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Popularity of the Baby Name Ainsley

Number of Babies Named Ainsley

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Ainsley

The NYPL Lions, Patience and Fortitude

nypl, lions, 1911
The NYPL lions on opening day (1911).

Two marble lions have been guarding the entrance of the New York Public Library since it opened in May of 1911. These days, the lions are usually called Patience and Fortitude. But over the years they’ve had various nicknames, including a number of male/female nicknames (despite the fact that both lions are clearly male). Some examples:

  • Ainsley and Rollo
  • Leo Astor and Leo Lenox
    • The NYPL was created by combining the Astor and Lenox libraries.
  • Lord Lenox and Lady Astor
  • Leo and Leonora
  • Peter Cooper and Horace Greeley (famous for their whiskers, among other things)
  • Plato and Lily
  • Pyramus and Thisbe
  • Uptown and Downtown

The NYPL attributes the “Patience” and “Fortitude” to former NYC mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, who was in office from 1934 to 1945.

Mayor LaGuardia…nicknamed The New York Public Library’s lions Patience and Fortitude for the qualities he felt New Yorkers needed to survive the Great Depression.

While it’s a nice story, I can’t find any record of LaGuardia suggesting that the library lions be called by those particular nicknames. He did, however, use the phrase “Patience and Fortitude” repeatedly in his weekly WWII-era radio talks (1942-1945) on WNYC. So LaGuardia may be the ultimate source of the names, but it’s more likely that his radio audience began associating the two words with the two cats during the 1940s — after the Depression was over.

Speaking of Fiorello…the lions were carved by the Piccirilli Brothers, immigrants from Italy. The six brothers were named Ferrucio, Attilio, Furio, Masaniello, Orazio, and Getulio, plus they had a kid sister named Iola (according to the census).

Do you like the nicknames Patience and Fortitude for the lions? If not, what names would you prefer?

Sources:

Image: N.Y. Library on Opening Day – LOC


Baby Names Needed for the Twin Sisters of Thomas

A reader named Eva is expecting twin girls and would like some help naming them. She says:

One of the twins should have a unisex first name and a very girly middle name. For the second twin we want a girly first name and unisex middle name.

Here are the names Eva likes so far:

  • Unisex: Avery, Harper, Morgan, Kennedy, Madison
  • Feminine: Anastasia, Michaela, Caroline, Sofia, Kristina

Her husband is only on board with Avery, Caroline, Kristina and Michaela (he prefers the spelling Makayla).

The twins will have an older brother named Thomas Aiden (nn Tommy) and their surname will be similar to Damon.

Eva’s criteria reminded me of the twins named Charlotte and Dylan I wrote about a few years ago. I think the name Charlotte is a good option in this case, but Dylan plus that surname might be D/N-overload. Here are some other possibilities:

Feminine names Unisex names
Adeline
Amelia
Anne/Annie
Bethany
Camille
Cassandra
Cecilia
Cynthia
Esmé
Fiona
Gemma
Genevieve
Hannah
Helena
Julia
Lydia
Lucy
Maria
Melanie
Melissa
Monica
Nicole
Olivia
Phoebe
Rose
Samantha
Sarah
Tabitha
Theresa
Victoria
Addison
Ainsley
Alexis
Bailey
Cameron
Casey
Cassidy
Emery
Finley
Harley
Jamie
Jordan
Kendall
Leigh
Paige
Parker
Piper
Quinn
Reagan
Reese
Riley
Rowan
Sage
Shea
Sidney
Skylar
Tatum
Taylor
Teagan
Willow

Which of the above names do you like best for Tommy’s sisters? What combinations (either unisex+feminine or feminine+unisex) sound best together, do you think?

Here are a few combinations I like, just to kick things off:

  • Unisex+Feminine: Avery Helena, Cameron Nicole, Riley Caroline
  • Feminine+Unisex: Amelia Quinn, Olivia Willow, Victoria Leigh

Baby Name Needed – Girl Name for Baby #7

A reader named Emily wrote to me late last month. She and her husband need a name for their seventh (!) baby, which will be a little girl. Their six older children are named Kyle, Conor, Nichol, Joelle, Danielle and Anthony.

The only names we’ve agreed on so far are Lucy and Aimee, and I don’t particularly like either, for me they’re too normal and safe. I’d prefer something with a bit of edge, not much, I don’t want to call my child Apple or Fifi Trixibelle, but just something that isn’t dull and isn’t so well-used.

Emily also likes “slightly older names” including Esme, Isabelle, Amelie and Grace, “but [her] hubby has said no to all of these.” She almost had her husband on board with Lexi, but then she changed her mind about the name because “it’s so popular at the moment.”

Here are some of the ideas I came up with. (It’s kind of a hodgepodge, but I mostly aimed for older-sounding names.)

Adelaide
Ainsley
Audra
Aurora
Bethany
Brielle
Calla
Candida
Cassidy
Celeste
Coralie
Dahlia
Daphne
Davina
Edie
Elodie
Fiona
Freya
Gemma
Gwyneth
Hazel
Isla
Leona
Lucille
Luna
Lyra
Mabel
Mara
Maura
Odessa
Rhea
Rosalie
Rowan
Sabine
Sidonie
Talia
Tessa
Tova
Valentina
Zilla

What other suggestions do you have for Emily?

Update, 6/04 – The baby is here! Check the 4th comment to find out what her name is…

Baby Name Needed – Name for Baby Girl #2

A reader named Alex is looking for a name for her second daughter, due this September:

My first born is named Rowan Isobel and we’re looking for a name that will complement her name. We generally like Welsh/Celtic names (my husband’s name is O’Donnell) but also like unusual names. Rowan was ‘almost’ Arwen or Bronwyn, but – though we like those names, we think they are too close to Rowan. The biggest problem is that we think Rowan is SUCH a perfect name – we may have set the bar too high! Any suggestion would be appreciated!

I brainstormed for Celtic names that seemed to fit with the “style” of Rowan, and here’s what I came up with:

Afanen
Afton
Ainsley
Aisling
Carys
Delyth
Devin
Dylan
Epona
Finley
Finola
Greer
Keelan
Kendall
Kennedy
Meredith
Moira
Morgan
Niamh
Quinn
Riley
Rory
Shea
Teagan

What other names might sound good with Rowan? (I think non-Celtic suggestions are welcome as well.)

Baby Name Needed – Name for Baby Girl #4

A reader named Darlene is having trouble coming up with a name for her fourth baby girl (due in 2 months). Her first three daughters are Whitney Anne, Presley Kaye, and Gracey Dale. She and her husband have come up with possibilities like Lindsey, Kristen, Nicole, Jenna, Carley, Valerie and Meloney — but none of them have really emerged as favorites.

What do you think, readers? Whitney, Presley, Gracey, and … what?

My opinion is that the fourth daughter’s name ought to continue the pattern: 2-syllable first name ending with an “ee”-sound, then a 1-syllable middle name. Trying something new at this point might give rise to jealousy.

With that in mind, I think the following first names might work: Ainsley, Annie, Bailey, Chelsea, Elsie, Finley, Hadley, Harley, Jody, Josie, Kacey, Lainey, Lilly, Marley, Riley or Zoe.

For middle names, I came up with Beth, Bree, Claire, Faith, Hope, Jade, Jane, Kate, Paige, Reese, Rose, Sage and Tess.

As for combinations… Ainsley Jane? Riley Claire? Zoe Rose? Marley Kate?

Please leave a comment with your suggestions for Darlene.