How popular is the baby name Rigel in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Rigel and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Rigel.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Rigel

Number of Babies Named Rigel

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Rigel

Baby Name Needed for Brother of Saylor and Clover

A couple of years ago, we helped reader Michelle brainstorm for a baby names for her second child, a baby girl named Clover. (Michelle already had a son named Saylor.)

I heard from Michelle not long ago, and she’s now expecting #3 (congrats!). The baby is a boy. So far, the favorite name is Caspian but…well, I’ll let Michelle explain:

we really like the name caspian. i like that it’s a literary character [like saylor’s middle name dorian] and even more so i like that it’s a ‘noun’ name so it matches saylor and clover. also being the name of a sea it matches saylor without being too matchy like the name anchor or navy or something.

so that’s the name that i keep going back to but i am having the hardest time with it being 3 syllables. i feel like it doesn’t flow that well- it feels long to me so i KNOW i would want to abbreviate it. and so then he would be cas, casp, or caspy or casper.. which i’m not crazy fond of any of these. plus then you lose the name… i don’t like naming a kid something knowing they will never really go by that name. so i’m looking for a name like caspian.. but looking for a 2 syllable name i guess! i prefer 2 but would use a 1 syllable name if we loved it.

other names we’ve looked at-

cannon- but i feel like it’s forgettable and sounds like a bunch of other names- caiden, cohen, etc.

shepherd- i do like this name. not sure how well it matches our kids but i think i like it?

sage- considering this as potential middle name tho it’s way more popular for a girl’s name now!

my husband suggested voyage today but i feel like that’s too out there/trying to be crazy. i’m open to virtue names but not many good boy ones. not a fan of loyal.

i’ve chewed on booker, shale, atlas and cedar but not feeling it…

a friend also suggested oxlee which is kinda cool but kinda a made up name which i’d rather have a real word.

basil is a family name and i like it but not enough i don’t think..

i’ve spent countless hours thinking and looking and considering… i want to find a name that isn’t in the top 1000 as well. for sure forget it if it’s in the top 500 [i do like the names kingston, river, maddox etc but do not like how trendy they are].. sorry i ramble. :)

so, should i just go with caspian and try to get used to saying 3 syllables all the time? do you have any other suggestions??

Some of my thoughts:

1. Caspian

If you know without a doubt that you’ll shorten it, and you don’t like (and won’t grow to like) any of the shortened versions, there’s no point in forcing it. Picking Caspian would be equivalent to picking a name you don’t like.

That said…when someone tells me he/she “keeps going back to” a particular baby name, I tend to see that as a sign.

Caspian may have 3 syllables, but it’s not that long–especially since the first syllable gets the most stress and the last gets the least. This makes it easy for the name to roll off the tongue.

We all know people with even longer names (e.g. Alexanders, Ariannas) who go by their full names. It’s not strange or outlandish or anything.

If you like Caspian that much, try testing it out. Call the baby Caspian for a week or two and challenge yourself not to shorten the name. Maybe it’ll be easier than you think. Much like picking up a new habit — you have to put in some effort at first, but once it sticks, you’re good.

2. A few more name ideas

All have 2 syllables and are not in the top 1,000 right now.

  • Ansel – Makes me think of nature/the outdoors, thanks to Ansel Adams.
  • Bering – From the sea and strait, both named for the explorer.
  • Canyon – More memorable than cannon, as it gives people a visual.
  • Crispin – Sounds a lot like Caspian.
  • Murray – From the name of Australia’s longest river.
  • Radley – From the character Arthur “Boo” Radley.
  • Rigel – From the star Rigel.

3. Your turn!

  • What are your thoughts on Caspian?
  • Which of the above names do you like best with Saylor and Clover?
  • What other names would you suggest to Michelle and her husband?

What Do You Think of the Name Caelum?

A reader named Lisa recently wrote to me about the name Caelum:

So my husband and I named our fist son Rigel and we are looking for a second boy’s name that fits in with the space names. I really like Caelum, but we are having a discussion about the pronunciation. Maybe you can help. The English pronunciation is SEE-lum – but I do not like that. The Latin is either pronounced Kay-luhm or Kye-luhm (rhymes with tie or pie). So do you know which it is? Thanks.

There seem to be two issues here. Or, rather, there’s the question Lisa asked, and there’s a separate issue I’d also like to address.

First let’s look at pronunciation. I’m not a Latin expert, but I consulted a few sources (like Michael A. Covington’s short paper “Latin Pronunciation Demystified” [pdf]) and I believe that caelum would be pronounced KYE-loom in Classical Latin and CHAY-loom in Ecclesiastical Latin. According to modern dictionaries it’s SEE-lum in today’s English, though I think English-speakers trying to sound it out would guess KAY-lum before SEE-lum.

More important than the pronunciation, though, is the fact that Lisa and her husband are having a discussion about the pronunciation. That’s not a good sign.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, they settle on a pronunciation they like and decide to use the name. What then? They’ll still have to explain the name (how to pronounce it, how to spell it, or both) to every person who comes along. After a few years, that burden will be passed down to their son. He’ll have to deal with explaining his name to new acquaintances for the rest of his life.

I think there are better options–names that are space-related, but more intuitive than Caelum. Here are a few ideas: Altair, Castor, Deneb, Draco, Leo, Nash, Orion and Vega. (Actress Danica McKellar named her son Draco a few months ago, incidentally.)

What’s your take on the name Caelum?

Baby Names Needed – Whimsical, Weird Names for Quadruplets

Estelle wrote to me recently with a tall order:

I’m having quads (!!!) in 4 weeks and I need names! I’m having one boy and three girls. My 4 year old son’s name is Cosmo. My husband and I like spacey, whimsical and weird names.

In fact, they “don’t have any limits on how weird a name can be.”

One girl name they’re considering is Ione, which is a family name.

The combination of Cosmo and the adjective “spacey” made me think of star and constellation names right off the bat:

Adhara
Aldebaran
Altair
Aludra
Antares
Antlia
Aquarius
Aquila
Aries
Auriga
Azha
Carina
Corvus
Cygnus
Deneb
Denebola
Hamal
Kastra
Lacerta
Libra
Lyra
Meissa
Musca
Nashira
Norma
Orion
Pavo
Polaris
Rana
Rigel
Shaula
Sheratan
Sirius
Sirrah
Suhail
Taurus
Thuban
Vega
Vela

One nice thing about these is that several together probably wouldn’t scream “star names” to the average person. Unlike, say, a group of flower names. (Though I’m sure stargazers would catch on pretty quickly.)

And here’s what we have for non-galactic suggestions:

Allegra
Althea
Apollonia
Artemis
Aurora
Briony
Calypso
Clio
Danae
Demetria
Echo
Eulalia
Freya
Hestia
Imelda
Imogen
Isis
Lucasta
Luna
Jonquil
Minerva
Olympia
Rhea
Sapphira
Severina
Ursula
Vita
Xanthe
Zelda
Zenobia

Those were the girl names, these are the boy names:

Agni
Aldous
Barnaby
Casper
Cyril
Elan
Evander
Erasmus
Fabio
Gideon
Horatio
Ignatius
Isidore
Jethro
Leander
Loki
Magnus
Milo
Nigel
Odin
Pascal
Peregrine
Reuben
Rémy
Silas
Taliesin
Theron
Tycho
Ulysses
Zenon

What other whimsical names can you come up with for Estelle? And, can you put together any good combinations of 1 boy and 3 girl names?

Update: The babies have arrived! Scroll down to see what names Estelle selected.