SOURCE: WhitePages


October 29, 2009 08:00 ET

WhitePages Offers Comprehensive Source for Parents to Explore Unique Baby Names

New Site Offers Popularity Rankings for All Names and Makes It Easy to Discover Meaning, Origin, and History

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - October 29, 2009) - With a growing trend to give babies uncommon names, today WhitePages announced the launch of its WhitePages Names product, which will make it easier for parents-to-be to identify unique names for their babies based on popularity rankings across the United States. For years, celebrity couples like David and Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have chosen to give their children unique names. The new WhitePages product will not only help new parents identify whether or not their desired name is as unique as "Brooklyn" or "Seraphina", but will help them to explore the meaning and history behind their name choice.

According to new research out of San Diego State University, the desire to give a child a unique baby name transcends the celebrity trend. In analyzing the names of some 325 million children born in 1880 or later, researchers from San Diego State University and the University of Georgia found just nine per cent of boys born in 2007 were given a "top 10" name, compared with 32 per cent in 1955; for girls, only eight per cent had a top 10 name in 2007, versus 22 per cent in 1955.

"There's so much to consider when looking for the right name for your child including popularity, origin, history and meaning," said Keela Robison, VP of Product at WhitePages. "We launched WhitePages Names because we wanted to pair our internal data with the highest quality name etymology research to help parents-to-be find the perfect name for their upcoming arrival."

With the introduction of WhitePages Names, WhitePages now offers name popularity ranking for all names, common and uncommon, based on a database of over 200 million US adults. WhitePages Names provides a unique and very detailed analysis of name meanings and is the only site that offers the popularity ranking for first and last name combinations. Since most name sites only reference popularity based on the Social Security Top 1000 names data, WhitePages Names is the place to go for parents seeking information on unusual names.

Based on WhitePages' Names popularity rankings, below are 10 examples of some unique girl names and their meanings.

-- Anouk: A pet form of Anne, which is an English form of the Hebrew girl's name Hanna 'He (God) has favoured me (i.e. with a child)'. There are only 102 people in the US with the first name Anouk.

-- Amabel: From Latin amabilis 'lovable' via Old French. Although now very rare in the English-speaking world, this name lies behind the much commoner name Annabel and also Mabel. There are only 164 people in the US with the first name Amabel.

-- Calico: From the name of the cotton fabric, originally so called because it was imported from the Indian port of Calicut (now Kozhikode) in Kerala. There are only 31 people in the US with the first name Calico.

-- Carys: Modern Welsh coinage, from câr 'love' + the ending -ys, derived by analogy with names such as Gladys. There are only 43 people in the US with the first name Carys.

-- Lilac: From the vocabulary word denoting the shrub with large sprays of heavily scented purple, pink, or white flowers. There are only 75 people in the US with the first name Lilac.

-- Mimosa: Modern coinage, from the word denoting the yellow flowering plant, which was named in the 17th century, probably as a derivative of Latin mîmus 'mime, mimic'. The idea is that it mimics an animal in its sensitivity to touch. There are only 56 people in the US with the first name Mimosa.

-- Nigella: Latinate feminine form of Nigel. Adoption as a given name may also have been encouraged by the fact that this is an alternative name (from its black seed) for the flower known as 'love-in-a-mist'. There are only 11 people in the US with the first name Nigella.

-- Saffron: From the name of the yellow food colouring and flavouring, derived from the stamens of a species of crocus. As a given name it is most often given to babies born with strikingly golden hair. There are only 80 people in the US with the first name Saffron.

-- Sidony: From Latin Sidonia, feminine of Sidonius, in origin an ethnic name meaning 'man from Sidon' (the city in Phoenicia). This came to be associated with the Greek word sindon 'winding sheet'. There are only four people in the US with the first name Sidony.

-- Zillah: Biblical name (from a Hebrew word meaning 'shade'), borne by one of the two wives of Lamech (Genesis 4:19). There are only 173 people in the US with the first name Zillah.

Based on WhitePages' Names popularity rankings, below are 10 examples of some unique boys names and their meanings.

-- Aldous: Uncertain origin, but probably a medieval short form of any of various Norman names, such as Aldebrand, Aldemund, and Alderan, containing the Germanic word ald 'old'. There are only 61 people in the US with the first name Aldous.

-- Baptist: English form of Church Latin baptista, Greek baptistçs (a derivative of baptein 'to dip'), the epithet of the most popular of the numerous saints called John. There are only 35 people in the US with the first name Baptist.

-- Huxley: Transferred use of the surname, in origin a local name from a place in Cheshire which is apparently so called from the genitive case of the Old English personal name Hucc + Old English lçah 'wood, clearing'. There are only 42 people in the US with the first name Huxley.

-- Keiller: Chiefly Canadian: transferred use of the Scottish surname Keiller, from a village of this name in Perthshire. There are only 6 people in the US with the first name Keiller.

-- Kilroy: Transferred use of the surname, which is in origin a variant of Gilroy which is of Gaelic origin, from an giolla ruadh 'the red-haired lad'. There are 40 people in the US with the first name Kilroy.

-- Maximus: Latin cognomen meaning 'greatest'. There are 115 people in the US with the first name Maximus.

-- Melek: From a vocabulary element meaning 'king' in Hebrew. It originated in part as a nickname, in part as a short form of various compound names containing this element, for example Elimelek 'God is king'. There are 127 people in the US with the first name Melek.

-- Neo: Modern coinage, apparently from the prefix derived from Greek neos 'new'. In some instances, however, the name may be African in origin, from a Tswana word meaning 'gift'. There are 188 people in the US with the first name Neo.

-- Pacey: Transferred use of the surname, in origin a Norman baronial name from any of the places in northern France called Passy. There are 22 people in the US with the first name Pacey.

-- Rafferty: Transferred use of the Irish surname. The Gaelic form of this is Ó Rabhartaigh or Ó Robhartaigh, meaning 'descendant of Robhartach'. There are 74 people in the US with the first name Rafferty.

People interested in using WhitePages Names' free etymology capabilities to look up the history and meaning of their own name can visit A name search also offers similar names and nicknames, the most common last names associated with that name, and a look at the distribution of that name across individual states and throughout the entire US. In addition, a name search provides search history for each name which includes total number of searches on the name and a breakdown of daily search numbers. With the new WhitePages Name Badge, anyone can share the popularity and meaning of their name on their website or blog.

About WhitePages

As the largest and most trusted online directory, WhitePages offers a suite of free mobile and Internet services that makes it easy for people to find and immediately connect with anyone in the U.S. Only WhitePages offers one-click access to more than 200 million adults and powers more than 2 billion searches on over 1,300 partner sites including Verizon, AOL, United States Postal Service, and MSN. For more information, please visit or check out the WhitePages blog at

WhitePages and their respective logos are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of WhitePages. Other products and company names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact Information