Category: Classic Baby Names
By Chris Raschka
The power we wield when we name a child is terrible. And unavoidable. Oh, the sleepless nights! What will this name confer on our beloved baby? Only good things, we fervently hope. This name is exciting, but is it too exciting? This one is solid, but is it boring? “How about, Joseph?” you say. “No,” says your wife, “I knew a terrible Joseph!”
Happily, I suffered none of this angst when I named the children in the book my friend Vladimir Radunsky and I have put together called Alphabetabum. It was this way. I was in Rome visiting Vladimir there and just about to walk out for a happy afternoon of sight-seeing when Vladimir began to lay out on his work table one marvelous, small, antique photographic child’s portrait after another. He grabbed my arm, and said, “Look at these masterpieces! Every one holds the story of a precious forgotten soul inside of it! We must do something with them.”
While we look forward to all of next year’s birth announcements, here’s a piece of baby name advice gleaned from this week’s newest arrivals:
Traditional with a twist is a foolproof strategy.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
The Roman Empire reigned for more than five hundred years, led by 140 different emperors. In modern times, though, with a couple of exceptions, the names of these august figures were considered far too august and imposing for a twentieth/twenty-first century kid. But the times they are a-changin’ and lately several of these appellations have ridden into the realm of possibility.
Augustus—Augustus, Julius Caesar’s adopted son, who was born Octavian and given the name Augustus by the senate in honor of his great achievements, was the first of the Roman emperors. Augustus is a perfect example of a name that was well used in the 19th century, then deemed too fusty for decades, and now is back at Number 688 and a high 123 on Nameberry, recently modernized by the character nicknamed Gus in The Fault in Our Stars.
Now that the month of December has arrived, preparations for the holidays are in full swing. Yet many Nameberry enthusiasts are planning for a lot more than just a family get-together! Whether you’re searching for a name for your winter baby or you’re just beginning to explore a few seasonal possibilities, this list will offer you a number of appealing choices.
Camellia—The Camellia Bowl is taking place on December 20th this year, and although football is not generally associated with delicacy and femininity,that is exactly what this gem of a name exudes. Camellia is a luxurious floral moniker that is far less common than the well-worn choices of Camille and Camilla. If you’re looking for an alternative to Lily or Rose, this could be the perfect choice for you.
Elizabeth is the only girl name that has been in the Top 100 every year since 1880. It’s no wonder though, as it is a classic name with an abundance of nicknames to create some uniqueness to each special girl. But what about the girls who have the nickname on their birth certificate? They are related to the name by custom alone and may have to explain to people that their name is not actually Elizabeth. These girls have parents who simply loved the diminutive more than the full name. And the popularity of these nicknames-as-given-names is pretty grand.
I consulted with my name sums database (all given names since 1880 totaled) and picked out the names that are well known nicknames for Elizabeth. I did not include all possible spellings of each nickname, such as Elleigh or Alyzah.