Could the circumstances of your childâ€™s birth influence the name you choose?
Thereâ€™s been no shortage of seasonal and holiday-themed name articles over the past few weeks.Â Surely, if you were whisked to the hospital on the back of a scooter and hadnâ€™t yet settled on a middle name, your daughter could wind up christened Isabel Vespa. But how many parents deliberately choose seasonal appellations for a baby born in December?Â Is all that tinsel and mistletoe enough to make names like Merry or Belle seem better than Margaret or Brooke?
Seven years ago, I was due with my first child on Christmas Day.Â I can honestly say that, despite a struggle to settle on a middle name, we never considered Rudolph or Winter or Noel.Â But if I had it to do over again?
Here are eight names that caught my eye from this weekâ€™s baby name news, all of them rich with subtle, seasonal style, plus one truly timeless choice from Hollywood royalty.
Shepherd â€“ Eleaâ€™s Advent Calendar at British Baby Names has proven thoroughly addicting.Â This is my favorite so far: Shepherd, a working name with some history of use, one that has lofty spiritual meaning while still feeling rustic and down-to-earth.Â Like the idea, but want something even less obvious?Â How about Asher, a name Syrian Christians associate with the Biblical flock-watchers.
Alcyone â€“ Nope, thatâ€™s not a wacky re-spelling of Allison.Â Itâ€™s a name from Greek myth suggested by Isadora at Bewitching Baby Names.Â The short version is this: Alcyoneâ€™s husband died, but the gods had mercy, transforming the couple into a pair of kingfishers â€“ or halcyons.Â The birds typically nest in the winter, during a period of calm weather beginning mid-December â€“ peaceful, halcyon days.
Yule â€“ Nook of Names published a lengthy list of seasonal appellations.Â Â I find this one intriguing â€“ slightly less obvious than Noel or Natalie, but still a nod to the season.Â Then again, Yul â€“ as in Russian-born actor Yul Brenner â€“ is actually derived from the Russian version of Julius, and seems more suited to the month of the actorâ€™s birth â€“ July.
Carnelian â€“Â Marginamia suggested the name of this red stone, most likely for a girl.Â Carnelian is sometimes listed as a substitute for Julyâ€™s birthstone, Ruby.Â If youâ€™re disappointed to find that Ruby is so popular, I can almost guarantee that youâ€™ll never meet another Carnelian.Â Sheâ€™s outrageous at first glance, but if girls answer to Clementine and Cordelia, Jewel and Gemma, why not Carnelian?
Zuzu â€“ Marginamia also mentioned Zuzu Bailey, the little scene-stealer from seasonal cinematic staple Itâ€™s a Wonderful Life, as did Linda in Fridayâ€™s post.Â Top Chef alum Tania Peterson welcomed a daughter called Zuzu Audrey earlier in 2011.Â Could this be her year?
Suzu â€“ Sebastiane took a global perspective on the question, sourcing names from a broad range of cultures.Â Iâ€™m drawn to Suzu, a Japanese name that means bell â€“ and feels appropriately close to little Miss Baileyâ€™s appellation, too!
Courage â€“ It isnâ€™t specifically seasonal, but Anna spotted this one on the baby picked to star in a local Nativity Play â€“ Hosea Courage.Â While using the middle name Danger feels like a punch line, Courage seems aspirational, and â€śneo-Puritan,â€ť to borrow Annaâ€™s description.
Ballerina â€“ Been to the ballet yet this season?Â Many families count a holiday trip to see The Nutcracker as a favorite tradition.Â Jeremy Sisto gave this frilly, feminine middle name to his daughter â€“ along with the boy first name Charlie.Â News that he and wife Addie are now expecting a son prompted a revisit of his daughterâ€™s daring name.
Helen Grace â€“ On the other hand, Robert DeNiroâ€™s choice was as classic as it gets.Â He and wife Grace are also parents to son Elliot, and Robert has four children from previous relationships: Drena, Raphael, Julian, and Aaron.Â Helena and Elena might be more popular, but thereâ€™s something rock-solid â€“ and very appealing – about Helen.
Spotted any interesting names this week?