Category: Nature, Place and Word Names
By Sparrow Atwater
Choosing names can be tough, whether it’s for a baby, a pet, or the main character in your next short story. But what about when you have to choose a name for yourself? Where do you even start? As a transgender person, I was faced with this very problem.
When I was born my mother had carefully bestowed upon me the most popular girl’s name of the year – of the decade, even – and seemed to be very pleased with herself for doing so. I remember as a kid hearing her say, “I don’t like it when people legally change their name. It seems insulting to the parents! They chose that name for them and they should respect their parents enough to keep it.” Since I had never liked my name and had already considered changing it when I was older, this was discouraging to hear.
It’s been 16 years since Victoria and David Beckham famously named their oldest son Brooklyn after the location where he was conceived. (TMI, Beckhams!) Many more celebs, including Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger (who named their daughter Ireland), Paris Hilton’s parents and Kourtney Kardashian (who gave Penelope the middle name Scotland), have opted to name their wee ones after places. You might not see them in the most popular names of 2015, but we predict this geography trend will keep on trucking. Not only are city, country and body-of-water names powerful and memorable, they’re unisex and make a cute homage to a place that’s special to the proud parents. So, what are the most popular geography-inspired baby names? We compiled this list from the Social Security Administration’s baby-name database, leaving out any names that are super prevalent or where the baby name obviously came before the location name (e.g. Charlotte).
A century ago, you would have gotten some strange looks if you named your daughter Brooklyn — and not just because the borough wasn’t yet a hipster enclave.
Today, babies with place names are everywhere. While Brooklyn is arguably the No. 1 geographic name, you’ll find plenty of kids named Austin, Savannah, Hudson and London roaming America‘s playgrounds. (And a few named America too.)
Maia / Maya – The month of May was named after Maia, a Greek and Roman goddess of spring; Maia is a Greek name meaning mother. The Roman’s considered Maia to be an incarnation of Mother Earth. Maia and Maya have the same sound, but differ in popularity and meaning. Maia was #639 in 2013 and Maya, a Hebrew name meaning water, was #72. Both Maia and Maya are great names for a baby born in May.
There was once a time back in Ancient Rome when it was common to have several children. So many that parents sometimes numbered them via their names. If you couldn’t imagine naming your children one, two, three, four, five… you’re not alone.
Fortunately, there are Latin options that sound much cooler than that if you happen to find the idea of numbering your offspring to be appealing. There are also some updated, modernized versions of these old Latin names that are faring better than their ancient counterparts.
Many ancient names are being used again today with a renewed sense of style, such as Atticus, Maximus, Cyrus, Augustus, etc. But does this interest extend to these numerical names? Do they stand any chance for revival? Let’s take a look at some of the possible choices per number.