38 Sweet Bird-Inspired Baby Names

Dec 1st 2014

Stirring Up Baby Names

Originally appeared on The Stir

Choosing the perfect baby name is one of the most important decisions parents-to-be will make. People look for ideas in all sorts of places -- their favorite TV shows, elder relatives, cities they've visited, and even their favorite foods. However, the perfect moniker could be found flying the friendly skies. No, I'm not suggesting calling your little one Virgin Atlantic or Delta. Take a look at 38 amazing names inspired by beautiful birds:

1. Adelie (Adelie Penguin)
2. Anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
3. Argus (Great Argus)
4. Blue (Blue Jay)
5. Brent (Brent Goose)
6. Blyth (Blyth's Tragopan)
7. Carolina (Carolina Wren)
8. Cliff (Cliff Swallow)
9. Corella (Little Corella)
10. Elliot (Elliot's Pheasant)
11. Emerald (Emerald's Toucanet)
12. Fox (Fox Sparrow)
13. Grey (Grey Plover)
14. Hazel (Hazel Grouse)
15. Hudson (Hudsonian Godwit)
16. Ibis (Glossy Ibis)
17. Ivory (Ivory Gull)
18. Jack (Jack Snipe)
19. Kea
20. Kori (Kori Bustard)
21. Lark (Crested Lark)
22. Linnet
23. Red (Red Junglefowl)
24. Robin
25. Rock (Rock Ptarmigan)
26. Rosy (Rosy Starling)
27. Ruby (Ruby Topaz)
28. Saffron (Saffron Finch)
29. Sage (Sage-Grouse)
30. Savanna (Savanna Hawk)
31. Scarlet (Scarlet Ibis)
32. Sora
33. Tawny (Tawny Frogmouth)
34. Victoria (Victoria Crowned Pigeon)
35. Violet (Violet Sabrewing)
36. Virginia (Virginia Rail)
37. Willow (Willow Ptarmigan)
38. Wren (Rock Wren)

Which of these names do you like the best?

42 Fresh One-Syllable Middle Names for Babies

Dec 1st 2014

 baby name roundups by theme

For some lucky parents, their baby's middle name is a no-brainer. Maybe they have a name they've always loved, a family tradition to pass on, the perfect maiden name to use, or a relative to honor.

This list is for the rest of us. We know that choosing a middle name can be a bit of a struggle. Besides already weighty factors like considering family names, pinpointing your style, and avoiding embarrassing initials, the biggest concern is often how the name sounds as a whole.

So how do you find that lyrical flow between the first and surname? The most sought-after choice is a one-syllable middle name, which sounds great between two or more syllables in the first and last name. A trick we love is to use names that all have a different number of syllables, like Isabella Mae Johnson or Noah James Anderson. A short and sweet name in the middle is a tried-and-true favorite for good reason.

Our examples above include incredibly popular names. But we'd like to inspire you by sharing middle names that are neither overused nor completely exotic. In this brave new naming landscape, we think the middle spot is a great place to choose something a little less expected that both you and your child can both be proud of. Taking an informal look at names from birth announcements across the country, we discovered a few real-life, fresh one-syllable names that are made for the middle.






Claire or Clare

Gray or Grey





Rain or Rayne





Sky or Skye









Blaine or Blayne

Blaise or Blaze








Gray or Grey










Do you love a one-syllable name in the middle? What are your favorite fresh choices?

25 Precious Baby Names Inspired By Gemstones

Dec 1st 2014

Stirring Up Baby Names

Originally appeared on The Stir

baby wearing a tiara

Spider-Man and Great Gatsby star Tobey Maguire may not have known it at the time, but when he and jewelry designer wife Jennifer Meyer named their daughter Ruby Sweetheart Maguire in 2006, they were pioneers of a growing trend. Much like leaning on the rainbow for inspiration, parents are now turning to names of jewels for their precious little ones more and more.

Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time they've been in vogue! In the Victorian era, parents believed naming their child after a gem would bring their daughters and sons luck and prosperity. Couldn't hurt for moms and dads to shoot for the same goal today! Here, 25 of the most viable, bejeweled baby names for girls and boys ...

1. Amethyst - The purple birthstone for the month of February has real potential to rise in popularity, perhaps as a result of rapper Iggy Izalea, who was born Amethyst Amelia Kelly. It's also the first name of the protagonist in the children's novel The Ordinary Princess.
2. Ruby - Perhaps thanks to Tobey Maguire, the fiery July birthstone broke into the U.S. top 100 recently, hitting #93 in 2013. (Meanwhile, it's #1 in Australia!) By the way, Maguire isn't the only star to name his daughter Ruby -- Rod Stewart's daughter also shares the honor.
3. Pearl - The birthstone for the month of June may have been considered a grandma name a generation ago, but it entered the top 1,000 in 2010 and has already risen more than 200 places. Maya Rudolph named her daughter Pearl Minnie Anderson in 2005.
4. Opal - The birthstone for the month of October is considered on par with Ruby and Pearl, in so far as its potential to rise in popularity. Parents who opt for the name may be bestowing hope and good fortune on their little girl, as the Romans believed both were associated with the stone.
5. Mica - The flinty mineral may not be exactly a precious gemstone, but it falls into the same family and is rising in popularity as a name for girls. As for boys, the name is generally spelled Micah.
6. Coral - Slowly rising in popularity, the oceanic name was first used in the Victorian era. It was also the name of Nemo's mom in Finding Nemo.
7. Onyx - The gemstone-inspired name is generally reserved for boys, but it's also gotten a big bump for girls lately.
8. Amber - The golden gemstone is also a girl's name we're hearing more and more, either due to Johnny Depp's fiancee Amber Heard, Amber Riley from Glee, or Amber Portwood from Teen Mom.
9. Emerald - Parents looking for a unique pick with sweet symbolism, this may be it. May's deep green birthstone is supposed to open one's heart to wisdom and to love and be good for strengthening relationships. Aww!
10. Diamond - The stone that Marilyn Monroe so famously called a "girl's best friend" remains the go-to choice for engagement rings. It's also rising in popularity as a baby name, up 72 spots between 2012 and 2013.
11. Bijou - Most notably, the name John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas and then-wife Genevieve Waite gave their daughter in 1980. The still unique French name literally translates to "jewel." It could also be spelled Bijoux. 
12. Beryl - The name of a sea-green jewel and the villain in Sailor Moon is especially popular with Brits, but also on the rise here in the U.S.
13. Jasper - The Twilight character Jasper Hale may have had something to do with the recent jump in interest in this name of a variety of quartz. 
14. Jade - TV chef Giada De Laurentiis named her daughter Jade in 2008, and Mick and Bianca Jagger chose the precious green stone name for their daughter in 1971. 
15. Esme - French for esteemed, beloved, and emerald, it's also a nod to a character from J.D. Salinger's 1950 story For Esme, With Love and Squalor. The name is also a character in Twilight, and Michael J. Fox chose it for his daughter born in 2001.
16. Esmeralda - The Spanish variation of Emerald and the character in Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame. Also, the name for the Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes' newest addition! 
17. Garnet - Up in popularity this year, the red stone name actually means pomegranate.
18. Crystal - One gemstone name that has been used consistently for years (and hit peak popularity in the '80s!).
19. Agate - Parents who opt to name their daughter after this gemstone -- which is said to attract strength, protect against bad dreams, stress, and energy drains -- could consider the nickname Aggie. Another variation is Agatha.
20. Jett - Currenty on the rise, both George Lucas and John Travolta opted for this mineral name for their sons.
21. Goldie - On the decline, the name may bring to mind Goldie Hawn for some, but it was also recently chosen by actress Ione Skye and singer-songerwriter Ben Lee in 2009, as well as Steve Madden last year.
22. Citrine - While it may be too unique to actually wrack up any stats, the golden yellow quartz name is being used here and there by parents looking to branch out from the traditional gemstone names.
23. Topaz - November's birthstone comes in many colors, but we often think of the London blue topaz. It's said to have healing and energizing properties and also to bring good luck, which makes it a lovely, rarely used baby name. Fun fact: In the Dodie Smith novel I Capture the Castle, there is a character named Topaz Mortmain.
24. Silver - This precious metal, unisex name is making a comeback overall. No longer just for hippies, it's considered another option for parents looking to jewelry-inspired names for their babies!
25. Gemma - The name -- which means "precious stone" in Italian -- entered the top baby names list in 2008. It's also the name of One Direction's Harry Styles' older sister and Sex & the City's Kristin Davis' daughter.

Which of these baby names would you consider? Any others inspired by gemstones?

Image via Corbis