Category: baby name Brooklyn
Berries, here’s my constant dilemma: do I ask an expecting cousin/colleague/acquaintance if they’ve thought about baby names? Let’s face it, I’m going to ask eventually. Do I throw it out in the same breath as I offer my congratulations? Or do I try to play it cool, waiting for a cautious “we were thinking about Isabella …”
More often than not, I ask.
A friend recently indulged me, and rattled off their short list for a late November baby. It was the kind of list that you would expect from a pair of thoughtful, stylish first-time parents: Josephine and Penelope and Eleanor and so on.
Oh, and Brooklyn.
I raised an eyebrow.
But then I heard the story: their beloved niece, the nicely-named Sophie, had suggested it on a long car trip, reading it off an exit sign on the Long Island Expressway, offering it up as if no one had ever been named Brooklyn before. Brooklyn wasn’t their style – but the moment was memorable, enough to add the name to their list.
It was a great reminder that inspiration comes from unlikely places. Somehow I doubt my friends will end up with a baby Brooklyn, but the story almost makes me wish they would.
Speaking of unusual inspiration, here are nine names that caught my eye this week.
Alfie – Oliver and Olivia are the top names in the UK for the second year in a row, but here’s the choice that fascinates me: Alfie. The nickname has rocketed into the Top Ten in recent years, reaching #4. Most popular British choices aren’t very different from American favorites, and American parents often borrow from the UK, like Jack and Lily. But Alfie is nowhere in the US and seems an unlikely import. Or is he? I once might have said the same thing about Oliver, and he’s climbing rapidly in the US.
Arthur – Selma Blair’s new baby boy is Arthur Saint. Arthur is as regal as William and as cool as Archer, too. There have been hints that Arthur was on the comeback trail – Courtney Cox’s Cougar Town character joking about adopting a baby boy to call Arthur, all those rumors that Natalie & Benjamin had chosen it for their little guy. Let’s say that Arthur is officially back.
So Posh and Becks are expecting a new member of their team this summer. They’ve been both imaginative and trendsetting when choosing the names for their three boys: Brooklyn Joseph, Cruz David and Romeo James. Due in some part to their influence, Cruz is now Number 346, Romeo is Number 411, and Brooklyn is 37—but for girls!
Will they again use some reference to place, as they did with Brooklyn (chosen–no–not because that was where he was conceived but where Victoria was when she found out she was pregnant) and Cruz (a Spanish name chosen when Beckham was playing for Real Madrid)? Doesn’t seem too likely with them now living primarily in Beverly Hills.
One pattern they’re likely to continue is using a classic male name in the middle.
But wait–to quote a line from the musical Carousel–what if he is a she?
Any great suggestions for them for either or both sexes?
We look at the national name statistics and somehow start to assume that Isabella and Jacob are the top names all across the country. But then we look at the state stats and see that there very much still are local preferences.
For example, Carter, which is Number 50 nationally, is in second place in Nebraska and third in Iowa; Wyatt (60) is Number One in Wyoming (Wyoming/Wyatt?), Owen (50) is third in Vermont and fourth in Maine, and for girls, Brooklyn (37) has relocated to Utah, where she’s Number Three.
So our Question of the Week is a two-parter:
Are there any names near the top of the Social Security list that you never hear in your neighborhood/city/state/country? (Please identify where that might be.)
Are there names that seem absolutely epidemic where you live, but are not as popular elsewhere?
There are some celebrity kids’ names that are immediately embraced by other parents and become instant hits. Take Kingston, for example, the name chosen for personal reasons relating to the city in Jamaica by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale: it had all the ingredients to make it a success– accessibility, likeability, a strong, familiar sound with regal overtones, plus extremely high-profile parents.
Another name with similar qualities is Maddox, the first son of Angelina Jolie, which first entered the popularity lists in 2003 and has been steadily climbing ever since. A few recent names—Honor (Warren), Clementine (Hawkes), Seraphina (Affleck), and Harlow (Madden) spring to mind—were direct hits, and seem sure to spread.
On the other side of the coin are those that were just as instantly rejected as too weird for everyday consumption: the Ikhyds, Banjos, Bandits, Pumas, Pirates and Peanuts.
Some names that were greeted at first as too audacious have now become accepted.Romeo, second son of Victoria and David Beckham, had been considered too melodramatically Shakespearean until it became associated with a cute blonde crew cut and a British accent.The name of Romeo’s brother Brooklyn also produced a few guffaws when it was announced—but then other parents started to separate the two syllables into Brook and Lyn, gradually cancelling out the New-York-accented borough association and transforming it into a pretty name for a girl: now Brooklyn ranks in the Top 50 of girls’ names. That other New York borough name, Bronx, however, got an instant thumbs down.
Of course a lot of it is about exposure. The fabulous name of the kid of some C-list actress who has never once been seen in the pages of People or viewed on Access Hollywood probably isn’t gonna make it.
On the other hand, names that are paraded before the public daily, like Kelly Ripa’s Lola and Joaquin can’t help but be noticed and emulated. Teri Hatcher named her daughter Emerson in 1997, but it wasn’t until Hatcher hit it big with Desperate Housewives that the name really took off—as has her co-star Marcia Cross’s much-photographed twin’s Eden.
So which names have definitely been given a celebritized bounce? The leader of the pack is—hands down—Ava, used by no fewer than a dozen stars, most notably Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe in 1999, and which is now the fifth most popular name in America.
Some others that have been boosted by a celebrity connection are:
AVERY for girls
FINLEY for girls
HARPER for girls
There ‘s also a more recent contingent of starbaby names that seem to have the potential for becoming more widely accepted, including: