Category: baby name Poppy
The Next Olivia
Olivia was the supreme queen of girls’ names in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in England and Wales, and was only marginally beaten by Amelia to the number 1 spot in 2011. It entered the Top 100 for the first time in the late 1980s, and has been in the Top 10 since 1999. Further down the ranks, Eliza stands at #62. Like Olivia before, Eliza has not ranked in the Top 100 for a century, but is now steadily rising.
Did you read the Jools Oliver interview from earlier this week? The model-turned-mom of four is married to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Together they’re the parents of the imaginatively named Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear Maurice. Jools declared, “I hate people’s opinions on names. Whatever you call your baby is your decision.”
I know scads of people who would agree with Jools. At least until they hear a name, like oh say, Buddy Bear. And I wonder if Jools would be so open-minded if Poppy came home with a best friend called Ermingard.
There I was thinking of England when the lovely Shannon alerted me to a baby name discussion taking place on The Pioneer Woman’s blog. Ree Drummond is known for her delectable recipes, along with vistas of her ranch somewhere smack in the middle of the US of A, but last week she decided to talk about her favorite names and thousands of comments continued the discussion.
Do you ever imagine an alternate life? Specifically, what you might have been named, or what you might have named your children if your life was just slightly different?
My husband’s taste in given names is buckets more conservative than mine. From the color of their eyes to the shape of their toes, I cannot imagine our children even a scintilla changed. And yet imagine just one twist in life’s journey, and all of a sudden they’re Dexter and Domino instead of Alex and Clio.
The given name that I so actively disliked as a child was chosen, in large part, because of a clumsy surname, poorly exported into English without harmonizing the improbable consonant clusters. What if my parents had decided to overlook the glaring limitations of a let-me-spell-it-for-you last name? Or what if my ancestors had blanded out their surname to something that accommodated any number of appellations?
Though its current associations might run more to barbecues, picnics and parades, Memorial Day conjures up a load of historic references dating back to its post-Civil War origins, as well as some more contemporary traditions.
There are several blogs-worth of noteworthy Civil War generals’ names alone—Alpheus, Americus, Cassius, Gustavus, Lafayette, Napoleon, Pleasant, Romeyn, for starters– but for now we’ve included just a few of the most intriguing, as well as some less obvious Memorial Day names associated with the holiday.
BLUE and GREY—The colors of the uniforms of the Union and Confederate soldiers fighting the Civil War (the Confederate soldiers sometimes referred to the Yankees disparagingly as ‘bluebellies’), Blue and Gray are the current coolest of the unisex color names. Blue Ivy is the much-discussed name picked by Beyoncé and Jay-Z for their daughter; actress Jenna von Oy recently named her daughter Gray.
CATHAY—Cathay Williams—aka William Cathay—was one of many women who passed as men to serve as Civil War soldiers. A former slave, she was the first African-American woman to enlist. Cathay is an evocative old term for China used by Marco Polo that could make an interesting choice—if it weren’t in danger of being constantly confused with Cathy.
This undiscovered beauty, which means ‘sparkling,’ was named for the shepherdess heroine of a pastoral epic by Virgil. A bulb-grown bloom also known as the Winter Lily or Jersey Lily, the name Amaryllis was revived in the eighteenth century. One namesake Amaryllis--cellist Amaryllis Fleming-- was both the daughter of painter Augustus John and half-sister of James Bond-creator Ian Fleming.