Category: vintage baby names

Naming the Names in an Alphabet Book

By Chris Raschka

The power we wield when we name a child is terrible. And unavoidable. Oh, the sleepless nights! What will this name confer on our beloved baby? Only good things, we fervently hope. This name is exciting, but is it too exciting? This one is solid, but is it boring? “How about, Joseph?” you say. “No,” says your wife, “I knew a terrible Joseph!”

Happily, I suffered none of this angst when I named the children in the book my friend Vladimir Radunsky and I have put together called Alphabetabum. It was this way. I was in Rome visiting Vladimir there and just about to walk out for a happy afternoon of sight-seeing when Vladimir began to lay out on his work table one marvelous, small, antique photographic child’s portrait after another. He grabbed my arm, and said, “Look at these masterpieces! Every one holds the story of a precious forgotten soul inside of it! We must do something with them.”

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Billy and Bob are Back in the Playground

By Linda Rosenkrantz

The nickname-name trend is nothing new. Who among us hasn’t known a baby Max or Maggie or Sam or Ellie? Or even one of those with a whiff of vintage nostalgia, like Millie or Josie?

But lately there’s been a new twist on this phenomenon, especially seen in the celebrisphere. Several stars have resurrected some of the All-American Boy nicknames of the Depression Era, like Billy and Johnny and Tommy, and haven’t hesitated to plunk them right onto their babe’s birth certificate. In particular:

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Steampunk Baby Names: Victorian tech

posted by: Nephele View all posts by this author

By Nephele

What is steampunk?

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that presents an alternative future or universe in which modern-day type inventions and conveniences are propelled by steam or inventive clockwork mechanisms.  Dirigible airships are also iconic to steampunk.

Although the steampunk movement emerged in the 1980s, there have also been novels, movies, and television series which are today identified as steampunk (or containing steampunk elements) that predate the actual coining of the term.

The steampunk movement has inspired an entire subculture consisting of enthusiasts who meet at steampunk conventions and who tend to dress in fabulous fashions that meld a futuristic look with nineteenth century Victoriana.  Much of steampunk fashion incorporates goggles (the apparent badge of the Victorian scientist/adventurer).  Steampunk jewelry features clockwork motifs.

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So many vintage names have been retrieved, polished up and restored for baby use, from Amelia to Zachariah, that it sometimes feel that the attic’s been stripped bare. Not so. There are still lots of names that were popular in the past and are still waiting to be rediscovered. The examples here were all given to at least one hundred babies in the year 1914—a century ago—but have yet to enter the current Top 1000.

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

For what seems like forever, this pair of sainted sister names, Agnes and Agatha, have seemed like the quintessential starched, buttoned-up, high-lace-collared, mauve-dressed Great-Great-Grandmother appellations.

I’d like to propose that we let the unbuttoning commence.

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