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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Names Invented By Shakespeare

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. […]

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Nature Names That Aren’t Plants Part III: Geography

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 […]

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Fascinating L Names

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 […]

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10 Candidates for Crossover

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 […]

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Dated Names Worth A Second Look

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 […]

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