Category: Baby Name Pondering
With the release of the movie Annabelle‘this month, it seemed like a good time to look at the names of some of the spookiest real and fictional dolls. They’re a surprising mix of classic names and familiar nicknames, with some very non-scary meanings! So do their spooky namesakes make these names un-usable? You decide.
Think of Annabelle in the same way as Amity – a very pretty, feminine name that just happens to be associated with a scary story made into a horror movie. Annabelle‘ is based on the true story of a doll possessed by an evil spirit who terrorizes her owners until being locked away by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. In the movie, Annabelle is a menacing looking blonde doll, however the real Annabelle is actually a Raggedy Ann doll. Annabelle is her real name though, likely chosen because of the type of doll she is.
The origin of the name Annabelle is not clear. It’s possible she is an elaboration of the French name Amabel, meaning ‘lovable’. Or perhaps it is a combination of Anna (meaning ‘grace’) and Belle (meaning ‘beautiful’). Annabelle has been rocketing up the US charts – breaking into the top 1000 in 1995 and reaching #81 in 2013. Let’s see if the movie does anything to stall this.
In times when some parents are attracted to bold, energetic names like Dash and Blaze; or weaponry associated names like Colt and Cannon, it makes sense that others would be drawn to names with peaceful, spiritual meanings and connections.
Such names can create a great first impression – they can set others at ease, making their wearer seem friendly, relaxed and approachable. Less overt than traditional virtue names, they still hint at an attitude that the wearer can aspire to.
Recently I featured a list of “cheesy” names at Baby Name Pondering. No, not names that are bad puns – names that are derived from types of cheese. It started out as just a bit of fun, as generally food names are not very highly regarded. But I was genuinely surprised by what a nice list it made! Such variety, and many that wouldn’t necessarily scream “cheese”.
Both Adelaide and Adeline are beautiful, classic sounding names that have been gaining popularity for the past decade. Although similar, they are also distinct enough that it’s very possible they would both appear on many people’s lists. So how do you choose if you are partial to both? Sometimes it helps to look at them side by side.
Origin and Meaning
Meanings can carry aspirations for our children, or be a way to honour someone or something we love, while origins can be a way of honouring a particular heritage or your ancestry.
Adelaide – Adelaide has quite the European heritage. She’s German, originally Adalheid from the words ‘adal heid’, meaning ‘noble kind’. In Adelaide‘s original context, noble was meant to denote that someone was highborn. These days though we’re more likely to associate nobility with the virtue.
One of the posts I did last year that I really enjoyed was Unisex Baby Names: Five new entries – a list of those names special enough to simultaneously debut for both girls and boys in 2012. There were just five, and it was interesting to learn about names from cultures I am largely unfamiliar with, plus some word names, celebrity names, and spelling variations I hadn’t considered. So I wanted to do the same for the 2013 names. And the three contenders for 2013 manage to deliver on all of those aspects.
CHIKAMSO – Given to 5 girls and 8 boys in 2013
Showing how much I still have to learn about the world of names, when I first saw Chikamso I thought it might be of Asian origin. I learned however that Chikamso is a Nigerian name from the Igbo (or Ibo) people. For a parent looking for a strong Igbo name that honours God, this could be a good choice, as it means ‘God I follow’ or ‘I am following God’. Possible nicknames include Chi – which is also an Igbo name reportedly meaning ‘God’ or ‘spiritual guardian’ – or the more commonly suggested Kamso. Or dare I suggest Kamzo? Kamso itself has never charted, but seems like it would be a cool and spunky nickname for either gender.