Here in Washington DC, I’m convinced that while we’re quite daring with our children’s given names, every single girl is sharing the same middle: Rose. I’d rather see Rose in the first spot, like Charlotte’s younger daughter in the Sex in the City series. But Rose came in at a frosty #337 in the 2010 rankings. You’re more likely to meet a girl called Esmeralda, Fatima, or Leilani.
What explains the rise of a suddenly-everywhere middle name? Yes, many of us have grandmothers named Rose. But we also have grandmothers named Jean, Joan, and Ruth, and those names aren’t nearly as popular. At a recent baby shower, the guest-of-honor had chosen Rose for a daughter’s middle name. So had the other expectant mom in the room, and one of the brand new parents had already named her daughter Amelie Rose.
Which brings us to this week’s list of the nine newsiest baby names:
Gemma Rose – Did you see Paula Kashtan’s article about Kristin Davis and her daughter’s name? Kristin played Charlotte, mom to Lily and Rose, in the Sex and the City series. When it came time to name her own daughter, Kristin says that she’d forgotten her fictional girl’s given name, but did find herself drawn to Rose. Perhaps, the actress speculated, it was “lodged unconsciously.”
Lilah-Rose – Linda Cardellini’s new daughter will answer to a double-barreled name, Lilah-Rose. At first glance it makes for an unusual choice, but something tells me that she’ll blend in to a sea of girls called Lillie and Lyla and Lillian, too, at least some of them with the middle name Rose.
Tulip – If you’re set on a botanical name for a daughter, she’s one of the more unusual options. Along with Acacia, Amaranth, and Cedar, at least one set of parents in Alberta, Canada, chose this for a child’s first name last year, according to the official report the government released last week. Tulip also has a glimmer of starbaby status, thanks to Charlie Tamara Tulip, daughter of Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell.
West – Country crooner and songwriter Randy Houser welcomed a son named West. Not Weston or Westley, just straight-from-the-compass West. Another name that caught my eye is Mrs. Houser’s appellation – she answers to Jessa, a name I’d previously heard only on one of the reality television Duggar daughters.
Bix – Looking for something truly unusual for a son? Here’s one that no one is using, even though he’d fit right in with Alex and Max. 1920s jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke would have celebrated his 109th birthday this past weekend. Bix was actually born Leon Bismark, but it is his nickname that has so much 21st century appeal.
Brax – Did you read the latest Australian birth announcements posted at For Real Baby Names? Braxton has caught on, despite the unfortunate association with the contractions. Could Brax be next? We’ve already seen more boys named Dax and even Jax. Me, I’d rather go with birthday boy Bix.
Barbie – Speaking of birthdays, March 9th is officially considered the birthday of the enduring Barbie Doll. Named after a real-life Barbara, daughter of the doll’s creator, Ruth Handler, Barbie might update her wardrobe, but her name is stuck in another generation. Still, if you’re after a classic name that your daughter will never have to share, Barbara is a safe bet.
Lilli – In honor of the fashion icon’s anniversary, I did some reading up on Barbie’s history. Did you know she was based on a German doll called Lilli? I’m not a huge fan of ends-in-i spellings, but I’m intrigued by this story. Apparently the doll’s name was inspired by a World War I poem, adapted as a love song during World War II. Lili Marleen was recorded by many a chanteuse, including Marlene Dietrich, which seems ever so fitting.