The Nameberry 9: Names with potential, from Adeline to Castle to Winslet

The Nameberry 9: Names with potential, from Adeline to Castle to Winslet

This week, for The Nameberry 9, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel looks at new names that might make their way onto future Top 1000 lists.

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 RoseChris 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.

AdalaideKatherine 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.

WinsletForReal 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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About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.