By Linda Rosenkrantz
Come to Mardi Gras! If not for the party, then definitely for the colorful array of baby names.
Mardi Gras–aka Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday—is just around the corner. The day before Ash Wednesday, it precedes the beginning of Lent, and nowhere is it celebrated more wildly than in and around the city of New Orleans where its carnival features street processions with fantastic floats, elaborate costumes and masks and brilliantly colored beads, fabulous food and jubilant jazzy music.
Which provides the raison d’etre for this look at the distinctive names from two endemic ethnic groups of the area: the French-speaking Cajuns, and the Creoles, descended from early French, Spanish, Haitians and others.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Like our cousins across the pond, we’ve fallen in love with vintage nicknames for our girls—names like Maisie and Mabel and Sadie and Josie and Hattie are already on the rise. But do those parents who want a little Hattie necessarily consider putting Harriet or Henrietta on the birth certificate?
Maybe, maybe not.
In some cases, the adorable short form is actually succeeding in waking up its sleeping mother name. Like Josephine, for instance, and Beatrice. But here are some others whose full versions have not seen as much—if any– action, as adorable as their period nicknames may be.
Which of these cute, often tomboyish, girl nicknames do you think are capable of reviving their more staid Great-Grandma names?
They’ve found the perfect name, but it breaks all the rules. How can they reconcile using the name they love with their long-held preferences?
My husband and I are expecting our first baby, a daughter, in May. We have finally found “the” name, but I feel like a hypocrite! We spent years carefully compiling and editing our name list, only to find that our little girl’s name was never even on it. I like Lucille, Sybil, and Marceline. My husband likes Winifred and Violet. But sweet little Jay will be given her daddy’s middle name, and it feels incredibly easy and right. We knew it was her name the minute we said it aloud. We love the simplicity of it, that it FEELS so good, and I love naming her after her dad. But Jay is a boy name!
While I certainly support the new gender neutral naming trend, I often feel that what people perceive as genderless is actually anything but. It’s odd to me that naming daughters things like James and Elliot is so trendy right now, but these same parents wouldn’t necessarily name a son Sarah or Jennifer. Seems like a one-way street of “boys” names for girls, but not “girl” names for boys.
How can I make peace with bestowing a traditionally “boy” name upon our daughter, when our taste is otherwise feminine and vintage?
The Name Sage replies:
By Todd Tarpley
African baby names come from the more than a thousand languages spoken natively in Africa–Nigeria alone has over 500! That makes Africa a treasure trove for unique and lyrical names derived from its numerous cultures. African-derived names have been popular in the US since the 1970s, introduced to many by the TV miniseries “Roots.” However, parents must search hard to find African names with accurate origins and meanings. These 14 genuine African baby names are among the most popular in the US and have become African-American names in the same way that Liam and Caitlin are both Irish and American.
Traditionally a girl’s name, this little-known name is equally appropriate for a boy, as it means “free man.”
What are the hottest baby boy names? To find out, we measured which baby names rose most in page views in January of this year, compared to a year earlier.
For more analysis of the hottest baby names of 2017, and the trends they represent, read our post here. Or just click through our slideshow of the hottest boy names of the new year. Some of these names are just starting to catch on, while others already chart with the most popular baby names.
If you’re naming a daughter, check out the hottest baby girl names.