Category: Baby Names
Look at our bookshelves!
One, two three…
How many Seuss books
Do I see?
How can it be that our family owns only eight of his classics, not counting poetry within other children’s anthologies or the duplicate, dog-eared copies of The Cat in The Hat? He wrote 40+ books in his lifetime, and the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel is ingrained in the English lexicon. Still, we take Dr. Seuss’ contributions for granted ‘ever so muchly’ that most of us pronounce his name incorrectly. Geisel’s mother’s German maiden name Seuss actually rhymes with “voice”, not “use” (as in, “the Simplest Seuss for youngest use”). It’s rumored that he didn’t mind, due to the sound-alike quality of ‘Seuss’ to children’s author Mother Goose. In any case, the ultimate Seuss-ism could be naming one’s child in homage to him. Here is a nearly-exhaustive list of Seuss names…
While the Elizabethan/Jacobean playwright William Shakespeare has had a long influence on the names of children, his Restoration successors haven’t had as much impact on the name game. But when looking through character lists of these Restoration comedies, written between 1660-1710, there are some fabulous names to be found, some that have been heard of since, like Amanda, Julia and Sylvia, and some that are extremely rare. Here are thirteen of the more interesting feminine names from the most popular Restoration comedies of the day.
Amaryllis – As seen in 1671’s The Rehearsal, which was published anonymously, though prominent courtier, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, was most likely the writer. The name Amaryllis is of Greek origin and means ‘to sparkle’.
Araminta – As seen in 1693’s The Old Bachelor by William Congreve, the name is actually a disguise for the character of Sylvia. Araminta is a hybrid of the names Arabella and Aminta as well as having the Greek meaning of ‘defender’.
You have only to look at the popularity lists to know which names are used most widely now. There’s Sophia, Isabella, Emma, and Olivia for girls; Jacob, Mason, and Ethan for boys. Which reminds us: Have you seen our new, searchable U.S. Top 1000 list? It’s awesome; have a peek.
Beyond the most popular names are the names we might think of as most stylish today. These are represented on the Nameberry Top 1000 list, which gauges the names that are viewed most often on our site, updated monthly. While the U.S. Top 1000 list tallies names used most frequently for babies born in 2012, the Nameberry Top 1000 surveys names capturing the most interest from prospective parents in 2014 — so it’s more theoretical, and up-to-date.
Based on the Nameberry list, we’d place the following baby names atop the current style wave. What many of them lack in popularity, they make up for in stylishness.
Here’s my true name confession: We almost named our youngest son Pike.
So sue me.
I still like it. Sometimes, about as often as I miss that bright orange sweater I gave away in 1994, I wish we’d actually named him that. We like fish! In fact, little coulda-been-Pike grew into a boy who loves to fish!
But we chickened out, and Owen he became.
I could confess to other name indiscretions I contemplated but now it’s your turn to tell all.
Did you spell your name with an i at the end with a little heart drawn over it when you were 13?
Attempt to change your name to Sigourney when you were in college?
Did you contemplate a baby name crime: name-napping, perhaps, or….well, I can’t think of any other baby name crime, but maybe you can confess to one anyway.