Tuesday, February 26

2012 Olympic Names: Round 5





Oh yeah, I still have some of these bad boys and girls to share  

Male
Andranik (Armenia) 
Asenathi (South Africa) — interestingly, this is a female name from ancient Egypt, referring to the goddess Neith 
Asier (Spain) — a Basque name meaning "the beginning," it's quite popular (top 100) in Spain
Bodin (Thailand) 
Cenk (Turkey)
Dorian-Lance (South Africa)
Ensar (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Hayle (Azerbaijan)
Heerden (South Africa) 
Indre (Lithuania)
Juliao (Brazil) 
Kibwe (United States) — a Swahili name meaning "blessed" 
Mate (Hungary) 
Phathana (Thailand)
Phelan (Great Britain)  
Pierre-Luc (Canada)
Race (United States)  not sure if he was a track & field athlete, but ...
Rhett (South Africa) — tell me, why is this not more popular in the US?  
Riker (Jamaica) 
Sezer (Hungary)  
Sjoerd (Netherlands) 
Soso (Georgia)
Tabarie (US Virgin Islands) 
Tremaine (Canada)
Valtteri (Finland) — I bet you can guess what this is the Finnish form of 
Vatan (Azerbaijan)
Vid (Hungary) 
Wael (Tunisia)
Wirimai (Zimbabwe) 


Female
Afa (Moldova) 
Airi (Japan) 
Andja (Croatia) 
Arezou (Iran) — a Persian name meaning "desire" 
Bayan (Syria)
Chancel (Dem. Rep. of Congo)
Darae (South Korea) 
Docus (Uganda)
Glenhis (Cuba) 
Isokan (Nigeria) — this one really stands out. I love unusual "I" names 
Jackelina (Colombia)
Kana (Japan) 
Laverne (US Virgin Islands) — ready for a comeback, yet?
Lavone (Dominican Republic)  
Mahlagha (Iran)
Mayookha (India) 
Meiliana (Indonesia) — three pretty "M" names from I-countries 
Ons (Tunisia) 
Refiloe (South Africa)
Sehryne (Algeria) 
Siril (Norway)
Sousan (Iran)
Tahesia (British Virgin Islands)
Tash (New Zealand) 

Thursday, February 21

Preppy Prep

photo by laliseuse


Here's something fun I randomly came across a couple of days ago
 — a set of articles gathering the preppiest preppy names found amongst the rosters of various college lacrosse teams. (Told you it was random. I've never even watched a lacrosse game, though I remember not totally sucking at it in gym class.) I love that the writer of the article is clearly a namer at heart, interested in organizing them and finding his own sub-themes, like the team made up entirely of Mackenzies. It was such a fun read with tons of great names mentioned — here are some that stood out.

For boys  — 

Challen — like Challen, many of the names on the list are generally found as surnames. Though the Challen listed in the article is male, a quick Facebook search turns up many more girls with the name, including an actress named Challen Cates. It's very rare, however, and was used less than 5 times in 2011.  I'm tempted to pronounce it like challa ...

Chapin — another surname, it's also used as a place name across the US. It was also used less than 5 times in 2011, for either gender, though I thought it might be a bit more popular, made recognizable by singers Harry Chapin and Mary Chapin Carpenter

Corbett — actor John Corbett played Aidan on Sex and the City, jettisoning that name to the top of the US charts in crazy-fast rise, I fee like all those people who liked the name after watching the show must have seen "Corbett" right next to it, and similar Beckett is shooting up the charts — it first appeared in 2006 at #750, and has risen to #330 in just 5 years. There were only 15 baby boys named Corbett born in 2011, I wouldn't be surprised if it's slowly, slowly catching on

Draper — here's another one made more recognizable by a popular TV show. Draper was used on 6 boys in 2011, probably inspired by Mad Men. I talked about it a bit here

Ehret — another surname, but one that really transitions well to the first-name spot, since it sounds and looks so much like Eric or Garrett. I can't find much about it, and it's another rare one, used less than 5 times in 2011

Grove — a word name that I can see appealing to nature/hippy namers looking for something a little more dignified. I've always liked Grover, and simple Grove gets rid of the muppet problem while keeping the cool sound intact. Used less than 5 times

Kessler — Kessler is the only one of the names in the boys section that appears on the popularity charts for both boys and girls. It's very low for both — 5 girls and 21 boys were named Kessler in 2011 — but I think this speaks to the broad appeal of its sounds. "Kess" can be quite feminine, bringing to mind girly choices like Tess or Bess, and "-ler," as in Tyler, Schuyler, Kyler or Taylor, is a trendy, popular ending for both sexes

And for girls  — 

Austin — the appeal of Austin on a boy is lost on me, but occasionally I think of it for a girl and am intrigued. Jane Austen is probably responsible for this blip in my usual naming style, and somehow that spelling does read a bit more feminine, right? Anyway I think it's pretty cool mix of cowgirl, hip and literary, and it was used on 85 girls in 2011, so I'm not alone. (It was used on 6,979 boys ...)

Elspeth — love seeing this Scottish form of Elizabeth used. I love the cross-vibe (that's a thing) of "vintage doily" meets "witchy." And I always find it interesting when a legitimate, "real" name with a long history of regular use in Britain ranks super-low on the US charts. Only 10 girls were named Elspeth in 2011 — any parents out there looking for a longer form of Ellie that won't get lots in a sea of Ellas and Eleanors? Elspeth's up for the taking ...

Linley — why haven't trendy namers "discovered" this one yet? Lindsey was a popular 70s/80s choice, the sounds are spot-on. It's flowery and feminine, a great way to honor someone named Lynn or Linda. It was used 58 times in 2011

Meris — more commonly found as Maris, this name means "of the sea." Such a pretty choice,  perhaps marred by the character on Frasier? Meris was only used 5 times in 2011, but Maris is actually on a little rise. It was used 42 times in 2009, 47 times in 2010 and 55 times in 2011
 
Stevie — Stevie is one of my favorite "boy nicknames on a girl" names, though it's never been as popular as, say, Frankie or Billie, and I can't figure out why. Fleetwood Mac is amazing, Stevie Nicks is amazing, everyone loves them, right? It's fun to say. It's spunky and sweet and is actually, as a given name, more popular on a girl than on a boy. Only 31 boys were named Stevie in 2011, and 189 girls were

Tatum
 — Tatum is the only name on this list that breaks into the top 1000. It first appeared in 1994 and took off, peaking relatively recently, in 2010, at #332. I knew quite a few growing up in Arizona, and it's not really my style, but I've always thought it was a funny one to become so popular. I can't think of any other name that sounds like it, can you?

Whitley — like Linley, I wonder why Whitley hasn't found more of a following. It is also an update on a popular 80s name (Whitney) and has the even more popular "-ley" ending. It was used on 8 boys and 155 girls in 2011

I really encourage you to check out the articles I linked to above. They are full of gems, and many of the names have to be appreciated as full first-last name combos — I mean, where else can you find genius names like Cutty Diamond, Deemer Class, Westy Hopkins, Kam BumpusRonjohn Dadd, and Peer Fish? There are girls named Gabe, Jake, Jack and Alec!  It's so fun.

PS — hello, Ronjohn or Peer, if you're Googling yourself. I love your names. Yay Lacrosse?

Tuesday, February 19

2012 Royal Births

photo by laliseuse

I came across this list of royal/noble babies born in 2012 and thought it warranted a closer look. Such great finds here — I mean, only royalty can pull off a 12-name combo. There's a nice mix here of old and new, traditional and quirky. 

Boys

Abdullah (sister Nayla)
Alejandro (brother, Johannes Maria)
Alexander (brother, Karl Egon)
Amadeo Joseph Gabriel 
August (twin siblings, Paulina & Moritz)
Balint Alexis Philipp Gilbert Balthasar (sister, Alicia; brother, Carl Nikolaus) — Balint is a Hungarian form of Valentinus. I love Gilbert and Balthasar paired together
Carl Stephan 
Edmund Bengt Lennart 
Faisal
Friedrich Wilhelm 

Hamdan 
Ignace (sister, Teresa)
Jaime José de Calasanz María de las Victorias Heinrich Eric Samuel Manuel Iñigo María del Pilar — so many names! I wonder what he goes by
Kohen  
Johannes Emanuel Philipp Maria (brother, Heinrich)
Josias (sisters Charlotte, Philippa & Freya) — Josias is a nice, standout choice. It feels quite classical and I definitely prefer it to Josiah
Julian 
Leonard 
Leonhard Florian Douglas Wichard (brothers Felix & Caspar)
Matías (brother, Juan-Sebastian) — such a handsome set, for brothers 
Maximilian 
Mohammed & Hamad (twins; sister, Sheema)
Paul-Ferdinand Joost Alexander Nikolaus (sister, Donata-Sophie) — Joost stands out. Very cool Dutch diminutive of names like Justus, Jodocus and Jozef 

Rashed (sister, Hind)
Rufus (sister, Lyla)

Tane Mahuta (sister, Senna; half-brother, Ari) — he was named for a giant tree in the forests of New Zealand, which was named for Tāne, Maori god of birds & forests
Tibor Daniel Lajos Béla Pál Maximilian Maria Hubertus (brother, Imre)
Vinzenz Alexander Wenzel — a medieval form of Václav
Zayed (sister, Jalila)
Ziya Reşad Efendi — Ziya is an Arabic name meaning "splendour," or "glow/light"


Girls

Aliénor (brother, Jean-Charles) — this very old form of Eleanor has always caught my eye
Antoinette Léopoldine Jeanne Marie (brother, Gaston)
Apolonia Maria 
Athena Marguerite Francoise Marie (brother, Henrik; half-brothers Nikolai & Felix)
Camille
Dana (sisters Noora & Moza)
Elisa Elisabeth Anne Anke Barbara Henriette (sister, Clara)
Ellen Lovisa Elisabeth 
Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary 
Isabella Vita Marina (brothers Umberto & Amedeo)
Isabelle 
Isla Elizabeth (sister, Savannah)
Kira Sofie 
Luisa Irene Constance Anna Maria (half-brother, Carlos)
Marguerite (brothers Antoine & Charles; sister, Philippine) — ooh, Philippine. Pretty cool
Maximiliana Marina Nicola Maria-Rosa Viviana (sisters Floriana, Georgiana, Elisabeth & Elena) — five girls! And such flowery names. I feel like Elena got the short ened of the stick, though, and it's too close to Elisabeth
Philippa Alexandra Ilse Christina Johanna — love Ilse Christina
Sophie Lara (sister, Emma)
Talma Laurence Sarah Eleonora Maria — Laurence on a girl = dig it 
Theodora 
Valentina
Vita (brothers Leone & Oceano) — love her brothers' names

Willow Frances Rose (brothers Barnaby, Alexei & Felix)
Zein (half-sister, Haya)

Wednesday, February 13

Edges + Frills: Boys

photos taken from my Instagram



Here is the companion list to Frills + Edges: Girls. These are unusual boy names (used under 100 times in the US in 2011, so they really quite rare) that fall into two categories: very masculine, or leaning towards feminine. 

I found the process of sorting through these boy names to be a little more complicated than the girl names were. In the end, I decided "very masculine" meant names that I would guess won't make a crossover to the girls' side any time. Names like Earnest and Hubert would be shocking on a girl. As for the feminine, I went with names that contained elements that are more popular on the girls list, like Elia and Selah. Even if the name is historically male, they're on this list because they've already crossed over or they sound like they could.

Enjoy!

Very masculine — 

Ajax
AkselAngus
Archibald
Basil
Bastian
Bauer
Benedict
Boone
Boris
Buster
Django
Dmitri
Dutch
Earnest
Esau — means "hairy," unfortunately
Ferdinand
Hawk
Herbert
Homer
Horace
Hubert — I'd love to see Earnest, Herbert, Horace, Hubert, etc ... come back in style
Huck — although our cat is a girl Huck!
Ignatius
Jedediah/Jed
Jethro
Judd
Laird
Lars
Lazarus
Lemuel — means "belonging to god"
Marius
Montgomery
Ned
Ogden
Orson
Roscoe
Rufus
Russel
Saint 
Sixto
Sylvan
Sylvester
Townes — I could see this one on a girl, but I just thought it was too cool to leave off 
Usher
Virgil
Vito — a favorite of mine, it means "life"
Wilfred
Willem
Wolfgang
Zeus

Very feminine — 

Andrea
Aria
Arley
Ashley — Ashley on a boy is so fresh, guess it'd be easier to wear in the middle name spot, though
Britt
Bryar
Carmen
Cary — so handsome, so overlooked
Cassidy — I suppose Vonnegut fans could go with Cassady, which does look somehow more boyish
Darcy
Darby
Dov 
Echo
Elia
Hadley
Holland
Isley
Ivory
Jade 
Jess
Journey
June
Kainoa
Kaya
Kelsey
Kendal
Koa
Lake
Larkin
Leslie
Loren
Noor
Nova
Paisley — so surprised to see this and Nova on the boys' list
Paris
Remi
Selah
Sena
Shalom
Shannon
Shaya
Sunny
Tory
Tracy
Trinity
Winter
Wren
Zia
Zoey — really!

And some yin/yang combos — 


Angus Lake
Ashley Willem
Bauer Holland
Benedict Tory
Cassidy Laird
Django Trinity
Elia Jedediah
Homer Zia
Huck Darcy
Ignatius Echo
Jade Bastian
Koa Wolfgang
Roscoe Ivory

Monday, February 11

Frills + Edges: Girls

photos taken from my Instagram

Here are some unusual girl names (all used under 100 times in the US in 2011) that fall into two categories: either super flowery and frilly, or super masculine. 

I like the idea of pairing them up to make a balanced combination, taking one from each list and creating something unexpected yet well-matched. Sometimes, using an historically male name on a girl can be a pet peeve for many namers, but I, personally, don't see the big deal. Sometimes it works, sometimes it falls flat. I'll be posting a set with frilly boy names later in the week, too — just to even things up.

Very feminine — 

Acadia
Adalia
Althea
Aminata
Amorette
Avila — from the Spanish place name Ávila, I can see this getting a second look thanks to the uber-popularity of Ava and Avery
Aviva
Avonlea — fans of LM Montgomery will recognize this one as a made-up place name from her Anne of Green Gables series. I'd count it as another possible Ava-spinoff. Suffix "-lea" is always popular for girls (as "-ly," "-lee" or "lie," as well)
Calypso
Cosette
Darling
Diva
Edeline 
Eloisa
Emmylou
Eowyn
Eulalia
Faustina
Fiorella — an Italian name that literally means "flower"
Guinevere
Goldie — this one's definitely on the upswing. A lovely "old lady" ready for a hipster comeback
Hanalei
Inaya
Isaura
Ivelisse
Joie — the French word for "joy," I'm betting most of the Joies born in the US are pronouncing it more like "Joey"
Lady
Lavinia
Leta
Lielle
Liesel
Lilibeth
Lisette
Liviana
Lolita
Lovely
Luella
Malaia
Marielle
Maybelline — if you can separate it from the cosmetics brand, I think this one is way too adorable. Pronounce the last syllable more like "line" than "leen," and you have a twee cowgirl name ready to go
Mayela
Mireille
Olympia
Philomena
Ravenna
Rosabella
Soliana
Ursula
Vianka 
Violetta
Vivica
Winona
Zahava — means "gold"
Zelda
Zetta

Very masculine — 

Beau
Billie
Brooks
Clarke
Crosby
Daryl — falls flat, for me, on a boy, but on a girl it sounds fresh and modern
Dawson
Dempsey
Flannery 
Gabriel
Gray 
Harbor
Hartley
Jude
Jules — I love Jude and Jules on girls
Lennox
McCall
Memphis
Nico
Parrish — noticed a football player in the Superbowl named Perrish. It's always been one of my favorite words and I think I prefer it on a girl
Perry
Quinlan
Ripley
Rivers — (Adenoidal voice yells "Weezer rocks!") I've seen this one on girls a few times. Jason Schwartzman used it as a middle name for his daughter Marlowe, and this article mentions the fossil guy's young daughter, Rivers (her brother is Grey)
Rorie
Royce
Salem
Spencer
Sutton
Tennyson
Tierney
Wesley
Winslow
Yardley

And some yin/yang combos — 


Diva Gabriel
Goldie Lennox
Lavinia Jude
Liesel Rivers
Memphis Luella
Nico Lovely
Ripley Marielle
Winona Beau
Vivica Gray
Zelda Jules
Zetta Royce

Wednesday, February 6

Swedish Top 100: Boys

Belle Isle, Detroit / road trip message



After spending time perusing the girls top 100, the Swedish boys top 100 doesn't seem like entirely foreign territory, though the top 10 is basically a bunch of non-traditionally Swedish choices, including such English favorites as Liam, Charlie and Oliver. Digging a little deeper reveals themes similar to those found on the girls list. Names that sound dated to American ears are fresh and popular (Erik, Adam, Kevin, Jonathan), there are plenty of names that aren't English-friendly (Ville, Ebbe, Hjalmar), musty, super old-man choices seem popular (Melvin, Wilmer, Milton) and, of course, there are the incongruous standouts (hi, Mohamed and Neo). 

Where the girls' list is pretty thoroughly flowery and feminine, the boy list is made up of a wider range of sounds, from the uber-masculine to softer choices that would seem very feminine here in the US. The skew towards non-Swedish names is apparent if you look at the statistics: the newest names to the list are Henry, Julian, Colin, Levi and Matteo, and the names on the fastest decline in popularity include Ville, Linus, Rasmus and Carl. (Top risers are a mixed bunch: Ebbe and Elvin are there, but Henry, Charlie and Julian are soaring upwards, too.) It'll be interesting to watch and see what happens in the coming years.

Here are some of my favorite finds — 

Sixten — does it please anyone else that "Six-"ten comes in at #33 on this list? Math! Anyway, Sixten is one that is actually on my favorites list. It's just sort of fun to say, and I don't think it's too weird. It sounds like a name, it looks like a name, it has a bit of an edge — actually, the edge is the only thing that puts me off it, I fear it might get lumped in with the sort of "child of an emo child" names like Brixton and Bronx and Braxtyn or whatever. It's from Old Norse elements meaning "victory" and "stone," and is on the rise in Sweden, jumping 11 spots, from #44

Love — Love is the Swedish form of Louis, which comes from Ludovicus, which comes, ultimately, from Ludwig, which means "famous warrior." So, famous warrior meaning, but it looks like peace and love to me. For a pronunciation, click here. I think it's pretty sweet, and it's an interesting variant that I didn't know about before seeing it, at #51, on the list

Malte — #52 on the list is Malte, a short form of the German name Helmold, which means "helmet rule," which is so typically German. Helmet rule. Okay. Malte looks much nicer than Helmold, and appeals on that "sounds like an Olympic snowboarder" level that is a personal naming weakness for me. Variant Malthe is quite popular in Denmark (top 20) as well

Loke — Loke caught my eye right away. It's #70 on the list, and is a modern Scandinavian form of, you guessed it, Loki, the name of the Norwegian trickster god. Somehow this spelling makes it way more appealing, to me, though I've always liked the sound of the name. I fear it would fall flat in America, but there's something cool about it

Vidar — another name with Old Norse history, Vidar is from elements meaning "forest" and "warrior." I've always liked similar Vida and Vidal, and I think Vidar is really great. It almost has an Indian feel to it, sounds-wise, and I can see it working equally well on a young boy as on an adult. It seems a bit more dignified than something like Malte or Loke, but isn't too heavy 

Svante —  Svante's on the rise, moving from #96 in 2011 to #89. It's the short form of clunky Svantepolk, which comes from even clunkier Svyatopolk, which is actually a Russian  name meaning "blessed people." Such a great name lineage that really tells the story of Swedish naming — take a name with Slavic elements, filter it through Scandinavian history, then shorten it and sharpen it up for modern use. Very cool

Mio — probably on the list due to the influence of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, who used it in the title of her book Mio, My Son. It seems that she invented the name, which is pretty exciting — how popular books influence naming trends is so interesting. Hmm … I wonder if the established popularity of Mio, combined with the popularity of the Matrix films helped Neo make the Swedish list. (Neo is currently #69, though it's one of the fastest-falling names on the list, having been a skyrocket/trendy type presence since the early 2000s, and Mio has been a more stable presence, though it's currently at #91 after falling from #88.)

Tage — from the Old Danish name Taki, meaning "a guarantor," this name is taking off on the Swedish charts. It first appeared in 2011 and is currently at #97. I'm not sure what might be responsible for its rise, but I have found that it's unusual to find it on children, so perhaps it's having something of a comeback? Tage Erlander was the Swedish prime minister from 1946 to 1969 and actor Tage Danielsson was a popular Swedish comedian. For pronunciation, click here 

Monday, February 4

Secret Agent Names

Lady the spy-train on a mission

Ottilie has recently been exploring (by orchestrating many, many, elaborate games that Brian and I are mere pawns in, 'round the clock) the idea of being a "secret agent." 

I'm pretty sure she has no idea what a secret agent actually does, but she knows what she likes, and she knows they get to do certain things that appeal to a 3.75 year old with — what I'm assuming is — a perfectly healthy competitive streak and love of intrigue. She assumes the personalities of various spy-cars and spy-trains, writes secret notes, and plays tricks on bad guys. Her go-to spy names are Finn and Lady (which she pronounces "lay-TEE," for some reason) — oh! Interesting tidbit about Lady: she spews magic spy gold dust from her butt.*

I don't usually get to choose my own name in these games — just a pawn, remember? I know my place —  but, thanks to the Random Renamer at Behind the Name, I got some good ideas, should I ever turn to espionage.

You can generate your name with specific categories in mind (Galician Spy Name, maybe? Wrestler Spy Name?) but I chose "All Categories" to get the widest range of choices. These were my favorites — 

First, middle and surname — 

Io Oluwaseyi Tomčič — Oluwaseyi is a Yoruba name meaning "God made this," which, I don't know, seems a little sassy
Lleucu Rumena Samson — Lleucu is a Welsh form of Lucia
Lucrèce Hanna Novak — French form of Lucretia, so pretty
Salima Meta Vang — I might drop Salima and just go with "Meta Vang," because obviously

First and surname only —  

Lilou di Caprio 
Easter von Ingersleben — for the win!
Lochana Sedlak — Lochana means "the eye." Perfect for a spy
Mariel Buhr
Naomi Niven
Virginie Sinason
Xanthia Willis
Yael van Rompaye — my 2nd favorite 
Zuza Sarto

So intense, right? I love them all but I have to say, Easter von Ingersleben just feels like my spy name. I wonder if I can convince Ottilie to let me use it ...

Head over to the Renamer and see what it gives you —  feel free to share any favorites in the comments!

* Did you know? Trains have butts.

Friday, February 1

Swedish Top 100: Girls

Two photos from the past couple months: Sonoma deer, kitchen flowers



The top 100 names in Sweden were released a couple weeks ago — and if anything was going to jolt me out of blog-hiatus land, it would be a lovely set of names like this. The girls list, in particular, is full of soft, yet sophisticated, sounds. What I like best about the Swedish lists, and what I find most interesting about it, is that the pool of names reads as a rather cohesive one. Not to say there isn't a lot of variation — just the opposite, really. There are names that would seem dated if they were American choices (Alicia, Amanda, Ellen, Lisa, Melissa), striking Scandinavian specialties (Tilde, Stina, Ronja), plenty of super short yet feminine names (My, Rut, Liv, Linn) and, of course, the completely incongruous (I'm looking at you, Tyra). 

Yet, somehow, despite these seemingly disparate styles, the Swedish top 100 seems like it could almost be one big sibling set. Though the names come from all over the place, they repeat similar sounds, share the same aesthetics and favor certain letters — in short, and to sound totally name flaky, the names in the Swedish girls top 100 create similar vibes. There's not one that stands out when the thing's looked at as a whole, the names seem to flow and play off each other in a way that I find totally appealing. 

Here are some of my favorite names on the list — 

Saga — coming in at #22, Saga sits comfortably high-up on this list, for a name that would be incredibly unusual heard here in the States. I assume its use as an English word would prevent it from ever enjoying the same kind of popularity here, though plenty of names on the Swedish list are very successful internationally, like Isabella, Emma, Julia, Ella, Olivia and Stella, and the word "saga" translates directly to "story" in Swedish. In Norse mythology, Sága is a goddess whose name comes from a verb meaning "to see." I find the sound and meaning very appealing, and so do Swedish namers, apparently: Saga is on the rise, moving up 5 spots from its 2011 position

Moa — on the other hand, Moa, which ranks at #27, fell a few spots from its position last year. Its meaning may be derived from the Swedish word for "mother," and it was the name of writer Moa Martinson, popular in the first half of the 20th century in Sweden. Interestingly, Moa is also found as a place name in Cuba, Indonesia, Africa (Niger and Sierra Leone) and Australia, and is the name of a species of extinct flightless birds native to New Zealand. Where Saga would be a bit of a hard sell to a modern American parent naming their daughter, I think Moa has a broader appeal. Its similarity to popular Noah and Maya make it familiar enough to be usable

Ines — Ines is one of my personal favorite names. It doesn't get nearly enough love. It's a chic international classic with history and real weight, yet it's light and unusual and spunky. I'm not surprised that the Swedish have found it and like it — it ranks at #54 on the list. Ines also ranks highly in Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, France and Spain, and is a form of Agnes (which is #12 on the Swedish list), from the Greek hagnos, meaning "chaste," often associated with the Latin agnus, meaning "lamb." So good

Tindra — I've read that Tindra's a controversial one in Sweden, sometimes seen as a low-class choice. If you've spent time in an Ikea lately, you might begin to understand why — the word translates to "twinkle," in English. However, as an outsider unaware of this connection, I just think it sounds pretty — though I'm more drawn to the "Tin-" sound than the "-dra," one, which does sound a little dated to my American ear

Majken — #78 on the list is one that I always notice when I see it on the periphery. It's a variant of Maiken, a diminutive of Maria (also on the list, at #97) and I love the look of it. To get an idea of how it's pronounced, visit here. Something about that "-jken" is so cute

Lykke — probably due to the popularity of Swedish musician Lykke Li, this name made its top-100 debut this year. It's a Danish name meaning "good fortune" or "happiness," and is also in the Norwegian top 100. For those wondering about its pronunciation, it's something more like Luca than Laika. Actually, Lykke Li has a pretty cool full name — she was born Li Lykke Timotej Svensson Zachrisson. I think this is a sweet little choice and I can easily see it gaining popularity in Sweden

Novalie — another new face on the list, Novalie rounds it out at #100. Americans might associate it with Natalie Portman's character, Novalee Nation, from the movie Where the Heart Is, based on the best-selling novel by Billie Letts. I'm not sure why it appears on the Swedish radar — I assume it's a name-smush, taking popular Nova (#26) and pairing it with a popular suffix ("-ie," which is found all over the list, from Nellie to Emelie to Sofie). I wish I knew more about how it's perceived in Sweden, but I love that although it's technically a made-up modern name, it manages to sound retro and old-ladyish

A few of the things I noticed: 63 names out of the top 100 end in "-a," including 9 of the top 10. The top 5 fastest rising names are Alicia, Elise, Lykke, Majken and Sigrid, and the 5 names that are declining in popularity the fastest are Minna, Tove, Elin, Evelina and Thea

To see the lists, click here