Name Guru to the Stars: Predicting the Seventh Hanson Baby Name
Natalie is a dear friend of Nameberry, and we are thrilled to be hosting a very special celebrity baby name contest on Instagram with a one-time prize of $1000. As usual, I have dibs on my top ten guesses (which you can read more about below), and you get to guess one name per friend you tag in a comment. The first person with the correct prediction wins — and this time, the stakes are high.
The surprises don’t stop there — Natalie gave me a sneak preview of the sex of the baby and we’re making the announcement today, right now.
So, drumroll, please…
It’s a girl!
Natalie and Taylor were ahead of the curve in each of their children’s names — each name was below the Top 400 the year the child was born. However, they’ve gotten more adventurous over the years. The younger three children’s names were below the Top 1000 in their birth years, while the older three’s ranked between 400 and 600. So odds are, this baby will have an uncommon name.
All of the Hanson children have traditional names, in the sense that they have strong roots and have been used for centuries. Their names are familiar yet unexpected — everyone’s heard of them, but few are actually using them.
I’ve taken all of this together to determine my top ten choices for Baby Hanson Number 7. I excluded names beginning with any of the children’s first initials (E, P, R, V, W, and I, and also J and C) since I don’t think they’re going to repeat initials.
Cornelia: I realize I sort of broke my own rule here, since Cornelia begins with the same letter as Indy’s given name, Claude. But it’s too good to exclude from the list. Cornelia is a true neglected classic with a storied past. In Ancient Rome, Cornelia was the mother of the Gracchi brothers, who attempted social reforms in the Republic. Nell or Nellie is a charming nickname — another option is Cora.
Dorothea: Dorothea ticks a lot of the Hanson baby name boxes. It’s easily recognizable thanks to a host of literary and historical associations, yet grossly underused in the 21st century. Nicknames Dot or Thea would fit well with her sisters’. Plus, Dorothea’s meaning, “gift of God,” feels especially appropriate for a Christmastime baby.
Guinevere: Guinevere immediately calls to mind the legendary wife of King Arthur. She’s a complicated figure, for sure, but her name conveys strength and romance — some of the queen’s finest qualities. Guin or Gwyn is the obvious nickname, although you could also consider Neve. I once knew a Guinevere called Guinnie, which always stuck with me as a sweet nickname option.
Henrietta: Henrietta is on the same wavelength as Wilhelmina — they’re both clunky-cool feminizations with queenly connections. The Hansons love Scandinavian names (ahem, Viggo), and while Henrietta isn’t Scandinavian in origin, it is used in Nordic countries, mostly Sweden and Finland. The nickname Etta is likely off the table since it starts with E, so Hetty and Hattie are the most plausible choices.
Lucinda: Considering the popularity of Lucy, it’s surprising that Lucinda isn’t used more often. It was only given to 125 baby girls last year (that’s two fewer than Wilhelmina). The name was created in the 17th century for the novel Don Quixote as an elaboration of Lucia. Lucinda means “light,” which may be interpreted to represent the light at the end of the tunnel during these uncertain times, the light of a rainbow baby, or the light of the holiday season.
Millicent: Millicent was never a smash hit in the US — its peak was at Number 434 — but it’s been around since the Middle Ages and maintains its familiarity. Millicent has the pleasant and powerful meaning “strong in work,” and like Wilhelmina, has Germanic roots. Nickname Millie feels a tad close to Willa, but is that enough to cross it off the list?
Minerva: Minnie shares all of Millie’s charm without the sounds of Willa, so it may be a preferable choice of nickname. Minerva is the best formal name option for the Hansons, as it meets much of their criteria. Like Penelope, Minerva has a mythological connection. It’s the name of the Roman goddess of wisdom — Minerva was the Roman equivalent to Athena.
Susannah: Susannah is beyond ready for resurrection, and the Hansons have a knack for choosing names on the brink of revival. I went with the Susannah variation for them because it feels slightly more traditional thanks to its biblical pedigree, although Susanna is an equally valid spelling. Susie might be too dated as a nickname, and Zuzu too extreme, but Sukie strikes the perfect balance between them. Another option is the Scandinavian short form, Sanna.
Tabitha: Geek-chic Tabitha actually peaked in the 1970s (the Bewitched spinoff had a powerful influence) but it has more of a general vintage vibe than Gen-X mom name feel. It’s a New Testament name, known as that of a woman Saint Peter raised from the dead. Tabby is a bit feline as a nickname — Tib and Tibby are a better fit with the sibset.
Theodosia: Hamilton introduced many people to the name Theodosia, the name of Aaron Burr’s daughter and subject of the song “Dear Theodosia.” So a young Theodosia would have a built-in lullaby, which is appealing in and of itself. But it works well with the sister set — Theodosia mirrors Penelope’s Greek roots and is a feminization of a masculine name, like Wilhelmina. Thea, Theo, and Theda are possible nicknames