Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Good baby Names Blog

Lots of people out there document awful, weird, or funny names. This one catalogs the "good ones"

Good Baby Names Blog

Monday, August 09, 2010

Everyone Loves Michaela!

The most popular spelling of the name pronounced /mik AY la/ is Makayla, and has been for a number of years. However, the name has become so popular that there are tons of "copycat" names that have arisen because of it. This happens a lot in the world of names. For example, Katelyn became popular, so then we started hearing Kaylin... and then Maylin and Shaelyn.

Here are all the spellings of Michaela from 2009 (followed by # babies given that particular spelling):

Makayla (5197), Mikayla (1810), Michaela(860), Mikaela (589), Mckayla (431), Micaela (232), Makaila (228), Makaylah(222), Makaela (124), Macayla (87), Makala (86), Mikaylah(83), Mykayla (80), Micayla(70), Mikaila (62), Mackayla (60), Mikala (51), Michayla (51), Mekayla (51), Mickayla(31), Michaella (30), Makeyla (30), Makalah (29), Mikalah (28), Makailah (28), Mykaela(27), Michela (27), Mikaella(24), Mykala (23), Mahkayla (22), Mykaila (21), Micheala (20), Mckaylah (19), Macaela(19), Micaella (18), Mkayla (17), Mikeyla (17), Mikela (15), Makeila (15), Mickaela(13), Michala (13), Mikeala (12), Mckaila (12), Mychaela (11), Mikaelah(11), Maykayla(11), Makhayla (11), Mikeila (9), Mikailah (9), Mekaylah(9), Mckaela (9), Machaela(9), Miquela (8), Mykaylah(8), Mikhayla (8), Mikhaila(8), Mikhaela (8), Mikayela(8), Michaelah (8), Mckala (8), Makela (8), Mahkaylah(8), Mykalah (7), Mekaila (7), Makaelah (7), Maikayla (7), Michaila (6), Mccayla (6), Maykala (6), Macaylah (6), Mikaeyla (5), Mickala (5), Mekaela (5), Micaila (5), Makhaila (5), Makaiyla (5), Maekayla (5)

Michaela is off the charts, though. In Addition to Mishayla, Mikayle, Makaylee, Mikyla, Mikaylin and Mikylee, There are spin-off for most of the letters of the alphabet! Here are some from 2009:


Sunday, August 08, 2010


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Names that seem related but aren't.

There are a lot of names out there that sound like they are the same, but actually have different sources. Today's example:

Cecilia, Celia and Cecil

All three of these names are Latin in origin, but people often think that Celia is a short form of Cecilia, often to the point where Cecilia is often spelled Cecelia.

Cecilia is a feminine form of the Latin name Caecilius, which means "blind."

Celia is a feminine form of Caelus, which was introduced to English by William Shakespeare for his play As You Like It. It stems from the word caelum, meaning "heaven."

Cecil, in modern use, comes from an anglicization of the Welsh name Sesyllt, which comes from the Latin name Sextilius, meaning "sixth." There are a lot of Latin names that are ordinal numbers:

Primus (still used in its Italian form, Primo)
Quintinus/Quintus (still used in an Anglicised French form-- Quentin)
Nonus (the feminine form, Nona is still occasionally heard today)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Fun with the Social Security Administration

Every year the Social Security Administration posts a list of the 1000 most popular baby names of the previous year. These lists comprise names down to 194 instances for boys and 263 instances for girls (this means at least 263 or so girls would have to be named something in order for it to appear on the list). This is awesome, but it leaves out a ton of names that are popular, but have a ton of different spellings. Take the name Demitri, for example. if you put all spellings together, there were 576 baby Demetris born last year with 12 different spellings, which, had it been counted, would have ranked somewhere around #415. However, since the most popular spelling only had 191 instances, it didn't appear at all.

I just discovered that they have posted the lists down to 5 instances for boys and girls from last year all the way back to 1880!

So, I am putting all the names together by spelling, so all the Jaydens, Jadens, Jaiden, Jadyns etc. all count together.

Anyway, with instances down to 5, you get a ton more names, and there are a lot of interesting/weird/funky ones out there. I'll post a few.

These are from the BOYS' 2009 list:

First of all, these are either alt spellings or foreign names, but they have weird meanings in English or other languages:

Atom 32 - This is an Armenian form of Adam, but it's kind of funny to name a kid this in English. I hope his last name isn't Baum.
Avion, Chaise - in French these mean "airplane" and "chair."
Dali - probably named after Salvador Dali, but most kids will still call him Dolly.

Some adjectives (these are all girls)
Gabby - I know this is usually a nickname for Gabriell/a, but on its own?
Classie - I think this is a foreign name, but still!
Crimson - I guess it's no worse than Scarlett

And nouns (again, all girls):
Hunny - because Honey wasn't sweet enough
Poet - she'll grow up to be a NASCAR driver, just you watch!
Sativa - it sounds pretty, too bad it's the species of marijuana!
Saxon - and her brother, Viking
Season - couldn't decide between Autumn or Summer
Sundae - nicole Kidman named her daughter Sunday recently, but Sundae?


X-Men Characters -# given)
Angel- (girls- 1857, boys 9762)
Aurora- 1,478
Bishop- 174
Cable- 6
Danger- 5
Darwin- 312
Domino- 6
Gaia- 47
Jubilee- 89
Karma- 366
Mercury- 6
Mirage- 6
Mystique - 6
Omega (girls-9, boys -9)
Phoenix - (girls- 398, boys-814)
Pixie- 31
Rogue - 28
Sage - (girls-784, boys-295)
Storm (girls- 43 , boys - 43)
Sway - 8

More to come because I'm having way too much fun with this!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Names really do matter!

Good or Bad, Baby Names Have Long-lasting Effects

By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor

posted: 13 June 2010 04:30 pm ET

Choosing a baby name proves to be a challenging task for many parents. And they're wise to work hard at it. A name can have a profound impact on a child that reverberates well into adulthood, a growing body of research suggests.

"There is a reason why baby name books are extremely popular," said David Figlio of Northwestern University in Illinois. "We're always trying to think about the first bit of a child's identity and so if we as a society pay a lot of attention to names it makes a lot of sense that people's names might influence how they think about themselves and the way in which people might think about them."

Plenty of research suggests the name chosen impacts a baby's life well into adulthood. For instance, donning your newborn boy with a girly sounding name could mean behavioral problems later in life. And unique baby names that only your child will have can be a hardship too.

A British study of 3,000 parents released in May suggests one-in-five parents regret the name they chose for a child, many of whom were distressed over the unusual or oddly spelled names they'd chosen. And even those who didn't explicitly regret the name choice admitted there were names they knew now they wished they'd chosen then, according to the study conducted by [List of history's most popular baby names.]

Girly names

Boys with names traditionally given to girls are more likely to misbehave than their counterparts with masculine names, research suggests.

When in elementary school, boys named Ashley and Shannon, for instance, behave just like their more masculine-named classmates named Brian and other boyish names.

"Once these kids hit sixth grade, all of a sudden the rates of disciplinary problems skyrocket [for those boys with girlish names], and it was much more the case if there happened to be a girl in the grade with that same name," Figlio told LiveScience.

Imagine, Figlio said, having to come face-to-face with your girly name every day when there's a girl in the classroom with a matching moniker. That suggests feelings of self-consciousness, which are perhaps magnified by teasing from others, play a role in the name-behavior link in this case.

Girls given boy names also see an effect. In a 2005 study, Figlio parsed out names by their phonemic sounds and then figured out their likelihood of belonging to a girl. For instance, the names Kayla and Isabella were so phonemically feminine their predicted probability of belonging to a girl was more than 100 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, Taylor, Madison and Alexis were phonemically predicted to be twice as likely to belong to boys than girls.

"I found girls with names that are relatively feminine in high school chose advanced coursework in humanities – and less feminine are more likely to choose math and science courses," Figlio said, adding the research focused on high-achieving girls.

He can't say that one causes the other. Perhaps parents treat one daughter, Morgan, differently from an early age than they do her sister Elizabeth, whose name is much more feminine. “Did the parents choose that when they were choosing the name or did the name end up shaping their behavior toward their daughter?” Figlio said.

Socioeconomic status and expectations

Just as a person's accent or clothing can indicate something about that individual's background or character, so can a first name. And just like any other external indicator, names can lie.

Figlio got names from millions of birth certificates, and then broke down each name into more than a thousand phonemic components. He analyzed the names for letter combinations, complexity and other factors, and then used a statistical analysis to figure out the probability that the name belonged to someone of low socioeconomic status.

"Kids who have names [that] from a linguistic perspective are likely to be given by poorly educated parents, those kids ended up being treated differently," Figlio said. "They do worse in school and are less likely to be recommended for gifted [classes] and more likely to be classified as learning disabled."

He specifically looked at more unusual baby names, since with common names people have their individual experiences that can taint one's perspective of that name. Say you went to school with a jerk named George, you're likely to associate that name with negative qualities, regardless of how the name sounds linguistically.

To account for the idea that "dropout moms" might just give their babies poor-sounding names, Figlio included siblings from the same family with both high- and low-status sounding names. (Not all "poor-sounding" names were donned by kids of low socioeconomic status.)

Meeting low expectations

The link between a name and success later in life could have to do with these kids fulfilling others' expectations of them. Names that sound as though they came from a family of low socioeconomic status, might be tagged as less capable of achieving, for instance.

"People draw subconscious cues all the time about people. You meet a person for the first time and without thinking about it on an explicit level you're looking at the way they're walking, what their accent sounds like, how they're dressed, whether they smell ... and you're developing these immediate reactions," Figlio said.

He added, "I think there's probably an evolutionary reason behind that. We're hardwired to try to figure out in a heartbeat whether or not we want to trust somebody, whether we want to run from somebody.”

Today, Figlio said to imagine a teacher on the first day of class looking over his or her roster and trying to figure out what to expect from a child. Plenty of teachers have told Figlio "I have to fight myself from doing this. I see this name ... I think maybe they aren't going to have active parents."

And so the story continues. Children typically meet expectations, research has shown.


Whether or not your name sounds upper class might not matter if you don’t like it. Accumulating research has shown a strong link between a person's like or dislike of his or her name and high and low self-esteem, respectively.

"The relationship is so strong that when people want to measure self-esteem in a more subtle way you can do it with the name-letter task," said Jean Twenge of San Diego State University, referring to a method in which subjects report whether they like different letters of the alphabet. Those with high self-esteem will say they like those letters in their names, particularly the first letter, she said.

It makes sense if you think about how much a part of a person a name really is.

"Our names really are wrapped up in our identity, and that might be why you get this somewhat surprising finding at least in some areas," Twenge said during a telephone interview. "People who particularly dislike their name and also if other people think it's an odd and unlikeable name, that can cause some problems. [They] tend not to be as well-adjusted."

Unusual vs. common names

When it's time to pick baby's name, there are two types of parents, those who want an unusual baby name and those who prefer a more common name donned by lots of kids.

Turns out, even if the particular name chosen doesn't make a difference in a child's success later in life, whether or not that name is common or unusual does matter.

The difference between choosing, say, one of five common, relatively likeable names is small in terms of any impact on the child’s life. "If you're choosing between a relatively likeable, common name and one that is really odd, that definitely could have an impact," Twenge said.

"Some of it ends up being a proxy for the parents' philosophy on life in general," Twenge said. "The parent who says 'I want my kid to be unique and stand out' and gives their kid a name that’s uncommon, probably will have a parenting style that emphasizes uniqueness and standing out."

She added, "So it ends up building on itself. The type of parent who would give a really unusual name is often going to parent differently from a parent who says 'I want to give my child a name so they fit in.'"

Twenge's recent research suggests parents are, in fact, choosing more unusual baby names than decades ago.

Baby-naming advice books and blogs often suggest changing up the spelling of a common, or on-the-rise, name, in order to add some flare. Preliminary results from Figlio’s work suggest that may not be wise. Children with a deviant spelling of a common name tended to have slowed spelling and reading capabilities.

"That suggests a lot about internalizing," Figlio said. “You have the child named Jennifer spelled with a "G" – her teacher says 'Are you sure your name is spelled that way?' That can be incredibly hard on a person's confidence.”

All this parents end up realizing, as the Bounty study shows: One-fifth of parents in the British study wished they had chosen a name that was easier to spell; 8 percent were fed up with people being unable to pronounce the child’s name; and one in 10 thought the chosen name was clever at the time, but said the novelty had worn off.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Awesome blog

Check Out: a blog devoted to strange names. An awesome read!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Meet 'Flicity & Conna', the new baby names from the texting generation

The nice thing about baby names is that even older articles are usually still relevant.


Last updated at 08:06 31 March 2008

Read more:
ore parents are giving their children names derived from texting language

Given the unstoppable rise of text language, it was only a matter of time before children's names went the way of traditional English.

Sure enough, text-style versions have begun to appear on birth certificates.

Anne has been changed to An, Connor to Conna and Laura to Lora.

Six boys were named Cam'ron instead of Cameron. According to the online parenting club Bounty, one girl born last month was named Flicity. And there are numerous young chaps named Samiul.

Last year, a couple were told they would not be allowed to register their son's name as 4Real.

Officials in New Zealand ruled that the use of a number made it inappropriate, so Pat and Sheena Wheaton had to opt for their second choice - Superman.

In this country, other bizarre choices officially registered have included Ikea for a girl as well as Moet for a boy whose parents might have a soft spot for the champagne label.

The trend is thought to be inspired by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, who named her daughter Apple, and Jamie Oliver, who has daughters Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey.

Bounty spokesman Pauline Kent said: "Some of these new and different names are a way for parents to give their children a unique identity.

"It is similar to the thinking that goes in to naming a new brand of product for example - something to make them stand out from the crowd."

Others in recent registers have followed the example of the Beckhams, who named their eldest son after the place where he was conceived.

But while David and Victoria chose Brooklyn, children in Britain have been named after places such as Finchley in North London and the cathedral city of Ely in Cambridgeshire.

Both are male names. Other examples of unusually-titled boys registered in the past 12 months include Rocky, Rivers and Red.

As well as Ikea, recent girls' names have included Paprica, Caramel, Bambi, Fire-Lily, Skylark and Tame - which apparently stands for The Apple of My Eye.

On the text-style names, John Dunford, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said it was possible that new mothers and fathers had lost the ability to spell.

He added: "Some of it is genuine misspelling; some is parents looking for a unique way to spell a name and some is just carelessness.

"It makes life very difficult for teachers taking the register and completing forms."

Read more:

Report: Lord Jesus Christ Hit by Mass. Car

Updated: Friday, 07 May 2010, 1:18 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 07 May 2010, 1:18 PM EDT

(NewsCore) - Cops in Northampton, Mass., issued a traffic citation this week to a driver whose car hit Lord Jesus Christ, WWLP reported Friday.

The crash happened Tuesday on Main Street in front of Fitzwilly's, Northampton.

Lt. Michael Patenaude told 22News a 50-year-old man, Lord Jesus Christ of Belchertown, was struck as he crossed Main Street a little after 3:30pm Eastern Time.

Twenty-year-old Brittany Cantarella of Pittsfield was cited for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Lord Jesus Christ was treated for facial injuries at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

Lt. Patenaude said the man had a Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles identification card. Officers checked his ID and discovered that, indeed, his legal name was Lord Jesus Christ.

I suppose it's better than naming your kid Satan.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Twilight Effect: Why Do So Many Parents Choose The Same Baby Names?

From Time Magazine:

By Claire Suddath Monday, May. 10, 2010

People are naming their children after vampires. The Social Security Administration has released its list of 2009's most popular baby names, and the leading choices were Isabella and Jacob. Both names just happen to belong to main characters in the Twilight book series. True, Isabella has been trending steadily upwards since the 1990s and Jacob has been in the top spot for 10 years in a row (thus predating 2005's Twilight). But one of the rising names is almost certainly the result of Stephanie Meyers' blood-sucking romance: Cullen. The last name of Meyer's sexy main vampire jumped 297 spots in one year and is now the 485th most popular first name for a baby boy. (Read TIME's Q&A with Kristen Stewart.)

Cullen is also part of a larger trend: two-syllable male names that end in the sound "-en." Aiden is another example (12th most popular name). So is Jayden (#8), Logan (#17), Nathan (#24), Kevin (#44), Justin (#46) and a name I've never heard of before — Brayden. At #47, it means I'll probably start meeting a number of Braydens in about 20 years. Likewise, nearly half of the 50 most popular girl names end in "-a," just like Isabella. Why does this happen? Why do parents so often choose the same names for their newborns?

The short answer is because people copy each other, and no one likes to be that unique. Just as fashion and music trends wax and wane, so do baby names. Girls born in the 1980s were given perky, peppy monikers that ended in "-y" or "-ie" — Tiffany, Ashley, Katie, Brittany. These days it's all about the soft, feminine ending: Isabella, Emma, Kayla and Ella. Sociologists and journalists often propose their own theories about child names, though they usually end up being nothing more than unfounded speculation. CBS News once asserted that Emma became popular in 2002 because Jennifer Aniston's character named her child that on Friends. But Emma had been on the rise since the 1980s and it broke into the top 20 a full three years before Rachel and Ross had their fictional night of passion. Friends probably had very little to do with it.

Dig a little deeper, and baby name trends become much more complicated. According to Harvard University's Roland Fryer and the University of Chicago's Steven Levitt, blacks and whites chose similar names for their babies until the 1970s, when hospitals began seeing a rise in so-called "black" names such as Ebony, Shanice or Darnell. The racial name divide is now so strong that Fryer and Levitt claim that 40% of all African-American babies born in California are given a name that doesn't appear on even a single white birth certificate. (They limited their study to California for simplicity's sake). (Comment on this story.)

Geography can also play a part. In 2009, Hebrew University researchers Jacob Goldenberg and Moshe Levy looked at names' varying popularity among different U.S. states, and found that people are likely to give their kids names that are popular in their town, city, or state. Judging from the Social Security's name database, they seem to be right. Isabella broke the top 5 most popular list first in Colorado and Rhode Island. From Colorado, it spread to California, Nevada and Arizona. From Rhode Island it hit Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. Now it's all over the country.
But why did it start in Colorado and Rhode Island? And what happened in 1991 to suddenly shoot the name up 210 spots, from 698 to a still fairly uncommon 488, in just one year? Unfortunately, no one really knows. Ultimately, baby names remain subject to the whims of the people who bestow them. Parents are responsible for all the Isabellas, Emmas and Madisons in the world, not to mention the creative misspellings (Keighty instead of Katie, Danyale instead of Danielle) certain to drive their children mad for the rest of their lives.

Read more:,8599,1988092,00.html#ixzz0nY3BIg2W

Sunday, May 09, 2010

top names of 2009!

The Social Security Administration finally published their top 1000 names of 2009! I've re-organized them based on spelling in order to get a better idea of what names are popular.

Some highlights:

Politics seems to have influenced names last year:
Two of the biggest moving names are Malia and Sasha (President Obama's daughters' names) as well as Willow and Piper (presidential candidate Sarah Palin's daughters' names). Bristol, the name of Palin's oldest daughter, appeared in the top 1000 for the first time ever last year as well. Hillary, which has been slowly increasing in popularity since the end of the Clinton administration, fell out of the top 1000 last year.

The Twilight books/movies seem to have had a big influence as well, with Isabella being the new #1 name for girls. Bella is one of the biggest upward moving names for girls as well. For boys, Cullen appeared in the top 1000 for the first time. However, Edward, which peaked in popularity in 1909 and has been on a steady decline ever since, is still not showing a comeback.

Celebrities' babies also seemed to have an influence on naming last year: Vivienne, the name of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's daughter entered the top 1000 for the first time since 1930 and Knox (Vivienne's twin brother) showed up for the first time ever. Maddox, Jolie & Pitt's oldest son's name added another spelling to the top 1000 (Maddux) and is also on the rise. Harlow, another name showing up in the top 1000 for the first time has most recently come to prominence as the name of Nicole Richie and Joel Madden's daughter, although actress Patricia Arquette also has a daughter named Harlow. Kalel, the real name of Superman as well as the name of both Nicolas Cage's and actor Terry J. Vaughn's sons also debuted in the top 1000 last year.

For boys, the -aiden names still reign supreme. Aiden is still #1, with Jayden at #2. Relative newcomers Zayden and Raiden are two of the year's biggest movers, while Caden is #7, Brayden #25 and Hayden at #94.

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