There’s no record of a single newborn named Dick in the United States last year.
In fact, there hasn’t been a baby Dick recorded in the U.S. during the past decade. (It last popped up in the Social Security Administration databanks in 2005.)
This is no shock. The name Dick was a casualty of modern slang and its association with a disgraced president. But Dick‘s disappearance is part of a broader trend: Americans have shifted away from many once-common nicknames.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
In the past, most boys were lucky enough to avoid the generic-connector-middle-name syndrome the way girls did, when Ann and Lynn and Beth were pretty ubiquitous. For the most part, boy babies were given double classics, so there were a ton of them dubbed Steven Michael or Michael Steven, David Robert or Robert David.
Now, the middle name landscape for both genders has changed as more attention is being focused on them, to the point where firsts and middles have almost equal weight. Family names play a bigger part, for one thing, as do meaning and individuality–plus many parents are taking this place as a chance to let loose and be inventive .
Yet a strong, single-syllable middle is still often what’s called for, and so we’ve categorized for you some of the most interesting new-style possibilities—of course feel free to use this as a starting point.
By Abby Sandel
This week brought us two celebrity baby names inspired by loved ones. But they’re not just simple honor names.
Actor Rob Schneider also welcomed a daughter – his third. Daughter Elle King, from a previous relationship, is now a successful singer. Now he and wife Patricia are parents to Miranda Scarlett and newest addition, Madeline Robbie. Robbie seems like a sweet nod to dad.
Would you name your baby after yourself? How about your mom or dad, or another loved one?
Both the Schneiders and Chabert-Nehdars made some subtle changes to the names before handing them out down to the next generation. If you like the idea of choosing family names, but aren’t sure about the names themselves, there’s no shortage of ways to reinvent them for your children.
Here are nine ways to honor a loved one with names for the newest members of your family.
UPDATE: She’s here! Scroll to the bottom to learn the name Kate and her husband chose for their new daughter.
I prefer vintage names, while my husband is all over the place. We are nickname people, so whichever name we choose needs a sweet nickname to go along with it.
We have both always loved the name Abigail, however I don’t like Abby and it is too popular, so its been vetoed. The nickname Emmie is at the top of our list. We like Emilia, but I worry about a lifetime of having to correct her name as it sounds so similar to Amelia.
The Name Sage replies:
By Abby Sandel
When it comes to naming a girl in 2016, anything goes. Like your names elaborate, even frilly? Celebrity choices like Elizabella and Arabella might be for you. Prefer something borrowed straight from the boys? Celebs have named their daughters Wyatt and James, and names like Quinn, Logan, and Riley are popular for boys and girls alike.
Both trends represent extremes, but happily there’s a middle ground: the feminine name with a built-in boyish nickname.
Scrubs alum Sarah Chalke recently chose this approach for naming her new daughter with husband Jamie Afifi. They’re already parents to son Charlie Rhodes. Now the couple has welcomed daughter Frances, but they’re calling her Frankie. It’s an honor name, inspired by Sarah’s grandfather.
The mix of classic given name and a casual, gender-neutral nickname makes for a winning combination.