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Sweet Spot Names: Lincoln, Clara, and Callie

Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Names like Katniss and Rainbow grab headlines.  Will anyone really name their daughter after the Hunger Games heroine?  Will Holly Madison’s little girl grow up loving her colorful name, or will she legally change it to Rachel when she turns eighteen?

Their opposites are the proven classics.  Dependable names, rich with history, like Katherine and Elizabeth, William and James.

Most of us choose something in between.  It’s the baby naming sweet spot: not as unconventional as Pilot or North, but not as limited as, say, Will and Kate’s shortlist for naming a future king.

This week’s baby name news was all about sweet spot names.  They can’t be dismissed as trendy.  The names would have been familiar one hundred years ago.  Odds are strong that they’ll still be in use in another century or two.

And even though they feature in high profile birth announcements or pop culture references, there’s no reason these names wouldn’t wear perfectly well on a child.

This week’s baby names in the news are:

Charley ElizabethDays of our Lives alum Martha Madison and her restaurateur husband AJ Gilbert welcomed a daughter earlier this month.  Their daughter’s name is the boyish Charley.  Yes, Charley is conventionally masculine.  But Charley and Charlie have a long history of use for girls, too, presumably as a feminine form of Charles.  Plus, her informal first name is anchored with a true classic in the middle spot.  Charley Elizabeth makes for a very wearable combination.

Louis Augustus –  Louis might be the most traditional pick on this list.  Regal, saintly Louis was the choice for David Walton and Majandra Delfino’s new son, a little brother for Cecilia DelphineAugustus is a grand name, too.  But Louis also feels jazzy, thanks to Louis Armstrong, and Augustus fits right in with other ancient names for boys, like Atticus and Julius.

Antonio AndresDevious Maids star Paula Garces and husband Antonio Hernandez handed down dad’s first name to their son.  Garces is Colombian, but Antonio doesn’t have to be a heritage choice or a family name.  With boys answering to Luca and Matteo, vowel-ending, romance language possibilities like Antonio feel mainstream.

Lincoln MarshallTeen Mom 2 cast member Kailyn Lowry named her first son Isaac Elliott after a Hanson brother.  Now she and new husband Javi Marroquin have welcomed their first child together, Lincoln Marshall.  According to Twitter, the middle name was inspired by rapper Eminem – real name Marshall Mathers.  Cue the snarky comments.  Except that Marshall is a solid citizen of a name, and Lincoln Marshall is a great combination – current, but not fleeting.

Ruby Lane – Personal trainer Chris Powell of Extreme Weight Loss and wife Heidi welcomed a daughter, Ruby LaneRuby joins Cash, Marley, and Matix.  The entire family features in ABC.com web series Meet the Powell Pack.  While the other kids’ names are of more recent coinage, Ruby is a vintage choice, a nineteenth century revival poised just outside the US Top 100.

Nora Kara – The newest member of the Kennedy clan is Nora Kara Kennedy, a daughter for former Congressman Patrick Kennedy and wife Amy, a granddaughter for the late Senator Ted Kennedy.  The family also includes son Owen Patrick, and Amy’s daughter, Harper.  The middle name honors Patrick’s late sister, filmmaker Kara Kennedy Allen.  Like Ruby, Nora is a name making a comeback in recent years.

Sosie – This one isn’t from a recent celebrity birth announcement.  Sosie Ruth Bacon is the daughter of actors Kyra Sedgewick and Kevin Bacon – born back in 1992.  Sosie made headlines this week when she was named Miss Golden Globe by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  As Miss Golden Globe, she’ll assist at the January 2014 ceremony.  Sosie has lots of possible origins – Moliere used it for a character back in 1668, and she’s sometimes short for Susan, too.  Take the popularity of Sophia, add in a dash of Sadie, and Sosie is a name that could catch on.

Callie – Disney princesses have boosted given names from Jasmine to Belle.  Now actress Mandy Moore is originating a new character for an animated Disney Junior series: a feline sheriff called CallieSheriff Callie’s Wild West will make an early 2014 debut.  If Kaylee is a fading trend, Callie feels more like a vintage revival.  Dressing her in cowgirl boots could make Callie a sister name for Wyatt or Cash.

Clara – British sci fi series Doctor Who is celebrating its fifty-year anniversary.  Even if you’ve never seen a single episode, odds are you know a little something about the time-traveling hero.  We’ve never learned the given name of the good Doctor, but other characters have answered to some memorable monikers.  His current companion – a sort of assistant – is Clara Oswin Oswald, who turns out to have quite a story of her own.  As a name, Clara feels unstoppable – a successor to Hannah and Amelia, currently just outside the Top 100 in the US.

Do you think these names hit the sweet spot between classic and out-there?  Are there any that you would consider using for a child?

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13 Responses to “Sweet Spot Names: Lincoln, Clara, and Callie”

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southern.maple Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 2:40 am

It’s just Clara Oswald. Oswin was a name she went by in a different life. (That entire plot line is impossible to explain, but let’s just leave it at her name is Clara Oswald.) 🙂

Isaac Elliott and Lincoln Marshall seem too good to be true for anyone on Teen Mom. I’m still confused as to why we’ve promoted these young girls to celebrity status for exploiting themselves and their children on reality TV. But I digress.

I would love to hear more of Sosie and Callie.

Abby Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 6:26 am

@southern.maple – The gravestone in “Snowmen” shows her full name as Clara Oswin Oswald – but you’re right – I’m not certain that the current version of Clara has a middle name, or if it is Oswin.

And yes, that’s more or less what I was thinking about Isaac and Lincoln … really well done.

I’m forever looking for formal names for Sosie – Susannah, Shosannah, Josephine, maybe Sophia?

cadeence Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 8:42 am

My favourite out of these is Callie. It is so beautiful in its nickname form. I thought about Callista and Calliope as full names for it, but I don’t find them as pretty as just Callie.

skizzo Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 9:29 am

Louis Augustus has terrible flow.

I like Callie as a nn for Calliope, like the character on Grey’s Anatomy.

And people are naming their kids Katniss, I spotted two the past week.

Juniors are two thumbs down for me, I feel bad for the kid.

katybug Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 9:46 am

My niece is Callie, not short for anything. I would love to hear it more, it’s a fantastic name! It can also be a great short form for Caroline (instead of Carrie, which is still in “mom-name” territory).

Abby Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 9:49 am

@skizzo – I think they MUST be pronouncing Louis like “Louie” – as in Prince George Alexander Louis. But I haven’t heard a clip of his name being pronounced yet, so I’m not certain.

And two kids called Katniss? Whoa!

indiefendi Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 9:59 am

I’ve known lots of Antonios, Angelos, etc. who aren’t Italian or Spanish at all. It’s a name that could work perfectly fine on any boy!

I’ve always thought Katniss sounded like catnip but the character Katniss is a strong heroine so maybe that’s what parents think of when they name their girls that.

Rainbow Aurora is a stripper name.

Lincoln Marshall kinda sounds very political. Maybe he’ll become a judge.

I LOVE Clara. It’s so pretty!

jessamine13 Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Love Clara, Nora, Ruby, and Sosie. Definitely think they hit the sweet spot.

EmilyVA Says:

November 25th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

A lot of the girls names seems like nicknames particularly Sosie and Charley (which I think of on a girl as a nickname for Charlotte. I like that you picked a name making headlines that wasn’t for a baby this week. More unusual names making news would be good in my opinion, regardless of the age of the bearer. I like most of the names this week although I think they could have come up with a first name than flows better with Kara.

laurakatex Says:

November 26th, 2013 at 12:08 am

I love the names Kailyn choose for her sons, Issac and Lincoln are both strong beautiful names.
I have always loved callie since I was younger reading the noughts and Crosses series. The characters name is Callie Rose.

laurakatex Says:

November 26th, 2013 at 12:12 am

Also is it just me or does Sosie look really strange? (if she was born in 1992, and then she’s the same age as me).

I’m not a fan of nicknames as names, like Charlie or Sosie, I prefer names which have nicknames, like Aurora no Rory.

LoveBeingMommy Says:

November 28th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

@Abby – One of my friends has a four-year-old daughter named Sophia, whom she affectionately calls “Sosie”. 🙂

It surprised me the first time I heard her call her daughter Sosie. I would instead have expected she would have used Sophie as the shortened version of Sophia. So the first time I heard her call her daughter Sosie, I thought I must have misheard.

But no, it is Sosie, not Sophie.

I would never have thought of Sosie as a possible nickname for the names you listed, but I really like it, especially for Susannah.

nice girl baby names | Beauty girl image Says:

October 21st, 2016 at 4:46 am

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