Make no mistake, 2012 was a great year for baby names, but 2013 should be even more exciting. There’s the royal baby, and now an American dynasty is expecting a new addition. Jenna Bush Hager, daughter and granddaughter of two US presidents, is due next year, and given her family’s habit of passing down relatives’ names, it should make for a great birth announcement.
But even the quiet weeks are chock full of interesting baby name news for name nerds, and this week name was no exception. Surnames, nicknames, retro names … here are the nine names that caught my attention this past week:
Dex – Today is my son’s eighth birthday. I’ve written about my kids’ names before, and the challenge of finding the right nickname for my firstborn, Alexander. After letting go and accepting that he was content to be known as Alex, one in a sea of many, the most unexpected thing happened. A new nickname emerged: Dex. Could it work? Not just for my son, but in general? It’s a great modern update to a classic formal name. If you love Dex, but fret that Dexter is too deadly wedded to the serial killer, Alexander might be an unconventional alternative.
Docena – Speaking of birthdays, how much fun would it be to welcome a baby on 12/12/12? Plenty of babies arrived on December 12, 2012, and a few even clocked in at precisely 12:12 AM or 12:12 PM. None of the names I’ve spotted so far pay homage to their noteworthy date and time of birth, but theNew York Times asked readers to brainstorm possibilities. Docena is Spanish for dozen. An even more subtle possibility is Viola, from The Twelfth Night.
Dinah – Let’s add one more D name, this one spotted in a birth announcement at Names For Real. She’s as sassy as Stella, as retro as Lillian. And yet, Dinah is seldom heard, even as Delilah, Delia, and Diana are all over message boards.
Silver – Silver struck me as outlandish when 90210 character Erin Silver answered mostly to her surname. But she has really grown on me, a logical extension of Scarlett and Harper. Silver might also make a subtle seasonal name should you welcome a child over the holidays.
Sutton – Could Sutton be the next Madison? Baby Name Pondering points out that she’s made a splash on the small screen over the past few years. She’s used more often for girls, but don’t count Sutton out for boys.
Prescott – Ever since Jenna Bush Hager announced that she was expecting, I’ve been combing through the extended Bush clan’s family tree. There’s no shortage of possible surnames to reclaim. Prescott strikes me as incredibly preppy, but Scott and Preston have been favorites in recent decades. If the new little Bush is a boy, could Prescott be their pick?
Lucas Byron – Did you catch the name of Byron Allen’s third child and first son? Allen and wife Jennifer gave him dad’s first name as a middle, a pattern many families follow. They also used mom’s surname as their son’s first name, lending the classic Lucas quite a bit of meaning. Big sisters are Chloe and Olivia. It’s nice to have last names that lend themselves for such easy use in the first spot.
Eloise – Is she the next big thing? In her recent Apartment Therapy Family name round-up, Elisabeth at You Can’t Call It “It” spotted Eloise three times, beating out white hot Harper. Her list is packed with great appellations: Nola, Eben, Clark, Torsten, Lyra … it’s a can’t-miss column.