Tuesday, May 29

2011 Rarities: Part Two

photo by flag75* via Flickr

Here are some of the stand-out names used on only 9 children born in the US in 2011   

Alp  a Turkish name meaning "brave," or an homage to the mountain range, I suppose
Cahill  I've always liked this surname and was pleased to see it used as a first name. It's an anglicized form of the Irish name Cathal, made up of Gaelic elements meaning "battle" and "rule"
Fender  I'm betting most babies named Fender were named for the guitar maker (in which case I think Leo is a nicer, more subtle choice). Apparently this is gaining some popularity in the Netherlands after a Dutch musician used it for his son 
Grover  lots of the Sesame Street names are appealing. I like Grover and Elmo and could see them getting some hipster-love  
Heru  comes from Horus, the falcon-headed Egyptian god of light. It also refers to a traditional ornamental comb of the Māori people of New Zealand
Iori  the name of a river in eastern Georgia (the country, not the state), the surname of a swordsman from 17th-century Japan and an Italian footballer, and as the first name of a character from a video game and manga series, which I'm betting is the real influence
Jove  another name for Roman god of sky and thunder Jupiter
Justo  from the saint name Justus, meaning "just." Lots of nice related forms, including Dutch Joost, Slovene Jošt and Welsh Iestyn
Lewi  ancient Hebrew form of Levi, meaning "joining" 
Lorne  I was surprised to see this one was only used 9 times. It falls into the Cary-category for me, a handsome, old-fashioned, underused movie-star name. From the name of a place in Scotland, it gets more love in Canada since it was the name of the first governor general there
Nesta  found as a diminutive of Agnes, I'm sure this is being used on boys to honor Bob Marley (it's his middle name) as Gwen Stefani did for her youngest son Zuma
Philopater  means either "one who loves his father" or "one who loves his country." This was the birth name of Saint Mercurius and the name of Ptolemy IV the fourth pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt

Aerie  I'd guess this makes an appearance because of its trendy look and sound, but I wonder if the parents using it were aware that it's the term for an eagle's nest, and a favorite word of crossword-puzzle makers, apparently, since that's where I see it used most often. Or maybe they're just big John Denver fans?
Brynja  Icelandic name meaning "armor"
Cricket  from the name of the insect
Devanshi  the name of an apsara, a beautiful, supernatural female deity of Hindu myth. Relatively common in India, it means "one who is part of god"
Dolce  better than Gabbana, I guess? Means "sweet" in Italian
Ebba  this name cracks the top 10 in Sweden
Escarleth  this one intrigues me. Other than assuming it's related to Scarlet, I don't know much about its use. I've seen Scarleth and Escarleth (as well as Escarlet) used, mainly in Spanish-speaking cultures
Harvest  I think this could make a good boy or girl name, though I may prefer it in the middle-name spot since it could read a little hippie-sanctimonious (or is that just me?)
Iara  the name of a figure from Brazilian mythology, from elements meaning "lady of the water"
Isatou  I recognized this as Gambian thanks to the "-tou" ending, which I always like. Wish I knew the meaning
Krupa  did 9 people love Gene Krupa enough to name their daughters after him?
Lilac  another one I'm surprised to see was used less than 10 times. I'd have thought this pretty flower name would get more love
Mariposa  Spanish word for "butterfly"
Sutiya  the name of an indigenous ethnic group of northeastern India 
Maryfer  like Escarleth, I find this used in Spanish speaking cultures (sometimes as Marifer) probably a combination of Maria and Jennifer
Prisma  a word in Spanish and Portuguese meaning something like "from this angle," or "in this light," or just the translation of English prism. Prisms are awesome, so this name is, too
Rumi  from the name of the Persian poet. I love this on a girl, so sweet. Josie Maran used it for her daughter, Rumi Joon. It's also a Japanese girl's name that can mean different things depending on the kanji used, including "flow, water" "flow, beauty," "detain, beauty" or "lapis lazuli, beauty"
Temima  Hebrew name meaning "perfect," or "complete"
Velvet  Lou at Mer de Noms just mentioned this one here, so funny it should show up for today's post. I think there's something nice about it, though I don't find the sounds too appealing (maybe because I keep thinking Velveeta)
Veralee  sort of a word name, but more of a name-smush (who says verily, anymore?) I love Vera and like it paired with Lee a lot
Zephyra  feminine form of Zephyr, the west wind 


  1. I love Grover, Lilac, and Temima. Harvest is intriguing; there is a James Harvester way back on my family tree.

  2. I love Harvest! Harvest and Season would be an amazing sibset, albeit hippy.

    Krupa was in a book I read recently...The character was Indian, any connection?

  3. Ebba is one of my many nicknames for my sister, Heather :) I really like Zephyra too, more so than Zéphyrine.

  4. Love Brynja, it's so pretty. I wrote a story with a character named Brynja in it.

  5. Just want to point out that Aerie is an offshoot of the brand American Eagle; primarily an undergarments shop!

  6. I am betting Escarleth is a spelling created to be a phonetic match to "Scarlett" for a Spanish speaker. The H on the end reinforces that it's supposed to sound like a T, like Lizeth or Yamileth, and the E is to make it easier to say an S name (the same way Spanish speakers may say "es-Sprite" for the soda.)

  7. Maryfer can also probably be short for something like Maria Fernanda.

  8. I love Lilac, but do see it doesn't get used more, as it seems so perfect as a middle name.

  9. I can't get into Nesta on a man/boy, since there are so many Welsh female Nestas on my family tree [working on that bit right now, so it's especially fresh in my mind].

    AFAIK, Isatou is either an elaboration of Aisa [Aisha], or a feminine form of Isa [Jesus].

  10. some great names here

    Grover, Iori, Lorne, Iara, Lilac, Maryfer (whether it's MARE ih fur or mah ree FEHR /i.e. English smoosh or Spanish one), Veralee (I'm saying this 'veer uh lee' not 'vair uh lee', so it sounds like a combo name Vera Lee), Zephyra.

    also, there were 9 comments on this blog when I got here. I could believe that there were 9 people in the U.S. who named their child after a historic Japanese figure over a video game (not that I couldn't believe 9 people would name their child after a video game). Just that although many people aren't interested in history, many others are.


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