Category: Baby name news
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Since our last Quarterly Report grew to be so huge and unwieldy, with its unfortunate share of troll challenges, we’ve decided to try sectioning it into more manageable monthly reports instead. Remember that these are the names reported on the Nameberry Birth Announcement forum–not necessarily born–during the month of October, and only to Berries–not including nephews, nieces or neighbors–no matter how adorably named they might be.
This time around we’ve added some comments by the original poster and other berries that we thought you would find interesting.
Gaiman did say this: “We must not attempt to freeze language, or to pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered, but we should use it as a living thing, that flows, that borrows words, that allows meaning and pronunciations to change with time.”
If language is a living thing, doesn’t the same hold true for names?
Some words endure with minimal alteration, and some names do, too. But for every Elizabeth, there’s a Samantha – a name that feels rich with history, but is actually almost unknown until the nineteenth century. Or Brooke, a name that feels established and sophisticated, but would have been out of place a hundred years ago.
What makes a name a true classic?
Very few names have been in constant use, and those few evergreen choices differ across cultures and languages.
A definition is elusive. A classic should be universally recognized and long established. It should possess either a measure of elegance or another distinguishing characteristic. But classic isn’t a black and white line. In baby name discussions, classic sometimes translates as “a name I like.”
Are Adelaide and Charlotte as classic as Mary? How do Walter and Jeremy compare to William and James? How about names like Samantha or Brooke – seldom heard before the twentieth century, but now solidly established? How many years does it take to make a classic, bearing in mind that classic rock is sometimes as young as five decades old.
I do love a birth announcement, for so many reasons. But I’m especially interested when the birth announcement includes the name of a sibling or two.
I think that’s just perfection.
It has been another week filled with bold, even brash names for newborn boys. Girls’ names are no less daring, with inspiration coming from the worlds of opera and automobiles.
None of the boys’ choices would have been recognizable as given names two hundred or even fifty years ago. The girls’ names have more history, but they still feel fresh and surprising in 2013.
With all of these headline-grabbing given names, does it make it harder or easier to name a child of your own?