Dantea's Baby Names

{November 28, 2011}   Biblical Place Names – Girls

Name                           Origin                          Meaning

Abilene                         Hebrew                         “Grass” This was the name of a district lying on the east slope of the Anti-Lebanon range. It was named from its main town, Abila (Luke 3:1), which stood in the Suk Wady Barada, between Heliopolis (Baalbec) and Damascus, 38 miles from the former and 18 from the latter. This is also a place name for Texas and Kansas. Has the nickname potential of Abby or Lena. Variations include: Abalene, Abileen

Abilene, TX

Adria                             Greek                              This name is used once in the Bible (Acts 27:27). It was the Adriatic Sea, including the Ionian Sea. Could be a variation of Adrianna and very pretty on its own.

Coast of the Adriatic Sea

Antonia                        Latin                               “priceless one” This is a fortress in Jerusalem, at the northwest corner of the temple area. Antonia is stronger than most feminized boys’ names. Could have the cute nickname possibility of Annie. Variations include: Ansonia, Ansonya, Antania, Antinia, Antona, Antonice, Antonija, Antonine, Antoniya, Antonnea, Antonnia, Antonya, Antoñía, Netta, Netti, Nettie, Nety, Tloinette, Toinetta, Tonechka, Tonette, Toney, Toni, Tonie, Tony, Tonya

Apollonia                    Place name                   A city of Macedonia between Amphipolis and Thessalonica. Paul and Silas passed through it on their way to there. (Acts 17:1) Name of early Christian martyr with exotic, appealing feel in the modern world.  Variations include: Abbeline, Abbetina, Apollinia, Apollyne, Appolonia

Ariel                              Hebrew                          “lion of God” A symbolic name for Jerusalem (Isa. 29:1-2, 7) as “victorious under God,” and in Ezek. 43:15-16, for the alter(Hebrew: “’ariel”) of burnt offerings, the secret of Israel’s lion-like strength. Biblical place and name of Shakespearean (male) sprite that enjoyed a burst of popularity with the release of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Although its wave has crested, it’s still a name any little girl would love. It’s also associated with the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Variations include: Aerial, Aeriale, Aeriel, Aeriela, Aeriell, Aeryal, Ahriel, Aire, Aireal, Airial, Airiél, Ari, Aria, Arial, Ariale, Arieal, Ariela, Ariele, Ariella, Arielle, Ariellel, Arrieal, Arriel, Arriele, Arriell, Arrielle, Aryel, Aryelle, Auriel, Aurielle

Jerusalem, Ariel is a symbolic name

Ava                                Latin                               “like a bird” A place in Assyria from which colonies were brought to Samaria (2 Kings 17:24). Ava was given a big popularity boost — Ava’s currently at Number 5 — when dozens of high-profile stars such as Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman chose Ava for their daughters.  Ava is simple and sweet. Variations include: Aeva, Aiva, Avada, Avae, Avah, Ave, Aveen, Avis, Eva

Ava Gardner

Bethany                       Hebrew                          “house of figs” A village on the southeastern slope of the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1), about 2 miles east of Jerusalem, on the road to Jericho. It derived its name from the number of palm-trees which grew there. It was the residence of Lazarus and his sisters. Bethany is a lyrical name that still strikes many parents as a fresher, more substantial substitute for the overused Brittany/Brittney. Variations include: Beth, Bethanee, Bethaney, Bethani, Bethanie, Bethanne, Bethannie, Bethanny, Bethenee, Betheney, Betheny

Bethany in Jerusalem

Bethel                           Hebrew                          “House of God” The name Bethel was at first apparently given to the Sanctuary in the neighborhood of Luz, and was not given to the city itself till after its conquest by Ephraim. This is the place where Jacob, on his way from Beersheba to Haran, saw visions of Angels ascending and descending from Heaven on a ladder. A rarely used Biblical place-name with a soft and pleasant sound. Variations include: Bethell

Bethel, AK

Cilicia                           Place name                   A maritime province in the southeast of Asia Minor. Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul, was one of its chief towns, and the seat of a celebrated school of philosophy.

The Coast of Cilicia

Cyrene                         Place name                   A city (now Tripoli) in Upper Libya, North Africa, founded by a colony of Greeks (B.C. 630). Simon, who bore the Lord’s cross, was a native of this place (Matt. 27:32; Mark 15:21). Jews from Cyrene were in Jerusalem at Pentecost (Acts 2:10); and Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue at Jerusalem (6:9). Nickname option of Cy

Eden                             Hebrew                           “place of pleasure” Eden is an attractive, serene paradise-equivalent of the more-popular Navaeh (yes, that’s heaven spelled backwards), Eden got a real bump in visibility when ‘Desperate Housewives’ Marcia Cross used it for one of her twin girls.  Eden is the mythical garden where Adam and Eve lived. Variations include: Eaden, Eadin, Ede, Edena, Edene, Edenia, Edin, Edyn

Haven                          Word name                   The most famous on the coast of Palestine was that of Tyre (Ezek. 27:3). That of Crete, called “Fair Havens,” is mentioned in Acts 27:8. Haven has recently appealed to an increasing number of parents who don’t want to voyage quite as far as Heaven. Variations include: Havin, Havun, Hayven, Hayvin

The "Fair Haven" of Crete

Idalah                          Place name                   A city near the west border of Zebulun (Josh. 19:15). It has been identified with the modern Jeida, in the valley of Kishon. Idalah is a town in Zebulun that makes an exotic first name for a modern girl. Where the boys get most of the ancient yet distinctive Biblical names, Idalah is one for the girls’ side.

Jordan                         Hebrew                          “flowing down” Originally used for children baptized in holy water from the river Jordan, it became one of the leading androgynous names of the nineties. As the balance tips toward the boys’ side — nearly four times as many boys as girls are called Jordan today — it’s slipping on the girls’ popularity chart.  Variations include” Johrdan, Jordain, Jordanka, Jordann, Jordanna, Jordanne, Jordena, Jordenn, Jordie, Jordin, Jordyn, Jordynn, Jorey, Jori, Jorie, Jorrdan, Jorry, Jory, Jourdan, Yardena, Yordana

The River Jordan

Keilah                           Place name                  A city in the lowlands of Judah (Josh. 15:44). David rescued it from the attack of the Philistines (1 Sam. 23:1-8); but the inhabitants proving unfaithful to him, in that they sought to deliver him up to Saul, he and his men “departed from Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go”

Lydda                           Place name                  A town in Ephraim, mentioned only in the New Testament (Acts 9:32, 35, 38) as the scene of Peter’s miracle in healing the paralytic Aeneas. Lydda is the name of a Biblical town whose similarity to Lydia makes it plausible as a first name. But if you’re considering Lydda, we not just go with Lydia?

Lydia                            Greek                              “woman from Lydia” A province in the west of Asia Minor, which derived its name from the fourth son of Shem (Gen. 10:22). Lydia is a very early place name, that of an area of Asia Minor whose inhabitants are credited with the invention of coinage and of having strong musical talent–as well as great wealth. Lydia is rising in popularity–it’s now not far outside the Top 100– increasingly appreciated for its history and haunting quality. Cute nickname: Liddy or Lydie Variations include: Liddie, Lidie, Lidya, Lyda

Lydia Hearst

Marah                          Place name                   Marah is where the Israelites camped right after they walked through the parted Red Sea. Marah is related to Mara and has the same “bitter” meaning.

Moriah                        Hebrew                           “the lord is my teacher” Where Abraham took his son Isaac to sacrifice him. Taylor Hanson chose this as the middle name for his son Viggo, his fourth child, but most will see it as a girl’s name. Variations include: Moraia, Moraiah, Moria, Moriel, Morit, Morria, Morriah

Mt. Moriah

Myra                            Greek                               “Fragrant” one of the chief towns of Lycia, in Asia Minor, about 2 1/2 miles from the coast (Acts 27:5). Here Paul removed from the Adramyttian ship in which he had sailed from Caeserea, and entered into the Alexandrian ship, which was afterwards wrecked at Melita. Variations include: Maira, Mayra, Mira, Myree, Myrena, Myria

Myra, Turkey

Persia                          Place name                    Despite — or because of — the country’s name change, still retains the brilliant coloration of an ancient Persian miniature.  Variations include: Persis

Iran, modern day Persia

Samaria                      Place names                  Ancient Palestinian city in present-day Jordan. In the heart of the mountains of Israel, a few miles northwest of Shechem, stands the “hill of Shomeron,” a solitary mountain, a great “mamelon.” It is an oblong hill, with steep but not inaccessible sides, and a long flat top. Omri, the king of Israel, purchased this hill from Shemer its owner for two talents of silver, and built on its broad summit the city to which he gave the name of “Shomeron”, i.e., Samaria, as the new capital of his kingdom instead of Tirzah (1 King 15:24).

Steps to Herodian Temple, Samaria

Sheba                          Hebrew                            Exotic biblical place-name for the region now known as Yemen is given to puppies and kittens more often than babies. But felt fresh again as the name of the heroine of Zoe Heller’s “Notes on a Scandal,” played by Cate Blanchett. Variations include: Saba, Sabah, Scheba, Shebah, Sheeba, Shieba

Shiloh                         Hebrew                            “peace/He who is to be sent” Shiloh, a place of rest, a city of Ephraim, “on the north side of Bethel,” from which it is distant 10 miles (Judg. 21:19); the modern Seilun (the Arabic for Shiloh), a “mass of shapeless ruins.” Variations include: Shilo, Shylo

Tarah                          Hebrew                            Station, an encampment of the Hebrews in the wilderness (Num. 33:27, 28). This is also a popular Irish name meaning  rocky hill.It was the name of the plantation from Gone with the Wind.

Plantation from Gone with the Wind

Zelah                           Place name                    A town in Benjamin, where Saul and his son Johnathan were buried (2 Sam. 21:14). It was probably Saul’s birthplace. Pretty and unique first name choice.

Zorah                          Hebrew                           “place of wasps” A town in the low country of Judah, afterwards given to Dan (Josh. 19:41; Judg. 18:2), probably the same as Zoreah (Josh. 15:33). This was Sampson’s birthplace (Judg. 13:2, 25), and near it he found a grave.



{November 26, 2011}   Biblical Place Names – Boy

Name                           Origin                          Meaning

Abel                               Hebrew                          “Breath” This was the name given to the great stone in Joshua’s field where the ark was “set  down.” Also, Abel is the name of Adam and Eve’s unfortunate younger son, but compensates with positive connotations: capable, competent, ready and willing. Variations include: Abell, Able, Avel

Abel, the one with the Shepherds hook

Ananiah                       Hebrew                            “Protected by Jehovah” This was the name of a town in the tribe of Benjamin between Nob and Hazor (Neh. 11:32). It is probably the modern Beit Hanina, a small village 3 miles north of Jerusalem. There is a name similar to this – Ananias – though I don’t think either could be used as a male first name nowadays. Try it in the middle.

Beit Hanina, Modern day Ananiah

Ariel                               Hebrew                            “Lion of God” A symbolic name for Jerusalem (Isa. 29: 1-2, 7) as “victorious under God,” and in Ezek. 43:15-16, for the altar(Hebrew: “’ariel”) of burnt offerings, the secret of Israel’s lion-like strength. Despite its distinguished pedigree and popularity in Israel, Disney’s Little Mermaid feminized Ariel in this country forever–though short form Arihas come into prominence. Variations include: Ari, Arial, Arie, Ariyel, Arriel

Jerusalem, Ariel is symbolic for this city

Cain                                Hebrew                             “Spear” Cain was later the name of a post-flood town of the Kenites, a branch of the Midianites (Josh. 15:57), on the east edge of the mountain above Engedi; probably the “nest in a rock” mentioned by Balaam(Num. 24:21). It is identified with the modern Yekin, 3 miles southeast of Hebron. Cain was also Adam and Eve’s other son, brother of Abel. The name of the first murderer was, until recently, seldom heard outside of the Old Testament and soap operas. Vary the spelling to sidestep the negative biblical connection. Variations include: Caine, Cainen, Cane, Cayne, Kain, Kane, Kayne, Kean, Keane

Cain, the one with the fruit

Canaan                         Place name                       Pronounced KAY-nan The name as first used by the Phoenicians denoted only the maritime plain on which Sidon was built. But in the time of Moses and Joshua it denoted the whole country to the west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea (Deut. 11:30). The name signifies “the lowlands,” as distinguished from the land of Gilead on the east of Jordan, which was a mountainous district.  This Old Testament place name has a strong, modern feel.

Land of Canaan

Cyprus                          Place name                       This is one of the largest islands of the Mediterranean. It was the “Chittim” of the Old Testament (Num. 24:24). The Greek colonists gave it the name of Kypros, from the cyprus which grew on this island. It was originally inhabited by Phoenicians. In B.C. 477 it fell under the dominion of the Greeks; and became a Roman province B.C. 58. Cyprus is first mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 4:36) as the native place of Barnabas. It was the scene of Paul’s first missionary labors when he and Barnabas and John Mark were sent forth by the church of Antioch. This name has a cool, modern edge to it.


Jericho                          Place name                      Jericho was a fenced city in the midst of a vast grove of palm trees, in the plain of Jordan, over against the place where that river was crossed by the Israelites(Josh. 3:16). This city was taken in a very remarkable manner by the Israelites (Josh. 6). God gave it into their hands. The city was “accursed” (Hebrew: herem, “devoted” to Jehovah), and accordingly all the inhabitants and all the spoil of the city were to be destroyed, “only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron” were reserved and “put into the treasury of the house of Jehovah” (josh. 6:24). Intriguing alternative if you want a biblical name but have rejected all the usual suspects.  Variations include: Jeric, Jerick, Jericko, Jerico, Jerik, Jerric, Jerrick, Jerrico, Jerricoh, Jerryco, Jherico


Jordan                            Hebrew                             “Flowing Down” Jordan became a huge unisex success in the heyday of basketball’s Michael Jordan, and is still Number 45 for boys, 150 for girls. First used by Crusaders recently returned from the river Jordan, the name has always been used for children of both genders, originally given to those baptized in holy water brought back from the River Jordan, the only river in Palestine, and the one in which Christ was baptized by John the Baptist. Variations include: Jardan, Jordae, Jordaine, Jordani, Jordanio, Jordann, Jordanny, Jordano, Jordany, Jordayne, Jordian, Jordin, Jordun, Jordy, Jori, Jorrdan, Jory, Jourdan, Jud, Judd

The River Jordan

Judah                             Hebrew                               “He who is praised” When the disruption took place at Shechem, at first only the Tribe of Judah followed the house of David. But very soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined the tribe of Judah, and Jerusalem became the capital of the new kingdom (Josh. 18:28), which was called the kingdom of Judah. It was very small. Judah is the strong, resonant Old Testament name of the son of Jacob who was the ancestor of one of the tribes of Israel, and from whom the word Jew is derived. Variations include: Jud, Juda, Judas, Judd, Jude

The Kingdom of Judah and Israel

Shiloh                            Hebrew                                 “Peaceful” Shiloh, a place of rest, a city of Ephraim, “on the north side of Bethel,” from which it is distant 10 miles (Judg. 21:19); the modern Seilun (the Arabic for Shiloh), a “mass of shapeless ruins.” Haunting biblical and Civil War place-name; now unisex — especially after the mega-high-profile Brad and Angelina couple picked it for their daughter. Variations include: Shilo, Shiloe, Shylo, Shyloh

Where the city of Shiloh used to stand

Zair                                 Place name                           “Little” a place probably east of the Dead Sea, where Joram  and all his chariots discomfited the host of Edom who had revolted from him (2 Kings 8:21).

Zebulun                        Place name                            In Galilee, to the north of Issachar and south of Asher and Naphtali (Josh. 19: 10-16), and between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean. According to ancient prophecy this part of Galilee enjoyed a large share of the Lord’s public ministry (Isa. 9: 1,2; Matt. 4:12-16). Variations include: Zebulon, Zeb


Zion                                Hebrew                                    “Highest point” The southwester hill of Jerusalem. David took it from the Jebusites (Josh. 15:63) and built a citadel and a palace on it. It became known as the city of David. Zion has taken off in recent years. It combines a user-friendly Ryan-Brian sound with the gravitas of religious significance. The Hebrew pronunciation is ‘tziyon’. Variations include” Sion


{November 25, 2011}   Thanksgiving Names – Girl

Passengers on the Mayflower

*With pictures of notable people with these names

Name                           Origin                                  Meaning

Alice                              German                                 “noble” Alice is a classic name that’s both strong and sweet. Alice is a darling of literature, from the immortal heroine in Alice in Wonderland to fine modern writers like Alice Munro, Walker, Sebold, Hoffman, McDermott, Adams, and Elliott Dark.  Alice is also a British royal, as Queen Victoria’s second daughter, the princess who shocked her Victorian mother by breast feeding her baby. There were 2 Alice’s on the Mayflower. Variations include: Adelice, Aleceea, Alecia, Aleece, Aleetheea, Aleethia, Alesia, Alessa, Ali, Alia, Alicah, Alicea, Alicen, Alicie, Alidee, Alie, Aliece, Alikah, Aliki, Alis, Alisah, Alisann, Alisanne, Alise, Alisha, Alison, Alissa, Alisz, Alitheea, Alitia, Alix, Alize, Alla, Allecia, Alleece, Alleeceea, Alles, Alless, Alli, Allice, Allicea, Allie, Allis, Allise, Allison, Allissa, Allisun, Allisunne, Allix, Allsun, Ally, Allyce, Allyceea, Allys, Allyse, Allysia, Allysiah, Allyson, Allyssa, Allysson, Alyce, Alyceea, Alys, Alysa, Alyse, Alysia, Alyson, Alyss, Alyssa, Alysse, Elissa, Elli, Ellie, Ellissa, Ellsa, Elsa, Elyssa, Ilysa, Ilysah, Ilyssa, Ilysse, Leece, Leese, Lissa, Lyssa, Talicia

Princess Alice

Ann                                English                                  “Grace” Ann, the name of the sainted mother of the Virgin Mary was among the top girls’ names for centuries, in both the original English Ann spelling and the French Anne. Neither are very popular any more except maybe as middle names, although they aren’t even as popular there. There was 1 Ann on the Mayflower. Variations include: Anazizi, Anel, Anell, Anissa, Anitra, Anna, Annabel, Annabella, Annabelle, Annabelle, Annalee, Annelore, Anney, Annick, Annimae, Annis, Annise, Annora, Anona, Hanni, Hannie, Hanny, Nan, Nance, Nancee, Nancey, Nancie, Nanete, Nanette, Nanice, Nanine, Nanni, Nannie, Nanny, Nanon, Neti, Nettia, Nettie, Netty, Ninette, Ninon, Ninor, Nona, Nonie

Queen Ann

Constance                    Latin                                      “Steadfastness” Constance is one of the more subtle of the virtue names, but still has quite a prim and proper image. One impediment to its revival is the decidedly dated nickname Connie. One of William the Conqueror’s daughters was named Constance, and in Shakespeare’s King John, Constance is the devoted mother of King Arthur. The fictional Constance Billard School appears in TV’s Gossip Girl, and Constance was the first name of the decidedly non-prim and proper Lady Chatterly. There was 1 Constance on the Mayflower. Variations include: Con, Conetta, Connee, Conney, Conni, Connie, Conny, Constancy, Constanta, Constantine, Constantya, Constanze, Constynse, Konnie, Konny, Konstance

Constance Lloyd, Oscar Wilde's wife

Damaris                        Greek                                     “sweet heifer” New Testament Puritan favorite that’s still attractive and accessible. Although the meaning might throw you off. There was 1 Damaris on the Mayflower. Variations include: Damara, Damarys, Damiris, Dammaris

Damaris Aguirre. Olympic champion weightlifter

Desire                            Word name                         This name is probably not usable today. I would suggest the French Desiree. Pronounced Dez -eh- ray. There was 1 Desire on the Mayflower.

Désirée Clary, Queen of Sweden and Norway

Dorothy                        English                                 “gift of god” In the 1930s Dorothy left Kansas for Oz, but by the 1980s she was a Golden Girl living in Miami. This name is pretty, but old fashioned. There was 1 Dorothy on the Mayflower. Variations include: Do, Doa, Dodie, Dodo, Doe, Dollie, Dolly, Dorettam, Dori, Dorothea, Dorothee, Dorothey, Dorothi, Dorothie, Dorrit, Dorthee, Dorthy, Dot, Dotti, Dottie, Dotty, Totie

Dorothy Parker

Eleanor                         French                                  “Bright, shining” Eleanor, a stately name that has been in and out of fashion since Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine brought it from France to England in the twelfth century, is hot again. Eleanor’s straightforward feminine image combined with its royal medieval origins, is striking just the right note for parents in search of a girl’s name that combines substance and style. Eleanor is a serious name, with two nicknames — Ellie and Nell/Nellie– that are seriously endearing. There was 1 Eleanor on the Mayflower. Variations include: Aleanor, Alenor, Aleonore, Aline, Allinor, Eileen, El, Elaine, Elan, Elana, Elanee, Elaney, Elani, Elania, Elanie, Elanna, Elanni, Elanor, Elanore, Ele, Elea, Eleanora, Elen, Elena, Eleni, Elenie, Elenor, Elenorah, Elenore, Eleny, Elianora, Elianore, Elie, Elienora, Elienore, Ell, Ella, Elladine, Elle, Elleanor, Ellee, Elleigh, Ellen, Ellene, Ellenor, Ellenora, Ellenorah, Ellenore, Elleonor, Elli, Ellie, Ellin, Elliner, Ellinor, Ellinore, Elly, Ellyn, Elna, Elnora, Elnore, Elyn, Elynor, Elynora, Elynore, Enora, Heleanor, Helen, Helena, Helene, Helenora, Heleonor, Leanora, Lena, Lenora, Lenore, Leonora, Leonore, Leora, Lina, Nelda, Nell, Nelle, Nelley, Nelli, Nellie, Nelly, Nonnie, Nora, Norah, Norina

Eleanor Roosevelt

Elizabeth                      Hebrew                                 “pledge to god”Elizabeth has so much going for it — rich history, broad appeal, and timeless style. In the Bible Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist, and two of England’s most notable queens have been Elizabeth I and II. And another memorable bearer was Elizabeth Taylor–who hated to be called Liz. There were 3 Elizabeth’s on the Mayflower. Variations include: Alizabeth, Bess, Bessi, Bessie, Bessy, Bet, Beth, Betsey, Betsi, Betsie, Betsy, Bett, Bette, Bettey, Bettie, Betty, Buffy, Elisabeth, Elisabith, Elisheba, Elisheva, Elizabee, Ellie, Ellisa, Ellsi, Ellspet, Ellyse, Ellyssa, Ellyza, Elsee, Elsy, Elysabeth, Elyse, Elyssa, Elyza, Elyzza, Leesa, Leeza, Libbi, Libby, Lilabet, Lilibet, Lilibeth, Lisabet, Lisabeth, Lisanne, Lisbeth, Liz, Lizabeth, Lizanne, Lizbet, Lizbeth, Lizzi, Lizzie, Lizzy, Lysa, Lyssie, Lyza, Lyzanne, Lyzbet, Lyzbeth, Lyzbette, Lyzette

Queen Elizabeth II

Ellen                               English                                  “bright, shining one” Old fashioned and pretty, but definitely fading out of favor. There was 1 Ellen on the Mayflower. Variations include: Elan, Elea, Elen, Elena, Elene, Elenee, Eleni, Elenita, Eleny, Elenyi, Elin, Elina, Elinda, Ellan, Ellena, Ellene, Ellie, Ellin, Ellon, Elly, Ellyn, Ellynn, Ellynne, Elon, Elyn

Ellen DeGeneres

Humility                       Word name                         Humility is the quality of being modest, and respectful. Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, being connected with notions of transcendent unity with the universe or the divine. There was 1 Humility on the Mayflower.

Joan                               English                                  “God is Gracious” Poor Joan. After being the seventh most popular name throughout the 1930s, it hasn’t even appeared in the Top 1,000 for a dozen years, and it would take a Joan of Arc to revive it today. These days it’s associated with Joans of the generation of Joan Crawford, Joan Collins and Joan Rivers. Modern parents are more likely to revive Jane. There was 1 Joan on the Mayflower. Variations include: Joani, Joanie, Jonee, Jonette, Joni

Joan of Arc

Katherine                     Greek                                     “pure” It’s powerful, feminine, royal, saintly, classic, popular, adaptable. Katherine also has spellings, short forms, and admirable namesakes abound. The Katherine spelling has been the preferred one in recent years, though Catherine has a gentle vintage appeal. The Katherine spelling relates to Hepburn. Sleeker, more modern-feeling Kathryn has in fact been used for centuries and is still popular if not exactly stylish. There was 1 Katherine on the Mayflower. Variations include: Cait, Caitie, Caity, Cass, Cassey, Cassi, Cassie, Casy, Cat, Cataleen, Cataleena, Catalin, Cataline, Catarine, Cate, Cateline, Cathaleen, Cathaline, Catharin, Catharina, Catharine, Catharyna, Catharyne, Cathee, Cathelina, Catherina, Catheryn, Cathie, Cathirin, Cathleen, Cathline, Cathlyne, Cathrine, Cathrinn, Kat, Kate, Katee, Kathann, Kathanne, Katharine, Kathereen, Katheren, Katherene, Katherenne, Katherin, Katherina, Katheryn, Katheryne, Kathi, Kathleen, Kathrine, Kathryn, Kathy, Kathyrine, Kay, Kitty

Katharine Hepburn

Mary                              Hebrew                                 “bitter” Mary, the quintessential New Testament name, was Number 1 for girls for four hundred years. Though still in the Top 100, Mary is used now mostly for religious or family reasons. If it’s style you’re after, Mary’s many diminutives and derivatives are all more fashionable. The precise origin of Mary is uncertain; it may be based on a root meaning “to swell,” implying fertility, it also may be Egyptian and based on a word meaning “dear.” There are six Marys in the Bible, including the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, Mary the mother of James and Joseph and Mary the mother of Mark, and there have been British royal Marys beginning in the 16th century. There were 6 Marys on the Mayflower. Variations include: Mair, Mal, Malle, Mame, Mamie, Marabel, Marabelle, Maree, Marella, Marelle, Maren, Maretta, Marette, Mariam, Mariana, Mariann, Marianne, Maridel, Marietta, Marila, Marilee, Marilin, Marilla, Marilyn, Marin, Marla, Marlo, Marya, Maryann, Maryanna, Maryla, Marynia, Marysa, Marysia, Maurene, Maurine, May, Mayme, Maymie, Mayra, Mayria, Merrill, Millie, Milly, Mimi, Minette, Minnie, Minti, Mirja, Moll, Molli, Mollie, Molly, Poll, Polli, Polly

Virgin Mary

Priscilla                        Latin                                       “ancient” There’s no way to get around the prissy part. Fine for a middle name. There was 1 Priscilla on the Mayflower. Variations include: Cilla, Pris, Priscella, Prissie, Prissy, Prysilla

Priscilla Presley

Remember                  Word name                          No one will ever forget it. But Remember as a name came over on the Mayflower, so it has deep history as well as modern punch. There was 1 Remember on the Mayflower.

Sarah                             Hebrew                                  “princess” Sarah is an Old Testament name — she was the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. A timeless classic, as stylish as it is traditional. Sarah is still very widely used, but with such a range of images and variations that any child can make it her own. According to the Book of Genesis, Sarah was originally called Sarai, but had her name changed by God to the more auspicious Sarah, meaning princess, when she was ninety years old. There was 1 Sarah on the Mayflower. Variations include: Sadee, Sadeila, Sadelle, Sadellia, Sadie, Sadye, Sahra, Saidee, Sal, Sallee, Salley, Sallie, Sally, Sara, Saraha, Sarahann, Sarahi, Saraia, Sarann, Saray, Sarely, Sarena, Sarha, Saraiah, Sarina, Sarine, Sayra, Sera, Serach, Serah, Serita, Shara, Zahra, Zara, Zarah, Zaria

Sara D. Roosevelt

Susanna                        Hebrew                                  “lily” Under appreciated due to Susan’s popularity, Susanna is a lovely biblical name with several very nice variations. There was 1 Susanna on the Mayflower. Variations include: Susannah, Suz,  Suzie

Susanna Dickenson

Rose                               Latin                                       “Rose” Rose, one of the old-time sweet-smelling flower names, has had a remarkable revival — as a middle name — with parents finding Rose to be the perfect connective, with more color and charm than old standbys like Sue and Ann.  At this point in time, though, some parents are finding there are too many roses in the garden. There was 1 Rose on the Mayflower. Variations include: Rosey, Rosie, Rosy, Rozy

Rose Kennedy

{November 24, 2011}   Thanksgiving Names – Boys

Passengers on the Mayflower:

*pictures of well known people with each name

Name                          Origin                            Meaning

Bartholomew            Aramaic                          “Son of the Furrow” An apostle’s name that’s been out of favor for centuries but might appeal again to the parent in search of an old but rare choice. There was one Bartholomew on the Mayflower. Variations include: Bart, Bartelby, Bartho, Barthol, Barthold, Bartholomeus, Bartlet, Bartlett, Bartow, Bartt, Bat

Saint Bratholomew

Christopher               Greek/Latin                  “Bearer or Christ” A classic that’s lost a bit of popularity despite it’s strong feel. Sometimes used to honor Saint Christopher, a third century martyr who became the protective saint of travelers. There was one Christopher on the Mayflower. Variations include: Chris, Christo, Christobel, Christof, Christoff, Christoffel, Christofor, Cris, Cristofer, Cristopher, Cristovano, Kip,Kit, Kitt, Kris, Kristo, Kristofel, Kristoff, Kristofor, Kristoforos, Kristopher, Kristos, Krys, Krystofer, Krystopher, Tofer, Topher.

Christopher Columbus

Degory                         English                            “A dyke” This seems to be a variation on the name Diggory.

Digory Kirke from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Edmund                      English                             “wealthy protector” A neglected classic, both less common and more upscale than Edward. There was one Edmund on the Mayflower. Variations include: Eadmund, Ed, Eddie, Eddy, Ned, Ted, Teddy, Tedman, Tedmund, Theomund

Edmund Haley, astronomer

Edward                        English                            “Wealthey Guardian” Edward is a classic that moves in and out of fashion. Edward Cullen of the Twilight series gave this name a boost recently. There were 6 Edward’s on the Mayflower. Variations include: Eadward, Ed, Edd, Eddie, Eddy, Edik, Edison, Edson, Edvardas, Edwald, Ewart, Lalo, Ned, Neddy, Ted, Teddy

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Elias                              Greek/German            “The Lord is my God” Used by the English Puritans in the eighteenth century, Elias is the name of an oratorio about the prophet Elijah, composed by Felix Mendelssohn. There was one Elias on the Mayflower. Variations include: Elia, Eliasz, Eliaz, Elice, Elice, Eliyas, Ellias, Ellice, Ellice, Ellis, Elyas, Lincha

Prophet Elias

Francis                        Latin                                “Free man” Famous saints’ name pretty much confined to Irish and Italian Catholics for decades, and still has a starchy feel. There were 3 Francis’ on the Mayflower. Variations include: Feri, Fran, Frank, Frankie, Franko, Franky, Frann, Frannie

Sir Francis Bacon

George                         Greek                              “Farmer” Solid, strong, royal and saintly, yet friendly and unpretentious, George is in position for a comeback. George was the name of the king of Britain for 116 straight years, as well as the patron saint of England, Saint George, who, by slaying the dragon became the symbol of good conquering evil. There was 1 George on the Mayflower. Variations include: Georgie

George Orwell

Gilbert                         German                          “Shining pledge” Considered ultra debonair in the silent-movie era, Gilbert seems a little old now, though, like Frank and George, it could be ready for a comeback. There was 1 Gilbert on the Mayflower. Variations include: Bert, Gil, Gilburt, Gill, Gilly

Gilbert Arenus

Giles                             Greek                               “Young goat” Pronounced Jiles. One of those names that most Americans find just too tea-sippingly British to consider; its meaning has led to occasional use for Capricorn boys. There was 1 Giles on the Mayflower. Variations include: Gide, Gidie, Gile, Gilean, Gileon, Gilette, Gill, Gillette, Gyle, Gyles, Jiles, Jyles

Giles Corey

Henry                          German                           “Estate Ruler” A solid name with lots of history and personality. Henry has a long pedigree as a royal name with many worthy (as well as notorious) namesakes. There’s Henry the Eighth, of course, along with all those other British kings named Henry, down to the current second in line to the throne, Prince Henry, called Harry. There was 1 Henry on the Mayflower. Variations include: Hal, Hank, Harry, Heriot, Herrriot

Prince Henry the Navigator

Isaac                            Hebrew                           “Laughter” A favorite of the Puritans, Isaac went on to assume something of a rabbinical image. In the Old Testament Isaac was the long-awaited son of the elderly Sarah and 100-year-old Abraham, so old that their news provoked laughter, giving the name its meaning. There was 1 Isaac on the Mayflower. Variations include:  Ike, Ikey, Ikie, Isa, Isac, Isack, Isi, Issa, Issa, Itzak, Izik, Izsak, Zack, Zak

Isaac Newton

James                          Hebrew                           “Supplanter” James is one of the classic Anglo-Saxon names, a stalwart through the ages. James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives named James(6) than any other name), and it is shared by countless great writers and entertainers. There was 1 James on the Mayflower. Variations include: Jaimes, Jaimey, Jaimie, Jamesie, Jameson, Jamesy, Jamey, Jamez, Jameze, Jamies, Jamison, Jamse, Jamyes, Jamze, Jas, Jasha, Jay, Jayines, Jaymes, Jaymie, Jaymz, Jem, Jemes, Jim, Jiminy, Jimmy, Jocko

King James II

Jasper                         Persian                            “Bringer of Treasure” Distinctly masculine, Jasper represents a variety of quartz–one of the few gem names for boys. Although it doesn’t appear in the bible, Jasper is the usual English form for one of the three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition. There was 1 Jasper on the Mayflower. Variations include: Casper, Gasper, Jas, Jaspar, Jaz, Jazper, Jespar, Jesper

Jasper Johns

John                            Hebrew                            “God is Gracious” John reigned as the most popular of all boys’ Christian names for four hundred years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s, at which point American baby namers finally seemed to be tiring of this most straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names and started to replace it with fancier forms like Johnathan. There were 15 Johns on the Mayflower. Variations include: Jack, Jackie, Jahn, Jaxon, Jhan, Jhon, Jian, Jianni, Jock, Joen, Johan, Johne, Johnee, Johnie, Johnnie, Johnny, Johnson, Johon, Jon, Jones, Jonni, Jonnie, Jonny, Jonté, Jovanney, Jovanni, Jovonni, Juwan

John Lennon

Joseph                        Hebrew                            “Jehovah Increases” Joseph is one of the classic names in American nomenclature, popular with parents from many ethnic backgrounds, and having dual-religious appeal. In the Old Testament, Joseph is the twelfth and favorite son of Jacob and Rachel, in the New Testament it is the name of the carpenter husband of the Virgin Mary, and there is also a Saint Joseph, the protector of working men. There were 2 Josephs on the Mayflower. Variations include: Jazeps, Jessop, Jessup, Jodi, Jodie, Jody, Joe, Joeseph, Joey, Jojo, Joos, Jopie, Jos, Joseba, Josephat, Josephie, Josephus, Josheph, Josif, Josiff, Joss, Josue, Jozef, Jozka, Jozzepi, Seppi

Joseph, father of Jesus

Moses                          Egyptian                         “Delivered from the water” Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s choice of this white-bearded Old Testament name brings it into the modern age. There was 1 Moses on the Mayflower. Variations include: Mo, Moe, Moise, Moishye, Moke, Mose, Mosie, Moss


Myles                           Latin                                “Soldier” Miles was the name of the first translator of the Bible into English–the English monk Miles Coverdale, and is also the name of a character in Hawthorne’s “The Blithedale Romance”. Miles Hendon figures in Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, and Miles was one of the young children in Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw.” Myles Standish was the leader of the Pilgrim fathers. Myles Standish was the only Myles on the Mayflower.

Myles Standish

Oceanus                      Mythological               Oceanus was the Titan in ancient Greek mythology who rules what they thought was the body of water that surrounded the Earth. Oceanus was, appropriately enough, the name of the only baby born on the Mayflower. Variations include: Ocean, Oceana, Oceane

Mythological Oceanus

Peter                            Greek                               “Rock” A classic New Testament name, Peter’s popularity has been sliding since the 1950s, which makes it a good choice if you’re seeking a less-used classic with many nice childhood associations, like Peter Rabbit and Peter Pan. The name came into being as a nickname given to the apostle Simon by Jesus. There was 1 Peter on the Mayflower. Variations include: Pearce, Peers, Peeter, Peirce, Perico, Perion, Perkin, Pero, Perrin, Perry, Pete, Petey, Peto, Pierce, Pierson, Péter

Saint Peter

Richard                       German                          “Dominant Ruler” Richard is a far from stylish old Norman name, with a rich royal history, but now not even in the Top 100. There were 5 Richards on the Mayflower. Variations include: Dick, Dickie, Dicky, Raechard, Rashard, Ric, Ricard, Rich, Richar, Richardsen, Richardson, Richaud, Richer, Richerd, Richey, Richie, Richird, Richshard, Richy, Rick, Ricke, Rickey, Rickie, Ricky, Rishard, Rishi, Ritch, Ritchard, Ritcherd, Ritchie, Ritchy, Ritshard, Ritsherd, Ryk

Richard the Lionheart

Robert                         German                          “Bright Fame” Robert was the name of three kings of Scotland, including Robert the Bruce, who freed Scotland from English rule.There are countless literary and real life namesakes, from Robert E. Lee to Robert Redford. There was 1 Robert on the Mayflower. Variations include: Bert, Bertie, Bob, Bobbie, Bobby, Raby, Rhobbie, Rip, Rob, Robars, Robb, Robben, Robbey, Robbi, Robbie, Robbin, Robbins, Robbinson, Robby, Rober, Robers, Roberson, Roberte, Roberts, Robertson, Robeson, Robhy, Robi, Robie, Robin, Robinson, Robson, Roby, Robynson, Rudbert

Robert E. Lee

Roger                           German                          “Famous Warrior” In the World War II era, Roger meant “understood,” now, it’s not very popular. There was 1 Roger on the Mayflower. Variations include: Rodge, Rodger, Rodgy, Rog, Rogerick, Rogers

Roger Federer

Samuel                        Hebrew                           “told by God” In the Old Testament, Samuel was one of the great judges and prophets of the Israelites, destined for a holy life from birth. He established the Hebrew monarchy, anointing both Saul and David as kings. There were 3 Samuels on the Mayflower. Variations include: Sam, Sammie, Sammy, Samual, Samualle, Samuell, Samy

Samuel Hahnemann

Solomon                     Hebrew                           “Peace” Wise old biblical name that, along with other patriarchal classics, is finally beginning to shed its long white beard and step from the pages of the Old Testament.  There was 1 Solomon on the Mayflower. Variations include: Salman, Salmen, Salmon, Salo, Saloman, Salomone, Selman, Shelomo, Sol, Solamon, Sollie, Solly, Solmon, Soloman, Zalmen, Zalmon, Zelman, Zelmen, Zelmo, Zollie, Zolly

King Solomon

Stephen                       Greek                               “Garland, Crown” Already common in ancient Greece, Stephen was the name of the first Christian martyr, one of the seven men chosen to help the apostles spread the gospel of Christianity, several popes and a British king. There was 1 Stephen on the Mayflower. Variations include: Steafan, Stef, Steffen, Steffon, Steph, Stephanus, Stephon, Stevan, Steve, Steven, Stevenson, Stevey, Stevie, Stevin, Stevon, Stevy, Stevyn

Stephen King

Thomas                       Aramaic                          “Twin” Thomas came about because there were too many apostles named Judas; Jesus renamed one Thomas (meaning “twin”) to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot and the Judas also known as Thaddeus, and at first it was used only for priests. Sir Thomas Aquinas and Thomas Beckett are two of many towering Thomas’s. There were 4 Thomas’s on the Mayflower. Variations include: Thom, Thomason, Thomaz, Thomeson, Thomison, Thommas, Thompson, Thomsen, Thomson, Thomy, Tom, Tomah, Tomaisin, Tomie, Tomkin, Tomlin, Tomlinson, Tommas, Tommey, Tommy

Thomas Edison

William                        German                           “Resolute Protection” The name was introduced to England by William the Conqueror, and has long reigned as a royal name there. There are dozens of worthy namesakes called William, including William Shakespeare, Bil lGates, Will Smith, and four US presidents. There were 7 Williams on the Mayflower. Variations include: Bill, Bille, Billie, Billy, Pim, Wiley, Wilkes, Wilkie, Wilkinson, Will, Willi, Williamson, Willie, Willis, Wills, Willy, Wilmar, Wilson, Wim

William the Conqueror

Surnames of Passengers on the Mayflower:

There are several surnames that could be usable as first names:

Name                              Origin                                   Meaning

Alden                                English                                   “Old, wise friend” It might make a more distinctive alternative to such widely used but similar names as Aiden and Holden. Variations include: Aldin, Aldwin, Aldwyn, Elden, Eldin

Bradford                          English                                   “wide river crossing” Very usable surname name. Variations include: Braddford and Bradman

Carter                               English                                   “cartmaker” Carter has been popular for almost two decades, but only now has it broken into the Top 50, leaving all the other upscale occupational surname names behind. Having hot characters named Carter on both Gossip Girl and The OC probably didn’t hurt. Carter also has presidential cred. Variations include: Cartier

Carver                              Cornish                                  “Great rock” Carver is an occupational name with an artistic bent. It also has eminent last-name links to botanist and educator George Washington Carver and short story master Raymond Carver.

Clarke                               English                                   “Scribe” Clark seemed to have been ‘Gone with the Wind’, but parents looking for a short, strong boy’s name are now beginning to appreciate its cool combination of Gable charm with Superman power. Variations include: Clarke, Clerc, Clerk

Cooper                             English                                   “barrel maker” The genial yet upscale and preppy Cooper was one of the first occupational last names to catch on — and Cooper remains a pleasing option.

Fletcher                           English                                   “arrow maker” Fletcher is a common surname with a touch of quirkiness, it definitely fits into the So Far Out It’s In category–and moving further in all the time. Variations include: Flecher, Fletch

Martin                              Latin                                       “warlike” Like Raymond and Vincent and George, are just starting to sound possible again. Stylish in London. Variations include: Mart, Marten, Martie, Marton, Marty

Samson                            Hebrew                                  “son” This name, once considered overly powerful due to the superhuman strength of the biblical figure, is now an option for parents in search of an unusual route to Sam. Variations include: Sampson, Sansom, Sanson

Turner                              English                                   “woodworker” Turner is a name that’s both preppy and painterly. Turner is a more distinctive choice than many of the usual suspects.

Warren                             French                                   “park keeper” Distinguished and with presidential cred, this could be a solid choice.

{November 22, 2011}   Other Nature Names – Girls

Name                           Origin                                  Meaning

Breeze                           Word name                          Though I have known a girl named Breezy, this is better in the middle.

Brook                             Word name                         It’s been popular for some time now, but is a female alternative for River.

Cascade                        Word name                          It’s a nature name evocative of rushing waterfalls. But also a dishwashing detergent.

Coral                              Word name                          First used during the Victorian craze for jewel names; it could rise again, along with Ruby and Pearl, though it doesn’t have as much luster.

Eden                               Hebrew                                 “Place of pleasure” The mythological “Garden of Eden”. Eden is an attractive, serene paradise-equivalent of the more-popular Nevaeh.

Gale                                Word name/Hebrew       “My father is joyful” Gale/Gail was a mid-twentieth century favorite, which has been far surpassed by its original form, Abigail. It’s also a very strong wind.

Glenn                             Scottish                                “A narrow valley” Originally a boys name, but getting popular thanks to Glenn close.

Meadow                        Word name                         Very soft and pretty but probably better as a middle name.

Misty                              Word name                         Pretty but better as a middle name as it’s past its prime as a first name.

Ocean                             Word name                         Nice but better as Oceana. Great choice for the daughter of a beach lover.

Rain                                Word name                         Among a small shower of rain-related names, this pure version can have, depending on how you look at it, a fresh or a gloomy image.

River                              Word name                         There are definitely more boys named River than girls, but this could work.

Sierra                             Word name                         Name borrowed from the western mountain range, with Latin rhythm and cowboy charm, that has led to many offshoots.

Sky                                  Word name                         Pretty and soft, this is a very nice choice. You could also choose Skya or even Skyler.

Snow                              Word name                          Brisk, fresh, evocative, strange — and magical. Haunting middle name choice.

Solana                           Spanish                                 “Sunshine” This is a very beautiful name. Bright and warm.

Soleil                             French                                   “Sun” pronounced so-Lay. An attractive French word name known here via former child TV star Soleil Moon Frye, aka Punky Brewster.

Stormy                         Word name                          It could definitely work, but asks for trouble a bit.

Terra                             Latin                                       “earth” Very pretty new version of Tara.

Valley                           Word name                          As with Meadow, could work but better in the middle.

Windy                           Word name                          Sounds exactly like Wendy.

Winter                          Season                                    Fresher than Summer or Autumn, Winter is now a full-fledged female choice, especially since Nicole Richie and Joel Madden used it for daughter Harlow’s middle name, and Gretchen Mol picked it as her daughter’s first.


{November 22, 2011}   Other Nature Names – Boys

Names                         Origin                                     Meaning

Canyon                          Word name                            Evocative of natural splendor, intriguing new word name choice.

Clay                                 Word name                            Clay is a rich, one-syllable name with a southern-inflected handsome-rogue image, featured on soap operas and reality TV. Its longer forms are Clayton and Clayborne. Here’s a smiley face made of Clay.

Cliff                                   Word Name                           Cliff, like Clay, has the option of being a solid name on its own but it is usually a short form of Clifford or Clifton.

Dale                                  English                                     “Valley” Simple and serene but has lost a lot of its punch here lately.

Flint                                 Word Name                             Flint is one of the new macho names on the rise today, part old-school tough guy, part rebel.

Glen                                  Scottish                                    “A narrow valley” Former cool-boy name now in middle-aged limbo, fresher for girls thanks to Glenn Close.

Grove                               Word name                             “grove of trees” If you find Grover to fusty or Sesame Street, this might be a good alternative.

Harbor                              Word name                            If you like word names, Harbor has an attractive sound as well as an appealing meaning and image.

Heath                                  English                                   “the heathland dweller” Strong and masculine and usually used as a short form for Heathcliff.

Moor                                  English place name            “the moors” Strong but probably better in the middle spot.

Rain                                    Word name                            More feminine nowadays nit could be short for Rainault or Raines.

Ridge                                  Word name                           Just as good as Cliff but somehow more daytime TV.

River                                   Word name                           One of the first famous nature names, via the late actor River Phoenix, and still slightly muddied by his unfortunate fate. However, this is a nice choice if you’re looking for a sensitive name.

Sky                                        Word name                          Prompts an image of wide open spaces. Could be stand alone or as a short form of Skyler.

Stone                                   Word name                           Though some may find such names rather harsh and severe, increasing numbers of parents are gravitating toward this kind of flinty, steely, stony single-syllable name.

Storm                                   Word name                         Windswept and Dramatic, still a popular choice, but better in the middle

Winter                                  Word name                         The girls have dibs on Spring, Summer, and Autumn, leaving this name evocative of snowy landscapes as the one possible seasonal choice for boys–even though it’s been used for a couple of girls.

{November 19, 2011}   Plant and Flower Names – Girls

Name                            Origin                                    Meaning

Abelia                             Flower/Hebrew                   Type of Honeysuckle but also means “sigh,breath” in Hebrew. Could be a form of Abel. Has the nickname possibility of Abby or Lia.

Acacia                            Greek nature name              Acacia is a rare and attractive name for a flowering shrub that symbolizes resurrection and immortality. Nickname possibilities of Cassie.

Achillea                           Flower                                       Commonly called Yarrow. These plants show large, flat clusters of small flowersat the top of the stem. These flowers can be white, yellow, orange, pink or red. Nickname possibilities: Lea

Alcea                                Flower                                       Commonly called hollyhock. Pretty purple flowers.

Amarantha                     Greek/Botanical                  Means “Deathless” in Greek.  Botanical name whose mythical equivalent was believed to be immortal. Nicknames possiblities: Amy and Mara

Amaryllis                         Greek Flower name             Nicer than traditional flower names and in the same botanical family as Lily.  Nickname possibilities: Amy, Mary, and Lis/Liz

Anemone                         Flower name/Greek             Means “Breath” in Greek. taken from a mythological nymph who was turned into a flower by the wind; an interesting, if challenging, choice. Nickname possibilities: Annie

Anise                                  Nature name                            Pronounced ANN- iss. Name of the licorice plant whose downside, at least in elementary school science class, is its similarity to an anatomical word.  Has the nice nickname of Annie.

Artemisia                         Nature/Greek                             Variant of Artemis, “Goddess of the Moon and the Hunt” but also a genus of plants including the sagebrush and wormwood. Nickname Possibilities: Artie, Missy, Sisi

Ash                                    Nature/English                            English “Ash tree”. Usually used for boys but could be a short form of Ashley or Asha.

Aspen                               Nature                                              Nice tree name gaining in popularity

Astrantia                         Flower                                              The Genus name comes from the Greek word for star in reference to the star-like quality of the flower heads. Beautiful flowers. Nickname possibilities: Astra and Tia

Azalea                              Flower                                               If Lily and Rose are too tame for you, consider this brilliant pink springtime blossom with a touch of the exotic that has been growing in popularity. Nickname possibilities: Lea

Begonia                            Flower                                               Pretty flowers but maybe not so pretty a name

Betony                              Flower                                               little plant that make pretty pink flowers. Nickname possibilities: maybe Beth

Briar                                   Nature/English                             English for “Briar patch” Reminiscent of Brair-Rose from Sleeping Beauty.

Bryony                             Latin flower name                         Pronounced Brian-ee. Means “to sprout” in Latin. Bryony is a wild climbing vine with green flowers. Sounds fresher than outdated Brittany.

Calla                                   Flower/Greek                                 Means “Beautiful” in Greek. Lots fresher than other overused flower names like Rose and Lily.

Camellia                           Flower                                                 Exotic flower name with distinct roots related to the Camille/Camilagroup. Could be a floral replacement for Amelia. Nickname Possibilities: Cami and Lia

Cassia                                 Greek                                                   Means “Cinnamon” in Greek. one of the rare names that’s truly unusual yet has a stylish feel. Nickname Possibilities: Cassie

Clary                                    Flower                                                 Type of Sage often used as a medicinal herb

Clover                                 Flower                                                 Clover is charming if you’re looking for something different than Rose and Lily.

Cypress                              Nature                                                  Lovely entry into the tree name category. Nickname Possibilities: Cy

Dahlia                                 Flower                                                  One of the rarer flower names. Lovely sound. Nickname possibilities: Dolly

Daisy                                   Flower                                                  Fresh, energetic, and wholesome.

Erica                                    Flower                                                 It’s Heather. Beautiful purple flowers.

Fern                                     Nature                                                 Never been overly popular, despite the character in Charlotte’s Web. Time for a upswing?

Flora                                    Latin                                                    Means “Flower” in Latin. Roman Goddess of Flowers and Spring. Also a Saint name.

Forsythia                          Flower                                                  Yellow spring bloom. Pretty and new name. I know a girl with this name.

Freesia                               Flower                                                  Very exotic but usable alternative to Rose and Lily.

Gardenia                           Flower                                                   More exotic than Rose and Lily but with the Gardener association too.

Gloriosa                            Flower                                                   Beautiful Lily typically called a Flame Lily. Nickname Possibilities: Glory

Hazel                                  Nature/english                                  From the Hazelnut tree. Cute and gaining in popularity

Heather                             Scottish botanical name                Pretty and evocative of the Scottish moors, but a little outdated

Holly                                  Nature                                                   Always favored for Christmas births, but not very popular any other time

Iris                                      Flower/Greek                                     Greek Goddess of the Rainbow and the iris used to be considered the symbol of power and majesty, the three petals meaning wisdom, faith, and valor.

Ivy                                    Plant/flower name                             Ivy — associated with clinging vines — also has an interesting history: ancient Greeks presented an ivy wreath to newlyweds as a symbol of fertility.

Jasmine                           Persian flower name                         Delicate and Aromatic. Reminiscent of Jasmine from Aladdin, but still very pretty. Nickname Possibilities: Jaz

Jessamine                       flower                                                     Earlier spelling for Jasmine. Pronounced JEH-sah-meen. Popular in England but just getting it well deserved uprising here. Nickname Possibilities: Jess, Jessie, Jessa

Juniper                            Tree                                                         Juniper is a fresh-feeling nature name — it’s a small evergreen shrub whose berries make gin — with lots of energy. Gaining popularity with Hazel, Aspen, and Acacia. Nickname Possibilities: Juni and June

Laurel                              Latin                                                        “Laurel tree” Very underused but the Laurel was used to crown royalty in ancient Rome and Greece.

Lavender                        English plant                                        Not as popular as Violet or Lilac, but slowly catching up.

Lilac                                  English                                                   Lilac might be for you if you’re bored by Lily and Rose. Consider the deeper-hue Lilac as a cutting-edge but still sweet-smelling flower name.

Lily                                     English Flower name                      Very popular. Symbol of purity and innocence.

Linnea                               Swedish                                                Pronounced li-NAY-ah. Scandinavian name that derives from the renowned Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, (aka Carlvon Linne) who developed the Linnean system of clssifying plants and animals. nickname Possibilities: Lin

Lotus                                  Flower                                                  One of the most exotic and languorous of the flower names, with intriguing symbolic significance in several cultures.

Magnolia                            Flower                                                 Southern style flower name moving up in the world. Nickname possibilities: Maggie, Nola, Lia

Marigold                            Flower                                                 Marigold is sometimes found in English novels; though it would be seen as wildly exotic here, it does have a sunny, golden feel. A marigold was the symbol of the Virgin Mary. Nickname possibilities: Mari and Goldie

Myrtle                                 Greek botanical name                  In Roman myth, a shrub sacred to Venus.

Narcissa                              Greek                                                  Means “daffodil” in Greek. Associated with Narcissism but still a lovely name. Nickname Possibilities: Sissy

Orchid                                   Flower                                               Orchids are beautiful flowers and this could be a beautiful name. Nickname possibilities: maybe Kitty

Petunia                                  Flower                                              Trumpet shaped flower

Poppy                                    Flower                                              Poppy, unlike most floral names which are sweet and feminine, has a lot of spunk.

Primrose                               Flower/english                            “first rose” Used in the Hunger Games novels. Nickname possibilities: Prim, Rose, Rosie

Rose                                        Flower                                              Traditional flower name that is a bit out dated.

Rosemary                             Herb                                                  This amalgam of two classic names projects a sweet, somewhat old-fashioned sensibility; could come back as an herb name.

Rowan                                     Tree                                                  The name of a tree with red berries commonly found in Scotland (and said to ward off witches).

Rue                                            Greek                                              “Aromatic medicinal plant” Getting popular thanks to the Hunger Games.

Sorrel                                        Botanical                                     Fragrant herbal and color name that could make a sensitive, distinctive choice. Nickname Possibilities: Sori and Sora

Tansy                                         Flower/Greek                            A flower name rarer than Rose, livelier than Lily and less teasable than Pansy.

Violet                                         Flower                                         Violet is soft and sweet but not shrinking. The Victorian Violet, one of the prettiest of the color and flower names, was chosen by high-profile parents JenniferGarnerand BenAffleck. Vioolethas begun a sure-to-be rapid climb to popularity. Nickname possibilities: Vi and Lettie

Willow                                        Tree                                              The name has transcended its one-time hippie aura to move into the realm of reappraised and appreciated nature names. Among the most graceful of trees, the willow is believed by Gypsies to possess magical powers to heal the sick and rejuvenate the aged.

Zinnia                                          Latin flower name                 A floral choice with a bit more edge and energy than most.

{November 17, 2011}   Plant and Flower Names – Boys

Names                          Origins                                   Meaning

Alder                               Tre/flowering plant            flowering plant belonging to the Birch family

Amaryllis                       Greek/Flower                       more commonly used as a girl name, but could work for boys.

Annatto                           Tree                                       Would pronounce – Ann-ah-toe.   Tree used to produce yellow-orange food coloring and a peppery, nutmeg type flavor

Ash                                   English/Tree                          Could be short for Asher or Ashton but with the nature appeal


Birch                                 Tree                                           Beautiful, white barked tree. Birch is the tree of Russia (used to be a Goddess there)

Campion                          Flower                                      little flowering plant that comes in red, white, purple, pink, and moss

Ceder                                Tree                                           A good smelling tree name getting popular nowadays

Fennel                              Herb                                           feathery leaves and yellow flowers. Possible nickname of Fen/Finn

Hickory                            Tree                                           Large deciduous trees that produce yellowish flowers and nuts. though nickname Hick is unpleasant

Jonquil                             French Flower name         More commonly used on girls but has the potential for nicknames Jon and Quil

Linden                              Tree                                          “linden tree hill”  beautiful shade tree and the name of a former president

Mandrake                        Root                                          Part of the nightshade family. Sometimes resemble humans, often used in magic for Wicca, Germanic Revivalism such as Odinism. Could have the nickname Manny or Drake (which I love)

Oak                                     Tree                                          The Oak is traditionally a symbol of Strength, Solidity, and Longevity. This is an Angel Oak.

Oleander                          Bush                                          evergreen shrub or small tree in the dogbane family. Delicate flowers

Rowan                               Tree/Scottish/Irish           “Little Red Head” pretty tree with red berries. It’s generally a unisex name

Sage                                    Herb/Latin                             “wise and knowing” It’s short and strong and conveys both wisdom and nature

Spruce                              Tree                                             Strong name that sounds like Bruce

Sorrel                                 Botanical/French                 “reddish brown” Amber colored herb

Thorn                                Tree/English                            “thorn thicket” Daring name along the same lines as Talon in my opinion

Trillium                            Flower                                         pretty little Asian and North American Flower

Valerian                            Plant/Latin                              “potent” A sedating plant and a Roman emperor. Easily falls into the Caspian, Darian, Dorian, Adrian category. I know a boy with this name. Nicknames of Val, Leri, or Rian.

{November 16, 2011}   Bird Names – Girl

Name                                 Origin                                  Meaning

Alouette                             French                                   means Lark in French. This is also a cut children’s song.

Ani                                       bird name/Hawaiian        tropical new world birds in the cuckoo family/beautiful

Aracari                               bird name                             medium sized Toucans

Caracara                            bird name                             bird of prey. This name should be split up into simply Cara, which is Latin for dear.

Dove                                    bird name                             The Dove is associated with peace and love.

Elaenia                                bird name                             part of the flycatcher family

Ibis                                       bird name                             Associated with the Egyptian God Thoth, god of wisdom and learning.

Iora                                      bird name                             small Indian bird that likes to live near humans

Jacana                                 bird name                             tropical waders usually referred to as Jesus Bird or Lily Trotter

Lark                                      bird name                             a popular songbird name

Linnet                                  bird name                             a finch. Sounds like Lynette, so could work.

Mavis                                   French                                   song bird

Meadowlark                      bird name                             cute grassland birds

Myna                                    bird name                             member of the Starling family

Phoebe                                bird name/Greek               member of the flycatcher family/radiant shining one. Phoebe was the moon in mythology and also a Shakespearean name.

Raven                                  bird name                              considered an ill omen in several cultures

Robin                                   bird name                              Native American mythos says the Robin got it’s red breast from fanning a campfire to keep a man alive

Skylark                                bird name                               member of the lark family

Sora                                      bird name                               north American waterbird

Sparrow                              bird name                               pretty and small wild bird, getting popular

Starling                               bird name                                beautiful iridescent birds

Tesia                                    bird name                                 active birds that live near Java

Wren                                   bird name                                 small and inconspicuous birds with beautiful, complex songs

{November 15, 2011}   Bird Names – Boys

Name                         Origin                      Meaning

Albatross                   bird name              Large seabirds described as the most legendary of all birds. Sailors thought they were good luck

Baza                              bird name              small bird of prey

Becard                         bird name              tropical American bird

Blackbird                    bird name             seen as a sacred though destructive bird in Classical Greek folklore and is in many songs and poems

Bluebird                      bird name              medium sized thrush

Bluejay                        bird name              African-American folklore of the southern United States says Blue Jay was a servant of the Devil

Brambling                  bird name              small bird in the Finch family

Brant                            bird name               goose that lives in Alaska

Cardinal                      bird name               robust north American birds

Condor                        bird name               vulture

Cormorant                 bird name                medium/large seabird

Crake                            bird name               wetland birds

Crane                           bird name                Greek omen bird ” Ibycus called to a flock of passing cranes, who followed the attacker to a theater

and hovered over him until, stricken with guilt, he confessed to the crime.”

Crow                            bird name                 In Irish mythology, crows are associated with Morrigan, the goddess of war and death.

In Norse mythology, Huginn and Muninn are a pair of ravens that fly all over the world.

In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Crow is a trickster, culture hero and ancestral being.

Curlew                        bird name                 ancient species of water bird

Drake                           bird name                name for a male duck

Dunlin                         bird name                 gregarious water bird

Dunnock                     bird name                 European and Asian mountain bird

Eagle                            bird name                 comes from Latin aquila meaning dark colored. Many nations use eagle on their flags.

Egret                            bird name                 species of Heron

Eider                            bird name                 large seaduck

Falcon                         bird name                 bird of prey

Finch                           bird name                 seed eating songbirds

Gannet                        bird name                 They are like the juggernauts of the seabird world. They have no nostrils, binocular vision, and air

bags around their faces to allow them to dive into the sea at speeds upwards of 100 km/h.

Hawk                           bird name                  bird of prey

Heron                         bird name                  fresh water and coastal bird

Ibis                              bird name                  associated with the Egyptian God Thoth, the god of wisdom and learning

Jackdaw                    bird name                  member of the crow family

Jacamar                    bird name                  small perching bird

Jay                              bird name                   noisy and colorful bird in the crow family. American slang – Jay is someone who talks too much

Kestrel                       bird name                  member of the Falcon family

Kinglet                       bird name                  derived from the Latin regulus meaning petty king

Macaw                       bird name                   small-large new world parrot

Mallard                     bird name                   wild duck (the ones with blue/green heads)

Merlin                       bird name/Welsh      small species of Falcon/ name of the famous fifth-century sorcerer and mentor of King Arthur

Nighthawk               bird name                    nocturnal bird

Osprey                      bird name                     sea hawk

Peregrine                 bird name                    large Falcon/also the name of Pippin in Lord of the rings – Peregrine Took

Phoenix                    bird name/Greek     mythological fire bird. 500-1000 year life span after which is burns to ash and is reborn

Raven                        bird name                    large black bird.

Robin                        bird name/English    bright fame/migratory song bird

Sanderling              bird name                     arctic small wader

Sora                           bird name                     north American waterbird

Swift                          bird name                      similar to a swallow

Tanager                   bird name                      small-medium sized birds

Tern                          bird name                      seabird

Thrush                     bird name                      plump, soft-plumaged, small to medium-sized birds, inhabiting wooded areas

Willet                        bird name                      large shorebird

et cetera