Category: baby name Florence
April showers bring May… baby names? The fifth month, along with tulips, orchids and apple blossoms, promises a number of colorful and exciting baby names, twelve to be exact, that denote its history. This month, it’s astronauts, record-breaking aviators, activists and Olympic athletes who grace the charts of notable May names. Take a look and see if maybe one might be a perfect match for any future Taurus or Gemini.
Alan—The first American to enter outer space, on May 5, 1961, was Alan Shepard, piloting the Freedom 7 spacecraft. This triumph took place during the era of booming technology that became known as the Space Race. The Irish name meaning “handsome, cheerful” is one of three popular spellings, along with Allen and Allan.
It’s been a quiet week for high profile arrivals. Sure, Michael Weatherly of NCIS fame and wife Bojana welcomed son Liam. It’s a great name – friendly, upbeat, accessible. Liam is also a solid favorite in the US, just like big sister’s name, Olivia. Last year, he was the #1 choice in at least nine states, and shows no signs of slowing down.
But name news isn’t just about celebrities. In order for parents to consider a name, they have to know that it exists. Books, television, movies, athletes, actors, song lyrics, people in the headlines – they can all add new options to an expectant parent’s shortlist.
Baby name books have always surfaced some unusual possibilities. I fell in love with Hephzibah in a paperback name encyclopedia from the 1970s, the same book my mother used to circle mainstream options like Jill and Amy. Hester came from The Scarlet Letter. And Caroline, a name I eventually used as one of my daughter’s middles? She’s from a Psychedelic Furs song, a classic I never noticed until I heard the lyrics.
Now Nameberry, and the vast community of baby name blogs and websites, is part of that process, too. This week was filled with daring, even fanciful names for girls with global influence. Some of these might seem too much for a first name, but I can hear most of them in the middle spot.
In 1880, there were five boy names that started with F in the Top 100:
In 1932, Franklin was added to the mix (probably due to President Roosevelt, who is pictured here as a baby). In 1958, Frank was the only F boy name left in the top, and it finally fell after 1988. There hasn’t been an F boy name in the Top 100 since.
The most notable names of 2012 take a colorful direction this year, with influences that range from presidents to K-pop, celebrities and the characters they play, and from the web to the weather.
Our picks for the 12 names most emblematic of 2012 – plus the dozen also-rans – are:
Malala. Runnerup: Dilma
Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani 14-year-old who was gunned down by the Taliban for championing girls’ education, wrote that her melodious name means “grief stricken.” Malala could well become an inspiration name choice for young girls in the Western World. Another female name to emerge from world politics this year is Dilma, via Brazil’s first woman president Dilma Rousseff, who was named after her mother.
The Next Olivia
Olivia was the supreme queen of girls’ names in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in England and Wales, and was only marginally beaten by Amelia to the number 1 spot in 2011. It entered the Top 100 for the first time in the late 1980s, and has been in the Top 10 since 1999. Further down the ranks, Eliza stands at #62. Like Olivia before, Eliza has not ranked in the Top 100 for a century, but is now steadily rising.