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Baby Name Dilemma: A Wild Middle Name Request!

Friday, June 13th, 2014

We all know fanboys and fangirls who picked a baby name based on a favorite character (heck, that explains a lot of the Isabellas and Bellas out there, am I right?). But reader Meghan’s husband is taking his superhero love a little too far with his baby name pick:

My husband and I are expecting our first son after three girls. He is very excited, and I agreed to allow him to name the boy, but now I have some serious concerns for my son’s future, because the middle name he has chosen could lead to him getting picked on. My husband (named Steven Rogers) would like to name his son Steven Rogers as well, because he likes that he shares a name with a superhero (Captain America). That I was fine with, but he would like his middle name to be “The Great.” At first I thought he was kidding, but he is not. I was hoping you might have some alternative suggestions I could offer him that he might enjoy as much, but that would not neccessary lead to my son being picked on, or me having to listen to negative feedback from my relatives. He wants a strong/fun name. Any recommendations?

You kind of have to respect your husband’s dedication to his favorite comic book hero—but I think adding in “The Great” as a middle name may take it a little bit too far. (Okay, a LOT too far.)

Maybe he’d be happy with a name that actually means great? Some options: Magnus, Maximilian and Tai. Or maybe he could pick a virtue name? Consider Valor, Brave, Hero, Honor, or Justice. Or what about a name that means brave? Some ones to consider: Everett (love it with Steven), Hardy, or Wyatt.

Maybe he’d be keen to pick another member of S.H.I.E.L.D. to pay homage to—like Nick Fury or Tony Stark? (It’s still a little out there, but Steven Fury Rogers is cooler than Steven The Great Rogers.) Or is there another superhero he could honor? Some cool options that work with Steven Rogers: Kent (a la Superman’s alter ego), Bruce (Batman), Xavier (X-Men’s Professor X), or heck, even Lex to showcase your son’s dark side.

Since Steven Rogers is a family name, consider looking for a middle within your families. Maybe your father’s or grandfather’s name could stand in the middle spot.

If you lose the battle, at least it’s just the middle name, which you and your child can choose to ignore on all but the most official documents. Good luck!

Tell us: Did you pick a pop culture name for your kiddo? And would you let your husband give your son a middle name like “The Great”?

If you’re still looking for a great name, try our Baby Name Finder—or send your dilemma to me 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: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

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Under the Radar Boys’ Names: Beyond the Top 1000 Baby Names

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

The top 1000 baby names is always intriguing. But what’s even more interesting is seeing what’s below that level—the names that only 5 or 25 people picked for their kids. While there’s always an array of creative spellings, possible mistakes (did 6 people really name their boys Adeline?) and assorted other oddball picks that probably won’t suit most guys out there, you can find a few gems hidden among the more…ahem…unique choices.

You can check out my girls’ name picks from last week, or see what I’ve picked for the boys here.

Rigby This proper British surname name means farm along the ridge, and is perfect for a baby of Beatles fans (think Eleanor Rigby). It’s a nice alternative to other surname names like Reilly and Sullivan.

Hero This old-school name was traditionally for the girls (think of the character Hero in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing). But this is one girls’ name that could easily cross the aisle for the boys.

Bruin I’m guessing most of the baby boy Bruins live in the Boston area, and the name was picked to honor the hockey team. But Bruin makes another offbeat color name (it means brown or bear).

Indy I’m assuming this was picked as a casual nickname for Indiana (a la Indiana Jones), but could also be considered short for independent. I’m not sure I totally love it, but it’s intriguing to me.

Sylvan This name evokes the woods and forest, perfect for a nature-loving family. (And you can either go with Syl or Van for short.)

Aristotle Someone’s parents were philosophy majors (or Greek). The name of the great Greek philosopher could be considered one of those cool and clunky old-school names, especially when you start talking nicknames, like Ari.

Wilfred You get two great nicknames—Will and the adorable Freddie—with this old English name, that means “desires peace.” Actor David Tennant chose it for his son, and it was also the name of a character on his show, Doctor Who. For the more literary minded, it was a hero in Sir Walter Scott’s classic Ivanhoe.

Sven Scandinavian names were already starting their climb in popularity before Frozen hit the big time, and now Elsa, Kristoff and Anna stand to become seriously red hot. Sven was the brave reindeer sidekick, and it means “youth.”

Tell us: What off-the-beaten path names do you like for your son? If you’re looking for something unique, try our Baby Name Finder, or email me at lamilbrand@gmail.com for some baby name advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest baby name news.

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

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Celebrity Baby Names: Lil Kim’s New Baby Girl

Monday, June 9th, 2014

It’s a girl for rapper Lil Kim! And the first time mom gave her daughter a word name that makes it clear she’s treating her new daughter like a princess: Royal Reign.

Both names are relatively unheard for girls, but Royal is in the top 1000 for boys for the first time since the early 1970s. As you can imagine, it means kingly. Reign means rule—and only 97 girls rocked that name last year.

Yep, it’s a name that has celebrity written all over it! It’s along the lines of Holly Madison’s infamous Rainbow Aurora—in other words, not a name for someone who might someday need to have a career in a professional field like medicine or law to support themselves.

What do you think? Do you like Royal or Reign, for either a girl or a boy? And if you think Royal Reign is out there, check out our picks for the wildest baby names of 2013. If you want to celebrify your baby name choice, check out our Baby Fame Name Generator to jazz it up. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Image: lil Kim by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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

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Cool Name of the Week: Augustus

Monday, June 9th, 2014

As expected, YA-novel-turned-movie The Fault in Our Stars ruled the box office over the weekend. And since we analyzed heroine Hazel’s name last week, I thought it was only fair to take a look at the other name from this pair of star-crossed lovers—Augustus.

Augustus was pretty popular for guys back in the 19th century, then began a slow and steady decline to the bottom of the top 1000. (You might think that the popular 1971 version of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory put it on a downslope, given that the character Augustus Gloop was portrayed as a fat and gluttonous kid. But it actually started rising right after the movie came out.) Even before John Green’s book topped the best seller lists last year, the name was on a sharp incline back into popularity, thanks to its now trendy “us” ending. (It’s currently in the top 700 names in the U.S.) The name means great or magnificent, and comes with two cute nicknames: Auggie and Gus.

No word on what John Green thought Augustus’ middle name would be. I’d pair it with something short and traditional. John would be good, or try Thomas, Lee, James or Jackson.

What do you think of the name Augustus? Too stodgy, or something freshly worthy of consideration?

If you’re still looking for a perfect baby name, don’t forget to check out our Baby Name Finder. And be sure to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?
Baby Names: Is It Too Popular?

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Under the Radar Girls’ Names: Beyond the Top 1000 Baby Names

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Sometimes, you have to dig a little deeper to really get a baby name gem. And while the top 1000 baby names in the U.S. list offers plenty of stellar options, there are lots of head scratchers, too. (Do we really need to spell Journey Jurnee?)

But sometimes, it’s the ones that don’t make the top 1000 list that really shine—especially if you’re looking for something unique. Skip all those creative spellings of Adeline and check out these options.

Tilda With Matilda on the rise, will this shortened version follow suit? It means “mighty,” and has accomplished actress Tilda Swinton as its namesake.

Kismet I’m generally not a big fan of word names, like Journey or Destiny. But there’s something about Kismet (a name that actually means fated) that just seems right.

Marae This relative of Mary means bitter, and evokes the sea as well. It’s a great way to pay homage to a Mary in your family, without using the name.

Jovia By Jove, this name is intriguing—it’s a feminization of the Roman king of the gods, but also has that connotation of happiness, thanks to the word “jovial.”

Aretha The legendary Aretha Franklin may be a tough act to follow, but you could consider this name, which means “blessed,” in lieu of the more popular Athena.

Briony If you like floral names, but are weary of the Rose/Lily/Daisy combo, consider this very offbeat choice, a lovely vine with green-hued blooms.

Dulcinea This ultrafeminine name has a cool past for literary folks—it’s the name of Don Quixote’s fictional true love in Miguel Cervantes’ classic. It means sweet.

Magenta A vibrant purple-red shade could be the next cool color name, after names like Violet and Scarlett. (For Rocky Horror Picture Show fans, there’s the character who goes by the name.)

Ione How has this gem never made it into the top 1000? Popularized by actress Ione Skye (of Say Anything fame), it’s the name of a violet-colored stone, and of a sea nymph in Greek mythology.

Tell us: What offbeat names do you love? Would you consider any of my choices for your daughter?

Check out the wild and weird side of last year’s baby names—and see if you’d pick any of those for your kiddos! You can rate baby names with our popular Baby Name Game—and keep up with the latest in baby name news by liking In Name Only on Facebook!

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

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