It’s been another big week for noun names. They were all over Hollywood gossip blogs, and appeared in plenty of workaday birth announcements, too.
There’s no doubt that this is a rich category. Flower names make us consider trees – meet my daughter, Lily, and my son, Cedar. Weather and birds feel like inexhaustible sources of inspiration. There are the old school, Puritan-era virtue names, but also more recent innovations, rich with meaning.
Sometimes the influence is more subtle. Surname Brooks is preppier than River, but both bring to mind the great outdoors. Clementine and Olive have been used for so long we consider them names, but they’re both on the upswing today, lifted by the trend.
May, June, and August are mainstream, but I’m not so sure about January, and it is always surprising to hear September, October, or November. April is definitely a noun name, but Avril is cooler. And if Avril is an option, how about Janvier?
Where will it end?
Noun names just plain work. They’re familiar, easy to spell and pronounce, but many of them are relatively rare. If you’re hoping for a name that fits in and stands out, a noun name is a promising choice.
Noun names were all over this week’s baby name news:
North – Word is that Kim and Kanye are considering this name for their baby on the way. North Kardashian sounds like an explorer from an earlier time – and a Hollywood baby name, too. Better yet, a high profile newborn North could start a trend. Only trouble? Kanye’s last name is West. North West? I think this one is a joke.
Baron – If you’re after a pitch perfect hipster name, Earl’s your best bet. And Bill and Giuliana Rancic’s son could give Duke a boost. But Baron has always been the title name that fascinates me. He turned up in birth announcements from New Jersey this week. Only trouble? Baron plus any surname still sounds an awful lot like a title. Donald Trump’s youngest son answers to Barron – more evidence that this is a truly royal choice.
Frost – Winter, Rain, Summer, Sunny. Why not Frost? With its surname status and links to the poet Robert Frost, there’s more than one reason to consider this crisp nature name. I love it in the middle spot, as in this recently seen combination: Mason Frost.
Lyric – Ever since Jada Pinkett Smith answered to his name in 1994’s Jason’s Lyric, the musical appellation has captured our attention. Few names sound like Lyric – she stands out while fitting right in with Harmony and Aria. Or maybe with Chord and Drummer. Actor Jeremy London gave the name to a son, re-spelled Lyrik.
Haven – Jessica Alba’s older daughter answers to the virtue name Honor. Little sis wears a more modern, but equally meaningful pick. Other possibilities with a similar vibe: Harbor, Shelter or maybe Reef or Bay. Chapel comes to mind, too. Paired with a conventional first name, it makes for a stunning combination, like Cecilia Haven.
Wolf – Another daring nature name that could be a surname, he works nicely in the middle spot, like in this birth announcement for Rohan Wolf. But he’s also a potential first name, somehow less outrageous than Wolfgang, unless your last name is Mozart or Van Halen.
Ridge – While we’re talking about nature names with a tough guy vibe, how about the rugged Ridge? He’s not one I’d ever thought about, but a Pennsylvania birth announcement for Ridge Asher has me intrigued. It is sometimes a surname, as in Pennsylvania’s former governor Tom Ridge. Fans of the politician, perhaps?
Passion – This one comes from Australia via Waltzing More than Matilda. Better yet, she’s the youngest of a dozen children. Her siblings include Diammond and Indigo, Shania and Jenaya. (Let’s hope those two don’t actually rhyme.) Is Passion too much? I’ve come to appreciate choices like Divine, Glow, and Justice, and yet I think this one might go too far.
Holiday – Actor Harold Perrineau and wife Brittany have embraced noun names, but their third daughter’s appellation is the most different yet. Holiday Grace joins Wynter and Aurora at home. With ties to Breakfast at Tiffany’s – in the book, it is Holly Golightly’s full name – and an upbeat sound, Holiday is quirky cool.
Have you spotted any interesting noun names? Are there choices that you think could become more popular? Or are noun names not your style?