Category: baby name Magnus
By Linda Rosenkrantz
There are some names that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing on the covers of People et al, attached to the babes of Tinseltown, that we assume that their popularity has instantly spread beyond the confines of Malibu and Calabasas. But it ain’t necessarily so. There are several appellations worn by more than one starbaby that have yet to hit the current Top 1000 list—though this could change with the new rankings coming next month! Some of these names did have some nineteenth or twentieth century success, others have never entered the list at all.
Alabama—Used by Drea de Matteo and Shooter Jennings and by Travis Barker for their daughters, this Southern state name—unlike neighboring Georgia and Carolina—appeared only once on the Social Security list, and that was in 1881.
Blue–Beyonce and Jay Z made quite the colorful splash when they named their daughter Blue Ivy; several years earlier Dave Evans dubbed his girl Blue Angel. Many others have picked Blue as the middle name for their kids–both girls and boys–including Maria Bello, Soleil Moon Frye and Veronica Webb, but the name has not yet entered the popularity list.
It’s easy to look up the meaning of a name.
It is much tougher to nail down associations. The name Cecilia means blind, but my first thought is the Simon & Garfunkel song. Caleb means dog, but all of the Calebs I’ve known have been cute little boys.
If meanings rarely change, associations are always shifting. We forget a book or a movie, or a song falls out of fashion. Bridget was once a generic term for a maid, but today it is a perfectly acceptable name for a daughter.
This week’s nine most newsworthy baby names all have strong positive associations, though none of them are in the US Top Ten – yet.
I know it has been a busy week in baby name news when my friend C makes a point of seeking me out. “So what are they going to name the baby?” she asked, knowing that she didn’t have to add that “they” are William and Kate and the baby in question will be hounded by more paparazzi than a Jolie-Pitt kid.
Then again, bookies couldn’t take bets on the name of a new Jolie-Pitt arrival. Where would a gambler begin? We know the royal couple is up against some definite limits in choosing their child’s name, creating a perfect opportunity for the placing of bets, a scenario that couldn’t exist in Hollywood.
What separates name nerds from others might be this: I am filled with curiosity whenever I meet an expectant parent. “Have you thought about names?” I’ll mention, casually, trying to not make it too obvious. Aidan Donnelly Rowley’s post congratulating Kate struck a chord. It doesn’t really matter if I know you – I’m excited for that new little person you’re about to welcome, and very willing to help if you’d like to talk names.
We know that Sophia and Ava, Jacob and Mason will probably stay in the US Top Ten for another few years. But like many a name nerd, I’m fascinated by what’s next. Will there really be more babies called Viggo, Juniper, January, and Walker? We can only hope.
There won’t be many, of course. Even amongst the name obsessed, a relatively small percentage of us dare to use a truly cutting edge name. Sometimes we have a partner in naming whose tastes are more conservative. Besides, our shortlists often range from William to Wilder, and there’s quite a bit of pressure to go with the equally stylish but more common of the two.
Of course, Isabella was once dismissed as too flowery and Aiden and Jayden as too weird. Should Leo crack the Top Ten and Camden creep into the 25 most popular, many will embrace them as normal names and raise an eyebrow at whatever comes next.