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Category: Family Names

Babies with Three Names

3 sleeping babies

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Maybe if I’d ever gotten into watching one of those shows about the Housewives from any place other than my home state of New Jersey, I’d have something better to do on a weeknight.

But no.  After a long day of working on Nameberry, what do I do for relaxation but turn to the hallowed pages of The London Telegraph, where I peruse the birth announcements in search of….more baby names.

This time, what caught my eye were all the three-named babies.  Maybe the oh-so-British three-name arrangement struck me because of the young prince George Alexander Louis, whose own three names are a departure from the usual royal four.  Was that Will and Kate‘s way of signaling that they were just like us…or at least like other young upper class British parents?

A few things we noticed about the three names of the babies noted here:

— More surnames such as Kynaston and Constable in the middle which are not mothers’ maiden names but may well be family names

— Some staid middle names such as Mary and Charles that are probably honorifics

— A few unconventional middles such as Bear and Coco

In case you’re interested in finding three great names for your own baby, you might find some inspiration in these wonderful recent British choices.

girls

Agnes Lily Jean

Arabella Elizabeth Mary

Ava Flora Kynaston

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Notable Names of Famous Fathers

dadali

Sometimes the names of the fathers who sired future super achievers turn out to be a lot more interesting than those they bestowed on their progeny. For example, Truman Capote’s dad’s name was Archulus, Humphrey Bogart’s was Belmont, Bela Lugosi’s Istvan and Marc Chagall’s Khatskel. Intriguing appellations, yes, but we’ll go here with the more wearable ones.

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Family Baby Name Traditions

familynames

Today’s Question of the Week was inspired by a comment on our Facebook page, noting that names that end with the letter A were a “family tradition” for that berry.

How interesting!  While family name traditions are more conventionally thought of as calling all the oldest child Joseph or Elizabeth or giving children names that start with the same letter, there really is no strict definition to what might constitute a naming tradition.

So we put the question to you: What are the naming traditions in your own family?

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Names Your Mom Hates

monsterinlaw

A while back we did a blog called Not Your Mother’s Baby Names, about names that fail to bridge the gender gap. That post focused on newly-minted names that the older generations may not get, but those aren’t the only kinds of names that don’t translate across the generations.  

Mom may have liked perky cheerleader names — Kerry, Missy — while you prefer serious Biblical names — Abraham and Lydia.  Time-honored choices such as August and Imogen that sound classic and handsome to you may feel hopelessly dowdy to her.

The fact is, each generation tends to reinvent baby names anew, gravitating to new choices and new tastes in names. It’s how we make our name choices our own — but by definition, that may mean that Mom (and Dad and Grandma and Aunt Sue) fails to like or understand them.

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Did Your Family Pressure You Over Names?

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It’s one of the biggest problems parents-to-be complain about on the Nameberry forums: family pressure over the choice of a name.

Grandparents want the baby to be Leonard Roger III.  Great-Aunt Matilda always wanted a little girl named Matilda.

If not promoting their own or other relatives’ names, family members might just exercise what they see as their right to voice strong, uh, opinions about names.  Ugh, you can’t name your son Felix: That’s a cat’s name!

Every time you see them, they push their choices — Kaylee!  Kenneth! — and reject yours.

Have you gotten pressure from your family over baby names?  What kind?  How did you deal with it?  How did it make you feel?

Or was your family blessedly pressure-free on the topic of names?  Or maybe you even tried to talk about names with them, and they weren’t interested?

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