Category: names of the week
By Abby Sandel
If you’re having trouble signing into Nameberry or accessing your lists lately, don’t worry: It’s not you, it’s us. We’re making a major upgrade to the technical end of the site, which will ultimately make everything work better and allow us to add new features more quickly. Your lists and all other functions will be back to normal shortly. Now on to this week’s Nameberry 9:
Zooey Deschanel made us wait to learn the name of her firstborn. The indie darling turned sitcom star and producer husband Jacob Pechenik welcomed a daughter named back in July. We expected something quirky-cool from Zooey, and she didn’t disappoint – though she didn’t share the name Elsie Otter until last week.
Zooey also made it clear that Otter referred to the playful animal, calling them “wonderful” and noting that she and Jacob just plain love ‘em. I half expected Otter to be his grandmother’s maiden name, or maybe borrowed from some obscure novel.
But why not Otter? Plenty of birth announcements feature creatures.
By Abby Sandel
But sometimes – maybe most of the time – it’s a mix.
This week’s baby names in the news were definitely an eclectic bunch. From vintage choices to new-to-me names, many of this week’s high profile birth announcements made for surprising choices.
By Abby Sandel
Congratulations to Molly Sims on the arrival of Scarlett May, a little sister for Brooks. We were pleased as punch when Molly – and Maya Rudolph – talked about their love for Nameberry on Late Night with Seth Meyers earlier this year.
And not just any P names. The two biggest celebrity baby name announcements featured P names for girls, and both of those names are pretty unusual in the US.
What makes a name real?
Curzan points out that dictionaries are written by people, people who are listening very carefully to how the general public uses words. So tweet and defriend make the cut.
The same thing happens with baby name books and websites. Nevaeh wouldn’t have appeared in the 1980s, but she’s firmly installed today. And while Jayceon might be too new to appear in print, the fast-rising variant can be found on most of the major baby name sites.
It’s been a quiet week for high profile arrivals. Sure, Michael Weatherly of NCIS fame and wife Bojana welcomed son Liam. It’s a great name – friendly, upbeat, accessible. Liam is also a solid favorite in the US, just like big sister’s name, Olivia. Last year, he was the #1 choice in at least nine states, and shows no signs of slowing down.
But name news isn’t just about celebrities. In order for parents to consider a name, they have to know that it exists. Books, television, movies, athletes, actors, song lyrics, people in the headlines – they can all add new options to an expectant parent’s shortlist.
Baby name books have always surfaced some unusual possibilities. I fell in love with Hephzibah in a paperback name encyclopedia from the 1970s, the same book my mother used to circle mainstream options like Jill and Amy. Hester came from The Scarlet Letter. And Caroline, a name I eventually used as one of my daughter’s middles? She’s from a Psychedelic Furs song, a classic I never noticed until I heard the lyrics.
Now Nameberry, and the vast community of baby name blogs and websites, is part of that process, too. This week was filled with daring, even fanciful names for girls with global influence. Some of these might seem too much for a first name, but I can hear most of them in the middle spot.