As 2012 faded into 2013, the world welcomed many a new little life. Re-reading birth announcements, I was struck by something.
None of them received outlandish names, but every one of them seemed nicely creative.
Some are memorable and meaningful choices, while others are mainstream firsts paired with unexpected middles.
Does it speak to an age where we won’t dismiss names as weird? Have we stopped worrying that our children can’t be district attorneys or heart surgeons if we name them something other than Katherine or James? Are filler middles really gone for good?
It all adds up to a great year ahead for baby names – whether you’re naming a child or just spending lots of time thinking about what we might name a child. And that’s before we consider the latest addition to the Kardashian family …
This week’s nine most newsworthy names are
Maxfield – There’s Maxwell and Maximus and just plain Max, and now there’s Maxfield, son of actor David Ladin and his wife Katy. Maxfield isn’t completely new, of course. The surname takes Max in an artistic direction, thanks to artist Maxfield Parrish.
Livingston – It is another surname in the first spot, this time thanks to Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves. After kids called Levi and Vida, we figured that baby #3 would have a v in his name. But no one guessed Livingston. Now it all seems so obvious, though. McConaughey’s big break was 1993’s Dazed and Confused. His character’s famous line has become a touchstone for the actor: “You just gotta keep on livin’ man, L-I-V-I-N.” Levi is an anagram of live; Vida means life in Spanish, and Livingston, well … it has all five letters right there. I wonder what they would have named a girl?
Logan Phineas – Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy and his partner David Miller are new parents to a son. Logan might be a popular pick, but this combination still packs a style punch thanks to the unconventional middle.
Violet Marlowe – Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill and wife Jessie Baylin welcomed their first the day after Christmas. LikeLogan, Violet is a mainstream choice. But Marlowe is a surprise in the middle, fresher than Marie. I think the Kings of Leon could soon rival Coldplay for rocker dads with the best-named kids.
Hudson Lennon – Jon Jones plays bass for country music’s Eli Young Band. Jones and wife Sarah have a new son named Hudson Lennon. If they’d named him Hudson John, I might have guessed he was named after dad. Instead the surname leaves little doubt that this musical family intended to honor the legendary rocker.
Saige - A very different kind of announcement landed in my inbox the other day: American Girl’s 2013 Girl of the Year is named Saige Copeland. Will it be influential? Few of the other dolls’ names have migrated to real birth announcements. Then again, Addy, a character introduced back in 1993, may have had some impact on all of the Addy/Addie names we’ve embraced in the last few years. And Saige’s page was up over 800% on Nameberry this week. She’s sleek and modern with ties to the natural world. The herbal Saige could succeed.
Pepper – Ready for another spicy possibility? Moon Bloodgood – born Korinna Moon Bloodgood – and husband Grady Hall welcomed a new daughter. If your name is Moon, what do you possibly name your children? The Falling Skies actress went with Pepper. With Harper in vogue, Pepper is an inventive choice. She’s been worn by one of the orphans in Annie, and Iron Man’s girlfriend, Pepper Potts. Could she be the new Piper?
Knight – I can’t leave this week’s column without picking my favorite baby names for Kim Kardashian and Kanye. Kim’s said she’ll stick with family tradition and limit her list to K names. Knight was one suggested by Glamour blogger Megan Angelo. She notes that a silent K is pretty original for this family – but would future children have to be called Knicole and Knile? I think the dashing Knight is flashy enough for the duo without being completely over-the-top.
Kashmir – Plenty of bloggers have mentioned Kash as an obvious boy choice for the couple. But how about Kashmir? Pam’s list at The Daily Mail included this place name. It combines an exotic air with a luxurious vibe, and hey, it definitely starts with a K. Reasons abound for Kimye to give this name to a daughter. Kashmir Kristen, maybe?