Category: new york baby names
Which quirky favorite baby names does YOUR state love above all others? We crunched the numbers and came up with these top names in each state — not the most popular in terms of sheer numbers, but the unusual, distinctive baby names that get an outsized amount of love in each place.
Insiders know the reasons behind many of the picks. Bexley, the girls’ quirky favorite name in Ohio, comes from the name of an upscale suburb, for example, while Wisconsin’s favorite boys’ name Jordy honors Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson. Woodsy Vermonters favor nature names Wren and Wilder, while Spanish names Santana and Estevan rule in New Mexico.
Click through to find out the Quirky Favorite Names in your state — and all the rest.
There are countless reasons to visit New York City. Museums to visit and galleries to hop. Great theater, opera and ballet. Sights to see, people to watch and fashion-forward stores to shop. But it turns out there’s another, less expected thing to shop for—and that’s a Manhattan-inspired baby name.
We’ve looked at some of the street names before–a Manhattan avenue, after all, was the inspiration for the extraordinary success of the name Madison— but a thread on our own forums, “Need a Big Apple Middle Name” a while back inspired us to us to look beyond the street signs of NYC for other places and people that are quintessentially Gotham.
PLACES—nabes, rivers, parks, etc
Ansonia hotel and then apartments
Cedar Tavern—watering hole of Abstract Expressionist painters
Chumley’s– legendary writers’ hangout
Gracie Square and Mansion
Judson Memorial Church, scene of early art world ‘happenings’
Sardi‘s–show biz restaurant
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
…and a few of the best Manhattan street names
PEOPLE—just a few of the countless notables who were born, lived, or are otherwise associated with the Big Apple
Ambrose Kingsland, NYC mayor, 1851-53
Auden, W.H.– poet and long-time Village resident
Eustace Tilley—monocled cartoon symbol of The New Yorker
Fiorello La Guardia, three-term mayor in the 1930s and 40s
Tallulah Bankhead–Broadway actress and sometime member of the “Algonquin Round Table”
Like Jenny-from-the-block (well maybe not quite), I was a roller-skating, rope-jumping, potsy- (hopscotch to you) playing child of the Bronx streets. At that time I was completely unaware of how the mostly pretentious –sounding names of those streets might have referred back to past heroic figures (Popham? Burnside? Bathgate?). In my mind what they were identified with was the kids I knew who lived on them—Nelson Avenue was associated with the Mazur sisters, Jessup with my classmate Nancy, Loring with my bf Margery’s grandmother, and Shakespeare with my elementary school.
(One name that fascinated me and couldn’t be ignored was Featherbed Lane, a street that I passed on the way to school every day and was home to my Aunt Pearl and family. It was only later that I discovered the probable origins of the name—that during the Revolutionary War, locals covered the street with feather beds so that the soldiers fighting the British could move quietly through the area—though there were other explanations as well.)
Here are some of the mostly surname names from my neighborhood and beyond:
During my childhood, if you were from the Bronx, it was practically in your DNA to hate all things Brooklyn. But now that I’ve matured into a more rational and objective name observer, I do have to admit that that other borough does have a better selection of street names—less stuffy and a lot more that are actually suited to a baby. In fact there are so many Courts and Places with standard first names that you have to wonder if the streets weren’t named after the builders’ own babies.
Here’s a selection—there are lots more:
Don spent the past week poring over a quarter million names — yes, many of them pretty crazy — given to New York babies over the past few years. Examples include, with a New York theme, Harlem, Manhattan, and Bronx; with a sports angle, Jeter and LeBron; and with a religious bent, Rabbi, Priest, and Jesuskingoftheworld.
You’ve got your Sully, after the pilot who successfully landed a plane in the Hudson River, and your Matisyahu, after the hip-hop star. There’s a Royalty, a Success, and a Winner; a Tolkien and one poor boy whose name is Mudd.
And now Don is reaching out to find out YOUR unique New York baby name. If you are a New York City parent who’s given your child a distinctive baby name with a pop culture inspiration, Don wants to hear what it is and how you chose it. You can tell your stories here and/or contact Don directly at email@example.com, 212-930-8656.
And sure, if you want to tattle on your neighbors who named their baby Keeno or just share a crazy New York baby-naming story, tell us that too.
Journalist and New York City mom Laura Dunphy reports that the pressure is on for Gotham parents to choose baby names that are more creative, more unusual, cooler than those anyone else is using. But no matter how hard you try, you still might not make it.
That’s because like everything else in NYC, baby naming is intense. If most people think naming children is a pleasant activity, like badminton or a picnic, Manhattanites treat it as a competitive sport, like rugby or bond trading.