Category: pop culture baby names
“I’m a big fan of the Netflix series Stranger Things.
The sci-fi horror series, released in July, has everyone buzzing. A second season has already been announced, and while the show received no Emmy nominations, three of its young actors made very hyped appearances. All of this considered, I’m wondering about the effects on baby names. Since Stranger Things takes place in the early 1980s, the characters’ names generally reflect mid-century American nomenclature. Some of them are rapidly losing popularity, but I expect them to recover at least temporarily.
With Pokémon, the Clintons and Crystal Pepsi back in the news, it’s the 1990s all over again.
So it seems like a good time to ponder names from that glorious decade. I don’t mean the most popular baby names (Michael and Jessica ruled the charts in those years). I’m talking about the cultural touchstones that defined the era: Arsenio, Sinead, Winona…names that sizzle with ’90s-ness.
Some of these monikers ultimately did become trendy baby names. Felicity climbed the charts after a show by that name hit the airwaves in 1998. But often not. There are zero kids named Urkel or Beavis or Butt-Head in the Social Security database over the past 30 years.
In any case, it’s worth taking a trip down memory lane (in a red Mazda Miata, no doubt) to rediscover the ultimate 1990s names. This list might give you some inspiration for your 2010s baby.
By Emily Cardoza
Recently I changed my hair pretty drastically, and I’m very happy with the results. As always, whenever a new subject enters my mind, I have to find a way to connect it with names! So today’s post is about hair-related names.
Many of us already know the Biblical story – super strong man falls for femme fatale, and femme fatale shaves his head, sapping him of his strength. I like this Wikipedia quote about Samson: “Samson had two vulnerabilities—his attraction to untrustworthy women and his hair, without which he was powerless.” Delilah has rocketed in popularity in recent years, thanks to Tom Jones and the Plain White T’s. Samson has only been used in the last few decades, as an alternative to ever-popular Samuel. Both names have more or less distanced themselves from their hairy origins, and neither would surprise too many people today.
Aladdin Sane was David Bowie‘s 1973 album. Although people often forget the name of this Bowie persona (a pun on A Lad Insane), his image is one of the most memorable: a face crossed by a lightning bolt to represent a divided self. A continuation of Ziggy Stardust, it was partly inspired by David Bowie‘s brother Terry, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Aladdin features in The 1001 Nights as a boy who becomes trapped in a cave by a wicked magician, but escapes with the help of a genie. A pantomime staple, it has also been made into a popular Disney film.
The name Aladdin is an Anglicised form of the Arabic name Ala Al-Din, meaning “excellent in faith”. Aladdin has been rarely used as an English name, and probably reminds people too strongly of the magical lamp.