Thursday, February 4, 2010


THE NEW BABY NAME SURVEY by Bruce Lansky is one of my favorite resource books. It has approximately 2,000 names in it. It gives you the name’s origin, meaning, famous people with that name, and what people think when they hear that name.

Example: Sharon (Hebrew) desert plain. Image: It’s hard to put your finger on Sharon’s personality. People aren’t sure if she’s a crabby arrogant perfectionist, a fun-loving and outgoing adventurer, or a sweet and soft-spoken introvert. People tend to agree, however, that Sharon is a middle-aged woman who’s busty, homely, and dowdy. (I take great offense to this last sentence…)

Famous Namesakes: Actress Sharon Stone; actress Sharon Tate; personality Sharon Osbourne, actress Sharon Case.

The RHYMING DICTIONARY contains over 40,000 words. You look up a word ending sound and this wonderful little book gives you lots of options.

Example: look up the word fun in the index, it tells you to go to reference number 259 –un

259 –un bun, dun, done, fun, gun, Hun, none, nun, pun, spun, run, son, sun, sunn (East Indian plant), shun, ton, tonne, tun, stun, one, won

Undone, outdone, begun, handgun, popgun, shotgun, outgun, Falun (Swedish city), Cholon (South Vietnamese city), homespun, finespun, rerun, forerun, millrun, outrun, godson, grandson, stepson, Fushun (Chinese city), someone.

The CHILDREN’S WRITER’S WORD BOOK is jam-packed full of lists grouped by grade levels. Another fun feature is the thesaurus of listed words, along with reading level synonyms, and advice on word usage.

Example: fun

Fun (K): cheer (3rd), delight (3rd), jest (4th), mirth (5th), play (K), pleasure (2nd), recreation (5th), sport (1st)

Do you have a favorite resource book?  Do you have any of my favorite books?  Did you notice all the boldfaced words?  What do you think they mean?


  1. I have the Baby Name Survey Book (also one of my favorite resource books!) and the Children's Writer's Word Book (which I find immensely helpful when I write for younger children). My favorite resource book is probably my Flip Dictionary. It's like a thesaurus but better, because it also tells you related words, not just synonyms, like if you look up currency you'll find an entire page listing currencies of the world. If you look up paint, you'll find a section on related terms and also a section on painting techniques.

    Thanks for sharing your favorites with us, Sharon - very helpful!

  2. Susan--You were the one who told me about the BABY NAME SURVEY BOOK. Katherine steals it every once and a while, she thinks it's fun to read. I'll have to look for the FLIP DICTIONARY. It sounds really helpful. :)

  3. Those are wonderful resources! I have a rhyming book and Word book (though different authors), and use a baby name website (but I like the descriptions in yours, even if they don't always ring true ;). I gave away the two baby name books I had for naming my real babies. Why did I do that?!

  4. Kelly--Thank you sooo much for noticing the descriptions don't always match the name. My non-virtual friend Susan didn't say a word about it. (I just crossed her off my christmas card list and replaced her with your name.)

    Don't you just want to kick yourself when you give away books and then have to rebuy them!

  5. Cool! I'll have to check out the children's writer word book. It sounds interesting. (And I don't agree with the baby namer.)

    Happy weekend to you!

  6. So sorry, Sharon! In my excitement to tell you about the Flip Dictionary, I completely forgot to mention how completely off-base the baby name survey book is about the name Sharon (except, of course, the fun-loving, sweet adventurer part.) :) Do I get my Christmas card now?

  7. Jackee--It's a super book. Thanks for taking my side about my name. :) The Baby Name Survey book is a useful book. You have a good one too.

    Susan--I understand your excitement over the Flip Dictionary...I forgive you and yes, I'll put you back on my list. :) I looked you up and the part I agree with is "sophisticated bookworm."

  8. That description so doesn't describe you. :)

  9. Amy--(Latin) beloved (true...)

    Friendly and perky gal who loves to join in the fun...

    Okay that is totally you!!!!!

  10. Okay, that Childrens Writer Word Book sounds perfect! I always wonder about certain words, wondering if they're too "old." I'll have to look for that one!

  11. Sherrie--The Doclh Wordlist also tells you what words children are required to know by the end of a specific grade. You should be able to google it and print off a copy.

  12. The description in your book for 'Sharon' about covers everything - introverted to funloving; crabby or sweet; busty to dowdy ... I suppose (being Sharon like yourself) I am all of these, except when I am busty - that's thanks to Wonderbra. lol

  13. Sharon--LOL...Sadly, I'd like to lose 40 pounds so I owuldn't be so busty. :)