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Is V the New Z?

Baby Name Trends

We’re noticing a lot of V’s — as in vivacious and vibrant — popping up in cool names these days. There’s Vivienne, of course, the name of Brad and Angelina‘s twin daughter, and also the name of Rosie O’Donnell‘s youngest child.  Then there’s Olive, the name of Isla Fisher and Sasha Baron Cohen‘s daughter; Viggo, newborn son of Taylor and Natalie Hanson; River, the son of Keri Russell; and Ever, the name of model/designer Milla Jovovich’s baby.

Name hotties with Vs in the middle include Olivia, Nevaeh, Ava, and Eva. Other rising stars (and starbabies) include Savannah, Evan, Devon, Avery, Heaven, Haven, and Violet. Many names that start with V have been out so long they’re starting to come in again: Veronica, Virginia, Valentina, Victor, and Vincent, which definitely took on a new sexy glow thanks to Entourage’s leading man Vincent Chace and real life leading man Vince Vaughn. Like Z, X, and O before it, V seems to be the cool name letter of the moment.

Some other V-inclusive names you might want to consider:

CALVIN

CLOVER

EVELYN

FLAVIA

GENEVIEVE

GROVER

HARVEY

JOVIE

MINERVA

OCTAVIA

SEVERINE

SYLVIA

WEAVER

XAVIER

And then of course there are several less obvious but still attractive names that start with V:

VALERIA

VAN

VENN

VERA

VERENA

VERITY

VERNON

VILLARD

VIRGIL

VIVECA

VIVIA

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Celebrity Baby Names: 2008′s best & worst

baby name Clementine

First for the good news.  Here are the starbaby names which we consider to have found the right combination of originality, charm and substance this year:

CLEMENTINEEthan Hawke & Ryan Shawhughes

Full name Clementine Jane Hawke projects the image of a sweet but strong, prim but pretty heroine of a Victorian novel, and brings to mind the song lyric ‘Oh my darlin’ (never mind that her shoes were #9).  It was previously the starbaby selection of Cybill Shepherd and Claudia Schiffer.

HONORJessica Alba & Cash Warren

We applaud this choice that moves beyond the more common Puritan Virtue names like Grace, Hope, and Faith to one that projects an even more righteous image, but has rarely been heard in this country.  An honorable decision.

KNOX & VIVIENNEAngelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

The award for best twin names of the year goes to the always inventive but never quite over-the-top serial baby namers, the Jolie-Pitts.  Knox continued their tradition of boys’ names ending in ‘X’ (as in Maddox and Pax), and also has family connections to Brad‘s grandfather, as does Vivienne‘s middle name, Marcheline, that of Angelina‘s mother.  Runner-up twin names: Coldplay drummer Will Champion’s lively Juno & Rex.

LOTUSRain Pryor

In the name garden overgrown with Roses and Lillies, Violets and Daisies, it seems fitting that the granddaughter of the late iconoclastic comedian Richard Pryor would have a more exotic flower name.  With its languorous feel, the lotus holds intriguing significance in several cultures.

SUNDAYNicole Kidman & Keith Urban

An unusual but sunny day-of-the-week name, inspired by an Australian artist’s patron named Sunday Reed, it’s in tune with other current calendar names like January, May, June and August, as well as the seasonal Winter and Summer.  Some people did think it strange that Sunday was born on a Monday.

And now for what we judge to be this year’s losers:

BRONX MOWGLI —Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz

Poor little Bronx got nothing but Bronx cheers when his name was released, especially as paired with the name of the Disneyfied Jungle Book boy.  If his parents thought this New York borough name would catch on the way Brooklyn has, they’re in for a big disappointment.

BUSTERMichele Hicks & Jonny Lee Miller

Is he a bulldog?  Is he a prizefighter?  No, he’s a baby, whose rambunctuous name will not do much to encourage his sensitive side.  An example of the alarming trend towards giving doggy names (Lucky, Princess) to babies.

KADENCE CLOVER —Tony Hawk

It could just as well be Cadence Klover, within the paradigm of using the initial letters C and K interchangeably, leading to regrettable innovations like Kasey, Kassidy, Karolyn and Kaleb.  Fortunately, the trend seems to be waning.

MAXXScott Hamilton

Taking Max–which already means “the greatest”–to the max.  INXS, we’d say.

PEANUT—Ingo Rademacher

The General Hospital star explained that this had been the nickname they used “when he was in mommy.”  OK, good luck explaining that to him when he’s six feet tall and applying to Princeton.

We’d love to hear your nominations for the best and worst celebrity choices of the year, and won’t be surprised if you have very different opinions.  Let’s hear from you lovers of Harlow and defenders of Kadence!

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Vivacious Names

Linda wrote last week on the question of whether a name’s meaning still means anything.  Maybe not so much, and yet several of today’s most stylish names mean “life”.  Eve and Eva, Aisha and Zoe, Liv and all forms of Vivian share the life-affirming meaning.

Even if parents aren’t searching for a name with a specific meaning, the fact that an attractive name carries an equally attractive meaning can only be a plus.  Beautiful, strong, graceful, intelligent, star: These are all great meanings that may support the appeal of a name.  But life may be the most powerful meaning of all.

If you like the life-affirming meaning and want a name a little further off the beaten track, here’s a short list of other options:

Avita

Beatha

Selig

Vita

Viva

Viveca

Vivia

Zenobia

Ziv

Zoltan

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