Category: baby names
By Aimee Reneau Tafreshi
I was at a 1950′s-style diner with my young daughter Addie when an older waitress asked me what the name was short for. “Adair,” I said, and was shocked when the waitress told me that her grown daughter’s name was also Adair, called “Dare.” I was impressed and also a little envious of this older mom’s ability to come up with not only an original first name but also a unique nickname that maintained the boldness of Adair. And here I was stuck with the ubiquitous Addie.
I took the task of naming my daughter seriously. Some moms comparison shopped for nursery furniture or researched car seats; I test drove baby names. Did I want a baby that was hip like Clementine, well traveled like Esmé, classy like Catherine or happy as a Lark? Or was my future daughter an athletic Billie, a fashion-forward Daphne or an artistic Margot?
Many of us at Nameberry automatically dislike names that are “too popular.”
But look more closely at the most popular names and you’ll find lots of wonderful names that deserve their widespread use. Names that have stood the test of time, that have intrinsically pleasing sounds, that are associated with heroic characters.
So let’s this once set aside our name snobbery and own up to names we love from the Top 100 most popular names.
I love the name Sophia, for instance, and would proudly give it to a daughter or wear it myself.
For boys, there are even more popular names that I love. In fact, my own two sons’ names, Joseph and Owen, are both in the Top 100. And I also adore Elijah, Caleb, Henry, Nathaniel, Isaiah, Isaac, Thomas….almost too many to mention.
Do you name boys and girls the same way?
We often reserve antique gems for girls – lady-like appellations like Charlotte, Amelia, Lydia, and Hattie. But this week, parents proved that retro picks work for boys, too. Several high-profile birth announcements revived grandpa-chic choices for our sons.
I’ve heard parents report that they stick to the classics for their sons, but take risks with girls’ names. Could that be changing? Are fewer parents playing it safe when naming a son?
And if we embrace bold names for girls – ones with interesting sounds and lots of presence – will we feel less pressure to borrow conventionally masculine names for our daughters?
This week’s nine most newsworthy names are:
Luna – Penelope and Javier have announced their daughter’s name. Leo’s little sister is Luna Encinas Cruz. Luna has gone from quirky Harry Potter heroine to one of the fastest-rising choices in the last decade. Originally worn by a Roman goddess of the moon, Luna is now a favorite with Hollywood stars. Uma Thurman calls her many-named daughter Luna, too.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Once a year, we like to stop and turn the calendar back a hundred years to see what parents were naming their babes a century ago and whether we might find some undiscovered treasures that, following the hundred-year rule, might be ready to be revived.
What was the world like in 1913? Trouble was fomenting abroad in the year preceding World War I, but in the US it was a time of new beginnings, with the election of Woodrow Wilson, the births of future Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, women marching to gain the vote– and, for better or worse, it was the year that saw the introduction of the Federal income tax, the first cigarette pack, stainless steel and the zipper.
Things were quiet at the top end of the baby name popularity list as well, headed by the expected classics for boys: John, William, James, Robert, Joseph, George, Charles, Edward, Frank and Thomas (not dissimilar to the royal baby list), while for the girls there were period favorites Mary (36,000+ of them), Helen, Dorothy, Margaret, Ruth, Mildred, Anna, Elizabeth, Frances and Marie. Of these Top 10 boys and girls, only William and Elizabeth survive on the current Top 10, with James and Joseph still in the Top 20.
We never quite thought of expectant parents having a baby naming strategy until we saw this question over in the forums.(So thanks, drhenry, for the inspiration.)
But then we realized this was an intriguing idea and that in fact, we’d had baby naming strategies of our own — different ones for different babies.
But enough about us: What’s YOUR baby naming strategy?
Spend months collecting every theoretical name possibility, researching and discussing them all, and then debating the final choice days after the baby is born?
Swapping Top Ten lists with the baby’s other parent until you winnow it down to one choice you both can live with?