November '13 Moms Group Names

I've joined a local parenting group for moms (and dads, but it's mostly moms) who were due in November 2013-- the babies were born between October and December. Here are some of the names I've encountered. Older siblings are in parentheses.

Henrietta "Hattie" (Simon)-- my kids, of course


Laszlo (Irena)

William (Jack)

Theo (Benjamin)















Leila (Mira)

Sophia (Orly)


Juniper "Junie"



















January 16, 2014 11:06 PM

Minnow?! I just did a triple take because that's our in-utero name for our as-of-yet still unborn child. People kept telling us that we should keep the name after she's born!

January 17, 2014 2:20 AM

Minnow does stand out, doesn't it? As a nickname, I think it's gorgeous, but not so sure if it's an official name. I wonder if there's a story behind it, or I the parents just liked the sound?

On the whole, the names seem consistent with those I see in my area (on the outskirts of an Australian city), with the exception of Minnow, August, Felix and Laszlo. 

By Coll
January 17, 2014 5:56 PM

I should have mentioned that I live/the group is in brownstone Brooklyn.

Yes, Minnow! Mom is in advertising, dad seems to be a creative type. Yes, like the fish. Not a nickname! They wanted something different that they'd never encountered before but that still sounded like a name. Not sure if the fish has any special significance to them.

January 17, 2014 6:35 PM

I'm in love with Irena, though I like it better as Irina (a Slavic variant). Minnow is absolutely adorable, but very strange as a given name.

I'm guessing Orly is a boy?

The more lists of little kids I read, the more I feel that names like Theodore, Felix, Everett, Charlie, Jack, Violet, Amelia, and Alice are becoming popular. The forums around here are full of parents or future parents of Eleanors, Beatrices, Mileses, and other names of the like. I'm seeing this becoming the net name fad. It's time anyway. Victorian names are currently fashionable, and these names feel like the next step in the timeline. All the parents using these names today may find ten years from now that their kids have names typically found on infants, and when the kids with these names today are adults, they'll have timestamped names -that make them sound ten years younger than they really are.

January 17, 2014 7:05 PM

Why would you guess that Orly is a boy? Orli/Orly is a Modern Hebrew feminine name. There is also the Irish name Orlagh/Orla and other possible spellings which is also feminine. I would be very surprised if Orly is a boy, although these days any child could have any name (see Minnow).

January 17, 2014 11:17 PM

I have run into Orly as a male pet name (mostly on dogs) several times.  In those cases, it seems to be from "O RLY", not from an already-extant name.  (Two of these pets had companion pets named YARLY.) 

January 18, 2014 12:40 AM


January 25, 2014 7:11 AM

The Hebrew and Internet separate origins for Orly is I think the best example for explaining convergent evolution I've come across yet, and it makes me sorry that by the time I'm teaching again, the O RLY/YA RLY meme will be long-forgotten and thus it will not work as the illuminating example I am hoping for!

January 18, 2014 10:21 AM

I'm kicking myself now. I've never heard of the name Orly before, and it popped out as very boy to me. I searched "Orl-" on Voyager, and only boys' names came up -Orlando, Orley, Orla, Orland, and Orlo. Though this particular form may be more common as a girl's name, Orl- names in general are more frequently found on boys.

It is a very cute girl's name though.

By EVie
January 18, 2014 11:08 AM

I think you're mixing up roots from different languages again. Orly is modern Hebrew. Orlando is a Latinized form of Roland, a Germanic name. I'd never heard Orlo before, but (albeit one of the user-submitted pages, so not verified) says it's Eastern Ashkenazic Jewish—is that a dialect of Yiddish? If so, that's a blend of German and Hebrew and Aramaic. Orla is Irish. So, you can't really say that Orl- names are one gender or the other—they're different things in different languages. 

January 18, 2014 11:32 AM

Yes, Yiddish has dialects, and one of them could be termed Eastern Ashkenazic Jewish (but isn't usually). Frankly I have never heard of anyone named Orlo, and I know/am aware of countless Eastern European Jews. I would describe Yiddish as a form of High German with significant vocabulary from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Slavic (lots of Slavic, particularly in the Eastern European dialects).

By EVie
January 18, 2014 2:08 PM

The entry on says "from Oryol 'eagle' or Orl, a pet form of Aaron." But again, it's user-submitted, so no idea if that's accurate or not. I looked up oryol on and it says it's from Russian орёл, also "eagle," so maybe that's the Slavic influence?

January 18, 2014 3:13 PM

Yiddish generally uses the word Adler for eagle. Personally I have never heard the Russian word used, and my mother's family spoke a rather Russianized Yiddish, more so than my father's family who spoke Litvak (Lithuanian) Yiddish. Doesn't mean it isn't used by someone somewhere--I just haven't heard it. Of course, eagles were not a common topic of conversation in my home :-). Another wrinkle--when Yiddish-speaking Jews took additional German names to blend in with the surrounding populations, Arnold, an 'eagle' name, was a common choice for Aaron.

Since -l was a common way to form Yiddish hypocoristic forms, Orl is entirely possible for Aron (like Yankel for Ya'acov). But the diminutive forms I have heard are more like Aronke or Aronchik.

For a (long) authoritative explanation of the naming practices of Eastern European Jews, see

Yivo Institute for Jewish Research is the premier center for the study of Yiddish and Eastern European Jewry in general. Its roots are in Vilnius, Lithuania, the center of Eastern European intellectual activity from the Middle Ages until WWII. The transliterations in this article are all done according to YIVO style which is based on the dialect/pronunciation of Vilna, but this transliteration style has never been widely accepted. Transliteration of Yiddish varies in practice according to the dialect of the person doing the transliteration.

January 18, 2014 3:24 PM

Just a tidbit: The Yiddish word for Eagle was likely much more common up here because of the daily newspaper, Der Keneder Adler (The Canadian Eagle), which was published in Montreal from 1907-1988.

January 18, 2014 3:31 PM

No, we didn't have Der Keneder Adler down here in the Mid-Atlantic states.  We had the Forverts out of NYC.  I partly learned to read on the Jewish Daily Forward (written in Yiddish with English photo captions)--and Vogue :-).

January 18, 2014 3:59 PM

Oh yes, the Forward is the quintessential paper! We used to read articles from it in school during Yiddish class. I especially remember reading and discussing A Bintel Brief :)

January 18, 2014 4:45 PM

I just discovered that there is an English compilation of Bintel Brief letters.  I found it interesting that some of the reviewers found the advice as published back in the day does not match up with current views.  It seems to me a good lesson to those Amazon reviewers as to how much has changed (and not changed) even over my lifetime, and the letters go back much longer than I do.

By Coll
January 18, 2014 5:20 PM

Orly is a girl. The family is Jewish, so I'm sure it's the Hebrew version they've gone for.

January 18, 2014 12:00 PM

Wow, this list is so incredibly different from the names you'd see in my area! I live somewhere you're probably 20 times more likely to meet a Brinley or Braden than a Felix or Willa.

January 22, 2014 6:49 PM

Orly is a well known brand of nail polish too.

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