Category: Guest Bloggers
By Jeff Bogle
The first half of 2018 has been an exciting and adventurous one for new baby names, as parents everywhere are looking to their pantries, driveways and TV screens for help deciding what to call their precious newborns.
Thanks to a shady back room deal (not really), I have procured a list of widely-used 2018 baby names from the Social Security Administration.
Here are a dozen of the most popular so far, right now, in 2018!
It has been another week filled with bold, even brash names for newborn boys. Girls’ names are no less daring, with inspiration coming from the worlds of opera and automobiles.
None of the boys’ choices would have been recognizable as given names two hundred or even fifty years ago. The girls’ names have more history, but they still feel fresh and surprising in 2013.
With all of these headline-grabbing given names, does it make it harder or easier to name a child of your own?
Adult and children’s book writer (and beyond) Neil Gaiman is dear to the hearts of name lovers as the creator—or at least promoter– of the name Coraline. But beyond that, the prolific and inventive Gaiman is a highly creative character namer.
Name expert Don L. F. Nilsen, professor at Arizona State University and former co-president of The American Name Society, offers his thoughts here on names in Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, and we’ve added some names from other of his books as well .
Since I am a linguist who is especially interested in names, I paid particular attention to the names when I read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.
Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain
A few months ago, the most controversial name in all of name-dom was Blaer. Because Iceland assigns genders to names, a girl given the name Blaer was unable to use her given name, even though her mom had rafts of evidence suggesting that Blaer should really be considered gender neutral.
Now we’re all focused on Messiah.
If you missed the headlines, Messiah’s parents went to court when they couldn’t agree on a surname for their son – his or hers. The judge made that decision. Plus she went one step further, and changed his first name. Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew declared that Messiah was a title, a title that had only been earned by Jesus Christ.
Martin is mom’s surname.
The Blaer case ended happily, and I’m guessing that Ms. Martin will appeal and have her son’s birth name restored to much fanfare.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, most of us would agree that Messiah is a lot to live up to. But the little guy isn’t alone in his challenge. We’re big on big names these days.
Do you name boys and girls the same way?
We often reserve antique gems for girls – lady-like appellations like Charlotte, Amelia, Lydia, and Hattie. But this week, parents proved that retro picks work for boys, too. Several high-profile birth announcements revived grandpa-chic choices for our sons.
I’ve heard parents report that they stick to the classics for their sons, but take risks with girls’ names. Could that be changing? Are fewer parents playing it safe when naming a son?
And if we embrace bold names for girls – ones with interesting sounds and lots of presence – will we feel less pressure to borrow conventionally masculine names for our daughters?
This week’s nine most newsworthy names are:
Luna – Penelope and Javier have announced their daughter’s name. Leo’s little sister is Luna Encinas Cruz. Luna has gone from quirky Harry Potter heroine to one of the fastest-rising choices in the last decade. Originally worn by a Roman goddess of the moon, Luna is now a favorite with Hollywood stars. Uma Thurman calls her many-named daughter Luna, too.