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Category: artists’s names

Bardo (and other celebrity O names)

liv-tyler-milo

Sandra Bullock’s choice of Bardo as her newly-adopted son’s middle name puts the spotlight back on the O names – names that begin, end, or otherwise emphasize the letter O.

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.”

Linda wrote a blog last year on popular O names, ranging from Leo to Inigo, Alessandro to Juno and including such newly-hot not-technically-ending-in-O girls’ choices as Harlow and Margot.

But Bardo wasn’t in there – though it was included on nameberry, as a German saint’s name (he was the 11th century bishop of Mainz) and also an Aboriginal name meaning water.

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:

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gwendolyn-brooks

This year in celebration of Black History Month we turn for naming inspiration to the cultural heroines of the Harlem Renaissance.  These women—novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors and musicians– all played significant roles in the movement that flourished from the end of World War I through the mid-1930s, during which a group of writers and other artists fostered an intellectual blossoming that was instrumental in forging a new black cultural identity.

The talented women listed below, some better known than others, would all provide great namesakes and role models for any child.

A’LELIA Walker—an African-American businesswoman who was an important patron of the artists of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s.

ALICE Dunbar-Nelson — Journalist, poet, activist and prominent Harlem Renaissance figure.

ANGELINA Weld Grimké—Harlem Renaissance writer, one of the first black women to have a play performed in public.

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colette2

We looked at trailblazing women in Part One of this blog yesterday—bold and courageous achievers who would prove worthy namesakes for a daughter.  Now we turn to those with major accomplishments in the arts—a varied mix of writers, artists, and musicians of the far and fairly recent  past—many of whom seem to have appropriately creative names—whether they were born with them or not.

Again, remember that the name’s the thing here—so sorry, Mary Cassatt and Elizabeth Barrett Browning–not this time.

WRITERS

AGATHA Christie

ANAIS Nin

APHRA Behn (also seen on the trailblazer list)

AYN Rand

CARSON (born Lula) McCullers

CHARLOTTE Bronte

COLETTE (born Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette)

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