Category: baby name stories
One of the big recent baby name successes has been Ophelia. After nearly 60 years off the Top 1000, it reemerged in 2015 at Number 975, then jumped to 580 last year. Though it hasn’t yet beaten its peak from the turn of the 20th century, when it entered the Top 300, Ophelia ranks a stunning Number 15 among Nameberry users for the first half of 2017, so it’s almost certain to climb even higher in the U.S..
We get the appeal. It sounds unusual but graceful, it starts with the trendy letter O and it has a sterling literary pedigree, coined by Shakespeare himself.
But here’s the thing about that Shakespeare tie: In Hamlet, Ophelia is a central tragic victim, the girl driven to madness and suicide, but she doesn’t have much presence in the play. Shakespeare created dozens of strong, fascinating, brilliant female characters — but Ophelia isn’t one of them.
Yet today’s parents have decided that Ophelia‘s many positive qualities outweigh the grimness of her story. The same goes for Pandora, Abel and Persephone, all of which have started climbing up the charts.
So that’s our question: How much do you care about a name’s backstory? Are there any names you love because they have great stories behind them? Or have you ever rejected a name because of its history?
Our sincere thanks for permission to reprint this moving article which appeared recently on romper.com.
When you’re pregnant, it can often seem like your body, your baby, your decisions, your life are public domain. Everyone wants to touch your belly. Everyone wants to know what kind of genitalia your baby will be born with. Everyone wants to know how you’re feeling and tell you how to feel better. And everyone wants to know your baby’s name.
In all honesty, I didn’t mind the belly rubs as long as people asked first. I talked openly about my brutal morning sickness and intolerable heartburn because if someone asks you how much you throw up in a day, they better be prepared for a gruesome answer. However, when the inevitable question came up, I didn’t tell anyone my baby’s name because, in the end, and like everything else in pregnancy and childrearing, it was none of their business.
By Abby Sandel
Sooner or later, you’ll have to choose.
The rules vary based on where your child is born. But some authority somewhere is going to want you to register your new arrival, possibly before leaving the hospital. If not, eventually, in order to get a passport or enroll in school or something, your child will need an official name. And the grandparents? They’ll be asking, too. Because calling your kiddo “the baby” gets old fast.
But choosing isn’t easy, whether it’s your first child or you’re a veteran parent.
By Abby Sandel
If there’s one rule of modern baby naming, it might be this: expect to tell your story.
“How did you choose her name?” is one of my go-to conversation starters with new parents. It’s as reliable as “how did you meet?” to a newly engaged couple, or “do you have any fun plans for the weekend?” to … well, almost anyone.
Sometimes the response is a vague, “Oh, I don’t know, we just liked it.”
But usually there’s a story, and it’s often a great story about going through dozens of possibilities until one clicked. Or discovering that her favorite fictional character was also the name of his favorite great-aunt, so the baby had to called Eglantine. Obviously.
We berries know that names others dismiss as strange, even wacky, are often mainstream. Jackson has eclipsed John, and many girls’ names in use only a few decades are among the most popular in the US. Neveah, Brooklyn, and Kaylee, I’m looking at you.
But if you are going to use an eye-poppingly strange name, I’m convinced the way to do it is to have a great story, one that your child won’t mind re-telling again and again. And again. Actually, you’d better be willing to re-tell your tale, too, as curious types coo at your sweet little newborn babe and ask if McKechnie is a family name.
Nancy shared a great article about two women with truly unique names earlier this week, and my theory held up. Bluzette experienced frustrating moments, especially as a kid, but mostly she’s made peace with her unusual name, inspired by a song. Open, who lacks a simple backstory, still struggles with her appellation.
Of course the biggest name this week requires no explanation. Jen and Ben went with an all-boy Biblical staple never out of US Top 100 for baby #3. The littlest Affleck kicks off our nine most newsworthy baby names this week: