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Category: naming a son

Boys’ Baby Names: 9 Ways to Name a Son

boys' names

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Naming a boy has always been a little bit different.

It isn’t harder, necessarily.  For some parents, settling on a son’s name is a picnic compared to naming a daughter.

But there are definitely some differences in the way we think about boys’ names.

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pinkjaden

This week Appellation Mountain’s Abby Sandel follows the lead of Jada Pinkett (with son Jaden) in showing us how to find boys’ names honoring a female namesake.

Jaden Christopher Syre Smith turns 13 next month.  Smith is Hollywood royalty, the son of actors Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, and his name is often cited as one of the reasons Jayden, Caeden, Hayden, and company became an epidemic among boys’ names

Overlook the rhymes-with-Aiden qualities of Jaden Smith’s name for a minute, and there’s something else notable about this young actor’s appellation.  While girls have been named after their fathers since ancient days, Jaden is one of relatively few boys to be named after his mother. 

The Smiths continued the pattern with daughter Willow Camille Reign, choosing a name that honors dad, but opting for something less conventional than Billie or Wilhelmina.

They’re not the only famous parents looking to their family trees as a starting point for choosing a child’s nameOrlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr chose Flynn to honor his grandmother, Evelyn.

Plenty of names have obvious equivalents, like Charles and Charlotte or Ray and Rae.  Others don’t lend themselves to an obvious opposite-gendered name.  What’s the masculine form of Bridget?

You may need to be creative to name a daughter after your favorite uncle, but that can create an opportunity, too.  Grandpa Donald might fume if you reject Donald in favor of the more stylish Donovan for your son.  But honor grandma Donna or aunt Dawn with a little Donovan, and chances are she’ll be thrilled.

Based on the most popular names of the 1970s and 80s, here are some thoughts about how you might name a son, Pinkett-Smith style.  The girls’ list is up next week.  Add your additions and suggestions in the comments!

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boygirlbaby

The Question of the Week:

Do you think it’s easier to name a girl or a boy– and why?

What are the different considerations and  issues that arise?  Are there certain pressures that  apply to one gender  more than the other?

 Do you think moms and dads have different takes on masculine and feminine names?

In terms of numbers, there are many more male  names in the Bible and more female names in the data base–does that have any bearing on the issue?

What do you think?

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Here’s A New Way to Honor Grandpa

fatherson2

Once upon a time, a lot of baby boys were named after their dads. But while some families still follow this tradition, there are many fewer juniors around than there used to be. One new twist on patronymics: son names, such as Harrison and Jackson.

Of course, most Harrisons and Jacksons aren’t the sons of guys named Harry and Jack. But we can’t help feeling that in some unconscious way, the son names have caught on because they suggest family tradition, the passing down of a name from father to, well, son….or sometimes daughter.

Popular son names for girls include Madison, Addison, Allison and Emerson. And some of the trendiest of the group don’t really feel like son names: Jason, Mason, Tyson, and Crimson would fit in this category.

Here, some great son names you may not have thought of. They stand on their own merits, but you might want to consider them as a way to honor an ancestral Carl or James.

(And a reminder that with  our search function, when you search by letter you’re not limited to ONE letter – you can search for all names that end in –son or –ley, for instance.)

ANDERSON

ANSON

BENSON

BRANSON

BRYSON

CARLSON

CHANSON

DAVISON

DAWSON

DENNISON

DODSON

EDISON

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Beyond Ava & Aiden is Born

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Beyond Ava & Aiden hits the bookstores today,  the first complete all-new edition of our landmark book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, totally revised from beginning to end, with a brand new title and lots of brand new features.

Like what?  To recapture the freshness, lightness, humor and user-friendliness of the original, we went back to our basic four-part structure of Style, Image, Sex and Tradition.  Out went the Popularity section, since so much of that information is now accessible instantly online.

We’ve added fresh advice and approaches to the challenges of naming a daughter and naming a son, new categories like Green Names, Powerboys and Metrodudes, Baby Gods and Goddesses, and Mixed-Marriage Names–hundreds of the kind of subjective lists we invented, pointing out not only current trends, but where they come from and where they’re going.

Finding the right name for our baby was a major challenge.  (The naming of The Baby Name Bible had been such a torturous process that we documented our struggle in an article in Publishers Weekly magazine.

We knew it was time to let go of our original title, since Jennifer and Jason are now the parents of the new generation of babies.  But which alliterative pairing to choose?  Among the many considered and rejected: Beyond Emily & Ethan, Beyond Addison & Aiden, Beyond Adam & Eva, Beyond Jayden & Jada, Beyond Miley & Max.

And then the latest popularity lists decided for us, with Ava and Aiden pulling ahead of all their trendy compatriots to become the Jennifer and Jason of today.

We can’t wait to hear what you think of the result.  And to give you more of a taste of what’s in the new book, we’ll be  posting excerpts every Friday through the summer, starting this week.

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