Imagine the pressure. Not only do you have the neighbors and grandparents and colleagues saying, “Congratulations! What’s his name?” but then there’s People Magazine and US Weekly and probably your publicist, too.
Given all the talk of baby name regret that we’ve heard over the last few weeks, maybe waiting to decide isn’t such a bad idea. James Van Der Beek and wife Kimberly also welcomed a son last week, a little brother for Olivia. So far Baby Van Der Beek is also nameless – or at least, the proud parents aren’t sharing.
All babies do get names eventually, of course, and a few of the names in the news this week are the very opposite of the Sisto/Van Der Beek situation. It looks like Jessica Simpson’s choice is now public knowledge, and Jersey Shore’s Snooki has shared her shortlist for a baby boy. But if the reality star has a daughter, she could be in the same boat as Sisto – in an MTV special, she said she had no ideas for a girl’s name.
My kids’ names were picked ages before they were born, and my husband and I shared them without hesitation. But it is an enduring question. How far in advance can you decide? Do you need to meet the baby first? Even if your mind is made up, dare you share the name?
This week’s list is so interesting that you have to believe the parents put lots of thought into the names in advance:
Amelie Amaya – Have you seen the latest super cool time-lapse video birth announcement? The planning required for a shoot like this is completely beyond me, especially because this couple apparently moved in the midst of the production! The baby name revealed is intriguing. Amelie is catching on, but she’s anything but ordinary when paired with Amaya. It strikes me as an update on Big Red Dog Clifford’s best friend, Emily Elizabeth.
Mortimer – Could this possibly be the name of Audio Science’s little brother? Actress Shannyn Sossamon made headlines with her firstborn’s name. Eight years later, Mortimer – an English surname with French roots – seems to be finding a warmer response. The –mer refers to the sea, so Mortimer has a hint of nature name about him. Last October, Nameberry pegged Mortimer as part of the next wave in revival names. And why not? Arthur and Felix were fossils a few years ago.
Maxi – Speaking of surprises, rumor has it that Jessica Simpson’s daughter will be called Maxi. Maxi seems both perfectly on trend and completely unthinkable, all at once. Tori Spelling has a little Hattie and other sassy, short picks like Sadie and Ruby are all the rage. Maxi has some baggage in the US, though.
Maxwell – Remember earlier this year when Lindsay Sloane named her daughter Maxwell Lue? Jessica and fiancé Eric Johnson could be poised to do the same. Maxwell is Eric’s middle name, and a family name on dad’s side. While mom and dad are staying mum, a girl named Maxwell fits with the hints they’ve offered – nontraditional, but “nothing you’ll have to add to the dictionary.” Then again, Simpson hails from Abilene,Texas, and Southerners have a rich tradition of passing on family names without regard to gender.
Jackson – Here’s another surname in the news. Charlize Theron is a new mom to son Jackson. He’s been in the US Top 100 for more than a decade, and reached #25 last year. Is Jackson headed to the Top Ten? J has always been a popular letter for boys’ names.
Jionni – Here’s another J name in the news, but one that might not prove as influential – I hope. While Gianni feels like a stylish Italian option, a short form of Giovanni, cousins to the impeccably classic John, Jionni is a newcomer. Jersey Shore’s Snooki announced that she and fiancé Jionni LaValle are considering naming a son after dear old dad. Other possibilities include Tommy and Tony and Lorenzo. As of 2010, Jionni wasn’t even a blip, though a handful of boys did receive names like Jiovanny.
Duncan – Here’s a name I wouldn’t mind seeing on more boys. Parents might hesitate for fear of jokes about doughnuts – or possibly basketball. For Jon Paul and Crystal Dennison, the hoops reference would be perfectly appropriate. The new parents named their firstborn after San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan.
Parker – That’s not really newsworthy, though. What made headlines was the name given to Duncan’s identical twin brother – Parker, as in fellow San Antonio Spurs player Tony Parker. The two boys were photographed in their oversized, black and silver Spurs jersey while just days old. Not only are the new parents big fans, they actually met while working at the Spurs’ home arena. Should the couple wish to name future children after other players, there’s no shortage of options. The current roster offers Blair, Neil, Leonard, and Dawson.
Aoife Belle – All-girl pop group The Saturdays is a big deal in the UK. Ireland’s Una Healey is the first of the five to embrace motherhood. Her daughter’s name is the emerald green Aoife, a Gaelic name worn by a warrior princess and meaning beauty. Belle, of course, means the same thing inFrance. Despite the duplication, I find the name charming.
Heard any names with great stories this week? And tell me honestly – does the thought of a girl called Maxi seem at least a little bit cruel?