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Category: baby name Atticus

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

At the risk of repeating myself, May was once again a fantastic month for babyberry naming, with yet another wide variety of creative choices. The girls included a poetic Poet and vintage revivals Elsie and Hetty, a boyish Wylie, novel nickname Livvy, and floral middles Blossom and Bluebell. Among the many cool sibsets are Magnolia and Moon; and Ivan, Vivienne and Evelyn (love those v’s!).  And so nice to see the prevalence of family homages.

There was one set of twins this month, the beautifully named boy-girl pair Casper William Carnegie and Ramona Elizabeth Islay, each with one particularly meaningful middle.

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why?atticus

By Linda Rosenkrantz

It always strikes me as somewhat curious when a name that has been hidden in plain sight for decades—or longer—attached to a significant literary or real life character will suddenly pop into the zeitgeist and take off.  Sometimes the contributing factors are obvious—sharing with a more recent celebrity (looking at you, Ms Johansson) or its discovery by the parents of a starbaby.  And sometimes, it just remains a mystery.

Some prominent examples:

AtticusThe Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960, and the movie, starring Gregory Peck as principled lawyer and role-model dad Atticus Finch, was released two years later. Between then and now, the book has been a mainstay of English class curricula, working its way into the collective consciousness of future baby namers, while Atticus Finch was voted the greatest hero of American film by the AFI.

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rockwell

Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Neil Gaiman recently lectured on the future of reading and libraries and all manner of literary and imaginative things.

He didn’t utter a word specifically about names, but he’s bestowed many a memorable choice on his characters, from Coraline to Thessaly to Yvaine, Silas to Vandemar.

Gaiman did say this: “We must not attempt to freeze language, or to pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered, but we should use it as a living thing, that flows, that borrows words, that allows meaning and pronunciations to change with time.”

If language is a living thing, doesn’t the same hold true for names?

Some words endure with minimal alteration, and some names do, too.  But for every Elizabeth, there’s a Samantha – a name that feels rich with history, but is actually almost unknown until the nineteenth century.  Or Brooke, a name that feels established and sophisticated, but would have been out of place a hundred years ago.

Names should evolve, and they quietly do when we’re not noticing.  Take Beatrix.  Once a rare spelling variant, she’s now at her most popular ever – and gaining on Beatrice.

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Your Favorite Literary Names for Boys

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Last week we asked you to nominate your favorite literary names for girls and were flooded with wonderful ideas, from the expected Matilda and Eloise to intriguing names such as Remedios (from 100 Years of Solitude) to Adah (of The Poisonwood Bible).

And now it’s the boys’ turn. What are your favorite boys’ names from books?

Obvious favorites include Huck Finn and Fitzwilliam Darcy, Harry Potter and Edward Cullen, Atticus Finch and Holden Caulfield . Here’s our full list of literary names for boys for more inspiration.

What great names, and great literary heroes, can you add to the list?

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classboyblog

Classic names are just as hot for boys as they are for girls right now—but there’s a difference. Most of the vintage boys’ names that are rising in popularity aren’t the  traditional classics like William and James, which have never been subject to the whims of fashion, or fusty Victorian vestiges like Clarence or Elmer, but are mainly names that date from further back in time.
The classic boys’ names that are hottest–and coolest–at this moment are either a) offbeat biblical choices rarely heard in modern times, or b) true classics dating from the Roman era.  Those listed below—some of which might surprise you—all feature on the official list of fastest-rising boys’ names in the past year.

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