Category: overlooked baby names
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?
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.
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:
ELOISE— Long 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.