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Your Hero Name!

kennedy

Kennedy, Monroe, Landry, Truth — hero names are becoming increasingly popular, with parents naming their babies after their favorite heroes and heroines from history, Hollywood, sports, and beyond.

Surname names from Palin to Picasso are popular, but so are first names: think of Ava (Gardner), Amelia (Earhart), and Ashton (who else?).

Hero and heroine namesakes may be fictional rather than real: Atticus or Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, for example, or Jo from Little Women.

Then again, your hero or heroine may be from your own family and circle of friends and acquaintances: a favorite teacher, an acquaintance you’ve always admired.

Celebrities have recently been incorporating hero names into their choices for their children: Mariah Carey‘s daughter is named Monroe after Marilyn, for instance, while Jennifer Jason Leigh and Noah Baumbach named their son Rohmer, for French director Eric.  Several politicians in recent years have named their children Kennedy, for example, a conscious choice to identify with that powerful political family and legacy.

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Heroine Names: A Memorial Day salute

warheroines7

When Memorial Day—then called Decoration Day—was first observed on May 30, 1868 to honor and decorate the graves of the Civil War dead, much of the impetus for it came from women—particularly in the South.  It was a woman poet who conceived the idea of wearing poppies on Memorial Day to honor those who died serving the nation during war. 

Over the years, though, the emphasis has been on the brave G.I. Joes who sacrificed their lives.  But we’re here to say that there were many equally courageous women who played their parts in and out of the military—as soldiers (sometimes disguised as men—we have to assume they didn’t have to pass a physical), battlefield nurses, scouts and guides, spies (many), messengers and couriers.

Here are the heroine names  (including a few unusual ones) of some of the outstanding women who served from the Revolutionary War to World War II—worthy namesakes all.

Amabel Scharff Roberts—World War I

Anne Hennis Trotter Bailey –Revolutionary War—sometimes known as “Mad Anne” for her recklessness

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andy-warhol-marilyn-monroe-1967-hot-pink

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:

BardotDavid Boreanaz put French screen siren Brigitte’s last name on the map when he chose it for his daughter.

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.

Edison – As a Thomas Edison fan, I’m delighted to find this surname gaining favor among parents appreciative of one of our greatest geniuses.

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Nameberry Picks: 12 Best Old Lady Names

leonorac

Old lady names are wonderful because they’re both classic and quirky, timeless yet intriguing. And they tend to have admirable antecedents, whether they’re famous women, literary heroines, or even beloved members of your own family.

Here, our favorite 12 old lady names right now.

Ada

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Ada is an old lady name that's simple enough to appeal to the modernist, who may also be inspired by namesake Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron and the first female "computer programmer." Ada was also the name of a heroine of novelist Vladimir Nabokov and the wife and muse of artist Alex Katz; this is one of Katz's many paintings of her.

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Werewolf Names

werewolf

Nameberry intern Danielle Miksza, who wrote for nameberry last Halloween on vampire names, turns her attention now to names inspired by the new popular monster in town — werewolf names.

Last year the world was falling into the icy clutches of the vampires. The Salvatore brothers of L.J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries were fighting over the beautiful Elena Gilbert, lethally handsome Edward Cullen once again rescued his mortal love, Bella Swann from a gruesome death in the new Twilight movie, Eclipse, and a vampire child by the name of Abby has been terrifying audiences in Matt Reeve’s new film Let Me In.

Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to escape the bite of immortality, but fear not fellow name lovers! There is hope for us mortals yet, a hope that comes in a very furry form.

This Halloween goes to the wolves. The vampire reign is in danger of coming to a close as the popularity of werewolves quickly rises. The vampire-werewolf rivalry is one of the oldest feuds in existence, so it’s no wonder that we humans have been caught in the middle once again. At least the wolves will get the vampires off our backs for a bit. Right?

Okay. You may be thinking that werewolves are just as bad as vampires, but let’s think about this. Unlike vampires who have absolutely no escape from their condition, unless they go a day without sunscreen, werewolves only change during a full moon. So if someone you love is carrying the curse of the Lycan, it’s best to take a little vacation from them once a month. After all, we all need a little me time. Also, werewolves aren’t constantly craving your blood. They’re actually quite normal in human form (I should know because I used to date one), whereas vampires obsess over the sound of blood pumping through your veins. Hence, werewolves are the lesser of two evils.

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