Category: Baby names of the week
I’m always hoping celebrities will surprise and delight us with the cool names they choose. (January Jones, I’m looking at you!) A kid who is going to grow up in Hollywood can rock a name like Ptolemy or Apple more easily than one who has to navigate a typical suburban playground. Plus, somehow I doubt being named Suri is the strangest thing about growing up with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes as your parents.
My preferences aside, it was refreshing to hear veteran rocker Paul Stanley – father of the normally-named Evan, Colin, Sarah, and new arrival Emily Grace – comment “I guess we’re not cool enough for names like Peach or Astro Girl.” Pretty down to earth for a guy who made his name in sequins and platform boots.
Nonetheless, Emily did not make my list the week she was born – and she still doesn’t. There’s a huge category of names that are more intriguing than Emily, but not as tough to wear as Astro Girl. (January, don’t rule out Peach. She has potential, especially in the middle spot.)
There has been plenty of baby name news this past week, and here are nine of my favorite names from the headlines:
Clover – The fourth child of actor Neal McDonough and wife Ruvé Robertson wears this lucky nature name. Clover Elizabeth joins sisters London Jane and Catherine Maggie, and big brother Morgan Patrick. Clover combines the fashionable –er ending of Piper and Harper with the botanical appeal of Lily and Violet. She sounds something like the chart-topping Chloe, and makes for an Irish heritage choice more exciting than Erin.
Ezra – Children’s classic A Snowy Day celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2012, prompting a recent piece in the New York Times about the author – Ezra Jack Keats. Jack is epidemic, and Keats could catch on, but I have my eye on Ezra. Since Joshua and Noah have proved that boys’ names can end in a, too, I can imagine tons of parents discovering Ezra.
Haven – It sounds like a conundrum for the Nameberry forums: my husband is named Cash and we called our first daughter Honor. What can we possibly name her little sister? Jessica Alba managed to solve the puzzle on her own, announcing the birth of second daughter Haven Garner last week. I’m a big fan of the letter H, and the girls’ names share a modern virtue name vibe that fits with choices like Journey and Harmony.
Hopestill – Did you catch Leslie Owen’s Nameberry guest post on family names last Friday? There’s Consider and Mahala and Dwell, but I was most captivated by Hopestill and Truelove. Word names are huge, opening the door for daring parents to embrace phrase names. Truelove is a bit much, but Hopestill has a lovely quality that might appeal to parents seeking an optimistic choice for the middle spot.
Mabel – Someone sent me a YouTube clip of the world’s first robot with knees, which means that the robot can run – probably faster than me. The technology is fascinating, but I had to go digging for an explanation of her name. A few articles suggested that it was just Mabel, not MBL-3P0 or anything equally geektastic. Could the biggest innovators in robot technology also be closet name nerds? Then I stumbled on a reference to the Michigan Anthropomorphic Biped with Electric Legs. Still, it is nice to know that when machines take over the world they might have names as appealing as Hal.
Berries, here’s my constant dilemma: do I ask an expecting cousin/colleague/acquaintance if they’ve thought about baby names? Let’s face it, I’m going to ask eventually. Do I throw it out in the same breath as I offer my congratulations? Or do I try to play it cool, waiting for a cautious “we were thinking about Isabella …”
More often than not, I ask.
A friend recently indulged me, and rattled off their short list for a late November baby. It was the kind of list that you would expect from a pair of thoughtful, stylish first-time parents: Josephine and Penelope and Eleanor and so on.
Oh, and Brooklyn.
I raised an eyebrow.
But then I heard the story: their beloved niece, the nicely-named Sophie, had suggested it on a long car trip, reading it off an exit sign on the Long Island Expressway, offering it up as if no one had ever been named Brooklyn before. Brooklyn wasn’t their style – but the moment was memorable, enough to add the name to their list.
It was a great reminder that inspiration comes from unlikely places. Somehow I doubt my friends will end up with a baby Brooklyn, but the story almost makes me wish they would.
Speaking of unusual inspiration, here are nine names that caught my eye this week.
Alfie – Oliver and Olivia are the top names in the UK for the second year in a row, but here’s the choice that fascinates me: Alfie. The nickname has rocketed into the Top Ten in recent years, reaching #4. Most popular British choices aren’t very different from American favorites, and American parents often borrow from the UK, like Jack and Lily. But Alfie is nowhere in the US and seems an unlikely import. Or is he? I once might have said the same thing about Oliver, and he’s climbing rapidly in the US.
Arthur – Selma Blair’s new baby boy is Arthur Saint. Arthur is as regal as William and as cool as Archer, too. There have been hints that Arthur was on the comeback trail – Courtney Cox’s Cougar Town character joking about adopting a baby boy to call Arthur, all those rumors that Natalie & Benjamin had chosen it for their little guy. Let’s say that Arthur is officially back.