Five-Name Friday: Girl Name Like Juniper, Opal

five name friday, girl name

You’re at the county fair with some friends, waiting in line to ride the Ferris wheel. Just behind you is another group of friends, and in this group is a nice lady who happens to be pregnant. The two of you chat for a few minutes. Just as the ride starts slowing down to let people off, she mentions that she still can’t think of a name for the baby. Then she tells you the gist of what she’s looking for:

Looking for a girl’s name that goes well with Juniper and Opal. Bonus points if it starts with a T!

“Do you have any suggestions?”

You’re a name-lover, and you could potentially give her dozens of suggestions on the spot. Your group is up next, though, so you only have time to give her five baby name suggestions before you get on the ride.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first five names you come up with (which is what you’d be forced to do in real life) you get to press a magical “pause” button, brainstorm for a bit, and then “unpause” the scenario to offer her the best five names you can think of.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you brainstorm:

  • Be independent. Decide on your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Would you honestly suggest these particular baby names out loud to a stranger in public?
  • Five names only! I will replace all names beyond the first five in your comment with random words.

Finally, here’s the request again:

Looking for a girl’s name that goes well with Juniper and Opal. Bonus points if it starts with a T!

Which five baby names are you going to suggest?

[To send in your own 2-sentence baby name request, here are the directions, and here’s the contact form.]


Popular Baby Names in Germany, 2015

According to data from the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (Association for German Language), the most popular baby names in Germany in 2015 were Mia and Jonas.

Here are the country’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Mia
2. Emma
3. Hanna/Hannah
4. Sophia/Sofia
5. Anna
6. Emilia
7. Mila
8. Lea/Leah
9. Lina
10. Lena
1. Jonas
2. Maximilian
3. Ben
4. Luca/Luka
5. Leon/Léon
6. Louis/Luis
7. Lukas/Lucas
8. Elias
9. Felix
10. Noah/Noa

In the girls’ top 10, Mila replaces Marie. In the boys’ top 10, Elias replaces Paul.

Hanna/Hannah and Luis/Louis were the #1 names (and Jonas was down in 7th) in 2014.

One interesting baby name bestowed in Germany in 2015 was “Gretchen Schneewittchen,” or “Gretchen Snow White,” discovered by name researcher Knud Bielefeld. It may have been inspired by Grimm World, the Brothers Grimm museum that opened in Kassel, Germany, in 2015.

Finally, did you know that about 1,000 new baby names are approved in Germany every year?

Sources: GfdS (2015), Germans turn to Star Wars for baby names

Babies Named after the Pope’s Hospital?

During a pontificate that lasted over 26 years, Pope Saint John Paul II was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital nine times, spending “a total of 153 days and 152 nights there.” He was at Gemelli often enough that in the mid-1990s he jokingly dubbed it the “Third Vatican” — that is, the third papal residence after the Apostolic Palaces in Rome and Castel Gandolfo.

In early 2005, during John Paul II’s final months, he was taken to Gemelli for two long stretches: February 1 to 11, then again from February 24 to March 13. He passed away on April 2.

Also in 2005, for the first and only time, the baby name Gemelli appeared in the U.S. baby name data released by the Social Security Administration:

Agostino Gemelli
Agostino Gemelli
  • 2006: unlisted
  • 2005: 5 baby girls named Gemelli [debut]
  • 2004: unlisted

The Gemelli is a teaching hospital associated with Italy’s Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, which was founded in the early 1920s by Franciscan friar and doctor Agostino Gemelli (1878-1959).

The Italian surname, which is identical to the Italian word for “twins,” comes from the personal name Gemello, which in turn comes from the Latin word gemellus, “twin.”

The baby names Johnpaul, Juanpablo and Gianpaolo also saw increased usage in 2005.

Benedict, John Paul II’s successor, was elected in April of 2005. The same year, the usage of Benedict spiked and the one-hit wonders Benedicte and Johnbenedict (the top one-hit wonder of the year) popped up on the U.S. charts.

Sources: The Gemelli: The Pope’s hospital, Gemelli’s John Paul II Statue Unveiled, Pope John Paul II Fast Facts

1,000 New Baby Names per Year in Germany

Every year about 1,000 new baby names are approved in Germany according to Gabriele Rodríguez, a member of the Namenberatungsstelle (Names Advisory Board) of the University of Leipzig in Saxony. She says immigration and parental creativity are the two driving forces behind this growing diversity.

The new names introduced by immigrant/refugee communities tend to be Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish and Persian. Rodríguez notes that over time some of these foreign names end up sounding rather ordinary. Jasmin, for example, is a Persian name so common in Germany that it’s now “perceived as a German name.”

The other new names are unusual selections submitted by native German parents. Some of these nontraditional names don’t make it through the vetting process — those that might cause a child embarrassment (like “Superman, Wikileaks, Woodruff”) are not approved — but many do end up on German birth certificates, including:

  • Anakin
  • Buckminster
  • Godsgift
  • Manjana (based on the Spanish word mañana, meaning “tomorrow”)
  • Neymar
  • Prinz-Gold (Prince Gold)
  • Schnuckelpupine (schnukel means “sweetheart” or “darling” in German)
  • Sequoia
  • Xantippe

Source: Neue Namen braucht das Land

Popular Baby Names in Wyoming, 2015

According to data from the Wyoming Department of Health, the most popular baby names in 2015 were Emma and Mason.

Here are the state’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emma
2. Harper
3. Olivia
4. Amelia
5. Evelyn
1. Mason
2. Liam
3. Wyatt
4. Logan
5. Benjamin

In the girls’ top 5, Amelia and Evelyn replace Brooklyn and Abigail.

Jackson, William and James dropped out of the boys’ top 5, but there are no replacements because the 2014 top 5 included a two-way tie for 2nd and a three-way tie for 5th.

For more U.S. rankings, check out the U.S. name rankings subcategory.

Source: Emma, Mason are Wyoming’s Top Newborn Names

Five-Name Friday: Boy Name Like Truett, Summit

five name friday, boy name

Finally, after 20 minutes of being stuck in the airport security line, you’re nearing the end (hooray!). Just ahead of you in line is a friendly woman who happens to be pregnant, and the two of you are chatting about travel plans. Then she mentions that she and her husband can’t think of a name for their baby, and tells you the gist of what they’re looking for:

We are looking for a unique baby name for our son to go with his middle name Paul. I like Truett, Summit, and Colston and my husband likes Ruger (he is more picky).

“Do you have any suggestions?”

As a name-lover, you could potentially give her dozens of suggestions on the spot. But she just moved to the front of the line, so you only have time to give her five baby name suggestions before she’s called up.

But here’s the fun part: Instead of blurting out the first five names you come up with (which is what you’d have to do in real life) you get to press a magical “pause” button, brainstorm for a bit, and then “unpause” the scenario to offer her the best five names you can think of.

As you come up with your names, keep these things in mind:

  • Be independent. Decide on your five names before looking at anyone else’s five names.
  • Be sincere. Would you honestly suggest these particular baby names out loud to a stranger in the airport?
  • Five names only! I will replace all names beyond the first five in your comment with nonsense words.

Finally, here’s the request again:

We are looking for a unique baby name for our son to go with his middle name Paul. I like Truett, Summit, and Colston and my husband likes Ruger (he is more picky).

Which five boy names are you going to suggest?

[To send in your own 2-sentence baby name request, here are the directions, and here’s the contact form.]

8 Impressive People Named Cooper

The baby name Cooper comes from an English surname that referred to someone who made or repaired barrels. It’s based on a Latin word meaning “cask, vat.”

Here are more than a half dozen impressive people named Cooper:

  1. Alan Cooper (1952-), American software designer and programmer. Developed the visual programming language used to create Visual Basic.
  2. Astley P. Cooper (1768-1841), English surgeon and anatomist. First to tie the abdominal aorta to treat aneurysm in 1817.
  3. Irving S. Cooper (1922-1985), American neurosurgeon.
  4. Kenneth H. Cooper (1931-), American doctor. Introduced the concept of aerobics in 1968.
  5. Leon N. Cooper (1930-), American physicist. Co-developed the first microscopic theory of superconductivity in 1957.
  6. Martin Cooper (1928-), American engineer. Led the team that built the first mobile phone (1972-1973) and made the first public mobile phone call (1973).
  7. Peter Cooper (1791-1883), American inventor and manufacturer. Designed and built the first steam locomotive in the U.S. in 1830.
  8. Whina Cooper (1895-1994), Māori leader and activist.

Do you know of any other equally cool people named Cooper?

Mardee, the Model-Inspired Baby Name

Mardee Hoff on cover of LIFE, 1940
Mardee Hoff
In late 1935, photographs of 21-year-old Mardee Hoff started appearing in the newspapers. She’d been selected from a pool of 2,600 models by the American Society of Illustrators as the girl with “the most beautiful figure in America.”

The papers said she would compete against Rosemary Andree, “Britain’s Venus,” for the international title in 1936. Many published side-by-side photos of the two women. I can’t find any record of this event actually happening, though.

But one thing that did happen in 1936 was the debut of Mardee on the SSA’s baby name list:

  • 1942: 7 baby girls named Mardee
  • 1941: 19 baby girls named Mardee
  • 1940: unlisted
  • 1939: 5 baby girls named Mardee
  • 1938: unlisted
  • 1937: unlisted
  • 1936: 9 baby girls named Mardee [debut]
  • 1935: unlisted

The similar name Marti debuted in 1936 as well.

The usage spike in 1941, plus the debut Mardi in 1941, were likely influenced by Mardee Hoff’s appearance on a late 1940 LIFE cover. She’s identified by name inside the magazine: “Mardee Hoff, photographed in one of the new torso-length cardigans on this week’s cover, has for the past three years been one of the most popular models with both photographers and illustrators.”

Interestingly, Mardee Hoff also posed for Norman Rockwell in the 1930s. She was the model for “Hollywood Starlet,” which appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in March of 1936.

(And here’s another model name, Twiggy, that debuted about three decades later…)

Sources:

Image: “Winners to Model After.” Morning Herald [Johnstown, NY] 20 Apr. 1936: 13.

Catholic Names to Watch – Teresa and Fatima

children of fatima, lucia, francisco, jacinta, 1917The baby names Teresa and Fatima might see higher usage in 2016 and 2017, respectively, thanks to Catholic influence.

Teresa

On September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa will officially be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.

Mother Teresa’s religious name honors St. Thérèse de Lisieux, but she opted for the Spanish spelling “Teresa” when she took her religious vows (back in 1931) because another nun in the convent was already using the name “Thérèse.”

Her birth name was Anjezë, an Albanian form of Agnes, which can be traced back to the Ancient Greek word hagnos, meaning “pure, chaste.”

Fatima

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions seen by three shepherd children (Lúcia, Francisco, and Jacinta) near the town of Fátima, Portugal.

The place name Fátima is based on the Arabic personal name Fatimah, meaning “to wean.”

If the usage of Fatima does rise in the U.S. in 2017, I’ll be curious to see how much of that increase comes from states with large Portuguese populations (like Massachusetts, California, and Rhode Island).

Which of the two do you prefer?

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Popular Baby Names in Alberta, 2015

According to data from the government of Alberta, the most popular baby names in the province in 2015 were Olivia and Liam.

Here are Alberta’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Olivia, 294 baby girls
2. Emma, 275
3. Emily, 252
4. Sophia, 205
5. Ava, 201
6. Chloe, 179
7. Ella, 167 [tie]
7. Abigail, 167 [tie]
9. Avery, 155
10. Amelia, 142
1. Liam, 301 baby boys
2. Noah, 256
3. Ethan, 233
4. Benjamin, 221
5. Lucas, 218
6. William, 217
7. Oliver, 209
8. Mason, 203
9. Logan, 196
10. Alexander, 193

In the girls’ top 10, Chloe, Avery, and Amelia replace Isabella, Charlotte, and Hannah.

In the boys’ top 10, Mason and Alexander replace Jacob and Carter.

Baby names that were bestowed only once last year include…

Unusual Girl Names Unusual Boy Names
Alastrine, Anarchy, Annayancy, Archa, Black-Feather, Breitling, Christivie, Costandina, Daylight, Drolma, Eallaf, Ehhuphoe, Esquire, Everra, Frozenda, Heledana, Isabeau, Jupiter, Kah, Loklyee-Snow, Lúthien, Mercyfavor, Mixx, Mornin-Starr, Mraeven, Nations, Nelanora, Obsolete, Oromia, Ovee, Patvabelle, Pluriana-Bella, Razbee, Reznor, SaQueira, Soda, Starlight, Sparrows, Surrender, Tayt-Lynn, Temperley, Uairirira, Umnia, Vhylix, Wynstelle, Xyrelle, Yeabkal, Yllethea, Yvriellebon, Zarabeen, Zayabella Ararso, Athanasius, Axtion, Bayou, Boxuan, Bry, Calyx, Clifflen, Coho, Den-Mark, Denzworth, Dezus, Eero, Eisenhower, Fnan, Fortress, Frotan, Galvin, Igloiel, Indus, JMaxx, Jomonosi, Kenardo, Knoll, Knoxin, Larxaniel, Memo, Mercer, Mugsy, Nazarus, Nexland, Nimona, Nuno, Nusetor, Okooc, Orges, Parx, Poncho, Psalmer, Qumbi, Ray-Pio, Reacher, Rook, Ryxer, Sky-Light, Sleem, Snowden, StylesJunior, Turbo, Uzuvira, Vanderjak, Vince-Gil, Wen-Ray, Wrightkin, Yngwie, Yogi, Zackharry, Zaylex, Zyller

Finally, here’s a link to Alberta’s top names of 2014.

Source: Frequency and Ranking of Baby Names by Year and Gender