Category: word names for babies
It’s been another big week for noun names. They were all over Hollywood gossip blogs, and appeared in plenty of workaday birth announcements, too.
There’s no doubt that this is a rich category. Flower names make us consider trees – meet my daughter, Lily, and my son, Cedar. Weather and birds feel like inexhaustible sources of inspiration. There are the old school, Puritan-era virtue names, but also more recent innovations, rich with meaning.
Sometimes the influence is more subtle. Surname Brooks is preppier than River, but both bring to mind the great outdoors. Clementine and Olive have been used for so long we consider them names, but they’re both on the upswing today, lifted by the trend.
May, June, and August are mainstream, but I’m not so sure about January, and it is always surprising to hear September, October, or November. April is definitely a noun name, but Avril is cooler. And if Avril is an option, how about Janvier?
Two weeks ago I had my first experience shopping for a car. While in high school, I had been given a 1992 Dodge Dynasty by an uncle, and after I graduated and was pregnant with my oldest son, my grandparents gave me their 1995 Ford Taurus. My Taurus finally gave out on me two weeks ago, so my father, my husband and I set out to find me a car.
While walking around the used car lot, it struck me just how unique some of the names of these cars were. Some were unique in a way that just seemed far-fetched. Some were unique in a way that could be considered daring, but at the same time up-and-coming or trendy. And then there were some that years ago would have been a stretch, but now seem commonplace. Much like baby names.
Naturally, being the name enthusiast I am, this led to me researching car names as soon as I got home with my newly-purchased 2008 Dodge Caliber. What I didn’t expect was how many options there were beyond the standard car brands like Ford, Lincoln, Mercedes, Porsche and Romeo, all names we’ve heard before. Branching out into the models issued by individual car brands, I found so many options, and many trends I did not expect.
Here, for instance, are car names that were used for babies first:
For several years now, word names have been singled out as being at the extreme edge of cool—we may have been guilty of pushing that edge ourselves at times. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s time to pull back a little, and put the brakes on. Celebrities have tried to outdo each other to sometimes eye-rolling effect in the effort to find a ‘unique’, attention-grabbing word name : I’m not naming names but I might mention a few words like zeppelin and pirate and peanut.
Of course there are word names and there are word names and probably the most acceptable and appealing are the centuries-old Virtue names created by the early and most zealous Pilgrims to display their righteous religiosity. Though such excessive male phrase-names as Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith and Fly-fornication are long gone, the simpler girl virtue names have not only survived but some are now downright trendy: Grace, Hope, Faith, and, more recently, Felicity, True and Honor.
Other worthy examples include: