Category: nameberry guest blog
A little while ago someone started a thread on the forums requesting “earthy” boys names. It got me to thinking about not just what names I would include on such a list, but why. What does the description “earthy” mean to you? Is it a concept, or do you see it literally? Here are three different ways I often view “earthy” names.
Salt of the Earth
People who are described as “salt of the earth” are thought to be loyal, trustworthy, honest and earnest. These are what we often think of as “good ol’ boys”. There’s nothing pompous, pretentious or fanciful about these names, which is possibly why so many of them are nicknames. They’re familiar, friendly and best of all very easy to wear.
The ‘Doctor Who‘ Christmas special aired on Christmas Day, so I thought this would be a good time to follow up my Fiftieth Anniversary Special post on Doctor Who actor names with one inspired by the other stars of the show – the companions.
The companions provide a balance to the usually erratic and eccentric Doctor, and help to maintain continuity from one regeneration of the Doctor to the next. They are his greatest supporters – sometimes helping, sometimes asking the right questions, and sometimes getting into a spot of trouble. Companions have been male, female and robots, and as the Doctor often travels with a few at once there have been 43(!) of them so far. Here is a is a summary of ten of his most well-loved female companion names.
At times it was slightly unclear whether the affection between sardonic Amy and the Doctor was romantic or not. But her unwavering love and loyalty for Rory proved she was a determined woman who clearly knew her own mind. Amelia has been rising in the past decade while Amy has been falling, but both are top 200 names.
Last week marked the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who‘, the highly anticipated special anniversary episode watched by avid fans (or Whovians) worldwide. The show captivated audiences from the start with its’ creativity and imaginative story lines that attracted viewers. The last of his race, the Doctor travels through time and space in his blue police box spaceship the TARDIS , regenerating each time he dies.
He travels with many different companions, many of whom are beloved by fans and have received their own spin-off shows, but the true heart of the show is the Doctor. With each regeneration the Doctor has the same memories but a distinct and different personality, meaning that each actor can put their unique stamp on the role, and all have become household names. If you’re a fan, perhaps you may like to honor your child with the name of your favorite Doctor.
There’s a theory that baby names come back in style about every 80-100 years. Names that come back in style after 80-100 years are often called vintage or revival names.
Based on that theory, baby names from the 1930s (about 80 years from time of writing) should be the next wave of vintage revival names, poised to appear on monogrammed nursery accessories within the next 10-30 years.
But here’s the thing: the biggest revival names aren’t usually the mega-hit top 10 names from 80-100 years ago. The biggest revival names are usually the names that were moderately popular the first time around.
A perfect example of the 80-100 year rule is 2012’s top girl name, Sophia. Sophia had been somewhat popular over a century ago and then gradually declined, only to turn around in the 1990s when it rapidly climbed the Social Security list. However, Sophia is a lot more popular now than it was during its first peak back in 1882 at #116.
Based on that knowledge I set out to find names from the 1930s that weren’t always super common top 10 names, but rather names that peaked during that time and seem to represent the style of the decade.
Whose name is worse than mine? Almost no one’s, by my lights. I’ve spent decades looking, and 99 percent of the names I hear are better than my own. Once in a great while, I do come across a name that I actually think is worse, and I view such names with both pity and awe–but more on this later.
What’s so bad about my name? I come by it honorably enough; I was born in Chadera, Israel, where the name Yona was perhaps not so common as the Susans or Debbies that populated my grade school classrooms, but neither was it freakish. Then my parents moved back to the United States and it did not occur to them to Anglicize my name, which was always confused or mangled: Yola, Yoda, Ona and Zona were a few of its many ungainly permutations. And coupled with my unusual last name, Zeldis, made for an even more confused reaction.
When I entered a new school in fourth grade, my teacher looked at the class list and said, “What is Yona Zeldis?” I had to raise my hand and say, “It’s me.” She thought it was a misprint and that it should perhaps have been Zelda Yonis; no such luck though.