Nameberry 9: Are Blogbabies the New Name Trendsetters?

For this week’s Nameberry Nine, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel invades the blogosphere and finds some wildly creative names.

Huxley, Wolf, Ezra, August, Lochlan, Elsa, Emilia, Petra, Eleni, and Juniper all have something in common – they’re all names that I’ve come across on blogs, names that are unusual in real life, but familiar because I read what their parents write.

Move over supermodels and rock stars.  Lately bloggers are among the most daring of baby namers.

Heather Armstrong, a.k.a. Dooce, has girls called Leta Elise and Marlo Iris.  Design Mom Gabrielle Blair has six kids with charming, retro appellations: Ralph, Maude, Olive, Oscar, Betty, and June.

Then there’s Rebecca Woolf, the blogger behind Girl’s Gone Child and the memoir Rockabye.  I love her son’s name – Archer Sageand was blown away when she and husband Hal chose Fable Luella for their daughter.  Speculation about names for their twins had reached a fever pitch when the girls made their debut last week.

Rebeccas’s not the only high profile mom blogger to welcome a new member to her family this week, and so this Nameberry Nine is dedicated to a new category of tastemakers – blogbabies.

Azure – Blogger Katy of No Big Dill has welcomed a son.  No, his name isn’t Azure – in fact, they’re still puzzling over the name.  (Elisabeth at You Can’t Call It “It” has a post up to solicit suggestions.  The couple is sure to choose something inventive – big sisters are Divine, Pearl, Olive, Azure, and Clover. I’ve always found Azure under-used.  If boys can be Indigo, this must be the perfect shade of blue for a daughter.

GlowRubyellen of Cakies had three little girls: True, Brave, and Soul.  Now she and husband Ben have welcomed a fourth, Glow Amorette.  The parents admit that their choices are wildly over-the-top – the first question in her blog’s F.A.Q. is “Are your daughter’s names really True, Brave, and Soul?”  If Rubyellen were a television actress, this one would be all over the headlines.

Boheme – The tragic heroine of Puccini’s opera was called Mimi, but the newest babe in the blogosphere is named Boheme Shalom, daughter of Girls Gone Child’s Rebecca Woolf. Just like big sis Fable, this one was virtually unheard of until her arrival.  Boyish nickname Bo is wearable, plus she sounds like Poem, a word name that wouldn’t be a huge stretch.

LuxJeffrey Eugenides used the name for a character in his 1993 novel The Virgini Suicides. Now this is the middle name of one of the Girls Gone Child twins, Reverie Lux. The whole category – punchy Latin words that end with x – seems primed for attention: Pax, Lux, Vox, Rex.  They strike me as more masculine, while Paz and Luz seem like their feminine counterparts.

ReverieBoheme’s twin, and a name that feels certain to attract more attention.  She’s not completely unknown – five girls received the name in the US in 2010, and blogger Kristen at Marginamia has a daughter called Valo June Reverie.  While that’s still pretty rare, she reminds me of popular picks like Avery and Valerie, suggesting that you might meet a little Rev before too long.

Lillian – In the meantime, some Hollywood types are choosing names that sound downright tame.  Actress Mary McCormack welcomed a third daughter, a little sister for Margaret and Rose.  Their new addition is called LillianLily names are epidemic, but they’re still easy to love.

Oliver – Actress Sarah Lancaster welcomed son Oliver Michael.  He can keep company with Lillian – two kids with very current classics.

Walden – Let’s not count out the influence of the small screen just yet.  Ashton Kutcher’s character in Two and a Half Men moves into the Malibu residence tonight.  Will he be able to replace Charlie?  That’s tough to say, but if he succeeds, his character’s name could be the big winner.  Waldo is so hipster it hurts, but Walden conjures up Thoreau.  He’s just vaguely literary, a male counterpart to Harper.

Xander – It’s not as classic a choice as Lillian or Oliver, but January Jones’s new son wears a mainstream moniker, too.  Pop culture references run in the family.  January’s parents got her name from a Jacqueline Susann novel.  Jones may not have found Xander on television, but his big boost came from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy’s BFF was an ordinary Joe called Alexander Harris, but he always answered to Xander. It also seems a very fitting name for an actress who recently starred as a member of the X-Men.

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23 Responses to “Nameberry 9: Are Blogbabies the New Name Trendsetters?”

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Marginamia Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 9:22 am

Great list! I *just* found No Big Dill through all the buzz over the name of the new babe, and I’m so excited to see what they select!

I think Walden is a great choice, too. It sets itself apart from other -en names enough not to sound like another take on the -en trend.

Glow just blows me away. It makes total sense for this family and is just such a pretty word.

Of course, I’m still on a sort of Christmas-morning buzz over the GGC twins’ names. Bo and Rev are so fantastic. I think you may be right about Reverie getting lots more use. It sounds like it’s always been a name and fits right in there with the best of the virtues. Still, I hope it won’t!

Design Mom’s bunch is just absolutely one of the best named bunch of kids anywhere in the world. Juniper, Huxley and Elsa are ones we considered for our own kids, too. And August/Augustine/Augustino nn Augie makes me so happy!


chelseamae Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 10:03 am

The other day I heard a little girl calling our “Waaaalden” to her brother, and I fell in love with the name! (I was trying to listen for the little girl’s name but I didn’t catch it! I’m glad to see it on the list. Boheme has really caught my eye, I’m not a big fan of virtue names but I think I like this one!

i.heart.nerds Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 10:34 am

Can I say that I am glad that Reverie is a girl? Revere always sounds so severe for a sweet baby, but Reverie sounds spunky and cool. I am not sold on Boheme, but it works for them. Fable is my favorite of their names.
I was kind of surprised that January chose the name Xander, but I guess growing up as a January wouldn’t be that easy.

skizzo Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 10:34 am

I prefer Azure on a boy, maybe because the only Azure I know is a boy. His brother’s name is Sky. Interesting sibset imo.

skizzo Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 10:36 am

I think Archer Sage doesn’t go well at all with the name of his sisters.

tct1219 Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

What blogger has a son named Wolf? That would have been Bay’s name had she been a boy and we still plan to have our own ‘Wolfie’ someday so I’d love to read the blog.

Abby Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 1:43 pm

@tct219 – Do you read Babble? Alyson Brown writes one of the First Year blogs: I wasn’t sure if Wolf was a nickname or his actual name, but Alyson wrote about it here: – and I absolutely love every word she wrote in that post!

Abby Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

@skizzo – Brothers named Azure and Sky? That is different! If they have a third they could use Soleil or Ciel or Stella or Seren or … I’ll stop now.

There’s an actress named Azura Skye – she was on a short-lived WB sitcom and she pops up as a guest star now and then. I’m fairly certain that’s her real first name, too.

tct1219 Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Thanks, Abby! I don’t read Babble but I think I will start. Elisabeth from YCCII commented on that post and linked to another mom’s blog who has a school-aged Wolf so it’s awesome to read different people’s experiences. I’m a little hesitant to name a son Wolf with a sister Bay (I thought it would be best if there was another sibling between them to break up the Beowulf thing) but my husband still wants to use it if the next one’s a boy. Seeing all the pictures of cute boys with the name might change my mind!

Names4real Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 3:46 pm


Modern Kiddo also has a son name Wolf.

tct1219 Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

@names4real- I just looked at their ‘about’ section and not only do they have a Wolfgang, but a Georgia as well! Georgia is in my current top 3 girl names so I love seeing that. Thanks!

pam Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Can we skip ahead to Walden for a moment? I really like that name…and Walter too. Like it better than Xander!

Abby Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I’ve had Walton on my list for ages … in fact, I had the combo Henry Walton until I realized it was the real name of Indiana Jones. So yes, Walden – I really like Walden!

pixiewoo Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Out of GGC’s children, Im loving Reverie and Archer the best..I would like Boheme if it was pronounced like the beginning of bohemian…but I dont like it pronounced like Poem. She clearly chooses names that have meaning to them and that I can respect. I think Reverie is going to climb the popularity ladder. Pam do you think Reverie is a hipster name or is it a bohemian name or hippie name? Are Hipster, Bohemian and hippie names all the same? Sorry if these are stupid questions, but Ive been wondering this for quite some time and I always wonder what are some bohemian names…I always picture someone like Kate Hudson being bohemian in style. Pam Im hoping you can tell me the difference and what lists I should refer too? Thanks!

lemon Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Yes, Pam, I think we should skip ahead and talk about Walden – it’s fab! I just recently found out it’s a distant family name for me, and I’m really intrigued with it for a middle name. But, the more you all chat about it, the more I think Walden works amazingly well for a first name – Wally! Between Thatcher and Walden, I’m seriously feeling very boy-name crazy at the moment…

Let’s see. The Blair kids have great names! Love Olive, Oscar, and (Flora) June in particular. Rebecca and Hal have really done a super job with their kiddos – despite all the fanfare over Rev and Bo’s names, I’m still in love with Archer and Fable! No Big Dill’s Olive and Clover are swoon-worthy, and True? She’s so pretty – but I still love me some vintage virtue Prue (Prudence).

namemuststay Says:

September 19th, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Sometimes I wonder if these forward-thinking bloggers are representations of the names of the future!

Also, the idea of a Harper/Walden sibset has me smiling! Excellent post!

pixiewoo Says:

September 20th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Abby could you answer my question, that I asked Pam? Im not sure if she saw my question.

Abby Says:

September 20th, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I’ll take a shot at it, pixiewoo! But let me add the following caveat – personally, I’m not in any of those categories. And I’m only think of how I use these terms to describe baby names.

Hipster – The kind of names you hear in certain urban neighborhoods – Park Slope in Brooklyn is the typical one, but they exist everywhere, I’m sure. There’s an artistic edge, but also a deliberately clunky one. Opal is hipster. So is Ralph. Trudy, yes. Ruby was, but is now mainstream. Milo was, but not so much any more – Arlo still is, but not might be for long.

Bohemian – These fit in urban environments, but also off-the-beaten path, artist-colony type places. They’re equally uncommon, but far more free-spirited. Avalon or Orlando feel bohemian.

Hippie – This is a rarer find – I think hippie is often closer to a criticism than a typecast. These are the nature names without apology, or some of the modern virtue names. Skylark or Free or Peace or even Sage.

But the lines aren’t clear AT ALL. GGC has at least one hippie name (Archer’s mn Sage), plus at least one that I’d call solidly hipster (Fable’s mn Luella).

You know – there’s a whole post in this. Let me mull it over some more …

linda Says:

September 20th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Abby–you’ve got a good start on a blog right there–well done!

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