Delilah and Desiree–Bad Girls Gone Good
When Pam and I wrote our first name book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason (back when Jennifer & Jason were still baby names), we had a little section called NAMES THAT ARE TOO MUCH TO LIVE UP TO, listing examples that had such a potent image that whey would overpower an innocent babe–including such biblical temptresses and goddesses as Jezebel, Salome and Venus. Well, things have now changed to the point where those names and others equally powerful have slipped into the mainstream. Why? Partly the current anything-goes atmosphere, partly some tipping point moments, such as:
JEZEBEL: WHY? Scheming, promiscuous New Testament hussy; name came to mean hussy. DEFUSER? Feminists started to see her as a victim, became the name of a hot weblog. Name still means hussy.
LOLA: WHY? Sexy 19th century Spanish dancer/courtesan Lola Montez, sexy Marlene Dietrich character in The Blue Angel, sexy Pajama Game song ‘Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets’. DEFUSER? Madonna nicknames baby Lourdes Lola, Kelly Ripa mentions daughter Lola every morning
SALOME: WHY? Deceitful dancing New Testament seductress, seen as even worse in Oscar Wilde play and Strauss opera; DEFUSER? Not sure, but it was defused enough for TV actress Alex Kingston to use it for her daughter.
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Emmy Jo Said
on November 13th, 2008 at 3:32 am
I think the Isabella/Isabelle craze may have a lot to do with the acceptability of Jezebel. The names are very similar in sound, so for a parent who is not exactly steeped in Old Testament history and is looking for something out-of-the-ordinary, I can see why it would appeal.
on November 13th, 2008 at 11:17 am
on December 10th, 2008 at 6:15 pm
Here in the UK, I’m hearing about a lot of Lola’s – mainly because of Charlie and Lola, a hugely popular children’s series on CBeebies (BBC’s children’s channel).
on September 4th, 2009 at 6:44 am
Sexy DAMN YANKEES song “Whatever Lola Wants.” The sexy Pajama Game song is “Hernando’s Hideaway” (or “Steam Heat”…I guess).
on November 8th, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Don’t forget, Salome’s also a Saint! That’s a good diffuser.
on June 2nd, 2010 at 8:13 am
Salome means peace, which sounds good to me.
Furthermore, I’m told that there was also a Salome in the New Testament, mentioned in Marc 15:40 and 16:1. She found the empty grave of Jesus together with Mary of Magdalen.
on May 3rd, 2011 at 1:56 am
I love the names Lola, Delilah, Scarlett, and Lolita!
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