Category: Classic Baby Names
We have a great source for classic names you probably haven’t considered – at least if you’re American. The birth announcements in the London Telegraph include dozens of baby names that are classic and stylish and also rarely heard outside of Britain.
We pulled 60 unusual classic baby names – 30 for girls and 30 for boys – from a recent crop of birth announcements to feature here. Might one of these be perfect for your non-British baby?
By Arika Okrent
Looking for a unique name with some historical cachet? The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources is the place to go. It is a hefty work of scholarship that “aims to contain all given (fore, Christian) names recorded in European sources written between 500 and 1600, less the names of historical/non-contemporary people and names occurring only in fictional literature or poetry.”
The dictionary so far has over 1000 names, documented with citations and etymologies. They are constantly adding to the collection, planned in two phases, first looking at Western Europe and Hungary and then Eastern Europe. They also maintain an active blog with interesting facts about medieval naming practices and a “Mystery Monday” feature, covering documented names that have uncertain etymologies.
Here are 17 medieval names that would make great hipster baby names today.
By Abby Sandel
Looking for the middle ground between cool, edgy boy names like Axl, Legend, and Bodhi, and quiet traditionals like Michael, Joseph, and David? You’re in luck! There’s a crop of boy names that are bona fide classics, with history galore. And yet, they still feel stylish, even fresh, in 2016.
The reigning king of stylish classics for boys has to be Sam. Keri Russell recently shared that she and Matthew Rhys welcomed son Sam in May. Russell is also mom to River and Willa with ex-husband Shane Deary. A few days later, The Bachelor alums Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici Lowe announced the arrival of their first son, Samuel Thomas.
By Lauren Der
Olivia has been the second most popular girls’ name in the US for the two years running, and Golden Age Hollywood star Olivia de Havilland was one of the first people to bring it to prominence here decades ago. The last surviving star of Gone With the Wind, we salute her as she celebrates her 100th birthday today.
The name Olivia has long been popular apart from the actress’s fame. De Havilland’s actress mother named her after Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Her sister, actress Joan Fontaine, began calling her Livvie as a child, a nickname that stuck throughout her life. Despite the star’s popularity, her name didn’t spike through the height of her fame in the 30s and 40s, reaching the Top 10 only in 2001.
Here, a look at the names of the characters Olivia De Havilland played. Are any of them as appealing as Olivia itself?
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Marilyn Monroe was unquestionably the sex symbol of midcentury America. And even though everyone knew she was born Norma Jean, she became big enough to be known simply as Marilyn. (Though Marilyn hasn’t caught on like other Old Hollywood stars, there has been something of a revival of Monroe, in tribute to her.) It’s interesting to take a look at the names of the characters she inhabited in her relatively short career (barely 15 years), to see which ones played on her sensual image, and which worked against it.