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Category: historic names

preston sturges

By Hannah Tenison of Nameberry

As far as classic Hollywood cinema goes, it’s superstars like Grace Kelly (Grace is currently at Number 21) and Ava (Number 5) Gardner, and leading men like Errol Flynn (Flynn was used by celebri-couple Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr, and in the past two years has leapt from obscurity to Number 692) and Gary Cooper (Cooper’s at 83 in the U.S. and  Number 11 in Australia!) whose names have most begun to influence current naming trends–and deservedly so. Hollywood’s Golden Era was chockful of enticingly simple, yet feminine girls’ names and strong, capable boys’ monikers; it’s no wonder they’ve recently been in the spotlight.

But the age of shoulder pads and pin curls and chinchilla coats was not only about the glamorous actors and actresses.  Behind the scenes were the directors who helped make those stars into legends, and they happen to have had some very interesting names as well.  In addition to vintage standards like Alfred (Hitchcock) and Frank (Capra), there were also such contemporary sounding appellations as King and Zion! Although I would have liked to include more female names, the truth is that before such modern icons as Sofia Coppola and Nora Ephron, women directors in the American film industry were a rare breed. I did, however, manage to find a couple of talented ladies, and their names are listed here as well.

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Notable Names of Famous Fathers


Sometimes the names of the fathers who sired future super achievers turn out to be a lot more interesting than those they bestowed on their progeny. For example, Truman Capote’s dad’s name was Archulus, Humphrey Bogart’s was Belmont, Bela Lugosi’s Istvan and Marc Chagall’s Khatskel. Intriguing appellations, yes, but we’ll go here with the more wearable ones.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

Before you fire up the barbie or pack up the picnic basket, why not take a minute to think about what Memorial Day memorializes.

The holiday—originally called Decoration Day—was first commemorated on May 30, 1868, not long after the Civil War had ended, and was given that name because it was when flowers were placed on the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In the course of this brutal war  that tore the country apart, over a thousand soldiers reached the rank of general, several of whom went on to reach high offices in government, including six presidents– Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harris, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield and Chester A. Arthur.

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We’ve looked across history and geography at the men and women whose inventions have affected our lives—in both major ways (the electric light bulb, the elevator)  and minor (the coffee filter, the crossword puzzle)—and picked those with the best baby-name potential.

And here are our top Nameberry picks of historic baby names based on those of important inventors:

Alessandro Volta–Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Gerolamo Umberto Volta was an Italian physicist who invented the battery in the nineteenth century.

Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz –As you might have guessed from her second middle name, A.A. Melitta  Bentz invented the coffee filter.

Arthur Wynne—Liverpool-born journalist Arthur Wynne created the first crossword puzzle.  Originally called word-cross, it debuted in the New York World newspaper in 1913.

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Presidential Baby Names: Hail to the Chiefs


Just as other countries have their royal names, America has had a long tradition of honoring our  presidents, going back at least as far as John Quincy Adams naming one of his sons George Washington Adams.  Not to mention the presidential surnames that have become latter day fads—think Taylor and Tyler and Madison and Jackson.  Today we’re looking at the first, middle and last names of all the past Chief Executives, to arrive at our Nameberry Picks for best presidential baby names today.

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