Valentine's Day-Inspired Baby Names

Love on the Big Screen

  • If romance movies are your ticket to a good time, you might find some inspiration at your local movie theatre (or maybe just on your couch with a classic DVD). Although you could turn just about anywhere, you might as well start with some timeless hits. Think Gone with the Wind with Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara, Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes, and Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton. Although many of these names have since gone out of style, radio shock-jock Howard Stern and then-wife Alison Berns named one of their daughters Ashley Jade in 1993. Warren Beatty and wife Annette Bening also bestowed the name on one of their daughters in 1997: Isabel Ira Ashley.
  • On the other hand, the name Olivia has experienced a recent resurgence in popularity, peaking at the fourth most popular name for girls in 2004, according to the Social Security Administration. Actor Denzel Washington and wife Pauletta named their youngest daughter Olivia when she was born with twin brother Malcom in 1991. And in June 2004, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and wife Jill McCormack named their first daughter Olivia as well. As for the name Melanie, Peter Gabriel's second daughter was named Melanie upon her birth in 1976 and eventually joined her father on tour in 2002 and 2003. Actress and singer Vanessa Williams also has a daughter named Melanie, born in 1987 with then-husband Ramon Hervey.
  • If the 1970s in the Northeast are more your taste than Southern Civil War era love stories, perhaps Love Story is a better match for you. With Ali McGraw as Jenny Cavalleri and Ryan O'Neal as Oliver Barrett IV, who could forget the timeless lesson that, "Love means never having to say you're sorry?" Although still a popular name, Jennifer has steadily dropped in popularity since it was the number one most popular name for girls from 1970 though the mid-1980s. Oliver is a far less common name (ranked 229th in 2004), but that didn't stop musician Danny Elfman and actress Bridget Fonda from naming their son Oliver Henry Milton in 2005, or former frontman for The Cars, Ric Ocasek, and wife Paulina Porizkova, actress and former supermodel, from naming their son Oliver Orion in 1998, or actor Fred Savage and wife Jennifer Stone from naming their son Oliver Philip in August 2006.

Olivia: Names for Girls
Olivia: Names for Girls

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