Do We Make Sexist Baby Name Choices?

Are we picking names that fit into gender stereotypes when we choose our children’s names? If you look at word name picks—names like Charity and Grey—it certainly seems like it. In taking a look at the biggest movers and shakers—the names that are moving quickly up the list—you’ll find that most fall along these lines:

Boys are bestowed names that are fancy titles.Yeah,  a few parents named their girls Khaleesi, but a ton of guys got real-life honorary titles, like Major, Duke, King and Deacon. (Duke alone jumped over 429 places on the list.) The only fancy title on the girls’ big risers list? Princess, which could just as easily be in homage to Snow White as it is to a real life royal.

Girls are given floral names. With Violet and Lily near the top of the popularity list, it’s not really surprising that some less common florals made the list—Azalea, Dahlia, Iris and Magnolia among them. The boys didn’t even get a single nod to nature among their biggest jumpers.

• Boys get names that connote risk taking. There’s Gunner and Archer, and Major is usually a military title. Maverick actually means risk taker. And Legend? Well, you don’t get to be a legend by playing by the rules.

• Girls are given safer names. There’s Haven, Mercy, Charity, and Laurel. Even Olive could be considered in this category, since the olive branch is often considered a sign of peace.

And only one name appeared on both the boys’ and girls’ lists—Justice, which seems to be an up-and-coming name for both boys and girls.

Tell us: Have you considered a word name for your child? Does it fall along these gender lines? Would you ever consider crossing the aisle with some of the word names—for instance, choosing a risk-taking name like Maverick or Legend for a girl, or going with a “safe” name like Haven for a boy?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com to get help with a sticky situation. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name

Image: Babies by Rohappy/Shutterstock.com

Add a Comment

Celebrity Baby Names: Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes Picked…

Hey, girl! We finally found out what name Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes picked for their brand new baby daughter: Esmeralda Amada!

Esmeralda is the Spanish variation of Emerald, that amazing bright green gem. It’s currently in the top 400 names here in the U.S., though it’s on a bit of a downward trend. (It hit its peak at #134 back in 1998.)

Amada can be considered either a variation of Amadea, a Latin name that means beloved of God, or Amy, which just means beloved. It’s relatively unheard of here, but was the name of a character Eva played in a movie a few years back.

I’m loving Esmeralda, which can be shortened to the sweet and chic Esme. The names flow almost too well together—as if they’re both parts of a whole. Which may not be a bad thing, depending on your preferences.

Tell us: What do you think of the name Ryan and Eva picked? Would you consider Esmeralda?

Image: Ryan Gosling by Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com, or use our Baby Name Finder to find a great one. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Spanish Baby Names
Spanish Baby Names
Spanish Baby Names

Add a Comment

Twin Peaks Baby Names

Anyone else as jazzed as I was to find out that the totally bizarro Twin Peaks will be coming back—with its Log Lady, cherry pie, doughnuts, and damn fine cups of coffee? It’ll be a Showtime series for 2016—and while no casting has been revealed, the fact that Kyle MacLachlan (aka Agent Dale Cooper) was recently lunching with series creator David Lynch could be a very good sign. (And his recent tweet about firing up the percolator and finding his black suit probably means he’s a go!)

The fictional town of Twin Peaks was populated with a lot of people with very old-fashioned names—but many of those names have seen a revitalization in the 25 years since the show hit the air. Here are some of my favorites—and how they fared.

Cooper His first name, Dale, never really recovered, but Agent Dale Cooper’s surname spiked in popularity as a baby name after the show first aired, and hasn’t come down from that high ever since. Perhaps the revitalization of the show may bring Cooper even closer to the top 10.

Laura This classic name, meaning “from the laurel tree,” actually started a downward trend after Twin Peaks aired. (Perhaps the negative association with a girl who had a seedy double life hurt it?) It’s still a lovely pick.

Harry Another, far more popular Harry appeared during the 25 years since Twin Peaks fared, but neither Sheriff Truman nor the Boy Who Lived could keep Harry from sliding further down the popularity charts.

Lucy Ditzy Lucy Moran, secretary for the sheriff’s office, didn’t seem to impact the popularity of her classic name—in fact, Lucy slid down the charts during the two years the show aired. But it quickly rebounded, and is currently in the top 100.

Audrey Audrey was already on an upswing before the retro-cool teen Audrey Horne first made her appearance on the screen. But thanks mostly to its association with screen legend Audrey Hepburn, this is still on a climb toward the top.

Nadine One of the truly weird characters in Twin Peaks has to be Nadine, the eye-patched wife of mechanic Ed. (She’s the one who was obsessed with silent curtains, if you recall.) This classic, that means hope, took a nosedive after the series premiered, and dropped out of the top 1000 not long afterward.

Madeleine Actress Sheryl Lee got to play two parts in the show—murder victim Laura Palmer, and her lookalike cousin Madeleine. Madeleine had just begun a swift climb toward the top as the series premiered, and has settled in the top 500 names.

Leo Violent truck driver/drug dealer Leo Johnson was hardly someone to emulate—but his name, which means “lion,” became a big hit after Twin Peaks, and is now just below the top 100 names in the U.S.

Tell us: Are you looking forward to the return of Twin Peaks? Are any names from the show on your short list?

If you’re still looking for the perfect name, send your dilemma to me at lamilbrand@gmail.com, or check out our Baby Name Finder for some DIY advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

 

Vampire Baby Names
Vampire Baby Names
Vampire Baby Names

Add a Comment

Celebrity Baby Names: Ellen Pompeo’s Baby Girl

Ellen Pompeo and husband Chris Ivery kept a little secret—they were expecting, via surrogate. And a few weeks ago, the Grey’s Anatomy star and her mate welcomed Sienna May to the world.

Sienna is the orangey-brown color from the Crayola boxes of crayons—but it’s based on the rich color of the soil in Italy’s picturesque Tuscan city, Siena. With the two ns, it’s in the top 300, while the Siena spelling is just inside the top 700. Actress Sienna Miller is the name’s big claim to fame.

May is, of course, the name of the fifth month, though it’s also considered a nickname for Margaret. While it hasn’t been in the top 1000 since the early 1980s as a first name, it’s remained extremely popular in the middle slot.

In all, a lovely and poetic name pick.

Tell us: What do you think of Sienna May? Are either of those names on your baby name list?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder or send me your dilemma at lamilbrand@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name

Image: Ellen Pompeo by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Add a Comment

Celebrity Baby Names: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Named Their Daughter…

There were reports that Finn was the name of choice for their brand new daughter, but Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunas have officially released the name they picked—and while Finn isn’t it, it’s another very popular boy’s name! Wyatt Isabelle is the name they gave their girl.

Wyatt is a top 50 name for boys, and it means “brave in war.” It has a bit of Old West swagger to it, thanks to legendary lawman Wyatt Earp. (And of course, if you already have kids, you know that it’s the name of one of the foursome on SuperWhy!) Until now, this has been a staunchly boys-only name—only six girls in the whole U.S. were given it last year—so it’ll be interesting to see how their baby name choice affects the trajectory for that name. Will it become more unisex?

Isabelle is a less-popular alternative to the top 5 fave Isabella—though Isabelle still ranks pretty high, at #115. It’s a variant of Elizabeth, and means consecrated to God.

What do you think of Mila and Ashton’s pick? Do you think Wyatt’s a name that has crossover potential? I’ve written before about how many boys’ names make the crossover. What other boys’ names would you consider giving a girl?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder or send me your dilemma at lamilbrand@gmail.com. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?
Baby Names: Is It Too Unusual?

Image: Mila Kunis by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

 

Add a Comment