Category: Academy Award names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
This year’s field of Academy Award nominees includes some really interesting names—but why should we limit ourselves just to the performers, when some of their characters’ names are just as noteworthy? Here are Nameberry’s picks of the 2016 Oscar pack, with a mix of actors and roles.
Last week we explored boys’ names drawn from the nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards. This week we turn our attention to the girls’ list. No one will be surprised to discover that it is just a little bit longer.
Here are my picks for the most shimmering girls’ names from this year’s list of nominees:
—Arianna is in the US Top 100, but I’ve always thought the mythological Ariadne had more style. Now that she’s associated with Ellen Page’s maze-making character from “Inception,” will we hear more of her?
–Speaking of names that could fit, “Winter’s Bone” is the story of seventeen year old Ree Dolly, an Ozark mountain girl who risks all for her family. I hear Ree and think of current middle name favorites Rose and Rae.
–She’s not exactly a role model, but legendary thronewrecker Wallis Warfield Simpson, born Bessie, does have a great name. Will “The King’s Speech” help more parents discover Wallis? Anthony LaPaglia gave the name to a daughter. Wallis splits the difference between old-fashioned picks like Alice or Frances and modern surname choices like Madison or Taylor.
Did you catch Nicole Kidman’s explanation of her daughter’s name? Sunday’s little sister isn’t Faith, she’s Faith Margaret, “that Southern double name.” Double names can be tough to pull off, but I imagine that Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman might just make it work.
Speaking of names that could work, Nancy Friedman recently wrote about Naya. Nancy’s expertise is brand names, and she points out that Naya and Naia are now being worn by brands of gelato, skincare products, shoes, and wine, as well as Glee’s Naya Rivera. With several attractive meanings, and a very current sound, Naya seems sure to catch on.
In case you’re visiting nameberry just weeks before your due date, I’ll end by directing you to John Cave Osborne’s oh-so-true essay at Babble: “Coming Up With Baby Names Would Be Easier if My Wife Weren’t Pregnant.”
We’ve always loved the O names and have taken an ever-expanding view of the category since publishing our first name book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, in which we (shockingly, at the time) declared names that end in O such as Theo and Milo to be “So Far Out They’re In.”
Bardo is also a Buddhist concept meaning “intermediate state” – significant, many say, because of Bullock’s marital woes and decision to divorce, announced at the same time as her baby’s adoption.
Wikipedia lists the Six Bardos for those who want more illumination on Bardo, as well as other people and places that have a relationship to the name. In a more earthly realm, David Boreanz named his infant daughter Bardot, as in the surname of French star Brigitte.
Other obscure O names with celebrity connections (how’s that for a nameberry-only subgroup?) include:
Continuing her exploration of motion picture award names, one of our favorite guest bloggers, Abby Sandel, creator of the popular site Appellation Mountain , looks beyond Hollywood to find some interesting names associated with winners at Cannes, Berlin and Britain award ceremonies.
Marquee-worthy baby names are all the rage, with choices ranging from the Top Ten Ava to surnames like Harlow. Searching past Academy Award winners can provide inspiration for baby names, from the glamorous to the unusual.
But what about all those other Award shows? Oscar may be king in the US, but elsewhere, actors and directors compete for Goyas, Bears, BAFTAs, Ariels and, of course, the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes.
The following names are culled from award winners from across the globe, but proceed with caution. Just like not every Oscar-winning character makes for a worthy name sake, that remains true for this list.
CALYPSO: Neither an actress nor a character, the Calypso was the name of the ship used by Jacques Cousteau in the celebrated 1956 The Silent World, a documentary and early work by famed director Louis Malle.
CANDELARIA: The first Mexican film to achieve widespread international acclaim, Maria Candelaria starred Dolores del Río, the first Latin American actress to make it big in Hollywood. The movie was released in 1943, but wasn’t screened at Cannes until post-World War II.
GERTRUDE: 1946’s La Symphonie Pastorale is a French film based on a novel. Gertrude is a blind orphan adopted by a pastor. Both her foster father and stepbrother fall for her. Drama follows. The luminous Michèle Morgan starred as Gertrude – and would later lose out on the starring role in Casablanca.
KESA: Japan’s first post-war international hit was 1953’s Gate of Hell. The story of a samurai and Lady Kesa, the woman he rescues propelled Machiko Ky? to stardom. She went on to work with Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi.
LUCIENNE: Not an actor at all, but the jeweler who designed the original Palme d’Or award for the Cannes Film Festival.
MAGALI: Turkish-French actress Magali Noël was best known for her work with Italian director Federico Fellini, including appearing as Fanny in 1960’s legendary La dolce vita. She also scored early French rock’n’roll hits as a singer in the 1950s.
SERAFINA: Decades before Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner chose Seraphina for their second daughter, French director Marcel Camus made Black Orpheus in Brazil in 1959. A truly international production that would garner recognition at Cannes as well as an Academy Award and a BAFTA, Serafina was one of the characters.
In honor of the Academy Award nominations announced yesterday, one of our favorite bloggers, Abby Sandel, creator of the always informative and witty appellationmountain.net, continues the tradition she started last year with boys’ red carpet names, and has again searched through the annals of Oscar history to come up with some great lists of award-worthy female winners’ and characters’ names.
Ava, Audrey, Natalie, Grace, Olivia. Is it my daughter’s kindergarten class roster, or a round-up of Hollywood screen legends? With so many parents turning to Tinsel Town for inspiration, no wonder I’m confused.
Despite the popularity of borrowing a name from the big screen, plenty of appealing choices remain underused. Here’s a short list culled from Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees and winners, and the characters they played, from the 1920s through today.
Some of these are easy to imagine on a girl born today, while others might not be quite ready for a comeback. All of them offer at least one glamorous namesake.