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Meaningful Baby Names: Sistine, Bodhi and Blues

March 22, 2015 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel

There are so many ways to give your child’s name meaning.

An old standard can be meaningful, if John is named after your grandfather or Mary after a beloved friend.

Some of most interesting baby names in 2015 are rich with significance. They evoke peace or grandeur, music or the arts or faith.

High profile parents love these names, but this trend is not exclusive to Hollywood. Chances are that any playground will have at least one Lyric or Grace, Kingsley or Haven.

The celebrity baby names in the news this week seem especially meaningful. Some are extravagant, bordering on braggadocio. And yet, overall, it’s an appealing trend. We all want our children to aspire to certain qualities. Why not let those values inspire their names?

The meaning-rich baby names in the news this week are:

Sistine Sabella Kevin James and Steffiana de la Cruz are the parents of daughters SiennaMarie and Shea Joelle, and son Kannon Valentine. The couple recently welcomed a fourth, and the name they chose is stunning. Sistine comes from the chapel, named for the fifteenth century Pope Sixtus IV and known for its masterworks, most notably the ceiling painted by Michelangelo. Sistine is a place name, but also brings to mind artistic achievement and religious devotion. Combined with Sabella, it’s a stand-out choice.

Viva Matthew McConaughey has a Vida, and David Boreanz has a Bella Vita. With Zoe, Liv, Vivian, and Vivienne in favor, doesn’t it make sense that Vida, Vita, and Viva could catch on, too? Viva was recently spotted in a birth announcement at Names for Real. Vivacious and life-affirming, they’re a group of names that feels appropriate for any family.

Sire – Rapper 50 Cent was born Curtis James Jackson III. But he didn’t pass down his family name to the next generation. His sons both have names that rule: Marquise and Sire. Marquise is a title, and while Sire can refer to a knight or an older man, it’s also a term of address equivalent to “your majesty.” Sire recently made headlines when he scored a modeling contract at the tender age of two.

Olive Mae Marla Sokoloff’s new daughter is Olive. Olive has been a big choice in celebrity circles, with Isla Fisher and Drew Barrymore both giving the name to daughters in recent years. But an olive branch also symbolizes peace, and that fills this nature name and color name with significance. Marla is also to mom to Elliotte Anne with her husband, composer Alec Puro.

Sage – If Olive feels gently vintage, Sage is quietly modern. It’s the name chosen by Irish singer Samantha Mumba and her husband Torray Scalles for their new daughter. Sage is an herb, and a shade of green, but also another word for wisdom. In the US, it’s used for boys as well as girls.

Scout Remember when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore named their daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah, and the names seemed so outlandish? Turns out Bruce and Demi were just ahead of the curve. Beloved names from literature can be among the most meaningful of name choices, and those from To Kill a Mockingbird have been especially popular in the last few years – think Atticus and Harper. Could Scout be next? Names for Real spotted a Scout in a recent birth announcement.

Bodhi Ryan – Actress Noureen DeWulf and pro hockey player husband Ryan Miller gave this spiritual name to their firstborn. Bodhi is a Sanskrit word that translates to “enlightenment” or “awakening.” Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green also have a Bodhi, and they’re not the only ones. Bodhi currently ranks Number 810 and rising in the US.

Shalom – Could Shalom be the new Phoenix? The Hebrew greeting means peace. Thanks to model Shalom Harlow, it feels very wearable as a given name. Names for Real recently spotted Shalom in the middle spot on a boy. In 2013, there were 59 boys named Shalom, plus 48 girls. It feels meaningful and distinctive, too.

Blues Anthony – To be sad is to “have the blues,” but Mad Men’s Jessica Paré seems ecstatic at the arrival of her son. It’s a very different choice. While a handful of girls and boys answer to Blue, Blues is almost unique. Musical baby names aren’t so unusual, from chart-toppers like Cadence and Harmony to musician names like Lennon and Marley. Dad is musician John Kastner, but his usual genre is punk, not the blues. No word yet on what inspired the unusual choice, but here’s hoping for an interview soon.

Are any of your favorite names virtue names, spiritual choices, or nods to music, literature, or faith?

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

View all of Abby's articles

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