Category: Baby Name News
What makes a name a true classic?
Very few names have been in constant use, and those few evergreen choices differ across cultures and languages.
A definition is elusive. A classic should be universally recognized and long established. It should possess either a measure of elegance or another distinguishing characteristic. But classic isn’t a black and white line. In baby name discussions, classic sometimes translates as “a name I like.”
Are Adelaide and Charlotte as classic as Mary? How do Walter and Jeremy compare to William and James? How about names like Samantha or Brooke – seldom heard before the twentieth century, but now solidly established? How many years does it take to make a classic, bearing in mind that classic rock is sometimes as young as five decades old.
In hemlines and hairdos, in music and cuisine and baby names, too.
Once upon a time, Mildred was a Top Ten name in the US. Clarence, Connie, Randy, Dawn, Eugene, Norman, Norma, Crystal, Dustin, Myrtle, and Elmer have all ranked in the Top 50 names at one point or another.
It can take years for a name to transition from emerging trend to solidly established choice. But this week’s baby name news highlights many of the changes happening now.
Change is constant, but some of the outcomes are fresh and new, and it is too soon to say which names will catch on. Will Americans embrace truly gender neutral names? Are noun names mainstream? Should you double-check the spelling on every single name, no matter what?
Read on for nine baby names in the news, and what they might signal for the next generation of children.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
We had that great bonanza of great girls’ names in Part One of this Quarterly Report yesterday, now here are the boys. This should once and for all put the kibosh on the idea that they aren’t as varied, interesting, copious and creative as their sisters’. Two Peregrines! Five variations of Edward! A Leviticus and a Lysander! A Hiram and a Huck!
Most popular vowel: E, Most popular consonant initial: L
Unusual middles: Banjo and Chief
The complete list:
by Linda Rosenkrantz
I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer quantity, gorgeousness and wild originality of the names reported in the Birth Announcement forums for this third quarter of the year, from July through the end of September. So overwhelmed, in fact, that I’m dividing the results into two separate blogs—one for the girls and one for the boys.
Not surprisingly, with this large number of names, there were more duplicates than ever. Perennial NB fave Charlotte along with Phoebe were chosen three times, while the girls’ names picked twice were Alice, Annabel, Arabella, Daisy, Daphne, Elodie, Francine, Ivy, Luna, Nora, Penelope, Rory and Vivienne.
Most popular initial: A (surprise, surprise); most popular consonant initial: M
Most unusual middle name: Wildflower
This past week was different. Could we be ushering in a new era of D and E names? Or is it just coincidence that three celeb birth announcements for baby boys started with the letter D this week?
With favorites like Ella and Emma, it comes as no surprise that the letter E is currently the fifth most popular letter for girls’ given names in the US. For boys, D ranked #5 last year (behind J, A, C, and M) while E came in at #8.
What does that mean for expectant parents? If you’re after a truly stand-out name, it might be worth considering a lesser-used initial, like H, T, O, or F. Alternately, a really unusual name, like Avalon or Arden, isn’t so strange when lots of little girls are answering to Ava and Allison.
D and E names could hit that sweet spot – familiar, but not overused. Or they could be catching on, ready to eclipse A in the next few years.
Now, on to those great D and E baby names in news: