Category: baby names from movies
The Sundance Film Festival just wrapped up in Utah yesterday. Indie films are a great resource for unexpected baby names – they’re inventive, original, often rich with significance, and yet they’re usually not blockbusters. Choosing a name from a great but somewhat obscure movie is different than calling your daughter Neytiri or your son Anakin – there’s less instant, unavoidable connection to the character.
Last week also brought us a string of celebrity birth announcements too intriguing to ignore. A handful of Sundance-inspired appellations, like Merrily, Beatrice, Clarke, Spring, and Beau, exited the list to make room for a few newsworthy baby names.
Let’s start with a few from the Festival:
Tulip – Catherine Zeta-Jones’ character in upcoming crime caper Lay the Favorite answers to this botanical rarity. Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell used it as an extra middle for their daughter Charlie Tamara Tulip. She shares the same vowel sound as Ruby and Lucy. Will we start to see Tulip in bloom?
Zibby – The youngest Olsen sister, Elizabeth, plays Zibby in coming-of-age flick Liberal Arts. Surely it isn’t the character’s given name. Maybe Zibby is a creative short form of Elizabeth, or it could be a novel nickname for Isabella.
Alonzo was the name of both the father and the brother (both called by nickname Lon) in the Smith family in this “Have yourself a merry little Christmas” flick, "Meet Me in St. Louis," starring Judy Garland. This dashing Latinate name, which has always ranked in the Top 1000, is ready for wider use. Don’t like Lon? You can call me Al.
Last year the world was falling into the icy clutches of the vampires. The Salvatore brothers of L.J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries were fighting over the beautiful Elena Gilbert, lethally handsome Edward Cullen once again rescued his mortal love, Bella Swann from a gruesome death in the new Twilight movie, Eclipse, and a vampire child by the name of Abby has been terrifying audiences in Matt Reeve’s new film Let Me In.
Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to escape the bite of immortality, but fear not fellow name lovers! There is hope for us mortals yet, a hope that comes in a very furry form.
This Halloween goes to the wolves. The vampire reign is in danger of coming to a close as the popularity of werewolves quickly rises. The vampire-werewolf rivalry is one of the oldest feuds in existence, so it’s no wonder that we humans have been caught in the middle once again. At least the wolves will get the vampires off our backs for a bit. Right?
Okay. You may be thinking that werewolves are just as bad as vampires, but let’s think about this. Unlike vampires who have absolutely no escape from their condition, unless they go a day without sunscreen, werewolves only change during a full moon. So if someone you love is carrying the curse of the Lycan, it’s best to take a little vacation from them once a month. After all, we all need a little me time. Also, werewolves aren’t constantly craving your blood. They’re actually quite normal in human form (I should know because I used to date one), whereas vampires obsess over the sound of blood pumping through your veins. Hence, werewolves are the lesser of two evils.
The shadowy world of film noir, those stark black-and-white, often low-budget films with single-word titles—Possessed, Pursued, Trapped, Tension, Decoy, Detour, Breakdown, Blackmail—produced in Hollywood from roughly the early 1940s to the late 1950s, were populated with smoldering femmes fatale, hard-boiled detectives, corrupt cops, cynicism, intrigue and suspense
A lot of the female characters had a distinctive style of forgotten two-syllable names like Veda, Velma, Verna, Meta, Mida and Nita, while the tough guys who weren’t named Nick or Tony or Barney were occasionally given some wildly eccentric monikers.
Here, from both classics of the genre like The Maltese Falcon to barely remembered B-movies, some of the more interesting examples:
- Althea – The Unsuspected
- Angel – Guilty Bystander
- Barby – The Fallen Sparrow, Sleep, My Love
- Brandy – Two of a Kind
- Brigid – The Maltese Falcon
- Candy – Pickup on South Street, Breakdown
- Carmen—The Big Sleep
- Cecily – The Two Mrs Carrolls
- Celia – The Secret Behind the Door
- Cora –The Postman Always Rings Twice, Brute Force
- Dell – Shadow on the Wall
- Della – The Burglar
- Eden – Murder is My Beat
- Edwina/Eddie – Fingers at the Window
- Effie – The Maltese Falcon
- Evangeline – T-Men
- Fay – The Killing
- Frennessey – World for Ransom
- Fritzie – The Big Bluff
Last week we perused the character names in classic French New Wave films and today, as promised, we do the same for the Italian cinema produced (mostly) in Rome’s Cinecittà, from the gritty neorealist works of Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini to the fantasies of Fellini, the surreal films of Antonioni, et alia.
Italian names, almost universally, end in vowels, so here’s an opportunity to explore a fresh source of feminissima girls’ names ending in ‘a,’ ranging from the simple Lia to the elaborate Elisabetta, and boys’ names with the popular ‘o’ ending—some of which will be more familiar than others.
This time—as prompted by one of you berries– I’m including the names of the films the characters appear in. The movie titles are in Italian or English (sometimes both), depending on how they are best known in the US.
- Adelina – de Sica, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
- Adreina –Antonioni, The Cry/Il grido
- Amalia– Rossellini, Dov’é la libertà?
- Annarella – de Sica, Bread, Love and Dreams
- Bruna – Bertolucci, La commare secca; Pasolini, La Mamma Roma
- Cabiria—Fellini, Nights of Cabiria
- Clelia — Bertolucci, Before the Revolution; Antonioni, The Girlfriends/Le amiche; Rossellini, Vanina Vanini
- Clementina –de Sica, The Voyage/ Il Viaggio
- Dorotea –Fellini, And the Ship Sails On
- Elisabetta – Fellini, Juliet of the Spirits
- Elvia –Antonioni, The Cry/ Il grido
- Filumena – De Sica, Marriage, Italian Style
- Giuditta—Zeffirelli, Sparrow
- Giuliana –Antonioni, Red Desert
- Lauretta – Rossellini, Open City