The Nameberry 9: Over-the-top baby names

The Nameberry 9: Over-the-top baby names

This week Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel finds some extreme examples in the Nameberry 9 and ponders their acceptability.

Did you read the Jools Oliver interview from earlier this week?  The model-turned-mom of four is married to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.  Together they’re the parents of the imaginatively named Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear MauriceJools declared, “I hate people’s opinions on names. Whatever you call your baby is your decision.”

I know scads of people who would agree with Jools.  At least until they hear a name, like oh say, Buddy Bear.  And I wonder if Jools would be so open-minded if Poppy came home with a best friend called Ermingard.

There I was thinking of England when the lovely Shannon alerted me to a baby name discussion taking place on The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  Ree Drummond is known for her delectable recipes, along with vistas of her ranch somewhere smack in the middle of the US of A, but last week she decided to talk about her favorite names and thousands of comments continued the discussion.

Generally names were well-received, whether they were as classic as Katherine or as creative as Aliceson.

This weeks’ nine names range from the Mountain West to Londontown, but each challenges us to ask – are we as open-minded as Jools?

Petal – I’ll be the first to admit that I love Petal, the name the Olivers gave to daughter #3.  I’ll also be among the first to say that Petal Blossom Rainbow is a bit much.  When it comes to outrageous names, there’s something to be said for balance, and I think Petal might envy her sibs’ conservative third names Rosie, Pamela, and Maurice at some point.

Thames – While we’re in England, an American parent asked Swistle if Thames was wearable for a boy in the US.  A slight majority find Thames over the line, but he has his supporters, too, including Clarabella who commented “if you love a name enough, you make it work.”  ‘zactly!

Jerusalem – Now onward to the Mountain West, where Ree Drummond has taken a break from cooking to whip up lists of her favorite baby names.  The first few names are favorites here at Nameberry – Mae and Helen.  But then there’s Jerusalem.  Yup, JerusalemHow’s that for a place name?

Brynna – What is it with Br- names?  From the comments thread, I spotted two readers with daughters called Brynna, as well as others who had used Brynne, Brenna, and Brynja.  (Apparently Brynja is big inIceland.)

Sasha Jubilee – Here’s another one from comments.  Sasha is pretty mainstream these days, but I’m watching Jubilee like a hawk to see if this unusual word name will gain momentum.

Beau – The boys’ list posted by Ree isn’t quite as wild, though she loves Ashley for a boy.  (Swoon!)  Better still, Ree short-listed Beau.  It sounds like a logical choice for a woman better known as The Pioneer Woman.Rugger – Equally unsurprising are the many parents who read Ree and gave cowboy-perfect names to their sons.  Rugger took me by surprise, while others – like the many boys called Wyatt – were to be expected.  Other ten-gallon names from the comments included Race, Shooter, Cash, Maverick, Garrett, Weston, Stetson, Roper, Rush, Rock, and Rodeo.  Giddy-up!

Foster – Other names discussed in the comments would have been home at a New England prep school.  Why isn’t Foster catching on?  Is it the beer?  That hasn’t held back Miller.

Nylah – Let’s end with something different.  Amazing Race alum Jen Hoffman and her boyfriend Ryan Fowler have welcomed a daughter, Nylah Mackenzie.  It’s a name with a great rhythm – why don’t we put longer names in the middle spot more often?

Do you agree with Jools?  Is it easy for you to embrace lots of different names for different families and circumstances, or do you have definite ideas about what makes for an appropriate name?

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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.