Christmas may have its reindeer and holly, and Thanksgiving its turkeys, but no holiday has as many flowers and trees and animals associated with it as Easter, symbols that evolved from both pagan and Christian sources. From Jesus as “the Lamb of God,” to chicks and bunnies symbolizing abundant new life, to the Easter lily, there’s a wealth of baby name inspiration to be found in the flora and fauna of Easter.
If you were Anderson Cooper and you had been born in Germany, you wouldn’t be Anderson Cooper, because Germany is just one of a surprising number of countries with strict baby-naming rules and regulations. In some instances, as in Italy and Sweden, the motivation is humane—trying to spare the child embarrassment, ridicule and bullying in the increasingly wild and wooly international baby-name environment. In fact, some of these are not long-standing strictures, but relatively recent ones.
The strong, straightforward Kate (along with her variations) is the most popular nickname for the perennial classic Katherine today, often standing on its own. Some of the world’s most famous women bear the name Kate, which is popular in the US, England, and Ireland. The nickname even has Shakespearean antecedents, in The Taming of the Shrew – “You lie, in faith; for you are call’d plain Kate, And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst.” How do you get Kate from Katherine, a Greek name meaning pure? One theory is that it’s derived from Hecate, the goddess of magic. The name Kate, ranked in the U.S. Top 200, seems to work magic of its own. Take a look at some of the most famous Kates.
These baby names won’t rank among the most popular when the official statistics are announced next month; many of them won’t even make the Top 1000. But the dozen names here are choices we predict are bound for greater stardom. If you’re looking for a sleeper name likely to gain in style value, or want to avoid a choice that could get a lot more popular, keep your eye on these 12 baby names.
Hero names, names chosen in honor of personal heroes or heroines outside your own family, have been a rising class of names over recent years. They offer strong meaning for parents, powerful role models for their namesakes, plus names more distinctive than the Johns and Marys often found in the family tree. Hero names we see on the rise right now connect to luminaries of the arts, sciences, commerce, and politics both past and present. Some are surnames appropriated as firsts while others are distinctive first names. Here, 12 of the hottest hero and heroine names on the charts: