Category: baby name image
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In 1789, when George Washington was unanimously elected the first president of the nation—the first elected president in the world– there was a lot of discussion about what he should be called. John Adams and others favored royal titles such as Your Highness and Your Majesty, even His Exalted Highness. Washington himself was said to be relieved when the humbler President was settled on.
How astonished would George be today if he could flash forward and see all the American babies being given those very exalted regal titles he rejected? This trend is not limited to pop royalty either: numerous titles from the British peerage and other international kingdoms, as well as words related to them, are being bestowed by all parents on their little heirs. Some of these royal baby names are already in the Top 1000–let’s take a look at those first.
By Kara Blakley
Gender and naming are two complicated subjects that become almost perilous once considered together. It may appear on the surface that we’ve entered a sort of gender-fluid golden age in which names like Cameron, Elliot, Peyton, Quinn, and anything -son are equally accessible to boys and girls. It seems every week a new celebrity is bestowing a daughter with the middle name James.
By Mathieu Cailler
During my recent book tour travels, I would often read a short story titled “Zorba’s” from my collection, Loss Angeles. In it, a young couple contemplates names for their soon-to-be-born baby boy. They go back and forth: the husband likes a name, the wife does not, and vice-versa. What I noticed at the readings was that everyone has a name story. And it got me thinking about the names in my book, and how I came to select them.
By Emily Cardoza
This past weekend I went to see Robert Eggers’ The Witch, an excellent (albeit scary and really unusual) film about a Puritan family dealing with the supernatural. The references to the Devil got me thinking – are there any devilish names in use out there? Here are the ones I found. The names have been ordered by popularit, greatest to least (the numbers in parentheses show how many babies were given the name).
The popularity of cheerful Lily has given this name a boost, but the original Lilith was Adam‘s first wife in Jewish folklore. She refused to be subservient to him and left him, turning into a demon (I’m personally on her side in this debate). The connotation is preserved mostly in the Jewish tradition, but it’s interesting to see such an innocent-looking name with such a diabolic origin story.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
St. Valentine’s day always brings to mind romantic baby name possibilities, but more often than not they’re of the female persuasion, usually lacy, multi-syllabic Victorian pretties like Arabella and Melissande. But hey–there are plenty of romantic names on the boys’s side as well, whether through sound, meaning, amatory reputation or literary connections. Here are some of the best.
A bit obvious, perhaps, but what could be more apropos than this pair? In addition to the holiday connection, Valentine is the name of a devoted friend in Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona and is also a major character in Twelfth Night. Valentino, long associated with silent screen Latin lover heartthrob Rudolph Valentino, was chosen by Ricky Martin for one of his twin boys.