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Category: baby name Atticus

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Covering the week of January 25 to 31st, Abby Sandel–  creator of the wonderful AppellationMountain blog– unearths some treasures in the male Oscar nominee names announced this week.

The list of nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards came out last week.  Even though the only category in which I’ve actually seen all the contenders is Best Animated Feature Film, I’ve been digging through the nominees to find the most intriguing name options.

If you’re more into old Hollywood, check out the first guest post I ever wrote for Nameberry, 2009’s Red Carpet Names, Boys’ Edition. I have a soft spot for Clark.

Here are my picks for the most award-winning names from this year’s list of nominees:

  • Atticus, as in Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor’s long-time collaborator.  The duo is nominated for their work on “The Social Network.”  (Hat tip to C in DC for pointing him out!)
  • Jem, the unusual nickname for James favored by Jeremy Renner’s character in “The Town.”
  • Laser, the given name of the younger Hutcherson kid in the much-nominated “The Kids Are All Right.” (shown in illustration)
  • Aron, the slimmed-down Scandinavian variant of Aaron worn by real life mountain climber Aron RalstonJames Franco could win Best Actor for his portrayal of Ralston in “127 Hours.”
  • Bastien, from French filmmaker Bastien Dubois, nominated for “Madagascar, a Journey Diary.” Best Animated Short Film doesn’t get much press, but Dubois’ given name – a short form of Sebastian – could catch on.
  • Hendrix, from Guy Hendrix Dyas, nominated for production design on “Inception.”  If x-names  from Felix to Jaxon can catch on, why not Hendrix?  Dyas isn’t exactly a household name, but there’s Jimi Hendrix, too.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio is a household name, and his character from “Inception” – Dom  – could fit right in with Jack and Cole.
  • Lastly, there’s a pleasing pair of English appellations from “The King’s Speech.”  Geoffrey Rush played Lionel Logue, speech therapist to King George VI.  There’s also Cosmo, as in the given name of the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Lionel and Cosmo strike me as quite stylish names for small boys, even if the characters are rather serious.

While we’re talking Hollywood, Nancy of Nancy’s Baby Names spotted this quote from Nicolas Cage.  You’ll never guess what he wanted to name his son, known as Kal-El.

Other famous babies making their debuts this week include Mike and Lahika Tyson’s son Morocco Elijah and Coco Reese Lakshmi, a daughter for No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal and girlfriend Erin Lokitz.   We also learned that model Doutzen Kroes and DJ Sunnery James gave their son Phyllon a happy middle name – Joy.

Next week we’ll look at the Girls’ List of Oscar-inspired names, and find out if Best Actor nominee Javier Bardem and equally talented wife Penélope Cruz reveal the name they’ve chosen for their little star.

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Today’s Question of the Week: Is there a name from a book you read when you were younger that made enough of an impression on you that you’ve loved it ever since?

(After all, at least some of those hundreds of new babies being named Atticus must have some connection to that inspirational lawyer in To Kill a Mockingbird  and all those recent little Holdens to that cynical adolescent Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye—whether conscious or not.)

So think back—can you trace your long-standing attraction for a particular name to an impression it made on you at an impressionable age?

Anyone out there who actually has used such a name for their child?

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Boys’ Names: The Happy Ending

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Maybe contemplating the name Rufus sparked my revelation.  Or it might have hit me when I encountered an Otis.  Whatever the inspiration, I suddenly realized that my most-loved boys’ names end in the letter s.  Yep, almost all of them.

Amias?  One of my all-time underappreciated favorites.

Amadeus and MilesMusic to my ears.

Augustus, Octavius, Cassius, and Aurelius? Love, love, love, and love.

What is it about s-ending names that hold such appeal?

It’s true, I prefer their soft, sybillant ending to the harder –er ending that’s so popular right now for boys’ names.  Besides being more gentle, it feels a bit more surprising, intrinsically distinctive.

Many of my favorite classic boys’ names end in s: Thomas, James, Louis, Charles, and Nicholas.  And trendier choices of decades past, from Chris and Curtis to Dennis and Douglas to Ross and Russ to Jess and Wes, helped whet the overall appetite for s-ending names.

Some of the names that end in s are fairly fashionable today.  These include:

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When out-of the-box-named Ever Carradine, actress and member of a multi-generational Hollywood dynasty, recently gave her baby daughter the equally out-of-the-box-name Chaplin, it got me wondering—could there be an extreme baby naming gene that passes from generation to generation?

In Ever’s case it seems to be true.  Although her parent’s generation bore the classic names David, Christopher, Keith and Robert, among their offspring are:

Frank Zappa’s kids’ names are the poster children for extreme starbaby naming: Moon Unit, Dweezil (actually Ian Donald Calvin Euclid on his original birth certificate when the hospital refused to register Dweezil), Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.  Are these sibs following the tradition?  Kinda–though more cool than crazy– judging from their offspring so far:

Equally well known are the Phoenix (originally Bottom) family of nature names: River Jude, Summer Joy, Rain Joan of Arc, Liberty (originally Libertad Mariposa) and the brother first called Joaquin then Leaf and then Joaquin again.  Among their kids’ names:

The widespread progeny of the Mamas and the Papas’ John and Michelle Phillips(together and separately) include children and grandchildren:

And then there’s the Coppola clan, which includes Nicolas (nee Coppola) Cage, with their imaginative choices:

The four acting Baldwin brothers have pretty normal names, but not so some of their offspring:

Legendary Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob (Robert Nesta) Marley had a convoluted family tree, with some eleven children, including Cedella (named for Marley’s mother), David (‘Ziggy’), Rohan and Ki-Mani.  Among his interestingly-named grandchildren—although there are probably many more–are:

The fairly normally named ten-strong Wayans brood seems to have a penchant for vowel-ending names for their own kids:

The Jackson 5 + 5 configuration is almost too daunting to look at.  For one thing, the Michael Generation names are actually a lot more elaborate than they would appear.  “Jackie,” for example, was christened Sigmund Esco, Jr and “TitoToriano Adaryll, while Jermaine’s middle name is La Jaune.  The baroque  (and sometimes immodest) name gene is evident in some of their own child (and grandchild) choices:

So, creative, quirky or genetic imperative?  You be the judge.

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mockingbird

As the fiftieth anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird is being celebrated, the thought comes to mind that it sometimes can take decades for an iconic fictional character –usually one imprinted on our minds from a classic read during our formative adolescent years—to take off as a baby name.

A prime example of this is Atticus, as in Atticus Finch, that noble lawyer/father Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s novel, which appeared in print in 1960 and on screen in 1962, and yet didn’t make it onto the Social Security baby name list until 2004.  The same is true of Holden: J.D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield appeared in The Catcher in the Rye in 1951, but not on the pop charts until 1987.  Scarlett O’Hara (GWTW book 1936, movie 1939) didn’t hit the top half of the list until 2004—when it combined with the Johanssen factor.  And if we want to go back even further, it took Huckleberry well over a century to suddenly be used by a couple of celebs.

Below are some literary names from 20th century American novels and plays, a few of which, like Daisy, Owen and Ethan, have already made their comebacks, others which conceivably could, plus a few that are probably too eccentric to be condsidered.

As always there’s the caveat that not all these characters were particularly likable or noble namesakes.  Some American literary names to consider, for both boys and girls, include:

GIRLS

ALABAMAZelda Fitzgerald, Save Me the Waltz

ÁNTONIA — Willa Cather, My Ántonia

AURORALarry McMurtry, Terms of Endearment

BLANCHETennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

BONANZATom Robbins,  Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

BRETTErnest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

CLARICEThomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs

CLYTEMNESTRA (CLYTIE) — William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

DAISY– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

DENVERToni Morrison, Beloved

DOMINIQUEAyn Rand, The Fountainhead

ESMÉ – J D Salinger, “For Esmé—With Love and Squalor”

EULALIAWilliam Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

FRANCESCARobert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County

INDIAEvan S. Connell, Mrs. Bridge

ISADORAErica Jong, Fear of Flying

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