Category: Classic Baby Names
by Linda Rosenkrantz
They were once the belles of the ball. But then they gradually lost their luster and found themselves in baby name limbo.
Most of these girls’ names aren’t vintage enough to benefit from the 100-year rule. And many are recent enough to still bring up images of moms and aunts and grandmas. A few of them can be considered semi-classics, once as high as in the Top 15, yet none of them makes it even into today’s Top 1000.
But if you can manage to shake off the dust and look at them with fresh eyes, re-imagine their original appeal, I think you will find choices here that still have a lot of intrinsic life.
From kindergarten to college, the kids are going back to school. But for those of you with babies on the way, let’s take some inspiration from famous figures their older siblings are studying up on various subjects in the classroom. Here’s a full schedule of names for you, from the sciences to the Fine Arts.
Shakespeare might be a bit overwhelming as a first—and Beowulf a bit too bold—so consider some other cornerstones of English lit. Chaucer is charming, and the lesser-read (Edmund) Spenser, of The Faerie Queene, makes a poetic alternative to the rising Spencer (#292 in 2017). They both have the added appeal as occupational names; Chaucer may ultimately mean “shoemaker,” and Spencer is “steward.” Virginia (Woolf) can be inspiration for this classic girl’s name, while (Jane) Austen has a hip sense and sensibility to it. Why settle for one of the sisters when you can honor all three with Bronte? It’s now #623 on Nameberry.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
There’s a certain magic, romance and power in ancient mythological names, with their ascribed virtues (and vices), their deep history and fascinating stories, their familiar yet otherworldly resonance– and parents are falling more and more under their spell.
In the past, only a few god and goddess names, like Diana and Phoebe, seemed usable for a mortal child, but now—thanks in part to their starring roles in pop culture epics–the whole pantheon of Greek, Roman and even Norse deities is up for grabs.
Here are ten of the best.
Thanks to mass mega-phenomena like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, we’ve been exposed to lots of previously fusty-sounding ancient Latinate names, and some of them are beginning to sound more and more wearable as baby names—in fact several have landed on the current popularity list. Guest blogger Andy Osterdahl, in his extensive study of the strangest names in American political history, has found many examples of these in the names of past American politicos.
by Pamela Redmond Satran
Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the next big even we can look forward to is a royal baby — and a royal baby name.
The name possibilities for Harry and Meghan’s theoretical children are wider and more wonderful than they’ve been for big brother William and Kate. As Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson did when they named their daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, Harry and Meghan can choose from a more expansive lexicon of royal names. And as evidenced in their wedding, Meghan is likely to assert her American heritage and personal beliefs in the baby’s name.
Here are our 10 ideas for what the royals might name their firstborn: