considered for the Valentine's Day baby name list because of it's possible connection to the Spanish word for heart, corazon. Another possible meaning for the name Cora is "maiden" and it was ranked at #103 in 2014. (Read about similarly named New Years baby Coraline.)

Nicole and her husband named their baby girl Louisa Nicole (I saw one article where it was spelled Luisa so I'm not sure which is correct). Louisa is a lovely name that I've featured a few times. I featured it in my article about author's names in honor of Louisa May Alcott, one of my favorites! Louisa is a German name meaning "renowned warrior". It's only just made it back onto the top 1000 in 2014 and is currently at #973.

Cora and Louisa are such swoon-worthy names! I was so thrilled when I saw them! They have a similar cute, vintage style and would make great sibling names, in my opinion! They're very sweet cousin names too, though. Both Cora and Louisa are featured on my fashionably old-fashioned girls names list.

Congratulations to Cora and Louisa's families on your lovely baby girls!

Read the full story here!

God bless and thanks for reading! Tell me some of your cousins' names in the comments! Do they have a similar style to yours?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lovely Names For Valentine's Babies

Hello everyone! I hope January was good to you! It's February now and that means Valentine's Day is coming up. It's a time where we celebrate love and friendship (in Mexico it's referred to as the day of love and friendship as well as Valentine's Day) and also the story of Saint Valentine. It's a special thing to have a baby close to Valentine's Day and some parents might want to honor the time of year the baby was born by choosing a Valentine's Day themed name. Not all parents would choose that (mine didn't--- my birthday is on the 17th of February and my name has nothing to do with Valentine's Day) but if you're interested in a Valentine's Day themed name (or a name centered around love and friendship), I have plenty of suggestions for you!


Origin: French
Not ranked in 2013 or 2014

Is it cheesy to say that I'm in love with this name? It's feminine and cute but unique and with a bit of a snap. There are a lot of great nicknames you could use for Amorette like Ami, Ama, Mora, Rette, or Etta.

"strong, healthy", feminine form of Valentine
Origin: Latin
Ranked #112 in 2014

I think Valentina would be the most obvious valentine name even though it means "strong and healthy", not love. Valentina is a charming feminine name along the lines of popular names like Sophia and Isabella, but with a bit more power behind it. Val, Valley, and Tina are all great nicknames for Valentina.

Origin: English
Ranked #194 in 2014

It's hard to go wrong with such a beautiful classic name like Rose. In addition to being #194 on the list for first names, I believe that Rose is even more popular for middle names. It might be the new Marie. Longer versions such as Rosalie, Rosemary,  and Rosa are all at least marginally popular as well. Versions such as Rosalind, Rosetta, and Rosanna are not in the top 1000.

"beautiful rose"
Origin: Latin"
Not ranked in the top 1000

Rosalind and alternate spelling Roselind are my favorite variations of the name Rose. Rosalind is a full, rich name that's both feminine and strong. The Rosalyn variation of this name has made it back into the the lower rankings of the top 1000 but in my opinion Rosalind looks much prettier and more complete. Rosalind is one of my favorite names and I'd love to see it used more often! It's just so beautiful!

Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Carys is a stunning and unique Welsh name meaning love. I think the different sound and look of Carys are gorgeous but some other versions to consider would be Cara, Carine, and Carina.

"lover of strength"
Origin: Greek
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Philomena is another uncommon name with love in the meaning. Philomena has a frilly sound but its meaning is very strong. Mena would be a cute nickname!

Origin: Cornish
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Kerenza is unique, feminine and very beautiful! Keri, Ren, or Renzi would all make lovely nicknames! Kerenza can also be spelled Kerensa. I don't know why this gorgeous name hasn't caught on yet! It's absolutely stunning!

Origin: French
Ranked #815 in 2014

Aimee is a French version of Amy. Amy was very popular in the 60s, 70s and 80s (even reaching the #2 spot a couple times) and is still the most popular spelling today. Aimee is much less common and has a very pretty, frilly look to it. Aimee/Amy is a very sweet name that's not currently rising so if you're looking for a name that won't increase in popularity anytime soon, Aimee/Amy's a great choice. Because of its former popularity, it might sound a bit dated to some, but I think Aimee/Amy's simple sweetness could be enough to overcome that.

Origin: Latin
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Amabel is a cute, old fashioned name meaning "lovable". Amabel is a predecessor to the very popular Annabelle and also Mabel. Amabel is one of those underused names that has a lot of potential to become fashionably old-fashioned.

Origin: French
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Flowers are a common gift on Valentine's Day so I thought the lovely French name Fleur would be fitting. If the pronunciation of Fleur is confusing for you or you think it might be for your friends and family, you might also consider Flora or Fiorella, neither of which are ranked.

Origin: French
Ranked #816

How could I pass up a name that means beloved? Esme (ezz-may) is a cute, short and sweet French name. Up until last year it wasn't rising quickly but between 2013 and 2014, Esme gained 110 spots! It's not really popular yet but it's growing!

Origin: Italian
Ranked #272 in 2014

Gemma is an absolutely gorgeous gem name and one of my favorites! Jewelry is often given as a gift on Valentine's day so I thought Gemma would be a great name for little girls born close to Valentine's Day.

Origin: English
Ranked #90

Ruby is a cute vintage gem name that's been steadily rising. Many gem names would be cute around Valentine's Day but the ruby's deep red color makes it especially fitting.

Origin: English
Ranked #390 in 2014

Scarlet is a deep red color, making it a fitting name for the season of love. Scarlett is by far the more popular version of this name, ranking at #30 in 2014.

Origin: Italian/Spanish
Ranked #6 in 2014

As a top 10 name, Mia is definitely the most popular on this list. "Cara mia" is an Italian phrase meaning "my beloved". It's simple but oh-so-sweet! I can see why it's so popular.

Origin: Hebrew
Not ranked in the top 1000

Dava (DAY-vuh) is a very uncommon feminine form of David, meaning beloved. It's short and sweet but I think it's a name that will age well. Dava would also be a great choice for someone looking to honor a David.

"fine friend"
Origin: English from French
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Bellamy is not ranked in the top 1000 but it has a very on-trend sound that very fun! You could certainly get the nickname Bella from Bellamy without having to use a name as common as say, Isabella. 

Origin: English
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Verity is an older English word name meaning "truth". I thought it would make a cute name for Valentine's Baby based on the concept of "true love". Plus, it has points for starting with a V.


Origin: Latin
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Valentine is the most obvious way to honor the fact that a baby was born close to Valentine's day. It might seem a bit much in the firt name spot but it would make a handsome middle name. If you're curious about the history, check out this article about Saint Valentine.

"strong, healthy"
Ranked #765 in 2014

Valentino, along with sister name Valentina, are also very obvious ways to honor a Valentine's Day birth, even though they mean "strong" instead of love. 

Origin: Latin
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Valen is a striking, unique alternative to Valentine that feels more wearable. I came across this name for the first time recently thanks to fellow name blogger Alexia Mae.

"valor, strength, bravery"
Origin: Enlish from Latin
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Valor is an extremely handsome word name that has a similar sound to Valentine. If you like word names, Valor might make a great choice for you!

"lover of God", "loved by God"
Origin: Greek
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Theophilus is an awesome but underused Biblical name with a fantastic meaning! It doesn't get much better than "loved by God"! Theo is the most modern nickname but if Phil is more your style, you can get that from Theophilus too.

"friend of God"
Origin: Hebrew
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Reuel is a biblical Hebrew name that also has a wonderful meaning: "friend of God". It has a unique sound and is very underused! Reu is a sweet nickname!

Meaning: "beloved"
Origin: Hebrew
Ranked #18 in 2014

David is a well-loved classic with an amazing meaning and the namesake of the biblical David who was known as the "sweet singer of Israel".

"son of David", "beloved son"
Origin: Hebrew
Ranked #320 in 2014

If David is a little too classical for your taste, you might try Dawson. Though it's going down in popularity, Dawson feels very modern. Dawson means "son of David". David means "beloved" so you could take Dawson to mean "beloved son". All in all, it's very handsome.

"old, wise friend"
Origin: English
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Aldin is an underused name with a trendy sound. Spelled with an 'i', it's not in the top 1000 but Alden with an 'e' is more popular.

"love, friendship"
Origin: Irish
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Americans seem to have quite a love-affair with Irish names so Connelly would fit right in with that trend. It might be a great alternative to the very popular Connor.

Origin: English
Ranked #259 in 2014

Reid is a snappy little one-syllable name that's been gaining popularity lately. It means red, making it a cute and subtle Valentine's day choice.

"loyal one"
Origin: English
Ranked #961 in 2014

Truman would make an equally adorable and strong name for a boy, included because "true love." Truman is familiar but nowhere near popular so that makes it very appealing. Is there a cooler nickname than Tru/True? I can't believe this amazing name hasn't caught on yet!

"beloved of the Lord"
Origin: Hebrew
Ranked #782 in 2014

Jedidiah is an old-fashioned biblical name that's making a comeback. In the Bible, Jedidiah was the name God gave Solomon at his birth. "Beloved of the Lord" is such an amazing meaning, especially since it was given by the Lord himself! Jed and Jedi are awesome nicknames.

"old friend"
Origin: English
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Audie is a cute name meaning "old friend". It kind of sounds like a nickname but it's long been used as a stand-alone name.

"lover of God"
Origin: Italian
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Amadeo has a unique sound and a great meaning. Deo would make a cute nickname!

"amiable, beloved"
Origin: Welsh
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Caradoc has a distinctly Welsh sound so it may or may not transition well to the United States. Doc would be a really cool nickname, though!

"gift of God"
Origin: Greek
Ranked #126 in 2014

Theodore is an ancient Greek name that seemed to be going out of style in the early 2000s (although it's hardly dipped outside of the top 300 since SSA began keeping track in the late 1800s) but has made a quick turn around. The nickname Teddy made it seem appropriate for this Valentine's list since teddy bears are often given as gifts on Valentine's day. Theo is another fantastic nickname for Theodore.

Origin: Welsh
Ranked #483 in 2014

Rhys (pn like Reeces Pieces) is such a cute name! With the meaning ardor, it fits right in as a Valentine's name. I'm surprised this handsome name isn't more popular!

Origin: English
Not ranked in the top 1000 in 2014

Arden is another name that means ardor or ardent. Although Arden is not ranked, I think it fits in well with current naming trends and most people would be able to catch on to it quickly, even if they'd never heard it before.

There you have it! A list of names for Valentines babies! I Thanks for reading and if you want to learn more about the history and legend about Saint Valentine, click the link. God bless!

Your turn: What would you name a Valentine's Day baby?

*Note: This article was originally published in February of 2015. It was updated and expanded in February 2016.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Biblical Girls Names On The Rise

Hello everyone! Today we're going to talk about one of my favorite categories of names (again): biblical names! Many biblical names are considered classics and have been used so often for so long that many of them seem a little tired. As parents search for fresher sounding names, many of these classic biblical names have fallen by the wayside. However, many biblical names that fell out of favor decades ago are getting a second look. All of the names on this list gained popularity between 2013 and 2014 and some have been gaining for several years now.

I love biblical names but I'll be the first to admit that it can be much harder to find the perfect biblical girls name than it is to find the perfect biblical boys name. There are more men who are mentioned by name in the Bible and some biblical girls names are just a little bit too out there for my tastes (though I do love uncommon biblical girls names). While Mary and Elizabeth dwindle for now, these other lovely names are getting their time to shine, or in some cases their chance at a comeback!

Esther 2:7
Ranked #701 in 2014

Hadassah, another name for the biblical Queen Esther, is a name that's risen out of obscurity since 2007 when it first featured on the top 1000 for the first time at #998. Hadassah rose 53 spots in 2014. Hadassah is lovely and feminine. The nickname Haddie is so adorable!

Genesis 3:20
Ranked #460 in 2014

Eve is gorgeous classy name that's been rising lately. Of couse, Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden is one of the most recognizable stories from the Bible. Eve has very been super popular but at #460, it's more popular now than it's ever been and up 30 spots from last year! I've been really loving the name Eve lately and one of my favorite ways to get to the nickname Evie.

"lion of God"
Isaiah 29:1
Ranked #133 in 2014

As a given name, Ariel is only mentioned as a man's name and it's still used for males today. It's #738 for boys in the States. However, Ariel is also a poetic name for the city of Jerusalem. It was most popular following the release of Disney's The Little Mermaid but quickly fell in popularity. However, Ariel rose 12 spots last year and nearly 50 spots in the last three years. Alternate spelling Arielle is #339 and variation Ariella is at #386.

"the Lord's grace"
Luke 8:3
Ranked #327

Joanna is a lovely New Testament name of a woman who served and supported Jesus out o her own means during his earthly ministry. Joanna was on its way down but it gained 16 spots last year! I'm curious to see if it will continue back upward. My favorite spelling of this name is Johannah, which is not in the top 1000.

Judges 4:4
Ranked #753 in 2014

Deborah was #2 in 1955 but in 2013 it was all the way down at #815. Between 2013 and 2014 Deborah rose an impressive 62 spots. Given Deborah's popularity in the 50's, I don't think it's going to become wildly popular anytime soon.  However, since Deborah is such an important and memorable biblical woman, I can see it beginning to climb the charts for the next few decades. 

Joshua 3:15
Ranked #247 in 2014

Jordan isn't a person's name in the Bible but rather the name of a very important river and today it's the name of a country. I was surprised to see that Jordan and alternate spelling Jordyn were rising in the ranks for girls again. Jordan is falling in popularity for boys. After taking a pretty big hit in 2013, Jordan rose 14 spots in 2014 and Jordyn rose 6 spots. This could just be a one-year fluctuation but it could also begin another climb upward on the girls list for Jordan. Even though it's falling, Jordan is still much more popular for boys.

Genesis 2:8
Ranked #151 in 2014

Eden is another biblical place name than can be unisex, though Eden has always been much more popular for girls than for boys. Eden entered the top 1000 for girls in 1986 and has been consistently rising ever since. Eden rose only seven spots in 2014 so its rise appears to be slowing down. For boys Eden entered the top 1000 in 2008. It's popularity has fluctuated some but in 2014 it rose to #601. Personally, I prefer Eden for girls with the adorable nickname Edie.

Ruth 1:20
Ranked #695 in 2014

Mara is simply yet classy name with almost a haunting sound. It's related to the names Mary and Miriam. Mara is the name that the Israelite woman Naomi (meaning pleasant) took after she returned to her homeland devastated after the death of her husband and son. She didn't want to be known as pleasant (Naomi) but bitter (Mara), because she said "the Almighty has made life very bitter for me" (Ruth 1:20). The rest of the book refers to her as Naomi, though. In 2014, Mara gained 50 spots and it's been gaining since 2011 after falling to #866.

"from Lydia" or "from the almond tree"
Acts 16:14
Ranked #84 in 2014

Lydia is a lovely New Testament name belonging to a prominent woman, a seller of purple cloth, who obeyed the gospel. Lydia has been rising pretty consistently for awhile and it rose 8 spots in 2014. It has an old-fashioned charm to it, though it's maintained a certain degree of popularity for generations. Lydia is also an ancient place name that means "almond tree", so Lydia means "from the almond tree". 

Esther 2:7
Ranked #203 in 2014

Esther is the name of one of the Bible's most memorable women. She was a Jewish girl who became queen of Persia. The book of Esther is one of two biblical books names for women. The name Esther has been rising consistently since 2008 and rise 21 spots in 2014. Esther's Hebrew name was Hadassah (see above). Esther is still more popular than Hadassah but Hadassah is rising faster. My favorite thing about the name Esther is the nickname Essie!

Ruth 1:2
Ranked #80 in 2014

Naomi is such a cute name! I especially love the meaning! The biblical Naomi had a hard life (see Mara above) but she was very blessed by God through her daughter-in-law Ruth. Naomi's rise has been fairly consistent. It gained 7 spots in 2014. Naomi was least popular in the late 60s and early 70s but it's inched it's way up to #80 now. I love Naomi's fun, different sound! I think it could make a cool way to honor a Ruth!

Romans 16:1-2
Ranked #298 in 2014

Phoebe is a woman that Paul speks very highly of in the book of Romans. Phoebe has an attractive sound een though its spelling can get a little confusing for English speakers. Phoebe's rise has been pretty consistent for severl years, even though it's been slow (only rising 2 spots in 2014). Phoebe is more popular now than it's ever been in the U.S.

Joshua 17:3
Ranked #941 in 2014

Noa is such a sweet little name for  girl! It might be hard to pull off right now with Noah being the #1 boys name (and tht not likely to change anytime soon) but Noa entered the top 1000 for the first time in 2014. In most bible translations this name is translated as Noah but in the Hebrew text the female name and the male name are spelled differently and have almost opposite meanings. That's why I chose to feautre the Noa as opposed to Noah (also, Noah doesn't appear on the top 1000 list for girls). In the Bible, Noam (we'd spell it Noah in the U.S.) and Noa are the most popular names for Jewish babies in Israel.

Ruth 1:4
Ranked #315 in 2014

Ruth is probably one of the sweetest stories in the Bible. After the death of her husband, she followed her mother-in-law back to her homeland in Israel and became a follower of God. Ruth became the great-grandmother to King David, meaning that Jesus is a descendant of Ruth. Ruth was very popular in the early 1900's (#5) and since then has come down to the 200-350 range. Ruth gained 14 spots in 2014. I love the nickname Ruthie!

1 Samuel 1:3
Ranked #609 in 2014

Shiloh is a unisex biblical place name that's only in the top 1000 for girls, despite ending in the "oh" sound that's more typical in boys names. Shiloh entered the top 1000 for girls in 2007, the year after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie chose it for their daughter. The fascinating thing about Shiloh's entrance into the top 1000 is that it entered all the way up at #788! It's fluctuated some in but Shiloh gained 23 spots in 2014. I love the way Shiloh sounds and the meaning "peace" makes it super appealing! Personally, I prefer Shiloh on a boy but it's nice for either gender. 

There were a lot of names I expected to see on this list but didn't and several names that surprised me! Even though finding the perfect biblical girls name can be a challenge (especially if you're looking for something less conventional), there are still some great options! 

Which name on this list is your favorite?

God bless and thanks for reading!

*Note: I only used names in the top 1000 for this list. There are likely more rising biblical girls names outside the top 1000.