There’s no record of a single newborn named Dick in the United States last year.
In fact, there hasn’t been a baby Dick recorded in the U.S. during the past decade. (It last popped up in the Social Security Administration databanks in 2005.)
This is no shock. The name Dick was a casualty of modern slang and its association with a disgraced president. But Dick‘s disappearance is part of a broader trend: Americans have shifted away from many once-common nicknames.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In the past, most boys were lucky enough to avoid the generic-connector-middle-name syndrome the way girls did, when Ann and Lynn and Beth were pretty ubiquitous. For the most part, boy babies were given double classics, so there were a ton of them dubbed Steven Michael or Michael Steven, David Robert or Robert David.
Now, the middle name landscape for both genders has changed as more attention is being focused on them, to the point where firsts and middles have almost equal weight. Family names play a bigger part, for one thing, as do meaning and individuality–plus many parents are taking this place as a chance to let loose and be inventive .
Yet a strong, single-syllable middle is still often what’s called for, and so we’ve categorized for you some of the most interesting new-style possibilities—of course feel free to use this as a starting point.
By Abby Sandel
This week brought us two celebrity baby names inspired by loved ones. But they’re not just simple honor names.
Actor Rob Schneider also welcomed a daughter – his third. Daughter Elle King, from a previous relationship, is now a successful singer. Now he and wife Patricia are parents to Miranda Scarlett and newest addition, Madeline Robbie. Robbie seems like a sweet nod to dad.
Would you name your baby after yourself? How about your mom or dad, or another loved one?
Both the Schneiders and Chabert-Nehdars made some subtle changes to the names before handing them out down to the next generation. If you like the idea of choosing family names, but aren’t sure about the names themselves, there’s no shortage of ways to reinvent them for your children.
Here are nine ways to honor a loved one with names for the newest members of your family.
Does looking for a great nickname PLUS a formal name they both love spell double trouble? They found exactly the right name for their firstborn, but now they’re struggling to narrow down the options for their new daughter.
I prefer vintage names, while my husband is all over the place. We are nickname people, so whichever name we choose needs a sweet nickname to go along with it.
We have both always loved the name Abigail, however I don’t like Abby and it is too popular, so its been vetoed. The nickname Emmie is at the top of our list. We like Emilia, but I worry about a lifetime of having to correct her name as it sounds so similar to Amelia.
The Name Sage replies:
Their lists are so close – but agreeing on the right name for their son has proven impossible! Can they find a nickname-proof name with a possible built-in nickname? It sounds crazy, but the answer might be yes …
When we decided we were ready for kids, we discussed names and knew Stella was our girl name. Our daughter was born in 2014 and we named her Stella Lucille. Lucille was my grandmother’s name. Now we’re expecting our second, a boy due just in time for Thanksgiving!
I know Stella is growing in popularity, but to me it sounded fresh yet vintage. I would love something with that same feeling for our son. All of the names I see are just okay.
I like Owen August, but my husband doesn’t like it. I also love Bennett. It was my grandmother’s maiden name; however we have a very close friend named Ben, and it comes from the same grandmother that we honored with Stella’s middle name.
Any help you can give would be great!
The Name Sage replies: