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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Solomon

Number of Babies Named Solomon

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Solomon

The Rise of Deborah

deborah kerr, 1947, magazine
Deborah Kerr, cover of Time, early 1947

Right on the heels of Cheryl, the baby name Deborah skyrocketed in usage during the late ’40s and early ’50s:

  • 1952: 49,808 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 4th]
  • 1951: 42,060 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 4th]
  • 1950: 29,067 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 7th]
  • 1949: 19,208 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 15th]
  • 1948: 11,245 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 30th]
  • 1947: 5,838 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 62nd]
  • 1946: 2,470 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 119th]
  • 1945: 1,464 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 161st]
  • 1944: 1,293 baby girls named Deborah [rank: 168th]

It peaked at 2nd place (behind Mary) in 1955.

Deborah, based on the ancient Hebrew word for “bee,” had already been on a slow and steady rise. So what fueled the explosion?

I’d say the one-two punch of actresses Deborah Kerr and Debra Paget.

Scottish-born Deborah Kerr, who had been in films since the early 1940s, didn’t became one of the biggest names in Hollywood until later in the decade. (Her surname rhymes with car; MGM cleverly came up with the line, “Kerr rhymes with star.”)

Kerr ended up in some of the most financially successful movies of the era, such as King Solomon’s Mines (1950), Quo Vadis (1951), From Here to Eternity (1953), and The King and I (1956) with Yul Brynner.

Denver-born* Debra Paget, a starlet of the 1950s, also appeared in some big films such as the top-grossing movie of the decade, The Ten Commandments (1956). The same year she appeared opposite Elvis Presley in Love Me Tender (1956).

Though many variants of Deborah were being used around that time, Debra saw particular success, thanks to Paget. In fact, Debra surpassed Deborah in usage for five years in a row:

Year Debra usage Deborah usage
1961 22,153 [rank: 13th] 24,095 [rank: 10th]
1960 26,737 [rank: 8th] 25,265 [rank: 10th]
1959 31,371 [rank: 7th] 19,553 [rank: 9th]
1958 35,520 [rank: 6th] 32,940 [rank: 7th]
1957 42,734 [rank: 4th] 40,062 [rank: 6th]
1956 48,299 [rank: 2nd] 47,830 [rank: 4th]
1955 50,541 [rank: 4th] 52,314 [rank: 2nd]
1954 45,894 [rank: 6th] 54,685 [rank: 3rd]
1953 36,856 [rank: 7th] 52,188 [rank: 3rd]
1952 26,832 [rank: 9th] 49,808 [rank: 4th]
1951 17,074 [rank: 18th] 42,060 [rank: 4th]

(Interesting fact: One of the babies named for Debra Paget was future actress Debra Winger, born in 1955.)

The occupational surname Paget, a diminutive form of the word page (a “youth employed as a personal attendant to a person of rank”), was also appearing in the SSA’s data as a girl around this time. It debuted in 1948, the year Debra Paget appeared in her first film, Cry of the City.

Which spelling do you prefer, the traditional Deborah or the streamlined Debra?

I prefer...

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Sources: Deborah Kerr – Wikipedia, Debra Paget – Wikipedia, Page – Online Etymology Dictionary

*These Rams were installed in Denver three years after Debra was born.

Initials that Spell Names

initials that spell names, gus, zoe, eli, seb

In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.

My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.

In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.

So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.

Enjoy!

Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames

Surname starts with: Potential full initials (& example combo):
A A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.)
A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.)
A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.)
A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.)
B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.)
E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.)
G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.)
I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.)
I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.)
I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.)
I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.)
K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.)
L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.)
M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.)
N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.)
O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.)
O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.)
U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.)
U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
B D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.)
J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.)
L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.)
R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.)
S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.)
S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.)
T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.)
Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
C B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.)
M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.)
N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.)
V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.)
Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
D J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.)
R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.)
T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.)
Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
E A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.)
A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.)
E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.)
F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.)
I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.)
J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.)
L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.)
M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.)
M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.)
R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.)
S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.)
Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
F A.L.F. (Alfred Leonard F.)
D.U.F. (Duffy Ultan F.)
J.E.F. (Jeffrey Elliott F.)
G M.E.G. (Megan Emiliana G.)
P.E.G. (Peggy Elise G.)
R.E.G. (Reggie Elmo G.)
R.O.G. (Roger Olav G.)
H A.S.H. (Ashton Samuel H.)
I A.B.I. (Abigail Bailey I.)
A.L.I. (Alison Layla I.)
A.M.I. (Ami May I.)
A.R.I. (Ariana Rafaela I.)
A.V.I. (Avi Vincent I.)
E.D.I. (Edith Daisy I.)
E.L.I. (Elijah Logan I.)
E.V.I. (Evie Venetia I.)
J.O.I. (Joi Olivia I.)
K.A.I. (Kai Alexander I.)
O.L.I. (Oliver Lennox I.)
J R.A.J. (Rajesh Ajay J.)
K M.A.K. (Makayla Ashley K.)
O.A.K. (Oakley Atlas K.)
L C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.)
D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.)
G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.)
H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.)
L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.)
M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.)
M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.)
M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.)
S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.)
S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.)
V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.)
W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.)
Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
M C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.)
D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.)
J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.)
J.I.M. (James Irvin M.)
K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.)
L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.)
P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.)
R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.)
S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.)
S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.)
T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.)
T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.)
T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
N A.N.N. (Annie Nuala N.)
B.E.N. (Benjamin Ellis N.)
C.Y.N. (Cynthia Yelena N.)
D.A.N. (Daniel Avery N.)
D.O.N. (Donovan Oliver N.)
F.I.N. (Finley Ivor N.)
J.A.N. (Janice Andrina N.)
J.O.N. (Jonathan Octavian N.)
K.E.N. (Kenneth Eric N.)
L.E.N. (Leonard Earl N.)
L.Y.N. (Lynnette Yasmin N.)
N.A.N. (Nancy Azalea N.)
R.E.N. (Renato Elian N.)
R.O.N. (Ronald Ormond N.)
V.A.N. (Vanessa Athena N.)
W.I.N. (Winifred Inez N.)
Z.E.N. (Zenobia Evelyn N.)
O F.L.O. (Florence Lily O.)
L.E.O. (Leo Elton O.)
P C.A.P. (Caprice Amity P.)
K.I.P. (Kip Indigo P.)
Q J.A.Q. (Jaquan Anthony Q.)
R.A.Q. (Raquel Alaiah Q.)
R G.A.R. (Gareth Alfie R.)
S C.A.S. (Caspian Atticus S.)
G.U.S. (Gustavo Ulises S.)
J.E.S. (Jessica Esther S.)
L.E.S. (Lester Edward S.)
R.U.S. (Russell Upton S.)
W.E.S. (Wesley Elwood S.)
T A.R.T. (Arthur Roland T.)
C.A.T. (Catherine Aveline T.)
D.O.T. (Dorothy Olive T.)
M.A.T. (Matthew Alastair T.)
N.A.T. (Nathan Arnold T.)
P.A.T. (Patricia Ainsley T.)
U L.O.U. (Louisa Ophelia U.)
P.R.U. (Prudence Rhoda U.)
S.T.U. (Stuart Tucker U.)
T.R.U. (Trudie Rose U.)
V B.E.V. (Beverly Evangeline V.)
L.I.V. (Livia Indiana V.)
N.E.V. (Neville Eldon V.)
V.I.V. (Vivian Ingrid V.)
W L.A.W. (Lawson Amos W.)
L.E.W. (Lewis Edgar W.)
X B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.)
D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.)
D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.)
J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.)
L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.)
M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.)
P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.)
R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.)
R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.)
T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
Y A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.)
G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.)
I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.)
J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.)
J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.)
K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.)
M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.)
R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.)
R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.)
S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
Z H.E.Z. (Hezekiah Ellery Z.)
J.E.Z. (Jezebel Eulalia Z.)
L.I.Z. (Lizzie Iris Z.)
K.I.Z. (Kizzy Isla Z.)
R.O.Z. (Rosalind Olga Z.)

Can you come up with other good ones? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: “So Named.” Toledo Blade 29 Jun. 1982: P-1.

A Few Inuktitut Names – Elisapie, Alasie, Aputik

I don’t remember where I first heard about Canadian pop singer Elisapie Isaac, but her name definitely caught my attention.

So I did a bit of research on Aboriginal/First Nations names. Turns out that Elisapie is the Inuktitut version of Elizabeth. (Inuktitut is one main Inuit languages of Canada.)

Other Inuktitut names include Alasie, the Inuktitut version of Alice, and Aputik, which means “snow.”

Here’s more about Inuktitut names from Ann Meekitjuk Hanson (b. 1946), the former Commissioner of Nunavut:

Traditionally, it was up to elders to name babies after relatives or favorite people, and many given names had long been used — names like Aniqmiuq, Annogakuluuk, Annogaq, Arnaquq, Kimalu, Aitii, Maatu, Quvianatukuluk, Makivik, Yutai, Aiuula, Suu, Yugayugausiq, Arnaguatsaaq, Angusimaajuq, Qiilabaq, Nuiijaut, Ikilluaq, and thousands more. When the missionaries came, some could not pronounce these ancient names properly. They gave our people names from the Bible — Joanasie, from John, Jamiesie (James), Olutie (Ruth), Miali (Mary), Salamonie (Solomon), Noah, Jonah, Ipeelie (Abel), Ilisapie (Elizabeth), and so on. Among ourselves, we always used our ancient names. So when I was baptized, I became Annie, but to my parents and elders, I was Lutaaq, Pilitaq, Palluq, or Inusiq.

Finally, here are a few other Aboriginal names/definitions I discovered along the way:

  • Anjij, the Mi’kmaq version of Annie
  • Isapoinhkyaki, means “singing crow woman” in Siksika (Blackfoot)
  • Katsitsanóron, means “precious flower” in Mohawk
  • Niigaanwewidam, means “sound that comes before speech” in Anishinaabe (Ojibway)
  • Pilip, the Mi’kmaq version of Philip
  • Sosê, the Mohawk version of Joseph
  • Tehoronianhen, means “covered in clouds” in Mohawk

Do you know of any other Inuktitut baby names?

Sources: Learn About Aboriginal Names (PDF), Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair on Anishinaabeg storytelling, Nunavut 99 – What’s In A Name? Ann Meekitjuk Hanson – The Canadian Encyclopedia

Male Names in the Domesday Book

Male Names in the Domesday Book

I listed all the female names in the Domesday Book a while back, so today I thought I’d complete the project by listing all the male names.

The male names below appeared in the Open Domesday database just once, except where noted. (For the record, I overlooked entries in which one person’s name was used to refer to another person, e.g., “Aelfric’s uncle.”)

The most-mentioned name within each letter group is in bold.

If you make it all the way to the bottom, your reward is a top ten list. :)

A

  • Abba (2)
  • Abbud
  • Abel
  • Abraham
  • Acard (2)
  • Acwulf
  • Adam (4)
  • Adbrei
  • Adelard
  • Adelelm (4)
  • Adelo
  • Adelulf (3)
  • Adelund
  • Adulf
  • Aedi
  • Aefic (3)
  • Aelbert (4)
  • Aelfric (88)
  • Aelgeat
  • Aelhard (2)
  • Aellic (2)
  • Aelm
  • Aelmer (5)
  • Aelod
  • Aelred
  • Aelric (4)
  • Aelsi
  • Aeschere
  • Aescman
  • Aescwulf (2)
  • Aethelhelm
  • Aethelmer
  • Aethelmund
  • Aethelred
  • Aethelric (2)
  • Aethelsi
  • Aethelstan (3)
  • Aethelward (2)
  • Aethelwin
  • Aethelwold (4)
  • Agenet
  • Agenwulf
  • Aghmund (5)
  • Agneli
  • Ailbern
  • Aildag
  • Airard
  • Aisil
  • Aistan
  • Aitard (3)
  • Aiulf (5)
  • Akeli
  • Aki (3)
  • Akile
  • Alan (6)
  • Albert (5)
  • Albold (3)
  • Alchen
  • Alchere (5)
  • Alcolm
  • Alcude
  • Aldbert
  • Aldchurl
  • Aldelin
  • Aldred (9)
  • Aldstan
  • Aldwin
  • Aldwulf
  • Aldwy (2)
  • Aleran
  • Alfgar (2)
  • Alfgeat (9)
  • Alfgrim
  • Alfheah (6)
  • Alfhelm
  • Alfhere (2)
  • Alfhild
  • Alfkil
  • Alfnoth
  • Alfred (24)
  • Alfrith (4)
  • Alfsi
  • Alfstan (2)
  • Alfwin (3)
  • Algar (21)
  • Algeard
  • Algeat (4)
  • Algot (4)
  • Ali
  • Alling
  • Alli (3)
  • Almer (33)
  • Almod
  • Almund
  • Alnoth (17)
  • Alnuar
  • Alred (2)
  • Alric (22)
  • Alsi (23)
  • Alstan (10)
  • Altei
  • Altet
  • Aluerle
  • Alulf
  • Alun
  • Alvar
  • Alwaker
  • Alward (36)
  • Alware
  • Alwin (76)
  • Alwold (11)
  • Alwulf
  • Alwy (17)
  • Amalfrid
  • Amalgar
  • Amalric
  • Ambi
  • Ambrose
  • Amerland
  • Amund
  • Anbold
  • Andor
  • Andor
  • Andrac
  • Andrew (3)
  • Ani
  • Anna
  • Ansculf (3)
  • Ansegis
  • Ansel
  • Anselm (2)
  • Ansered
  • Ansfrid (7)
  • Ansger (7)
  • Ansgered
  • Ansgot (8)
  • Ansketil (18)
  • Anund (4)
  • Ape
  • Aret
  • Aretius
  • Arnbiorn (5)
  • Arnbrand
  • Arnger
  • Arngrim (5)
  • Arni (3)
  • Arnketil (8)
  • Arnold (6)
  • Arnulf (10)
  • Arnwin
  • Artald
  • Arthur (2)
  • Arulf
  • Ascelin (6)
  • Ascored
  • Asford
  • Asfrith
  • Asgot (7)
  • Aski (4)
  • Aslak (2)
  • Asli
  • Asroth
  • Asulf
  • Atilic
  • Aubrey (6)
  • Auesgot
  • Augi (2)
  • Augustine
  • Austin
  • Auti (5)
  • Avelin
  • Avenel (2)
  • Azo (3)
  • Azorin
  • Azur (14)

B

  • Baca
  • Bada
  • Bagot
  • Baldric (4)
  • Baldwin (10)
  • Balki (2)
  • Bark
  • Barn
  • Barni
  • Barth
  • Barthi
  • Basing
  • Baswin
  • Batsveinn
  • Beard
  • Belling
  • Belward
  • Benedict (2)
  • Benzelin
  • Beollan
  • Beorn (4)
  • Beowulf
  • Ber
  • Bera
  • Berard
  • Berdic
  • Berengar (4)
  • Berewold
  • Bergthorr
  • Bergulf
  • Bernard (14)
  • Berner (7)
  • Bernheah
  • Bernhold
  • Bernwulf
  • Berold
  • Bersi
  • Bertram (2)
  • Bertunt
  • Besi
  • Beso
  • Best
  • Bettica
  • Biarni
  • Bicca
  • Bigot
  • Bil
  • Blaca
  • Blacre
  • Blaec (2)
  • Blaecmann (5)
  • Blaecmer
  • Blaecstan (3)
  • Blaecsunu
  • Blaecwin (2)
  • Blanc
  • Blancard
  • Bleddyn
  • Bleio
  • Bletcu
  • Blize
  • Blohin
  • Bo
  • Boda
  • Bodda
  • Bodin (3)
  • Boia (2)
  • Boli
  • Bolla (2)
  • Bolli
  • Boln
  • Bolne
  • Bondi (5)
  • Bono
  • Bordin
  • Boselin
  • Bosi
  • Bosker
  • Boso
  • Bosten
  • Boteric
  • Boti (2)
  • Botic
  • Botwulf
  • Bouville
  • Bovi (2)
  • Brand (3)
  • Brandulf
  • Brandwin
  • Branting (2)
  • Breme
  • Bresibalt
  • Bretel
  • Brian (6)
  • Brict
  • Brictfrith (4)
  • Brictgeat
  • Brictheah (2)
  • Bricthere
  • Brictman
  • Brictmer (9)
  • Brictnoth (2)
  • Brictred (2)
  • Brictric (16)
  • Brictsi (6)
  • Brictstan
  • Brictward (3)
  • Brictwin (5)
  • Brictwold (3)
  • Brictwulf (2)
  • Brictwy (2)
  • Brisard
  • Broddi
  • Broklauss
  • Brorda
  • Brothir (4)
  • Brumage
  • Brun (5)
  • Brunard
  • Brune
  • Brunel
  • Brungar (2)
  • Brunhyse
  • Brunier
  • Bruning (2)
  • Brunlocc
  • Brunmann (5)
  • Brunmer (2)
  • Brunsunu
  • Brunwin (3)
  • Bucca
  • Buggi
  • Bului
  • Burcard
  • Burde
  • Burghard
  • Burghelm
  • Burghi
  • Burgnoth
  • Burgred (5)
  • Burgric
  • Burgwald
  • Burnin
  • Burrer
  • Burro
  • Buter

C

  • Cabe
  • Cadiand
  • Cadio (3)
  • Cadwallon
  • Calcebuef
  • Calebot
  • Cana
  • Caradoc
  • Carlman
  • Cave
  • Ceolmer
  • Ceolred (2)
  • Ceolric (2)
  • Ceolstan
  • Ceolwin
  • Ceolwold
  • Charbonnel
  • Cille
  • Claman
  • Clarenbald (4)
  • Claron
  • Cliber
  • Clibert
  • Clodoan
  • Cniht
  • Cnut (6)
  • Cola (7)
  • Colben
  • Colbern
  • Colbert (2)
  • Coleman (4)
  • Colne (2)
  • Colsege
  • Columban
  • Colwin
  • Conan
  • Conded
  • Constantine
  • Corbelin
  • Corbin
  • Corp
  • Costelin
  • Crawa
  • Crin
  • Croc
  • Culling
  • Cus
  • Cuthwulf
  • Cynegar
  • Cyneric (2)
  • Cynesi (2)
  • Cynestan
  • Cyneva
  • Cynewin
  • Cynwold
  • Cynwy
  • Cypping (2)

D

  • Dachelin
  • Daeging
  • Dagobert
  • Danemund
  • David (2)
  • Dedol
  • Deincora
  • Dela
  • Demiblanc
  • Dene (3)
  • Deorc
  • Deoring (2)
  • Deormann (2)
  • Deorsi
  • Deorstan
  • Deorwulf
  • Doda (7)
  • Doding (2)
  • Dodin (2)
  • Dodman
  • Doleswif
  • Dolgfinn (3)
  • Domnic
  • Donald
  • Donewald
  • Dot (2)
  • Dreng
  • Drogo (16)
  • Druward
  • Dubhan
  • Dubhghall
  • Dublel
  • Duncan (2)
  • Dunn (2)
  • Dunnic
  • Dunning
  • Dunstan (4)
  • Durand (12)
  • Dynechaie

E

  • Eadne
  • Ealdormann
  • Ebbi
  • Eccha
  • Ecgfrith
  • Ecgwulf
  • Edda
  • Edelo
  • Edgar (4)
  • Edmer (5)
  • Edmund (9)
  • Ednoth (5)
  • Edred (3)
  • Edric (34)
  • Edsi (4)
  • Edward (22)
  • Edwin (22)
  • Edwold (2)
  • Edwulf (8)
  • Edwy (6)
  • Egbert
  • Egbrand
  • Einarr
  • Einbold
  • Eingar
  • Einulf
  • Elaf (6)
  • Elebolt
  • Elfain
  • Elfin
  • Eli
  • Elinant
  • Elmwy
  • Engelbald
  • Engelbert (2)
  • Engelhere
  • Engelric
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G

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H

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I

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J

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K

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L

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M

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N

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O

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P

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Q

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S

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T

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U

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V

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W

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Y

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And now it’s time for the…

Top Ten Male Names

Which male were mentioned most often in the Domesday book? The #1 name was William, followed by Robert and Ralph:

1. William (166)
2. Robert (127)
3. Ralph (124)
4. Aelfric (88)
5. Alwin (76)
5. Hugh (76)
7. Roger (73)
8. Godwin (72)
9. Walter (64)
10. Godric (59)

Though the names in the book aren’t necessarily representative of name usage in England overall, it does make sense than William took the top spot. The Domesday Book was created a couple of decades after the Norman Invasion, at a time when the name William was very fashionable, thanks to William the Conqueror.

Unique, Strong Boy Name Needed

A reader named Kristy is expecting her first baby, a little boy, in mid-May. Kristy writes:

[W]e are now on the hunt for a baby’s name that is unique – it has to be paired with Johnston,* after all – but not so unique that it is unpronounceable! Also, being a romantic traditionalist, I am not interested in any “fad” or trendy names (i.e. No names in the current top 100 or even rapidly rising through the ranks). I am looking for a good, strong, perhaps “classic” name that will withstand the test of time without being shared with millions of others. (My husband and I both had to share our first names with many classmates growing up! I would like to avoid that plight for our child.)

*The surname isn’t Johnston, but it’s close.

My husband’s current favorite is Felix Milo. While I really like the name Felix – it’s unique and full of character, while being classic enough that there are a few notable Felix-es throughout history – it lacks the “romantic luster” that I somehow have my heart set on…

My current favorite is Zedekiah. It’s from Hebrew meaning “Jehovah/God is just”. I just love the way it sounds and that it’s Hebrew-based. He could go by nicknames of Zed, Z, Kiah, or even Zeke. Zedekiah Michael sounds lovely to me…

We also both like the name Raphael, but are really struggling with a good nickname (Rafi?) and a fitting middle name, for that matter…

They’d also like to include some family names, “but it’s been tough to get the names to mesh quite right.” Here are the family names they’re considering:

Michael Douglas
Terry Milo
Douglas Edward (see below)
Clarence Moore (he went by “Bud”)
Woodward Jay (he went by “Tom”)
Lester Raymond
Otis Clifford

Note that Edward is already taken by another grandchild, Tom’s my brother’s name, and the name “Douglas” sounds terribly dismal to me… which leaves us with a rather questionable lot… (but family’s family ;-))

Michael Douglas? :)

I really like the current shortlist. Zedekiah, Felix, Raphael…names with a lot of personality. Very cool.

I think I’d shorten Raphael to Raph, à la the Ninja Turtles. Just seems like the most logical nickname option to me.

As far as name suggestions go, the first to come to mind was Zephaniah, which is a lot like Zedekiah but has an internal ph like Raphael. Here are some other ideas:

Abraham
Alister
Arthur
Auberon
Balthazar
Damian
Evander
Fabian
Gideon
Giles
Hadrian
Hezekiah
Horatio
Ignatius
Lazarus
Lucian
Malachi
Marius
Maximilian
Nigel
Percival
Simon
Sinclair
Solomon
Sylvester
Thaddeus
Theodore
Timon
Tobias
Vincent

It’s not easy to choose a middle without a first already in place, but, of all the family names, I’m partial to Michael. You can pair Michael with nearly any first name and it will sound good. It’s like the boy-name equivalent of Marie.

Which of the above names do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Kristy?