Category: Classic Baby Names
By Sarahbeth Caplin
First day of fourth grade: the teacher takes attendance with strict efficiency. Since my last name begins with C, I am the fifth student called. “Sarah Caplin?” I raise my hand. By the time she gets to the end of the list, it is apparent that Sarah is the female name of choice: there are four Sarahs in our class of a dozen students, which Mrs. F thinks is hilarious. She places us all at the same table: Sarah K, Sarah M, Sarah W, and myself. It was not the first time I had to be differentiated by my last initial, and it wouldn’t be the last.
And dammit, I was already tired of it.
My parents told me, “We just liked the name; we had no idea it was so popular.” It never occurred to them that giving me a name from the Bible with timeless appeal (why else do so many women have it?) and no pronunciation problems in the English-speaking world would be such a burden to me. As an adult introvert, I’m okay blending in, but Childhood Me was the opposite. How could I stand out with a classic baby name shared by so many?
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
There’s no record of a single newborn named Dick in the United States last year.
In fact, there hasn’t been a baby Dick recorded in the U.S. during the past decade. (It last popped up in the Social Security Administration databanks in 2005.)
This is no shock. The name Dick was a casualty of modern slang and its association with a disgraced president. But Dick‘s disappearance is part of a broader trend: Americans have shifted away from many once-common nicknames.
By E. Wittig
Autumn is here, and with it has arrived the first astrological sign of the season: Libra. Lasting from September 23rd to October 22nd, Libra’s totem is the scales of balance, the only nonhuman or animal object in the zodiac. Libras are elegant, charming people, well balanced and versed in relationships.
Austrina – Our sister planet Venus rules the scales, shrouded in sulfuric acid and named for the goddess of love. Though moonless, the planet has numerous geological features with real-world names Austrina is a valley on Venus, as well as Venus’ Latvian name. Anthony, Theodora, and Guinevere are the more classic of these; less familiar choices include Morrigan, Wilde, Ayrton, and Merak.
The name Fox has cracked into the UK’s 1000 most popular names, while Kate Winslet and Alicia Silverstone are both raising children named Bear. But if you’re not quite up for naming your baby directly after an animal, consider the many names that have some majestic and inspiring animals hiding in their origins.
A Pack of Canines
Caleb, 2015’s 37th most popular boy name, might literally mean “dog,” from the Hebrew keleb, with a sense of “devotion.”