Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bottom of the Barrel: Fancy

In 2010, 6 American girls were given the name Fancy.

I will admit that I initially turned up my nose at Fancy, but it is growing on me. It's whimsical, with hints of the 18th century — a sort of hybrid of Fanny and Nancy. Fancy can mean extravagant or embellished, but it can also mean imagination or an impulsive crush. I think it's sort of playful and cute. Not the most serious name around, but definitely growing on me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Alumni Magazine Babies

My college alumni magazine arrived in today's mail. As usual, I skipped most of the articles and went straight for the section in the back marked "Births/Adoptions." Here's what the alumni of one small, elite New England university are naming their children this month:
  • Luca Isaac Rocco (brother to Francesca Emilia)
  • Isabela (sister to Gabriela)
  • Richard Vann (brother to Avery (girl))
  • Jiya (sister to Armaan and Milan)
  • Sasha (sister to Talia and Sofie)
  • Sophia
  • Grace Mackenzie (sister to Hannah)
  • Maximus Alexander and Isabel Yvonne (twins, siblings to Malachi (girl) and Zadok)
  • Gabriella Melanie
  • Hugo
  • Donovan Eli
  • Leo (brother to Kai)
  • Lucia Frances
  • Holden Jude (girl)
  • Mira Hope
  • Arden
  • Astrid
  • Graham Isaiah
  • Alexandra Maya
Some notable things about this list:
  • The complete absence of -lee and -ayden names. Obviously, this is a small sample, but the -lee and -ayden endings are so common in the US right now that it seems worth noting their absence among the new babies and their siblings. I think this has a lot to do with both class and location — these parents are all graduates of an Ivy League college and most live in the Northeastern US, and tend more toward "neo-traditional" and international styles.
  • The girls show a very wide range. The frilly feminine names are well represented (Gabriella, Isabella), as are several names more commonly used for boys (Holden, Jude, Malachi), with everything in between. One thing I noticed about the girls on this list is that none of them could be considered "cutesy" — even potential cuties like Sofie and Mira are by no means juvenile.
  • Long o is a popular sound. With Rocco, Leo, Hugo, Sophia, Sofie, Holden, and Hope all showing up in this small sample (along with sound-alikes Lucia and Luca), I expect to see lots more Os in the near future.
Anything else you notice in this list?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bottom of the Barrel: Cereniti

In 2010, 8 American girls were named Cereniti.

Other creative spellings of virtue names (limiting myself to names beginning with C with exactly 8 uses in 2010):
  • Carisma
  • Cerina
  • Charitee
  • Charizma

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bottom of the Barrel: Jlee

In 2010, 8 American girls were given the name Jlee.

I'm guessing that this name is pronounced JAY-lee. Either that or some Glee fans have a poor understanding of English phonics.

It reminds me of a girl I grew up with, whose name was Lynz, pronounced LIN-zee.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bottom of the Barrel: Chastelyn

In 2010, 8 American girls were given the name Chastelyn.

I'm not really sure what to make of this. Is it Chastity for the 21st century? Or maybe just Chase + -lyn with a random t thrown in there? There were also 8 girls named Chaselyn, so maybe the latter. Though, the former would make a better story.