Friday, February 24, 2017

You Can Call Me AL

Hello, readers!

Being a fan of 70's singer-songwriters - still debating naming my future child James, just so I can sing "Sweet Baby James" to them - I'm fairly well-versed in Paul Simon hits. He's also a fantastic example of using names in songs! "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" is one great tune, but so is the title of this article - "You Can Call Me Al."

This short nickname-name peaked in 1910, but it was used quite often in the mid-twentieth century. Al is short for a bunch of excellent names with varying styles - let's check out a few!

The most popular Al-name, Alexander is a classic with no signs of losing its edge. It's got history, namesakes, and a handsome sound - this pick will age well!

Alan, Allan, Allen
Though Alan's ranked higher in the 1950's and 1960's, the names are still popular. For good reason - Alan is simple, friendly, and accessible to all. 

Long on the decline, Alvin got a slight boost in 2007-08, thanks to the Chipmunk films. It's definitely geek-chic, but Alvin is also quirky and adorable. 

Alistair, Alastair
It already ranks in the UK, making this an import we Yanks are excited to receive! The Scottish form of Alexander, Alistair is sophisticated and attractive. 

What's not to like about a name whose meaning comes from the French for "mustachioed man"? It may be a bit stuffy, but Algernon could take off with today's creative namers!

Another bold, old-fashioned choice, Aloysius can be found on Sesame Street, in Brideshead Revisited, and in the names of the saints. Could it return to birth certificates?

Dignified and durable, Albert has quite a few notable namesakes, from Einstein to Camus to a dozen royals. Some may find it dated, but Albert is bound to persevere through its traditional tone. 

A favorite in English literature, Alaric is an ancient name that's never quite become popular. That could very well change, thanks to its unusual sound and refined appeal. 

While it's primarily known as the middle name of Thomas Edison, Alva hits all the right notes to move to the first name slot. It's short yet resolute, uncommon yet recognizable. 

It's incredibly popular in Europe, but Alfred is still relatively under the radar in the US. While Al and Fred(dy) are other traditional nicknames, Alfie is a huge hit in Britain. 

Once well-used, Alphonse has fallen a long way from its rank 100 years ago. But this French choice is now a rare vintage find, perfect for those who love history in a name. 

Though it sounds like a trendy name, similar to Corbin or Ruben, Albin is actually a Swedish pick that's never taken off in the US. It comes from Latin for "white" - lovely for a winter baby. 

With a zippy sound and remarkable history, Alonzo's have appeared on the basketball court and in Congress. This pleasant choice will work for all kinds of personalities!

Tell me your favorite Al names in the comments!

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