Friday, January 20, 2017

Feeling Hopeless? Try Altruism!

Hello, readers!

Today's regularly scheduled name content will be interrupted with political activism. (Well, mostly. There's some name stuff, too). If the terrible events of the day have you feeling depressed or defeated, try making a difference in your community. Here are some links to well-deserving causes!

If monetary donation doesn't work for you, click around the sites for ways to get involved. Sign petitions, boost awareness, or volunteer in person for causes that matter to you.

Want to make sure people have access to adequate healthcare and family planning services?

Planned Parenthood - Care. No Matter What.

Healthcare.gov - Official site of the Affordable Care Act

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - Finding cures. Saving children.

Want to promote environmental education and climate change protections?

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy, and protect the planet.

Greenpeace - The leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Earthjustice - Because the Earth needs a good lawyer.

Want to protect civil rights and promote social justice across the country (and the globe)?

ACLU - Because freedom can't protect itself.

NAACP - To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

Amnesty International - Action for Human Rights. Hope for Humanity.

Want to protect the rights of women?

National Organization for Women (NOW) - Take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.

Feminist Majority Foundation - Equality around the world.

American Association of University Women (AAUW) - Empowering women since 1881.

Tell me your favorite charities and nonprofit groups in the comments below!

As for the name content... Keep getting excited about names. Keep reading blog posts and forums and baby name books. Ask people about where their names come from. Write down all the names you love. Promote diversity in naming. Stay passionate about what you love.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Barely There N-Z - Girls' Names

Hello, readers!

This is the last of my four-part series, Barely There Names! If you have ideas for future name posts that involve data, tell me in the comments!


Naiovy
Nation
Nebraska
Nieves
Nike
Nix

Oakland
Olwyn

Pagan
Paxley
Peony
Pfeiffer
Pink
Pippin
Portland

Reality
Rehab
Reminisce
Righteous

Salsabeel
Saxon
Serendipity
Shade
Shalimar
Sojourner
Sophonie
Sparkle
Starlight
Stellaluna

Theda
Tiernan

Ulla

Verbena

Warner
Westley
Worthy

Xiamara

Yuma

Zealand
Zosha

Monday, January 16, 2017

Barely There A-M - Girls' Names

Hello, readers!

Today continues the "barely there" theme - recognizing names that just made the cutoff, looking for signs of name trends to come! We're looking at girls' names today and Wednesday.


As always, tell me your favorites in the comments!

Abernathy
Acey
Adonai
Adorable
Agathe
Aia
Ako
Almadelia
Aloe
Amadea
Amit
Annetta
Araminta
Aspasia
Attica
Australia

Beckette
Bellatrix
Bly
Brighten

Calvary
Calyx
Cameo
Candida
Capella
Castiel
Ceres
Chrysanthemum
Constantina
Crew
Czarina

Dagmar
Delancey
Diary
Dollie

Eilonwy
Eliska
Erie
Evgenia
Exodus

Fairy
Federica
Forest
France

Garner
Gatsby
Gradie

Hagar
Happy
Harlequin
Haviland
Heartlyn

Idalis
Independence
Inge
Io

Jadis
Jericho

Kairo
Kimbra
Kindred
Kiowa
Ky

Leonarda
Leonella
Lise
Ludovica
Lynx

Madrid
Maleficent
Maranatha
Mehjabeen
Merav
Mercury
Mitchell

Friday, January 13, 2017

Barely There N-Z - Boys' Names

Hello, readers!

The list continues! Here are some novel names today that may become tomorrow's top picks!


Navarro
Neeson
Nix

Odie
Osbourne

Pacer
Petie
Petro
Pio
Placido
Portland
Priam

Rainn
Reason
Renegade
Rev
Roam
Romano
Romy
Roux
Ryota

Salinger
Saviour
Sherwood
Silviano
Sosa
Star
Statham
Stellar
Success
Suede

Tedd
Temple
Tenor
Tenzing
Tesla
Topher
Treasure
Triumph

Vali

Win

Yahweh

Zaccheus
Zan
Zavi
Zolton

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Barely There A-M - Boys' Names

Hello, readers!

The Social Security Administration draws the line at the number five - that is, a name is only recorded officially if it was given to five or more babies of one gender in one year. Which of these names, barely making it onto birth certificates today, might skyrocket to the top ten someday?


While these are only *my* picks, based on current trends and personal taste, I encourage you to check out the data. What names have I missed?

Abba
Abidan
Admire
Agostino
Aleph
Algernon
Amedeo
Andros
Antonin
Aragon
Arles
Astraeus
Auburn
Aureliano
Axiom
Azar

Barnett
Beckley
Berel
Bertrand
Beto
Bond
Bourne
Brolin
Bronco
Bucky

Caldwell
Cathal
Cathan
Chaitanya
Cherokee
Chesney
Chinua
Christophe
Clash
Coe
Corleone
Curry
Cypher

Daly
Damascus
Dannon
Dartanyan
Day
Deni
Deo
Dermot
Desiderio
Dom
Dragan
Durham
Duvall

Efthimios
Eldridge
Eloi
England
Esley
Ezri

Farren
Fender
Fennec
Forever
Furious
Fyodor

Gadi
Galaxy
Galloway
Garvey
Given
God
Granite

Haji
Haran
Harvest
Hemingway
Holy
Honour
Hopper

Iago
Imre
Ireland
Ives

Jackman
Jaco
Jazeel

Kaiba
Kaire
Keigo
Kel
Kerrigan
Khaleil
Kino
Kinsey
Kipling
Knute
Kostas
Kronos

Lamond
Llewelyn
Logic
Luthor

Majestic
Mali
Manhattan
Mantra
Marios
Moe
Moon
Moritz
Mortimer
Moxley

Monday, January 9, 2017

Famous First-Wave Feminists

Hello, readers!

While brainstorming for today's post, I found that today, January 9th, is the birthday of two major feminists - Carrie Chapman Catt of the first wave, and Simone de Beauvoir of the second wave. (It's also Joan Baez's birthday, though she's had a more conflicted relationship with the movement). Though it would be impossible to list every woman who's contributed to the fight for women's rights all over the world, I'll be periodically posting lists on some of the "bigger" names.

Please send me suggestions in the comments! Which feminists, living and dead, inspire you?

Ida B. Wells

I'll be looking at first-wave feminists today; Simone de Beauvoir will be studied in a later post

American Women's Rights Activists

Carrie Chapman Catt
One of the crusaders whose work led to the Nineteenth Amendment, granting women suffrage in the United States, Carrie Chapman Catt also founded the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. Despite these progressive activities, Catt also appealed to white supremacist notions in her campaigns. The name Carrie, popular in the late nineteenth century and mid-twentieth century, is now relatively rare. 

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Though she didn't live long enough to see suffrage enacted in her lifetime, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a tireless crusader for the movement. However, she didn't support the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments (granting rights to African-American men, including suffrage) on the grounds that women weren't included in the amendments. The name Elizabeth has long been an established classic, but the name Cady was given attention in 2003 as the main character's name in Mean Girls - a nod to this first-wave feminist, perhaps?

Susan B. Anthony
Like her partner in activism, Stanton, Susan B. Anthony worked long and hard for a movement she wasn't able to see to the end, and held her share of racially-insensitive views. Her legacy today is that of the "incomparable organizer," a true leader of a shifting and divided group of women. While Susan is another prominent women's name throughout English-speaking history, it's a bit dated today - Susanna and Lily are more contemporary options. 

Sojourner Truth (Isabella Baumfree)
Born a slave in New York, Sojourner Truth did not achieve freedom until her early 30's. She was the first black woman to win a case recovering her son from slavery in 1828. In addition to her activism in the abolitionist movement, Truth worked for the women's suffrage movement, becoming famous for her speech "Ain't I a Woman?" Though she herself chose the name Sojourner Truth in 1843, the name has since been used by many parents to honor such a remarkable woman. 

Ida B. Wells
One of the founders of the NAACP and a prominent author and activist, Ida B. Wells had a rich and multi-faceted career. She wrote about lynching as an investigative journalist, organized and marched in suffrage movement activities, and toured as a speaker in Europe. The name Ida, while currently off the top 1000, could move back onto the list with Ada and Isla getting popular. Another possibility - Wells wrote occasionally under the name Iola

International Women's Rights Activists

Táhirih (Fatima Baraghani)
An Iranian poet and religious leader, Táhirih ("the Pure One") was educated and outspoken in her beliefs. She is known as the "first woman suffrage martyr" in the Bahai faith, and attended the Conference of Badasht in 1848 (the same year as the Seneca Falls convention), shocking male attendees by unveiling herself and speaking on Islam. Tahirih has been recorded in the United States a handful of times since 1967, and Fatima has long been a popular choice in the Arabic community. 

Fredrika Bremer
A Swedish writer and feminist, Fredrika Bremer inspired countless other women in Sweden to join the fight for equality with the publication of her novel, Hertha. The book prompted legislation that led to legal rights for women, a women's university, and one of the first national women's magazines. While Fredrika may not mesh with modern trends, variants Frida or Frederica may work a bit better. 

Nicoline "Line" Luplau
A cofounder of the major women's suffrage group in Denmark, Line Luplau was also an activist for Socialism and class equality. A sweet, uncommon name in the US, Nicoline may unfortunately be mistaken for "nicotine." Nickname Line (or to use the same pronunciation, Lena) is pretty and timeless.

Haru "Raicho" Hiratsuka
Writer and activist Raicho Hiratsuka accomplished a great number of feats during her lifetime - she founded the first all-women Japanese literary magazine, led and won the fight to allow women in political participation, and championed pacifism during the Korean War. A unisex name in Japan, Haru has been used sporadically in the United States

Katherine "Kate" Sheppard
The most famous suffragette in New Zealand's history, Kate Sheppard's work helped many following suffrage movements across the globe. She was elected the National Council of Women's president in 1894, and continued to write on behalf of women's issues until the end of her life. After years of Caitlin's and Katherine's topping the charts, short and sharp Kate could rise up the ranks.


Friday, January 6, 2017

Wonderful W Names for Girls

Hello, readers!

Only 7 of the top 1000 names for girls start with the letter W - Wendy, Whitney, Willa, Willow, Winter, Wynter, and Wren. This uncommon initial deserves more love, especially since once-popular W names are beginning to sound fresh and usable again. Here are some wicked options from the annals of history!


Willie and Winnie
Adorable diminutives from many popular and uncommon picks, Willie and Winnie are more than able to stand on their own merits. Willie reached the height of #54 in 1909, and Winnie made it up to #162 in 1881. While longer forms are chosen more often, these nicknames have a vintage, feminine sound that work for all kinds of little girls.

Willoughby
Traditionally a surname or a male first name, Willoughby has been given to more than a few girls over the course of history. The name comes from Old English for "farm near the willows," and could work for parents who like Willow but are looking for something more substantial. Willoughby's melody and familiarity definitely lend it to modern trends!

Wonder
Given to seven girls last year, this pretty word name could fit in with Destiny or Hope as a contemporary virtue pick. It's been used as far back as 1952, but carries the same kind of sound as Harper and Amber. While it may raise some eyebrows, its concision and clarity make it a wondrous choice.

Wilhelmina
One feminine variant of William, Wilhelmina lives up to its associated meaning of "resolute protection." It's strong and steadfast, the kind of name for an exceptional little girl. Wilhelmina can be shortened into all kinds of friendly retro nicknames - Willie, Minnie, Elma - and it's a great, unexpected honorific for a William or Wilma.

Waverly
An historic, literary choice, Waverly has been used in novels from The Princess Bride to The Joy Luck Club. Television fans will recognize it from both Friday Night Lights and The Wizards of Waverly Place. But this English pick is more than just a cultural pick - Waverly is energetic and amicable, a worthy successor to Kimberly or Kennedy.

Willetta
Another turn-of-the-century pick, Willetta combines then-popular name prefixes and suffixes in a burst of vintage feeling. It's another name with a plethora of short forms - Etta and Lettie among them - but it's not so long it can't be used on its own.

Winona
This name is beginning to lose its celebrity associations and gain fans of its beautiful, elegant vibe. Winona means "firstborn daughter" in the Dakota language, and has never made it above #407 on the top 1000. Another name that can shorten to Winnie, Winona is a choice that will grow right alongside your little one.

Wallis
In 1936, then-king Edward VIII shocked the world when he abdicated his throne in order to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson. Herself named for her father, Wallis has since been portrayed in fiction and film (most recently in a production directed by Madonna). The name is boyish, but thanks to Simpson, it's assuredly accepted for girls today.

Winslow
This unisex choice hasn't yet ranked for boys or girls - time will tell which side will claim Winslow! It sounds a bit like Sloane or Winter, and it carries an artistic connotation (thanks to American artist Winslow Homer). Quite a few cities in the UK and the US are called Winslow, making this an unexpected place name pick as well.

Wisteria
A pretty purple vine, the flower that bears this name is also a symbol of devotion. Many will recognize Wisteria via the lane on Desperate Housewives, but this botanical choice has more to offer. It's similar in sound to Victoria or Esther, but Wisteria has only been used a handful of times in US name records.

Winifred
Once a frumpy, aged choice, Winifred has begun to blossom again. Its nickname Winnie is one reason, but Winifred has a tenacious, noble feeling thanks to a multitude of historical namesakes; from saints to actresses to activists, Winifred is a name borne by dozens of strong, notable women.

Wilder
Another choice that may hit the boys' list soon, Wilder is an attractive surname with a pleasant, adventurous sound. Beloved actor and comedian Gene Wilder passed away this past year, making the name more timely for devoted fans. Wilder also calls to mind author and educator, Laura Ingalls Wilder, of Little House on the Prairie fame.

Are there any particularly pretty W names that I missed? Tell me in the comments!