Category: Names from the Arts & Pop Culture

We know that celebrities of the past and present inspire popular baby names, from Audrey (Hepburn) and Ava (Gardner) to (John) Lennon and (Jimi) Hendrix. And sometimes it’s celebrities themselves who choose famous names for their children, with actors and musicians paying homage to legendary stars with their name choices.

Our report on this trend from a few years back highlighted picks like Mariah Carey’s Monroe and guitarist Slash’s Cash. Those names remain in the headlines, but now there’s a whole new class of celebrity baby names honoring iconic stars that came before them.

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Vintage Boy Names: Grover and Friends

By Abby Sandel

Spoiler alert: we’re talking about the final season of Girls below!

Ready for a cardinal rule of baby naming? Names go in and out of style. Every few years, something old feels new again. And a name that was once all the rage teeters on the edge of extinction. Good-bye, Gary. Hello, Otis.

The Girls series finale gave us a baby name that might signal the next new wave for boys. While it’s not a neat formula, there are plenty of examples of once-dated names that feel current today.

Twenty years ago, Jasper and Felix made few shortlists. Otis had tumbled out of the US Top 1000 entirely. Now Jasper and Felix feel like mainstream favorites, and Otis is shifting from daring hipster pick to an alternative to mega-popular Oliver.

Pop culture plays an important role in helping parents re-consider long neglected names, so the Girls name could prove influential. And the fact that Lena Dunham and her fellow writers chose it? I suspect names like this are trending in their own lives.

Let’s take a closer look at Girls’ Grover, along with some other so-far-out that they might – just might – be ready to be back in – names for boys. None of these appear in the current US Top 1000, but there’s good reason to think a younger generation of parents could cautiously consider them.

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New Names from New Movies

Every new movie season seems to bring with it a few character names that jump out for their distinctive baby name potential, and these past few months were no exception.  We found some new names that are right on trend—vintage nicknames, gender switches, literary characters, and surname names.  Here are 12 of the best—some of which just might catch on! By Linda Rosenkrantz

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posted by: Tiana Putric View all posts by this author

By Tiana Putric

The Boston Marathon, rooted in ancient Greek history, is the oldest modern annual marathon in the world: it was established in 1897 – 120 years ago! Taking place every year on Patriots’ Day, it draws tens of thousands of marathoners from around the world who compete while hundreds of thousands of spectators watch, applaud, and shout words of encouragement.

Last week, the names of winners Geoffrey and Edna, Marcel and Manuela were added to those of the past. Let’s look back at the interesting names of eight earlier Boston Marathon winners, from Ellison Brown in the men’s open to Jacqueline Gareau in the women’s open to Marcel Hug and Edith Hunkeler in the men’s and women’s wheelchair division.

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by Abby Sandel

Another Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has just wrapped up. Every spring, the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California transforms into a weekend-long music venue, the modern incarnation of Woodstock.

We’ve all heard of the 2017 headliners – Lady Gaga, stepping in for pregnant-with-twins Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Radiohead. Plenty of the other performers are not quite household names, some even obscure, known mostly to their devoted fan base … for now.

What does any of this have to do with baby names? While many of the performers answer to typical 20- and 30-something names like Kevin and Justin, Matt and Josh, Sarah and Megan, not every name is expected.

Some reflect the eclectic, global nature of the festival’s line-up. Others are carefully crafted stage names, calculated to be distinctive and cool. Plenty of them feel like they could be the next big thing.

For more indie inspiration, check out this NameTalk thread from 2012, featuring favorites from that year’s performers.

Here are some of the more intriguing name possibilities gleaned from this year’s Coachella line-up, and what they signify for naming a son in 2017.

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