Category: Pamela Redmond Satran
When Americans think about chic European names, they tend to imagine the exotic, the elaborate, the intriguingly complicated and foreign.
Yet when Europeans think about chic names, they often these days mean the short and simple and sometimes even the Anglo-Saxon: Tom, Emma, Lou. Think of them as the baby name equivalents of a perfectly-cut bob or little black dress, elegant and always in style.
Short, simple names that are chic and popular in France, the Netherlands, and indeed throughout Europe include:
Here at Nameberry, we know a lot about name obsession: We’ve been pretty obsessive about the subject ourselves for as long as we can remember. And one of the great things about running this site is that it’s introduced us to a lot of fellow obsessive name people. Maybe you’re one of them?
Here, 19 signs:
1. You’ve memorized the Social Security Top 1000 names. And you’re fully prepared to take the quiz.
2. American baby name books weren’t enough for you, so you’ve also amassed a collection of British, Australian, French, Dutch, Portuguese, and one Japanese baby name book. In Japanese.
3. You’ve made a spreadsheet to analyze the results of your online baby name polls.
Nickname-names still appear on birth certificates. In the U.S., such names as Ellie, Abby, and Charlie for girls; Jake, Jack, and Johnny for boys all rank high. In the U.K., nickname-names are even more fashionable, with Evie, Maisie, Millie, and Ellie in the Top 35 for girls, and Jack, Charlie, and Alfie in the boys’ Top 10.
But there are generations of nickname-names that have fallen off the Top 1000, yet sound cute and baby-ready today. The list here is drawn from names that were on the Social Security roster on their own in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but fell off by the early 1970s (the date of their last listing follows the name) and haven’t yet reappeared.
We like to think the names we choose will help determine the people our children grow up to be. Serious, classic names create serious, classic (and classy) people; gorgeous names breed future stunners; and cool names will make your kid cool.
But sometimes people transcend the image of their names, like the 25 folks here who are undeniably cool yet have names that are pretty much not.