Category: The Hunger Games
Happy Halloween, berries! Let’s start off with a very important piece of business. The winner of the bookplate give-away from Etsy shop My Kids Eat Off the Floor is Emily (emily.m******@*****.com). You should have already received an email with details about how to claim your prize.
Last week’s chatter about Gatsby – literary or pretentious? Just different enough or downright bizarre? – got me thinking about boys’ names in general. Conventional wisdom holds that we can be creative with our daughters’ names, but choices for sons should be a little more conservative. Whether you personally agree or not, statistics suggest that parents do hold back when considering boys’ names. Just under 67% of US-born girls receive Top 1000 names, while nearly 79% of boys do.
A comment from last week’s post mentioned Evangeline Lily’s son is named Kahekili – and since dad is Norman Kali, his full name Kahekili Kali. According to mom, Kahekili is a Hawaiian name means thunder. (Kahekili shown in illustration)
Now his little sister is also singing “baby, you a fiiiiiiiyawawk.”As we listened to the song for the hundredth time last night, I found myself thinking: could Perry make a comeback? It’s not just the flirty pop star. This weekend, likable young country musicians The Band Perry came through Washington DC on their summer tour with Tim McGraw.
The last time Perry was in vogue was the nineteenth century, when Commodore Perry was all over the news for his expeditions to Japan. Today, with surname names showing no signs of etreat and plenty of parents seeking similar-but-different options, Perry would fit with Riley and Bailey.
Names bubble up for so many reasons, from fictional characters to newsworthy figures, songs and celebrities, even sounds that just feel right.
Here are nine most buzz-worthy this week:
Cecil – The fourth installment in the Spy Kids franchise opens this month, with Joel McHale and Jessica Alba taking over as the parents. The series is known for its precocious youngsters, outrageous gadgets, and wildly unusual cool names for the male characters. The boy spy kid in this iteration is Cecil (illustrated), twin to Rebecca. Other names throughout the series include Wilbur, Juni, Donnagon, and Devlin.
Dexter – When I hear Dexter, my first thought is Cary Grant as Katharine Hepburn’s ex in The Philadelphia Story. Grant plays the dashing C.K. Dexter Haven. But plenty of parents hear Dexter and think of a mightily disturbed serial killer, thanks to Showtime’s five seasons and counting of gory stories about Dexter Morgan. Next week’s release of One Day, the big screen adaptation of David Nicholls’ 2009 novel, could return Dex to the romantic hero category. Jim Sturgess plays Dexter Mayhew, who spends entirely too long realizing he’s in love with his best friend Emma.
Gale – For a boy. As if The Hunger Games’ heroic Gale Hawthorn isn’t enough encouragement, what about actor Gale Howard? The CW’s paranormal teenage drama Secret Circle debuts next month. Howard plays the father of the Circle’s head witch – and a rather attractive villain, too, if I read the previews right. Boys are called Gage and Cale – mash ‘em together, and Gale is a logical pick for a son, as long as you don’t name your daughter Abby.
Jett – For a girl. Nameberry intern Hannah Tenison mentioned Joan Jett in her Rock’n’Roll baby names post on Tuesday. Hannah kept it on the boys’ list, but I wonder if some parents seeking rock-star style might think of Jett for a girl. The solution appeared at Swistle – name your daughter Juliet, and reserve Jett as a nickname. (You can read the Swistle post here: http://swistlebabynames.blogspot.com/2011/08/baby-naming-issues-avoiding-teen-mother.html)
Kix – Yes, Kix is a breakfast cereal. Max, Dex, Lex, Rex, Jax and nearly any other ends-in-x sound, however, are names for boys. Foster the People’s breakout hit “Pumped Up Kicks” has been unavoidable this summer. And now For Real Baby Names just spotted him in Texas. (Check out her full list: http://names4real.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/kix/) Could Kix catch on?
Mae Mobley – As I write this, I’ve yet to see the big screen adaptation of The Help that opened recently. I mentioned Octavia last week, but here’s my guess: the real name boosted by the book and movie is the child in maid Aibileen’s care: Mae. Like Ava and Audrey, she has Hollywood glam aplenty, plus she’s right in step with mini names like Mia and Zoe. It’s also another example of those “Southern double names” Nicole Kidman referenced when she and Keith Urban welcomed Faith Margaret. In the novel, Mae is always referred to by her first and middle, Mae Mobley. Mae re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2010 after four decades of obscurity.
Penelope – Ever since Christina Ricci donned a prosthetic pig snout for 2004’s modern fable, parents have rediscovered the gorgeous Greek Penelope. And why not? She’s a little bit quirky, undeniably literary, and her list of nicknames is extensive. There’s Penny and Nell, Polly and Poppy, and if you stretch a little further, maybe even Lola, Pia, or the hottest of the hot, Pippa. Of course, the real story could be Athena. Will parents get wise to this stylish goddess name now that Ms. Fey has put it on the map?
Perry – He’s been musical for decades, thanks first to crooner Perry – born Pierino – Como. I mentioned Katy Perry and The Band Perry above, and on a very different note, there’s Texas governor Rick Perry, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.
Vivi-Anne – I spotted this one on Lifetime reality show Dance Moms. Many a re-spelling feels deeply unnecessary, but this one works. I’m guessing that Vivi-Anne’s mom Cathy was eager to name a daughter Vivian or Vivienne, but only if she could ensure that the two syllables would be pronounced with an emphasis on the –an. That’s not normally the case, of course. Choosing a name that you like only if you can insist on a counter-intuitive pronunciation can be a recipe for disaster, but the strong-willed Cathy has made it work.
Even if you haven’t read the books, you’ve probably heard of The Hunger Games. The trilogy has topped the bestseller lists, and buzz about the upcoming movie adaptation has been constant for the past few months.
It is the tale of a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who overthrows a cruel and despotic government. Katniss Everdeen becomes the unlikely heroine after she is chosen to fight to the death in a televised game controlled by the all-powerful Capitol. It’s part Greek myth, part reality TV.
Author Suzanne Collins is quite the storyteller, and she’s a masterful namer of characters. Katniss sounds like a smoosh of classics like Katherine and Frances, but the name is borrowed from an edible aquatic plant. Sagittaria, the plant’s Latin name, comes from its arrow-shaped leaves. And wouldn’t you know it? Katniss saves the day through her extraordinary skill with a bow and arrow.
Even if you’re not into sci fi, the series is worth a read for the names alone. In Collins’ post-apocalyptic future, some familiar choices have endured, while other names have been sourced from the past. Many are new, drawn from the changed world in which her characters live. Each of the outlying Districts has a certain specific style.
This list includes minor characters and villains, and they range from the perfectly wearable to the truly out-there.
FELLOW CONTESTANTS & PAST CHAMPIONS
Cato – A willing contestant, from wealthy District 2. In the more affluent Districts, children often train for the Games, hoping for a chance to win riches and glory.
Women’s history month draws to a close just as Sucker Punch’s girl army hits the big screen.
But to parents who grew up with The Bionic Woman and Tank Girl, there’s something appealing about a naming a daughter after a daring female figure. The women on this list are handy in a fight, quick with a sword or a wand, and might have a super power or secret government clearance, too.
Not every appealing character wears a great name. Sucker Punch’s heroine answers to Babydoll. You probably wouldn’t consider Agent 99 or The Bride, either. (Though The Bride’s given name, Beatrix, is quite stylish.)
Here are some of the better-known tough girls, many of which would wear well in the 21st century:
Buffy – Despite a big screen debut and seven seasons on television, we haven’t met many bitty Buffys. But rookie screenwriter Whit Anderson has been tapped to reboot the vampire slayer’s story. Could the third time be the charm?
Claire – Television’s Heroes captivated audiences with the tagline, “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World!”
Echo – From short-lived sci-fi series Dollhouse.
Fiona – Some parents fret that Shrek’s better half is a reason to avoid this name, but the world’s most famous female ogre is quite admirable.