Category: boys’ baby names
Just as the billows of white smoke emanating from the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City signal the election of a new pope, so does the name he chooses for himself signal his aspirations for his papacy. Pope Francis broke precedent by picking one that had never been used before, but which has deep meaning for him and projects a strong symbolic resonance to the outside world.
The new Pope revealed that the inspiration for his chosen name was St. Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni), the venerated patron saint of animals and the environment, known for his humility. He also stated that in the cardinals’ name discussions some of the papal appellations put forth were Adrian, and Clement, while others were hoping for Leo, who had been a beacon of social justice.
Midway through compiling this week’s list, I realized just how many great boys’ names are out there.
This is a subject of some debate. Creativity in naming a son was long frowned on, and parents tended to fall back on the most familiar choices. In 1900, more than 6% of all newborns were named John, while just 5.25% answered to Mary. #2 name, William, was given to almost 5.3% of boys, but the #2 girl name, Helen, represented just under 2% of new births. The names change, but the pattern holds. In 1965, 4.3% of boys were Michael, and 3.3% of girls answered to Lisa. Generally speaking, more boys receive the most popular names.
Reasons are plentiful, and even the most daring namer of daughters may very well veer towards the classics for a son, leading to sibsets like James, Henry, and Persephone. But could this be the generation to challenge that pattern?
Happy Halloween, berries! Let’s start off with a very important piece of business. The winner of the bookplate give-away from Etsy shop My Kids Eat Off the Floor is Emily (emily.m******@*****.com). You should have already received an email with details about how to claim your prize.
Last week’s chatter about Gatsby – literary or pretentious? Just different enough or downright bizarre? – got me thinking about boys’ names in general. Conventional wisdom holds that we can be creative with our daughters’ names, but choices for sons should be a little more conservative. Whether you personally agree or not, statistics suggest that parents do hold back when considering boys’ names. Just under 67% of US-born girls receive Top 1000 names, while nearly 79% of boys do.
A comment from last week’s post mentioned Evangeline Lily’s son is named Kahekili – and since dad is Norman Kali, his full name Kahekili Kali. According to mom, Kahekili is a Hawaiian name means thunder. (Kahekili shown in illustration)
Today’s Question of the Week: What’s your style for naming a son? When it comes to boys’ names, how would you categorize what type you like best?
Traditional classic—as in James?
Ancient classic—as in Augustus?
Old Testament—as in Josiah?
Trendy–as in Hudson?
Powerboy –as in Axel?
Global – as in Enzo?
Nature– as in River?
Nickname—as in Charlie?
Grandpa—as in Arthur?
Great-Grandpa—as in Oscar?
Nouveau –as in Jaxon?
Hipster—as in Ace?
Since I happen to be married to someone who was born and raised on the island of Guernsey–yes, the Guernsey of cows and Potato Peel Pie Society fame–I’ve spent quite a bit of family time there and, out of curiosity, also check the Guernsey Press site online fairly regularly–particularly the names in the birth announcements, of course.
Even though Guernsey is closer to the French shore of the English channel than the English, and many of the familes have surnames like Le Maitre and Vaudin (my mother-in-law’s maiden name), and my husband Chris grew up with boys named Marcel and Henri, very few modern parents there are using Gallic first names for their babies, so that these birth announcements aren’t all that different from those in the English papers.
Here are some of the most recent: