Category: hero baby names
I was sitting here last week, making a list of what I was thinking of as Modern Hero Names – you know, like Palin and Winslet – when the news came in about the names Mariah Carey had chosen for her newborn twins. She’d given her daughter the Old Man Name of Monroe, she said, to honor one of her heroines, Marilyn Monroe.
Bingo. I’d been hesitating a bit about whether this was a real trend, but Carey’s choice confirmed it. There’s a new generation of Modern Hero Names that are, typically, surnames and that honor heroes and heroines who may not have been considered baby-worthy before now.
Not only do the namesakes need to be surprising and cool; their names have to be too. So we’re going to disqualify choices like Armani, Chanel, Kennedy, and Lincoln that are feeling a bit too familiar these days.
Modern Hero Names we’ve heard:
Bowie – Are parents honoring rocker David Bowie or do they just like this Western-sounding name? Whichever: Three times as many baby boys received the name in 2010 as 2009 and 19 baby girls were called Bowie too.
There’s no doubt that middle names have been taking on increasing importance in the hearts and minds of baby namers. They’ve stepped up from the inconsequential connectives –especially for girls–of a generation or two ago to full co-starring roles on the birth certificate. For many, it’s a welcome opportunity to honor a family member, preserve a maiden name, or use as a solid alternative for their child to possibly choose to use later on.
But for others, it’s place to be whimsical, to salute a creative hero, to use a favorite word or nature name they wouldn’t dare to put in first place. For examples of how this works, we need only to look to the stars, those beacons of extreme–if not bizarre– baby naming. So here are some nature, namesake, word and lovey-dovey endearment middle names they have used, followed by the name of the celebrity parent who chose it and their child’s first name:
NAMESAKES–real and fictional
Two of the biggest success stories in boys’ names in recent years have been Peyton and Eli, which are of course the names of the football-playing Manning brothers. Names of sports stars often prove inspirational, and in this Super Bowl weekend it makes sense to look at football names.
As with other celebrities, being attached to a fantastic player with personal appeal is not enough to catapult a name to stardom. The name itself has to have something going for it too.
LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers is one of the best players today, for instance, but parents are hardly rushing out to honor him by using his less-than-easy name for their sons. Plus, many football greats just have regular guy names, like Larry Fitzgerald and Ben Roethlisburger, two of the stars of this weekend’s contest.
Still, football abounds with creative names you might find inspiring for your own little athlete-to-be. Here, some fascinating choices from the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, the teams playing this weekend.
DONOVAN Woods (McNabb made this appealing name famous)
And in case you’re wondering, the football above is a real birth announcement. Football fan expectant parents can order it at Lullabye Baby.