Here’s an idea: Why not make your child an award winner from the get-go, and give him or her a name with the bonus point of a ‘best of’ association? We’re all familiar with Oscar and Tony and Emmy, but there are lots of other award names that aren’t as well known, most represeningt a distinguished namesake. And no, we’re not suggesting using Nobel or Pulitzer or Pritzger.
Agatha: Named for Agatha Christie, the Agatha Awards are given to mystery authors writing in the vein of the creator of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot—that is, featuring an amateur detective and sans sex or violence. Agathas are bestowed at an annual convention in Washington, D.C. in several categories, from novels to children’s mysteries.
Amanda: Named for an old Norwegian sea shanty, Amandas have been given since 1985 by the Norwegian International Film Festival to stimulate interest in Norwegian films
Clio: Named for the Greek muse of history, a “source of inspiration and genius,” the Clios have been awarded since 1959 for creative excellence in advertising
Effie: The Effie Awards are marketing communications awards given yearly to honor the most effective marketing communications ideas. Started in 1968 in the US by the New York American Marketing Association, they then expanded globally.
Emmy: The Emmy Awards are the TV equivalent of the movie Oscars and the music Grammys, presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The name is a variation of “immy,” the image orthicon tubes used in early video cameras– which is why the statuette depicts a winged woman holding an atom. FiFi—The FiFi Awards, an annual event sponsored by The Fragrance Foundation, honoring the perfume industry’s creative achievements.
Juno—Your daughter may not hear about this one unless she turns out to be a Canadian chanteuse, but the Juno Awards are Canada’s music awards, held in different cities each year, the winners chosen by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Scientists. They were originally called the Juneaus, after Pierre Juneau, the first head of Canada’s Radio-Television Commission, but the name quickly became shortened to Juno by 1971.
Lola—The German Film Awards, known as Lolas, come with a hefty monetary prize. The award statuette was named for the Lola character played by Marlene Dietrich in the classic film The Blue Angel and also Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film Lola. Its design reflects the Deco era of the earlier film.
Lulu—Every year at Comic-Con International in San Diego, the Lulu Awards are presented to women comics creators of the past and present, with the Lulu of the Year going to the most promising new female talent. Named after Little Lulu, the mischievous comic book heroine.
Thea—This one is an acronym—sort of—for the Themed Entertainment Attraction awards, honoring outstanding achievements in the creation of “compelling experiences for theme parks, museums, events and other themed entertainment endeavors.”
Abel—Want to inspire a math-minded kid? The Abel Prize is an international prize presented by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. Named after 19th century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel, it comes with a reward of close to a million dollars.
Archibald—OK, this one is a little obscure too—the Archibald Prize is given to the best Australian painter of a portrait of a distinguished figure in the arts, politics or science. It was established via a bequest by newspaper editor J.F. Archibald in 1921.
César—The Césars are the French national film awards, inaugurated in 1975. They are named for the noted French sculptor César Baldaccini, usually just known by his first name, who created the trophy.
Hugo—The Hugo Awards, given annually since 1955, are the most prestigious science fiction prizes, voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (‘Worldcon’). They are named for Hugo Gernsbeck, founder of Amazing Stories magazine in 1926, the first major American sci-fi publication, credited with sparking interest in the genre.
Ivor—Named for entertainer Ivor Novello, the Ivors are awarded by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors to outstanding musical talents, which have included John Lennon and Amy Winehouse.
Oscar—the one everyone knows—the popular name for the Motion Picture Academy Awards. There have been several explanations for the origin of the name, the two most common being that Academy librarian Margaret Herrick exclaimed that it resembled her Uncle Oscar when she saw it, the other involving Bette Davis and her first husband.
Shamus—The Shamus Award is given by the Private Eye Writers of America for the best detective novels and short stories of the year, named for the slang term for a detective. For your son, you might want to spell is Seamus.