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Category: Baby Name News

abby--3-2-14

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Last month, two high profile birth announcements both featured Bodhi within days.  Not Mason, not Noah.  Bodhi.  Proof that choosing a different name is no guarantee that it will actually be different.

But here’s a strategy that might work – pick a name that qualifies as a twist on a classic.  It works for Swedish royals, Olympic gold medalists, and Hollywood types, too.

Need proof?  Try the Zato Novo baby name visualizerElizabeth consistently turns the map various shades of blue, showing a long and steady history of use.  But try Elsa or Bess or Elizaveta, and suddenly, she’s far more rare.

All too often, the names that strike us as outlandish are on their way to the top of the popularity charts.  Remember when Top 100 picks like Harper and Trinity were surprising? Now names like Haven, Skyla, and Aspen are on the rise, slowly transitioning from “what an unusual name” to “oh, my cousin/co-worker/neighbor’s sister named her baby that.”

Twists on classics elicit a very different response.  They usually can’t be dismissed as trendy or fleeting.  Of course, some – like Nora, Eliza, or Kaitlyn – can become very popular.  But many of them occupy a middle ground – pleasing names that show their history, while still standing out on the playground.

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abby 3-3-14a

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

You’ll never guess the name that repeats in my son’s third grade.

It isn’t Alex.  Despite having a Top 20 name, he’s never had to share.  His friend Matthew is also one of one, and has been since kindergarten.  The same is true for Chloe and William.

The name that repeats?  Micah.

It’s one of the new realities of baby naming.  In our quest to avoid calling our kids the 2014 equivalent of Jennifer and Jason, Ashley and Josh, we skip over the Top Ten and even Top 100.

But that’s no guarantee that our relatively uncommon choice won’t be shared.  My kids know more than one Lucia and a couple of Finns, two Jareds, a Skyler and a Skye, a boy Jordan and a girl Jordan, a boy Seamus and a dog Seamus.

So it isn’t really a surprise that the high profile birth announcement name to repeat this week wasn’t Ava or Isabella, but Bodhi.

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abby2-16-14

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Not so long ago, globe-trotting was the exception.  Immigrants quickly adopted the language of their new homes, and we tended to marry and raise children with partners from similar religious and cultural backgrounds.

Now, in our globally-connected world, many families are faced with naming across cultures.  The high-profile parents in this week’s round-up can claim roots in Colombia, Cuba, France, Sweden, as well as the US, UK, and Australia.  The baby names they chose reflect this diversity.

Some names seem like an attempt to bridge several cultures, like the Monegasque arrival.  Others, like one of Michael Jordan’s new daughters, or Melissa George’s son, seem to celebrate one parent’s roots.

The trend isn’t just limited to celebrities and royals.  Plenty of us are trying to solve naming riddles: combining Irish roots with Polynesian heritage, or finding Japanese names that work well in English.

If we’re all the jet-set, is it any wonder that our children’s names are so rich with influences from French and Spanish, from history recent and far past?  There’s a healthy splash of creativity and daring, too, which seems fitting in a world filled with so much possibility

On to the nine most newsworthy baby names this week:

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kevin-jonas-baby-photo

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Reality television has become a real influence in baby naming.

And why not?

Hollywood A-listers like Hugh Grant and Owen Wilson might hesitate to announce details of their new arrivals, but reality stars tend to be eager to share pictures, and, of course, baby names.

There’s no shortage of reality stars, either.

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nanyberryann

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Here it is, our report on the babyberries reported in the forums in the month of January and, as we’ve come to expect, there is the usual impressive array of classic and creative individual names, great first and middle combos, and cool sibsets.

Unlike December, when there were no multiples, this month we had not one but two sets of boy twins:

Arlo Sebastian & Ezra Valentine and

Arthur Florian Edward & Frederick Robin Jude

And speaking of Arthur, that was the only name used more than once, signaling the strong return of this once gallant Camelot name. ‘A’ was also the most popular first initial for boys, while for girls, M-beginnings took the lead.

I was interested to see one of the male virtue names, Loyal, used by a Berry as a middle, the imaginative Maple as a nickname for Marguerite, a big brother named Escher, and two separate paths to the nickname Cal. And of course, in the always intriguing comments made by these new parents.

Here they are:

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