Category: guest bloggers
Often an inspiration for artwork and music, classic Americana is an untapped resource for baby names rich in history and culture.
These names have American roots. These names have an American image, but (with some exceptions) most aren’t even popular in America. But they have styles appealing to many American parents.
America – Admittedly this is not a surprising pick. What is surprising is how long America has been around as a given name. America first came into use as a given name in America in the 19th century. The name first made the Social Security top 1000 list back in 1880, the earliest year for name rankings.
Like your names with a bit of a magical, mystical flair? Then how about taking some inspiration from Cirque Du Soleil, a company for whom magical and mystical is all in a day’s work. Below are some of the top picks just from the titles of their shows, although the shows are also rich with great character names if this list gives you a taste for a Cirque du Soleil inspired name.
Alegría – Oh so very close to Allegra, it’s almost surprising this hasn’t found it’s way on to the name charts considering the current love for alternate spellings and embellishments. Both Alegría and Allegra are Italian names meaning ‘cheerful, joyous’. The added benefit of this spelling is that it’s a nice step away from the medication.
Legions of expectant parents search for that “underused classic” name each year.
But what exactly is an “underused classic” name? Do underused classic names even exist? Are they some impossible standard like names that are universally appealing and forever-guaranteed-to-stay-unique?
“Classic” can be interpreted differently by different people. Instead of describing a name as “classic” I usually use “traditional” or “timeless” instead.
Semantics aside, a working definition of how I decide what makes a name “classic” might be useful. And in my world there is more than one type of classic name:
Authentic Classics – Evergreen names like Elizabeth and James. Ideally these names have never left the top 50 since 1880, the earliest year name rankings are available from the Social Security Administration.
After years of long-frilly girl names, the winds of fashion are once again shifting and one syllable names are getting recognition.
Here are some names that are short on frill but full of spunk.
Bex – This diminutive of Rebecca makes a sharp edgy stand alone name with the trendy X.
Gwyneth Paltrow probably had no idea how much controversy she was about to cause when she named her daughter Apple back in May of 2004. “That’s not a name” was the most common judgement on people’s lips, and her daughter’s name is now held up as an example on all “Most Bizarre Celebrity Baby Names” lists.
So why did Gwyneth and her husband, Coldplay front man Chris Martin, choose the name Apple? To paraphrase from her interview with Oprah Winfrey at the time, they felt that “apples are sweet, wholesome, biblical and lovely.” They also proposed the question “Is it really so different from the other nature/ noun names out there that are commonly used, such as Rose, Lily or Ivy?”
It’s a little hard to argue with such logic these days, considering the many word names on the rise. Yes, an apple is a fruit, but people mustn’t dislike fruit names that much, since we’re now seeing Plum and Lemon regularly discussed as possible names, albeit usually as middles or nicknames.