Category: Baby Name News
It happens all the time.
You’re expecting your first – or second, or third – and the perfect name eludes you. There are lots of possibilities and maybes, but none of them are The Name.
And then along comes a movie, a television show, a celebrity, a song, and that’s it. That’s the name.
The numbers tell us that pop culture is a major influence in baby naming. And yet we resist the idea. A name from a Jane Austen novel? Classic, sophisticated. From a soap opera or a Disney Channel series? Sometimes we’re a little dismissive of those choices.
But here’s the thing about names: we can’t consider them until we are aware that they exist.
This week’s names all come from movies and television, books and blogs. You may have heard them before, but seeing them on the screen could make the names feel fresh, interesting, and just right for a daughter.
Do you celebrate your name day?
While the idea is little known in the US, many cultures prefer name days to birthdays. The idea is simple: instead of celebrating your day of birth, you and every other Margaret or Joseph or Andrew are feted on the same day.
The custom has its origins in saints’ feast days, but plenty of non-saintly names exist on national calendars. Wanda is a legendary figure in Poland, so no surprise she has a name day there, along with other Slavic staples like Bogdan, Dobromir, and Grazyna.
Word is that Facebook is now encouraging users to add their name day celebrations to their profiles. Americans love a holiday, from Halloween to Cinco de Mayo. Could name days catch on here?
I’m in favor. Double the reasons for cupcakes!
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Since our last Quarterly Report grew to be so huge and unwieldy, with its unfortunate share of troll challenges, we’ve decided to try sectioning it into more manageable monthly reports instead. Remember that these are the names reported on the Nameberry Birth Announcement forum–not necessarily born–during the month of October, and only to Berries–not including nephews, nieces or neighbors–no matter how adorably named they might be.
This time around we’ve added some comments by the original poster and other berries that we thought you would find interesting.
“We stayed with the tradition of family middle names and couldn’t be happier”
Comment: “I have a hunch she’s going to be full of spunk.”
“Salem means peace; I hope her life will be filled with both peace and joy. This year for Halloween she will naturally be a little baby witch.”
Comment: “Such a bold and daring choice!”
“Gray is my mother’s maiden name”
“…Florin continued to grow on me for reasons outside of its Princess Bride (my favourite book & film) connections… I love the meaning (flower; flourishing) and loved that the Florin was a coin minted in Australia…my dad did his apprenticeship at the Australian Mint so I remember him telling me stories about coins as a child. Frederick was my grandfather’s name and I wanted to honour him and my mum and Nana…He actually reminds me of my grandfather too with a big round face and dimples. The meaning ‘peaceful ruler’ also added to its appeal.”
MANY MANY THANKS TO DENISE POTTER FOR ALL HER HELP ON THIS!
Which are your favorites of all these? Do you like the addition of the comments?
It’s been a quiet week for high profile arrivals. Sure, Michael Weatherly of NCIS fame and wife Bojana welcomed son Liam. It’s a great name – friendly, upbeat, accessible. Liam is also a solid favorite in the US, just like big sister’s name, Olivia. Last year, he was the #1 choice in at least nine states, and shows no signs of slowing down.
But name news isn’t just about celebrities. In order for parents to consider a name, they have to know that it exists. Books, television, movies, athletes, actors, song lyrics, people in the headlines – they can all add new options to an expectant parent’s shortlist.
Baby name books have always surfaced some unusual possibilities. I fell in love with Hephzibah in a paperback name encyclopedia from the 1970s, the same book my mother used to circle mainstream options like Jill and Amy. Hester came from The Scarlet Letter. And Caroline, a name I eventually used as one of my daughter’s middles? She’s from a Psychedelic Furs song, a classic I never noticed until I heard the lyrics.
Now Nameberry, and the vast community of baby name blogs and websites, is part of that process, too. This week was filled with daring, even fanciful names for girls with global influence. Some of these might seem too much for a first name, but I can hear most of them in the middle spot.
Gaiman did say this: “We must not attempt to freeze language, or to pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered, but we should use it as a living thing, that flows, that borrows words, that allows meaning and pronunciations to change with time.”
If language is a living thing, doesn’t the same hold true for names?
Some words endure with minimal alteration, and some names do, too. But for every Elizabeth, there’s a Samantha – a name that feels rich with history, but is actually almost unknown until the nineteenth century. Or Brooke, a name that feels established and sophisticated, but would have been out of place a hundred years ago.