Cool New Names: Cecily Plum and Lazlo Telemachus


by Linda Rosenkrantz

When I looked at all the cool new names posted on our Birth Announcement forum in April, I was struck not only by the actual choices (fabulous as always), but by the care, research and negotiations that shaped them. Take a look at the unique stories behind Juniper, Beckham, and Riven, for instance.

Some excellent examples of the new, vibrant single-syllable middles for girls: Jade, Plum and Wynn. And an outstanding middle on the boys’ list: Telemachus (wish we knew the story behind that!)

Here’s the complete roster:


Cool New Names– Girls

Arden Jade, sister of Huxley Clayton

“Her brother is super excited that Sissy is finally here and has agreed to change her diapers in exchange for a trip to Legoland. We decided on Arden Jade because I think that Arden could be the name of anyone that my little girl wanted to be as she grows up, and also because I adore the nickname Ari and love the literary connections to the name.  Jade is an honor name for my late grandpa Jay.”

Cecily Plum, sister of Basil Quince

My husband and I are teachers, and we hear a lot of the top names, so we always favor names that aren’t in the top 1000 (or at least top 500).  We didn’t realize we were such Anglophiles (or so hungry) until our favorite names came out.”

Elise Meghan

Juniper GraceJuno

My taste in names is lyrical and literary, while my husband’s is strong and spunky.  Juniper struck the perfect balance between the two, especially with the nickname Juno.  As world travelers who love the outdoors, we love that the resilient juniper tree thrives from Central America to the Himalayas.  The name Juniper also flows beautifully with Grace which was my mother’s middle name.  Resilience, grace and a hint of whimsy—these seemed like the perfect gifts for our daughter.  We had so much fun in the naming process.  My husband was a great sport, resisting the urge to quickly make a decision and instead engaging very playfully (and patiently) throughout the process: scoping out unusual names, sorting a stack of index cards into categories, listening to me explain the etymological and cultural background of each name on my list—the list goes on…  “


I can’t really say why we named her Prairie, other than we just loved it, and we felt that we shouldn’t be afraid to go outside what’s considered “normal” if we love it.  It’s also a word in both English and French, and that was really important to us.  It took us 28 hours to settle on a name, but it’s perfect for her, and it’s actually totally different from the name we had originally chosen for her.  That’s why I’m a firm believer that you can’t name a baby until you meet him/her.  We chose Rose as a middle because both my husband and my sister delivered roses to my hospital room independently of each other—and I thought it must be a sign!”

Romilly Wynn, sister of Lachlan William, Callum George and Everett Paschal

Violet Lenore, sister of Audrey Jeanine and Ezra Martin


Cool New Names for Boys

Beckham Wells, brother of Liam Worth, Lane Eliette and Brooks Wilder

“We loved Beckham’s meaning–“homestead by the stream”- and that he’d be making his home in our family next to our little stream, Wells is the street in Chicago where my husband I met, and it also means “spring,” continuing with the water theme.”

Benjamin (Benji) Dashel, brother of Margaret Susan and Jane Elizabeth

“We wanted a classic, but not over-used, first name to match his sisters…Although Benjamin is very popular, we fell in love with the nickname Benji and when we met him it was clear that it was the perfect name for our little guy.  My husband’s name is Dashel and we knew early on that we wanted to use Dashel as the middle name since the girls both have honor names for their middles.  Benji Dash has already stolen our hearts and his name fits in perfectly with our classic trio.”

Ezra Paul, brother of Lyla Peyton

Jasper Hugo Frederick, brother of Sebastian Henry Arlo

Kiernan Gerald, brother of Cormac Thomas and Rooney Kevin

“His first name means “little dark-haired one” and honors our very Irish heritage. His middle name is after my grandfather, a great man who passed away last summer. We love our little Irish boys!”

Lazlo Telemachus, brother of Fern Ellis

MaximilianMaximPeter, brother of Leo and Jack

Maximilian has been my favourite boys name forever, and though my wife didn’t like it much at first, she did come round, and she loves the nickname Maxim. I was worried it was going to be too much for him, but he’s already grown into it. Peter was the suggestion of his brothers, after Spiderman and Peter Pan, and it ended up suiting him very well.”

Riven James

“The whole ‘opposites attract’ describes me and my partner perfectly, as he is quite traditional and I am quite unusual.  Therefore we knew we had to find a balance between these when naming our child.  My partner chose James as it is tradition in his family to give the first born son the name James (we are now the 7th generation to do so).  I needed something more unusual for the first name, so I began my search with video games, as this is our favourite pastime.  I found the name Riven in one of my partner’s favourite games and we both instantly knew it was the one.”

What’s your favorite girl and boy name, first and middle combo, and sibset?

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

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