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Category: nameberry blog

namesakejackie7

By Jackie aka callmecalliope at namesplash

When my sister was born, our relatives insisted she be named to honor a beloved, recently deceased family member.  My mother hated the traditionally male name and refused to use it, igniting a bitter conflict that lasted years (until another child entered the family and was given the moniker).  While I don’t think parents should give in to pressure from relatives when it comes to naming, there are certainly many parents who DO want to use the name of an adored family member or friend.

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May Names: Mabel, Mavis & Mae

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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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Trendy Baby Names: And why not?

abbytrendy

For her round-up of the Nameberry 9 newsiest names this week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel asks us to think about why we sometimes shy away from trendy baby names.

I’ve heard parents fret that they can’t use Harper now that the Beckhams have bestowed it on a daughter. Suggest that you might name a son Jayden and you’ll be warned that the name will be considered trendy, dated, damaging to your child’s future career. What’s worse, we scan message boards, wondering if our favorite name will be the next rising star.

But why all the worry? Generations of parents have sought out stylish names, even if they haven’t talked about them in quite those terms. My dear grandmother nearly named a daughter Loretta after Hollywood-star-turned-television-host Loretta Young.

We can trace the rise of many appellations to television, celebrities, literature, and other pop culture influences. Even so-called classics often owe their revivals to pop culture. Would Charlotte be the favorite she is today without Sex and the City? Statistics link the character with the name’s resurgence.

Let’s embrace the influences that bring great new names to our attention, even if they’re promoted by the most unlikely of sources.

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celeb Q&A

Let’s face it, we all can’t wait to hear the next big celebrity baby names and we all judge them when they’re announced.  Are they too outrageous?  Too popular?  Too bland?

But let’s say the tables were turned and you knew that your baby–and her name–were going to be splashed across the cover of People magazine for all the world to see–and weigh in on.  Would you choose a different name from the one you’d pick as a private person?

Would your celebrity self look for a name that would bring your baby–and you–lots of attention?  (Hello, Huckleberry.)

Or would you try to be the first to seek and discover some vintage treasure? (such as Agnes, Aurelius)

Or try to fly under the radar with a more ordinary name? (as in Robert Ford Wilson)

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abby4-2

In The Nameberry 9 blog this week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel, addresseses the question of “What is a ‘normal name?”

The news was filled with so-called normal names this week.  But what defines a normal name?  Is it a Top Ten choice that plenty of people your age share?  Or are normal names the ones that remain in popular use for decades?

Singer Ne-Yo insisted that his son’s name is fit for a gentleman, and I wouldn’t argue – it’s a great name.  But it is also a name that seems poised for the Top Ten, meaning that some perceive him as trendy, a cousin to Jayden and Aiden.

A widely-discussed report trumpeted the demise of Mad Men names, citing Don and Betty as examples of the most endangered appellations in all of nameland.  There’s some truth to that, but it is equally true that plenty of names are enduring classics, the kind of choice that makes it difficult to pin down a child’s year of birth.

Normal changes, at least when it comes to given names.  The endangered name list included plenty of perennial favorites, and that leads us right to our nine most newsworthy names this week:

James – The buzz about poor Betty and Don being so out of fashion included a list of others supposedly on the brink of extinction, like James – a name never out of the US Top 20 – and William, currently in the US Top Ten.  The boys’ list was packed with timeless choices, including David, Charles, and Thomas.  Maybe you won’t name your next son Roger, but many of us would consider one of the names on their so-called watch list.

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