Category: Choosing the Right Baby Name
In 1642, Oliver Cromwell led a contingent of parliamentarians against King Charles I, defeating him in what became known as the English Civil War and giving rise to the only occasion in modern British history where the monarchy has not held power. Three and a half centuries later, he became my husband’s hero for it, my husband who is a constitutional lawyer and a committed republican (small ‘r’). In the years before the arrival of our first child, we lived in Oxford, both of us affiliated with the University there. Amidst its hallowed halls and Gothic spires, people would talk in hushed tones about their ‘periods’ of expertise. My husband’s period was the seventeenth century. Cromwell was his guy.
Unsurprisingly, Oliver was always his first choice for a boy’s name. It became mine too. We said we weren’t having children, though, so we bestowed instead the name Cromwell upon our future dog, a brown and white beagle. Things changed and we didn’t get the dog. But we did welcome a son who was, of course, called Oliver. My husband wanted it because it was traditional and historically grounded. I wanted it because it was sparky and unconventional. It is both of those things, depending on where you come from: this is what has made the Venn diagram effect of our name selection so successful. The year Oliver was born it was the fifth most popular baby name in the UK. In the US, it hadn’t even broken the top 100.
Looking for truly unusual and distinctive baby names? Then we have an amazing collection for you: thousands of names never in the US Top 1000 collected in the very first Nameberry book, The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names. Here is a sampling of a dozen of those wonderful names; for thousands more, download your copy of the book today!
It was an intriguing question posed over on the forums: What would your children be named, if your partner had complete control?
In my case, my husband would have chosen names from his family tree….very very sleepy names.
I’m always amused to see the different timetables that our forum visitors put on choosing baby names.
Help! Only four weeks to go and no name!!, one expectant parent will panic.
Others only feel urgency around baby names when the labor pains kick in, while some berries have their baby names complete with middles lined up years before they’re expecting, and still others are vacillating about the name months or years after their child’s birth.
In her second blog for Nameberry, celebrity mom and name lover Natalie Hanson, who has five children with musician husband Taylor, reveals how and why they chose the adventurous Wilhelmina for their second daughter’s name.
Hello Berries! Last time I wrote to you, I shared that I was expecting a little girl and that we were searching for her perfect name. Our daughter arrived in October, and we named her Wilhelmina. Wilhelmina is a form of William, which means “resolute protection”. Right now I am so in love with this strong and beautiful name, and even more in love with the girl who bears it!
The story of Wilhelmina’s name starts in October 2010, two years before her arrival, when I came across the name Wilhelmina on a Nameberry list! My first impression of the name was how strong it sounded. It was like the “Isabella” you wouldn’t want to mess with.
I decided to pass the name along to my sister-in-law, Jessica, who is a fan of strong, Germanic-warrior sounding names. Jessie appreciated the suggestion and told me it reminded her of Willa Cather, the author of Oh, Pioneers!, a book she had read a few years before. Her choice of books did not surprise me, as I have always thought of Jessie as a sort of “pioneer woman”. She is one of the strongest, hardest working, most loyal women you could ever know.