Category: Name Image
One of the big recent baby name successes has been Ophelia. After nearly 60 years off the Top 1000, it reemerged in 2015 at Number 975, then jumped to 580 last year. Though it hasn’t yet beaten its peak from the turn of the 20th century, when it entered the Top 300, Ophelia ranks a stunning Number 15 among Nameberry users for the first half of 2017, so it’s almost certain to climb even higher in the U.S..
We get the appeal. It sounds unusual but graceful, it starts with the trendy letter O and it has a sterling literary pedigree, coined by Shakespeare himself.
But here’s the thing about that Shakespeare tie: In Hamlet, Ophelia is a central tragic victim, the girl driven to madness and suicide, but she doesn’t have much presence in the play. Shakespeare created dozens of strong, fascinating, brilliant female characters — but Ophelia isn’t one of them.
Yet today’s parents have decided that Ophelia‘s many positive qualities outweigh the grimness of her story. The same goes for Pandora, Abel and Persephone, all of which have started climbing up the charts.
So that’s our question: How much do you care about a name’s backstory? Are there any names you love because they have great stories behind them? Or have you ever rejected a name because of its history?
In case you’re not familiar with the term, a rainbow baby is one born soon after the loss of a previous baby due to miscarriage or stillbirth, the word used because a rainbow typically follows a storm, indicating optimism and hope.
By Melissa Willets
Since suffering a recent pregnancy loss, my family has done everything we can to honor the baby we so desperately wanted. From planting a tree, to naming a star after her, to creating angel baby necklaces, even in the midst of our grief, we find deep comfort by channeling our myriad of painful feelings in positive ways.
We hope to conceive again soon, which I have come to believe is the greatest opportunity to honor our beloved baby. For she would be gifting us with a life we would never have known, had we not been forced to say goodbye to her far too soon.
We’ve started to think about how to use the name we picked for our angel as inspiration for a rainbow baby name. Of course, we’d never reuse her exact name; I think I speak for all parents who have experienced loss that this feels beyond wrong.
Instead, we are considering these ideas:
Many of today’s most fashionable boys’ names carry a gender identity that’s decidedly masculine but not conventionally so, softer than macho but stronger than unisex. These boys’ names fall right in the middle on the gender scale, in contrast to their stylish female counterparts, which tend to be ultra-feminine (Arabella, Ophelia) or frankly boyish (Hayden, Frankie).
Many of these hot new boys’ names carry sounds that are soft and/or traditionally connected to girls’ names, such as vowel endings, and so depart from the classic male names once dominant. These stylish boys’ names with a fresh gender identity include:
By Carrie Steingruber
Spending a day on the water is an ideal way to escape the heat — or find new name inspiration. Even landlubbers can appreciate the swashbuckling rhythm and symbolic meanings of baby names inspired by boats and sailing. Most of these nautical names are outside the U.S. top 1,000 but don’t feel out of place with today’s trends:
Christopher Nolan’s new WW II epic, Dunkirk, has crowds of theatergoers at the edge of their seats as it depicts the harrowing evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from northern France in 1940. The film is intense and inspirational—and perhaps, also, for expecting parents looking for some great hero names from the Greatest Generation.