Category: baby name Magnus
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.
Even if you haven’t hit the multiplex lately, you’ve probably heard that the hammer-wielding Thor is winning critical acclaim and drawing in crowds. Could the movie inspire parents to look north to Norse mythology names for baby name inspiration?
After all, we’ve borrowed from Greek and Roman mythology for generations. From classics like Diana to current favorites like Luna, there’s no shortage of appealing options. Pierce Brosnan has a son called Paris, and Chris Noth named his firstborn Orion.
Norse mythology names are not as well known, and many of them are awkward in English. (Frigg would be downright cruel, no matter how noble the figure.) Most of the list below comes from the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, two compilations dating to the thirteenth century, but including much older oral traditions.
Whether you’re a fan of the comic or looking for a name that celebrates your Scandinavian heritage, there are some interesting possibilities to be found.
Astrilde – Invented in the sixteenth century invention as a Norse equivalent of Cupid, she’s not part of the original pantheon, but appears in plenty of poems.
Atla – A minor water goddess.
Edda – Several theories explain why Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson chose to name his collection the Prose Edda. One of the most popular theories is that it comes from a Latin phrase meaning “I compose.” The Edda Awards are Reykjavik’s answer to the Oscars.