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Oscar-Nominated Names: Time to cast your ballots

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

A couple of weeks ago we covered the Golden Globe nominee names, and now, as predicted and promised, we have a wider field to pick from with the new Oscar nominations, which include a wide range of behind-the-scenes people.  Not surprisingly, as a reflection of the gender imbalance in the industry, there are a lot more boys’ than girls’ names.

So here are some of the best names that were not included on the Golden Globes slate, with several interesting international choices in the mix.

GIRLS

Adruitha –(Adruitha Lee, Makeup and Hairstyling, Dallas Buyers Club) A completely unique name—Adruitha Lee is reputedly the only Adruitha listed in any U.S. phone book.

Celestine—(French Animated Feature title, Ernest and Celestine) In this charming French animated film, Celestine is a mouse—but one who is an artist and a dreamer. Celestine is a pretty, crystalline diminutive of Celeste, commonly heard on its native soil.

Jehane—(Jehane Noujaim—Documentary Feature, The Square) Egyptian-born Noujaim bears the feminine version of Jehan, an old French form of John, as her first.

Lydia –(Lydia Dean Pilcher, Documentary Feature, Cutie and the Boxer)Lydia is an ancient Greek place name mentioned in the New Testament and quite often found in English literature—including as the youngest Bennet girl in Pride and Prejudice. A real Sweet-Spot name; Lydia entered the Top 100 in 2011.

Rosie—(Rosie Goodwin, Production Design, Gravity) Spelled Rosie or Rosy, this is one of the cheeriest, rosiest, of nickname names and is part of the current across-the-board love for all names Rose.

Signe—(Signe Byrge Sørenson, Documentary Feature, The Act of Killing) Signe, also spelled Signy is a soignée Scandinavian name with mythological associations.

BOYS

Anders(Anders Walter, Live Action Short, Helium) As Scandinavian names edge slowly into the spotlight, consider this easily accessible option, with a familiar nickname.

Beau—(Beau Borders, Sound Mixing, Lone Survivor) Beau means handsome and is handsome, in a devilish, Southern, gallant kind of way.  Originally a nickname for Beauregard, it’s now used frequently enough on its own to rank at Number 311.

Bruno—(Bruno Delbonnel, Cinematography, Inside Llewyn Davis).  A brown-toned saint’s name often found in children’s books in the guise of a bear,  and associated now with singer Bruno (born Peter) Mars, Bruno is far more popular in Europe than it is here, but could be rediscovered as a strong, o-ending possibility.

Crispin(Crispin Struthers, Film Editing, American Hustle) A crisp, colorful saint’s name that appeared in Harry Potter, Crispin means curly-haired, and could make a distinctive namesake option for an ancestral Christopher.

Didier(Didier Brunner—Animated Feature, Ernest & Celestine) Yet another saint’s name, this one a Gallic appellation with a lot of panache.  It’s pronounced dee-DYAY.

Edson(Edson Williams, Visual Effects, The Lone Ranger) looks like a contracton of Edison, but is actually a surname name on its own, worn, for example, by US soccer player Edson Buddle.

Emmanuel—(Emmanuel Lubezk, Cinematography, Gravity) The Old Testament Emmanuel (spelled with one or two ‘m’s) had a long hiatus but is making a comeback via the search for more unusual biblical names: in 2012, Emmanuel was Number 165, Emanuel, 306.

Ernest(title of French Animated Feature, Ernest & Celestine) Ernest was a top name at the turn of the last century and into the 1920s.  It isn’t used much these days, but if you add an ‘a’, it could be thought of as an earnest virtue name.

Esteban(Esteban Crespo, Live Action Short, Aquel Ni Era Yo)  The rhythmic Spanish version of Stephen is one of several Latino names beyond José and Juan rising on the US list, now at Number 389.

Laurent(Laurent Witz—Animated Short, Mr. Hublot) Sophisticated French version of Lawrence, familiarized here via Yves Saint Laurent.

Niv—(Niv Adiri, Sound Mixing, Gravity) Niv is a Hebrew name meaning “expression, phrase” and is pronounced NEEV. It’s also an Israeli place name, named for an ancient city mentioned in the Talmud.

Omar(title of Palestine’s Foreign Feature nomination) An Arabic name that is both familiar and exotic, Omar, commonly used in Muslim families, has been in the Top 200 since 1976.

Philippe(Philippe Le Sourd, Cinematography, The Grandmaster) The elegant French form of Phillip, a historic royal name in that culture, is still Number 491 in France.

Wylie –(Wylie Statemen, Sound Editing, Nebraska) A freewheeling cowboyish name with a lot of charm, Wylie could make a cool alternative to Riley.

Xavier(Xavier Legrand, Live Action Short, Avant Que de Tout Perdre)  Thanks in part to its X-beginning (though pronounced as Z), this Basque saint’s name is having a remarkable surge in popularity. It was used for their sons by Donnie Wahlberg and Tilda Swinton.

So which name would you vote for?

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