Category: Family Names
By Alicia Chon
I recently watched a documentary titled The Grace Lee Project, where a Korean-American filmmaker named Grace Lee from Missouri investigated why people assume that most Grace Lees are ‘reserved, dutiful, piano-playing overachievers.’ The film explored the importance of a name and the stereotypes that are correspondingly cast as a result.
Once again, Whitepages, that huge storehouse of the names of people residing in the U.S., continues its practice of putting together interesting—and often humorous– statistical reports on the popularity of names, particularly focused on holidays.
And Christmas is no exception. This current list is of the twelve most festive first and last names in the country, released just in time for the holiday season. Carol (first name) and Bell (last name) were at the top, with 1,148,024 and 385,651 people sharing the names, respectively.
Let’s say right up front that we don’t advise naming your daughter Davette to honor Grandpa Dave, or any of the other similarly awkward cross-gender namesake names.
So how do you, did you, can you best choose a name for your baby that honors a relative or friend or hero of the opposite gender?
Some parents simply use the name, as Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard did when they named their daughter Lincoln or several celebrities recently have in giving their daughters the middle name James. But this cross-gender appropriation happens most often when giving male names to girls, which may be inherently sexist — though even the most feminist parent may stop short of naming a son Mary or Patricia, even in the middle place.
So what do you do then, use the name Patrick? Or choose a name that’s more conventionally gender-identified that starts with the same first letter? Or maybe appropriate Grandma Mary‘s maiden name as a first?
There are all kinds of ways of approaches and beliefs on this subject, and we’d like to hear yours.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
I don’t know about you, but I get a tremendous kick every month seeing what names—after all the discussion and debate—Berries finally have chosen for their babes. There is always such a wonderful mix of surprising choices, unique combinations, new patterns emerging.
October brought three sets of twins—one each of the girl/girl, boy/boy and girl/boy varieties:
It’s tempting to predict the future. Difficult, too.
Twenty years later, it’s all come true!
But it’s also become increasingly difficult to imagine what’s next for names, and the most recent high profile birth announcements illustrate why.
In our anything-goes age, possibilities abound. From Arabella to Zhang, the names parents are choosing make for an eclectic bunch.
And yet there are definite trends to spot and celebrate in this creative and daring age.