Category: baby name Jack
by Linda Rosenkrantz
A Berry recently posted a request for a blog explaining the origins of some of the common nicknames—more properly diminutives or pet forms– for classic names that seem to be miles apart. And of course we aim to please, so…..
There is a certain logic to it all, as well as some whimsy. The simplest road to a pet form is, obviously, by shortening it to its first one or two syllables, as in Di for Diana, Ben for Benjamin, Archie for Archibald and Eliza for Elizabeth. Occasionally, a middle syllable will do the job, leading to Liz for Elizabeth and Xan for Alexander. (Where this gets a little tricky is when the pronunciation of the base name has changed over the years—Richard seems to have been often pronounced Rickard at one time, resulting in the nickname Rick and his rhyming cousin Dick, with Dick then becoming so popular that the phrase “every Tom, Dick and Harry” became a euphemism for Everyman. Or a sprinkling of the letters in the name could lead, say, from Dorothy to Dot.
I’ve often said that if our second child were a boy, he would have gone nameless.
Blame it on our preferences. My husband and I planned to source family names for our children, without thinking about the imbalance. We have tons of women in our family, with a rich list of interesting names. The pool of masculine names is much smaller, and repeats, again and again, over the generations. Naming a second – or third or fourth – son would have required a willingness to reinvent some antiques and reconsider a few imports.
Is Zbigniew wearable in the US?
But let’s say that we were open to finding a great name, not one with family ties necessarily. Just a name that would serve our child well from infancy into adulthood.
Happily, there’s no shortage of those.
It’s been a great week for welcoming boys!
Eric Christian Olsen, Kate Levering, Fergie and Josh Duhamel have all brought home new sons. The parents have something in common besides making headlines. Their naming style might be called modern classic.
This category is different. These are names that would have been considered unusual – maybe even strange – just a few decades back. But today, they’re mainstream, go-to appellations.
Call them Goldilocks names. There are buttoned-down classics like James and George, and daring never-heard-before ones like Pilot and Zuma. Goldilocks choices are at neither extreme. They’re just right, falling into the wide middle: very wearable, but probably not your grandpa’s name. Sure, they might be this generation’s Larry and Jerry, Ronald and Keith. But they make for great choices in 2013.
It was a week for outrageous baby names.