Hawaii’s Top 100 of 2017

Hawaii is always my favorite state to check out once the state-by-state popularity list is released. Linguistically, culturally, and even physically, Hawaii is distinct from the rest of the country, and its naming trends reflect that. The top 100 looks fairly similar to the national list, but it’s dotted with the expected Hawaiian influences and […]

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Birth Order Baby Names

It’s rare in the U.S., but in some cultures, naming children by their birth order is a common practice. Romans were famous for it and introduced us to names like Quintus and Septimus. Designers Cortney and Robert Novogratz, who you may recognize from the short-lived reality show Nine By Design, named their fifth son Five. For […]

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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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