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 […]Read more "Made-Up Names: The Pros and Cons"
Shakespeare didn’t just have a way with words; he had a way with inventing words. We owe quite a bit of our everyday language to Shakespeare- he’s responsible for “eyeball,” “addiction,” “bedazzled,” “swagger,” “assassination,” and many, many others. But he didn’t stop with words; he also invented names, some of which have become surprisingly common. […]Read more "Names Invented By Shakespeare"
What a year! Namenculture was founded on December 20th, 2016, with Popular Names that May Surprise You. The most popular list of the year was also my favorite: Lyrical Bohemian Names. I love that unusual style, and the more I write about it, the more I love it! I’d originally intended to get all the […]Read more "Namenculture’s First Anniversary and 2017’s Year Review"
I’m a big fan of nicknames. My name doesn’t easily lend itself to many, so I’ve always been a little jealous of people who can change their preferred name at the drop of a hat. Feminine names with lots of nickname options abound, but there aren’t many masculine names that can say the same. I’ve […]Read more "Boy Names with Lots of Nicknames"
River- River is something of a phenomenon among celebrities- Jamie Oliver, Jeff Goldblum, Paulina Gretzky, Taylor Hanson, and Keri Russell have chosen the name for their sons, and Kelly Clarkson used it for her daughter. It’s likely that River’s go-with-the-flow image, along with its trendy -er ending, contributed to its popularity. Delta- Another river-related celebrity […]Read more "Nature Names That Aren’t Plants Part III: Geography"
Part I brought you avian names and today we’re staying in the animal kingdom with mammals. Mammal names are often a bit quirkier than bird names, but no less lovely. Some of the more notable: Fox- As both a surname and a bearer of that oh-so-cool letter X, Fox is very on trend. Between that […]Read more "Nature Names That Aren’t Plants Part II: Mammals"
Part I.: Birds This is part 1 of a 3-part series on nature names that aren’t plants. It seems like tree and flower names dominate the nature category, but there are lots of non-botanical nature names that I think deserve a little more recognition. In my research for this post, I noticed that Abby at […]Read more "Nature Names That Aren’t Plants"
Part 12/26 Lazuli- Lapis Lazuli (pictured) is a semi-precious stone prized since ancient times for its brilliant blue color. The name comes from the Latin version of the Persian name for the stone, which is also the root of the word azure. Pronounced LAH-zu-lee, it shares the rhythm of Emily and Avery and the double […]Read more "Fascinating L Names"
Cross-gender names are a hugely debated topic among name nerds. I tend to see a lot of reaction against them- it seems in most naming circles, James is for boys and Jade is for girls. But some name enthusiasts see no problem with borrowing a name from one gender to bestow on another. Like it […]Read more "10 Candidates for Crossover"
Most names that become popular have a decade or two in the spotlight, then fade. They’re labeled “dated” and dumped for more current picks. Some return generations later, others remain obscure. But dated names have a lot to offer. Because they were once popular, they’re generally easy to pronounce and spell. They may not be […]Read more "Dated Names Worth A Second Look"