Category: Delilah

Back in February, a topic was posted on the Girls’ Names section of our Message Boards suggesting that people list their current Top Ten favorite names for girls, and it’s been running ever since.  What’s especially nice about this for us is that  it’s given Pam and me a fascinating look into the specific likes and loves of the nameberry community.  After all, for a long time, through our books and on the site,  you’ve gotten to know our opinions on both general categories of names and specific examples–and now the tables have been turned.

And we’re so gratified to see that we’re almost universally in synch (we’ll be dealing with dislikes and ‘heresies’ tomorrow), and that for the most part you love the names we love, affirming  to us that we have the most enlightened, most thoughtful, most tasteful, group of name lovers in existence.

Proof to us was in the pudding of names that showed up most frequently on your Top Ten lists, all possessing both substance and style.  So even though the thread is still alive, I couldn’t resist tallying up the Top Names of the Top Tens to date.

The most popular three are, in order:




Followed by:


DELILAH, and then:


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Delilah and Desiree–Bad Girls Gone Good

When Pam and I wrote our first name book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason (back when Jennifer & Jason were still baby names), we had a little section called NAMES THAT ARE TOO MUCH TO LIVE UP TO, listing examples that had such a potent image that whey would overpower an innocent babe–including such biblical temptresses and goddesses as Jezebel, Salome and Venus. Well, things have now changed to the point where those names and others equally powerful have slipped into  the mainstream.  Why?  Partly the current anything-goes atmosphere, partly some tipping point moments, such as:

DELILAHWHY THE BAD GIRL RAP? Biblical temptress who betrayed Samson.  DEFUSER? Lame old Tom Jones song; was considered as baby name by Rachel and Ross on Friends.

DESIREEWHY? Precocious French teenager engaged to and then jilted by Napoleon.    DEFUSER? Jumped onto the Social Security list in 200 at #181.  Not sure why.

JEZEBEL: WHY? Scheming, promiscuous New Testament hussy; name came to mean hussy.  DEFUSER? Feminists started to see her as a victim, became the name of a hot weblog.  Name still means hussy.

LOLA: WHY? Sexy 19th century Spanish dancer/courtesan Lola Montez, sexy Marlene Dietrich character in The Blue Angel, sexy Pajama Game song ‘Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets’. DEFUSER? Madonna nicknames baby Lourdes Lola, Kelly Ripa mentions daughter Lola every morning

LOLITA: WHY? Iconic Nabokov lollipop-licking nymphet; DEFUSER? Actress Lolita Davidovich says it’s a common name in Eastern Europe, director Brian de Palma bestows it on his baby.

SALOME: WHY? Deceitful dancing New Testament seductress, seen as even worse in Oscar Wilde play and Strauss opera; DEFUSER? Not sure, but it was defused enough for TV actress Alex Kingston to use it for her daughter.

SCARLETT: WHY? The Scarlet Letter, phrase “scarlet woman,” spoiled and selfish Scarlett O’Hara;  DEFUSER: Scarlett Johanssen

VENUS: WHY? Roman goddess of love, deadly Venus Flytrap plant; DEFUSER: Tennis ace Venus Williams

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