Most of us, as kids, lived in a world colored by crayons, and for those of us fascinated by words and names, those assigned to the different hues in the big 64-crayon Crayola box were particularly evocative. I can still remember, as a little girl, being intrigued by such mysterious names as Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber.
These memories were reawakened by a communique from our inspired creative contributor Nephele, when she wrote:
“Perhaps one of the fondest childhood memories shared by many of us is that of opening up a fresh box of crayons. What a joy to the senses it was to experience that clean scent of wax and the beautiful sight of those colorful rows of pointed tips awaiting one’s creative process. Adding to the delight was the fact that one’s crayons bore wonderful individual names on their wrappers, such as “Periwinkle” and “Cadet Blue.” With such names, how could a child not help but personify her crayon friends?
‘Crayola’ was synonymous with ‘crayon’ in my childhood days, as it pretty much is today. The bonus for today’s children is that the Crayola company now includes, along with English, both French and Spanish language versions of their crayon names on the wrappers of each crayon–providing even more name choices for one’s crayon companions!”
Here is Nephele’s list of crayon names which might also make pleasing names, with a few additions by Nameberry:
ALMENDRA (Spanish, “Almond“)
A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the favorite girls’ names on a Nameberry Message Board thread–led by the lovely Beatrix, Penelope and Clementine–and now it’s time to look over at the boys’ side.
The most striking result is the strong showing for the good old traditional, timeless classics, with many votes for William, Henry, Charles, James, Edward, Joseph, George, and Thomas, and a resurgence of interest in Theodore (#2!–perhaps because of the popularity of nickname Theo), Frederick, and Peter. Does this mean that parents are still (or once again) looking at safer, more conservative choices for their sons than their daughters? Is it somehow a reflection of the cloudy economic climate?
Some smaller trends noted: a preponderance of names starting with the vowel E—Elliot (in its various spellings), Edward, Emmett, Everett, Ethan, Ezra, Elias; and the characteristic nameberry love of some quirkier choices, several not found in the Top 500 of the Social Security list–Gideon, Amos, Emmett, Dexter, Atticus, Asa, Harvey, Callum and Cullen–and some not even on the list at all–Dashiell, Archer, Malachy, Laszlo, Ambrose. It takes time for the rest of the world to catch up!
So here, as of today, are your top choices:
When Matthew McConaughey chose the name Levi for his son, he was, in a subtle way, naming the baby after himself. How so? Because in the New Testament, Matthew and Levi are two names for the same person.
There are many other such pairs of names with close connections that aren’t immediately evident, whether they be different ethnic versions of the same name, double identities for the same person, having historic or literary ties, or as sharers of linguistic elements. Being aware of this can be a useful tool for baby namers seeking not-too-obviously linked twin or sibling names or, like McConaughey, another less egoey version of your or your spouse’s name.
And of course it could also come in handy when looking for a more modern substitute namesake for a fustily-named family member. As much as you may have adored your Grandpa Roland, for example, you still might prefer the more dashing Orlando for your baby boy.
Here are a few examples, though of course there are countless other ethnic-switching possibilities out there: