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Category: month names

Day Names: Which would you pick?

clock

If you had to pick a day name — for a child, for yourself, for a favorite — which would it be?

We skipped our usual seasonal names blog this summer because we had so much else going on, but we did meet a baby named August, and another named Julia.  We’ve been having fun watching the Showtime series Episodes, which features a character named Morning.  And on another of our favorite shows, Louie, there was a (not very nice) little boy named Never.

Day names are an ancient tradition in many cultures, most notably African ones where many names are often drawn from the time of day, day of the week, or season that a child is born.  Early African-American slave roles contain many Anglicizations of such names, from Monday to Friday, Early to Afternoon, Christmas to Easter.

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junewed

Any minute now, June will be busting out all over—the summer solstice month of long days, of bridal parties and Father’s Day tributes.  If you’re anticipating a June baby, why not consider one of the names that relate directly or slightly indirectly to the month of its birth?  Here are some June names to ponder.

June—Too obvious for a June baby?  Perhaps.  Until recently, June was considered the quintessential fifties goody-goody girl name, as in June Cleaver– apronned mom of Beaver– and twinkly actress June Allyson (born Ella).  But as those images have faded to sepia, June is sounding less saccharine and more modern.  Balthazar Getty used it for his daughter in 2008, and Amanda Peet realized its middle-name potential when she named her daughter Molly June.

JuniaJunia is the name of a Roman woman who was an early convert to Christianity and in all probability the only female apostle in the New Testament, praised and complimented by the apostle Paul. A common name in ancient Rome, it also belonged to the first wife of the Emperor Caligula, Junia Claudilla, but is rarely heard today.

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May Names: Mabel, Mavis & Mae

mayday

Today being the first day of the merry month of May, why not consider a name that starts with that upbeat, springlike syllable for your baby born this month?  Here are the most likely May names suspects.

MABEL –When Bruce Willis, who, with then-wife Demi Moore, was one of the original creative baby namers with older daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, recently named his baby girl Mabel Ray, he brought this vintage Victorian charmer further into the modern world orbit.  It had already been used by Chad Lowe, Nenah Cherry and Dermot Mulroney, as well as for the sitcom baby on Mad About You. Mabel—originally a short form of Amabel—could well join other ascending sassy showgirl names like Ruby and Sadie. Maybelle is rarely heard outside Nashville.

MACYMacy entered the popularity list in 1990—almost a decade after it had been noticed on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful—and has been well used ever since, a much more modern sounding replacement for the dated Tracy and Stacy, and more solid than the lacy Lacey.  Apart from the department store chain, the most noted bearer of the name, singer Macy Gray, was born Natalie McIntyre; Carmela Soprano/Nurse Jackie Edie Falco named her daughter Macy.

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springbabe

If poets and songwriters can draw inspiration from springtime, why not baby namers?  The fresh, green, uplifting season offers plenty of ideas for spring names.  So here, once again, is the Nameberry spring names blog–our annual tribute to the names of the season itself and its months.

For starters:

SPRING – The mid-century actress Spring Byington, who played the grandma on a television show of my youth, was one of my early influences in the world of baby naming.  I’d never heard of anybody named Spring, but the whole idea was intriguing.  If you could name a baby Spring, why not….well, just about anything else?  Still an unusual, sprightly choice, and a lot more acceptable now than it was in the 1960s.

MARCH, APRIL, and MAYMay (or Mae, or Mai for that matter) is definitely the most fashionable of these choices, lovely as a first name or a middle.  March is the only one of the three that might work for boys, and makes an adventurous first or middle for girls.  April (or Avril or Abril) feels a bit tired.

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cute-baby

Today is the official start of summer—though for many of us the weather announced its arrival weeks ago. Summer is one of the nicest times of year to have a baby, the warm weather and slow pace making it that much easier to relax into new motherhood. Here is our annual round-up of names that summon the season:

Summer — As a seasonal name, Summer may not be your top choice.  It’s feeling a tad shopworn as it’s been above number 200 for the past eighteen years.  Autumn is more popular but Winter is cooler.

Summer also has three excellent months’ names that include several usable variations.  These are:

JuneJune, a hip middle name du jour (Amanda Peet used it, for one), was out of favor for many years but now is back in a big way.  The name, and the month, are derived from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and finances (great role model!) whose name got a big boost from the teenage heroine of the eponymous 2007 film.  The related and obscure Junia is a New Testament name.  Male versions include the Spanish Junot, popularized by Pulitzer winning writer Junot Diaz, and Junius, Latin for “born in June.”

JulyJulius Caesar gave his name to this month, which has spawned many attractive first name variation.  Julius itself is being dusted off by a new generation of parents.  Julio is the attractive Spanish variation.  For girls, Julia is one of the most enduring and appealing classics, fashionable now.  The French Juliette or English Juliet has a tremendous amount of style and grace, along with Juliana.  Sixties-style Julie is the only variation on the wane.

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