Category: Jennifer Garner baby name
Jennifer Garner is due any second. Do you find yourself scanning the headlines, eagerly awaiting a baby name announcement, pondering possible sibling names for Violet and Seraphina? I’ll admit that I’m on high alert, a little jittery when I can’t keep an eyeball on Twitter. Celebrity baby names are like Christmas morning, only we get to unwrap the surprise dozens of times a year.
Pregnancy rumors, on the other hand, feel more like the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. Kate Middleton, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore – it is always a little bit of a let-down when the rumor isn’t true, and I feel like I shouldn’t have wasted my energy scanning speculation on gossip sites.
This week’s summary focuses on nine names that are no longer under wraps. The newsworthiest baby names last week were:
Estelle – A princess and future queen for Sweden has arrived, the daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Daniel. The choice of a French appellation for the Swedish heir took the nation by surprise, though Victoria’s full name includes the français Désirée, a name occasionally used by royals ever since a nineteenth century king married a Marseille-born bride. Estelle isn’t a popular pick in Sweden – though that could quickly change. The new princess is the first grandchild for King Carl XVI Gustaf and his wife, which leads us to the next name.
In honor of the Academy Award nominations announced yesterday, one of our favorite bloggers, Abby Sandel, creator of the always informative and witty appellationmountain.net, continues the tradition she started last year with boys’ red carpet names, and has again searched through the annals of Oscar history to come up with some great lists of award-worthy female winners’ and characters’ names.
Ava, Audrey, Natalie, Grace, Olivia. Is it my daughter’s kindergarten class roster, or a round-up of Hollywood screen legends? With so many parents turning to Tinsel Town for inspiration, no wonder I’m confused.
Despite the popularity of borrowing a name from the big screen, plenty of appealing choices remain underused. Here’s a short list culled from Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees and winners, and the characters they played, from the 1920s through today.
Some of these are easy to imagine on a girl born today, while others might not be quite ready for a comeback. All of them offer at least one glamorous namesake.
Our other nominees for Best Celebrity Baby Girl Name:
HELENA GRACE – The classic Helena is a name just emerging from the attic, chosen by Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford. Its originality makes up for the lovely yet somewhat standard-issue Grace in the middle place.
For boys, our nominees for Best Name are:
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s choice of the name Seraphina for their second daughter has put the spotlight on ultra-feminine names. Lots of syllables, ending in a vowel: Those are the classic earmarks of the girly baby names.
When I had my first — and as it turned out, my only — daughter, I was afraid of girly-girl names. I wanted my child to be the kind of girl who could compete with boys in the classroom and on the playing field, who was adventurous and spirited, not bound by any outmoded female conventions.
But something surprising happened over the years. I came to not only like the girly names, but to love them. To not merely accept them, but embrace them. Maybe what changed was not entirely within me but in society at large: Why couldn’t a girl combine the frankly feminine with the formerly masculine and end up with an identity and an image that transcended any old gender stereotypes?
In fact, I began to think it was almost revolutionary to choose a girly-girl name but raise your daughter to be whoever she wants: To wear tutus and play lacrosse, to be great in math and grow her hair to her waist. To defy the stereotypes that led to one study showing that girls who’d been given girly baby names did worse at math and science, mainly because teachers expected them to do worse.
I also came to see that the trappings of conventional little girlhood that made me so nervous — the pink and purple ruffle-y dresses, the glittery shoes and the Cinderella DVDs and the passion for Barbie — came and went as quickly as any other stage of early childhood. Whereas a gorgeous feminine name was an attribute that would last forever.
Several girly baby names have been moving up the popularity list, with Olivia, Sophia, and Isabella heading for the top of the charts. Plus, more of my ultra-feminine favorites:
And by the way, a big shout-out to Beth Delany of Inverness, Illinois, the winner of the nameberry Jennifer Garner baby name contest! Though no one guessed Seraphina Rose, 16-year-old Beth, a name lover who already has all her children’s names picked out, guessed Susanna Rose. Although Carlie guessed the middle names Rose and Elizabeth first, our email to her bounced back — so if you’re out there, Carlie, let us know and we’ll send you a book too! Beth‘s prize is an advanced signed copy of our upcoming book, Cool Irish Names for Babies, due out in March.
Seraphina‘s name, which means fiery or ardent in Hebrew, comes from the Seraphim, the high order of six-winged angels. Spelled Serafina in Spanish and Italian, this elaborately feminine name is in step with the Isabellas and Gabriellas so popular today, yet is far more distinctive.
Jen and Ben have proven their baby naming know-how with this gorgeous choice, a great match for Violet, and it’s sure to rise up the popularity list along with that of her big sister. Much more unusual than Violet, Seraphina hasn’t ever appeared in the Top 1000 of the Social Security list in the past century.
Rose is the middle name du jour, a flower name match for Violet. And, like many young Americans following the British tradition, the couple has chosen two middle names (although some people have already expressed the objection that it wasn’t fair for this baby to get one more than her big sister).
Seraphina hasn’t appeared much in popular culture references, though a couple of its variations have. With the Latin Serafina spelling, it was the name of the passionate heroine of Tennessee Williams The Rose Tattoo, and just last year it was a character played by Eva Green in The Golden Compass. It’s also reminiscent of Sarafina, the South African hit musical that played on Broadway in the 90s.
What do we think of Seraphina? Let’s just say that we picked it as one of the Authors’ Favorites recommendations in The Baby Name Bible.