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posted by: mill1020 View all posts by this author
space baby names

By Laura Miller Brennan

Are you a physics whiz who daydreams of soaring through Earth’s atmosphere?  Did you meet your spouse at a screening of Black Sky: The Race for Space?  Have you ever parked on the shoulder of a freeway to watch a shuttle landing?  If so, your youngster may need an aerospace name.  Here are a few uplifting options that are more accessible than Moon Unit.

Girls:

Valentina Tereshkova:  She was the very first woman in orbit, floating aboard the Soviet capsule Vostok 6 in 1963.  Salma Hayek’s daughter has helped to re-launch this euphonious name, which is from the Latin Valens for “healthy, vigorous, strong.”

Camille Wardrop Alleyne:  Born in Trinidad, she worked as an aerospace engineer for the U.S. Department of Defense before rising to Assistant Program Scientist for the International Space Station (ISS) at NASA.  The elegant Camille has the added bonus of a trendy nickname—Milla.   See also: fellow NASA leader Ginger Kerrick, who has served as Flight Director of 13 ISS missions.

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roses2

With Rose beginning to wilt from overexposure as a middle name, this might be a good time to look at other roseate options—including the somewhat neglected Rose-as-a-first name itself.  Several of these names have Germanic roots that have nothing to do with the flower, but they all now project the floral scent of the rose.

RoseRose, the fragrant symbol of England and matriarch of this family, predates the other flower names that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century; it was a Top 30 name from 1880 through 1932, when more elaborate and exotic forms of the name came into the picture.  It still ranks quietly at Number 337, just about where it’s been for decades.  Appearing in vehicles ranging from Titanic to The Golden Girls to Harry Potter, to a million old songs, its image has been rejuvenated by younger recent bearers like Rose Byrne and Rose McGowan.

Rosa—The soft and lovely Rosa, an upscale British favorite, as well as a Spanish and Italian standard, was a Top 60 name in the US at the turn of the last century.  The written form of Rose in old Latin documents, Rosa has been used as a name from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Notable namesakes include French painter Rosa Bonheur and Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks; Rosa Dartle is a character in David Copperfield. The change of the final vowel gives it a lot more substance and flow than Rose.

Rosabella is a smoosh name formed in the nineteenth century to mean beautiful rose, and it could become a new member of the Bella bunch. Others are Rosalba, meaning white rose, and Rosellawhich is also the name of a colorful parrot.

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