Category: Classic Baby Names

posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author

By Clare Bristow

Halloween is behind us, but now that the days are getting darker and the nights longer, you might still feel in the mood for some ghostly, gothic names. There are plenty to be found in the poems and stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe is best known for his macabre writing, although he also wrote science fiction, detective stories, and many literary essays. A favorite topic of his is some unfortunate man mourning the loss of a beautiful woman – who often returns to haunt him.

You might know The Raven, where the narrator is visited by a sinister bird who is apparently the departed spirit of his fiancé Lenore. (If you can think of that poem without thinking of The Simpsons’ version, you’re doing better than me.)

The Raven just wouldn’t be the same (or rhyme) if it was the spirit of Mary or Joan tapping at the chamber door. A romantic, dramatic name like Lenore perfectly fits the poem’s atmosphere.

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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?

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Classic Girl Names: Mary-not-Mary

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 nameBy Abby Sandel

Here are some of our favorite Mary-not-Marys.

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Nick Berry Juice profile image

Nickname Names: Johnny be gone

posted by: Nick View all posts by this author

By Nick Turner

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.

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E. Wittig Berry Juice profile image

What to Name Your Libra Baby

posted by: E. Wittig View all posts by this author

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.

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