Nameberry Week in Review: Oscar-inspired Girls’ Names

Abby Sandel– creator of the wonderful AppellationMountain blog–digs deeper into the Oscar nominee lists, this week on the female side of the fence, and comes up with some real name treasures.

Last week we explored boys’ names drawn from the nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards.  This week we turn our attention to the girls’ list.  No one will be surprised to discover that it is just a little bit longer.

Here are my picks for the most shimmering girls’ names from this year’s list of nominees:

Antonella, as in Antonella Cannarozzi, nominated for Best Costume Design for “I Am Love.”

Arianna is in the US Top 100, but I’ve always thought the mythological Ariadne had more style.  Now that she’s associated with Ellen Page’s maze-making character from “Inception,” will we hear more of her?

Astrid was mocked on “The Office,” but she’s a heroic Viking girl in “How to Train Your Dragon.”

–The cast of “The Fighter” includes Dendrie Taylor, previously seen on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”  I can’t explain the origins of Dendrie, but I can hear her fitting right in with Riley and Bailey.

Frankie is daughter to troubled coupled Cindy and Dean in “Blue Valentine.”  It’s also the nickname for Amanda Peet’s firstborn, Frances Pen.

Natalie Portman scored the Screen Actors Guild award and the Golden Globe for her performance as Nina in “Black Swan.” Natalie has serious Hollywood name power.  Could Nina catch on, too?

Poesy is the last name of French actress Clémence Poesy, most recently seen in Best Picture nominee “127 Hours.” Could Poesy fit in with Lily, Daisy, and Josie in the first spot?

–Speaking of names that could fit, “Winter’s Bone” is the story of seventeen year old Ree Dolly, an Ozark mountain girl who risks all for her family.  I hear Ree and think of current middle name favorites Rose and Rae.

–She’s not exactly a role model, but legendary thronewrecker Wallis Warfield Simpson, born Bessie, does have a great name. Will “The King’s Speech” help more parents discover Wallis? Anthony LaPaglia gave the name to a daughter.  Wallis splits the difference between old-fashioned picks like Alice or Frances and modern surname choices like Madison or Taylor.

Zosia Mamet has a tiny role in “The Kids Are All Right.” Her given name is a Slavic spin on Sophia, and might be an alternative to that oh-so-popular name.

    Hollywood has given us many a great name over the years.  Read about Ingrid and Loretta, Spring and Min, here.

    One more thought: with all this talk of “Black Swan” and Twilight’s Bella Swan, would a daring parent use Swan as a given name?

    Did you catch Nicole Kidman’s explanation of her daughter’s name? Sunday’s little sister isn’t Faith, she’s Faith Margaret, “that Southern double name.”   Double names can be tough to pull off, but I imagine that Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman might just make it work.

    Speaking of names that could work, Nancy Friedman recently wrote about Naya. Nancy’s expertise is brand names, and she points out that Naya and Naia are now being worn by brands of gelato, skincare products, shoes, and wine, as well as Glee’s Naya Rivera.  With several attractive meanings, and a very current sound, Naya seems sure to catch on.

    In case you’re visiting nameberry just weeks before your due date, I’ll end by directing you to John Cave Osborne’s oh-so-true essay at Babble: “Coming Up With Baby Names Would Be Easier if My Wife Weren’t Pregnant.”

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    13 Responses to “Nameberry Week in Review: Oscar-inspired Girls’ Names”

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    spotlightstarlit Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 12:59 am

    I think the double-name may work; I’m southern and go by Gabrielle Carolina, I usually say, ‘Like Katie Scarlett’ and people get it.

    I love Zosia (Zaw-Shah) and Ariadne.

    Gnattie Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Oddly enough, Black Swan made me love the names Nina and Lily even more. I’m not sure why. Those names are just lovely.

    lemon Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I think Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban can totally make a double name like Faith Margaret work. It just makes me wonder – is Sunday Rose a double name, too?

    Zosia reminds me of zoysia, as in the grass. It’s cool, but weird. Right?

    I definitely think Naya could catch on, and I like it more than Maya. To me, it just sounds a little more grown-up. Can’t say why. Actually, I think N could be the next big letter! Names that have been around forever, like Natalie and Nina and Natasha, never got much recognition, but I think they could be big sometime soon thanks to Natalie Portman, Nat’s character Nina Sayers, and Natasha “Sasha” Obama. New spins on old favorites – Nicola for Nicole, Natalia for Natalie, Naya for Maya, Noella for Noelle – could just put N back on the map. Move over, A and V!

    Abby Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 7:39 am

    @spotlightstarlit – Now that’s interesting – I think seven syllables would be a tough sell here in DC, but maybe I’m wrong. There are more girls who really do answer Olivia and Isabella. Oh, and I adore your middle name!

    @lemon – I’m not sure, but I do think I’ve heard Nicole refer to her as “Sunday Rose,” so maybe that’s the case. And I think you’re right about N. Pam & Linda called R the next big letter, but N could really catch on. There’s also Nola, Noa, Nolan …

    @Gnattie, I think you’re exactly right – Nina and Lily are lovely. There are lots of girls called Lily, but Nina seems different. For now, anyway.

    Millikate Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    @ Lemon,

    There’s an article in People quoting Nicole and she says Sunday (not Sunday Rose) so I think she goes by just her first name, at least for the most part.

    Millikate Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Years ago, there was a documentary on little beauty pagents (before Toddler and Tiaras), and there was a little girl named Swan. I think it is more likely to be used as a middle name though. I like it though. Pirates’ Elizabeth Swan comes to mind too, although she may spell that Swann.

    Dendrie is interesting. I’ve never heard that before.

    Thanks for the read!

    sadiesadie Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I have heard Keith call Sunday Sunny so maybe they both call her something different?

    Helen Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    nina is my pick for a girl’s name if we have a girl in the future. i’ve loved it for yars and yars…i hope it doesn’t become TOO popular 😉

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    phoebesmom Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Well, Nicole and Keith live in the South a good deal of the time, so I think the double name will work. I knew a Katherine Elizabeth who went exclusively by both names.

    Abby@AppMtn Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    @Millikate – Of course! How could I forget the Pirates’ Elizabeth Swann?

    @Helen – Nina is great. Here’s hoping your secret doesn’t catch on …

    And now that I’m listening, I’m mostly hearing Sunday, too. But I love the sound of Faith Margaret.

    Nicole Says:

    February 7th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Faith Margaret is quite a mouthful, but I think it’s lovely.

    Nina Says:

    February 9th, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I’m hoping Nina doesn’t catch on. It’s actually my given name. Grew up in Germany and Nina was quite popular there unlike here in the US.

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