Category: KAte Winslet
First of all, there are those that relate most directly to the holiday and its traditional symbols:
Then there are the words-of-endearment names, though some of them might be wiser to use in the middle spot, as in Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Tobey Maguire’s daughter Ruby Sweetheart and Kate Winslet’s Mia Honey:
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
January Jones, the attractive star of the hot TV show Mad Men has focused a lot of attention on her (real) name, but what’s the prognosis for the other calendar baby names?
JANUARY, named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and ends, has a real history as a name, dating back to the Chaucer‘s Canterbury Tales character in The Merchant’s Tale, a wealthy, elderly knight. Flash forward to the 1970s for a complete image transformation via the Jacqueline Susann soap-operaish novel Once is Not Enough‘s heroine, “the luscious January Wayne.” (The South Dakota-bred January Jones told Town & Country magazine that she was named for the Susann character.) Put it all together, and you have the sexiest month name, and one that has the best chance of catching on.
FEBRUARY. The shortest month of the year has the least potential as a baby name, mostly because of its awkward pronunciation. You could consider its birthstone, Amethyst, instead.
MARCH, named after Mars, the Roman god of war, is the most masculine of the group, and is beginning to be used for boys, particularly as a strong, brisk middle name. It’s also a surname name, exemplified by the beloved March family in Little Women.
APRIL, from the Latin word meaning to open, as in the opening buds of spring, has been in name-style limbo for a a couple of decades, but might be due for an early comeback. Its prominent role in Revolutionary Road, portrayed by Kate Winslet, could breathe new life into it. It also has appealing musical references via songs like I’ll Remember April and April in Paris. Singer Avril Lavigne has drawn attention to the French version.
MAY, which started as a pet form of both Mary and Margaret, was wildly popular at the turn of the 20th century, in both real life and fiction–writers like Henry James and Edith Wharton used it for their pure and innocent heroines. The Mae spelling, as in Mae West, was much saucier. Some modern parents have begun to use May as a sweet, old-fashioned middle name, but others–including actress Madeline Stowe,–have recognized its potential as a first.
JUNE was the midcentury goody-goody girl, exemplified by June Allyson in movies and quintessential TV Mom June (Leave it to Beaver) Cleaver. Some parents might prefer the livelier Juno, but June–recently picked by actor/oil heir Balthazar Getty for his daughter–has the no-nonsense solidity many parents are seeking in these difficult times. A hipster favorite middle name.
JULY, named for Juilius Caesar, has been used infrequently, and then usually as a male name–there was a character named July Anderson in Lonesome Dove. But it could conceivably be an offbeat namesake for an Aunt Julie or an Uncle Julius.
AUGUST, like the word with the accent on the second syllable, has a somewhat serious image, associated with two heavyweight playwrights–Strindberg and Wilson. It has some celebrity cred, having been chosen by Mariska Hargitay, Lena Olin and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Garth Brooks turned August into a female option when he used it for his daughter.
SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER all have limited potential, the Latin Septimus and Octavius having more history as names. On the other hand, hip writer Dave Eggers did name his daughter October….