Category: Meanings of Baby Names
Animal baby names are a new group in the lexicon.
Would you use an animal name for your child? Why or why not?
A visitor to our forums posed this question to the Berries: Would you give your child a name, a wonderful name that you truly love, if it had a negative meaning? How meaningful is the root meaning of a name, anyway?
The name in question was Kennedy, a name that has so much going for it: illustrious relatives, a stylish surname feel, a rhythmic sound, and growing popularity.
Some websites will try to tell you that Kennedy means “royal” or “loving” but it doesn’t. It means “misshapen head.” And that is the problem.
Or it’s the problem when, in fourth grade, the teacher decides to have the class do oral reports on their names: Where they came from, what they mean. And poor “misshapen head” is forced to announce her name’s unfortunate meaning in front of the whole class.
Sometimes the craziest name becomes instantly charming the second we learn the backstory. Meaning matters, and I’m always impressed when parents take the time to seek out names rich with personal significance.
Passing down family names is great, but this idea takes it one step further. It’s a process of thinking about what’s important to your family. Favorite places, artists, experiences that signify something about the pregnancy. Think of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt’s middle name, inspired by architect Jean Nouvel, or Zuma Rossdale, possibly a nod to a Malibu beach important to his dad.
So we’ve decided to reprise the idea with a whole raft of new pairs of twin names. As before, the idea is to choose names that are compatible yet clearly individual — no shared first initials or other overly-obvious links — yet that are joined in a more subtle way by a common meaning.
In the girl-boy pairs below, the girl’s name goes first as per Nameberry style; in single-gender pairs, the names are organized alphabetically.