Origin: Scottish
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: "Garden of holly"
Pronunciation: LEZ-lee
Other forms: Lesley

Could this name ever be reclaimed for boys? Or is it 100% girl? I personally always think of Leslie Howard, though it does have a feminine sound.

It comes from a Scottish surname, which was originally a place name, and probably came from the Gaelic leas celyn which means "garden of holly". An appropriate name for a baby boy or girl born around the holidays. In folklore, the Holly King is the adversary of the Oak King, and the two battle it out all year long. At Midsummer the Oak King is at his greatest, while the Holly King is weak. The Holly King begins to regain his power, and at the Autumn Equinox the tables turn. During Midwinter the Holly King is at his strongest. Holly was thought to protect the house from evil fairies or to allow fairies and people to co-exist. Cutting down a whole holly tree was also seen as bad luck.

Samaire Armstrong Welcomes Baby Boy

Actress Samaire Armstrong has given birth to her first child, a baby boy whom she has called Calin. She is known for her roles in the "O.C.", "Stay Alive", "It's a Boy Girl Thing", and "Dirty Sexy Money". Samaire was born in Tokyo thirty two years ago to a Scottish father and Italian mother. She is also a fashion designer, and model.


Origin: Chinese
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Chrysanthemum"
Pronunciation: JOO
Other forms: N/A

Chrysanthemums are beautiful flowers, native to Asia and northeastern Europe, and are of the family Asteraceae. The word "chrysanthemum" comes from the Greek chrysos, meaning "gold", and anthemon, which means "flower". They were first cultivated in China as far back as the 15th century, and are thought to have been brought to China sometime in the 8th century, when the Emperor made them his official seal. The chrysanthemum is one of the four gentlemen usually depicted in traditional Chinese ink and wash paintings. The other three are the plum, the orchid, and the bamboo. In some parts of Asia, the white or yellow species are boiled and made into a tea.

They are also often boiled or steamed and used as greens, especially in Chinese cuisine. In Europe, incurve chrysanthemums are symbolic of death, and used only for funerals. In China, Japan, and Korea, white chrysanthemums are symbols of lamentation, or grief. While the name Ju is certainly short, oftentimes it will be paired with another name, like in many parts of Asia. I think it is lovely, though it might encounter a few odd stares here. Another thing to beware of is that in China, the "Chrysanthemum Gate" often just referred to as "Chrysanthemum" is a euphemism for "anus", with sexual connotations.


Saint Boris and Saint Gleb
Origin: Bulgarian
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Short", or "wolf"
Pronunciation: BORE-iss, bah-REES, BO-ris
Other forms: Borys

The name Boris comes from the Turkic Bogoris, which meant either "short", or "wolf". It has been the name of three Bulgarian Emperors. Boris is one of those names that has been used in many places including Russia, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Germany, and, as Borys, in Poland and the Ukraine. It was popularized by Saint Boris, who was a Russian Prince, and was martyred with his brother Gleb. Boris and Gleb were alive during the 11th century, and took the Christian names Roman and David. Their father was Vladimir the Great, and their mother was thought to be Bulgarian, though some think they had different mothers. When their father was killed, Boris and Gleb were murdered, as they were heirs to throne. Boris was stabbed along with his manservant in his tent. When he was found later on, he was still breathing, but put out of his misery with a lance. Gleb, while praying to God and his murdered brother, had his throat cut by his own cook. They were canonized in 1071, and their shrine is located in Vyshhorod, Ukraine.

Boris is a little old, a little dusty, but maybe it could be resurrected? It is definitely unusual; it hasn't been in the US top 1000 since 1970. Aside from St. Boris, there are a host of other namesakes not limited to: actor Boris Karloff, actor-model Boris Kodjoe, and author Boris Pasternak.


Doris Eaton Travis

Origin: Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Dorian woman"
Pronunciation: DORE-iss
Other forms: Dorris

Is Doris forever lost to another time? Or could she possible be revived? I personally think Doris is pretty cute, it is fusty, but why does fusty have to be a bad thing?

Doris last appeared in the US' popular names in 1992 at #880; The highest it has ever ranked was in 1929 at #6. It is an ancient Greek name, written as Δωρις, which meant "Dorian woman". The Dorians were a Greek tribe that lived in the Peloponnese penisula in the 12 century B.C. Doris is also the name of an Oceanid in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and was the mother of the fifty Nereids by Nereus. One of the fifty Nereids is Thetis, the mother of Achilles. In England, Doris is an insult pretty much meaning the same thing that "pansy" means here. I don't know how well known it is as I've never heard it before, but I'm not English.

There is of course Doris Day who is a famous singer and dancer and is now known for her animal rights movements. There is also a famous Ziegfeld Girl or Ziegfeld Folly by the name of Doris Eaton Travis. She was the youngest Ziegfeld Folly ever at young age of fourteen. For those who don't know, The Ziegfeld Follies were a broadway show that ran from 1907 to 1931. It was created by Florenz Ziegfeld and his then wife Anna Held. Doris' sisters, Mary and Pearl, were also Ziegfeld girls. Pearl was said to have had the most beautiful legs in America and Florenz Ziegfeld always asked her, "How are the legs?"
Doris was the last surviving Ziegfeld Girl and died in 2010 at the age of 106. She grauated from Oakland University in 2004 when she was only 100 years old. In 1997 she and four other Ziegfeld Girls reunited for the opening of the New Amsterdam Theatre, she said she was the only one that could still dance.

The Ladies of K-Pop

Brown Eyed Girls

My sister has recently turned me on to K-Pop, and, being the name nerd I am, I noticed how lovely their names are.

Brown Eyed Girls:



Park Gyuri
Kang Jiyoung
Han Seungyeon
Nicole Jung
Goo Hara

Girls Generation:




After School:


Wonder Girls:



Hedd Wyn

Origin: Welsh
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Blessed peace"
Pronunciation: N/A
Other forms: Hedd, Wyn

This name did not start out the way most do. It is used in honor of the Welsh poet Hedd Wyn, born Ellis Evans in 1887. He was not particularly bright in school, but had a gift for writing poetry, and had written his first poems by the age of eleven, which were better than more established poets of the time. Hedd left school at fourteen, and began to work as a shepherd. At nineteen he took place in Eisteddfod, a festival celebrating literature, music, and performance. There he was awarded the bard's chair, one of the most important honors. His bardic name was suggested to him by a fellow poet in 1910. He was mostly inspired by Romantic poetry, and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Hedd was determined to win the bardic chair the following year.

In 1916 he was forced to enlist in, going in the place of his younger brother Robert. His sunny disposition made him well liked among his fellow men. On July, 31st, 1917, Hedd Wyn was wounded at Passchendaele. He was quickly carried to a first-post, and died at 11:00. His last words were to the doctor, "Do you think I will live?" That year at the festival, his work was entered under the pseudonym Fleur de Lys. It won, and when the author was called forth to accept his prize, someone called out saying he had died in action six weeks before. The empty chair was draped in a black sheet and given to his parents.
In 1992 the movie "Hedd Wyn" was made, and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards.

Nicknames for Dated Names

Karen Allen
Poppy-fly suggested a post on some hip nicknames for the dated names out there, like Karen, or Linda. Here is my list of suggestions, feel free to add your own!
Note: Most of these names are favorites of mine. I would find them refreshing to meet on a little girl!

Karen: Kaz/Kazza, Ren
Linda: Lindy, Lin
Susan: Sukie, Sannie, Daisy, Susu/Suzu
Barbara: Bunny, Bitsie
Dolores: Lola, Lo
Pamela: Mel, Honey, Mella
Theresa: Tess/Tessa, Reese
Marguerite/Margarita: Daisy, Rita, Margo
Judith: Jude, Dita
Dorothy: Dot/Dottie, Doro, Dora, Dorie
Cynthia: Cyn, Cynda/Cinda, Cinder
Virginia: Virgie, Ginny, Gin
Melissa: Bee, Mel
Maxine: Max, Maxie, Xina
Shannon: Nan, Nona, Shan
Valerie: Val, Vallie/Valley
Kimberly: Kimba, Kimber
Marlene: Marley, Lena/Lina
Veronica: Vero, Vera, Ronnie