The Nameberry 9: Names with potential, from Adeline to Castle to Winslet
Are you still drowning in data? I had barely finished devouring every bit of analysis regarding the new US Top 1000 before the state data started to pour in. Emma is tops in North Dakota, and Mason and Olivia won Most Likely to Appear on a Birth Certificate in Utah.
Baby name news was all over the mainstream media, too. NPR and The New Yorker weighed in on name trends. Jimmy Kimmel was one of many to pick up on the influence of reality television – he quipped that if he ever has twins, he’ll christen them Toddler and Tiara.
There’s no denying it – when it comes to baby name trends, what’s in the headlines has an impact. A notable name is not guaranteed to catch on – Snooki and Katniss remain rarities. Still, it is an important part of the puzzle – a source of inspiration and new ideas that we all tune into, almost constantly, on our smartphones and tablets and televisions and magazines at the grocery check-out line.
Last week brought us plenty of notable names likely to have an impact when we look at future years’ Top 1000 lists:
India Rose – Chris Hemsworth – better known as Thor – and Elsa Patacky named their new daughter India. Hemsworth noted that their boy name was – wait for it – Indiana or maybe just Indie. India is poised at #1001 on the girls’ side. All of the Indi– appellations have been bubbling up for years, with Robert Downey Jr.’s now teenaged Indio leading the pack.
Adalaide – Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley have added a second daughter to their family. Big sister Nancy Leigh – called Naleigh – has been joined by Adalaide Marie Hope. No word on why the spelling of Adelaide is different, but I like Elisabeth at You Can’t Call It “It”’s suggestion of a nickname for the new addition: Adamae.
Adeline – More proof that Addie is epidemic: The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg and wife Jocelyn Towne welcomed a daughter named Adeline. Tally up all of the names that lead to Addie, and she’d likely rank at #3, right behind Sophia and Isabella. Simon’s character is called Howard, a friend of Leonard and Sheldon.
Marvin – If a successful sitcom can feature such out-of-favor names as Sheldon, should we really be surprised that the How I Met Your Mother baby is named Marvin? He’s named after his grandpa, with an only-in-fiction middle name: Wait-for-It. Marvin seems stuck in style limbo, but he was big in the 1930s.
Max – He’s not quite the male equivalent of Addie – all of the Max-names combined take him to just #25. But I did find myself thinking about Max quite a bit as the world mourned the passing of celebrated children’s author Maurice Sendak. Nancy’s recent name quotes round-up included an excerpt from Slate, noting that Sendak often used his own first initial to inspire character’s names, like Max. How many of us are in love with the name in part because of the rambunctious little boy in the wolf suit?
Jionni – A very different kind of influence is at work here. Jionni Lavalle is one of those reality television names mocked by late night talk show hosts. It does seem outlandish to name your child after Snooki’s baby daddy, but Jionni’s sound is appealing, and the spelling perhaps more intuitive than the authentic Gianni. Nancy pointed out that Jionni was the highest debut for a boy’s name on the list, with 62 boys receiving the name. Happily, Gianni is far more common.
Winslet – ForReal recently spotted a baby girl called Winslett. The Nameberry forums seem to be registering a mostly positive opinion of her, too. Yes, she’s the last name of Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, but she’s also a modern way to get to Winnie.
Castle – If Chance and Justice can be boys’ names, why not Castle? Ever since television detective show Castle debuted in 2009, I’ve been waiting for this one to catch on. He’s no Max, but could he be as popular as Legend or Crew? I’ll be watching future name lists to see.
What are the names that you think will appear on future Top1000 lists? Do you think the Indies, Addies, and Maxes are likely to keep gaining?
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on May 21st, 2012 at 8:40 am
I love Adeline, and I love it even more that Howard from the Big Bang Theory used it for his daughter! I also love Winslet and Castle!
on May 21st, 2012 at 8:43 am
There are a lot of great names this week. I really am in love with India Rose. Adelaide was the first choice of a dear friend and still is if they have another little girl. Adeline is my favorite of the list, though. Adore it.
As always, you help start off my week with a big smile. Great post!
on May 21st, 2012 at 9:02 am
Castle would have been a *serious* contender for our April baby boy’s name, but we already have a Caspian. I hope I meet a Castle someday.
on May 21st, 2012 at 9:05 am
I could maybe get behind Winslet since I do mildly like most of the “ette” names. I don’t see the name catching on though.
Castle seems like he’d fit right in with Ford, Archer, and other names of the sort. NMS but I could see it breaking the top 1000. (though it will surely be a few years before that happens)
The “Addie” names are definitely going to stick around for a while. Even my name, with only a little stretch, could get the nn Addie.
on May 21st, 2012 at 10:22 am
There IS word why “Adalaide” is spelled that way. Katy named her after our mutual great-grandmother, who went by Ada (her real name was Elda Ada/Adeline.)
on May 21st, 2012 at 10:25 am
Ok I apologize in advance, as I am not usually so strongly opinionated, but I can’t stand Adeline. My daughters name is Madeline so this is obviously why I hate it; it’s a rhymey knockoff of a classic to me. I don’t like Addy either.
on May 21st, 2012 at 10:27 am
I’m not usually one to mess with spellings, but I’ve been considering the spelling “Adalaide” for years as a way of honouring my grandmother – Ada. Love this post…Winslett is interesting and glamourous way to get to the adorable Winnie.
on May 21st, 2012 at 10:37 am
Just a heads up, Elsa Pataky’s last name is misspelled.
I’m happy to see Adeline, I think Adelaide is over done or at least it is on naming boards.
on May 21st, 2012 at 11:27 am
@saraallison: Adeline is a real name and has a history of use. It isn’t a ‘knock off’ of Madeline, but is a natural progression as Madeline and other Maddy names became over used.
I love all the names this week, but I could do without castle.
on May 21st, 2012 at 12:46 pm
Yes, Adeline is my great-grandma’s name….so it’s old. I really don’t see Marvin coming back. It is my grandpa’s name and my dad’s middle name, and I can’t imagine using it ever. I love the rest!!
on May 21st, 2012 at 2:25 pm
Of all the names mentioned, I think Elsa is the one most worthy of becoming the next big thing! I think Elsa is so lovely.
Winslet is very sweet. I heard of a little girl with the fantastic middle name Whimsy. Winslet captures a little of that feeling & sound as well. Light & airy without being insubstantial.
on May 21st, 2012 at 2:33 pm
@melissaintlouis – Thank you – and that’s really quite lovely. I’m always amazed at how often an explanation can transform a name from head-scratching to instantly attractive.
@moxielove – You might be right about the reason behind Winslet’s appeal having something to do with that light feeling.
@Saracita00 – I think Caspian and Castle are too much together … but both are great!
@klcalder2 – Thank you!
on May 21st, 2012 at 3:46 pm
Please don’t tell my husband Castle can be a baby name (he’d want it to be a sib for Serenity or something, lol)! I prefer Adalie and Adalise to Adaline, and the Addy/Maddy nicknames do nothing for me (okay I and the Americal Girl doll Addy so it feels a little “done” to me). The Hebrew Ada is very pretty.
on May 21st, 2012 at 5:50 pm
I like the name Castle, yet I prefer it more as the Gaelic word Cashel (meaning Castle) because it has the nickname “Cash” as potential. As far as Winslet, I think it is a beautiful surname name, even though those names aren’t my type usually.
It’s interesting how certain names can seem so similar and yet make all the difference to the bearer of it. For example, Adelaide while beautiful denies the namesake of the spelling Adalaide for the couple above.
As far as my own name, Alexandra, though it is very popular, it bugs me to no end when people add an i. In my senior yearbook, the clumsy editors put my name as Alexandria and it made me so depressed. There is no grand duchess Alexandria, and this spelling completely ignores my Russian namesake (though it isn’t spelled Aleksandra) Alexandra. Still, It matters to me, and I bet many people can agree that names must be spelled right!
on May 21st, 2012 at 5:52 pm
I adore Castle, the tv show and the name!
on May 21st, 2012 at 7:21 pm
I would have loved a baby boy named Indiana, India is a bit meh for a girl.
I love the name Adeline, but unfortunately I think the nickname Addie will just blend in with all the bajillions of Maddies and (sorry!) Abbies. (Not you, you’re a grown up!)
on May 21st, 2012 at 7:27 pm
A dear friend recently christened her son Maximus. NMS, but definitely perpetuating the Max trend.
I have always loved Adeline, more specifically for the street name in Berkeley, Ca where pop-punk band Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s independent record label, Adeline Records, began. I’m a little bummed by how popular it, Adelaide, and Adele are all about to become. I’m also guessing that these names will lead to names like Della and Delphine gaining favor.
on May 21st, 2012 at 8:19 pm
Castle has been on my list for a boy for a long while I LOVE it.
on May 21st, 2012 at 8:23 pm
@saraallison – the name Adeline goes back to at least 1125, it’s not a knockoff of Madeleine. If anything it may be older.
on May 21st, 2012 at 8:37 pm
Have always loved Adeline, there was a girl who lived up the street when I was a kid with that name and it was very rare then glad to see it moving up now. Also crazy about India.
on May 24th, 2012 at 8:53 pm
Well, I still don’t like Adeline, but I didn’t realize it had a history, so that changes my opinion of it a little! How are people pronouncing it, as “Add-a-line?” or Add-a-leen? Add-a-lynn? It looks like Add-a-line, with a long i sound. Is this right?
Less Commonly Used Girls Names « Waltzing More Than Matilda Said
on June 3rd, 2012 at 3:59 am
[…] bands, and Elliot Smith released his own darker version of Sweet Adeline. I read at Abby’s Nameberry Nine that Simon Helberg from The Big Bang Theory welcomed a daughter named Adeline last month, making it […]
on September 13th, 2012 at 1:05 am
My daughter Castle Alana just turned 17 yrs old. She loves her name and wants to name her daughter (when the time comes) Cashlin, which means little castle.
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