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Category: baby name Harper

Trendy Baby Names: And why not?

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For her round-up of the Nameberry 9 newsiest names this week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel asks us to think about why we sometimes shy away from trendy baby names.

I’ve heard parents fret that they can’t use Harper now that the Beckhams have bestowed it on a daughter. Suggest that you might name a son Jayden and you’ll be warned that the name will be considered trendy, dated, damaging to your child’s future career. What’s worse, we scan message boards, wondering if our favorite name will be the next rising star.

But why all the worry? Generations of parents have sought out stylish names, even if they haven’t talked about them in quite those terms. My dear grandmother nearly named a daughter Loretta after Hollywood-star-turned-television-host Loretta Young.

We can trace the rise of many appellations to television, celebrities, literature, and other pop culture influences. Even so-called classics often owe their revivals to pop culture. Would Charlotte be the favorite she is today without Sex and the City? Statistics link the character with the name’s resurgence.

Let’s embrace the influences that bring great new names to our attention, even if they’re promoted by the most unlikely of sources.

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abbyarrietty

This week, Abby Sandel, of Appellation Mountain, outdoes herself in seeking and finding some truly novel names for The Nameberry Nine..

This week in baby name news, an actor named his second daughter after a tree. One movie brought an invented name to the English-speaking world by way of Japan. Another film started out in the imagination of a New Jersey-born novelist, took the audience to Paris, circa 1931, boosting a name that is popular throughout modern-day Europe. And an English pop star debuted a high-fashion handbag named in honor of a daughter named after a rather high-minded novel.

For every name that is clearly tied to a culture of origin – Maeve or Svetlana or Hiroshi – there is a growing pool that feels like fair game for parents from any background. This week’s names fit that mold, mostly because it is almost impossible to make them fit any one specific category. They’re global, eclectic, and stylish – just like the names that many of us are seeking for our children today.

Many of them are also shape-shifters. Is Sylvie a nature-name, a next-wave vintage appellation, or a nod to French heritage? How about Jed – is he a Biblical boy or a little wrangler? The answer is frequently yes, yes, and yes for these nine baby names in the news:

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12 Wonderful Women Writers’ Names

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The name of a favorite female author can make a meaningful inspiration for your daughter’s name. And you’ll notice that a surprising number of these writers –five out of twelve–went by their more distinctive middle names—so that might inspire you to put special focus on her second name if you have literary aspirations for your baby girl.

ANAÏS

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The best known bearer of this name, French-Cuban writer Anais Nin, was born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira and is most famous for her diaries, which spanned sixty years. In addition to being the name of a popular perfume, this lovely French Provencal version of Anne was used by rocker Noel Gallagher for his daughter.

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Happy 3rd Birthday to Nameberry!

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You know you’ve been around a while when you forget your birthday.  The third anniversary of Nameberry’s launch, earlier in October, came and went without any of us realizing it.  But now that we have, we want to pause and take stock of how far we’ve come with the help of all you wonderful berries over the past three years:

Number of visitors: Nearly 12 million

Number of page views: Almost 90 million

Number of countries populated by berries: All of them.  Even you, Chad!

Most-read blog: Baby Names 2011: The Hottest Trends, with nearly a million readers.

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hanames2

Have you noticed the sudden pop in popularity of girls’ names starting with the happy-go-lucky syllable ‘Ha’—some on them shamelessly stolen from the boys?  Caught in the spotlight by two recent high-profile starbabies, Harper Seven Beckham and Jessica Alba’s Haven Warren, this is among the baby name trends that seem to be spreading like wildfire both inside and outside the celebrity sphere.

So it’s ta-ta to Haley, Hayley, Hailee, Hailey and Hallie—and hello to:

Harper. Originally a Scottish family name, this is the biggest hit of all, now Number 119 on the girls’ list, after just arriving in 2004, and jumping more than fifty places in the last year.  It was inspired at least in part by America’s romance with the much-loved classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper (born Nelle) Lee, the book that has also propelled the name Atticus for boys.  Harper’s cred was then reinforced by the character of Harper Finkle on The Wizards of Waverly Place, introduced in 2007 and to a lesser extent by a more minor one in Gossip Girl. Though Harper is still used for boys, most of the many recent starbaby Harpers—from Lisa Marie Presley’s to Neil Patrick Harris’s, have been girls.  Trivia note: During fashionista Posh Beckham’s pregnancy, there were some snide rumors that her future daughter’s possible name was inspired by Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

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