Category: baby name Walker
By Abby Sandel
You know you’re a name nerd when half the fun of a new Disney Pixar film is the list of production babies.
I loved every second of the studio’s newest production, Inside Out.
As the credits rolled, I waited patiently. Accounting scrolled by, then Craft Services, until – finally! – the list of 87 children born to Pixar employees during the year Inside Out was finalized and released.
We could talk about Riley, of course, the name of the main character. Between this movie and Steph Curry’s scene-stealing daughter, Riley is having quite the summer. And Amy Poehler, the voice of Joy, is a great namer herself, the mother of Archie and Abel.
But production babies are a special category of names.
The lists are just names – no genders, no sibling names, middles only when more than one child has the same first name. But the names tend to be different, even daring. Exactly what you’d expect from a creative field and especially from such a famously innovative studio.
Let’s talk about some of my favorite names from 2015’s Inside Out, and then look at the full list.
It’s as scandalous a choice in French as it would be in English, and the fellow guests are aghast.
The party goes downhill from there. Other guests are criticized for their children’s “pretentious” names: Myrtille and Apollin.
Such scathing comments are usually reserved for gossip, or maybe anonymous online forums. Can you imagine yourself in a social setting, hearing your child’s name ripped to shreds? Let’s hope the movie – and the play it is based on – are pure fiction.
Then again, even if Adolf is your beloved grandfather’s given name, I would think long and hard about giving the name to a son. It’s one of a very few names, like Lucifer, that strike me as off limits for good reason.
They’re all Americans. OK, that’s a start.
They all have great names. That’s also true.
They had inspirational lives? Also correct.
But what links this Depression-era photographer (Evans), former slave (Truth), and Southern writer (O’Connor) with people named Journey, Amble, or Voyage? Names like Strider, Skip, March, Hiker, Pacer, Saunter, Trek, Ramble, Lane, Pike, Track, Racer, Skipper, Dash, Lane, Streeter, Strada (Italian for ‘street’) also fit the bill.
Still stumped? Saunter, in French, is Flanerie. Mais oui, c’est vrai. (Translation: but yes, it’s true!)
And Saunter, we learn from Thoreau in his 1850s essay, Walking, has its etymological origins in the Middle Ages, “from idle people who roved about the country…and asked charity, under pretence of going à la Sainte Terre“—to the holy land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer”, a saunterer—a holy-lander….
Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere.” At home anywhere.
If I could choose a single identity for myself, it would be that. A saunterer, at home anywhere. And everywhere. In fact, that urge to walk the world and see it up close and from the ground is what got me started on My Big Walk, a year-long daily walking project that I’m chronicling on my new blog.