Nameberry Week in Review: January 16-24
I’ll admit it: I obsessively read the Pottery Barn Kids catalog not for the color-coordinated, impossibly organized nurseries and playrooms, but for the names. They tend to be a predictable set, drawn from the US Top 100, often reflecting the more conservative choices. Over the last year or so, I’ve detected a subtle shift. Along with Andrew and Michael, Katherine and Grace, the Spring 2011 issue featured bedding and gear personalized for girls called Emerson and Leela, and boys named Rory, Ryland, Tyson, Calvin, and Graham.
If Pottery Barn Kids is embracing a greater diversity of names, let’s take it as just one more sign that parents truly are considering a broader range of options than ever before. If you’ve ever clicked on the Social Security Administration’s Beyond the Top 1000 Names page you’ll know that the percentage of newborns given a Top 1000 name has dropped over the years. Last year, just 73% of all American newborns received a Top 1000 name. That’s down about 5% in the past decade.
Looking for more evidence? Names I’ve spotted recently include:
- During the American Idol auditions in New Orleans, 15 year-old Jacee Badeaux belted out “Dock of the Bay.” Jacee is a he! Other hopefuls on their way to Hollywood answer to Ace, J’Leigh, Jovany, and the oh-so-appropriate Symphony Music.
- For Real Baby Names – a round-up of birth announcements culled from just about everywhere – spotted Linnet Leeann, Sophera Rose, Riken Kade, and Clete Harrison.
- Two from Nancy’s Baby Names reach a bit farther back. Actress Swoosie Kurtz was named after a B-17 bomber by her fighter-pilot dad. And what could explain the rise of Kasara in the 1980s? I think Nancy has solved the mystery.
- My friend Emily met a boy called Echo, and I met a little girl named Bethlehem.
While we ordinary folks were giving our kids inventive appellations, Hollywood was doing the opposite. The arrival of Owen Wilson’s son Robert Ford prompted headlines like “Owen Wilson Gives His Baby a Normal Name.”
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban announced the birth of their daughter.
It was shocking that they’d managed to keep the pregnancy a secret, but the name they chose, Faith Margaret, raised no eyebrows. Sisters named Sunday and Faith did prompt a few comments. Swistle’s list of possible names for a future sibling is great: Deacon, Bishop, or Benediction for a brother; Trinity, Epiphany, or Hosanna for another girl.
Even Flynn, the name Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr chose for their son,has resulted in very little chatter, though some speculated that F-names could make for a surprising trend. My note to Natalie Portman? Fleet Millepied is available.
For those who love Extreme Celeb Baby Naming, don’t lose hope. The Beckhams are expecting, and with guesses at the new baby’s name ranging from Vaughn and Arcadio to Primrose and Egypt, here’s betting that we’ll be in for a surprise in a few more months. I can’t wait!
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on January 24th, 2011 at 9:00 am
Sunday & Faith? I like both names but they just don’t sound very sisterly
Wow as the American idol Auditions! Jacee is cool, but J’leigh? Wow… in a good and bad way
on January 24th, 2011 at 12:08 pm
I love love love Linnet. I have a serious thing for L names and if Linnea wasn’t on my list, Linnet definitely would be.
on January 24th, 2011 at 12:58 pm
Jacee is just another way of spelling JC, JC Chasez anyone?
on January 24th, 2011 at 12:58 pm
Speaking of american idol auditions, there were girls named Kenzie and Paris, dear god..
on January 24th, 2011 at 1:37 pm
I think Natalie is going to have a girl. But then I was sure the Bloom’s would be welcoming a girl, so we will have to see.
Sophera is very pretty; I’ll have to dig into this one.
on January 24th, 2011 at 1:48 pm
I think the Beckhams’ will go with something having to do with the babies already chosen Godparents, Chief Gordan and Tana Ramsay. Portman should go with Odette for a girl. I have always wondered about Swoosie’s name… love it!
on January 24th, 2011 at 2:13 pm
Macy, you’re completely right about JC/Jacee. I have a thing for initials – I really wanted to give our firstborn a J name in the middle and call him AJ. My husband feels equally as strongly that this is NOT a good option. I’m just surprised to see it spelled out … but OMG, he had A VOICE!
Jossiechris, LOVE the idea of Odette. If spotlightstarlit is right, then maybe it will be Odette!
And Jennie, I agree – Lynette seems hopelessly dated, but Linnet just strikes me as cool.
Belle, I came across another pair of sisters – Apple and Sunday! It was in an article in Good Housekeeping, maybe? Sweet story, but I couldn’t help wonder if the girls were named after Apple Martin & Sunday Urban!
on January 24th, 2011 at 3:50 pm
The PBK comment made me laugh…my husband and i used to hate when we’d come up with a name we really liked and then next season it was in PBK….it’s only a matter of time before it gets trendy 🙂 Likewise though, I admit, I do the same thing with the Boden catalogs that publish the names of their little models…names that got me this issue were Joss, Boden, and Hal for boys, and Helaina for a girl.
on January 24th, 2011 at 7:49 pm
Abby, I like to read the American Stationary catalog for all the names, but those are generally your typical classics – Abigail Claire, Hannah Marie – or the more trendy set – Madison, Taylor. There was a Virginia, a Josephine, a Clarissa, an Angelina, and, most surprisingly, a Bettina!
I also – secretly – like to look at wedding announcements and such, even the online wedding invitation retailers, to see what names they pair up. I spotted a Taryn and a Logan, a Sydney and Elijah, a Fiona and Maddox, and (my personal favorite) a Pandora and Johnson!
And, because I’m a twin, I like to read the fake twin birth announcements at retail sites. I spotted an Isadora and Agatha, a Jessica and Jennifer, a Carrie and Jamie, and a Winston and Tarah.
Moving on to those celebabies!
I think Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret are a great fit, albeit religiously-inspired. Hosanna would be a perfect future sister, or perhaps even Annora, though I’m guessing they’ll stick with just the two. Hosanna Claire is my vote, though.
Goodness, Fleet Millepied? What a name that would be! I’m with Bella – I think Baby Portman-Millepied will be a girl, and I think she’ll be named on the safer side. No, I don’t mean a name equivalent to James Van Der Beek’s Olivia or Owen Wilson’s Robert, but I doubt she’ll go as “extravagant” as Gwyneth’s Apple or Gwen’s Zuma. I could see Nat going in the virtue direction like Jessica Alba’s Honor, Madonna’s Mercy, and Nicole Kidman’s Faith, though – Amity or Prudence “Prue” get my vote. I’m definitely feeling a Biblical vibe with this baby’s name, though, so whereas Jossie thinks they should go with Odette, I think they should go with Sela.
on January 24th, 2011 at 8:28 pm
I doubt Natalie’s going to go for Fleet! 🙂 Sela is gorgeous.
Now I begin to think that I’m not reading ENOUGH catalogs.
on January 24th, 2011 at 10:19 pm
Abby, if you ever get bored of have extra time on your hands (ha!), go check out basically everything on the tinyprints.com site. I just looked at the Valentine’s Day cards and caught a sister set of Quinn and Sloan, a girl named Sacha, brothers Casper and Jackson, a baby named Avadora, a little Gwen, siblings Abigail and Marlon, a girl named Felicity Rose, and a brother and sister set of Mirabel and Jonas! And that was only the first page…
Casper, Avadora, and Marlon are quite the finds, I think!
best names Said
on January 24th, 2011 at 11:52 pm
this is very nice
on January 26th, 2011 at 12:37 am
I love the name Echo! My elder cousin (whom I’ve never met) is actually named echo, so when I was going through the family tree, it was quite interesting to see her name there!
on January 26th, 2011 at 10:24 pm
My oldest daughter Matilda got invited to a birthday party for a girl (Josephine) in play group, and the girls older sister is named Echo. I was a little puzzled, since Josephine is such a popular name, and Echo is less popular.
on January 27th, 2011 at 5:39 am
Sunday and Faith sound like sisters to me. What do you do on Sunday? Go to church.
Baby Name News: This week’s most notable names, from Ami to Zia – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Said
on July 25th, 2011 at 12:11 am
[…] you’re a Nameberry diehard, you might recall that this column started out as a week in review, then morphed into a more conventional list of names based around a certain theme – superheroes, […]
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