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Fantasy Names From Eighties Movies

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By Brooke Cussans of Baby Name Pondering.

If you grew up in the 1980’s you probably have fond memories of some of the fantasy adventure movies from that decade. For many, these movies were an early introduction to a different style of naming. Sometimes they were a slight twist on an old familiar name, other times they seemed completely magical and fantastical. But the great thing now is that those names are an instant reminder of those beloved films. Here are 20 of the top picks:

Atreyu (The Neverending Story) – Pronounced ah-TRAY-yoo, he was the warrior boy of the story. It is thought that the name has both Indian/Hindu origins – where it means ‘warrior’ – and German origins in the name Atreju, which means ‘son of all’.  Both are quite apt for this character, who was raised by a village when his parents died. The name is still rare, but has seen some use since the early 1990’s.

Aquila (Ladyhawke) – Aquila is traditionally a male Latin name meaning ‘eagle,’ but is more often used as a girls name in America. Pronounced either ah-KEE-la or ah-KWIL-la, it was the name of the land in Ladyhawke.

Auryn (The Neverending Story) – The Auryn was the name of the amulet Atreyu wore to protect and guide him in his quest. It was also on the cover of the book Bastian was reading ‘The Neverending Story‘ from. This name could go to either gender, as it sounding similar to both girls’ name Lauren and boys’ name Oren, and has only recently started appearing on the US charts for both.

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Baby Names That Mean Light

Spring flowers

If there’s anything we crave at this time of year, it’s light: Sunlight, daylight, the light at the end of the long dark winter tunnel.Light is also an inspiring meaning for a baby name, appropriate for a midwinter baby – or one due to arrive in spring or summer.  Our favorite baby names with meanings relating to light include:

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Greek names, particularly for girls, are beginning to make more of a mark on the American baby namescape.  The Greek Sophia is our Number 1 name, and Chloe and Zoe are at 10 and 31, respectively.  Tina Fey looked back to her Greek roots for the names of her second daughter Penelope Athena and Kourtney Kardashian followed with her own little Penelope a year later.  Little Greek gods and goddesses are sliding down slides in Boston and Brooklyn playgrounds, where even extreme choices like Persephone and Andromeda are becoming accepted.

But there is a wealth of baby girl names still to be imported from this ancient culture, ranging from mythological deities’ and saints’ names to botanicals to place names.  Easy to pronounce, with many bearing a strong family resemblance to familiar English names, here are  of the best underused Greek baby names.

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Stump the Masters!


Sometimes we feel we’ve heard every name in the book…..until someone introduces us to a new one.

Actually, that happened just now, when our friend the wonderful photographer Fran Liscio, who took the picture of me and Linda on the home page, just wrote to say she’d heard an unusual name in a 1941 movie called Smiling Through — Moonyean.  Had we ever heard of the name Moonyean?, she wondered.

Nope, we told her: She’d stumped the masters.

Which made us think it might be fun to challenge YOU to stump the masters, i.e. tell me and Linda and the rest of the Nameberry community about an unusual name you’ve heard that you think we may not have come across.

All names already in the Nameberry database are off limits, naturally.  When you suggest a new name, all documentation — movie character lists, newspaper stories, non-U.S. baby name sites — are helpful.  Plus tell us as much as you know about the origin, meaning, and background of the name.

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Celebrity Baby Names from Around the World

celebrity baby names

Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel picks out the nine most noteworthy names of the week.  This time, she’s got to travel far to find them.

With new arrivals at Yahoo! HQ and in Trump Tower, I thought this week was going to be all about preppy boy names.  Yates and Bennett and company, the kind of choices that scream rep tie and polo pony.

But somehow, the rest of the world crept in and I was reminded that American celebrities aren’t the only ones welcoming new babies with lovely, intriguing appellations.  Of course, celebrity baby names that sound mainstream in Belgium or Belize might feel quite exotic in the English-speaking world, and the opposite is equally true.

Foreign language baby name blogs report that homegrown celebrities have an impact on naming trends everywhere.  While those influences are rarely felt in the US, they can capture our attention, especially should their parent strike it big in Hollywood or score an international hit single.

The nine most intriguing names this week come from all over the planet:

Spencer FrederickSpencer is a preppy choice with ties to the golden age of Hollywood – a fitting name for a little Trump.  Donald, Jr. and wife Vanessa are also parents to Kai Madison, Donald John III, called Donnie, and Tristan Milos.  I think Spencer Frederick is my favorite of the four.

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