Category: baby name books
Nearly two years ago we ran a nameberry contest asking you to guess the name of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner‘s second child; now the challenge is to come up with the name of Affleck pal Matt Damon and wife Luciana‘s fourth daughter, due to be born any minute.
Will the new baby’s name harmonize with her big sisters’ stylish Latinate names, or strike out in a new direction? Will the new baby have a surname as a middle name, as do Gia (Zavala is a common Spanish last name) and Matt himself (his is Paige), or, like Isabella, no middle name at all?
To everyone who guessed early and chose a boy’s name, before I heard the news that the baby is definitely a girl, you get another shot: I can tell who you are.
The person who guesses the new Matt Damon baby name correctly wins a full signed set of our baby name books, including The Baby Name Bible, Cool Names, Beyond Ava & Aiden and Cool Irish Names. If no one guesses the name exactly, we’ll choose the winner by whoever comes closest, in the opinion of the judges aka Pam and Linda.
A bit about the names of the Damons’ children: All three are rising in popularity and have a Latin feel, undoubtedly thanks to mom Luciana‘s Argentinean roots. Gia is a short form of such Italian names as Gianna, Giovanna, and Giada, first known in this country via 60s movie star Gia Scala, born Giovanna. Most recently, it’s gained notoriety as the oldest stage-bound daughter of Real New Jersey Housewife Teresa Giudice.
Isabella, the Spanish and Italian version of Elizabeth, is both classic and mega-trendy – it’s now the most popular name in the U.S. Alexia, a more modern offshoot of Alexandra/Alexandria, has also been steadily rising along with other members of the Alex family.
Those characteristics offer some good clues to what the couple’s fourth baby might be named. Or do they?
Post your entries here; one to a customer. Since everyone started with first names only, let’s keep going that way. Check and make sure someone hasn’t already entered your guess, as the first one to claim a name will win the prize. Different spellings counted separately, so if someone has already guessed Sofia, you can guess Sophia. (But sorry, those two are already taken.)
Adding a middle name does not mean you get to reclaim a name — so if Sophia has already been guessed, you can’t guess Sophia Rose. You also can’t guess two names — i.e. “Sophia or Sofia” — or both guesses will be disqualified, though if you’ve made any of those mistakes before I wrote this — 7:19 a.m. EST on October 12 — you get to choose ONE of your “or” names or reguess if you’ve guessed a double name already guessed by someone else. The computer logs the time you post, so who gets what first is free from human error.
Phew! I better stop now or the rules will be longer than the entries. Everyone clear?
Entries accepted until the minute before the baby’s name is announced.
Every new TV season or so we like to check out the recently launched shows, as well as those still running, for any interesting names that have emerged since the last time we looked. Most scripters continue to come up with the obvious and the formulaic, giving their characters names like Jessica and Jeff and Rick and Robin, Amy and Andy.
But there are some who do think out of the box—though usually for not more than one character per show. The list below steers clear of reality shows, so no Khloes or Kourtneys, and no cartoon characters or kiddie shows.
- Astrid – Fringe
- Calleigh – CSI Miami
- Chastity – Ten Things I Hate About You
- Chima – The Philanthropist
- Cricket – The Starter Wife
- Divya – Royal Pains
- Effy – Skins
- Elka — Hot in Cleveland
- Felix — Waking the Dead
- Fiona – Burn Notice
- Jinx – In Plain Sight
- Lavender – The Starter Wife
- Lyla – Friday Night Lights
In the mid-1980s, when we were beginning to conceptualize our first book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, the most popular names were, well, Jennifer (42,637 of them born in 1985 alone) and Jason, as well as Jessica, Michael (a whopping 64,852 of them—no wonder we run into so many 25-year-old Mikes) and Matthews, Ashleys and Amandas, Megans and Melissas.
Over the entire decade of those ancient eighties– the era of Cabbage Patch Dolls and Punky Brewster, the moonwalk and the Material Girl—the top three girls’ names were Jessica (469,000). Jennifer (440,000) and Amanda (369,000), while for the boys it was Michael (663,000— that’s over half a million, in case you hadn’t noticed), Christopher (555,000) and Matthew (458,000)—rounding them off to the nearest hundred.
In the quarter century (!) that has passed since 1985, we’ve seen some very different naming patterns emerge. At that time, there were very few vowel-starting names, except for those A-girls mentioned above, the perennial Elizabeth and the emerging Emily. Hardly a flower name in the bunch, minimal celebrity impact, Mary still in the Top 35, the boys’ list showing little signs of new life, sticking with Old and New Testament favorites and English classics. Not an aden-ending name in the Top 500—though Braden had already popped up at 583, just below Benny.
What’s particularly interesting to look at from today’s perspective is not so much the new names that were emerging or those that are still with us, but the older ones that were still hanging on in the 1985 Top 1000, and have now completely dropped off.
What are the cool baby names?
That’s the first question most people ask us when they hear we have the unlikely profession of baby name experts. We hear it so often, in fact, that we wrote a book called Cool Names for Babies.
Still, when people ask us the question, we find ourselves stuttering and stammering.
Why? Mostly because cool is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder.
Certainly, the websites that have sprung up purporting to direct you to cool baby names do nothing of the sort. They only pop up when you google cool baby names because they’re optimized for that popular search term (one of the hard facts of the rough-and-tumble baby name biz) and not because they know anything about cool….or even baby names, for that matter.
One way to identify cool baby names might be to look at what cool people are naming their babies. For the most part, this dovetails nicely with the names that nameberry visitors like best — yes, of course we’re cool! — and that are most searched for on the site. These tend to have traditional roots but an offbeat feel and include: