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Category: neglected baby names

boy100blog

Last week, we unearthed 14 under-the-radar names for girls, none of which is in the current Top 1000, and this week we are doing the same for the boys. Unlike their sisters’ choices, some of these unusual baby names are more quirky than classic, though we’ve included some ancient and biblical goodies, and a couple of admirable imports. All of them were more popular in the past— and we think the time has come for their second act.

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Classic baby names: Peter, Paul or Mary?

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Of course they’re still around, with a few like William and Daniel still in the Top Ten, but most of the standard classics are far from being the power names they once were–Peter, Paul and George, for example, have hit all-time lows.

And yes, Edward has that Twilight touch, and Jack is back with a vengeance, and we are suddenly hearing people say they think Mary is due for a comeback.  But will Robert or Richard ever be cool again?

Thus and therefore, the question of the week:

Which classic name do you think is most due for a comeback?  Would you use it for your child?  And if so, is it because it has ties to your family history?

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underrated3

The question of the week is:

Is there a name that to you seems to have everything going for it and yet hasn’t caught on?  Do you have a theory as to why it’s been neglected?  Maybe it’s a Nameberry fave that outsiders haven’t discovered or maybe it’s your own personal pleasure (guilty or not).

Is it part of a whole category of names that you consider underrated?

Or is it a name that you think has been misjudged–for all the wrong reasons–and that you’re willing to make a case for here and now?

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Rescuing Names from Old Stereotypes

kermit-the-frog

It doesn’t seem fair.  Why have some perfectly good names become permanently tainted by their links to a particular fictional character while others haven’t?  How come Olivia is OK despite her porcine persona, all Oscars aren’t considered grouches, and even Dexter‘s popularity seems to be rising in spite of his avocation on TV as a serial killer, while Jemima and Jethro, Elmo and Eloise remain somewhat stigmatized?  I say let’s take another look at some of these names and see if we can’t get them out of quarantine.

The first place to look is on Sesame Street.  Seems that once a name is tagged to a  fuzzy multi-colored Muppets, it becomes his exclusively.  Here are some reasons why they shouldn’t have to be:

ELMO–A lively O-ending saint’s name, Elmo is the patron saint of sailors, and the legendary St. Elmo‘s fire is a bright glow that sometimes appears on ships during thunderstorms, as well as being the name of a seminal 1980’s Brat Pack film.

GROVER–A fine upstanding Presidential and nature-ish (originally given to someone living near a grove) surname crying out to be considered for its own spunky self.

KERMIT–Enough with the ‘It isn’t easy being green’  froggy references.  Instead think of its relation to the well-liked Dermot, Kermit evolving from the Irish surname MacDermot, or son of Dermot.   And Teddy Roosevelt used it for his son

And a couple of others with kiddie references:

ELOISELong associated with the imperious little 6-year-old who ruled the Plaza Hotel, Eloise is the most likely on this list to redeem herself, what with the growing popularity of similar names like Eloisa and Elodie.

LINUS–No, using this name does not condemn your baby boy to clinging to his security blanket for life a la the Peanuts character.  Linus has considerable grown-up charm and some interesting associations: in Greek mythology he was the inventor of rhythm and melody who taught music to Hercules, and a distinguished modern namesake is Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel prizes.  And, believe it or not, cinema characters named Linus have been  played by Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Matt Damon and Harrison Ford.

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