The Curious Case of -YS Names

I’ve recently been pondering a possible trend: names ending in “ees,” as in “Elise.” It seems that there are quite a few creative names ending in the sound “on-ees” or “lise” out there, especially for Hispanic women. I’ve known women, mostly Puerto Rican, named Ivelisse, Nashalys, Xianlyze, Anabelize, Angelis, Analyse, and Emalise, all pronounced “ees” […]

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Fascinating N Names

Part 14/26 Niall- Brought to fame by teen heartthrob Niall Horan from the boy band One Direction, Niall is the long-neglected original form of Nigel and Neil. Its pronunciation is tricky-Horan pronounces it like the Nile river, but some Gaelic speakers pronounce it closer to “Neil.”  Niall’s origins are also murky; it could mean “champion” […]

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Strong, Brave Warrior Girls

Parents have long sought strong names for their sons. Macho names like Gunner and Wolf have a distinct appeal for boys. But increasingly, parents are looking for names that reflect qualities of courage and strength for their daughters as well. Gone are the days of dainty girls and tough boys- modern parents see the benefits […]

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Fascinating M Names

Part 13/26 Magalie- This unusual French form of Madeleine (via Magdelene) makes for a highly distinctive but very wearable choice. Mandolin- It’s more famous as a musical instrument (pictured), but Mandolin, and variant spellings like Mandalynn and Mandalyn, is occasionally used in the US. The popularity of the Mandolin crowd unsurprisingly follows the ups of […]

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Made-Up Names: The Pros and Cons

Nameberry is having a super fun contest- invent a name! There are lots of great submissions. I spotted Isadela, Avantine, Samadhi, Viterra, and Candem. My entry was Maxienne, which I loosely based on Maximus. Although the contest seemed well received, I don’t think invented names generally are. “That sounds made-up!” is a common phrase on […]

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