Category: Baby Names
Mary long reigned as the Number One girls’ name throughout the English-speaking world. Some were Mary Ann or Mary Ellen, but others got far more creative in their quest to stand out from the crowd. So they traded in the ubiquitous Mary for names more glamorous, creative, cooler, or at least more distinctive. You may not even realize that many of these women started out life answering to the regal, saintly classic girl name. By Abby Sandel
This past September, we paid our respects to some of Hollywood’s greatest stars and marveled at a visionary’s dreams of the stars. Let’s have a look back at some of the big names in the news – and a look into what the origins of their names can illuminate about them.
Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a Catholic saint this month. St. Teresa was born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxihu. Anjezë is the Albanian form of Agnes, anticipated her spiritual calling: It’s Greek for “holy” or “pure.” St. Teresa chose her religious name after the 19th-century French nun Thérèse de Lisieux.
Some think Teresa comes from the Greek for “harvest” or “huntress.” Others think it is from the Greek Thera, the name of some volcanic islands in the Mediterranean. The story goes that the wife of St. Paulinus of Nola (354-431 AD) was born on one of those islands and so took her name from them. The origin is unclear, but Teresa is a well-traveled name – fitting for St. Teresa, who made her impact far and wide.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made headlines by protesting the pre-game National Anthem over racial inequality. Many athletes have followed suit, which some consider a victory for Colin’s cause. Victory indeed: Colin is a French pet name for Nicholas, a Greek name that literally means “victory-people.” The Greek word for – and goddess of – “victory” is nike, which lives on in the athletic brand.
Acting legend Gene Wilder sadly passed away this month. Born Jerome Silberman, Wilder took Gene, a short for Eugene, after Eugene Gant, a character in a Thomas Wolfe novel, and Wilder after writer Thornton Wilder. Eugene is from the Greek Eugenios, “well-born” or “noble.” Jerome, meanwhile, is from the Greek Hieornymos, “holy name.” Gene Wilder came from a humble background, but as many remembrances made clear, he was a class-act as an artist and person. And his name will surely be long “worshiped” by his many fans.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
This month’s Babyberry report includes one of the most original middle names we’ve seen: Violet WHIMSEY. The girls’ names are running long, in the sense that there is a preponderance of three and four-syllable choices. Again, lots of floral appellations and an accent on J and V-starting names. The boy list includes Roscoe, Radley and Lazarus–and be sure to read the lovely naming story of Cal Tanner.
They’re excited to expecting another girl, but agreeing on a name? That’s another story! They compromised on Luella for their first daughter. Let’s help them find another name they can both love.
I’m hoping you can help my husband and I get on the same page. When it comes to baby names we are two ships passing in the night!
We have always had a boy name in mind – Harvey – but of course we are having our second girl.
Our first daughter is named Luella. I can’t tell you how long it took to get that name and I am anxious for us to fast track getting this new little lady named.
Help, please … or this baby may be named Harvey-the-girl!
The Name Sage replies:
There are certain baby board books that you will either buy or be gifted that are basically required reading for the under-one set (and books make GREAT baby shower gifts). Goodnight Moon, I Am Bunny, Pat the Bunny (basically anything with a bunny on it) are found in nurseries across the land. But how about if you want to get or give a title that isn’t one of the standard-issue picks? Thankfully, there are oodles of awesome (and inspired) options out there. Here are 10 super cool board books that should have a proud place right between Baby Beluga and Guess How Much I Love You.