Category: baby name blog

Blond, Brunette, and Redhead Baby Names

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted a name that meant “red” or “redhead” for a couple of unrelated reasons. First, I was looking for a name that referred to my maiden name Redmond, since the baby would have my husband’s last name. And I guessed (correctly) that we might be having a little redhead, since my hair is copper-y and my mother’s was bright red.

The name we chose for our daughter was Rory, one of many excellent names that either mean red or red-haired or connote the rich, bright color.

I was thinking of my own color-based name search when I created three of the newest lists on Nameberry: names for blond babies, brunettes, and redheads. Some of the choices are pretty straightforward while others make a sideways nod to the color: Jasper, a reddish stone, for a redhead, for instance, or Sable for a child with dark hair or skin.

Some of our favorites from the three groups:

REDHEAD BABY NAMES

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French Names: What’s chic now?

Paging through the fat new issue of Vogue the other night, I found myself riveted not by the gorgeous models, not by the fabulous clothes, but by – mais oui – the names.

The French names, in particular, which seemed to jump out at me everywhere from the magazine, attached to chic grownup women as well as charming little girls and boys.

We’ve blogged about modern French names a couple of times, but the uninitiated still think of French names as the now-tired Danielle and Nicole, or the even-tireder Jean and Jacques.

But there’s a whole new group of French names coming up, along with a raft of classic French names never widely used among English speakers which sound fresh and chic right now.

While international names such as Hugo and Luna, Old Testament choices like Sarah and Noah, and even English names such as Emma and Tom may dominate the French baby name popularity list, authentically French choices are fashionable too, in Pittsburgh as well as Paris.

Here, French names that are chic for your own little fille or garcon.

Girls

Agathe
Amandine
Anais
Anouk
Apolline

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There are few things more thrilling in life than having your first baby.  But newbie baby namers are prone to making some mistakes that more experienced name choosers are able to avoid.

If you’re choosing a baby name for the first time, don’t make one of these 7 common mistakes:

1. Believing that the names that were popular – and creative – when you were a kid still have the same status.

Name tastes have changed radically over the last decade or two.  Goodbye, Jessica and Josh, hello Layla and Serenity, Landon and Tristan – all Top 100 names.

2. Thinking that the playground rules are the same as they were back in the day.

Kids no longer get teased for having names that are unique, androgynous, exotic, or hard to pronounce or spell.  Rather, name diversity is celebrated.

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Have you noticed the sudden pop in popularity of girls’ names starting with the happy-go-lucky syllable ‘Ha’—some on them shamelessly stolen from the boys?  Caught in the spotlight by two recent high-profile starbabies, Harper Seven Beckham and Jessica Alba’s Haven Warren, this is among the baby name trends that seem to be spreading like wildfire both inside and outside the celebrity sphere.

So it’s ta-ta to Haley, Hayley, Hailee, Hailey and Hallie—and hello to:

Harper. Originally a Scottish family name, this is the biggest hit of all, now Number 119 on the girls’ list, after just arriving in 2004, and jumping more than fifty places in the last year.  It was inspired at least in part by America’s romance with the much-loved classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper (born Nelle) Lee, the book that has also propelled the name Atticus for boys.  Harper’s cred was then reinforced by the character of Harper Finkle on The Wizards of Waverly Place, introduced in 2007 and to a lesser extent by a more minor one in Gossip Girl. Though Harper is still used for boys, most of the many recent starbaby Harpers—from Lisa Marie Presley’s to Neil Patrick Harris’s, have been girls.  Trivia note: During fashionista Posh Beckham’s pregnancy, there were some snide rumors that her future daughter’s possible name was inspired by Harper’s Bazaar magazine.

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Award-Winning Baby Names

Here’s an idea: Why not make your child an award winner from the get-go, and give him or her a name with the bonus point of a ‘best of’ association?   We’re all familiar with Oscar and Tony and Emmy, but there are lots of other award names that aren’t as well known,  most represeningt a distinguished namesake.  And no, we’re not suggesting using Nobel or Pulitzer or Pritzger.

Some possibilities:

Girls

Agatha: Named for Agatha Christie,  the Agatha Awards are given to mystery authors writing in the vein of the creator of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot—that is, featuring an amateur detective and sans sex or violence.  Agathas are bestowed at an annual convention in Washington, D.C. in several categories, from novels to children’s mysteries.

Amanda: Named for an old Norwegian sea shanty, Amandas have been given since 1985 by the Norwegian International Film Festival to stimulate interest in Norwegian films

Clio: Named for the Greek muse of history, a “source of inspiration and genius,” the Clios have been awarded since 1959 for creative excellence in advertising

Echo: An annual German music award given to both German and international pop and classical musicians.  Previous winners have included Michael Jackson and Meat Loaf.

Effie: The Effie Awards are marketing communications awards given yearly to honor the most effective marketing communications ideas. Started in 1968 in the US by the New York American Marketing Association, they then expanded globally.

Emmy: The Emmy Awards are the TV equivalent of the movie Oscars and the music Grammys, presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  The name is a variation of “immy,” the image orthicon tubes used in early video cameras– which is why the statuette depicts a winged woman holding an atom.

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