How popular is the baby name Matthias in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Matthias and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Matthias.
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Malta’s top baby names of 2015 have been out for months now, but the latest data still isn’t available on the government’s Naming Babies page, so I can’t give you the official rankings.
The best I can do is this quote from a recent Times of Malta article:
Amy, Ella, Leah, Maya, Valentina, Emma, Martina, Jade, Julia, Elisa and Elena are among the most popular for girls […] Luca, Matthias, Adam, Ben, Benjamin, Beppe, Alexander, Thomas, Zack, Liam, Luke and Noah are among the most popular for boys.
The article also mentioned many of the less common names bestowed in Malta in 2015, including:
Alix (the Maltese version of Alex)
Delyth (“which in Welsh means neat and pretty, but when read with a Maltese pronunciation it means, err, murder”)
But not just any old flower names. Let’s check out some relatively modern flower names — flower names that came from genus names that were created from Latinized surnames.
Here’s a list of 20. Most of these are rarely used for humans, so if you’re looking for an unexpected nature name for a baby girl, this could be a good place to start.
Abelia flowers are white or pink, and usually scented. The genus Abelia is part of the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae).
Abelia was named for British surgeon and naturalist Clarke Abel (1780-1826). Clarke’s version of the surname Abel is likely based on the Hebrew name Abel, meaning “breath.” An identical German surname is based on a pet form of Albrecht, made up of elements meaning “noble” and “bright.”
Camellia flowers are white, pink, red, and sometimes yellow. The genus Camellia is part of the Theaceae family. Leaves of the species Camellia sinensis are used to produce tea.
Camellia was named for Czech Jesuit missionary and botanist Georg Joseph Kamel (1661-1706). The surname Kamel is derived from a word meaning “camel.” Camels are not endemic to Europe, but they were commonly used on house signs in central Europe during the later Middle Ages.
The baby name Camellia is currently ranked 2,597th.
Cattleya flowers come in a range of colors: purple, orange, white, yellow, etc. The genus Cattleya is part of the orchid family (Orchidaceae).
Cattleya was named for English merchant and horticulturist William Cattley (1788-1835). The first element of the English surname Cattley is based on either Catta, a personal name, or a word meaning “(wild) cat.” The second comes from the Old English word leah, meaning “woodland; clearing.”
The baby name Cattleya is currently ranked 1,684th. It was very rare until a character named Cataleya was featured in the 2011 movie Columbiana. The character’s name was based on the genus name.
Clintonia flowers are white, red, or green-yellow. The genus Clintonia is part of the lily family (Liliaceae).
Clintonia was named for U.S. politician and botanist De Witt Clinton (1769-1828). The English surname Clinton is based on one of two different place names. One place name was derived from Old English words meaning “enclosure, fence” + “settlement,” while the other means “Glyme (river)” + “settlement.”
Pronunciation: DAL-yah (first syllable can rhyme with “gal”, “doll,” or “dale”)
Dahlia flowers come in a wide range of colors. The genus Dahlia is part of the daisy family (Asteraceae).
Dahlia was named for Swedish botanist Anders Dahl (1751-1789). The Swedish surname Dahl is based on the Old Norse word dalr, meaning “dale, valley.”
The baby name Dahlia is currently within the top 1,000, ranked 719th.
Pronunciation: for-SĬTH-ee-ah or for-SĪTH-ee-ah (chiefly British English)
Forsythia flowers are bright yellow. The genus Forsythia is part of the olive family (Oleaceae).
Forsythia was named for Scottish botanist William Forsyth (1737-1804). The surname Forsyth is based on Fearsithe, a Gaelic personal name made up of the Gaelic words fear, meaning “man,” and sith, meaning “peace.”
Gardenia flowers are white or pale yellow and strongly scented. The genus Gardenia is part of the coffee family (Rubiaceae).
Gardenia was named for Scottish-born American naturalist Alexander Garden (1730-1791). The English surname Garden is based on an occupational name for a gardener. It ultimately comes from the Old Norman French word gardin, meaning “garden.”
Kerria flowers are bright yellow. The genus Kerria is part of the rose family (Rosaceae).
Kerria was named for Scottish gardener and plant hunter William Kerr (d. 1814). The Scottish surname Kerr is a topographic name referring to a patch of wet ground overgrown with brushwood. It ultimately comes from the Old Norse word kjarr, meaning “copsewood, brushwood, thicket.”
Magnolia flowers are fragrant and come in white, pink, red, purple or yellow. Because they predate bees and butterflies, they’re typically pollinated by beetles.
The genus Magnolia was named for French botanist Pierre Magnol (1638-1715). The French surname Magnol may be based on either the Latin word magnus, meaning “great,” or on a French place name of uncertain derivation.
The baby name Magnolia is currently within the top 1,000, ranked 831st.
Monarda flowers are various shades of red, pink, and purple, and highly scented. The genus Monarda is part of the mint family (Lamiaceae).
Monarda was named for Spanish physician and botanist Nicolás Monardes (1493-1588).
Plumeria flowers (also known as frangipani) are very fragrant and come in several colors. The genus Plumeria is part of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae), like Allamanda.
Plumeria was named for French botanist Charles Plumier (1646-1704). The French surname Plumier is based on an occupational name for either a feather dresser or a plumber. The former occupational name ultimately comes from the Latin word plumarius, meaning “embroidered with feathers,” while the latter comes from the Latin word plumbum, meaning “lead.”
Zinnia flowers come in a wide range of colors (red, purple, orange, buff, yellow, etc.) and shapes. The genus Zinnia is part of the daisy family (Asteraceae), like Dahlia and Gazania.
Zinnia was named for German anatomist and botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759). The German/Jewish surname Zinn is based on an occupational name for a pewter worker or tinsmith. It ultimately comes from the Germanic word zin, meaning “tin, pewter.”
According to data from Malta’s National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups in Malta in 2014 were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.
Here are Malta’s top 10 girl and boy name-groups of 2014:
Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 97 baby girls
Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 37 [tie]
Anna/Hannah/Ann, 37 [tie]
Luke/Luca/Lucas, 98 baby boys
Liam/William, 51 [tie]
John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 51 [tie]
Kaiden/Kayden/Kai ,46 [tie]
Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 46 [tie]
Down in 15th place on the boys’ side is “Yannick/Yan” — both are versions of John, and yet they’re not part of the John group, which is tied for 6th.
Speaking of strange things…
The current Maltese birth registration system does not allow for Maltese fonts, which essentially means that names with ċ such as Ċikku or Ċensa; with a ġ such as Ġorġ or Ġanna; and with a ż such as Liża or Ġużi, are out – or at least will be recorded without the essential dots which distinguish the Maltese phonetical sound.
I’ve seen governments (e.g., NWT, California) make excuses about not being able to render minority/ethnic names properly on birth certificates, but I’ve never heard of a country that couldn’t render names from its own national language.
A few weeks ago, The Stir posted a list of 20 pairs of baby names for girl-boy twins.
The problem with their list? Each matchy-matchy name-pair started with the same first letter.
Yes, most parents gravitate toward patterns when it comes to naming twins. This has been confirmed by at least one study and is easy to see when you peruse the (now discontinued) lists of popular twin names.
So I thought I’d improve upon their list by separating the pairings and giving each of the 40 names a new, non-matchy partner — different first letter, different ending, different number of syllables.
Hazel & Hugo
Emma & Evan
Madison & Mason
Taylor & Tyler
Vivienne & Val
Ava & Alexander
Chloe & Caleb
Sophia & Samuel
Eva & Ethan
Penelope & Pax
Savannah & Sebastian
Lily & Luke
Dylan & Dean
Naomi & Noah
Imogen & Isaac
Juliette & James
Christina & Christian
Grace & Gavin
Avery & Aiden
Claire & Clive
Hazel & Benjamin
Emma & Charles
Madison & Liam
Taylor & Grant
Vivienne & Phillip
Ava & Carl
Chloe & Gabriel
Sophia & Owen
Eva & Jack
Penelope & Duncan
Savannah & Zane
Lily & Cash
Dylan & Matthias
Naomi & Joseph
Imogen & Grey
Juliette & Simon
Christina & Thomas
Grace & Dominic
Avery & Beau
Claire & Julian
Hugo & Adelaide
Evan & Sabrina
Mason & Aria
Tyler & Addison
Val & Edie
Alexander & Daphne
Caleb & Lydia
Samuel & Hannah
Ethan & Amelia
Pax & Kira
Sebastian & Gemma
Luke & Maya
Dean & Harper
Noah & Abigail
Isaac & Johanna
James & Tabitha
Christian & Veronica
Gavin & Bree
Aiden & Katrina
Clive & Odette
Not only are the pairs in the middle and on the right smarter choices in terms of child development, but they’re also less likely to cause embarrassment and/or confusion. Unlike, say, Christina and Christian.
What are your favorite non-matchy baby names for girl-boy twins?
P.S. Hate to nit-pick, but…the Stir post also included several bogus definitions. Caleb means “devotion to God”? Nope, Caleb means dog.
Malta’s top baby names of 2013 came out a few weeks ago.
According to data from the National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups last year were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.
Here are Malta’s top 20 girl name-groups and top 20 boy name-groups of 2013:
Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 106 baby girls (5.5% of all girls)
Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 78 (4.0%)
Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 69 (3.6%)
Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 51 (2.6%)
Maya/Mia/Myah, 47 (2.4%)
Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 42 (2.2%)
Lea/Leah/Leia, 37 (1.9%)
Martina/Martine, 36 (1.9%)
Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 35 (1.8%)
Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34 (1.8%)
Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 34 (1.8%)
Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 34 (1.8%)
Amy/Aimee, 32 (1.6%)
Anna/Hannah/Ann, 31 (1.6%)
Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 27 (1.4%)
Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, 27 (1.4%)
Sophia/Sophie, 26 (1.3%)
Jade/Giada, 22 (1.1%)
Alexandra/Alessia/Alexia/Lexi, 22 (1.1%)
Aaliyah/Alaya, 21 (1.1%)
Chloe/Khloe, 20 (1.0%)
Amber/Amberley, 20 (1.0%)
Karla/Carla/Carly, 20 (1.0%)
Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, 17 (0.9%)
Nina, 17 (0.9%)
Faith, 17 (0.9%)
Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, 16 (0.8%)
Nicole/Nicola/Nicky, 14 (0.7%)
Rachel/Raquel, 14 (0.7%)
Keira/Kyra, 14 (0.7%)
Claire/Clara/Clarisse, 14 (0.7%)
Luke/Luca/Lucas, 106 baby boys (5% of all boys)
Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 93 (4.4%)
Jacob/Jake, 70 (3.3%)
Zachary/Zak/Zack, 56 (2.6%)
John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 53 (2.5%)
Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53 (2.5%)
Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 46 (2.2%)
Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 45 (2.1%)
Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 45 (2.1%)
Aiden/Ayden, 43 (2.0%)
Liam/William, 42 (2.0%)
Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 41 (1.9%)
Benjamin/Ben, 40 (1.9%)
Daniel/Dan/Danil, 33 (1.5%)
Isaac/Izaak, 32 (1.5%)
Mason/Maison, 32 (1.5%)
Jack/Jackson/Jacques, 30 (1.4%)
Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, 29 (1.4%)
Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 (1.4%)
Nathan/Nathaniel, 28 (1.3%)
Julian/Julien/Guiliano, 27 (1.3%)
Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24 (1.1%)
Adam, 24 (1.1%)
Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 23 (1.1%)
Noah, 23 (1.1%)
James/Jamie/Jayme, 22 (1.0%)
Samuel/Sam, 22 (1.0%)
Keiran/Kyran, 22 (1.0%)
Some of the unusual names registered in Malta last year were Aizley, Amporn, Breeze, Chinenye, Coco, Delson, Diyas, Enonima, Freedom, Gundula, Jaceyrhaer, Kobbun, Limoni, Love, Netsrik, Summer, Symphony, Zarkareia and Zveyrone.
Malta’s 2012 list was topped by Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina and Matthew/Matthias/Matteo.
The image below, of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, was captured in early 1838 by Louis Daguerre, inventor of the daguerreotype.
It may be the earliest surviving photograph of a person. Two people, actually. Both are in the lower left:
Here’s a close-up:
The standing man is getting his shoe shined, and the other man (partially obscured) is doing the shoe-shining.
Of all the people on the sidewalk that day, these were the only two to stay still long enough (about 10 minutes) to be captured in the image.
Now for the fun part!
What would you name these two Frenchmen?
Let’s pretend you’re writing a book set in Paris in the 1830s, and these are two of your characters. What names would you give them?
Here’s a long list of traditional French male names, to get you started:
For some real-life inspiration, here are lists of famous 19th century and 20th century French people, courtesy of Wikipedia. Notice that many of the Frenchman have double-barreled, triple-barreled, even quadruple-barreled given names. (Daguerre himself was named Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre.)
The 98 baby girls of the Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina group represent 4.8% of all baby girls born in Malta in 2012, and the 101 baby boys of the Matthew/Matthias/Matteo group represent 4.6% of all baby boys.
I have three earlier Malta lists (2006, 2007, 2009) here at NBN, but there are even more (2002 through 2012, inclusive) at the NSO website — use the link below.