NameSplash

For the 'different, not weird' baby namer

Moniker Morsel: Galilea

The name Galilea (“gal-uh-LAY-uh”) is sure to turn some heads, but with her soft ending and similar sound to mainstream picks Lily and Laila, I think she could make a wearable yet bold option for a baby girl. I like that Galilea could lead to a popular nickname such as Lily or Lea, yet is clearly distinct from the endless iterations of these and similar names.

Origin: Galilea, also spelled Galilaea, is (in several languages) a feminine form of the biblical place name Galilee, a region in Israel. A better known reference is of course the famous physicist Galileo Galilei, whose name shares these roots with Galilea. Thus, Galilea could just as easily acknowledge a religious background as pay homage to a science icon.

Famous Galilea’s: Galilea Montijo is a Mexican actress and comedian.

Nicknames:

Gala, Gaia, Lila, Lily, Laila, Lea/Leia/Laea

Sibling Name Ideas:

Galilea & Isadora (Lea and Dora, perhaps?)
Galilea & Genevieve or Geneva
Galilea & Clara

Galilea & Gideon
Galilea & Domenico
Galilea & Willem

(I had to resist some cheesy astronomy-related matchups!)

Possible Combos:

Galilea Aurelia
Galilea Garnet
Galilea Camille
Galilea Grace

Lyra Galilea
Ruby Galilea
Tamsin Galilea
Serafina Galilea

My thoughts:

Galilea is a unique and bold choice, yet she’s grounded in history and comes with a variety of sweet and delicate nicknames, so I think she’s wearable!

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Popular Baby Names: Let’s crunch numbers

The SSA released the top U.S. baby names of 2013 in May. Perhaps you heard, or perhaps this is your first time on the Internet since May.

If you’ve sought out this blog, chances are you prefer uncommon baby names. I’ve heard of people who refuse to consider top 100, or even top 1000, names for their children. Many parents (likely parents named Jennifer, Ashley, Michael, or Christopher) don’t want their kids to be one of 3 in their class with the same name. Others want to stretch their creative muscles when picking a baby name, and perhaps others may feel pressure from their baby-making peers to search for the coolest, most unique name that will turn their friends green with envy.

I, too, have my aversions to popular baby names, and I certainly have my beef with the cutesy, the trendy, and the kree8iv. Today, though, let’s take a step back and look at what makes a name ‘popular’ in this era of baby naming, and whether it’s really so bad to choose a top 100 name.

With regard to the argument that kindergarten classes will be packed to the brim with Sophias and Noahs, consider the fact that the number of children with ‘popular’ names has decreased dramatically in recent years. Last year, 137,991 girls and 163,214 boys received Top 10 names. Now, consider the year 1970: 284,440 girls and 499,229 boys received Top 10 names, more than doubling the counts for 2013! Thus, since far fewer children are actually given ‘popular’ names, it seems much safer now to use a popular name and trust that your child won’t be drowning in a flood of Noahs.

To add to this idea, let’s use the -den trend as an example. Last year, 22053 boys received names OUTSIDE the Top 100 but within the Top 1000 rhyming with Aidan (this number excludes other -den names such as Holden, Madden, and Kamden). That’s higher than the number of Noahs! Thus, are Braeden (#710) and Rayden (#747) really that unique?

So, just for today, let’s put aside our notions of popularity and our obsessions with rankings, and let’s appreciate all names, common or not, for their individual appeal. After all, the reason many of these names are popular may simply be that they are strong, beautiful, and versatile!

Without further ado, I’ll share my personal favorites from the 2013 Top 100:

Girls:

Sophia
Elizabeth- with her plethora of nicknames, Elizabeth can always be updated, yet she’ll have a solid, elegant name to fall back on.
Ella
Evelyn
Lillian
Anna
Aria- a less frilly, more practical alternative to Ariana
Scarlett- vintage chic
Sarah- another classic that will never sound outdated
Sadie
Maya
Julia
Eva
Sydney

Boys:

Jacob
William- timeless and sophisticated, but not stuffy
James
Samuel
Nathan
Luke- I love 1 syllable names for boys
Levi
Aaron
Adrian
Dominic
Blake

Many, if not all, of these names are unlikely to ‘go out of style,’ in my opinion. Sydney and Blake may be exceptions, but I just happen to love them anyway 🙂 These are names that will never sound too young or too dated, and have plenty of character and charm. Yes, they’re in the taboo Top 100, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.

What are your thoughts on this year’s Top 100? Have you ever crossed a name off your list due to it’s popularity?

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