Name Spotting!

Something we name-lovers absolutely adore is name-spotting.  Name-spotting is when you search for and collect interesting, real names in a community or media source.  I’ve collected several local gems recently, and have decided to start writing them down.

Here are the most unusual and fascinating people’s names I’ve overheard or seen in March and April 2017! 

  • Basil (5 years old; unknown gender).
  • Gibraltar (unknown gender and age; newspaper mention).  I don’t think this has ever appeared in the SSA data!  It’s the first time I’d ever seen it. 
  • Hollyn (4 years old).  Hollyn peaked the same year this girl was born (2013), when 66 girls were given the name nationally. 
  • Ichabud – Not Ichabod, Ichabud.  Deceased, mentioned in an obituary.  Could be a typo, but just as interesting.
  • Laird (likely in his 30s). 
  • Laverne (late 20s; female)
  • Rommel (late 20s).
  • Patriana (late 20s).  Patriana only appeared in the birth data once, in 2002.
  • Phillipa “Flip” (age unknown).  Philippa and other spellings have always been rare in the U.S., but this time I’m actually more interested in the nickname.  WDYT of Flip?
  • Yetta (mid-to-late 20s).

What do you think of these names?  Have you encountered any unusual names lately?  Personally, meeting a young Yetta made my day! 

Below the Top 1000, Part 42 (Boys)

Today’s selection – boys’ names used only 6 times in 2015!  Since the U.S. data only goes down to names bestowed 5 times, this is the second-to-last post of boys’ names in this series (for 2015, anyway).  Including the girls’ names, there are three more after this one. 

  • 6 boys: Aariketh, Ab, Abdullatif, Abelino, Acacius, Acheron, Acxel, Adolphus, Adoni, Adoniah, Adoraim, Aesop, Agustine, Akhilles, Alameen, Alexios, Alistar, Alva, Alvar, Alwin, Ambrosio, Anatoly, Andrzej, Angeldejesus, Anker, Antares, Antjuan, Arafat, Arbor, Ariano, Arseniy, Ashot, Attilio, Auberon, Autry, Ayotunde, Azarel, Azariel, Baldwin, Bartolo, Beowulf, Bezaleel, Blythe, Bohannon, Bonham, Brace, Brand, Branko, Brasher, Braun, Brazil, Brenham, Brij, Brit, Bronze, Buxton, Calyx, Cambridge, Carwyn, Caster, Cayetano, Celio, Cervantes, Chamberlain, Chaplin, Charming, Clemens, Clovis, Corrado, Crews, Dajohn, Dallon, Danzig, Dee, Deimos, Delmer, Delwin, Devarious, Diem, Dimitriy, Din, Djibril, Dominus, Doug, Drax, Dyer, Eain, Eddiel, Einar, Eldric, Elisandro, Elnatan, Engel, Eno, Ericsson, Ernst, Essex, Ewing, Ezael, Ezekiah, Faustin, Fawkes, Fidencio, Fielder, Finbarr, Forester, Franck, Froilan, Gamalier, Gerber, Giordano, Godfrey, Gustaf, Hammond, Hanniel, Harding, Hatton, Hipolito, Hollister, Iakona, Iason, Iniko, Ioan, Iroh*, Iskander, Jacobson, Jamespatrick, Jash, Jaymason, Jeanmarc, Jenkins, Jenziel, Jephthah, Jerusalem, Jiho, Johnrobert, Jonesy**, Jovaniel, Kaikoa, Kaipo, Kaique, Kaliber, Kalyx, Kaos, Kartikeya, Kazuhiro, Kester, Khattab, Khoury, Kindred, Kingelijah, Kingjoseph, Kingmessiah, Kojo, Konan, Kristofferson, Kuyper, Lamaj***, Law, Lazlo, Leaf, Legolas, Leodan, Lesley, Linton, Linux, Obsang, Loxley, Lycan, Macson, Manley, Marston, Matej, Maurilio, Mcguire, Milano, Miroslav, Mowgli, Muse, Nahoa, Navier, Neon, Newman, Nicanor, Nivek, Octavis, Olanrewaju, Othello, Paddy, Peniel, Perez, Phelix, Philo, Power, Prophet, Psalm, Racer, Ralphie, Ramsay, Real, Red, Refugio, Richter, Riggen, Rod, Romulo, Savoy, Sebastiaan, Serge, Sheffield, Sigurd, Silvan, Silvester, Slevin, Snowden, Stalin, Stavro, Stoic, Taber, Thoreau, Toben, Tracer, Uilliam, Vasco, Victoriano, Vladyslav, Wardell, Webster, Willoughby, Wise, Woody, Xhavier, Xiomar, Yancarlos, Yeabsira, Yorick, Ysmael, Zender, Zurich

*Iroh – found the Avatar: The Last Airbender fans!

**Jonesy – this always reminds me of The Hunt for Red October

***Lamaj -> Jamal backwards.  Ramaj (Jamar) was also used 6 times in 2015.

What do you think of these names?  Love’ em, hate ’em?  Are you scratching your head at any?  Let me know in the comments! 

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Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.17.18 PMGrayson is what I think of as a balanced name; it sounds both rugged and refined, modern and old.  One of the trendiest boys’ names of this decade, Grayson has been in the American top 1000 since 1984.  Maybe you knew a Grayson in high school (I did), and until now it was the only time you’ve heard this common last name used as a first name.  Over 20-odd years Grayson trickled upwards, slowly permeating the American consciousness until an accelerating spark sent him shooting towards the top.  This ‘spark’ ignited in 2009, and in 2011 he breached the top 100.  In 2015, he reached the top 50, landing at #47.  He’s also brought a variation with him; Greyson ranks #111 and will likely enter the top 100 in the 2016 set.  Other existing spellings include Greysen and the unisex Gracen.

Interestingly, there is precedence for Grayson as a women’s name.  Actress Grayson Hall (1922-1985) played Dr. Julia Hoffman on Dark Shadows in the late 60s and early 70s.  Her real name was Shirley, which was once considered a men’s name.  I’m not suggesting that Grayson will be the next Madison or Ashley; merely, that our gendered perceptions of names can and sometimes do change.  Will parents appropriate Grayson for their daughters?  168 female Graysons were born in 2015, though I won’t personally call it unisex until it hits the top 1000 or 10% of all Graysons born in a year (whichever comes first).

Besides Grayson Hall, there are many other namesakes for a baby Grayson (real and fictional, first-name and surnames).  Here are a few of them: 

  • Sen. William Grayson (1740-1790), an Anti-Federalist from Virginia.  He was the first U.S. Congressman to die in office.
  • Frances Wilson Grayson (1892-1927), an early aviatrix and relative of President Woodrow Wilson.
  • Amanda Grayson, Spock’s mother in Star Trek. 
  • Grayson, a character in a Highlander episode from 1993.  The name Grayson noticeably jumped almost 100 places between 1993 and 1994, though I don’t know if a single episode can affect the charts that strongly.
  • Grayson Kent, a character on the show Drop Dead Diva.  The series began in 2009.
  • Grayson Ellis, a character on the show Cougar Town.  This series also began in 2009.
  • The Grayson family, characters in the ABC series Revenge (2011-2015)

From what I can see, Grayson has a lot of TV connections.  Grayson Kent and Grayson Ellis are leads that may explain why over 1,000 more boys were named Grayson in 2010 than in 2009 (and most years since).  Ultimately, I think Grayson would have grown more popular on its own, but pop culture and timing mean a lot in the baby-naming sphere.

I predict that we’ll find Grayson somewhere in the #30-40 range in the 2016 set.  These days, raw usage for names doesn’t just go up 1,000 babies in a year only to drop that same amount the next year!  Grayson boasts a strong upwards trajectory and if it continues he might soon land in the top 20.  I don’t think Grayson will enter the top 1000 for girls, but you never know!  

Fun fact: In 2015, Grayson appeared on the top 100 list for every state and the District of Columbia except California!  California is one of only two or three states where the population is so large that landing in their top 100 automatically secures a spot in the U.S. top 1000.  What does that tell you?  Anyhow, Grayson ranked highest in Kentucky (where there’s a Grayson County, named after Sen. Grayson) and lowest in New Mexico.

What do you think of Grayson?  Is there another spelling you like more?  And finally, what do you think about Grayson as a girls’ name: does it work either way, or should Grayson stay a men’s name?

*P.S. I’m honestly worried that part of Grayson‘s growing popularity has to do with sounding close to “Fifty Shades of Gray.”  Grayson is subtle enough to provide an alibi…

Below the Top 1000, Part 41 (Girls)

For this Monday morning, here are some girls’ names used only 7 times in 2015!  The data comes from the Social Security Administration, which will release the 2016 set towards the beginning of May.  The wait is short now! 

  • 7 girls: Abiageal, Accalia, Adalen, Adaleyza, Adrijana, Ahmiracle, Ai, Ailanie, Aisleigh, Aj, Aliceson, Alyrica, Amberlin, Ambriella, Amoreena, Analaura, Anastasija, Ange, Anjola, Annesley, Aoki, Aracelis, Arijana, Arkadia, Asaiah, Asani, Asmita, Athenea, Audelia, Aunalee, Auree, Avabelle, Avanti, Avena, Avishka, Awbrey, Ayomiposi, Azora, Baileyrae, Bassheva, Belicia, Bell, Bitania, Blimie, Blithe, Braisley, Brigitta, Brittley, Brixtyn, Bronte, Bronwen, Cecilie, Chandra, Chayla, Chetana, Christalynn, Conleigh, Corazon, Corinthian, Cyara, Daciana, Dali, Dawna, Delma, Delmi, Denna, Deva, Dillynn, Dmiya, Domino, Doriana, Dylilah, Dziyah, Edythe, Elen, Eleri, Elexia, Eliotte, Ellawyn, Ellenore, Elshaddai, Elvie, Emmelina, Enora, Ephrata, Erla, Eudora, Excel, Fatimatou, Faviola, Ferrari, Fionnuala, Florentina, Fortune, Garnet, Gene, Genoveva, Geraldy, Ghofran, Giordana, Glorious, Graceland, Gracious, Gurnaaz, Hadelyn, Hagan, Halei, Hatti, Heli, Hendel, Hodaya, Holliday, Hutton, Infiniti, Ipek, Iran, Izalea, Jakelin, Jakenzie, Janeliz, Jasibe, Jawaher, Jennavecia, Jezebelle, Joule, Jovita, Joyous, Juhi, Juliza, Juni, Kaho, Kaitley, Kartier, Kateleen, Kathalia, Katori, Kawena, Kaylanee, Kayton, Kehaulani, Keighley, Keilianys, Kenlyn, Keyera, Keziyah, Kindra, Kinlyn, Kirstin, Kleopatra, Krissa, Kymberlynn, Lamiracle, Laniece, Larimar, Larue, Laxmi, Lean, Leialoha, Leonore, Lilana, Lilliam, Lindee, Lior, Lisbet, Lisha, Lolly, Louisiana, Lovette, Loyalti, Lucillia, Lucine, Lundon, Lyria, Maeryn, Magenta, Maggiemae, Maham, Mahlet, Maizlyn, Makenzii, Malayasia, Malley, Mama, Marabel, Mariangela, Mariateresa, Maryjane, Maui, Mayella, Mayline, Maymuna, Mazarine, Mckyla, Mclaren, Menna, Mialani, Mileidy, Milenka, Mirelle, Miyoko, Mkayla, Montserrath, Moo, Musiq, Mystic, Naavah, Nadja, Najwa, Nastasia, Nazariah, Neaveh, Nene, Nigella, Nivriti, Novelle, Nyellie, Nylie, Nzinga, Oktober, Oralia, Orianthi, Oyuki, Padme, Parisha, Patton, Patty, Pearson, Pendleton, Pennylane, Portlyn, Princesa, Puja, Raissa, Ramata, Rashida, Renatha, Ridleigh, Rigley, Rosalynne, Rosebella, Rune, Ryeleigh, Saffire, Sahalie, Salam, Saory, Saphia, Season, Serin, Setayesh, Shine, Shona, Sibylla, Silvie, Sincerity, Sorcha, Sorrel, Stone, Sulamita, Sully, Talullah, Tamora, Tasfia, Tavi, Thamara, Theory, Tigerlilly, Triana, Valena, Vasti, Venezia, Victorious, Virtue, Widad, Windy, Wonder, Yaxeni, Yeraldin, Zabel, Zamorah, Zeppelyn, Zevaeh, Zmya

What do you think of these names?  I really adore Edythe.  Also…note that two Beatles song titles are in here as names (Pennylane and Maggiemae).

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Mountainous Baby Names

For Earth Day 2017: mountains, volcanoes, and baby names!

Mountains and Volcanoes:

Afton (Virginia) – 96 girls, 7 boys.  Someone told me that they thought all the Afton‘s in their local preschool were named after Afton Mountain.  Looking at the state data for 2015, 10 of the 96 female Afton‘s (about 10.4%) were born in Virginia.  So, the data does seem to suggest a some geographic concentration.

Aspen (Colorado) – 873 girls (#372) and 87 boys.  This name appears in the top 100 of several states, mostly in or near the Rockies (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota, and Oklahoma).

Augusta (Alaska/Canada) – 48 girls.

Denali (Alaska) – 62 girls and 28 boys.  About 13% of the girls named Denali in 2015 were indeed born in Alaska.


Denali / Mt. McKinley, by Denali National Park and Preserve

Elbert (Colorado) – 15 boys.

Erebus – Mt. Erebus is a volcano in Antarctica.  For the adventurous mythology-lover searching for a unique baby name, Erebus is the primordial darkness and an underworld locale.  Although he isn’t in the data, the name of another geographical feature of the Underworld – Acheron – was given to 6 boys in 2015. 

Everest (China / Nepal) – 111 boys and 29 girls were named after the world’s tallest peak in 2015.

Hayes (Alaska) – 524 boys (#539), 26 girls.

Helen (Washington State) – Mt. St. Helens partly exploded in 1980, taking off over 1300 ft of elevation.  Helen ranked #419 in 2015, being given to 757 girls.

Hesperus (Alaska) – Greek personification of the Evening Star (Venus).  In Mythology, Hesperus is the half-brother of PhosphorosPhosphoros means “light-bearer,” and is thus the Greek cognate of Lucifer.

Kea (Hawaii) – Mauna Kea.  Kea last appeared in the SSA birth data in 2012.

Kenya – 307 girls (#892) and 7 boys.  Mt. Kenya: largest in that country, 2nd-largest in Africa after Kilimanjaro.

Logan (Canada) – #14 representing 12862 boys; #394 for 827 girls. Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada, 2nd largest on the continent after Denali / McKinley.  The fact that Logan’s in Canada really makes me think of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.

Lorenzo (Argentina/Chile) – #216 (1834 boys) in the U.S.  Monte San Lorenzo.

McKinley – #380 / 856 girls, plus 73 boys.  McKinley is the recently deposed name for Denali; Denali is the native name.  Regardless, both appeared in Alaska’s top 100 in 2015 and only in the Alaskan top 100. 

Rainier (Washington State) – Also known as Tacoma or Tahoma, this volcano name was given to 34 boys and 8 girls in 2015.

Rosa (Switzerland/Italy) – Monte Rosa.  Ranks #631, given to 448 girls.

Shasta (California) – Only 15 girls in 2015, though this was a popular name in the 70s and 80s.  Read here for more information on the baby name Shasta.


Mt. Shasta

Sinai (Egypt) – 83 girls.

Stanley (Democratic Republic of the Congo/Uganda) – 363 boys (#688).

Whitney (California) – #640 / 444 girls; also 7 boys.


Alaska – 60 girls.

Amaro (Ethiopia) – 5 boys

Atlas (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia) – #490 / 595 boys and 30 girls.  Even as a Greek mythology nerd I think it strange that this name would take off, out of all the classical names out there.  I’ll take it though!

Bridger – 197 boys.  There are actually a couple of Bridger Ranges in Montana and Wyoming, both named for Jim Bridger (of The Revenant fame).  And guess what – Bridger appeared in the 2015 top 100 for both states, but nowhere else!


Jim Bridger

Carmel (Israel) – 18 girls.

Elias (Alaska/Canada) – #100 / 4062 boys and 10 girls.   Elias ranks higher in Alaska than in every other state except for New Mexico.  (I should note – since Alaska has so few people, their charts have little effect on the national data.  That said, their surroundings really do affect their baby naming.  Aurora (like the phenomenon) is their #3 baby name).

Rocky (North America) – #927 / 229 boys.

Taurus (Turkey) – 16 boys.


Blue* – 31 boys, 20 girls; as in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Cliff – 17 boys. 

Denver – 240 boys (#900) and 197 girls.  It’s impossible to think of the Rockies or the Blue Ridge without mention of the folk singer John Denver. 

Kili – Because Kilimanjaro isn’t a baby name, there’s always the Tolkien dwarf name Kili!  6 boys in 2015.

Ridge – 226 boys (#932).

Sierra – 778 girls (#408).  The Spanish word for “mountain range.” 

What do you think?  Don’t you find the geographic concentration of baby names fascinating?  Even an obscurity like Afton seems to influence its surroundings!  And of course: happy Earth Day!

*I’m aware that Blue is coded purple.  I did that because usage is unisex rather than masculine.

Data source:

Below the Top 1000, Part 40 (Boys)

For today’s list I’ve narrowed down some American boys’ names used only 7 times in 2015.  Because so many names pool at the bottom of the barrel, I have to be more selective in my showcases now.  All rare names are interesting, but some even more so (wow, that sounds Orwellian…Animal Farm, anyone?).  I’ve mostly excluded creative spellings to contain this already gargantuan list, though there are a few exceptions like Addicus (from Atticus) and Euriah (from Uriah).  This time you’ll see more word-names, surnames, and antiquities.  As always, the data comes from the Social Security Administration

  • 7 boys: Absalom, Acie, Ackley, Addicus, Adeoluwa, Ahking, Alassane, Albara, Alexio, Allante, Amante, Amichai, Andranik, Anubis, Arjay, Attila, Augie, Augustino, Auryn, Avalon, Ayomiposi, Babyboy, Baden, Bam, Bankston, Baptiste, Barak, Bela, Benedikt, Benoit, Bex, Bj, Blessed, Bliss, Branston, Brig, Brittain, Browning, Cable, Cadel, Cadien, Camillo, Carbon, Cashtyn, Caspar, Caswell, Cesario, Chancey, Chaos, Chicago, Chipper, Chord, Clever, Coal, Connolly, Crescencio, Crowley, Cub, Daedalus, Dago, Dajour, Dartanion, Dashton, Decimus, Del, Delvis, Demilade, Denarius, Dextin, Dierk, Dominico, Donal, Doss, Dragon, Drako, Dudley, Dugan, Dupree, Eberardo, Edilson, Eldrick, Elizandro, Emeterio, Emigdio, Emmerick, Enson, Ethanael, Eulalio, Euriah, Evaristo, Ezriah, Favour, Field, Finesse, Finneus, Fordham, Fuller, Gamble, Gavril, Gerry, Goku, Govind, Grayer, Griffey, Grigor, Hades, Hamze, Harbour, Hariharan, Hartford, Haskell, Hikaru, Howell, Hughston, Humphrey, Huntington, Imanuel, Iokepa, Italo, Ivor, Jaafar, Jag, Jahzeel, Jame, Jaquavious, Jasyn, Jathaniel, Jayjay, Jediel, Jexiel, Joaopedro, Johnmatthew, Josafat, Jossiel, Jt, Juanjesus, Juliocesar*, Kamuela, Kanaloa, Kapono, Kastle, Kazuki, Keats, Keefer, Keldan, Kell, Kengo, Kenna, Kentaro, Kentrail, Kermit, Kiril, Kline, Knighton, Kourtland, Kwamaine, Langley, Lazarius, Leandros, Lear, Leigh, Leoncio, Light, Lorcan, Lucifer, Ludovic, Lyzander, Macgregor, Marvelous, Massai, Mccabe, Mirko, Moaz, Mosley, Moss, Nakoda, Naol, Naphtali, Narciso, Nikodem, Nolberto, Ollivander, Onesimo, Osmany, Ovidio, Packer, Parson, Pate, Peace, Pollux, Powell, Primo, Prodigy, Rahm, Rally, Renardo, Ritter, Roane, Roddy, Romance**, Rosalio, Rudolfo, Ryerson, Sabre, Santo, Sasuke, Savage, Savant, Severus, Shalev, Shariff, Shine, Shiva, Silverio, Sinjin**, Socrates, Solace, Solo, Sovereign, Spartacus, Spence, Striker, Tag, Tawfiq, Texas, Theory, Thorn, Tiziano, Tochukwu, Toussaint, Tuf, Turk, Ulrik, Valdemar, Vasudev, Venice, Vinicius, Virgilio, Voss, Watts, Weiland, Welton, Wilde, Wolfram, Yancy, Yedidya, Yeltsin, Yogi, Yohanan, York, Ysrael, Zadiel, Zaion, Zeferino

*Juliocesar – Julius Caesar

**Romance – Interestingly, strictly masculine.

***Sinjin – Phonetic spelling of St. John, which is a surname and the first name of Jane Eyre’s cousin. 

What do you think of these names?  My favorites are Absalom, Daedalus, Decimus, Ivor, Lorcan, Ludovic, Pollux, Severus, and Wolfram.  The biggest eyebrow-raisers for me are Denarius, Savant, and Yeltsin

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The ‘Ph’ Treatment

You’ve probably seen traditionally ‘Ph’ names spelled with an ‘F.’  This tends to happen in Romance languages like Italian and Spanish and in phonetic transliterations of Modern Greek.  Filomena, Felipe, and Fotini are fairly well-known cognates of Philomena, Philip, and Photine.  These ‘F’ spellings are perfectly legitimate and well-established; you’d never refer to them as “youneek” or “kre8tyv” spellings!

On the other hand, a few Americans have taken names that traditionally begin with ‘F’ and spelled them instead with ‘Ph.”  These spellings usually do count under “youneek” and “kre8tyv,” though I wonder how many are phonetic rather than intentional.  Some parents may hear a name and love it but not see it written down before they put it on the birth certificate.  On the other hand, I’m cynical and wonder how many parents know and just don’t care.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 1.42.02 PM

“Phrom” the 2015 data:

Farrah becomes Pharrah (16 girls) or Phara (5 girls).  Arabic names like Farrah always have multiple spellings when they enter English.  You simply can’t establish a standard transliteration for a name from another alphabet.

Finley -> Phinley (14 girls).  I wondered if this was influenced by Phineas at all, but so far Phinley has only registered for girls.  To be fair, Finley is a more popular girls’ name than boys’ name, but we may see male Phinley‘s if Finley continues rising for both genders.

Faith -> Phaith (8 girls).  Phaith actually looks kinda pretty, but considering that Faith is a word in every English dictionary…I can’t justify this.  If you want to use a word as a baby name, please check the spelling first. 

Fallon -> Phalynn (5 girls).  Fallon first debuted in the 1980s, bringing with a plethora of both ‘f’ and ‘ph’ variations.  Nothing new here!

Farrell -> Pharrell (14 boys) or Pharell (7 boys).  Whether you spell it with an ‘F’ or a ‘Ph,’ it boasts celebrity associations.  Farrell refers to actor Colin Farrell, and Pharrell to musician Pharrell Williams.

Felix -> Phelix (6 boys).  i.e., The geneticist’s favorite baby name.  Honestly, Phaith looks better than Phelix.  But that’s just me…

Finn -> Phynn (6 boys).

“Phrom” the Past:

Fabian -> PhabianPhabian last appeared in 2013.

Fanta -> Phanta.  1978 only. 

Fantasia -> PhantasiaPhantasia appeared sporadically between 1991 and 2005.

Faramond -> PharamondNot from the data…Pharamond is the Shakespearian spelling of Faramund / Faramond, who was king of the Franks. 

Fatima -> PhatimaLast appeared in 2007.

Fawn -> Phawn 1976 only.

Felicia -> Phelicia.  1960s-1990s.

Felicity -> Phelicity.  A millennial (1999/2000) edition. 

Felony -> Phelony.  Both are too rare for the data (thankfully), but occasionally and unfortunately pop up sometimes.  See Phelony: A Baby Name Rant.

Fiona -> Phiona.  Last appeared in 2014, so maybe again in 2016?

Now “phantasize” about:

To my knowledge, nobody has previously discovered or used these.

Faustine -> Phaustine

Faye -> Phaye

Finnegan -> Phinnegan

Fitzgerald -> Phitzgerald

Flavia -> Phlavia

Fleur / Fleurette -> Phleur, Phleurette

Flora -> Phlora

Florence -> Phlorence

Forrest -> Phorrest

Fox -> Phox

Francis / Frances -> Phrancis / Phrances

Frankie -> Phrankie

Frederick -> Phrederick

Freya -> Phreya

What are your thoughts on the ‘Ph’ treatment of ‘F’ names?  I’m not big on it, but some spellings are admittedly less atrocious than others.  If I can designate a favorite from each category, they’d have to be Pharrell, Phawn, and Phreya.

The data for this post comes from the SSA and the wonderful Nancy’s Baby Names.


Below the Top 1000, Part 39 (Girls)

Today we have an extensive (but not exhaustive) selection of girls’ names used just 8 times in 2015!  The data comes to us from the Social Security Administration, which publishes America’s most popular baby names (and then some) every year in May.  Just a few more weeks!

  • 8 girls: Aakriti, Aarini, Abra, Adaliyah, Adamary, Adaugo, Addlynn, Adiana, Aedyn, Afaf, Agam, Ahnyla, Ailie, Akiko, Alanoud, Alithea, Amabel, Amalina, Ambellina, Ambre, Amylee, Anakaren, Anayansi, Angelisse, Annalena, Antigone, Aonesty, Apolline, Arabell, Aravis, Arcelia, Areeba, Arlington, Arrington, Artemisia, Asteria, Astryd, Atalaya, Athanasia, Atlanta, Avalie, Avian, Ayslee, Azriella, Batul, Berry, Bethann, Bethsaida, Betzabe, Bindi, Brightly, Brittlynn, Caramia, Carey, Cashlynn, Cassiopeia, Caycee, Cayetana, Charlynn, Chinmayi, Cici, Clancy, Clarabella, Claudine, Concepcion, Cyana, Cyndi, Damilola, Diamonique, Dinorah, Dixi, Doha, Dorinda, Dreyah, Dulcie, Edelweiss, Eibhlin, Elisheba, Elke, Ellabelle, Elliemay, Elsbeth, Emarosa, Emercyn, Emmalise, Emonii, Erandy, Eryka, Evangelyne, Evlynn, Ezgi, Fabianna, Fayelynn, Feliz, Fendi, Frimy, Gabbie, Geena, Gem, Genova, Ghala, Giuseppina, Glenna, Gloricely, Griffyn, Grisel, Gurbani, Gwendalynn, Haddy, Hannelore, Hazleigh, Hemen, Hikari, Hiliana, Holy, Hyacinth, Icelyn, Idania, Irish, Isobella, Jaisley, Jalexis, Jalyric, Jan, Jaylianie, Jerelyn, Jinger, Jouri, Judit, Kadiatu, Kaliope, Kalla, Kamrin, Karalee, Kataryna, Katrin, Ketzia, Khara, Kharisma, Kinda, Kingsleigh, Knightley, Kseniya, Kyleeann, Laiklynn, Lashawna, Laurette, Lavada, Leighlah, Lemon, Letha, Levina, Lexine, Llewellyn, Lovelynn, Luanna, Luba, Lucielle, Lupe, Lura, Luxe, Macarena, Macaria, Maevyn, Magdalynn, Malay, Mang, Manna, Marabella, Marcelle, Margalit, Mariaeduarda, Mariaisabella, Mariavictoria, Mariko, Maruska, Marybelle, Marycarmen, Maryfer, Maryhelen, Marzia, Mayan, Megumi, Mercer, Miette, Monalisa, Moon, Myalynn, Mystique, Nadezhda, Nanami, Nemesis, Nettie, Nigeria, Nineveh, Nohealani, Oracle, Penley, Peregrine, Petronila, Phaith, Quinci, Radiance, Radley, Rainier, Raja, Raphaela, Rasheeda, Rein, Reine, Rejoice, Revel, Rohini, Rosabel, Rosette, Rumer, Rumor, Sabra, Saki, Samuella, Say, Selam, Sharla, Shawnee, Shayleen, Shireen, Shy, Sibley, Sigourney, Snighda, Socorro, Solene, Sookie, Sosie, Staci, Stasia, Sweden, Talley, Terry, Tiffanie, Tove, Venecia, Wilda, Xiana, Xylie, Yamina, Yessia, Yorley, Zaley, Zoa, Zoejane, Zykira

Thoughts, favorites?  Are there any you hate?  Let me know in the comments!

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Coffee-Inspired Baby Names


Valencia Mocha…yum!

It’s Monday after a major holiday.  You’ve returned to work, and need a jolt of caffeine to start the day and overcome your likely food coma.  Unfortunately, your thermos is missing, the drive-thru line was too long, and you refuse to drink it without milk or creamer (which is all gone at work).  The horror!  All you can do is think about this delicious beverage and hope the tiny, burnt remainder of yesterday’s brew that you gulped with breakfast will be enough to keep you going until 5 PM.

Or, maybe you’ve had your coffee and want something else to ponder.  Maybe you really like names!  So whatever your caffeine dilemma or interests this morning: “Coffee-Inspired Baby Names,” a follow-up to the immensely popular Tea-Inspired Baby Names!

Coffea – The genus of the coffee plant.

Cherry – 42 girls.  The berries of the coffee plant are called cherries.  These cherries contain the coffee beans. 

Bean – As in coffee beans!  Although Bean didn’t appear in the 2015 data set, this is famously the adorable middle name of Kurt Cobain’s daughter (Frances Bean Cobain).

CascaraCascara is an increasingly popular tea-like coffee made from coffee cherries. 

Brewer – 31 boys.  I personally associate this name more with beer, but it works for coffee too.  Something tells me that “Barista” wouldn’t work as a baby name…

Kona – 20 boys and 10 girls in 2015, plus 6 boys named Konan.  Kona is a delicious coffee from the Big Island of Hawaii.

Maxwell – Maxwell House coffee.  Maxwell is a very popular baby name, ranking #113 in 2015. 

Bailey – #108.  Irish cream coffee.

Kahlúa – Sounds namey, but this might be like naming a child Kombucha (from the list of tea-names; see above).  By the way, Pumpkin Spice Kahlúa is terrible! 

Sheridan – English coffee liqueur; 34 girls.

Melitta – a German company that specializing in coffee and filters.  It’s named after the founder!  Melita (6 girls) is slightly less obvious.

Duncan – A subtle reference to Dunkin’ Donuts.  Rank: #793.

Horton – I hear Tim Horton’s is pretty popular in Canada?

Star97 girls and 5 boys in 2015.  Because Starbucks isn’t a baby name!  Let’s keep it that way…

Capucine – this French name meaning “nasturtium” sounds suspiciously like “cappuccino.”  Only once in the 21st century has Capucine appeared in the SSA data (in 2008), but she was semi-regular in the 60s and 70s.  This is probably due to the mononymous French actress Capucine, who was in the 1963 film The Pink Panther.

Valencia – 103 girls.  The Valencia Mocha is a mocha with bits of orange peel.

Chai – Chai is a tea, but Dirty Chais contain espresso! 

Lottie – 78 girls.  This lovely and old-fashioned nickname for Charlotte (#9) is a lot subtler than “Latte,” but similar enough to quench your thirst!

Arista – 13 girls.  This astronomy name is just one letter off from “barista.”

Barrister – Another option to honor your favorite barista…or lawyer.

Thoughts?  Can you think of any other coffee-inspired baby names? 

Names of Women Governors and Lt. Governors

Earlier this week, Kay Ivey was sworn in as Alabama’s second female governor, after the resignation of Gov. Robert Bentley.  Politics and Bentley’s disgraceful behavior aside; I am a feminist at heart, and I want better representation for women in government.  My interest usually piques whenever another woman attains political office, even if I strongly disagree with her deeds and doctrines.  Adding to my curiosity, my own state has never had a female governor, lieutenant governor, or senator.  I naturally want to know the names of the women who have reached these lofty positions.

Below you will find a list of the lady governors’ first names and a list of the lady lieutenant governors’ names!  They are sorted alphabetically and by frequency. 


Nellie Tayloe Ross, first woman Governor in U.S. (1925-27)

Frequency of Women’s Governor Names:

  • Christine (x2)
  • Jane (x2)
  • Kathleen (x2)
  • Kay (x2)
  • Mary (x2) – though one goes by “Jodi
  • Barbara
  • Beverly “Bev”
  • CynthiaJeanne
  • Dixy Lee (birth name Marguerite)
  • DorothyAnn
  • Ella – had 3 middle names.  Ella Rosa Giovianna Oliva
  • Gina
  • Janet
  • JaniceJan
  • Jennifer
  • Joan
  • Judy
  • KatherineKate
  • Linda
  • Lurleen
  • Madeleine
  • MargaretMaggie
  • Martha
  • Miriam
  • Muriel (D.C. Mayor)
  • Nancy
  • Nellie – the very first woman governor, from Wyoming
  • Nimrata “Nikki
  • Olene
  • Rose
  • Ruth
  • Sarah – Yes, Palin.  Worth mentioning – her surname became a viable baby name in 2008 because of her VP nomination.  Palin peaked in 2009 with 38 girls, though there are several other spellings lurking about. 
  • Sharon (D.C. Mayor)
  • Sila (Puerto Rico)
  • Susana
  • Vesta

Because there have only been a few women governors, there is no clear winner as far as a “most popular” name for ladies in charge.  Not even Mary, the #1 name throughout the late 19th and early 20th century.  Governor Ivey is the reason there’s ever been more than one Kay.

Frequency of Women Lieutenant Governors’ Names:

  • Mary (x5) – one goes by “Jodi
  • Nancy (x4)
  • Ruth (x4) – though one went by Harriett
  • Barbara (x3)
  • Kathleen (x3)
  • Rebecca (x3)
  • Elizabeth (x2) – one known as “Betsy
  • Evelyn (x2)
  • Jane (x2)
  • Kim (x2)
  • Kimberly (x2) “Kim
  • Martha (x2)
  • Sheila (x2)
  • Sue (x2)
  • Amy
  • Angela
  • AntoinetteToni
  • Bethany
  • Beverly “Bev”
  • Carol
  • Carole
  • Catherine
  • Connie
  • Consuelo
  • Corinne
  • Diane
  • Donna
  • EdytheEvelyn
  • Eugenia “Crit” (Crit is short for Crittenden)
  • Eunice
  • FrancesFran
  • Gail
  • Jari
  • Jean (middle name Sadako)
  • Jenean
  • Jennette
  • Jennifer
  • Jo Ann
  • Joanell
  • Joanne
  • Joy
  • Judy
  • Karyn
  • KatherineKathy
  • Kay
  • Kerry
  • Lorraine
  • Lucy
  • Madeleine
  • Mae
  • Margaret
  • Marlene
  • Matilda – 1st woman to serve as Lieutenant Governor (for Michigan)
  • Maude
  • Maureen
  • Maxine
  • Mazie
  • Melinda
  • Olene
  • Patty
  • Rosemarie
  • Sally
  • Simeona “Mona” (middle name Fortunata!)
  • Suzanne
  • Thelma
  • Tina
  • Yvonne

The fact that there have been more women serve as lieutenant governor means that we actually can determine a most popular name for this subset.  Mary is the unsurprising victor, though Nancy and Ruth follow very closely.  If the two Kimberly‘s were Kim‘s or vice versa, Kim/Kimberly would be as common in the office as Nancy and Ruth

Thoughts?  As time passes, I’d love to see what (if any) names feature more prominently among women in politics.  Maybe next I’ll write a frequency list for the names of Congresswomen?