Happy Halloween, berries! Let’s start off with a very important piece of business. The winner of the bookplate give-away from Etsy shop My Kids Eat Off the Floor is Emily (emily.m******@*****.com). You should have already received an email with details about how to claim your prize.
Last week’s chatter about Gatsby – literary or pretentious? Just different enough or downright bizarre? – got me thinking about boys’ names in general. Conventional wisdom holds that we can be creative with our daughters’ names, but choices for sons should be a little more conservative. Whether you personally agree or not, statistics suggest that parents do hold back when considering boys’ names. Just under 67% of US-born girls receive Top 1000 names, while nearly 79% of boys do.
A comment from last week’s post mentioned Evangeline Lily’s son is named Kahekili – and since dad is Norman Kali, his full name Kahekili Kali. According to mom, Kahekili is a Hawaiian name means thunder. (Kahekili shown in illustration)
Maybe Kahekili isn’t on your short list, but it does feel like more parents are considering a broader range of options for sons. This week’s Nameberry nine is all for the boys:
Ajax – He’s an ancient hero and a powerful cleanser, and now a baby name for a kiddo born in an art gallery. Artist mom Marni Kotak gave birth at the Microscope Gallery in a show called The Birth of Baby X. Considering the unconventional circumstances of his birth, Ajax feels like a rather tame name, one that follows logically from Alex and Axel.
Solomon – Speaking of unusual circumstances, what is it like to be baby #17? The Brown bunch, a polygamist family profiled on TLC reality series Sister Wives includes kids with all sorts of names, including nouveau virtue picks like Truly – baby #16 – and now this old school, Old Testament appellation.
Finnick – Take fast-rising Finn, add a nickname for Nicholas and you get this pleasing choice from bestselling young adult trilogy The Hunger Games. The character is valiant, too. It caught my eye this week as the middle name of a brand new baby berry, Milo Finnick Alexander.
Baylor – This name was in the news this week, but not exactly on a baby. Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber gave the name to their new puppy. Gomez is from Texas, home to Baylor University, so perhaps that’s the inspiration. Or maybe they’re just following trends. Bay names feel poised for a big rise, and plenty of stylish parents practice on pets years before they’re ready for kids of their own.
Dakin – Character actor Dakin Matthews is back on Desperate Housewives as the ladies of Wisteria Lane head into their last season. Matthews has appeared as the local reverend in several episodes over DH’s long run. His first name sounds like a modern, invented choice, but is actually a medieval short form of David, via Day.
Dusk – Speaking of nighttime, Isadora at Bewitching Names mentioned Dusk. Dawn, of course, has a history of use and even a catchy song or two with her name in the title. Dusk could be that elusive nature name that works well for boys.
Walton – One of my favorites! He’s an update for Walter or Wallace, and carries with him the cozy, homespun sensibility of the long-running television family. but word is that West Wing alum Richard Schiff has signed on to play Snow’s pop, King Leopold. ForReal recently spotted a Walton, proof that names don’t need to be completely invented or unfamiliar to stand out.
Leopold - Fairy tales are all the rage on the small screen this Fall. Once Upon a Time debuted earlier this month, with Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White in exile. Grimm premieres this week with a similar theme: fairy tales are real, but most of us don’t know it. I’ve been a little let down by the names so far. If anything invites creative onomastics, surely it is transplanting fairy tale figures to 21st century life. I’m still waiting for a Ghislaine or Everild to appear, but word is that West Wing alum has signed on to play Snow’s pop, King Leopold. That’s the kind of daring name I was hoping to hear.
Are you more conservative with your choices for boys? And have you spotted anything interesting in the world of names this week?